Today new audiences have their first opportunity to revisit one of the point-and-click adventure games that marked the high point of the genre two decades ago.
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, which won multiple Game of the Year awards in 1994, brings back one of the most critically acclaimed titles in video game history. The new edition features modernized graphics, fresh game content, a remastered soundtrack, and making-of material.
Sins of the Fathers, the first game in the Gabriel Knight series, is about a bookstore owner who discovers that his lineage is connected to the practice of voodoo and a long-running battle against supernatural evil. The game has been praised for its historical attention to detail regarding the spiritual practices discussed in the story.
Like the vast majority of point-and-click adventure games, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was largely built around puzzles, and strongly incorporated the narrative into puzzle solutions by allowing players to use a tape recorder to replay old conversations and pick up on clues. Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, and Michael Dorn were among the actors who provided voicework for the comic-book style narrative sequences and animated cutscenes.
Point-and-click adventures were a mainstay of the video game world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Famed game studio Sierra On-Line, Inc. made its name with point-and-click adventure games like King’s Quest and Space Quest. Developer LucasArts is best known for point-and-click games like Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island series. The groundbreaking puzzle game Myst is also in essence a point-and-click adventure game.
The influence of point-and-click adventures in contemporary games is strongly felt in the Walking Dead series and The Wolf Among Us, published by Telltale Games. Heavy Rain, the narrative-heavy games created by outspoken developed David Cage, and the iOS game République also bear hallmarks of the point-and-click games popularized by Sierra and LucasArts.
The genre began a resurgence in early 2012 with the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for Broken Age, whose creative director, Tim Schafer, worked at LucasArts during the heyday of the point-and-click adventure game craze.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is available for PC and Mac for $19.99.
Image via Phoenix Online Studios