Looking for good (Point & Click) Adventure Games

I’ve played, and liked, all the Telltale games, to get that out of the way. Well, except Jurassic Park, but that was QTE theater, not an adventure game. The Walking Dead also doesn’t count (since it was more of a really good Visual Novel than an adventure game), despite the fact that I loved it. Still, in general, I like Telltale’s games.

My favorite series is probably The Longest Journey, with second favorite being Monkey Island (though it’s a really close call). My next favorite is the Blackwell series which would probably be tied with Monkey Island if the voice acting was better (and the games were a little longer).

In general, I hate old Sierra games – I guess I’m more of a LucasArts style person. Point systems also give me anyuerisms and doom me to looking up walkthroughs so I don’t miss 5 Arbitrary Points That Do Nothing™ because I’m allergic to replaying games and thus want to get all the points/see all the stuff the first time (though they’re not a total dealbreaker). In general, I don’t want to have to keep multiple save files in case I screw myself over from finishing the game.

Games that were “meh” for me include Machinarium which was cute, but just okay. I couldn’t even finish Botanicula, but I don’t actively dislike it, it just couldn’t hold my interest.

I was looking at The Book of Unwritten Tales, which seems like it might be up my alley and is generally well reviewed, but the trailers are kind of offputting. It’s hard to explain, it feels like they’re… trying too hard? The comedy feels just a little too blunt and full of itself (they have a character literally named Macguffin). Like they really, really want to be the next Monkey Island and they’ll tell as many cheap jokes as they can and hope enough of them stick until you only remember the good ones. Not to mention it feels like they’re trying to channel all the worst parts Peter Molyneux’s humor. All the really silly, dumb stuff in Fable and Dungeon Keeper etc. But I don’t know, maybe if someone can vouch for it.

I keep looking at Syberia, which sounds like it could be a very cool game, though I can’t find a whole lot of talk about it, good or bad. The reviews on GoG seem to be glowing, but reviews on store pages tend to be self-selected to the people who really like the game (or complaining for complaining’s sake), so I don’t put much stock in them to give me a good perspective on the game, especially not when they’re around one paragraph.

Also: special provision for horror adventure games. I don’t like jump scares. They’re okay if the atmosphere, pacing etc earns it, and they’re infrequent, but if it’s a game that tries to pass off things jumping out and making loud noises at you over and over as “scary” then I’m not interested. I prefer a looming sense of dread to being startled. (I guess most people would call it “psychological horror”).

It’s not really my genre, I’m afraid, but I’ve heard good things about Gemini Rue and the first Broken Sword title (There are apparently 3. I’m not saying the latter two aren’t good, just that the person I know who played the first one and liked it hadn’t played the others.)

Book of Unwritten Tales is pretty good. I wouldn’t rank it as the top of the genre, but it is quite good. The comedy is kind of forced, but it was OK. It ends massively suddenly with sequel-bating. No sequel yet, though.

I recommend:

Dark Fall 1
Dark Fall 3

Skip Dark Fall 2. It’s bad and unrelated story-wise. They are both First person adventures(like Myst in concept, but nothing like that game in practice). Not funny at all, though. Very serious and enjoyable by me and the wife.
The Blackwell Games Big thumbs up on these and probably what you are looking for more than Dark Falls, actually. Get them. They are cool.

For the Syberia games, I paid full retail for both games (they were going for about $30 at the time) and I felt like I got my money’s worth. There isn’t much humor, and I do like the fact that most such games are humorous, though I’m a little disgruntled about the tendency to make fun of the player for trying the kinds of things you have to try to move ahead in the game. But, back to Syberia, I will say that I have complaints about the ending.

There is little to spoil in saying that the character you actually play achieves someone else’s dream, and then becomes irrelevant and left alone far from civilization as though the player shouldn’t care what happens to her next after having sacrificed her career and her marriage.

Excellent (maybe now dated) graphics and puzzles that were just the right amount of tricky, like in the Longest Journey. And if you’re on Steam, you can get both games right now for $3.74.

The Discworld games (I’ve only played the ones not on the Z80) are well worth having. The first is the most difficult adventure game I’ve ever played. I found even going by the walkthrough was tricky. It must be relatively unknown, because it never gets mentioned when things like The Babel Fish Puzzle come up, though Discworld gives that puzzle a run for its money multiple times over. And there’s a bug at the end, so I’ve never seen the very end scene. But it’s funny, clever, and especially if you’re a fan of Pratchett, an excellent supplement to the books. The second game Mortality Bites is more like traditional cell animation, still with Eric Idle providing the voice of Rincewind. It’s quite entertaining without being nearly as frustrating. The third, Discworld Noir, is quite buggy in places but full of interesting puzzles and of course humor and atmosphere.

