The Point-and-Click Puzzle Pinnacle: the results

Calling all adventure fans: the moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here! At the end of October, Quietschisto from RNG and I set out on an epic quest to discover, for once and for all, which point-and-click puzzles should be given the official titles of ‘best’ and ‘worst’.

We didn’t embark on this journey alone however, for a band of brave warriors decided to join us. From wannabe pirates and sentient disembodied tentacles to anthropomorphic detective duos and minefield bunnies, we each scoured the adventure world to put forward two challenges which had the potential to be the pinnacle or the pits for the genre. Check out the following posts to get inside the head of each member of our party if you haven’t seen them already:

The best:

  • Human beauty-contest – Gao Li Occasionally Reviews
  • Insult sword-fighting – Later Levels
  • The Healing Room – NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog
  • Swapping with Saturn – RNG
  • Prison breakout – The Platformer
  • The worst:

  • Boris Charov’s lair – Gao Li Occasionally Reviews
  • Cat-hair moustache – Later Levels
  • Monkey combat – NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog
  • Monkey wrench – RNG
  • Monte Carlo fake ghost – The Platformer
  • The community has been helping us find the winners in both categories by voting in our polls since 01 November 2019, and it’s now time to reveal the results. We could do this via a simple announcement post but oh no: that just wouldn’t be awesome enough for The Point-and-Click Puzzle Pinnacle! Instead, Quietschisto and I have put together a little treasure hunt which, if you’re willing to accept the challenge, will lead you to the winning puzzles. Here’s your first clue:

    To set their answers free, one must reach for the questions.

    Work out the answer correctly and you’ll end up with a four-digit number code which will allow you to open the next clue at RNG link below. Keep going until you’ve solved all six challenges, and you’ll be awarded with a big reveal of the winners of The Point-and-Click Puzzle Pinnacle! Alternatively, if you don’t have the patience for all these puzzling shenanigans, use this link to go straight to the results and use this password:  pixelhunt . Don’t worry though because no angry goats are waiting for you.

    A huge thank you to Quietschisto, Gao Li, Sebastian and NekoJonez for taking part – it has been a pleasure working with these fine adventure game fans. May your futures be filled with plenty of pointing-and-clicking!

    Now, click on this link to start your adventure…

    The Point-and-Click Puzzle Pinnacle: my response

    As announced last month, the awesome Quietschisto from RNG and I are on a quest to find out which point-and-click puzzle is the best – and which we never want to see again. From minefield bunnies to aggressive goats to monkey wrenches, let’s get this challenge started!

    I’ve been a fan of adventures since picking up The Secret of Monkey Island when I was nine-years old and even now, almost three decades later, the genre still holds a special place in my heart. That doesn’t mean I believe all point-and-clicks are great games and that all puzzles within them are well-designed however. It took some time to decide which challenges to put forward as the best and worst, but I think I’ve picked some worthy options below. Bring on the conversation trees and pixel-hunting!

    The best

    The puzzle:   Insult-swordfighting from The Secret of Monkey Island

    The set-up:   Guybrush Threepwood must complete the Three Trials set by the pirate leaders in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a buccaneer. These include defeating the mighty Sword Master – but it’s not just about how you handle a lesson weapon, as he finds out during a lesson with Captain Smirk.

    Why it’s so good:   Comedy, logic and creativity combine to give players a puzzle fit for a pirate: this challenge contains everything we love about point-and-clicks. Our hero has to track down opponents on the roads of Mêlée Island and challenge them to a fight, picking up new insults and testing out collected responses to build his repertoire. The lines are legendary in the gaming world: I’ve spoken with apes more polite than you – I’m glad to hear you attended your family reunion! You make me want to puke – you make me think somebody already did!

    LucasArts perfectly captured the cerebral nature of the adventure genre and the excitement of a classic movie duel, while letting us all express our inner-pirate with the insult-swordfighting puzzle. The formula is mixed up when you’re finally good enough to take on Carla; you can’t just use the lines and responses you’ve already heard in the same way and instead have to consider what would be the best comeback to her new challenges. If you’re good enough, you’ll be rewarded with a ‘I beat the Sword Master’ t-shirt.

