Over the past 17 years had a complicated relationship with Sierra adventures. We always seem to approach them with just a bit of ambivalence, making it clear along the way that we hold Lucasarts games to be superior. We find some to be a bit poor, others merely adequate, handing out a lot of fives and sixes.

For one thing, we never really got on with Sierra’s rather clunky and cliched sense of humour, compared to their competitor’s more whimsical and surreal approach. So the thought of playing through the comedy-oriented Space Quest or Leisure Suit Larry sounds like a bit of a slog. Meanwhile their approach to fantasy, as seen in King’s Quest, ancestor of the whole genre, did always seem like a rather twee collection of public-domain fairytales.

The one series we’ve committed to covering thoroughly was Police Quest, since we found ourselves warming to Sonny Bonds and his sensible haircut. Still, it was a bit po-faced and perhaps too focussed on proper procedure, and so didn’t actually get any high scores from us.

I did actually enjoy the first Quest for Glory, which crosses over into RPG territory with combat and character skills. I never went back to the sequels, though. The only Sierra game I’d genuinely call one of my favourites is Conquests of Camelot, with its mystical dark ages setting, and none of their other games ever captured my imagination to the same extent.

Here’s the thing, though: I feel a powerful force of nostalgia every time I see the Sierra logo, and hear the accompanying midi fanfare. “Prepare yourself to go on a quest, brave hero!”, it says. It’s a promise of adventure, a signal that we’re about to explore strange lands and meet exotic characters. Part of my brain instinctively winds up its rusty, worn-out puzzle-solving circuits in preparation. There’s an unshakeable sense that these games were one of the pillars of PC gaming in their day, an essential part of the adventure genre, and that I’ve failed to do them justice.

It’s a weird, conflicted feeling. Maybe I’d really enjoy more of these games if I sat down and properly immersed myself in them. Or perhaps they’re all a bit plodding, adequate but not truly inspiring. Perhaps I’m drawn more to the ideal of “Quest” games than the reality.

Still, perhaps the only way to resolve this is to review more of them. There are some quite wide gaps in our coverage, after all. I could name around twenty candidates, before we go to anything really obscure. Rather than dither over which one to play, I just made a list of all the adventures we’ve yet to write about.

That comprises most of the King’s quest, Quest for Glory, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry families. I’m throwing in a few one-offs like Codename Iceman also. The focus here is the classic graphical adventure so I’m excuding really ancient static screen stuff, or action-oriented sequels and spinoffs (e.g SWAT).

Now, I pick one randomly. It’s a realtime article, everyone! Will I be making my first try at Space Quest? Or, will it be an early King’s Quest full of random death and pixel hunts?

*drumroll*

And… it is indeed a Space Quest. Never played any of these myself even briefly!

I’d love to say “coming soon to FFG” but given how unproductive I am these days, I had better not make any promises. However I will endeavour to play this when I find the time, and write an open-minded review.