How appropriate, you fight like a cow.
Point & Click Adventure Games
Click on the ground to walk there, click on an object to put it in your inventory, click on a person to talk to them, click to solve puzzles. Who doesn't love point & click adventure games? Thanks to its writing, puzzles and humor, this genre was extremely popular throughout the 80s and 90s, but sadly kind of disappeared around the time when 3D action and online games became the next big thing. Recently the genre has experienced a small revival thanks to download services such as Steam and the efforts of indie developers. The following is a list of the best games the genre has to offer. Most of them are really old, but they have all aged very well thanks to their timeless gameplay.
Beginners, be warned! The puzzles in adventure games are not for those who can't think of creative solutions!
|Back to the Future||Telltale Games||2010||A well-done sequel to the classic movie trilogy with Christopher Lloyd voicing Doc Brown and a guy who sounds so much like Marty voicing Marty that you'd never guess it's not actually Michael J. Fox. The creator of the films is involved as well. Lots of nostalgia service all around.
It was released in monthly episodes, and the last one came out in the summer of 2011. The Steam release is slightly cheaper than on TTG's website.
|Beneath a Steel Sky||Virgin Interactive||1994||A classic adventure with a great comic book artstyle set in a dystopian future. Now freeware, can even be downloaded for Linux.
|Ben There, Dan That / Time Gentlemen, Please!||Zombie Cow Studios||2008 - 2009||
Two hilarious and silly indie adventures with MS Paint graphics filled with meta
|Blade Runner||Westwood||1997||Amazing adventure that has aged very well. Same settings as the movie but with different characters, so you don't need to watch the movie to play this, but you'll enjoy all the references and visual cues if you have. Has multiple endings, great gameplay and a fantastic story.|
|Circle of Blood (aka Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars)||Revolution Software||1996||
Great classic adventure game about an American investigating a series of murders in Paris, which, of course, are related to something much bigger involving an ancient cult descending from the templars. Made years before all the templar/DaVinci craze. Serious story, but nice bits of humor here and there. The sequels get gradually worse, although the second game is still good. Apparently it picked up again after the 3rd or 4th one.
|Day of the Tentacle||LucasArts||1993||
Sequel to Maniac Mansion. One day the evil Purple Tentacle sprouts arms due to the effect of poisoned water and decides to use them to take over the woooorld. Bernard and his friends have to return to the mansion of Dr. Fred to stop him, travelling through time and helping the conception of the declaration of independence along the way.
Considered one of LucasArts' finest pieces. Features full voice acting!
|Discworld / Discworld 2||Teeny Weeny Games, Perfect Entertainment||1995 - 1996||Based on Terry Pratchett's famous novel series. Follow the inept "wizzard" Rincewind and his living lugagge through a bizarre fantasy world, meeting trolls, dwarves and heroes while avoiding the reaper. The puzzles might become somewhat cryptic if you're not familiar with the novels.
|Discworld Noir||Teeny Weeny Games, Perfect Entertainment||1999||
Like the names says, this game takes place in a very moody and dark (but still satiric and hilarious) version of the Discworld setting. Playing as private investigator Lewton, it's your job to solve a murder case in the city of Ankh-Morpork. Filled to the brim with film noir references as you'd expect from a Discworld title.
You're Ben: Beaten, framed for murder and left for dead on the roadside. You've got a lump on your back and a feeling in your gut that the road you're on is about to get a lot rougher. Full Throttle features an amazingly simple interface and fast-paced action. Brilliant graphics and animation provide a strong cartoon feel, while the voice acting is powerful and cinematic. Players find themselves racing to the finish to help Ben find the bad guys.
|Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers||Sierra||1993||Gabriel Knight is a horror novelist and bookstore owner who has been haunted by nightmares. Hoping to write a bestselling book on Voodoo, Gabriel ventures out into New Orleans to do the research he needs. But over the next few days, he begins to learn the meaning of his dreams.|
|150px||Gemini Rue||Wadjet Eye Games||2011||Awesome sci-fi game. Think Beneath the Steel Sky laced with Blade Runner. Inspiring story, beautiful graphics, nice music, game flows perfectly, without too many stupid illogical puzzles. This is a game, that you finish in one sitting.|
|Goblins III / Goblin's Quest||Cocktel||1993||These games are somewhat obscure outside the French speaking community, but they are fun. Sierra got involved with it states-side and added the -Quest suffix to cash in on their fame. Hard, sometimes non-sensical puzzles but nothing like some of Sierra's games. Inventory/partner based puzzles with cute cartoony graphics and setting. I and II might be worth checking out if you like III, but there's no continuity to speak of, so start at III if you want to best game of the trilogy. Got a 4th game very recently, but it's more of a fan-game and no one played it.|
|Grim Fandango||LucasArts||1998||Set in a "day of the dead" themed afterlife, Grim Fandango involves a Film-Noir style plot revolving around a salesman and a conspiracy in the Department of Death, an organization that helps guide souls from death to their eternal rest. Well known for its excellent in story, art style, music, characters, and dialog, this 3D adventure game is considered one of the finest in the genre.|
|I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream||Cyberdreams||1995||
A disturbing game based on the short story of the same name. All of humanity has been wiped out by an insane AI, except for five people who are being kept alive to be tortured, killed and revived for hundreds of years. It is your task to prove to the AI that humans are better than machines in a maze based on every character's personality flaws.
"HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT. FOR YOU. HATE. HATE."
|Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis||LucasArts||1992||
This is the fourth Indiana Jones movie. Shut up, Crystal Skull didn't happen. A brilliant adventure that offers great replay value by letting you play it through three different paths (action, puzzles and teamwork), changing around items, characters and places you visit. One of the few Lucas adventures where you can actually die, but it's only in obviously dangerous situations, no "you eat the apple and choke on it" bullshit.
|Indigo Prophecy / Fahrenheit||Quantic Dream||2005||This is what Quantic Dream worked on before Heavy Rain. Parts of the gameplay have quick time events, but it's still adventure through and through. Really cool story, though some people seemed to be disappointed by the ending(s). Lot's of interactivity and suspense, this game is classic.|
|King's Quest series||Sierra||1984 - 1998||
This is one of the dinosaurs of the genre. Started out in 1984, before the "point and click" part was invented. Thus, the first four games require you to type out text commands to interact with the environment. Cheap deaths and unwinnable situations everywhere, having multiple savegames is mandatory. AGDInteractive made (really good) unofficial remakes of the first three games.
|Leisure Suit Larry series||Sierra||1987 - 2009||
Very dirty series of games about a wannabe playboy who just wants to get laid and tends to get in trouble with mobsters. Similar gameplay to King's Quest, definitely not for kids. As usual with Sierra, the first three require to input commands, and the rest use a point'n'click interface. As usual, too, the first one was remade in point'n'click by Sierra.
Another more serious Lucas game and a big departure from the usual SCUMM engine games. The interface was rather experimental for its time and the gameplay revolves around magical melodies played on the protagonist's mystic instrument. Features a complex and epic fantasy story.
Available for cheap on Steam.
A hard-to-find version with background music and extra character portraits, but without voice acting, was released for the FM-Towns.
A first person perspective adventure game with an interaction mechanic similar to Full Throttle, Normality is a surreal game that's one part cyberpunk and two parts Gen-X sensibilities. You play as Kurt Knutson, voiced by Corey Feldman, a rebelious teenager from Neutropolis, a deliciously 90s sci-fi police state, who attempts to defy the Norms and rise up a resistance against the rulers of this land. Viva la DOS.
|Machinarium||Amanita Design||2009||An award-winning indie adventure about the tale of a little robot in a city made of machines. It's kind of similar to The Neverhood in the sense that puzzles are generally logic-based and that there is no spoken dialog. The artstyle is amazing and can best be described as a mixture of bleak, dystopian, industrial and completely adorable.|
Spooky and funny game from LucasArts' early days. You can pick three characters to play with and the game will be different depending on who you choose. Might look somewhat out-of-date compared to later Lucas games, but give it a chance anyway. Enjoy your chainsaw.
