Top Adventure Games
Recommendations from the Adventure Gamers staff
The adventure genre has often been home to ambitious indie developers, but without widescale distribution, it can be hard for these games to get the exposure they deserve. Since you won't find them on regular store shelves, don't forget about these self-published titles.
Underneath Lumino City’s architecturally intricate paper-crafted spectacle is a genuinely rewarding adventure game, albeit one with the flimsiest of stories.
Andrew Plotkin’s Hadean Lands is an ambitious, text adventure puzzlefest that does nearly everything right.
Zojoi’s Shadowgate remake is everything you loved – and maybe everything you hated – about old-school adventuring. It offers a captivating journey into a fantasy dungeon, but it’s inhabited by puzzles so artificially challenging that this quest is one not everyone will want to undertake.
Emotionally resonant and carefully crafted, A Golden Wake mostly succeeds in living up to its ambitious premise and ultimately leaves a memorable impression.
More a slick refinement than a radically different game, J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars largely took what it got right in the already enjoyable original version and improved upon it, then added some welcome new content on top.
If you’ve played the first chapter of The Journey Down, you’ll know pretty much what to expect. But when everything worked as well as it did originally, that continues to be a good thing.
The Last Door is a great retro atmospheric horror game that will make you want to keep opening up its mysteries until you reach the end.
The Fall is a short but excellent first chapter of a planned trilogy. Even as it neatly wraps up its own story, it leaves enough questions unanswered (and raises some new ones) to create anticipation for the follow-up.
The thought-provoking Ossuary is a game that exercises your brain in more ways than one, with a multitude of diversions to find.
The Samaritan Paradox is a fun retro mystery that almost reaches the heights to which it aspires, but a few minor issues prevent it from achieving true greatness.
Ether One is an excellent, touching exploratory adventure that shouldn’t be missed by those who appreciate a relaxed, immersive experience.
The Blackwell Epiphany is very polished and at times packs a real emotional punch, sending the series out on a high.
An incredibly stylish, wondrously original vision wrapped in a neon-colored synthesizer from the future, FRACT OSC offers a surreal musical landscape that is only best described as interactive art.
Games don’t come much goofier than this – Jazzpunk serves up nonstop, breathless absurdity, if not much else.
Conspirocracy offers some meaty puzzles and more than a few chuckles that make it well worth playing, but it runs out of steam somewhat and lacks the ambition for true greatness.
A unique mix of genre blends, Master Reboot doesn’t always come together cohesively, but there’s plenty of heart in its Soul Cloud.
An awkward translation and poorly-clued puzzles let it down somewhat, but Helga Deep in Trouble looks good, tries hard and has some genuinely hilarious moments.
Lilly Looking Through is an easy-to-love game with a top-notch presentation that unfortunately comes to an end all too soon.
In Gone Home, you don’t solve puzzles. There are no action sequences, no dialogues between characters, no use-this-on-that inventory, no cutscenes. This game’s sole pastime is exploration, its singular focus on a teenage girl’s high school experience. Many people read books for the opportunity to see life through someone else’s eyes, but it’s rare for a game to do it as well as this one does.
With their first commercial game, the indie developers behind subAtomic and Plan M have engineered a delightfully surreal retro sci-fi comic adventure. In an era where trains rules the galaxy, space piracy and alien invasion are a very real danger, and it's up to an unlikely pair of protagonists to stop them using only their wits, a few tools, and a joke every minute. You can set your watch by it, as the laughs are delivered right on time.
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