As I’ve mentioned before I was always late to the party when it came to video games and video game technology. Our first family computer had Windows 3.1 for the OS, but this was well into the lifespan of Windows 95. We did eventually upgrade, but along the adventure I remember a lot of software being handed down from my more tech savvy relatives. Some of these games were point and click adventure games, one of them being Leisure Suit Larry which was quickly snatched up and thrown away by my mother once she figured out what it was all about.
Fast forward to the year 2000 when I was more focused on the NES and trying to find out which games were worth buying by testing them through emulation. Although primitive by today’s standards the emulators in those days seemed like modern miracles; being able to play any NES game you could ever imagine on a computer was amazing. After finding a list of every NES game ever released I trundled through the list to see which games might spark my interest. It didn’t take long for my past and present to meet up when I found a game called Deja Vu.
By this time I was more interested in games like Super Mario and Final Fantasy, since these games gave instant feedback when a button was pressed. Point and click had kind of fallen by the wayside, but I decided to give Deja Vu a try. It wasn’t long before I was hooked by the story, searching for clues and loving every bit of it. I didn’t complete the game, for one reason or another, but I do remember it feeling odd to play a point and click game on (an emulator of) the NES and it feeling so smooth and well done. What I thought would be clunky controls, certainly weren’t.
A few years later I found there were a few other point and click games for the NES, such as Maniac Mansion. Maniac Mansion was a game I had heard of, mostly due to the hamster part, but had never actually played, not even on PC. I tried giving Maniac Mansion a try but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it and I honestly don’t know why. Now that I actually own a copy of Maniac Mansion I might sit down and give it an actual try.
In the years since then I’ve found many more games such as King’s Quest V were released for the NES, as well as some games that incorporate point and click elements such as Dr. Chaos and The Goonies (both one and two). As these games include platforming and other elements I wouldn’t classify them as strictly point and click, but a hybrid of platforming with point and click elements thrown in, and I believe they are done very well too.
Initially, probably like most people, when I thought of the NES I thought Super Mario, Tetris, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Castlevania, etc. After playing Deja Vu I try to include these games into the fold as well. It’s easy to forget how experimental the NES was when platformers and RPGs took over, but there are definitely some great games with gameplay elements that aren’t jumping over mushrooms or punching in someone’s face and collecting the coins that bounce where their corpse once laid before it quickly decayed and disappeared. Deja Vu, Maniac Mansion, Shadowgate and Uninvited, among others, are all games that I may have missed out on, had I not given NES point and click games a chance.