    The outcome:   Guybrush completes the Three Trials, fulfills his ambition, beats the zombie ghost pirate LeChuck (sort of) and falls in love with Governor Elaine Marley. Adventure gamers everywhere are inspired to create witty insults, and tell other fans they fight like a cow with knowing nods of appreciation.

    The worst

    The puzzle:   The cat-hair moustache from Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned

    The set-up:   Our hero must pretend to be someone else in order to fool a moped-rental clerk into giving him the last available vehicle. To do so, he must make a disguise that includes a moustache. Made out of cat-hair. To impersonate a detective whose only facial hair is a bit of stubble.

    Why it’s so bad:   This puzzle has to be the worst ever dreamt up for a point-and-click because all common sense flies out of the window (or catflap). First, the person we’re impersonating in this section of the game doesn’t have facial hair – and surely an important part in trying to fool people into believing you’re someone without a moustache is to not create a fake moustache? Gabriel must therefore take the additional step of drawing one onto Detective Moseley’s driving license so his furry-cat-face resembles that shown on the identification.

    Next, consider where this part of our hero’s disguise is derived from: you must attach masking tape to a hole beneath a toolshed and then chase a cat through it. I’m not sure what’s worse; the fact the game’s designers want us to believe that tape with a few animal hairs stuck to it is going to pass as a moustache, or that Gabriel attaches it to his face using maple syrup. This puzzle deserves to win the ‘worst’ category because I don’t know anybody who hasn’t resorted to a walkthrough to complete it – and it’s this type of senseless challenge that gives the point-and-click genre a bad name.

    The outcome:   Players are left wondering whether the game can get any more absurd, while Gabriel ends up getting his moped. Presumably he has to stop at a supermarket on his way out of Rennes-le-Chateau to pick up one of those sticky hair-removers. Surely he could have just used more maple syrup?

    Is insult-swordfighting the pinnacle of the adventure genre? Does Gabriel Knight deserve to be punished for thinking he can get away with a cat-hair moustache? We’re asking the community to help us find the best and worst point-and-click puzzles by voting. Be sure to check out the answers from Quietschisto of RNG, Sebastian of The Platformer and Jonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog, then cast your votes in the polls below before the end of November. The results will be announced on Saturday, 01 December 2019 over on RNG.

  • Vote for the best puzzle here
  • Vote for the worst puzzle here

  • Calling all point-and-click fans!

    Do you love wannabe pirates, sentient disembodied tentacles and anthropomorphic detective duos? Do you enjoy weekends spent combining random items, browsing through conversation trees and occasionally hunting for pixels? Then we may have a collaboration for you.

    Puzzles in point-and-click games tend to stay with us long after we’ve completed them, either because they were brilliantly executed or left us screaming in frustration. From aggressive goats to bunnies hopping across minefields, we all have those challenges we love to discuss with other players to find out what their own experience of them was. But which puzzle is our all-time favourite and which should be sent on a one-way journey to D’Ni? It’s time for…


    The awesome Quietschisto from RNG and I are searching for point-and-click fans who are brave enough to help us figure out which puzzles should be given the official titles of ‘best’ and ‘worst’. Here’s what you’ll need to do if you’d like to join in:

  • Decide on the puzzles you’d like to put forward for the best and worst categories
  • Get in touch and let us know your choices by Sunday, 27 October 2019 so we can include them in our polls
  • Publish a post on Friday, 01 November 2019 to reveal your puzzles and explain why you’ve chosen them
  • Play more adventure games throughout the month while the community votes
  • Gasp in astonishment as the best and worst puzzles are revealed on RNG on Saturday, 01 December 2019

  • Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need to decide on a single puzzle for the best category and another for the worst category
  • The puzzles chosen must come from point-and-clicks rather than any other kind of adventure game
  • They don’t have to come from classic titles though – consider entries in the genre all the way up to the present day
  • They don’t have to come from the same game either – your best can be from one title and your worst from another
  • There’s no specific format or word-limit for entry posts
  • A link to the polls must be included in your entry post when it’s published

  • Good luck, adventure fans. May the best and worst puzzles win!