Every Lucasarts Adventure Game: Ranked Worst To Best

13. Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders

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Though Zak McKracken was the second Lucasarts point 'n' click to use the iconic SCUMM system , the company still hadn't quite perfected their patented adventure game formula.

For one, it's possible to run down a dead-end, a frustrating facet of the genre Lucasarts latterly decided to eradicate for good (but not without some sly digs at serial offenders Sierra). Secondly, as a practical measure to keep disk space low but content high, there's a - heh - mind-bending plethora of mazes in lieu of more locations. It's more labyrinthine than Labyrinth.

Such flaws are a product of its time, but look past them and the hallmarks of classic Lucasarts adventures are clearly emergent. The game's plot is underpinned by an offbeat charm (aliens in discount disguises are mesmerising San Franciscans through the telephone lines), and it's replete with the sort of quirky humour which would become a staple of the genre. Yes, it's not quite 'there' yet - the puzzles are relatively straightforward and the characters have as much depth as Chuck the plant - but Zak McKracken is a still a worthy albeit forgotten title in the big adventure game inventory.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.