Random Babblings: Top 5 Adventure Games of All Time


posted 10/10/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
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Number Five - Grim Fandango

Classic Line: “My Scythe, I like to keep it where my heart used to be.”

Lucas Arts’ Grim Fandango was one of the last true adventure games that arrived on the market. While other games had their stories grounded in some semblance of reality, Tim Schafer, along with the guys at Lucas Arts, decided to set this game in the land of the undead. Featuring a distinctly Mexican flair, this was one of the most stylized games of our time.

Like many other adventure games, I don’t quite remember all the bits and pieces of the game but I sure as hell know my protagonist from front to back. You assumed the role of Manny Calavera, an agent for the Department of the Dead. Basically, your role was that of the Grim Reaper/travel salesman. Your job required you to travel to the human world and bring the dead to the underworld. When they arrived in your offices of the DoD, you’d try to do your best to sell them travel packages to the afterlife. After Manny manages to botch yet another sale, he begins to suspect that something is awry in the hallways of the DoD. Eventually he’ll journey on a quest to discover the cause of his failure.

I loved this game so much because it told an amazingly deep story while managing to remain humorous throughout it’s duration. Lines such as, “My Scythe, I like to keep it where my heart used to be,” still manage to illicit a chuckle out of me after all these years. There are many more jokes sprinkled throughout the rest of the game, most of them coming from your larger than life sidekick, Glottis.

The other day I was plodding through my game collection and came across my copy of the game. I decided to check it out and see if my love for the game had lasted all these years. What was supposed to start out as a 10-minute test session boiled down to a 3-hour addiction. I had to literally pull myself away from the screen in order to keep myself from playing through the duration of the title. 4 years after its initial release (I know, time flies huh?) this game still manages to remain fresh and entertaining. After I finish up a few of my next reviews, I’m planning on giving this one another thorough viewing.
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