Sometimes a gem can go majorly unnoticed. This could be the case of JJS’s port of AGS (Adventure Game Studio) to the PSP, and that would be a shame, so I felt I had to talk about it.
When I was 9, Santa Claus brought us a computer for Christmas. It was an insanely powerful machine, with a huge 30MB hard drive, a 10MHz CPU, and 1MB of ram. Santa claus had pre-loaded the machine with a bunch of cool games. All of them had an ok level of detail (320×240, 4 colors)… but one of them was different. It had, like 256 colors or something. It was incredibly beautiful, and had an amazing story. It captivated me for months. It was called Monkey Island.
If you ever owned a PC and are as old as me, there’s no doubt you’ve tried at least once in your life a LucasArt point and click adventure, and most likely you loved it. And maybe, nowadays, you follow the updates of ScummVM as much as I do, hoping for more compatibility every release. Or you’re a dosbox fan… or maybe you moved on because even though you love the old point and click games, you don’t like to play the same 10 games over and over again.
Yesterday, I discovered a whole new world: there are thousands of dedicated fans creating games with Adventure Game Studio, a free game development platform. Some of them are free, some of them are commercial. Some of them are simply awesome. All of them are crafted with love by independent devs. I’m shamelessly announcing that I didn’t know about this before yesterday, although now that I think about it, I heard about it a lot on ScummVM’s forums.
If you’re below 20, it’s possible you never heard of point and click adventure games, they’re not cool anymore, and somehow even in my era they were a bit nerdy. They’re like a great book. you have to use your brains and a bit of imagination, and they’ll provide dreams for a lifetime (I swear I still have dreams of Monkey Island).
And now we have access to hundreds of those on our PSPs, most of them free (and legal), thanks to the work of JJS.
The first one I wanted to try was Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth (FoY), a work in progress attempting to revive the old Lucasart Indy games (Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis is one of my best memories as a gamer). FoY has a bit of a “Duke Nukem Forever” feeling to it, having been in development for the past 10 years, but a demo is available, and if you ever played the old Indiana Jones games, you’ll be excited by this one.
Another example is Gemini Rue, a critically acclaimed commercial game, released earlier this year (9/10 – “Amazing” on IGN). A free demo is available, and runs on JJS’s port for you to try. This is the game pictured in the video above.
If you think games are not only about killing terrorists in a realistic war environment, you have to try this homebrew. There’s literally hundreds of hours of game waiting for you! Thanks JJS, hoping to see more updates of this port!
- AGS port can be downloaded from JJS’s website here. More details in the homebrew’s thread here
- Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth demo can be found here. More details on the project here
- Gemini Rue Demo can be downloaded here, and the full game can be bought here.
- Hundreds of other games can be downloaded from the official AGS site. Most of them are freeware. They are not all compatible with the PSP port yet, check the homebrew’s readme for details.