I myself like Sierra On-line games, though I prefer the can’t-die and can’t-get-screwed-by-not-doing-something-in-a-place-you-can’t-go-back-to style of games. But as for the point system, even when I cared enough to try to maximize my score, in the end I never cared enough to succeed. But while we’re complaining about it, here’s one case I remember as particularly egregious in its pointlessness: In Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail, you get points for picking up the bread bowl dip. It doesn’t allow you to advance the story in any way, but if you don’t get rid of it at just the right time you’ll end up eating it and dying of food poisoning.

You didn’t say you’d played all the Lucas Arts/SCUMM games, so I thought I’d just mention Beneath a Steel Sky, Grim Fandango, Flight of the Amazon Queen…

You might also look into this list of upcoming adventure games.

Also, in terms of specials, Steam has all three Broken Sword games for $1.99. I don’t know anything about them, but I’m willing to take a risk at that price. You got me again, Steam!

The second Broken Sword is good. The third is absolute shite. The fourth is…eh. Not on par with 1 and 2, but not completely terrible.

Has OP played Grim Fandango ? If not, you’re in for a treat. Atmosphere up to here, excellent characters and a genuinely captivating storyline.

Haven’t played those, but the Wiki page links to The Shivah by the same creator, which I did play and is awesome, if woefully short. It features hot rabbi on rabbi rhetorical action. *Hard-boiled *rabbis. Need I really say more ?

This is what I came in here to say. Best game ever! It’s not point and click, but I quite liked the interface. Also, do yourself a favour and **don’t ** use the internet to help you finish the game.

I’ve tried numerous times via ResidualVM and I tend to give up in the first 20 minutes because I can’t stand wresting with the controls. Maybe if I could find a good solution for that I’d be more into it. Don’t get me wrong, the story seemed interesting and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for it, but the controls were really bad.


(From the OP) :wink:

Also, the Shivah was awesome. I’m still getting around to playing Gemini Rue and about halfway through Resonance (all the same studio), though.

Eh, I’m not in it for the humor. The fact that all the games I listed were somewhat funny is a side effect of the genre more than anything, I think. I don’t deliberately put down or avoid adventure games that aren’t funny, I just rarely encounter ones that are scary, serious, or otherwise. Anyway, picked up Syberia and its sequel on the cheap on Steam.

I’ll look at those. I still have to play the original LucasArts Sam and Max game too (Hit the Road I think it was).

Sorry, I missed that you had played Blackwell games.
I do think **Grim Fandango **is definitely worth it. Struggle with the controls if you must, but you really should play it.

Admittedly the controls were kinda shit (same for Monkey Island 4, which used the same engine), but I got used to them after a while. I wonder if maybe they’d be more bearable for you if you played with a gamepad ? The movements would be more intuitive I think.

As for older LucasArts game, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was pretty neat - three games in one in fact, since the puzzles and path through the game vary based on a decision made early on. There’s also Day of the Tentacle, another great classic. *Full Throttle *is much too short - I could have played Ben the Biker for entire series of games, sigh.

You might look into Stacking, too (from the creator of Monkey Island). It’s not exactly a traditional adventure game, but it’s very unique and charming.

Oooh, there’s also the Gabriel Knight series. Number one was pretty good, two is odd and somewhat offputting (ah, the mid 90s, the days of live acted videogames…), but three is spectacular - apart from that one insane dream logic moped puzzle.

Amnesia. It’s been mentioned many times on this board. It is the pretty much the best horror adventure game out there. The puzzles are all fair and fully integrated into the story. The monsters rarely jump out at you. In fact many you can’t even see (just don’t fall into the water…).

I doubt it, because, even with a gamepad, you tend to want camera relative controls, and those are complete crap in the game–you constantly have to switch back to character relative (aka boat) controls to get into tight spaces.

I honestly was surprised that Residual spent so much time on reconstructing the engine without making a new interface a priority. Even if you stuck with keyboard controls, you could at least make it where pushing in a direction rotates you first before moving you. Throw in having diagonal invisible walls push you along them instead of just stopping you, and I don’t think anyone who used the Telltale controls happily would complain.

As it is, I think the controls helped kill off the genre. They’re definitely why Grim Fandango sold so poorly.

My wife and I played Syberia (the first one), and it was OK, except we both thought the ending was a little weak. But then, that seems to be a theme with pretty much any video game we have played.

All in all, though, Syberia was pretty good. If I recall correctly, there was really only one section that had a really small fiddly-bit that you had to find on the screen. That is, typically, you run the mouse around the room and the cursor changes when you can do something, but in one room, the cursor hot spot was so small we didn’t see it for a long time.

There is a sequel that continues the story.