Happy Friday. Welcome to another amazing episode!
Any gamer from about mid to late 80’s right into late 90’s will be familiar with Sierra Games (Entertainment), and the logo depicting a mountain. A staple for those enjoyed the graphical exploration-based adventure games. In fact, Sierra went down in the history books as an indisputable front-runner that pretty much set the standard for the graphical exploration-based adventure game genre.
We take you through the history, our thoughts, and our memories with games brought to you by Sierra Entertainment. While Sierra is notable for a number of really good titles, we are speaking specifically, the Quest Family of games; Police Quest, Kings Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry.
Starting with Police Quest, it is probably the most underappreciated game of the series (and not a lot of people know this). But, the concept was originally introduced by a former police officer. The game includes many realistic themes that involve real world police lingo and operating procedures. It’s an interactive crime thriller where you take the roll of a Sonny Bonds, a policeman protecting and enforcing the law complete with shooting, SWAT, diffusing bombs, and writing reports.
If you enjoy the renaissance age, Kings Quest may be for you. This series encompasses many different kingdoms and supernatural realms and follows a few different characters as they quest through the Kingdoms. A good portion of King’s Quest was inspired by fairy tales, and it shows through the adventures as takes cues from them. The concept of the King’s Quest series was derived from ideas first established in Wizard and the Princess game (Adventure in Serenia) which was an early forerunner of the series. There are a total of 6 sequels to this series, and all are worthy of being played, m’Lord.
Need space adventures? There’s Space Quest, which may be a good option for you. it was originally launched in 1986 and was very basic compared to the sequels. The series essentially clones the mechanics and feel of “Kings Quest” except taking place in space. The adventures follow Roger Wilco, a bumbling idiot who happens to be a ships janitor. Somehow he always seems to get himself into trouble and in dangerous predicaments; however, through some miracle, and in the tradition of Pink Panther’s Inspector Closeau, he always seems to find a way out. Oh, and he saves the universe on multiple occasions while doing so. Space Quest is definitely an underground following that’s well worth playing and has 6 different sequels, including a full-fledged fan game; Space Quest: The Lost Chapter.
Lastly, Leisure Suit Larry, an adult delicacy of raunchy sexual innuendo that only teenage boys could appreciate. While seemingly for adults 19+, the themes are so laughable and ridiculous that it could not be taken seriously by older gents. In the usual Sierra adventure game engine, you are Larry Laffy, a middle-aged male virgin who is both sleazy and horny. You navigate Larry as he desperately tries to “get lucky” with women while exploring hotels, ships, beaches, resorts, and casinos. Depending on the game there is a prominent theme and ultimate goal; With a total of 6 different games that have been released since 1987, and a cult status, this game is definitely worthy of being played today.
Technologically, the Sierra series pioneered the use of animation and a basic version of 3D graphical environments. This allowed the main character to walk behind objects on-screen. For its time, the graphics were actually not bad, but with these games, one would play for the sheer enjoyment of the storyline. The games all featured the same mechanics of solving puzzles and completing tasks, all while gaining clues from character interactions.
These worlds encountered were somewhat open, only in the regard that you have to explore everything, touch, see and walk to in order to unlock the story. It truly allows you to use you your logic and thinking skills. Some of the earlier versions of the games, one had to type in key word commands to navigate the character; however in subsequent versions, Sierra included a graphical icon menu bar: walk, look, take/touch, speak, on screen inventory. Using the control icons made navigating each adventure smooth thereby focusing more on the story and not on remembering key instructional commands.
As each sequel was released, there was more elaborate story lines, more complicated puzzles, and more original and well-developed characters. If you haven’t had a chance to play one of these games, you should. While years have passed, they still pose challenges to even the most seasoned gamer. For example, check out this latest version of Kings Quest, from Sierra Games, which was released only a year ago!