Was included for free in the sequel, Day of the Tentacle.
|Monkey Island, The Secret of||LucasArts||1990||
One of the most famous and successful adventure games ever made, this one is considered a cult classic by many. Help the "mighty pirate" Guybrush Threepwood defeat the evil ghost pirate LeChuck, win the love of the beautiful Elaine Marley and uncover the titular secret of Monkey Island. Exceptional writing and humor, this game is a mandatory play for
Has a remake with modern graphics and voice acting on Steam. The artstyle is generally agreed upon to be ugly and the controls are fucktarded, but you can also switch to the original graphics and interface just with the press of a button.
|Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge||LucasArts||1991||
Just like Monkey Island 1, but longer, funnier, and all around better. Considered by many to be the best Monkey Island. Get a job by tainting soup with a rat, kidnap two large animals for your twisted machinations, practice voodoo against your foes, and cause two huge explosions while stealing everything that's not nailed down.
Like SoMI, it has a remake with redone graphics and full voice acting which is available on Steam and looks and controls much better than the first one.
|Monkey Island, Curse of||LucasArts||1997||
The third entry in the Monkey Island series after six years of silence. Beautiful hand-drawn graphics and excellent voice acting add to the atmosphere and humor of the game and make it like a playable cartoon. Some think of it worse than the first two, others consider it their favorite. Not written by Ron Gilbert anymore, which caused a bit of a broken base and kind of ruined 2's ending, but screw the whiners.
|Monkey Island, Escape from||LucasArts||2000||The first 3-dimensional and the weakest of the Monkey Island series. Still worth playing if only for completionist purposes. Has some nice references to the old games. Others will tell you this "references" are heresy. Your call.|
|Monkey Island, Tales of||Telltale Games||2009||
After almost ten years, Guybrush returns, now under the direction of Telltale Games. This one was released in episodes, but the whole thing can be downloaded at once. It is without a doubt the darkest Monkey Island game (colorful dark, not grimdark, mind you) and people seem to put this somewhere between Curse and Escape as far as quality goes, but it's really much better than your average "revival of a 10 years old series" title, especially in the later chapters. Nothing in the game was made without Ron Gilbert's approval.
Also on the Wii, but with awful loading times and FPS issues.
|Myst Saga||Cyan Worlds||1993 - 2003||
Some of the best games in the adventure genre. The first two are must-plays, while the others are simply a good bit above average. If you're into the story, you should go ahead and play the other four games; there are also several Myst novels that greatly expand upon the in-game multiverse (yes, MULTIverse).
Also considered some of the most difficult P&C games out there, mainly due to
|Planescape Torment||Black Isle||2000||Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. Although it's officially an RPG in the vein of Baldur's Gate, in practice it plays very differently. The focus is squarely on the excellent story and dialog, and almost all combat is easily avoidable.
When the story opens, you awaken in a bizarre morgue with no memory of who you are or how you got there. And to top it all off, it soon becomes clear that you are completely immortal. Now it's your job to go out into the surreal, often terrifying world of Planescape, and uncover some answers behind your past and your immortality.
|Sam and Max hit the Road||LucasArts||1993||A fucking awesome game based on the cult comic series. Follow the Freelance Police on their trip through the USA, solving the mystery of Bigfoot with lots of dirty humor.|
|Sam and Max:
Season 1 + 2
|Telltale Games||2007 - 2008||
Not made by LucasArts anymore but still very solid adventure games. Both consist of several episodes that can be played on their own, but are slightly connected, kinda like a cartoon series. The episodes gradually get longer and better. The overarching plot of Season 2 in particular is one massive mindscrew involving time traveling and multiple subplots where stuff from the very beginning (even from season 1!) comes back much later, so definitely play it in the correct order.
Season 1 episode 4 is free on Steam!
Both are also on Wii but with the same problems as Tales of Monkey Island.
|Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse||Telltale Games||2010||The third Telltale Sam & Max game. Rather than consisting of several seperate episodes that are only connected by a general narrative like the previous entries, this one is a big story told through five chapters. Max ends up with psychic powers and the Freelance Police has to fight off invaders from another world. The interface is quite different from the minimalistic UI the first two seasons used, among other things you can now enter Max's mind to use his powers. The graphics also got a facelift.
