10 Great Forgotten Point-And-Click Games
In 1984, Silicon Beach Software pioneered the development of Enchanted Specters, a game widely regarded as the inaugural point-and-click video game. S...
In 1984, Silicon Beach Software pioneered the development of Enchanted Specters, a game widely regarded as the inaugural point-and-click video game. Since then, the genre has experienced its ebbs and flows, traversing periods of immense success and occasional downturns. From the formative years when LucasArts produced remarkable titles like the Monkey Island series to the illustrious era of Telltale Studios, a plethora of exceptional point-and-click games have graced the gaming landscape.
However, amidst notable titles like Gabriel Knight and Indiana Jones games, there exists a multitude that often go unnoticed. From the late 90s era, when point-and-click games were as prevalent as the chill in the air, to the more recent years of indie triumph, the catalogue of underrated point-and-click titles is extensive in its scope.
Throughout the decades, the advancement of video game graphics has reached unparalleled heights, surpassing the progress seen in other forms of entertainment media. It is astonishing to contemplate the journey from the pixelated visuals of Super Mario 64 to the astonishingly realistic graphics of Red Dead Redemption 2 in a mere span of twenty-two years. Such a transformation is truly remarkable.
In 1994, MicroProse, a developer that would later gain acclaim for the X-Com franchise, introduced Dragonsphere. Noted for its impressive graphics during that era, meticulously crafted puzzles, and a captivatingly immersive narrative, Dragonsphere captured the hearts of many and developed a devoted following, solidifying its status as a classic within its genre.
9 Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller
Regarded as an opportune avenue for Hollywood to tap into the flourishing video game industry of the 1990s, the production of FMV (full motion video) games surged significantly. While numerous FMV games were hastily created with profit in mind, there were plenty of developers who harnessed the style in a creative manner, showcasing its potential for artistic expression.
In 1994, Take-Two Interactive developed Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, an influential game that emerged as one of the early CD-ROM exclusives to incorporate high-resolution visuals and voice acting. Set in a dystopian United States of the year 2095, players assume the roles of Gideon Eshanti and Rachel Braque. While the gameplay itself may not have been groundbreaking, the world crafted by John Antinori, Dennis Johnson, and Laura Kampo unfolds as a gothic horror-inspired labyrinth, propelled by superb writing and storytelling.
There are few combinations as fitting as science fiction and horror. From the iconic Alien movies to the acclaimed Dead Space games, the fusion of sci-fi and horror has served as the foundation for numerous celebrated artistic creations. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that there is a wealth of point-and-click sci-fi horror games available.
Stasis, an isometric puzzle game developed by The Brotherhood, draws evident inspiration from films such as Event Horizon and Sunshine, while infusing its own unique elements into the mix. With a mysterious and dark storyline, Stasis becomes an essential experience for enthusiasts of the sci-fi horror genre, captivating players with its chilling atmosphere and masterful storytelling.
7 The White Chamber
The remarkable aspect of point-and-click games lies in their frequent innovation. Moreover, they provide an opportunity for smaller designers to create games without the stringent demands imposed by other genres. In terms of macabre creativity, The White Chamber excels in abundance.
Originally conceived by Richard Perrin as a university project, The White Chamber swiftly transformed into a fully realized endeavor, complete with voice acting and multiple endings, thus augmenting the intricate world crafted by Perrin and his fellow designers. Offering a suspenseful narrative from start to finish, The White Chamber garnered acclaim for its captivating puzzles and genuinely thrilling plot twists.
6 Don't Escape Trilogy
At times, developers can have rather modest origins. While many of the greatest video games have benefited from substantial financial resources and prominent development teams, there is something truly admirable about a solitary game designer or a small group of designers toiling away with nothing but their passion and determination.
Originally, Scripwelder uploaded games to Newgrounds.com. They gained critical acclaim for the Deep Sleep games and later created the Don't Escape trilogy. This trilogy is a series of point-and-click games that were released on Steam in 2019, making them accessible to a wider audience. Despite being underrated, these games showcase excellent storytelling and problem-solving elements, providing a master class experience. The trilogy offers ample replay value for players.
5 Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice
The works of H.P. Lovecraft have emerged as highly influential pieces in the realm of fiction. As a master of cosmic horror, Lovecraft's extensive body of work has served as a profound inspiration for a wide range of creative endeavors, including books, movies, television shows, and video games.
Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice was created and published by Atari SA (previously known as Infogrames Entertainment) for IBM PCs and Macintosh computers in 1995. Although it received criticism for its lackluster voice acting, the game garnered praise for its stunning graphics, ominous atmosphere, and captivating narrative.
The horror video game landscape of the 1990s may not have achieved the same commercial success as today's games, but it was unquestionably more daring and twisted in its ambitions. Despite the limitations of detailed graphics, developers showed no hesitation in creating a realm of darkness and depravity within the horror genre.
In 1998, the game developer DreamForge Intertainment launched Sanitarium. This psychological horror adventure revolves around a protagonist named "Max" who finds himself in a dilapidated sanatorium following a car accident. Sanitarium tells a truly disturbing story and is often overlooked as a gem within the horror genre. The game's eerie and terrifying atmosphere is its standout feature, and it has served as an influential source for many subsequent horror games.
3 I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream
"I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," written by author Harlan Ellison, is regarded as one of the most brutal and sinister works of science fiction ever produced. It presents a grim narrative within a post-apocalyptic dystopian world, where the five remaining human beings are subjected to relentless torture by a merciless artificial intelligence.
It was quite unexpected when Ellison collaborated with developers Cyberdreams and the Dreamers Guild on a video game adaptation. With Ellison's involvement, the game turned out to be a faithful and intellectually stimulating adaptation that should be experienced by any brave and resilient gamer.
2 Star Trek: Judgment Rites
Although Star Trek video games haven't garnered the same level of impact in the gaming world as Star Wars, a surprisingly significant number of Star Trek games have been created over the years. Just like Star Wars, the Star Trek franchise has served as the inspiration for video games spanning various genres.
When it comes to the top-notch Star Trek game, many people highlight the point-and-click title Star Trek: Judgment. Developed by Interplay, the same studio responsible for creating Fallout, Judgment showcased the original series cast, impressive graphics, and exceptionally well-crafted writing.
1 Tales From The Borderlands
Telltale Games is widely regarded as the leading force in the modern point-and-click genre. They gained significant recognition for their highly acclaimed Walking Dead series and have also developed games based on Minecraft and Batman. While fans may have different opinions on the studio's best game, it's generally agreed upon that their most underrated title deserves more recognition.
Tales from the Borderlands, created in collaboration with Gearbox, is set in the aftermath of Borderlands 2. True to Telltale's reputation, it showcases top-tier voice acting and exceptional writing. Considered a gaming masterpiece, Tales from the Borderlands encompasses everything that makes Telltale games remarkable.