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The Aggie Awards – The Best Adventure Games of 2018 page 15

Aggies: Complete Results
Aggies: Complete Results
Continued from the previous page...

Best Non-Traditional Adventure: Return of the Obra Dinn


We’ve already established that Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best detective games ever made, but it’s all the more impressive because it eschews nearly every element of a typical adventure game in doing so. Inventory puzzles? Nope. Environmental puzzles? Nada. Character interaction? With whom? They’re all dead! But who needs the standard genre trappings when you’ve got a ship full of horrific death and pixelized gore? With its single-minded focus on identifying the dead crew of the Obra Dinn (and the methods by which they met their ends), this is a uniquely compelling experience that takes place primarily between the player’s ears in piecing together the game’s one giant logic puzzle.

Not content merely to defy expectations about gameplay, however, indie deloper Lucas Pope has done a marvelous job bringing the ship to life (and death) in a stunning lo-fi, monochromatic style that recalls ‘80s MacVenture games like Déjà vu and Shadowgate, only thrust into the 3D era. Yet that deceptively simple visual approach belies a wealth of detail. Each frozen tableau of a character’s moment of death is deliciously complex, morbid, and often hilarious. This is a game that requires you to pay close attention to everything from the decorations on a sailor’s hammock, to the tattoos on their arms, to minor differences in accent and hairstyle. The package is topped off with a tragi-comically jaunty soundtrack, great voice acting, and atmospheric sound design. And the feeling of checking off another batch of names on your list of doom? Second to none. Return of the Obra Dinn is simply one of the most unorthodox but rewarding games of the year, and for that it’s the runaway Aggie winner for Best Non-Traditional Adventure.

Runners-Up:


FAR: Lone Sails

Forgotton Anne

Detroit: Become Human

The Gardens Between

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption
 



Readers’ Choice: Return of the Obra Dinn


Mr. Plum with the candlestick in the library! Wait, no, that’s Clue. But when you think about it, Return of the Obra Dinn is a lot like Hasbro’s enduring board game – only instead of cards and dice, you have to really use your brain to piece together victim, cause of death, and murderer (if any). Sixty victims, that is – sixty!! There are no conventional puzzles to solve per se, because the entire mystery is one huge interwoven logic conundrum to crack, and it’ll take diligence and careful observation (and fess up – a little bit of guesswork as well) to succeed. It may look like a 1-bit game straight out of the 1980s, but it’s surprisingly effective in action, and it’s backed by a terrific soundscape throughout. Take a look at a screenshot and you might be tempted to dismiss it; take some time to play for a while and you’ll be hooked. Staff and readers are in accord: Lucas Pope has crafted a winner.

Runners-Up:


Forgotton Anne

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Detroit: Become Human

Call of Cthulhu
 



Next up: Best Traditional Adventure... the envelope, please!

Continued on the next page...


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Comments

DaveGilbert DaveGilbert
Feb 21, 2019

I don’t often comment on these things for obvious reasons, but I just wanted to make one small correction.

“Violet Young deserves a special shout-out for convincingly providing several young girl voices – a notoriously difficult role for adults to get right.”

Violet Young was able to convincingly play a child because she is a child herself. She is 12 years old. Smile

Either way, thanks so much! Back to hiding. /swooshes away

Jackal Jackal
Feb 21, 2019

D’oh! Well, that’s quite the achievement in its own right! But I’ll correct.

(And congrats!)

DaveGilbert DaveGilbert
Feb 22, 2019

(Also: there was never a game called The Blackwell Conspiracy)

(sorry)

Jackal Jackal
Feb 22, 2019

I don’t know WHAT possessed me when I wrote that. Tongue

SplinterX
Feb 23, 2019

It is so inconvinient without the summary. I want to see all winers for all categories with all nomenees in one page. It is annoying to go to different pages so often just to see the whole picture. I mean this awards can be a reason to play such games. I want to see a list of them not a sheet.

Corduroy Sombrero Corduroy Sombrero
Feb 25, 2019

Fantastic to see Larry back and getting some mentions Smile

CaliMonk CaliMonk
Feb 25, 2019

We’re working on a sub-category on the site in which you can find an easy overview of Aggie Award winners, per category, per year.

Doraleous
Feb 25, 2019

Bravo, Unavowed made me come back to this genre after years of pretty much only MOBA’ing. What a f***** good game.

CaliMonk CaliMonk
Feb 27, 2019

Great game indeed :-)

small dickie small dickie
Mar 5, 2019

Great Aggie Awards! Really enjoyed them. Great videos, superbly voiced by Ivy Dupler

But i have one questions: Why was The Red Strings Club not considered for the awards? I just started to play it and i noticed that it was released in 2018

Jackal Jackal
Mar 5, 2019

We just felt it was ultimately more of an interactive story game than an adventure game proper. Certainly close enough to cover here at AG, but we try to reserve the Aggies for games that meet our full genre criteria.

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