The internet is a curious place, Hypothetical Audience, especially how its effected entertainment. If you’d told anyone a decade ago that watching videos of someone playing video games and talking over them would be not only a popular mode of passing the time for millions, but also a way people could make a living, most would likely laugh at you, and the odd one who didn’t would likely say “Well that’s clearly inspired by Mystery Science Theatre.” I am talking, of course, about the world of Lets Plays. You literally can’t browse YouTube without tripping over people trying to get their Warhol-15 minutes by playing games for everyone else’s entertainment (which was literally 15 minutes relaively recently, as that was the maximum video length at one point). Like a lot of people, I watch a few of these guys, and am equally annoyed by a few others, so thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject with you guys.
I love old school point-and-click adventure games, Hypothetical Audience. Indeed some of my earliest experiences of videogames, after the myriad platformers on the Mega Drive in the mid nineties, was playing Discworld on my families Mac Performa 5200 and things like Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island on my uncle’s Windows 3.1 machine. The immersive interactive storytelling, and the often insane logic puzzle, had a deep influence on me growing up and I still have a massive soft spot for the genre as it stood back then. Unfortunately, once we began to be able to produce visually interesting backdrops in other, more faster paced game genres, point and click began to die out beyond relatively obscure and indie title. But recently there’s been something of a mainstream revival, with Telltale Games producing things like The Walking Dead and the Monkey Island Revival. This makes me very happy indeed. So for this week’s Let’s Review I thought I’d have a look at two games that at least embody the ideas of the Point And Click Genre, first a very modern take in Jazzpunk, which while a first person game it does have a lot of what made the earlier games work, and secondly a rerelease of an old classic, in the shape of Tim Schafer’s Grim Fandango Remastered.
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