Graphic Adventure


Among the first classifications of video games there is the “graphic adventure”. The first games of this type consisted of lines of text followed by a menu of options with which the player progressively advanced, shortly after, the inclusion of images in this type of game gave way to the graphic adventure genre .

What is a graphic adventure?

The graphic adventure is a genre of video games characterized by linearly advancing the story by solving problems , interacting with characters, objects or carrying out actions proposed by a menu.

  • What is a graphic adventure?
  • Story
  • Characteristics of a graphic adventure
  • Types
  • Thematic
  • Name’s origin
  • Featured Games
  • Importance of graphic adventure

What is a graphic adventure?

The graphic adventure games are characterized in making decisions to advance the story , the player must communicate with the characters or perform actions in the environment to progress.



The graphic adventure begins as the next step to the first adventure games. In the 1980s, text-only games gave way to games whose narrative and menu of actions were accompanied by images. Lucas Arts and Sierra popularized the genre with color games and the use of the mouse to choose commands, supplanting decision-making using keyboard commands.

The SCUMM (Script Creation Unit for Manic Mansion) action menu was the main feature of the Lucas Arts games, the list of possible actions applicable to all the elements found on the screen generated the fame that Magic Mansion needed to become the first game iconic of the genre. The main characteristic of the games of this company was the linearity of their games, which prevented from getting stuck in the adventure. On the other hand Sierra bet on the sagas of games with the possibility of ignoring events completely.

What is known as the golden age of graphic adventures began with the launch of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure, by Lucas Arts, in 1989 and ended with the appearance of video games in three dimensions, since that adventure game developers lost their way when they saw the possibilities of three-dimensionality. However, although there are exceptions to this transition, such as Grim Fandango (De Lucas Arts), the new genres made possible by graphics contributed to the decline in demand for adventure games in 1999.

It wasn’t until 2017, where the adventure adventure genre seems to be making a comeback with installments like Life is Strange or The Walking Dead .

Characteristics of a graphic adventure

  • They have a history.
  • The player enters commands with the help of the mouse.
  • The camera is in the third person.
  • Adventures have different endings and events can be ignored based on actions.


  • Action: in this genre the player solves puzzles and overcomes obstacles to reach the goal.
  • Educational: video games for children where knowledge is acquired through different activities.


The genre was not characterized by a single theme, the story could take place in any environment and the universe was limited only by the imagination of the developer. Although the most popular environments were medieval, fantasy, mystery and action.

Name’s origin

The name “graphic adventure” is a Spanish-speaking term used to differentiate the adventures whose history was described with text from the adventures that describe most of their events in the image on the screen.

Featured Games

  • Maniac Mansion – First video game released by Lucasfilms in 1987. The player takes the form of Dave Miller, who tries to rescue his girlfriend from a mad scientist.
  • Monkey Island: by Lucas Arts, is a trilogy that tells the story of Guybrush Threepwood , who seeks to become the most fearsome pirate in the Caribbean as he takes on the pirate LeChuk and conquers Governor Elaine Marley.
  • King’s Quest: from Sierra Online, is an iconic video game saga from the golden age of adventure games. The story takes place in a kingdom and features many creatures and characters from mythology .
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Graphic Adventure: third Lucas Arts game developed with the SCUMM interface , based on the movie of the same name.
  • Grim Fandango – Critically acclaimed for its graphics, it was the last popular game from Lucas Arts. Features elements of Mexican mythology

Importance of graphic adventure

Graphic adventure games were special as they were one of the first whose strength was in history, a factor that was adapted for games of other genres when 3D revolutionized the industry.

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