Independent
Top Adventure Games

Recommendations from the Adventure Gamers staff


New to the genre, or been away for a while and wondering what to play? We’re here to help! Here you'll find all the latest and greatest releases from recent months from your platform of choice: PC, iOS, DS, Wii, and next-gen consoles, we've got them all, and there’s surely something here for everyone. Welcome (back), adventurers, and enjoy!

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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.


Top Picks

The Last Door

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

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.


Ossuary

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

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

Ether One is an excellent, touching exploratory adventure that shouldn’t be missed by those who appreciate a relaxed, immersive experience.


The Blackwell Epiphany

The Blackwell Epiphany is very polished and at times packs a real emotional punch, sending the series out on a high.


FRACT OSC

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.


Jazzpunk

Games don’t come much goofier than this – Jazzpunk serves up nonstop, breathless absurdity, if not much else.


Conspirocracy

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.


Master Reboot

A unique mix of genre blends, Master Reboot doesn’t always come together cohesively, but there’s plenty of heart in its Soul Cloud.


Helga Deep in Trouble

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

Lilly Looking Through is an easy-to-love game with a top-notch presentation that unfortunately comes to an end all too soon.


Gone Home

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.


Astroloco: Worst Contact

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.


Quantumnauts: Chapter 2 - Black Hole Happens

When the fate of the universe's space-time continuum is at stake, you might hope for someone a little more reliable than a former small-time rocker with a drinking problem. But Bob Marshall surprisingly proved his chops in the first Quantumnauts, and now he's back in Midian Design's bigger and better pop culture-laden sci-fi sequel. This time around, Bob finds himself worshiped as a god on a planet of robots, but all he really wants is to get back home.


Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!”

For most developers, a game about a gender-ambiguous film-noir private eye with rudimentary black-and-white claymation figures and cardboard sets, virtually self-solving puzzles, and a story that plays out largely through song would be utterly unthinkable. But from indie developer Deirdra Kiai, anything other than a thought-provoking and utterly eccentric adventure that thumbs its nose at conventions would be a surprise. And somehow she manages to make it all work with whimsy, audacity, and a lot of brass polka.


Cold Case Summer

In terms of worldwide attention, the murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 may not rank right up there with the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy, but in Sweden it remains the country's most famous unsolved case. Now it's Carol Reed's turn to take a crack at this decades-old mystery, and the ninth adventure for the amateur sleuth provides another scenic photography tour and the same entertaining detective work series fans have come to expect.


ASA: A Space Adventure

It's not really named after aspirin, but with all the brain-straining puzzles in ASA, maybe it should be! We mean that in the very best way, of course, as this solitary indie adventure is a classic first-person puzzler with photorealistic environments, node-based navigation, challenging puzzles with no hand-holding (you'll need your hands for all the note-taking you'll be doing), and an intriguing sci-fi backstory to discover.


Kentucky Route Zero: Act I

Route Zero is a lonely highway in an isolated area of Kentucky. Or maybe it isn't. It doesn't seem to be on the map, but the locals all tell you that's the way to your destination. Except the locals might not really be there either. Such mysteries are at the heart of one man's beautiful, minimalist journey through the Bluegrass State. Like an interactive poem with a David Lynch influence, what this episodic series lacks in gameplay it more than makes up in immersive, melancholy atmosphere.


Kairo

If you looked up the term "independent adventure" in the dictionary, you might just see a picture of Kairo – a stark, minimalist, monochromatic screenshot of basic geometrical shapes. With no real story, characters, or even inventory, this is the kind of game only an indie creator could make. It's bold, it's daring, and it works. A bit like a surreal Myst puzzler made out of LEGO, there's really nothing else out there quite like it.


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Latest Reviews
The Last Door
23 | Jul 28, 2014
Bik
2 | Jul 23, 2014
Lifeless Planet
2 | Jul 18, 2014
The Fall
2 | Jul 15, 2014
Black Rainbow
3 | Jul 8, 2014

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