Adventure Games Thread 2019 - The Liveliest Dead Genre There Ever Was

Oct 14, 2010
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Welcome to the 2019 NeoGAF Adventure Games thread. A place for discussion on all things related to the adventure genre. As well as resource to keep track of all the promising upcoming releases. 2018 delivered some great new games and by the looks of it 2019 will be another promising year for adventure fans.

What are adventure games? For those unfamiliar; the adventure genre consists of narrative games that include elements of exploration, character interaction and puzzle solving. Originating from text adventures, like Zork or Colossal Cave Adventure, the genre has seen several incarnations. From the early Sierra parser games, to the classic 90's point & click, on to modern episodic fare or even exploration games. Over the years this genre has retained a niche of core fans who look to adventure gaming for unique story driven experiences distinct from action oriented gaming.



Trüberbrook - btf - March 12th 2019

Blacksad: Under The Skin - Pendulo Studios - 2019

Little Misfortune - Killmonday Games - 2019

Jenny LeClue: Detectivu - Mografi - 2019

Beautiful Desolation - THE BROTHERHOOD - Q4 2019

Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure - Stuck In Attic - Soon!

VirtuaVerse - Theta Division - 2019

Whispers Of A Machine - Clifftop Games & Faravid Interactive - Spring 2019

The Walking Dead: Final Season - Skybound Games - January 15th & 2019

Strangeland - Wormwood Studios - 2019
 
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This section is intended primarily to those who are new to the genre or fairly inexperienced. Many are curious about playing adventure games but find themselves intimidated by the genre's stigma of overly-challenging or illogical puzzles. While there is a degree of truth to this -- especially for certain older titles -- it isn't all encompassing. With that in mind here is a list of great adventure games, ranked by difficulty, suited to newcomers. While some of the games may still be challenging, they're unlikely to send you running for a walkthrough or quitting in frustration.

Technobabylon - Medium Difficulty
A great sci-fi adventure with a genuinely engrossing story and unforgettable cast of characters. Very accessible. There's a degree of puzzle challenge but it's consistently fair and the condensed level design is such that you'll never be scouring through dozens of environments confused on what to do next. Technobabylon also features fantastic pixel art and quality full voice acting that Wadjet Eye is known for.




Paradigm - Easy Difficulty
Paradigm is one of the few games, in any genre, that is consistently laugh out loud funny. Assuming you've got a knack for early Adult Swim style absurdist humor, you'll love Paradigm. The puzzle difficulty is fairly easy throughout even on the hardest setting. Despite this they're still creative and fun to solve. Try this one out and you're in for an incredibly unique story and a fantastic soundtrack as well.




Unavowed - Easy Difficulty
Perhaps the most buzzed about graphic adventure of 2018 and all the praise is well deserved. Unavowed is a great starting point for genre newcomers. The culmination of 10+ years of Dave Gilbert's writing experience came together for a remarkable urban fantasy game with a stand-out ensemble cast. Criticized by some hardcore fans for it's lack of puzzle challenge, however that makes it perfect for this list. If a gritty NYC urban fantasy with narrative choice and RPG-like party mechanics sounds appealing to you, then definitely give Unavowed a look.



Life Is Strange - Easy Difficulty
One of my personal favorite modern adventures. Much can be said about the game's cringey teen slang and horrible meming. All of it true. But underneath that cringe is a red hot burning heart. Life Is Strange is a game that will put you through the emotional wringer. A surprisingly well written story (cringey slang aside) about a young photography student who inexplicably gains time travel powers and is trying to solve a missing person mystery. Puzzles are light. Mostly centered on environmental manipulation and Max's rewind ability. With an occasional inventory or deduction puzzle thrown in. Nothing that could trip you up for too long. So if you're in the mood for an emotional, supernatural, teen drama with a healthy dose of cringe; play Life Is Strange.

 
May 26, 2011
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Is this the new PnC thread? Now contains all adventure games? Nice OP, maybe organize into what genres of adventure game, pnc/interactive narrative/visual novels, etc.

Have a big backlog of old/new adventure titles on gog right, currently goingthrough Fate of Atlantis for the first time!
 
Sep 28, 2013
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Is this the new PnC thread? Now contains all adventure games? Nice OP, maybe organize into what genres of adventure game, pnc/interactive narrative/visual novels, etc.
Yeah it's the new thread. We talked about everything in the old thread anyway, so really there's no change. I actually wasn't even thinking of that when I titled this. "Adventure games thread" just sounded better to me.

Have a big backlog of old/new adventure titles on gog right, currently goingthrough Fate of Atlantis for the first time!
LUCKY! I remember those few months ago when I played Fate of Atlantis for the first time. You didn't even have to get roasted into it. Damn, that's a good game.

