Video adventure games have been around for a long time, but Sierra On-Line made the concept of an ‘adventure game’ very popular in the 1980s. These were the first games played on home computers – with a joystick type control – that allowed the player to travel through the environment (often a part of an unknown world) in order to solve puzzles and generally just have fun.
In this article, we will look at some of the Sierra games that have since gone public, as well as some of their lesser-known descendants.
One such game is the Apple IIgs Supercade Adventure, a follow-up to the immensely popular Sierra On-Line game of the same name. The Supercade Adventure is in many ways a younger version of Tomb Raider, in that it features a much larger world to traverse.
In contrast, though, it is also much less linear and allows the player to travel in any direction they wish rather than just one, as is the case with Tomb Raider. Despite this, the player will still find themselves frequently exploring a large number of different ‘zones’, each with its own story and background.
Of course, the difficulty level varies according to how far you want to stretch your mind.
Another release from Sierra On-Line is the Space invaders from Sierra On-Line. This adventure game takes the idea of hidden objects and extends it into the unknown reaches of space, where everything can be a danger… including you. The storyline involves a secret US government space mission where the mission staff discovers that a strange virus has infected all humans on board, turning them into mindless killing machines.
You play the role of one of the remaining members of the crew and must fight your way through the infected base to find a way to kill the creature that has taken over the controls of the human race.
Sierra On-Line also produced another very popular adventure game called Brainseed: Birth of Insomnia. The story of the game takes place in 20th Century America during the infamous “Zoo Wars” between the government and a group of radicalized animal rights activists.
As part of a delicate joint operation between the two sides, the government recruits an enterprising young doctor as their chief medical advisor. However, Dr. Milton Dent is anything but cautious, thinking that the animals on board are capable of resistance.
As the war unfolds, the doctor is forced to make tough decisions that could alter the course of history… In this role-playing game, you play the part of both the doctor and the resistance leader and must use a combination of speech and body language to encourage or discourage a reluctant character to make a decision.
For fans of puzzles and brainteasers, you’ll want to check out Mystery House Breakout. If you’re fond of platform games, then you’ll love this one. You play these adventure games as the janitor who works at the local supermarket, tasked with keeping the place clean and running efficiently.
As the game progresses, you’ll bump into various janitors who will try to infiltrate your position and cause a ruckus. The storyline takes place over a series of nights, and you’ll be introduced to some interesting characters like the ghost of Christmas past, the perpetually hungry Grissel, as well as the deranged dentist Mikey.
Another adventure game with a “video game feel” is Sierra On-Line’s remake of Oregon, based on the same book and film. In this version, you take on the role of Willamette, a young girl who lives in a small Oregon town. You’ll have a chance to go to the library, visit the post office, and partake in a few Oregon activities while trying to avoid going on “dates” with evil forces. As the game progresses, you’ll learn more about the Oregon characters and their history.
You’ll also want to check out Mystery House Breakout if you enjoy hidden object scenes and puzzles. As mentioned above, the story takes place in an imaginary town called Sierra On-Line, and in this version of the story, you take on the role of Sheriff Willamette.
In this adventure game, you’ll have to solve the mystery of a man known as the Red Jacket, and you’ll also get to visit the home of his girlfriend, called Sierra.
There’s another version of Sierra On-Line’s mystery house game called Odd Blob, which is probably best suited for those who enjoy playing puzzle and adventure games with a little bit of Mystery adventure in them. In this one, you take control of the character Willamette, who has been hired by the town of Oakhurst to look after its most important treasure – the Golden Egg.
You’ll have to find the egg and deliver it to the right location before the time runs out. In these adventure games, you’ll also have to overcome a series of obstacles, many of which mirror the ones encountered in the book of the same name. In this one, you’ll have to find out just what happened to the old woman who was found dead in the book (again, used as the major plot device).
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