The Aggie Awards – The Best Adventure Games of 2018 page 17

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Best Adventure of 2018: Unavowed


Dave Gilbert is no stranger to the Aggies, having earned top honours in 2014 for The Blackwell Epiphany. But it’s one thing to cap off a popular five-part series with a triumphant final act, and quite another to start all over again with a new story and new cast, and make it bigger and more ambitious than any game the little indie studio had ever made before. So it was no sure bet that Unavowed would be able to follow in its acclaimed predecessor’s footsteps. Fortunately, even with such big shoes to fill, the new game not only fully measured up to our expectations, but surpassed them in virtually every way.

Really we shouldn’t be THAT surprised, as Wadjet Eye has become synonymous with thoughtful, highly-polished adventures, and for everything new in Unavowed, there are more than enough familiar studio trademarks to ensure another success. The production values are all top-notch, from the gorgeous pixel art by Ben Chandler and Ivan Ulyanov, to another brilliant score by Thomas Regin, to the usual superb voice acting from the entire cast. The game’s previous Aggies speak to the quality of its story and writing, delivering a compelling modern supernatural fantasy filled with ghosts, demons, mages, mer-people and more, and infusing it with an entire team of believable, richly-developed protagonists. Those alone would put it in any game-of-the-year conversation.

The accomplishments don’t stop there, however, as Unavowed took an already winning formula and went above and beyond, with a choice of male and female lead characters, branching narrative paths, genuinely thought-provoking moral quandaries, and three entirely different backstories to choose from, providing a welcome degree of replayability. On top of an already impressive achievement, it all adds up to a thoroughly engaging adventure you can experience more than one way, each of them equally valid and every bit as rewarding. It took a lot to beat out the innovative Return of the Obra Dinn (and others) for the top award of 2018, but Unavowed shone in every respect, earning the developer its second Best Adventure Aggie to put on the mantel.

So, Wadjet Eye, no pressure or anything, but what’s next?

Runners-Up:


Return of the Obra Dinn

The Pillars of the Earth

FAR: Lone Sails

Forgotton Anne
 



Readers’ Choice: Unavowed


Best Story, Best Writing – Drama, Best Gameplay, Best Graphics, Best Music, Best Acting, and Best Traditional Adventure… nope, we had no idea where this award was going! Okay, maybe we had an inkling that Unavowed might take home your GOTY Aggie as well. And really it wasn’t close, leaving even its nearest competitor in the dust. What we didn’t expect was that each of the five reader finalists were all traditional adventures. Even in acknowledging the greatness of Return of Obra Dinn, far more voters ultimately felt more comfortable with the tried-and-true. Just an observation; no judgment here! Especially when there’s such a clear-cut favourite so far ahead of the field. Take a final bow, Wadjet Eye. You’ve earned the acclaim.

Runners-Up:


Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry

Detective Gallo

Lamplight City

Unforeseen Incidents
 



And so ends another incredibly busy, diverse year of adventuring with a little something for everyone, and more than enough to go around. Though they couldn’t all be winners, we extend our sincere thanks and admiration to ALL the developers who gave us so many great new gaming memories in 2018. We’re also grateful to our community for participating in our reader poll (and of course, for continuing to show their support for the genre here at Adventure Gamers).

If the number of upcoming releases on our calendar is any indication, we can look forward to plenty more where these came from, so at last we bid you a final adieu so we can get right back to work on 2019.

Now go forth and game, and see you all again this time next year!

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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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