Telltale Games brought over a miracle for console gamers: the ability to play point-and-click (PAC) adventures. Sure, it didn’t win people overnight, especially not with Jurassic Park: The Game and Back to the Future: The Game. But when the first season of The Walking Dead rolled into town, so did all of the video game awards.
Shortly thereafter, gamers were treated to another PAC based on a comic book series, The Wolf Among Us. This was a sleeper hit that developed a devoted cult fanbase. Fans have been wanting a second season for the game for years, which was always overlooked for the next new hotness.
After that, Telltale seemed to go on overdrive with their trademark adventure games. It seemed there was no property they wouldn’t touch, sometimes at the sacrifice of game quality. It’s ye standard tale of overmilking a product based on past success, which always seems to fall flat in the market over time because of one of two reasons: oversaturation or drop in quality from overproduction. You can make arguments for either in the case of Telltale, as it is no more.
Another company has picked up the Telltale name and most of its properties, including The Wolf Among Us, but it hasn’t announced anything definitive as to their next steps. The CEO mentioned he wanted the company to step up and bring more “narrative-driven games” to the industry, but “narrative-driven” does not mean “point-and-click adventure.” Couldn’t you argue to some extent that most RPGs are narrative driven? Kojima’s followers would certainly say that about his games.
Narrative-driven is all well and good, but we aren’t missing that from the console-gaming industry. We’re missing the PAC adventures, which, as Telltale has proven, can be done very well on consoles.
More recently, SFB Games had their newest PAC adventure for PC/Mac, Tangle Tower, jump over to the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is ideal for this genre, as well as the portable platforms, simply for the literal pointing and clicking. So far the game has been received well by critics and consumers, leaving hope open that perhaps the company will make more of these games for the Switch and possible cross over to the PlayStation and Xbox platforms.
The gaming industry needs more of these companies to take this kind of leap of faith to console to fill that gap Telltale has left us. Even if LCG Entertainment does revive Telltale’s MO, will it be to only focus on popular properties? While these games based upon known comic books/movies/TV shows/video games are entertaining, what about original stories? I don’t mean original stories while wearing the skin of a popular franchise, either.
I’m talking original stories like the PAC masterpieces we see indie developers produce on Steam all the time. I can name a handful of them that I’d love to replay on a console, for starters. If those are somewhat successful, then why not just lump in consoles with PAC planning? It can just be the Switch, because that makes the most sense with the touchscreen. Lord knows the Switch needs its own unique schtick aside from Nintendo first-party games, and the Vita is dead, so that scratches that one out as well.
The platform is available for more PAC adventure games. There is still a cult following for a sequel to The Wolf Among Us. Unique PAC games like Tangle Tower additionally prove that gamers still enjoy this genre. Let’s bring on the adventure titles, shall we?