You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
Around you is a forest.
A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.

With these words, the first adventure began.
Its name was "Colossal Cave Adventure" and it was designed and written by William Crowther in 1972 and later enhanced with Don Woods in 1976.

A bit of history

An adventure game is usually defined as a game in which the player must use his wits and intelligence to overcome many obstacles and solve every puzzle in order to reach the final "prize". This simple concept is the basis of every adventure game ever made, even with the variety of “interactivity” approaches used and the advantages offered by evolving game technologies that has been advancing over the years. At the beginning, the interaction was text-based only: the player had to progress via typing two words or phrases, verb and noun. Naturally the parser, i.e. the part of the program which analyzed and interpreted this input, was very limited and the program usually responded with sentences like "You can't do that", or "I don't understand".
Due to these limited processing capacities of the computers on which they were programmed, the first adventures were completely without graphics.

If William Crowther had written The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy, it might have looked like this:

TTMOTIFA with text-based interface

"Graphical" adventures

With advances in computer technology (especially during the first half of the 80s), adventure games began to use colour!
Even if the interaction was still text-based, the locations were now fully illustrated, albeit with limited color palettes and big chunky pixels.
Every adventurer of those times remembers the incredible backgrounds of Magnetic Scrolls' The Pawn. In some of the more evolved productions (usually by Sierra On Line) it was even possible to interact with the environment, moving the protagonist about on screen.

If Rob Steggles had written it then, The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy might have looked like this:

TTMOTIFA with text-based interface and illustrated location

The Revolution

People like Roberta Williams (Sierra On Line), Mark Blank and Dave Lebling (Infocom), Rob Steggles and Ken Gordon (Magnetic Scrolls), the Austin brothers (Level 9) and many others were creating the best adventure productions at the time. But in 1987 a revolutionary twist occurred for the genre by way of a new title being released onto the scene: Maniac Mansion, produced by LucasFilms Games (now LucasArts), designed and programmed by Ron Gilbert.
The main change was a whole new scripting language called SCUMM, designed ad hoc for the development of adventure games, using a Point'n Click interface. The player would not have to type the input anymore, it was sufficient to simply point & click to interact with the game.  This was possible with a variety of icons that allowed the player to interact in multiple ways with important objects, areas and characters that were active on screen.

If in 1987 Ron Gilbert had written The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy, it might have turned out like this:


The Golden Age

The golden age of adventure gaming had begun. Maniac Mansion was followed by many masterpieces that were destined to become historic milestones within the world of videogames. Titles like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of The Tentacle and Full Throttle (just to mention a few) elevated the adventure gaming genre to a very high level of appreciation amongst both critics and the gaming public at large.
People like Tim Schafer, Jonathan Ackley, Dave Grossman, Al Lowe and the aforementioned Gilbert were luminaries and the productions were many.
The very game mechanics were taken into consideration and re-imagined completely. For instance, the player could not die anymore or become irreversibly “stuck” in cul-de-sacs within the game, forcing the player to restart from scratch (or a fortunate saved game from before the point of no return).
The golden age lasted for about ten years, and then a decline set in.
In the second half of the 90’s, the adventure gaming market reached a crisis point.
There were many reasons for this, but the most significant was the meteoric rise of action shooter games like Doom. This was ideal for the more casual gamer, as the run-and-gun formula required less commitment, both in wits and time spent.
The rising production costs in new adventure games were also becoming greater than the titles in other genres (due to localizing production teams and voice talent, which had become genre standards while they were still optional in other game types) so the big firms stopped investing and new adventure game production became less and less frequent.
With the new millennium, adventure gaming had almost died out completely.

Our contribution to the genre

In developing The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy, we used the many aspects that we learned from, together with our immense passion for, all of those superbe games from that golden era of adventuring.

Designed with today's knowledge, but with our hearts looking back to yesteryear,
The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy looks like this:

Before genereAvventura

From Colossal Cave Adventure
to genereAvventura.
More than 30 years separate the two games and many adventures have been played in between by millions of people.
We do not want to list them all, perhaps that would be impossible even if we tried. But we can make a list of the most important titles, from the beginning of the genre up until the development of genereAvventura.