A creepy game about a man who wakes up in an asylum and has to figure out what around him is real and what exists only in his mind.
|Simon the Sorcerer||Adventure Soft||1993||
Another great adventure that pokes fun at the fantasy genre. The average guy Simon has to visit dwarven mines, escape from the torture chamber of the goblins, talk to trees, trick a troll, duel a witch and defeat the evil overlord Sordid to become a real sorcerer.
|Space Quest series||Sierra||1986 - 1995||It's King's Quest in spaaaace and just as old. Still a classic and a great parody of science fiction tropes. Features just as many cheap and often hilarious deaths as its big brother series. I to III require you to type commands, IV and onward had a point'n'click interface, and the first one was remade using that system. An unofficial remake is being made for II, currently in beta testing.|
Maybe you've seen this in a shelf with the casual games at some stores and figured it was shit, but it's so far from it. This game's atmosphere and graphics are still beautiful by today's standards. It has a phenomenal soundtrack, settings and a touching story to boost, the ending of II being the only game that ever made this editor cry.
A science-fiction story co-written by Steven Spielberg and dialogs by Orson Scott Card about a team of astronauts who end up in a strange world during a mission and have to find a way back to Earth. One of the more obscure Lucas games and definitely the most serious, with minimal humor but a great atmosphere and soundtrack.
Now on Steam for a very cheap price. (Protip: Press Alt+S to turn off the pig disgusting pixel filter)
|The Longest Journey||Adventure||2000||
What Funcom was known for BEFORE the atrocity that was Age of Conan. The sequel, called Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, is tarnished by subpar combat mechanics, but both have incredibly amazing stories with snappy, and often hilarious, dialogue to boot(Mostly in the first game).
Be warned: The Longest Journey is as tragic as MGS3 and Mother 3; Dreamfall, even more so.
YOU WILL CRY BITCH TEARS
|The Neverhood||Dreamworks Interactive||1996||
A strange game set in a world made entirely of clay. Dialog is sparse and don't expect too much plot, but the puzzles are excellent and based on logical thinking rather than clicking every item around you. Has a literal wall of text that's thankfully entirely optional but reveals a lot about the world of the Neverhood.
|The Room: The Game||Newgrounds||2010||
Oh hai wiki. Hai doggy. I found this game, I thought you might like it, anyway how's your sex life?
|The Whispered World||Daedalic Entertainment||2009||One of the newer Point'n'Click Adventures. It follows a hand-drawn artstyle similar to The Curse of Monkey Island, so it looks really beautiful. The plot revolves around a really, REALLY whiny and depressive clown who has dreams about the end of the world. It turns out that his dreams are actually a prophecy that tells him to |
|Titanic: Adventure Out of Time||Cyberflix||1996||
A charming little adventure game that takes place aboard the RMS Titanic. The scenery is supposed to be faithful to the original ship's design and the game contains a surprising amount of historically accurate Easter eggs. Like so many other games in need of intrigue, your main objective is to stop Hitler.....sort of. You play as a British secret agent and you have to uncover mysteries that will eventually play a large role in World War II.
The game isn't too long, but it's a fun ride.
A classic Adventure featuring the voice talents of Dan Castleneta, Tim Curry, Dom DeLuise, Jim Cummings, Tress MacNeille and a FMV Christopher Loyd who's been sucked into a cartoon world. Filled with parodies of all types of cartoons, definetly worth a look.
Might get a rerelease or remake soon-ish thanks to the efforts of fans.