I played Detective Pikachu and it was ok.
Really small spoiler:
The story is not a complete story. They give a huge opening for Detective Pikachu 2
That's a shame. I'll get to it someday. I don't expect that it'll be amazing or anything but it does have its own charm from what I've seen.
 
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Fuz

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@TripleSun @Fuz @frogmeetsdog @Alter_Fridge @heckmanimation @DunDunDunpachi @petran79 @Mr Underhill

We in here bois!!!

Also @DunDunDunpachi Detective Pikachu definitely counts. I really want to give that game a try but I don't have a 3DS.
Thanks for the tag, I probably wouldn't have noticed. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
Thanks a lot for making this new thread. On watch list now.

Btw, I wanted to congratulate you on the nice banner, then I saw you put in there the wrong Elaine and Guybrush. SHAME!
 
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Also @DunDunDunpachi Detective Pikachu definitely counts. I really want to give that game a try but I don't have a 3DS.
It's not a challenging adventure game. The draw is exploring a fully-fleshed-out Pokemon world, reminiscent of the cartoon. Very charming.

I would love it if they did a second one on the Switch with even better graphics and bigger stages to explore.
 
Likes: pramod
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Any good cyberpunk style adventure games like Snatcher or Rise of the Dragon?
If you're asking about that specific style of menu based 1st person adventure game, 2064: Read Only Memories comes to mind. I haven't played it so I can't vouch for its quality but it is in that style.

If you just mean any cyberpunk adventure game than Technobabylon, Gemini Rue and The Red Strings Club are all well worth checking out imo. I've played all of them and they're great, especially Technobabylon. Also VirtuaVerse is an upcoming game worth keeping an eye on.
 
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Nov 17, 2018
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Can we recommend games as well?

Speaking of Monkey Island, there is an indie adventure game called Dropsy that is heavily inspired by LucasArts adventure games with a charming but quirky setting, a weird main character that is loveable, great soundtrack and is really fun, probably worth checking out for adventure game fans.

Warning, it doesn't have any dialogue, instead it's all done in speech bubbles with drawings and animations...it actually works and you can still understand everything though i think it's something worth mentioning:
 
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Can we recommend games as well?
You most certainly can. Any and all adventure game discussion is welcome and encouraged. The intention of the Rec section of the OP was to suggest some less punishing games for genre newcomers. Since often times people are simultaneously interested and intimidated by adventure games. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with suggesting some challenging games for seasoned players as well.

Dropsy is a great throwback to the fully open ended design of 90's era LucasArts P&C games. A step further in that direction, even. It's bordering on an open world game. Incredibly unique as well, with a KILLER soundtrack. I really enjoyed my time with it. I did get really stuck at one particular point in the game where the pictograph dialogue just wasn't clicking in my brain. But that's part of the trade off that comes with taking risks and trying new things.

Dropsy's got style for days and is a great pick for longtime fans who lament the more condensed level design popularized in today's indie scene. Even if you don't play the game, definitely bump that OST.

Top tier chill jams are on deck.
 
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Oh yeah, Dropsy is awesome and is absolutely worth buying, i bought the game full price at the very day it was released and never regretted it.

Sadly, it did not sell very well, even for an indie adventure game with no dialogue and a fat mute clown, it seems like sales were below expectations since they were planning on making some DLC or updates which would add more areas and characters to Dropsy, in particular, there would have been a huge focus on a new beach area, but sales were so low that the developer didn't think it was worth doing.

Which is a shame, as i would have loved to get more Dropsy, and yes there is an open world feel to it, and i love that there are many details that add to the setting and story that you can miss but everything is presented in such a way that you will always leave satisfied after playing the game, for example, the Church Lady?

One time i just remember going to the children's playground at Night and found her smoking there being sad about the death of the former priest and having to be the one giving sermons now, it was just a quiet moment that you can easily miss but done really well.

Yeah, let's just say i really like Dropsy.
 
Sep 28, 2013
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Have some people played The Council? I’ve started it and I have mixed feelings about it. It’sWithout spoilers, I’m just wondering if it is just a slow start for the game or if the whole game is just Ok-ish?
 
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@dottme I've played the first two episodes of The Council. The pace does pick up in the 2nd episode. It's still definitely in "planting seeds" territory, setting up all the political intrigue and various competing motivations for each character, but the pace does pick up. The second episode is also heavier on the puzzles and they're pretty neat. They're a fair challenge and they keep you on your toes when you know a wrong move can lead to a stat penalty.

I plan on getting back to the other episodes when I have the time. The Council hasn't exactly set my soul on fire but it's a neat game with a lot of cool concepts.
 
