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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!
The Gateway Trilogy is sometimes too mysterious for its own good, but it’s nonetheless an entertaining collection of well-designed puzzles presented alongside accessible and entertaining commentary from its developer.
With its Monty Python-inspired silliness, cleverly recycled art and music, plenty of fun objectives and appropriately zany tasks to complete, The Procession to Calvary gives fans of Four Last Things more of what made the first game great.
After two freeware warm-ups, Nick Bounty returns for his first commercial outing, this time picking up a sidekick to help him solve a baffling murder. Don’t expect much in the way of challenge, but the comedy and production values make for an entertaining couple of hours.
Despite some excessive backtracking, the Reversion series finale ups the ante with much more to see and do, and its well-paced plot development ties up the loose ends left over from the earlier chapters.
The genre-bending Nauticrawl successfully turns intentionally confusing submarine controls into an immersive journey of discovery where understanding leads to incremental progression and exploration is key to your survival. It’s by no means perfect, and feels like it could have been more, but it’s nevertheless an unforgettable experience.
Players looking to tackle Pode on their own will experience a cute, fun puzzler with at least a few moments of challenge before the end. But those who bring a friend or significant other will arguably reap the greatest reward in this short but sweet wordless tale of love and friendship.
Discolored is a surreal and atmospheric experience that is less a well-rounded adventure than puzzle game, yet it is very satisfying and enjoyable to play. Just be prepared for it to raise a lot of questions and leave you to supply your own answers about the strange events unfolding around you.
The laid-back nature of the simple but fun exploratory gameplay coupled with the soothing music and lush scenery make A Short Hike a relaxing adventure filled with not only humor but the tenderness of personal connections.
Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard expands on its predecessor’s strengths with an even wider cast of loveable, eccentric characters to question, all the while keeping the original’s sunny charm and humour.
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.