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Adventure and Puzzle

The Adventure and Puzzle genres were originally quite popular in the early days of video gaming.  The reasons for this were two-fold: they were not graphically demanding and they required a lot of time to complete.  With an adventure game, the problem of solving riddles proved to be a great way to keep a player interested. With a puzzle game, the challenge could be ramped up slowly and endlessly. 


The early champion of adventure games was Sierra Entertainment.  They created smash hits on the PC like King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Police Quest.  They also released one of the early adult-themed games, the infamous Leisure Suit Larry series.  These games offered players a chance to go on a journey in mythical lands or gritty urban streets.  All involved walking around, talking to people, and interacting with objects to achieve goals.  Often they were filled with humorous and serious moments that would delight players for many hours.

Though the adventure genre has experienced a serious downturn with the advent of FPS games and RPG games, there’s still hope for the adventure fanatic.

Most recently, Leisure Suit Larry received an update on console and PC.  Though it was not as in-depth as earlier games, it is definitely an example of modern developers pursuing the adventure genre.

The adventure game has survived on PC mainly thanks to smash hits like the Myst serious.  Myst featured fantastic graphics and intriguing puzzles all set in a mysterious and eerie world.  Recently, Myst IV was released to much fanfare.  Another notable title in the adventure genre is the Syberia series, which is a very traditional adventure game with extremely detailed and beautiful graphics.

On console, adventure games have mainly lived on in the form of horror games.  The Resident Evil series has received three sequels and two major motion picture productions.  These console adventure games often mix in a bit of action in order to help maintain interest in the player.


The puzzle genre is a unique category of games in that they never really utilize the full power of modern technology.  Instead, they focus on difficult problem-solving or timed challenges that require extreme reflexes.  The most famous puzzle game of all, Tetris, was insanely popular on the ubiquitous Gameboy handheld system by Nintendo.  In fact, Nintendo continues to champion the puzzle genre with smash-hit titles like Wario World, Mario Party, and Mario Pinball Land.