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Under-the-Radar IndiesBest Adventure Games
Recommendations from the Adventure Gamers staff
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!
Making good use of its modest presentation, Moonrise Fall is an enchantingly bittersweet and beautiful game filled with intrigue and environmental obstacles to overcome. While you won’t get answers to all of your questions by the end, it’s still well worth investigating this surreal mystery.
With its creatively whimsical yet sincere approach, entertaining mechanics, memorable story, likable characters and vibrant world, Wandersong proves to be one of the most memorable and endearing games to come out of an independent studio in recent times.
The Idiot’s Tale is just a fun game to play, with a sarcastic, irreverent humour that permeates everything and lovingly throws shade at classic adventure titles. There are a couple of potentially serious negatives, but these are completely overshadowed by the enjoyable overall experience.
As its title suggests, Yet Another Hero Story is a very by-the-numbers point-and-click fantasy adventure, but it’s generally a good one with great characters, a funny story and a compelling visual design.
Smile For Me combines an engaging story with fresh gameplay ideas, a relatable and quick-witted cast of characters, and an impressive sense of style in a memorable experience that is worth any adventure gamer’s time.
Evoking the feel of classic Sierra games but without their sudden deaths and dead ends, Sumatra: Fate of Yandi is a fun, enjoyable tale of survival in a lush rainforest, only marginally brought down by a weak ending.
Like a trip through a prop-filled haunted attraction, The Witch’s House MV captivates with preset scares and gory imagery, an onslaught of retro-imbued horror, inventive puzzles and a surprisingly whimsical attitude toward the protagonist’s frequent death.
Essentially five short games in one, Photographs presents a series of dark, disturbing, and above all compelling tales of woe interspersed with their own diverting puzzle minigames ranging from easy to challenging.
A loving homage to the Myst series, Myha: Return to the Lost Island has everything that characterized its iconic inspiration: lovely locales, a world of depth and complexity, and puzzles that will tax the little grey cells.
Yorkshire Gubbins is a short and easy but hilarious escapade through a small town filled with memorable characters and quirky puzzles. It won’t pose much in the way of difficulty, but its biting British humour makes it hard not to keep playing, just to see how it all turns out.
The second Initiate outing replicates much of what made the first game so enjoyable, this time with three playable protagonists sharing the spotlight. But the vague nuggets of narrative still fail to deliver, and are once again easily eclipsed by the satisfaction you’ll get instead from cracking the many puzzles.
The mystery takes a while to catch up to the intrigue of its captivating Swedish locales, but once The Fall of April rises to the occasion it provides another highly entertaining entry in the Carol Reed series.
Although light in puzzle complexity and narrative depth, the side-scrolling Lupus in Fabula delivers a memorable experience that has much to delight. Its characters, panoramas and irreverent, absurdist comedy come together to create a farcical adventure that is quite distinct and helps it stand apart from other offerings in the marketplace.
By its very nature, OneShot‘s persistent world experience is incredibly difficult to distill into words accurately, but those who dig quirky or emotional tales and don’t shy away from something completely different should seriously consider taking this particular plunge.
A point-and-click adventure based heavily on history’s greatest tango singer, Tango benefits from excellent production values and a promising story premise, though it turns out to be merely an abbreviated introduction with very little challenge so far.
Uniquely enigmatic but occasionally tedious, Path to Mnemosyne creates a dizzying world of alluring visuals to fill with a generally gratifying collection of puzzles based on observation, memorization and timing.
Although short and fairly easy, Yeli Orog achieves its goal of providing an interesting journey for the senses that melds an appealing real-life location with a surreal exploration of a fictional world.
Solo offers a mesmerizing world to explore, as well as fun and challenging puzzles to solve while contemplating the importance of love in your life. For anyone who’s experienced the emotional rollercoaster of romance, this game might just offer the comfort you never knew you needed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.