Adventure gaming lives on

The days of point-and-click adventure games getting high praise and mainstream attention appeared to be over, but recently Telltale Games’ fantastic The Walking Dead reminded everyone of how much the genre has to offer.

Could this herald a new golden era of adventure games akin to when classics such as Grim Fandango (94 on Metacritic), The Longest Journey (91), and The Curse of Monkey Island (89) were as prevalent as multiplayer military shooters are today?Video game music remixes to inspire you

The spirit of adventure gaming certainly lives on, with many development studios still producing games that impress the critics.

Below are a selection of recent point-and-click adventure games. These are titles whose main gameplay mechanic is using your mouse to interact with the game world, picking out little details in the environment that will help you to solve the myriad of puzzles that stand in the path of progression of the story. The emphasis here is on exploration, story-telling, and puzzle-solving, not quick reflexes – so impatient minds should not apply.

Gemini Rue (82 on Metacritic)

This is possibly the game that reminded me of my love for point-n-click graphic adventures. Set in a distant future, where space travel is common, the grimy world in this little gem is punctuated by jazzy tunes on a backdrop of a dark cityscapes draped in constant rain. Think noire and a hint of cyberpunk.

You follow a down-on-his-luck detective (I did say this is noire) as he’s trying to chase down a wanted man. A cliche’d atmosphere, but the story is anything but. Saying anything more at this point would spoil the story, which is original in its plot, with some great voice acting from the characters. The graphics are retro in appeal, but with no small work having gone into them.

The Book of Unwritten Tales (82 on Metacritic)

A light-hearted adventure revolving around a trio of highly-unlikely companions, brought together quite unwillingly by fate. The story can be mistaken for something a bit too light-hearted, but there are definitely weighty overtones that the success of your quest has consequences on the world you play in.

The characters in this game are what brings the storytelling home. They could be described as cookie-cutter, but they were each cut from very different chunks of dough, each with its own ingredients and flavouring. The world is sourced in fantasy, and so it does borrow from earlier works in the genre, but it definitely is its own character as well, with an equally original recipe having gone into it to differentiate from the rest.

Machinarium (85 on Metacritic)

If you ask anyone to think of a world of robots, most would describe something that takes cues from The Matrix and Terminator – where robots have taken over our world and claimed it for themselves.

In this little game Machinarium however, the world is robot-inhabited with no humans in sight. Robots live their daily-lives and go about their business just as we humans would do in our world. They each have their personalities and they each come in very different shapes and sizes.

You play as one of the robo-citizens who is out to get his robotic better-half back from the clutches of an evil corporation. A very touching story, with an original ambience not seen in many other entertainment mediums, this game will have you enamoured with the rusty colors of the robot city you are setting out to explore.

Check out www.adventuregamers.com for more great adventure games.

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