One of my favorite games growing up was the original Zork on the Atari 8-bit. I sucked at it, for sure, but I remember spending countless hours mapping out the the huge cavern and the dam lobby, not exactly knowing the point of the game but sensing something great from that Grue-begotten adventure.

For years after that, I couldn’t get enough of adventure games, something that continues to a lesser extent today. For example, just last month I plopped down $15 bucks to revisit the Sierra treasure trove, maybe finally–finally–getting through Gabriel Knight 2. (I’ve lost my save game just before completing the final scene twice!)

Needless to say, when somebody leaked out the cancelled Warcraft Adventures, I was one of the first in line to download it. I mean, I’ve been waiting to play this game for eighteen years, ever since I was a nerdy middle schooler staying up late to get in another round of Warcraft 2. I was so excited back then to have one of my favorite game companies attack one of my favorite game genres. The disappointment was palpable when I heard of its cancellation.

So how is Warcraft Adventures? I haven’t beaten it yet, but I’m clearly not alone in thinking it’s pretty bad. Blizzard absolutely made the right call cancelling this game, since paying $40 for this cheesy hunt-for-the-pixel adventure would have sullied both their reputation as a game company and their prize franchise.

Plenty of gaming websites will talk about the logistics of the game. What I want to do instead is talk about playing it with my kids.

For a quick bit of history, both my kids love Minecraft: Story Mode and the new King’s Quest. My daughter and I recently made it through the remastered Grim Fandango, and we’ve made good headway into Broken Age. In other words, they’ve played more than their fair share of adventure games for a 5 and a 6 year old living in 2016.

That’s why as soon as I pulled up Warcraft Adventures, my son jumped on my lap, fully expecting to be an active participant in the game.

This is what I let him watch. . .

Yeah, it’s pretty bad. The acting, I mean. And the animation. It doesn’t help that, at the end of the scene, the animators decided to depict a graphic death, followed by a character wallowing in a pool of his own blood.

After we witnessed the blatant murdering of an orc and the rapid 180 of Brown Beard totally giving up on an at least 18 year project to raise an orc to be human, we finally get to play.

Then the black comedy begins.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by all the severed body parts, since the orc mouse cursor from the old Warcraft games was a bloody orc hand. Still, when a six year old is sitting on your lap, it makes the whole thing seem just a bit worse. That before even mentioning such lines as the main character’s saying he’d eat the decaying corpse of a fellow orc if he had a bit of salt.

The game is definitely an interesting throwback. At my kids’ ages, probably the most violent depiction in a video game was Mario squishing mushroom-shaped Goombas. It wasn’t until I was. . .8, I suppose, that I started playing the violent-for-the-time Castle Wolfenstein and Mortal Kombat.

Huh. That’s only two years from now for my son. No wonder my mom didn’t want us to have those games in our house.

Anyway, this eighteen year old adventure game was trying to appeal to the older market by throwing in plenty of gore in a more intimate take on a fairly bloody game (the decaying bodies of Warcraft 2 weren’t exactly family friendly, either). I find it more funny than anything that Warcraft Adventures actually maintains the same type of gruesomeness as the original games, yet I’ve mentally whitewashed the originals to be these pure and clean animated romps of Orcs and Humans chopping each other to bits.

What pile of rotting. . .oh, I see it now.

Will I keep letting my kids play through Warcraft Adventures with me, even though it is decidedly less than kid friendly? I haven’t decided yet. It probably depends on how much worse it gets than, um, murder. . .

Yeah. . .

However, I do need a wingman on my third playthrough of Gabriel Knight 2, and I’m not sure of a better way to beef them up for that bloody and sometimes profane affair. We might have to push Phantasmagoria off another year or so, though. I’m not quite bad enough of a dad to let my kids play that one yet.