The adventure genre is home to many ambitious indie developers, but without widescale distribution, it can be hard for these games to get the exposure they deserve. They may not get the same publicity as high as the games on our list of top PC latest releases, but don't overlook these smaller hidden gems, as they're well worth your attention!
Top Adventure Game Picks - Under-the-Radar Indies
Although still lacking much challenge beyond working through its more confusing story, Dead Secret Circle is a longer and more diverse game than its predecessor with the same creepy, immersive atmosphere introduced in the series debut.
For fans of Escape Rooms, the puzzle-centric The Initiate does an excellent job of scratching a hard-to-satisfy itch for many hours, and does so in a fair way that hardly ever feels cheap.
Shrug Island is a short but scenic getaway with a tropical sorbet-flavored design that provides a relaxing experience of gentle puzzling fun.
Short and sweet, The Search’s slideshow-style adventuring isn’t particularly challenging on the puzzle front but may leave you contemplating your own creativity after the experience.
Dark Train takes you on a singular, confusing, marvellous journey into a seemingly grey industrial world that proves to be full of exuberant imagination. All in the company of a mechanical squid called Ann.
Stonewall Penitentiary offers an interactive thriller of murder and paranoia in an atmospheric setting filled with the tortured ghosts of its past. It looks fairly dated and certainly doesn’t tread any revolutionary new ground, but it succeeds at what it sets out to do: to be a satisfyingly entertaining experience from beginning to end.
Just like its predecessor, MIAZMA or the Devil’s Stone provides a lot of charming B movie-type fun, with a story that will keep you engaged all the way through. Even though its ending is rushed and has only an English dub, FMV mystery fans should definitely give this one a try.
STAY is a game that requires dedication, both to its digital protagonist and its puzzle solving, and features the kind of narrative that’s best digested via discussion with others who’ve played it. Eccentricities aside, it provides the kind of fodder that transcends the superficial and is recommended for anybody willing to face a slice of real-world drama.
Earthworms is a solid point-and-click adventure across the board, although your appreciation of it will surely depend on your reaction to its utterly surreal nature.
On a surface level, Part 2: Unbound continues where The Fall‘s last installment left off, but several changes have been made to both story and gameplay formulas, for better and for worse, including an overreliance on combat that may not appeal as strongly to hardcore adventure gamers.
A challenging but fair science fiction adventure, Tardy’s unique look, direct inventory manipulation mechanics, and interesting story and characters easily overshadow a few interface and localization issues.
For a story starring a robot vacuum cleaner and a smart home A.I., the short but sweet Rumu showcases a wide spectrum of human emotions, which is a feat that not even many people-centric dramas achieve.
Although modestly designed, A Tale of Caos: Overture does many things right, including some that aren’t easy to pull off, offering some genuinely funny moments as well as some truly head-scratching puzzles.
A compelling if somewhat easy puzzler with a unique aesthetic inspired by medieval engravings, Apocalipsis has that melancholic appeal of a Grimm’s fairy tale on a rainy day.
Presented as a mockumentary, The Mind of Marlo delivers a short, hilariously down-the-earth story despite the wildly absurd nature of its premise.
I fell from Grace needs to be played more than once to get the most out of a shifting story driven by your choices. If you enjoy tales with darker tones or gritty urban dramas, you definitely cannot miss this.
If you love British comedies like Blackadder and surreal mysteries like Twin Peaks, The Darkside Detective is a retro-styled supernatural adventure game you don’t want to miss.
Although The House of Da Vinci is slightly marred by persnickety mechanics and the occasionally frustrating puzzle, exploring the mind of a genius by reverse engineering his inventions will pull you into a gorgeous Renaissance world and keep you challenged throughout.
Little Kite tackles themes of abuse, drug addiction, and childhood trauma in a manner that few others dare, though its content might be a little too bleak for some players.
An intriguing first attempt at a gumshoe adventure modeled on the Carol Reed footprint. First-person mystery fans and Carol devotees should definitely give Silent Footsteps a go.
With enough updates finally addressing the most serious technical problems at launch (though some still remain), the clever second entry is a funny and much more substantial cartoon romp through Victorian London.
An adventure out of time, Thaumistry‘s a lighthearted text romp that casts its entertaining puzzle magic on the modern era.
Though the gameplay isn’t particularly inspired, Darkestville Castle is a winner thanks to its prank-prone principal character, delightful cartoon environments, and witty humour.
