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Am I the only one who dislikes the AGI games?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 4K users
Don't get me wrong, I love the content of them, and I know how important the first KQ games were to the adventure genre...But a large part of whether I'm going to like a game or not relies on the presentation; the gameplay, the interface, etc.

It's not that I have anything against typing or even the primitive graphics--I love SQ3 and KQ4 for example and those have non VGA graphics with typing--but I could just never bring myself to like any of the earliest games. I played through KQ1-3 fully, but I could never quite get into them the same way as I did the VGA-SVGA games.

But the AGI games did help my reading skills when I played them first as a Kindergarten age kid, I will give them that.

Perhaps it's the fact that I was introduced to the KQ series, adventure gaming, and PC gaming in general with KQ5--and thus with the VGA, Point N' Click games--But like I said, I've never been able to really get into the AGI games.

Anyone have similar feelings?
36 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Yes, you are alone. AGI is awesome. :P

    Seriously, though. It's harder to appreciate the older games when you didn't grow up with them. My first Sierra games were all the AGI games. They taught me to read, spell, and type. And the graphics (especially those by Mark Crowe) were simply captivating for being merely 160x168. There was talent there. KQ1's graphics were abysmal, really, but anything after that was pretty well done.
  • MusicallyInspired;768075 said:
    Yes, you are alone. AGI is awesome. :P

    Seriously, though. It's harder to appreciate the older games when you didn't grow up with them. My first Sierra games were all the AGI games. They taught me to read, spell, and type. And the graphics (especially those by Mark Crowe) were simply captivating for being merely 160x168. There was talent there. KQ1's graphics were abysmal, really, but anything after that was pretty well done.
    Yes, they also helped me with typing and spelling as well. And I agree with you about Mark Crowe's graphics. I'd say of the AGI games, the AGI SQs had the best graphics. SQ2 still looks relatively good despite it's primitive nature.
  • I would happily devote time and energy to making AGI "demakes" of the VGA games.

    AGI graphics are awesome.
  • I've long wanted to turn KQ5 into an AGI game. Right down to the simplistic plot, treasure hunts, and dialogue.
  • I didn't start with the AGI games, I grew to appreciate them later. Probably because I partially learned to type on them.

    My first Sierra game (although I may have played one or two earlier without knowing it) was KQ5, which I played with a friend, and then bought my own copy, when I got my first IBM PC. Then I was trying hunt down all the older games after that point.

    Frankly, I like the concept of parser over full point and click. I like the amount of control it offered, if it had a robust parser. You could try things that wouldn't work, and still get a comment for it by the narrator. Like the 'dig' verb in KQ2, or 'undress' in KQ4. Many of these lead to 'easter egg' style comments. You also got really cool multip part puzzles based on a series of verbs, like in SQ2, "hold breath", and then "dive". Where as point and click generation generally simplified that kind of puzzle into a one or two click thing. Click to dive, and a character would already hold their breath automatically.

    A parser allowed for 'experimenation', that later simplifying and dumbing down of the interfaces lost. When they removed the narrators? By that time 90% of the interactivity was lost (you no longer had cool historical/geographical/etc background information, character thoughts/narrator thoughts on surroundings, etc). Just a few hotspots on the screen. Do modern games need 'narrators'? Not necessarily, however, I'd replace the narrator with a character's thoughts, and still keep the ability to look at almost everything! That really adds to the atmosphere and interactivity level. Telltale casual adventures really shows the end result of that direction of development.
    "I first experienced computer gaming through her early I sort of grew up on her style of adventure game design. She has a clean and crisp style of design that states the goals of the game clearly and makes your challenges clear, which I find refreshing...I really do think "King's Quest I" was the finest adventure game ever written, and the most fun to play...I also liked "King's Quest II" a lot. I think both of these games are great examples of the kind of adventure games that I like to play and that started the whole adventure game following in the first place. "King's Quest I" and "King's Quest II" are unlike most computer games written nowadays. Frankly, they don't feature the deep, complex plots of games like "Police Quest III" and "Conquests of the Longbow". Instead, these games are basically treasure hunts with lots of fun puzzles thrown in to add challenge. They feature simple goals -- you know what it takes to win the contest with the computer. For me, adventure games have represented a pleasant diversion -- something I could boot up and get lost in for a few hours at the end of a long day. I view them the same way some people review Rubics Cube or a crossword puzzle. I want simple goals -- something I can jump into the middle of and go...I want hard puzzles -- real mind benders -- so that when I solve one I can sit smugly... with a sense of satisfaction. This straight forward "goals and puzzles" approach to adventuring represents the oldest and purest approach to the art form. Everyone at Sierra has their opinion about how adventure games should work, of course, but as for me, give me the old-time adventuring. Give me the early "King's Quests."-John Williams, Interaction Magazine, Spring 1992.
  • Yeah, I think for some, the original AGI games might be hard to appreciate. Me? That's what I knew first - that's what I grew up on.

    I can't tell you how epic it really was when I first played King's Quest. There was nothing like it... the thought of exploring whole.... worlds, or lands, in a computer/video game was just something that didn't exist. Now, here was a game, with what seemed like a hundred different rooms - with different things to do in each! In one, I pushed a rock and found a dagger! I could climb UP a tree and find a bird's nest in another! It was amazing.

    I definitely look at the games through those rose colored glasses, but when I think objectively..... Space Quest still rocks. MANHUNTER is one of the most amazing series in Sierra history, and it's only ever been made in AGI. Gold Rush was so colorful, and telling the history of the Gold Rush in the West of the US? AWESOME! It was an exciting time to grow up - we didn't take technology for granted. It was this miracle of engineering and genius when new technologies came out - higher color graphics adapters, better monitors, music/sound cards.... modems above 2400 BAUD.... it was amazing! The things that happened, in real time, in out lives! We weren't born into it... we watched it grow.

  • The thing is while other companies were working with the newfangled EGA graphics, quite a few of them looked like crap, that is to say they looked like they went with CGA inspired vomit inspired combinations... Blue skin, fuschia skin, cyan skin... With combinations of those colors with maybe some new fangled true greens, and browns. Look at Bard's Tale I on DOS for example (it was released in true EGA hires 16 color (similar to SCI EGA in quality), but had puke CGA style coloring choices, poor contrasting colors)...

    But Sierra's King's Quest and later AGI games actually have pleasant color combinations in EGA. They maybe weren't as detailed as some of the later EGA artwork out there, but it made up for it with a good choice of colors.
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    Jennifer Moderator
    One of my first computer games was Space Quest II, so I never had a problem with the AGI games. I do prefer the later point-and-click SCI games, but I still enjoy the AGI games and the earlier SCI games with keyboard control and a cursor (and I'll happily play both/all versions if and when they're available).
  • I too played my first adventure games in AGI (Mixed-Up Mother Goose and Black Cauldron), so I love that style. The only problem I'd have with going back to play games I never played (like Gold Rush - actually that's the only one) is dead-ends.
  • Oh yeah, Black Cauldron--I always forget about that one. That game had some great AGI art.
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