Top Adventure Games of the past few years?

I’m really getting into adventure games as of late. Why? My wife has been playing some casual games, one I purchased for her (which I was sure she’d enjoy) was a Nancy Drew mystery (can’t go wrong for $6.99 through bigfishgames). It required too much thought for her, so I played it and really enjoyed it… even though it was totally geared towards teen girls (yes, here’s my unused man’s card). Good story, good logical puzzles, good voice acting. It was a nice diversion.

So, the adventure games on my plate are (that I have):

  • Myst IV
  • Myst V
  • Dreamfall Longest Journey
  • Beyond Good & Evil
  • Sam & Max
  • Syberia 1 & 2
  • Indigo Prohpecy

What other adventure games from 2001+ should I be looking at? Thanks! :-)

Good question. It’s a ‘thin’ genre for sure these days. My spouse likes those kind of games herself(myst/adventure type), and i’ve been finding myself searching for them for her - and then after she has played through it i’ll give it a go. I kinda like the change of pace these games bring.

Oh yeah they had an interesting article on gamasutra about the genre and it’s future:

As for you’re list that looks about what i’m aiming for(have yet to try the new sam+max episodes). Both of us were not that keen on Dreamfall compared to the first game in the series though - the camera angles+auto highlight boxes felt a bit awkward on pc?
We’ve started to look at some of the old cryo games, as myst-u-like types - Atlantis(1-3?) is next on the list to try out, and first impressions are its got a great sound track but the actual interface and manipulations are not that instinctive(this is for the first game).

A good site for Adventure game news and reviews is this one i find:

I’ve often wondered about the Atlantis series. I do like this site a lot as well:

Accordingly it says I should try, the Shivah, Barrow Hill, Sherlock Holmes, Scratches, Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Beyond Good and Evil was more action-y than most adventure games, but the puzzles were actually quite good.

I’ve never played any of the Myst games, but if you’re into them you may like a few of the Uru games, which are based around the Myst world or universe.

I liked Post Mortem; I think it received mostly medicre scores though.

Missing was actually really neat, and creepy. Something about those videos, and the way that character interaction is all done by messages and stuff. I think Chick liked it.

I kinda enjoyed the Da Vinci Code game, the one based on the book, mainly because the story is still pretty interesting.

@ jpinard, well the first one(thats the one we’ve just started) was tricky to get running - it would only work on the ‘retro game’ pc(P200/awe64 etc). On my ‘midrange’ rig the graphics were just blurred horizontal lines, and even though it seemed ok on the Athlon64(XP) rig, the char animations were too fast(eveyone looked like they had OD’d on coffee - think Bevis in that coffee episode of Beveis+Buthead), and it eventually crashed.

My impression is that the second game is probably the best in the series, atleast if you go on the reviews+user feedback? I’m not sure what it’s hardware req’s are though?

Pathologic. It is very rough around the edges, with poor graphics and the occasional bit of suspect voice acting and a large amount of slightly iffy translation, but it spins an interesting yarn and certainly has an intruiging atmosphere. More than any other game I have played the location (although it is acknowledged as a ‘stage’ by two NPCs, much to the confusion of your character) feels like an actual city, but one that is (intentionally) dying. It’s creepy in a very mild way, and your character certainly moves slowly.

It did win most of the Russian ‘Game of the Year’ awards, mostly on the strength of the writing. No Starforce, either, from what I remember.

I had a dream last night where I was attempting to purchase Dreamfall. I haven’t actually played it, so I have no useful advice.

It didn’t get very good reviews, but I thought Scratches was a good game with fantastic atmosphere. You can probably find it quite cheaply too.

So that would be Dreamfail?

I’m here all night.

I have a fondness for this guy’s games, particularly Lights Out. The interface and movement in his games tend to be a bit clunky, and it’s a one-designer show, so the production values are modest. Cool stories and some creepy moments, though.

