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!

« Other Categories




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

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.


The Cat Lady

Cats may have nine lives, but we humans only have one, and how we lead it is an essential theme in this brutally raw and deeply emotional indie adventure. When a woman's suicide attempt fails, she faces a life-altering journey of self-discovery in which she never quite knows what is real and what is fantasy. Either way, the path is fraught with peril, as in seeking redemption there are those who'd seek to do the "cat lady" harm. This game is definitely not for children or the squeamish.


Primordia

If you thought the world would be better off without mankind, think again. In Primordia's bleak, post-apocalyptic future, only robots remain to roam the barren desert wastelands or inhabit the burned-out debris of fallen cities. Among them are Horatio Nullbuilt and his wisecracking sidekick Crispin, whose quest to retrieve their stolen power core lands them in the midst of a political power struggle in this thoughtful retro sci-fi adventure.


Anna’s Quest: Vol. 1 - Winfriede’s Tower

If Little Red Riding Hood had ESP, she probably would have spotted the Big Bad Wolf a lot sooner than she did. That's not a problem for the titular heroine of Krams Design's charmingly offbeat Anna's Quest trilogy.  Young Anna has telekinetic powers, and she'll need to make full use of them if she's to escape a witch's tower and find a cure for her ailing grandfather.


Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 1: The Hangman

You didn’t need to be psychic to have a feeling that Phoenix Online’s first commercial adventure series was going to be something special. With Jane Jensen acting as story consultant to the team behind the fan-made Silver Lining freeware epic, the tale of troubled FBI agent Erica Reed and her unique post-cognitive abilities began with a strong foundation and didn’t let us down. This gritty paranormal story grabbed us from the start and promised to continue occupying our thoughts between each of the season’s four episodes.


Oz Orwell and the Crawling Chaos

Midian Design's Danilo Cagliari seems to be most at home in a haunted house. After honing his craft in sci-fi, now the indie Italian developer takes players to the not-at-all merry old land of Oz Orwell. A paranormal investigative fraud, Oz makes his living faking otherworldly encounters with the dead. But at Angst Mansion, his worst nightmare is about to come true – literally. Knocked out and trapped inside with a houseful of horrors and ghosts, players must help Oz uncover the mystery that binds them all there.


BlindSide

Who says great adventures need good graphics?  In fact, who says they need graphics at all?  Certainly not indie developer epicycle, who have created a unique audio horror adventure that's not to be missed.  Awakened in the middle of crisis with no eyesight at all, with monsters now lurking in the all-encompassing shadows, can you listen and feel your way to safety?


Resonance

Usually when a game spends five years in development, it means that something's gone wrong along the way.  But occasionally, especially with small indie teams, it simply takes that long to get everything juuuust right.  Fortunately, the latter is true of Vince Twelve's impressive sci-fi thriller.  With a complex story, challenging puzzles, and high quality (retro-styled) production values, this game has it all, and with its unique short- and long-term memory mechanics, it's sure to stick with you long after you finish.


More Recommendations



« Other Categories


Latest Reviews
Moebius: Empire Rising
45 | Apr 17, 2014
Mount Olympus
0 | Apr 15, 2014
The Inheritance
0 | Mar 26, 2014
Jazzpunk
3 | Mar 24, 2014

Latest Videos