Adventure Games

In adventure games, you have to use your gray cells and creativity to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles to progress.

  • Genre:Adventure
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Adventure games are one of the oldest video game genres. They are usually set in a fantasy world and require players to explore worlds, interact with characters, and solve puzzles. Adventure games challenge gamers' skills as they must use logic and creativity to find solutions to overcome obstacles.

History of adventure games

The genre derives from text games and early graphical titles such as Zork, Colossal Cave Adventure, and The Hobbit. These text-based adventure games allowed players to enter commands to interact with the game world. As technology advanced, adventure games began to take on user interface and more graphical elements like animation and sound effects. Today's adventure games feature 3D visuals as well as voice acting for characters, often provided by renowned actors.

Adventure games' key features

  • Puzzles. All adventure games offer a range of puzzles and challenges. Some releases test the player's problem-solving and logic skills, while others emphasize creativity, encouraging gamers to try unusual uses of everyday items.
  • Level exploration. Players must explore their game environment to find items, solve puzzles, interact with characters, and progress in the game. 
  • Narrative. A humorous or emotional story is an essential element in most adventure games. A well-crafted plot captures and engages the audience, making the game more enjoyable.
  • Inventory. It's a place where players store collected items necessary to solve puzzles, fight enemies, and progress further in the game. 
  • Mini-games. They are small, self-contained tasks that give the player a break from the main storyline. For instance, lockpicking or hacking mechanics may be used when protagonists need to open doors.
  • Character interaction. Talking to NPCs is vital in most adventure titles because nonplayable characters help players find solutions and look for clues. Moreover, some titles use dialogue to let players make choices that affect the story.

Types of adventure games

Differences in gameplay let us distinguish several diverse sub-genres of adventure games.

  • Point and click. This quintessential type of adventure game requires players to solve puzzles by clicking on items and combining them with other objects and characters. Broken Sword, The Secret of Monkey Island, and The Longest Journey are classic examples of this sub-genre.
  • Graphic novel. The game designer creates a story and illustrations, and the player influences the plot by making choices. This type of adventure game often features branching narratives that allow players to customize their stories. Players who are looking for good graphic novels should try out titles developed by Telltale Games, such as The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, and Tales from the Borderlands.
  • Action-adventure. Those games combine compelling stories and puzzle-solving with intense action and combat mechanics. God of War, Tomb Raider, It Takes Two, and Batman: Arkham Knight are examples of best-received action-adventure games.
  • Walking simulators. Those titles let players explore 3D levels; however, unlike action-adventure games, they neither contain combat sequences nor other action mechanics. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Life is Strange are good examples of walking simulators.
  • Interactive movies. Those games are essentially movies with some additional elements, such as quick-time events. Dragon's Lair, created by Rick Dyer and a former Dinsey animator, Don Bluth, is arguably the most renowned interactive movie. 
  • Room escape. Unlike other adventure games, those titles don't feature an elaborate plot. Instead, room escape games focus solely on puzzles that the characters must solve to get out of a chamber in which they are locked.

The best adventure games

If you're looking for an exciting adventure, there are many games worth recommending. Here are some highly praised titles:

  • Life is Strange. It's a narrative-focused walking simulator developed by Dontnod Entertainment. It follows the story of Max Caulfield, a high school student who discovers she can rewind time. Events and the ending of the story depend on the decisions the player makes throughout the game.
  • Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Broken Sword is one of the most beloved point-and-click franchises. While the third and fourth installments tried 3D graphics, Broken Sword 5 returned to the 2D roots of the series. This time, Nico Collard and George Stobbart resolve the mystery revolving around the Gnostics.
  • Grim Fandango - This classic adventure game from Tim Schafer and LucasArts was recently re-released for modern platforms. It follows Manny Calavera as he navigates the Land of the Dead in search of Meche Colomar, a woman who has been taken by death.
  • Return to Monkey Island. The sixth installment in the classic series created by Ron Gilbert was released in 2022. Players take control of the iconic Guybrush Threepwood and explore the Caribbean islands to unravel mysteries in the world of pirates.
  • It Takes Two. The sensational winner of the Game of the Year award in 2021 requires two players but offers an unforgettable experience. It Takes Two provides players with a mature story, a number of creative challenges, and dozens of mini-games.