One of my most vivid memories from childhood was playing pirate with the other neighbourhood kids, burying booty in strategic spots around our community park, and making our own treasure maps by dipping paper in tea, drying it up and then crumpling it up! In this day and age, unfortunately, such childhood experiences are forgotten, remembered only by that generation which had the privilege to grow up largely technology-free. I may be waxing poetic, sure, but do you ever see *puts on old sassy grandma voice* kiiiids theeeese daaaays playing with their peers anymore?
In defence of technology, though, video games where you get to play treasure hunter are pretty fun, and playing Lara Croft braving the wild waters off Japan or Nathan Drake traversing the dusty red soil of Madagascar sure beats running around the streets getting shouted at by your parents to get off the road, there’s a car coming your way, oh shiii- *gg wp no re*
1. Lara Croft (the Tomb Raider series)
The queen bee of all the treasure hunters, if there were a Mount Rushmore, she’d be George Washington. Sole heiress to the vast Croft fortune, Lara is a true anti-English rose-cum-swashbuckling adventurer tracking global conspiracies and lost treasures all over the world. Proficient with both guns and melee weapons, don’t fuck with her. She will fuck with you right back.
2. Nathan Drake (the Uncharted series)
Basically the male Lara Croft, Nathan Drake is protagonist of the Uncharted series. He’s that sort of perpetually charming preppie guy who just happens to be experienced in matters of Indiana Jones’ affairs. Apparently, it even runs in his blood, as he’s supposed to be a descendant of the famed Sir Francis Drake!
3. Scrooge McDuck (DuckTales)
Seeing as how Scrooge is a synonym for penny-pincher, it’s no surprise that this moneyed mallard will stop at nothing to enhance his wealth at the expense of even his closest loved ones. Scrooge McDuck has even used his own (grand)-nephews for slave labour! But it’s undeniable that his lust for legal tender has led to some exciting adventures and places over the years, from the Scottish highlands to Lake Titicaca.
4. Pitfall Harry (the Pitfall series)
Since 1982, sexist self-concerned snarker-in-chief Leisure Suit Lar- I mean Pitfall Harry has been assholing his way through home video game consoles such as the Atari and Apple II. But you can’t do an end run around the fact that he’s got hella treasure hunting mojo. That’s Pitfall Harry for you.
5. John Sanders (Dive: The Medes Islands’ Secret)
Even as interpid protagonists hunt for treasures in the air and on land, the sea is oh-so-often ignored. Not so with this Wii game, with you controlling a Jacques Cousteau-type character named John Sanders who will search for booty on the high seas, arrrr! Navigate unfriendly waters and avoid perils such as sharks and other nasty marine creatures as you rack up enough money to buy a yacht and sail to Aruba.
6. Wario (the Wario Land series)
Ahhh, Wario, you lovable 8-bit moustached arch-nemesis, you. In the Wario Land series, follow Wario as he endeavours to get rich by hook or by crook, and take him on a magical treasure stealing carpet ride in search of a castle he can call home.
7. Rouge the Bat (the Sonic series)
Rouge the Bat is a jewel thief and government secret agent all rolled up into one, and also moonlights as a freelancing treasure hunter. She’s never met a diamond she never wanted to steal, and can snoop, steal, and go poof, all in a matter of minutes.
8. Spelunky Guy (Spelunky)
Spelunking for hidden booty is Spelunky Guy’s favourite pastime (duh). Follow this ne’er-do-well miner as he descends into the darkest depths of the Earth so as to disregard wenches and obtain currency in a retro-styled rogue-like gameworld.
9. Alundra (The Adventures of Alundra)
The main character in a series named after himself, Alundra can incept himself into other people’s dreams. Once a pioneeress who voyaged through unknown climes, she wound up in a remote village somewhere near the pole of inaccessibility that is undergoing a nightmare epidemic. You might be wondering, where’s the treasure hunting? Well, before he wound up in said village, he was a treasure hunter. Incidental, I know, but I ran out of ideas =P
10. Indiana Jones (the Indiana Jones series)
*gets hat and whip* NA NA NA NA, NA NA NAAAAAAA, NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!