Inspired by the discussion in The "Death of Adventure Games" (and the upcoming iOS/Android release of Thimbleweed Park), I thought to open a new topic:
I have an iPad and an iPhone and it occurs to me that the user interface and interaction mechanics of a mobile platform are perfectly suitable for Point-and-Click adventures – especially on an iPad, where you have a large screen on which to play and move around.
In my opinion, going from “Point-and-Click” to “Tap-and-Drag” seems a very natural progression to the traditional interface of adventure games. Plus, the story/puzzle-driven nature of such games (as opposed to immediate response required by action games), lends itself well to the casual attitude of modern gamers: you could play for a bit, solve a puzzle or two, shutdown the game (with auto-saving, of course!), and come back later.
I guess the static verb interface of Lucasfilms games could be evolved in various ways to make it fresh and modern without actually losing their intrinsic style and charm.
I could see three possible futures along these lines:
First, the completely “modernized” adventure with high-res graphics, animations, and hi-def sound; with the same high production values as in the past, and the same style of witty, humorous, and clever puzzle and story writing as ever, but with a modern look.
Second, the “retro” adventure with pixel art, 8-bit chip-tunes, classic “verb” interface, and the rest of the trimmings from good ol’ Lucasfilm games of yore.
Third, some mixture of the first two, like Thimbleweed Park aims to be, modernizing where makes sense, while leaving the timeless, tried-and-true features intrinsic to the genre.
I know that such a game would most likely remain in a niche, but published for iOS, that niche could prove to be significant, perhaps large enough to sustain a small development company like Terrible Toybox. However, it would have to be marketed as a modern game, not as a “remember back when…?” artefact, lest it be ignored by the mainstream as just another “nostalgia-fueled” product for die-hard fans.
To me, a game like Thimbleweed Park fits my somewhat-casual iPad use perfectly. I can’t wait for the iOS version of Thimbleweed Park, and I would definitely purchase any Terrible Toybox game for iOS as my preferred platform. Not being a hard-core gamer or die-hard adventurer myself (and leaning more towards the casual gaming side), I suppose there are many others like me.
What do you think? Is the future of PnC adventure games on tablet and other mobile platforms? Should Terrible Toybox focus on such a market in the future? And to that end, I wonder what Messrs Gilbert & Winnick think of such an idea?