Saturday 14 April 2012

Weekly Poll Discussion

While there were a few surprises in the results for last week’s poll, the winner was not at all surprising to me. In fact, I actually created the poll to see whether my fondness for April Ryan was the norm or an anomaly. The question was “who is the best playable female character in adventure game history” and here are the results:

April Ryan (The Longest Journey Series)      14 Votes (25%)
Laura Bow (Laura Bow Series)                     7 Votes (12%)
Nicole Collard (Broken Sword Series)           7 Votes (12%)
Sophia Hapgood (Indiana Jones)                  7 Votes (12%)
Laverne (Day of the Tentacle)                       6 Votes (11%)
Kate Walker (Syberia Series)                       4 Votes (7%)
Princess Rosella (King’s Quest Series)        4 Votes (7%)
Zoë Castillo (The Longest Journey Series)    4 Votes (7%)
Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew Series)                1 Vote (1%)

April Ryan - No journey would be too long

It’s not at all surprising that the winner comes from a more modern series of games, especially given the improvement in graphics and the increased quality of voice recording that has entered the genre over the years. April Ryan is a very special character for me as it was The Longest Journey (and its sequel Dreamfall) that reintroduced me to adventure games a few years back. I found the voice of April (by American Sarah Hamilton) to be really captivating and lovely, and the story she took part in truly fantastic. I remember really wanting to find out who the voice actor was and to see whether they’d done any other games, which is not something I’ve ever considered doing before (well, apart from Shodan, but that’s not an adventure game).

Sarah Hamilton - Gave April the innocence, the charm, and the strength she needed

What’s intriguing for me is the amount of votes given to Laura Bow, who hasn’t graced monitors (well, not in any new games) since 1992. The series (which is made up of The Colonel’s Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra) just keeps popping up in recent discussions and I’m really looking forward to playing it. Kate Walker is also an interesting character to me. There’s so much to like about her, and the Syberia games are excellent, but I just didn’t like the voice they used for her. It was pompous and humourless, which stopped from really warming to her.

Laura Bow - Hang on a second...she looks like Sarah Hamilton!

It’s time for another poll. This week’s question is “Do you actually still play old adventure games or do you just like reading about them?” I know a few of you definitely play them, but I wonder what the ratio is. Only one way to find out...


  1. I still play them now and then. Not too often as I'm currently rediscovering a lot of missed adventures of just recent years (2007-2011) but I still play the occasional old adventure or replay a Lucasarts one. I also like to play new indie adventures made in a very old-school style but I'm not sure how that counts.

  2. I still play them! In fact, I recently finished Space Quest 3.

    There are a few classics (mostly sierra games) that I play few years, but I do like new games too (I recently started Gemini Rue).

  3. I would be one of 5 people (so far) to not actually play adventure games. It was only 2 when I voted, but has now pulled ahead of the people that only play new adventure games.

  4. I used to play adventure games, but many of the solutions became too obtuse for me. I've moved on for the most part, but I do enjoy them from time to time still. I think the last one I played was Trace Memory (Nintendo DS).

  5. I was one of the many who chose the option number 2, although I nowadays play more the "oldies" than the newer games. That's mainly because I've become too much of a completionist and want to play as much of the older games as I can, before moving on to the more recent adventure games - and due to the limitedness of time, I'll probably never catch up.

  6. Glad to see April up there. I discovered The Longest Journey last year and loved every minute of it. Here is my review of it (no spoilers):

  7. I rarely replay games and since I've played most of the old adventure games I want to play, I rarely play the oldies. There are still some glaring omissions, like Freddie Pharkas(sp?). Also my Infocom backlog is fairly long.

    Regarding last weeks poll though, was there a particular reason why Grace Nakamura was omitted? I feel she was well realized in GK2.

    1. There's a playable female character in GK2? I haven't played the series (yet) so I wasn't aware of that. I thought someone else might have pulled me up on that one.

  8. If you haven't played either the Laura Bow or the Gabriel Knight games, you have something very special in store. Those are two of the best adventure games series ever made, in my opinion.

    The Gabriel Knight games in particular are notable for representing 3 distinct types of adventure games (classic 2d point and click, FMV, and 3D), and pretty much nailing each type.