There are 13 games this year. Honestly, this was a pretty damn good year as it has some of my favorite adventure titles available. Let’s go!
#3 – Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon
Callahan is not a very traditional adventure game. It’s relatively open, there doesn’t seem to be any way to die, and it’s usually a screen by screen deal where you just kinda stay in one place until you solve all the puzzles. That said, the writing, characters, scenarios, dialogue…hell, the whole nine yards is brilliantly done, all things considered. It was a tough call between this one and a few others on the runner ups list, but this one, in my opinion, has the most charm.
#2 – Riven
Riven is literally the only adventure game I’ve played that I seriously have no idea how you’re supposed to beat it WITHOUT a walkthrough. See, some adventure games are tough…REAL tough. But in most cases, you can still figure it out if you just give it some time, really think about if you missed something, etc. Not with Riven. Of course, it’s not on this list because of its difficulty.
See, Myst was pretty revolutionary for its time, but you look back on it now and…meh. That’s probably because it’s been ported, remade, and whatever so many times it’s gotten old. To a small degree, the same is true with Riven, but I was absolutely blown away by how improved the formula was from Myst to Riven. The story is more interesting and dark, the environments are more varied and crisp, the ambience is perfect, and…well, it’s just an experience.
Naturally an adventure gamer should try to play a game without a walkthrough first and to that end, I wish you luck in conquering Riven blind!
#1 – Curse of Monkey Island
I’ve always said the first three Monkey Island games were like a three way tie for me. See, graphically, music-wise, length-wise, and in my opinion character-wise, the second was better than the first…except it isn’t the original, doesn’t have insult sword fighting, and has a pretty crappy ending. And they tie it in pretty well to the beginning of the third one, all things considered.
This one has an entirely new visual style, great music, great voice acting, excellent writing, good puzzles, lots of hilarious cutscenes, great length, AND insult sword fighting makes a triumphant return…with RHYMING! Still, I feel bad saying it’s better than the first two, despite the fact that from a technical angle it absolutely is. I really, REALLY hope they DON’T make a “special edition” version of this title.
When I first heard they were making special edition versions of Monkey Island 1 and 2, I was thrilled, but seeing the final products, they don’t feel the same as the originals and to a degree, sour the memory. I would honestly be happier with a port. Maybe they could just tweek the graphics SLIGHTLY, but not enough to compromise the original art style.
There are some DAMN good runner ups this year. In fact, I’m not seeing anything I WOULDN’T recommend. This was an excellent year for adventure games…and sadly, one of the last.
Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror
Clock Tower (PS1)
Shivers 2 – Harvest of Souls
Zork – Grand Inquisitor