I thought Syberia 1 and 2 were decent, but man, did 2 ever have a letdown of an ending. Don’t expect to find answers for many of the questions that arise over the course of that two-game epic, because you won’t.

Myst IV was excellent, and Dreamfall was my favorite game of last year.

I so wish the translation was stronger. I found it too difficult to work through as it is.

I used to love adventure games, some of my fondest memories of computer gaming are of the old classics: Adventure, Zork, Wizard and the Princess, Deadline, etc. But I gave up on them when they became insane puzzle solving chores, especially when so many of the puzzles were impossible to logic out and required a tips book or site to solve.

Are there any adventure games out there that are more about the story than the puzzles, i.e. I need to make decisions and figure things out, but everything makes perfect “real world” sense? For example, if I need to get into a locked room in the house, the solution is NOT find some bubble gum in the kid’s room in his baseball glove hidden in his pillow, coat it with some gunpowder I find in a bullet that was hidden in a tube of toothpaste, squeeze the gun into the keyhole, blow a bubble in it with a hair drier (“you do not have enough breath to blow up this bubble…”) then ignite it by striking a hunk of metal from the fireplace with a class ring. Instead, the problem would require the same types of actions you would take in the real world - try to unlock it with a credit card, see if it has one of those holes in the middle of the knob that some indoor locking doorknobs have so you don’t accidentally lock yourself out and push a thin something in there to unlock it, etc.

Is there an adventure game out there like that? With a lot of emphasis on character interactions and reactions, “real world” problems, etc.? And a great story?

Dreamfall is really a pleasure to watch/play. Very short on the gameplay. It goes to the extreme in avoiding cat puzzles (or any puzzles for that matter.) The simplistic combat sequences aren’t terribly engaging.

If your looking for a story to follow its really brilliant.

The worst offenders for this in my experience were the Discworld games. I often felt like some of the puzzles were purely there to labour a joke. Very often with, say, Monkey Island 1 or 2 (or even 3) I’d get stuck at a certain point, cave in and consult a guide only to kick myself because the solution was staring in the face. With the Discworld games I’d invariably find myself going “what the fuck? Why anyone think of doing that?”

I agree. Scratches is a mostly great old school adventure in the vein of Dark Fall (in fact Boakes had some input in the project). And like that little gem, it’s creepy as hell.

Reviewers had problems with the pace mainly, but if you set your expectations accordingly (i.e., you don’t mind slow-moving horror and the Myst-like interface) Scratches is a yummy trip best suited for rainy days or quiet nights. Look for influences from Alone in the Dark, Darkseed and Undying.


I would recommend Bad Mojo Redux…unless you have an aversion to cockroaches.

Dreamfall. Most of the puzzles are so sensical, in fact, that the game ends up being relatively easy. It’s surprising how little effect that had on my enjoyment, though. The game is a blast, and long, despite the fact that you’ll probably never get stuck on anything for very long.

It really helps if you’ve played the Longest Journey first, though, because the story is sort of a continuation of that, with many of the same characters. And TLJ is extremely difficult, with some very unintuitive puzzles. I still loved it, and think it’s well worth playing, even if you need to keep a walkthrough on hand as you go through it. Fantastic writing and characters, and a story that is several cuts above the schlock that you usually find in games.

I’m with you on missing the classic adventures, though. Ten years ago, if you had asked me what my favorite game genre was, I would have said “adventure,” without hesitation.

I would say 15 years ago, personally, because even 10 years ago the genre was in steep decline. Grim Fandango, which I regard as the swansong of the adventure genre, was 1998.

I do miss them, though. Man do I have some fond memories of some of those games.

Ankh was fairly amusing, and that was just last year. The puzzles aren’t the greatest ever, but the voice acting is good to decent and it almost brought back a fuzzy Lucas-y feel for me (to a point of course).

You might like it, you might hate it. Most of the game is done in some sort of Simon mode.