|Legend Entertainment #133
Games developed: 17
Games published: 12
Period: 1990 - 1999
Without a doubt one of my most favorite adventure game company ever (with LucasArts and Infocom), Legend Entertainment is well-known in the adventure gaming community as the last bastion of intelligent, thought-provoking "traditional" (i.e. inventory-based) games. Founded by ex-Implementor (i.e. Infocom designer) Bob Bates in 1990, Legend is today one of the very few adventure game companies that refuses to compromise its puzzle-based gameplay for 3D pizzazz and action sequences. Even tools that are often used in other games to increase the playing time, such as the dreaded maze, are rarely seen in a Legend game. When these tools are used, it is always within reason (for instance, you can navigate the mazes in Gateway and Spellcasting 301 easily once you figure out the logic behind them).
Legend developed 15 adventure games during the past decade, all of which are heads and shoulders above most other adventure games on the market. This success is owing to the expert matching between the talents of veteran designers (which includes the likes of Steve Meretzsky, Mike Verdu, Corey & Lori Cole, and Josh Mandel) with modern graphics and interface. While Legend games have never been "cutting-edge", it is the gameplaythat shines through and keeps fans clamoring for more.
The company was bought by GT Interactive, and now GT is on the selling block awaiting interested buyers. This means that the future of Legend is uncertain. In short, Legend Entertainment games are probably the closest to what Infocom games would have evolved into had Infocom still existed. I can think of no higher praise than this. Here's hoping that Bob Bates and his team of veteran designers will be back someday with more adventures in store.
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