Player death in Point & Click Adventure games - Yes or no?

#1 Posted by Tordah (2469 posts) -

Maybe it's just me, but I usually hate being able to die in adventure games. Usually death is not an issue in these games, as they tend to establish pretty early on if you can screw up or not, but sometimes it can be hard to tell which it is.
 
Case in point, in Broken Sword there's one part in the second half of the game where, unless you react quick enough, AND correctly, you'll die.  Broken Sword is an 10-12 hour game and that is the ONLY instance where you can die. It comes late in the game and is totally unexpectable since by then you're certain that this is a no-death game. The worst part about this is that the game has no auto-save feature and doesn't let you replay the "scene" either. When you die, it prompts you to load up an earlier save file. Theoretically, you could be forced to replay the whole game from scratch if you had done a marathon session and not saved at all. I was lucky to only have to replay about 40 mins or so, but it definitely left a negative mark on what is otherwise a pretty damn good game. 
 
I know some of the earlier adventure games were really rough when it comes to player death (all the King's/Space/Police Quest games, for instance), and I think that's probably why I never liked those games much.

#2 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1579 posts) -

I grew up on the Sierra games, so I got used to the death. Though that wasn't the worst part. It was easy to just save every so often. The worst part was that you could completely bone yourself by missing a crucial item or event and have no way of going back to it. And the game would just let you keep playing, with no indication that you were doomed to fail.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unwinnable
 
I can go back and enjoy those games in a nostalgic way, but I don't ever want to see that design again. 

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#3 Posted by Quick_Stop_Chad (51 posts) -

For the most part I enjoyed the Lucas arts adventure games, I don't know if it was because you couldn't die or not but i think it helped I was rather young when i played them. In adventure games I expect death to not be a problem when I play them today the no death helps to just be all about thinking of the crazy ways the creators plan on you solving the puzzles.

#4 Posted by Tordah (2469 posts) -
@SpunkyHePanda: Yeah, that's even more messed up than dying. Game design at its most evil.

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