Note: Here be a long post
During the early days of PC gaming, two companies competed and dominated the compettion when it came to the adventure gaming genre. Both brought new, innovative ways to play PC games and both brought truly great stories and game play to its games. Of course the companies I am talking about are Sierra Entertainment and Lucas Arts. Which one is better though? To me that comes down to the question of if you like quality or quantity.
Sierra had it. With their many game series such as Space Quest, Leisure suit Larry, Gabriel Knight, and of course their pride and joy, Kings Quest. Each series did exceptionally well and lasted for a great period of time. It is quite amazing that Kings Quest was able to last into 1997, years after the true adventure game seemed to have died out.
What else was amazing was how despite each series with its many sequels I have never played a bad game of each. Every Kings Quest game I enjoyed immensely, I found every Space Quest game comical and amusing and every Police Quest game difficult and enjoyable. Each game didn't seem to overshadow the next, they all seemed to be equally difficult, even with the advent of new technology straying away from the text interface that Sierra was famous for and each game seemed to have the right amount of humor, story, and suspense depending on what series you were playing.
The games also had great graphics and art and very enjoyable soundtracks. Even for the days with build in PC speakers and simple VGA graphics I remember being amazed at how nice the games could look.
Even compared to companies these days making tons of sequels to games, Sierra managed to do a terrific job making each one enjoyable and keeping you interested in the next one to come out.
Where Sierra had many great games, Lucas Arts seemed to have a few fantastic games. One of Lucas Arts greatest achievements in the gaming world easily goes to Maniac Mansion. Not only did the game have a interesting sci-fi storyline, a cast of humorous characters, and entertaining puzzles but Lucas Arts also introduced the SCUMM engine which would revolutionize the adventure game market. No longer would players have to rely on text commands to solve the puzzle correctly (thus leading to much frustration) but instead could point to a command with the cursor and then apply it to the item on screen.
The fact that Maniac Mansion is still played by many today and inspired some to even make sequels and "remixes" of the game shows how powerful of a game it was for an era. I never knew such a game could work on a console but I believe more gamers have played Maniac Mansion on NES than any Kings Quest game.
Lucas Arts also managed to bring a great PC classic to us in the form of The Secret of Monkey Island. Where Sierra had its dominance in fantasy, Space, and Police settings, Lucas Arts turned to Piracy and it made a big splash. Controlling Guybrush Threpwood on his adventures to becoming a real pirate was something that most of us won't forget.
Other games followed of course such as Grimm Fandango and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I remember playing Last Crusade and thinking that it would be a cake walk since I saw the movie. And how wrong I was. Lucas Arts managed to take the game and spin it into something entirely original compared to the movie. Like boxing Nazis through the castle to save your dad to other elements in the game, Last Crusade remains an all time adventure Classic.
Maniac Mansion would get one more sequel in Day of the Tentacle and Secret to Monkey Island would spawn more but other than that most of Lucas Arts adventure creations were "one hit wonders" that would remain fantastic games to remembered by all.
So which company was better? I guess thatís up to you guys to decide but without a doubt both Sierra and Lucas Soft were both Titans of the Adventure gaming genre.
And heres some Kids in the Hall: