Monday, January 7, 2013

Kaylin's Top Six Tips For Adventuring

If you know me well or have read my blog much, you should know that I like adventure games.  I love figuring out puzzles, answering riddles and solving mysteries.  The great thing about adventure games is that they let you do all of that while telling you a story at the same time.  The best adventure games even let you decide how that story will go.  

Adventure games are usually pretty casual and can be picked up quite easily.  If you're new to the genre, however, there are a few things that might be useful to know before you start your adventure.  

1. Pick up anything that isn't nailed down

In fact, even if it is nailed down, you might want to find a way to pull out the nails and take it with you.  And take the nails, too.  Seriously.  Many seemingly useless items will be critical in an adventure game.  Chances are, if you can pick it up, you should. 

2. Remember details

In King's Quest VI, it's not only possible to die in the game, but very probable.  I never expected that I would have to remember tiny little details to stay alive, though.  For instance, the fact that the genie liked mint--a quirk that I hardly noted--was crucial.  This is why it's best to either have a good memory or write these details down.  Root beer kills ghosts?  Remember that.  See any strange symbols on the walls?  Write them down, they might be useful later.   

3. Nothing is impossible

For some reason, crazy and illogical stuff happens in adventure games.  It happens a lot.  Part of it is for humor's sake, as it's always funny when you end up doing the very thing that you thought you'd never do.  Other times, when events of an adventure game stretch logic, it's because the game creators were trying to make a puzzle especially challenging.  After all, if everything was straightforward and logical, what would there be to figure out?  Sometimes, it pays to think outside the box.  Way outside the box.  

4. Combine items

In adventure games, your inventory is very important.  Forget that it's filled with mushrooms, a pom-pom, a piece of string and a paperclip, it's important.  Have you tried tying that string to the pom-pom?  It could mean the difference between solving a challenge and getting stuck.  

5. Talk to people

Besides your inventory, another important thing in adventure games is conversation.  Maybe you need to distract a guard?  "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!" sometimes works.  Other times, you need to get more information from the friendly innkeeper before you'll have any clue of what to do next.  

6. Trap your enemies

The motto of all adventure games (at least all that I've played), is "Brains, not brawn."  April Ryan, the heroine of The Longest Journey, is a petite young woman.  Guybrush Threepwood of the Monkey Island series is a gangly fella.  Wilbur Weathervane from The Book of Unwritten Tales is just a gnome.  But in all of these games, these characters are able to thwart the bad guys.  How?  By trickery, usually.  When your character is confronted by their arch-nemesis, use the items in your inventory and your surroundings to your advantage.  Or run, if that's an option.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles.  

By following these six tips, you should be able to enjoy a great game with limited frustration.  Happy adventuring! 


  1. The only video games I've ever really played are the Nancy Drew games for PC and Pirates for Wii, but I love the one about picking things up. That is honestly one of my favorite parts of playing games. I know, it's a bit odd, but I love getting new stuff in the inventory. :)

    1. I love the Nancy Drew games! I've played a bunch of them.

      I agree that getting stuff in your inventory is exciting. It makes you go: "Hm... I wonder what I'm going to do with that?" or sometimes: "Yes! That's just what I needed to ___!"