Saturday, 12 December 2009

Retrospective: My favourite AGS games of all time

Everyone has games that they could play over and over again. The one series or developer that first piqued your curiosity with AGS and turned you into a lifelong fan. These games may have the same puzzles you've smashed through twenty times, but the brilliance of the game keeps you moving.

Instead of reviewing a new game I'm going to devote this post to the top ten games that have made me consider signing off on CD games, the ones that have made me gasp, laugh, cry (err...did I say cry? I...meant shout. Yeah. A big manly shout) and cast my mind into eternity.

Note: No pictures this time. It proved too much of a bugger to drag them down to the appropriate entry.

10. Pleurghburg: Dark ages

Pleurghburg was one of the first games I played on AGS. And I can unreservedly say that I love it, even all these years later. The futuristic setting is clever and inspired. The puzzles are great. Frankly, I love the main character. Pleurghburg might not have engaged me as much as the others on this list, but it's a great game that I look on fondly.

9. Saw

Saw was one of those uniquely difficult games that pushed you to the readily-available walkthrus every time, yet made you feel guilty for not taking the time to think it out. Even using the Spanish-English translation pack was difficult for me! Saw was one of the great examples of technical game making. I know that if I played it now, I would have the exact same struggle as I did last time. And it's faithful to the films. That really can't be undervalued.

8. La Croix Pan

This game had everything for me. It was an adventure game. It was a first person shooter. It was an authentic WWII experience. And you got to kill Nazis. Short yet sweet, this game is and was incredible.

7. Rob Blanc

I didn't want to include different games by the same author in this list because it would be full of Yahtzee (and Grundislav) titles, but I didn't feel I could let the Rob Blanc trilogy go without a mention. While I first got familiar with the lead characters in the epic Yahtzee takes on the World I felt them come into their own during the three games. They're fun and funny in equal measure and I find myself still playing all of them from time to time.

6. Frank the Farmhand

It's probably best to mention that this list is devoted to the first episode of Frank, because I wasn't as impressed with the second. Frank the Farmhand (part 1) is a fast paced and witty tale of government conspiracies, deep-South racism and friendship that charmed me right from the word go.

5. The McCarthy Chronicles: Episode 1

I guess all my reasons for this are on my page!

4. Ben Jordan Case 7: The Cardinal Sins

As I mentioned, I wanted to avoid over-emphasising developers. But Ben Jordan has to grace this list more than once, and you'll see why. While the number one slot personifies the rest of the series, BJ7 deserves a mention of its own. And why? Voices. Music. Great storytelling. Awe-inspiring plot. Commentary. I've made myself clear.

3. Lost in the Nightmare

Playing Lost in the Nightmare: Save our Souls doesn't have the same effects as playing other games. It's the closest AGS has ever got to a full-on psychological experience. Terrifying and haunting, it was a challenge to both #2 and #1.

2. Five Days a Stranger

Do I really need an explanation? This is possibly the most famous AGS game out there, created an epic series to follow it and defined point n' click horror for generations. This is the Pink Floyd of adventure games; not just brilliant in terms of quality but for the influence its had on the genre.

1. Ben Jordan Case 3: The Sorceress of Smailholm

So we come to the end of our list with my favourite AGS game of all time. Don't get me wrong, BJ1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and (obviously) 7 each had a fantastic appeal of their own, but number 3 always holds top trumps for me. Maybe it's the spooky plot, the incredibly detailed (real) setting, the clever character study of everyone's favourite stuffy English professor, Percival Quentin Jones. But either way, this is my favourite. And I'll be playing it for a long, long time.

1 comment:

  1. Good choice, I am just surprised you don't have Trilby's notes here, because I think it was the best game from whole series, and also best game ever (better than DOO 2M, I know it's crazy :D) oh well, everyone has his taste.