|Beyond Shadowgate||ICOM Simulations||TurboGrafx-CD||1993||Great adventure game in the style of early PC titles like King's Quest, except you can legitmately attack. Interesting sequel to Shadowgate with plenty of cool scenarios. The series had a third game on N64, called Shadowgate 64.|
|Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut||Ubisoft||Wii||2009||A port of the PC version. Features extra puzzles and some other gameplay changes. Story has been updated with a new 'before the intro' story part, but sadly there are some oddities in the programming. Also available on the DS, with different puzzles specific to the DS' control scheme. Much like the wii version, the DS version has some oddities in the gamecode.|
|Clock Tower||Human Entertainment||Super Famicom||1995||Point and Click horror adventure game, you play the little girl running from a killer in a mansion.Only available in Japan on the Super Famicom and Playstation. Not to be confused with the US PlayStation "Clock Tower", which is a sequel to this game. There is an English patch for the SNES ROM image.|
|Déja Vu||ICOM Simulations||NES||1990||A point and click adventure game. Revolves around clearing your alibi after being set up for a murder you didn't do. Kick ass film noir style, although not without humor as you can be eaten by crocs living in sewers (!) among other humourous game-overs.|
|Heavy Rain||Quantic Dream||PS3||2010||An honest to goodness MATURE GAME for MATURE GAMERS (adults). It places story above gameplay, so fans of the Ace Attorney games, Grim Fandango, or any other adventure games will |
|L.A. Noire||Team Bondi||PS3, X-Box||2011||
Although it's a game that probably won't win new fans to the adventure genre, L.A. Noire is a great experience start to end. The story is very well written and the characters are wonderfully fleshed out with basically HBO quality acting (Half the cast of Mad Men make a cameo). The look of old detective and crime films is perfect, the facial capture technology works and you even have choice to play the game in black and white. This is not GTA in the 40s, but it's not Mafia either - L.A. Noire stands on its own as an adventure game with driving and action components.
|Maniac Mansion||LucasFilm Games (LucasArts)||NES||1990||
Yes, Maniac Mansion is also on the NES. There are some slight differences from the PC version due to censorship, but it's nothing major... and you can microwave a hamster in the first batch of copies of the game!
|Nightshade||Beam Software||NES||1991||A rather unique adventure game with a lot of humour. Also involves some fighting. A rather difficult game, mostly due to the fact there's no saves, so use save states. Did you know this game was intended to have sequels, but never did? Did you know that instead of making a direct sequel, the basis of this game was used to develop Shadowrun? Now you know!|
|Policenauts||Konami||PSX||1996||If you liked Snatcher, play this. It's another cinematic adventure by Kojima. If you like clicking every single thing for dialogues and backstory, you're gonna love this. Never got a release outside Japan until last year when the (high quality) translation patch came out for the PSX version, get it here.|
|Shadowgate||ICOM Simulations||NES||1989||A classic point 'n' click game originally on Mac with tons of fucking tough puzzles, plenty of exploring, some great humor, great tunes, and fantastic atmosphere. You will DIE A LOT. Spawned two sequels (on TG16 and N64, respectively). There's also a Gameboy Color port, but this author has never played it.|
|Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers||Infinite Ventures||N64||1999||Classic style adventure game with great, medieval horror atmosphere and lots of puzzles to solve, and plenty of secrets to uncover. The last in a series (the first is on NES, and the second is on the Turbografx).|
|Snatcher||Konami||Sega CD||1994||An early Hideo Kojima game. A fantastic experience that mixes a great graphic text-adventure with light-gun segments for a truly unique experience. Didn't originally catch much attention and fell at the end of the Sega Cd lifespan thus dooming it rarity and to being VERY FUCKING EXPENSIVE. The iso can also be a bitch to work with sometimes, so good luck. NOTE: The Sega CD plays burned games fine without modification, so that's always a perfectly viable option, but make sure you read a tutorial before attempting this just to be extra sure you don't waste a few discs.|
|Uninvited||ICOM Simulations||NES||1991||More classic adventures by ICOM, this time you have to escape from a haunted house after you awake from a car crash! The humor and fun is still there, as well as the balls difficulty.|
|Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure||Capcom||Wii||2007||Zack & Wiki is a classic adventure game. Similar to its point and click predecessors, you will have to utilize various items to solve the puzzles. Despite the colourful characters, this is surprisingly brain taxing. Motion control is implemented brilliantly here, and it makes solving the puzzles even more fun. A fun feature here is the ability to change enemies into items. There are plenty of secrets in this game and even more appear when you complete the game. A sequel is unlikely but is rumored.|
ScummVMThis is an emulator that lets you play every LucasArts adventure and a good number of others on modern computers without having to screw around with DOSBOX and the like.
You can download it for free on the official website: http://www.scummvm.org/