User Avatar Image

Episodic Adventure Games are Pure Genius.

posted by Thriftweed Fancy Pants on - last edited - Viewed by 194 users

Just went back to read an article from the beginning of 2009 on Adventure Gamers and I have come to realize the pure genius of making adventure games episodic. Not only has it resurrected the genre, but I believe it will also save it from dying again.

Casual, hidden-object games have become competition for adventure games because they're cheaper and more satisfying to play since they're quick and easy. How can adventure games compete with that? Enter Telltale Games. Episodic games are also less expensive, and they're quick and easy to play (when compared to traditional adventure games), yet they're able to include rich, overarching story-lines, like Tales of Monkey Island has done. Genius.

Someone commented on the AG article that the relationship between casual games and adventure games is similar to the relationship between the Nintendo Wii and the rest of the console gaming market. Nintendo is aiming toward a new audience (casual gamers), whereas the Xbox and PS3 are primarily aiming toward the traditional "hardcore" gamers. I thought that was an interesting comparison. I think the success of the Wii has changed the landscape for everybody, and maybe blockbuster games aren't going to die, but I believe they have suffered some because it's difficult to compete with cheap, easy, and quick. Again, that's where I believe Telltale Games has achieved a successful compromise through episodic gaming.

And like I said before, I think this has made adventure games popular again, and I think will likely help them retain their popularity amongst all gamers. What do you think?

9 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I concur. :D

    You could almost describe it as "reincarnating" adventure gaming. They've brought back a much beloved classic genre that was forgotten by many, and added something very new and interesting - episodic gaming.

    Before I'd heard of Telltale, I was hoping that point and click adventures would come back someday, but I'm not sure if I ever believed they would. Or at least not like this. And what's more, not only are the old fans coming back but it's attracting new fans too.

  • Im glad that the 'episodic' format has ressurected things like Monkey Island and Im sure finacially it works for the companys who sell them , but I personally would prefer one long game.

  • @ReeceMix said: Im glad that the 'episodic' format has ressurected things like Monkey Island and Im sure finacially it works for the companys who sell them , but I personally would prefer one long game.


    Technically, if you play all the games in a row, it could make one long game. The original Monkey Island games had chapters for each time you progressed in the story. Telltale just made each episode a chapter.

    I agree with everything you say. I actually didn't know anything about adventure games until SBCG4AP. I've now played almost every Telltale game, watched a lot of originals on Youtube, and i've even played the original Secrets of Monkey Island. Now playing LeChucks Revenge. Big Whoop=Best name for treasure ever:D

  • There really should be more game companies doing this today. All episodic video game companies I know are Telltale, Hothead, and that company that makes that America Mcgee's Grimm.

  • @ReeceMix said: I personally would prefer one long game.


    Hmm... you know, I thought that when TOMI had just begun (shortly after chapter 1 was released), but somewhere during the series I changed my mind about it. Now, I can't imagine TOMI as just one game. There's been so much excitement in the forums with people coming up with theories between each chapter, which is something you don't get when you get given the whole storyline in one game.

    But now that we have the whole series, we can play it as one whole game too! So I guess everyone wins :) TOMI was my first real experience of episodic gaming. By the time I bought Sam and Max seasons 1 and 2, all the episodes were already out so I just played them one after the other. I actually got used to having to wait a month for the next part of the story, and think of all those rumours and crazy ideas we were sharing on the forums! Fun stuff :D

  • User Avatar Image
    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    I heard about TMI a few days before it came out, and the sole reason I didn't preorder was because I was wary of this scary new episodic thing. I was going to wait until all the chapters were out before purchasing the series.

    After two months and much pestering by my only MI friend in the world, I caved in and bought the season - and subsequently became a massive fan of the episodic format. Now I wouldn't have it any other way!

    As Scrawffler said, the speculation, rumours and general nonsense the fans come up with is such good fun. You also spend much longer engaged with the game in real time, which adds something quite special to the experience. I'm a total convert to episodic adventures and hope Telltale sticks with them. :)

  • Now we just need to get episodic content working properly elsewhere. I'm looking at you Valve... At least you only have to wait around a month between episodes with Telltale, rather than over two years with still no clue when its coming.

  • I've gotta say I also love the episodic thing because I can play a game with a deep, interesting storyline without having to play every other day to keep my hand it like with a JRPG or something. Long games are nice, but when you have to get your gaming time in snatches it makes it easy to forget what you're doing. With Telltale I get my games in nice, digestible bites :D

  • @S@bre said: Now we just need to get episodic content working properly elsewhere. I'm looking at you Valve... At least you only have to wait around a month between episodes with Telltale, rather than over two years with still no clue when its coming.



    That reminds me; will there be an episode 3 of Penny Arcade Adventures? Or is Hothead focusing on DeathSpank.

Add Comment