Once the momentum picks up, the three-part Bear With Me is a funny, well-written point-and-click adventure, with memorable characters that will stick with you for a long time.
The surreal presentation may draw a lot of the attention, but Maggie’s Apartment proves equal parts strange, artistic, and entertaining as you slowly peel back the quirky layers of a mystery that proves deceptively deep.
Although falling short of its full potential, Tokyo Dark tells an intriguing mystery story and nicely integrates elements of both western and eastern cultures, combining point-and-click adventure-style exploration and simple puzzles with visual novel-length conversations and multiple endings, some more satisfying than others.
Even though it doesn’t offer much story or puzzle depth, Tiny Echo is nevertheless a treat for the eyes and an enchanting journey worth every minute of its two-hour playtime.
Each episode of The Dream Machine has offered something unique, and the final installment is no different. Chapter 6 falls just a little short of the high bar set by its predecessors, but at long last it is nice to see this very impressive indie adventure through to the end.
Although the story is ultimately a disappointment, Ahnayro’s highly-polished puzzle mechanics, dreamlike atmosphere, and budget-friendly pricing make this a very worthwhile buy for gamers who yearn for something a little different.
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is engrossing, disturbing and erudite, and though it’s a little lacking in plot it’s full of welcome ideas.
The Low Road’s tale of espionage is told in a fun, quirky fashion that manages to hold your attention and keep a smile on your face throughout its short playtime. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel and falters slightly on occasion, it is a lovely experience that is definitely worth your time.
This Monty Python-inspired puzzler has a great sense of humor, generally fun puzzles, and a clever collage presentation. If you’re a fan of absurdist send-ups of religion, Four Last Things should be number one on your list of games to play next.
Loaded with quirky humor and challenging yet satisfying puzzles, Chronicle of Innsmouth works as both a retro adventure game and a loving tribute to H.P. Lovecraft.
Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure may have you cursing some of its puzzles, but its warmth, characters and gentle humour will surely leave you smiling.
The Frostrune is an enjoyable adventure game for both experienced and inexperienced players, with challenging puzzles and an atmospheric setting from a rarely-explored culture.
Detention is a marvel of sight, sound, gameplay and storytelling; a highly atmospheric horror adventure that manages to accomplish more in its short playtime than some games twice its length.
Barrow Hill: The Dark Path is a competent throwback to old-school horror-themed point-and-click games. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it does its forebears proud.
A little mechanical clunkiness can’t hide the heart beneath Tales, which shines with a love of stories, puzzles and humanity.
While its rhyming gimmick and simple design will be hit-or-miss for some, those who take the plunge into Milkmaid of the Milky Way will get a quirky, enjoyable game worth the low-risk time investment it requires.
The Little Acre is a great debut effort with impressive production values for an indie studio, but sadly it’s over far too soon.
Profound Red doubles down on everything laudable about the Carol Reed series, while adding an unusually twisty plot and branching out with unexpectedly mature content. For longtime series fans, it’s a must-play. For newbies it’s a great introduction to the heavenly light and intimate darkness bound up in Sweden’s quaint cityscapes and verdant countryside.
Wailing Heights is a stylish ballad of comic horror. The plot could be stronger and there are a few technical bum notes, but it’ll leave you with a wolfish grin.
Much like its classic inspirations, Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is a fun romp through a wacky history that is good for anyone looking for a lighthearted adventure.
Dishing up triumphs and frustrations in equal measure, The Eyes of Ara is a game no puzzle lover should miss, while story-driven adventurers should consider themselves sufficiently warned.
A charming game about two robots surviving the apocalypse, Wanda has a surprising amount of humanity packed into its fairly short playtime.
The incremental improvements this season bode well for the future of a series that combines traditional puzzling with the reality-blurring aspects of alternate reality gaming. Even with its blemishes, The Black Watchmen is ARGing at its finest.
A love letter to gamers who prefer first-person, devilishly difficult, puzzle-heavy adventures, Catyph offers tasty dollops of sci-fi and a hint of Myst.
The Last Door opens up another suspenseful, extremely retro-styled exploration of Victorian England and the occult with a second season even better than the first.
Thanks to Prominence’s flair for deft narrative and savvy interactivity, this is a mission with which science fiction buffs and fans of first-person exploratory adventures will want to engage.
Nelly Cootalot’s latest voyage is overflowing with charm and heart – and puns, oh the puns! It may not be the stiffest challenge out there, but it’ll leave you with a warm feeling inside.
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