Colossal Cave Adventure
Mystery Mansion
Pirate Adventure (Adventure International)
Zork (Infocom)
Mystery House (Sierra)
The Wizard and the Princess (Sierra)
Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz (Infocom)
Dark Crystal (Sierra)
Zork III: The Dungeon Master (Infocom)
Infocom: Planetfall (Infocom)
Lords of Time (Level 9)
The Hobbit (Melbourne House)
The Sorcerer's Castle (Mikro-Gen)
Emerald Isle (Level 9)
King's Quest: Quest for the Crown (Sierra)
Lords of Midnight (Beyond Software)
The Dallas Quest (Datasoft)
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Infocom)
The Quest for the Holy Grail (Mastertronic)
Alter Ego (Activision)
Borrowed Time (Interplay Productions)
Doomdark's Revenge (Beyond Software)
Déjà Vu: A nightmare Comes True!! (ICOM Simulations)
King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne (Sierra)
The Pawn (Magnetic Scrolls)
The Vera Cruz Affair (Infogrames)
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human (Sierra)
Labyrinth (LucasArts)
Leather Goddesses of Phobos (Infocom)
Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (Sierra)
Tass Times in Tonetown (Interplay Productions)
Uninvited (ICOM Simulations)
Bureaucracy (Infocom)
Gnome Ranger (Level 9)
Jinxter (Magnetic Scrolls)
Knight Orc (Level 9)
Leisure Suit Larry I: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards (Sierra)
Maniac Mansion (LucasArts)
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (Sierra)
Shadowgate (ICOM Simulations)
Shadows of Mordor (Melbourne House)
Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge (Sierra)
The Guild of Thieves (Magnetic Scrolls)
Corruption (Magnetic Scrolls)
Déjà Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas (ICOM Simulations)
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella (1988)
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (Sierra)
Neuromancer (Interplay Productions)
Police Quest II: The Vengeance (Sierra)
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (LucasArts)
Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur (Infocom)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (LucasArts)
Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (Sierra)
Mean Streets (Access Software)
Myth (Magnetic Scrolls)
Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (Sierra)
The Colonel's Bequest (Sierra)
The Quest for Glory I: So You Want to be a Hero (Sierra)
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Horrorsoft)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart go Yonder! (Sierra)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart go Yonder! (Sierra)
Loom (LucasArts)
Police Quest III: The Kindred (Sierra)
The Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (Sierra)
The Secret of Monkey Island (LucasArts)
Wonderland (Magnetic Scrolls)
Castle of Dr. Brain (Sierra)
Cruise for a Corpse (Delphine Software)
Gobliiins (Coktel Vision)
Laura Bow II: Dagger of Amon Ra (Sierra)
Leisure Suit Larry V: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (Sierra)
Lord of the Rings (Interplay Productions)
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (LucasArts)
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (Sierra)
Darkseed (Cyberdreams)
Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon (Coktel Vision)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (LucasArts)
King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (Sierra)
Lure of the Temptress (Revolution)
Nippon Safes, Inc. (Dynabyte)
The Legend of Kyrandia (Westwood Studios)
The Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (Sierra)
7Th Guest (Trilobyte)
Alone in the Dark (Infogrames)
Betrayal at Krondor (Dynamix)
Day of the Tentacle (LucasArts)
Gabriel Knight: The Sins of the Fathers (Sierra)
Goblins 3 (Coktel Vision)
Leisure Suit Larry VI: Shape Up or Slip Out (Sierra)
Myst (Cyan)
Police Quest IV: Open Season (Sierra)
Psygnosis: Innocent Until Caught (Psygnosis)
Return to Zork (Activision)
Sam & Max: Hit the Road (LucasArts)
Simon the Sorcerer (Adventure Soft)
Space Quest V: Roger Wilco in the Next Mutation (Sierra)
The Legend of Kyrandia 2: The Hand of Fate (Westwood Studios)
Ween The Prophecy (Coktel Vision)
Alone in the Dark II: Hell's Kitchen (Infogrames)
Beneath a Steel Sky (Revolution)
Full Throttle (LucasArts)
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (Sierra)
Little Big Adventure (Adeline)
Lost in Time (Coktel Vision)
Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (Sierra)
Shadow of the Comet (Infogrames)
The Legend of Kyrandia 3: Malcolm's Revenge (Westwood Studios)
Universe (Core Design)
11th Hour (Trilobyte)
Alone in the Dark III: Hell's Kitchen (Infogrames)
Bureau 13 (Take 2)
Darkseed II (Cyberdreams)
Discworld (Psygnosis)
Dream Web (Empire)
Flight of the Amazon Queen (Interactive Binary)
Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within (Sierra)
Guilty: Innocent Until Caught 2 (Psygnosis)
Phantasmagoria (Sierra)
Police Quest: S. W. A. T. (Sierra)
Shannara (Legend)
Simon the Sorcerer 2: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe (Adventure Soft)
Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier (Sierra)
The Big Red Adventure (Dynabyte)
The Dig (LucasArts)
Torin's Passage (Sierra)
Under a Killing Moon (Access Software)
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (Revolution)
Leisure Suit Larry 7 Love For Sail (Sierra)
Lighthouse (Sierra)
Phantasmagoria II: A Puzzle of Flesh (Sierra)
Ripper (Take 2)
The Pandora Directive (Access Software)
Toonstruck (Burst Studios)
Blade Runner (Westwood Studios)
Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror (Revolution)
City of Lost Children (Psygnosis)
Dark Earth (MicroProse)
Discworld 2 (Psygnosis)
Fable (Telstar)
Little Big Adventure 2 (Adeline)
Riven (Cyan)
The Curse of Monkey Island (LucasArts)
The Neverhood (DreamWorks)
Ufo's (Artech Studios)
Versailles (Cryo Interactive)
Black Dahlia (Take 2)
Grim Fandango (LucasArts)
King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity (Sierra)
Overseer (Access Software)
Police Quest: S. W. A. T. 2 (Sierra)
Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (Sierra)
Faust (Cryo Interactive)
Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (Sierra)
Nocturne (Terminal Reality)
Escape from Monkey Island (LucasArts)
The Longest Journey (Funcom)
Runaway: A Road Adventure (Pendulo Studios)
Stupid Invaders (Xilam)
Noctropolis (Electronic Arts)
Syberia (Microids)
Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths (Prograph)