Aggie Awards

2011 Aggie Awards

Best Non-Traditional Adventure: Portal 2


Is it, or isn't it? The argument will rage on about whether Portal 2 is really an “adventure game” until we're all past caring (if we aren’t already), but by Adventure Gamers’ own longstanding definition it most certainly is. It just happens to be one that’s utterly unlike anything we’ve ever seen before (besides its own predecessor), or may ever see again. What most adventure gamers truly value most is a decent story with memorable characters, rewarding exploration and challenging puzzles, and Portal 2 delivers all of these in a thoroughly engrossing, imaginative way. And yet none of it feels like the sort of adventure we’ve all come to know and love: there’s no people (except you), no inventory, no pixel hunting, no dialogue trees, no point-and-click look/use/pick-up verb options that have been around since the dawn of time. Instead there’s a gun(!), bouncy shoes, goo balls, and light bridges. Just what the heck kind of adventure is this??

A brilliant one, that’s what kind. Without ever emerging from the cavernous confines of Aperture Science, the story takes some delicious twists and turns, and its memorable supporting cast of two – although entirely mechanical – show more human personality and actual character development than most other adventures combined through their insightful, often hilarious dialogue. The puzzles, meanwhile, never feel like they’re there just for the sake of it, always integrated in a totally natural way as you make your way through the ruined remains of a former industry giant. And the pacing is darn near perfect. Just when you feel you’re getting the hang of the current tools at your disposal, along come a new set of obstacles and clever means to overcome them. There’s even a whole co-op segment to go with the single player campaign for even more devious challenges to solve with a friend. So no, it isn’t Monkey Island and it isn’t Myst. Instead, Portal 2 is the Aggie Award-winning best of an exceptional lot of non-traditional adventures in a year of truly innovative offerings.

Runners-Up: L.A. Noire, Stacking, Ghost Trick, To the Moon


Readers’ Choice: Portal 2



In an extraordinary year of creative adventures, one game shot straight to the top of the list (probably by shooting a portal above the rest). It was a fierce battle among all the top competitors, but ultimately Valve’s genre-defying story-driven, first-person, physics-based platforming puzzle shooter – or as we like to call it, an adventure game that focuses on puzzle solving within a narrative framework – took the cake for staff and readers alike.

Runners-Up: L.A. Noire, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, To the Moon, Stacking


Next up: Best Traditional Adventure... the envelope, please!

Continued on the next page...

AD Gemini Rue can be purchased at:

Affiliate Links

Related Games

Gemini Rue

Platform(s): iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, PC

Retro-style cyberpunk sci-fi adventure published by Wadjet Eye Games.

Portal 2


First-person puzzler in which you traverse environments by placing dimensional portals on different surfaces

Gray Matter

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360

An adventure game by Jane Jensen, creator of Gabriel Knight.


Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Downloadable adventure by Double Fine, set in a 1930s world inhabited by Russian Matryoshka dolls.

L.A. Noire


Noir detective thriller which has players solve cases in an open-world rendition of 1940's Los Angeles.

A New Beginning

Platform(s): iPad, Mac, PC

Eco-thriller taking place in a post-apocalyptic world affected by climate change.

Back to the Future: The Game

Platform(s): Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Jurassic Park: The Game

Platform(s): iPad, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Platform(s): DS, iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch

Take the role of a dead spirit in this detective adventure by the creator of the Ace Attorney series.

The Book of Unwritten Tales

Platform(s): PC, Linux

About the Author
Other articles...

Event[0] review

PC Mac

The Eyes of Ara review

PC Mac