Theropods is a simple point-and-click adventure game about a cavewoman battling dinosaurs, but the game is surprisingly adorable. Our story opens when a peaceful evening at the neolithic campfire is interrupted by hungry dinos. Our proto-human heroine, with adorable fur bikini and flowing red hair, will need to grab and creatively use items around her to survive, so get clicking.
Players can carefully consider how to use and combine items, or just click randomly whenever the cursor lets you know you’ve found an interactive object. (I used both methods.) If you find yourself completely stuck, JayIsGames has a pretty clear walkthrough, but when I wasn’t sure how to proceed, I found that random clicking plus the ol’ adventure game standard of pocketing everything that’s not nailed down was a pretty great way to get through.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Friday, August 7th, 2015||1 Comment »|
I shouldn’t have to recommend Grim Fandango. You should have played it already–15 years ago. But despite the game being admired by critics, repeatedly listed in “top 100″ lists, and re-released in 2014 with a stunning remastered version, not that many people (aside from adventure loyalists) have played it. Released in 1998, Grim Fandango was one of the first games to ignite the discussion of art in video games. A true classic, the game mixed puzzles, strategy, and film noir into an imaginative story about the afterlife. And since the remastered version is currently on sale at Steam, now’s your chance to stop procrastinating and play it already.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, June 17th, 2015||No Comments »|
The title and opening screen make it sound like a horror game, but to my surprise, Baba Please Don’t Eat Me is actually quite funny. A young boy approaches the mysterious and hungry Baba Yaga for reasons of his own. Impatient, she threatens to eat him unless he makes himself useful…so he does, plugging the router in, doing her taxes for her, etc. Yes, that’s right–Baba Yaga might be a frightening old witch out of legend, she might travel in a house on chicken legs, but the key word in that description is “old.” Baba Yaga is as baffled by technology as your grandmother, though unlike your relatives (I hope) she has no problems eating you for disrespecting her.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, May 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
Strongly reminiscent of Pixar’s Wall-E, Scrap Garden is an adventure platformer following Canny, a small robot who wakes up to find its entire world gone. The city remains beautiful, but signs of decay riddle its streets, whether in the form of rust or frozen robots caught mid-action. Giant rats and spiders provide some menace, but they are not the only dangers lurking in the shadows.
The demo for Scrap Garden is short but quite beautiful, though there are some improvements to the camera that I would dearly love to see made. Provided you solve the first objective in a timely manner (the solution proved embarrassingly easy, but took me far longer than I’d care to admit), the demo lasts 15 to 20 minutes, giving you a preview of the kinds of environments we can expect to find in the completed version. The city is lovely and even charming, but when exploring indoors, things take a sinister twist.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, April 17th, 2015||No Comments »|
Clickhole is known more for their mockery of Buzzfeed than they are for their presence in video games, but demonstrating that there are no limits to their satire is The Mysterious Shadows Of Skullshadow Island. Spoofing text-based adventure games, The Mysterious Shadows follows the adventures of two mystery-solving brothers (TM) as they paddle out to a strange island that is rumored to be haunted.
Or, you know, be infested with drug dealers. Whichever seems more likely.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, March 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re looking for a short, traditional adventure game, Anna’s Quest: Winfriede’s Tower is a remarkable addition to the genre. Made entirely by one man, Anna’s Quest is a short story about a girl trapped in a tower by an evil witch. Anna is no Rapunzel, though. For one thing, instead of long golden hair, Anna can move things with her mind. She can’t pronounce the word “telekinesis,” but she can bend spoons, which means the witch will stop at nothing to get her hands on that power.
Anna might be all sweetness and sugar with her pink dress and her black Mary Janes, but she has no intentions of staying in the tower and letting the witch control her. For one thing, her grandfather is very ill and Anna wants to return to him. Also rounding out the cast of characters is a large teddy bear that used to be a boy, an incredibly suspicious ghost named Joringel, and a magic mirror in the basement that speaks only in riddles. Special mention must go out to Holly Stevenson, the voice of the witch, whose old lady tones drip with anger and menace. Her performance is so convincing that interaction with her really did fill me with dread.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Tuesday, February 10th, 2015||No Comments »|
As soon as the first screen of Adventure: All in the Game loads, you’re probably gonna think: oh my god, they really know their stuff. Right away, Akril asks you how extensive your knowledge of adventure games is. Your options are Minimal, Adequate, and Extensive, and if you’re curious, yes, that does affect the dialogue as characters provide context for their jokes and references.
I thought I fell solidly in the “Adequate” category, by the way, but this game proved me wrong. Thalia James is an agent of the CGMS, or the Computer Game Management Squad, dedicated to keeping 2D games running nice and smooth and free of external or internal interference. But the CGMS is short on agents, so Thalia finds herself dealing with a trigger-happy new recruit from the Action-Adventure genre whose “shoot first think never” tactics contrast her own puzzle-solving philosophy. And, just like in every game ever, there’s a larger conspiracy afoot beneath the surface, and Agent James might be the only one who can do something about it.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, February 6th, 2015||No Comments »|