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@dottme I've played the first two episodes of The Council. The pace does pick up in the 2nd episode. It's still definitely in "planting seeds" territory, setting up all the political intrigue and various competing motivations for each character, but the pace does pick up. The second episode is also heavier on the puzzles and they're pretty neat. They're a fair challenge and they keep you on your toes when you know a wrong move can lead to a stat penalty.

I plan on getting back to the other episodes when I have the time. The Council hasn't exactly set my soul on fire but it's a neat game with a lot of cool concepts.
I may try it again.
This game is weird. It does a lot of things which looks really interesting but for some reason I’m not really getting hooked into it.
 
Oct 14, 2010
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I may try it again.
This game is weird. It does a lot of things which looks really interesting but for some reason I’m not really getting hooked into it.
Yeah, I get that. I think if the protagonist was a bit more likable it would help carry the game through its slower moments. He's a bit flat and the less than stellar VA doesn't help either. That being said I'm still interested enough in the mystery The Council is setting up to continue playing it eventually. I've heard good things about the last 3 episodes.
 
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Picked up Technobabylon a few days ago because of the recommendation in this thread and I just finished it. I really enjoyed it, which is not surprising since I liked the other Wadget Eye games as well. The setting and atmosphere are great, I also liked how certain puzzles had multiple ways of solving them. One of the things that stood out for me was the main character. I felt like Regis was fleshed out really well and because he's older and less keen on the technology, he was relatable Even something as minor as commenting about the bathroom doors went a long way towards me empathizing with the character.
 
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Picked up Technobabylon a few days ago because of the recommendation in this thread and I just finished it. I really enjoyed it, which is not surprising since I liked the other Wadget Eye games as well. The setting and atmosphere are great, I also liked how certain puzzles had multiple ways of solving them. One of the things that stood out for me was the main character. I felt like Regis was fleshed out really well and because he's older and less keen on the technology, he was relatable Even something as minor as commenting about the bathroom doors went a long way towards me empathizing with the character.
Yeah, I think I’m going to get it as well because of this thread.
 
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Awesome new thread man, beautiful! Bookmarked, looking forward to another great year
Thank you! I'm looking forward to it as well. Year is looking great. Truberbrook and Blacksad alone look so cool to me and then there's stuff like Gibbous and Blind Prophet on top of that. Hopefully everything releases because the lineup is stacked. Looking forward to more details on Strangeland and Whispers Of A Machine as well.

Picked up Technobabylon a few days ago because of the recommendation in this thread and I just finished it. I really enjoyed it, which is not surprising since I liked the other Wadget Eye games as well. The setting and atmosphere are great, I also liked how certain puzzles had multiple ways of solving them. One of the things that stood out for me was the main character. I felt like Regis was fleshed out really well and because he's older and less keen on the technology, he was relatable Even something as minor as commenting about the bathroom doors went a long way towards me empathizing with the character.
That's awesome! Glad you enjoyed the game. I agree that the characterization is handled really well. Each of the main characters give you a distinct vantage point through which to view Technobabylon's world. Latha the lower class trance addict, who's clever but stagnant. Regis the luddite (comparitively speaking), down to earth cop with a mysterious past. And Max Lao the adventurous, tech savvy, younger agent who is generally light-hearted but also deeply loyal. I go back and forth on my favorite but Regis is hard to compete with. I found all the details of his past extremely compelling. As well as his relationship to Baxter.

You made a good point about the casual observations going a long way in making you empathize with a character. It's a type of characterization that's unique to gaming and executed best in adventure games. Imagine how weird it would be to have Walter White provide commentary on every piece of furniture or stray item in a room during an episode of Breaking Bad. Adding that element of interactivity makes it so natural in the context of gaming and because of that you're afforded the opportunity to really intimately get into the player character's head. One of the great things Technobabylon does is give you these characters that it's consistently enjoyable to be inside the heads of.

Yeah, I think I’m going to get it as well because of this thread.
Do it! Do it!! Do it!!!
 
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This week I played two of City Interactive's early efforts from the mid-late 2000s: Chronicles of Mystery: The Scorpio Ritual and Act of Murder: FBI Confidential.

The former is a decent short game with somewhat logical puzzles that seems very inspired on Broken Sword. The latter is longer but with a lot of backtracking, items that you cant grab on your first visit, several trial and error puzzles and a story that stops making sense at the end. Both have the same graphic style: Backgrounds prerendered and 3D characters and both are pure PnC, none of that joystick cancer that plagued that era. If you can get the collection cheap get them. I'll play other games in my backlog before playing the sequels of both series.
 
Oct 14, 2010
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Can anyone tell me if Kathy Rain is any good?

It looks decent, but i just want to be sure.
Kathy Rain is a good game. If you liked games like Gabriel Knight or The Blackwell series you'll enjoy it quite a bit. Twin Peaks-ish paranormal mystery vibe and it plays with some heavy themes (well imo). Very solid logical puzzles as well.

I was considering it for the recommended page but I didn't want exclusively pixel art indie games.
 
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Thanks for this great thread. I'm currently playing Torins Passage with my niece and replaying Siberia after many years for myself. I've played adventure games for a long time starting back on the C64 with text adventures. I've never really gotten the puzzle solving logic down, usually just brute forcing a solution.

Some of these upcoming games look great.
 
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Any adventure games similar to Shadowgate? I think thats still my all time favorite.
Some of the handheld adventure series' have a similar 1st person style of interaction. Hotel Dusk, Zero Escape games, etc. Their anime style is fairly distinct from something like Shadowgate, though.

The game I mentioned before, 2064: Read Only Memories, is probably the closest I could think of. There's also stuff like J.U.L.I.A Among The Stars.
 
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The thing I like most from Guard Duty so far is the time traveling. It breaks it away from the typical medieval fantasy good guy saving the kingdom scenario. Voice acting is on point too. All around looks amazing.
 
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Guard Duty looks really damn good and something i will absolutely have to pick up.

Also ended up buying Kathy Rain, as if i still didn't have to play 2064, The Red Strings Club and Unavowed along others that are just there in my Steam library...i got busy with life and other games(Slay The Spire) but damn me if playing Ion Maiden's new level didn't make me want to really get cracking down on the adventure games i have yet to play.

Oh yeah, this is an unrelated note, but the newest Ion Maiden level revolves around a mansion of horrors, and the kitchen has a Maniac Mansion reference:

Everyone's favorite chainsaw is in the game, and if you use the microwave, it will start working and Shelly will say there is a hamster in the microwave before a blood splatter appears.

I don't know what i was expecting in a new retro inspired FPS that takes homage from games like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, but Maniac Mansion references wasn't one of those things, still, it's cool to see Maniac Mansion being referenced in a 2019 game that isn't an adventure game

Sure, it's a retro inspired game, but still really cool to see.
 
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So, started playing The Red Strings Club and i am enjoying it so far.

Oh yeah, am i the only one who doesn't tend to play with full screen and wishes to change the window size of some games like the Blackwell series or The Red Strings Club when they only have a fixed size for windowed mode?

In that case, i recommend Sizer, it's a free program designed to do exactly that, allow people to change the window size of games so that you can see something in a bigger screen without having to use fullscreen.

Maybe i am the only person who cares about this kind of thing, but i found that it helps enjoying a game even more.
 
Likes: hariseldon
Oct 14, 2010
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Just started playing Simon The Sorcerer for the first time. Once again catching up with a heretofore neglected classic. The thing about Simon that stands out to me most is the open ended-ness of the world design. Reminds me of my time with Dropsy. Exploring the forest I'd go through cycles where I was sure I had discovered everything, only to double back and uncover yet another screen I hadn't seen before. There's fast travel but I'm opting to walk around without it until I have the game world clocked. It's a substantially more open game than even the comparable LucasArts titles of the same era.

Plot wise it's very simplistic in a way that reminds me of SoMI (which makes sense considering there are overt references to that game). Although Monkey Island's world building is a lot better. Every task you endeavor in MI offers some lore or local history that gives Melee island and its cast extra detail. Down to little touches like the shopkeeper's crush on the swordmaster. Comparatively all the objectives in Simon The Sorcerer are pretty random, the only connective tissue being a pastiche of humorous fantasy tropes.

But the game retains a high level of polish and "classic feel" that makes me instantly understand why it's such a well regarded game. The pixel art is phenomenal and I'm going to be bumping the soundtrack for Simon The Sorcerer long after I'm done with the game itself. VA is great too, which goes a long way.

Here's hoping I can make it through this game walk-through free. All these concurrent puzzle threads have me nervous! But we shall see...

So, started playing The Red Strings Club and i am enjoying it so far.
Nice. I remember the game fondly from when I played it early last year. Very unique concepts. Much of the game is a series of intense philosophical debates and I genuinely got invested in trying to win them. Between the 4 or so distinct gameplay styles there's a lot of creativity in The Red Strings Club. Someday I'll go back and check out more of those branches.
 
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@Vampire On Titus Really great post, thanks and well done man!

So, Mage‘s Initiation is supposed to come out tomorrow. Don‘t know what to expect but hope the game delivers. Premise and previews look intriguing at least.

Also can‘t wait for Trüberbrook and hope Gibbous will get released soon. Especially the latter looks so amazing.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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Apparently TWD Final Season episode 3 is out by now too - You already gave it a shot @Vampire On Titus ? If yes, any imps?

Also, 3 Minutes to Midnight is slated for 2019 too. Don‘t know what to expect from the game yet, but thought I‘d mention it. Hope the devs can keep up their schedule.