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If you like to take on adventures in games, then this genre will definitely offer you something interesting. Adventure titles are known for amazing stories and well-written characters. Also, their gameplay is often very simple, so it’s easier to play this type of game for a casual gamer. If you feel a hunger for interesting stories, then look no further, because we got you covered.
What is an adventure video game?
Prepare to immerse yourself in a deep, interactive story as the main protagonist! The main gameplay elements of these story-driven games are exploration and puzzle-solving. Similar to literature and film, such titles encompass a wide variety of various literary genres. They can be either text-based or graphic and are designed to be played only in a single-player mode because it’s impossible to make a multiplayer adventure game that is focused on story and characters. However, there is a different kind of this genre, called action-adventure games, that lets gamers play in various ways.
Adventure game features
- Storytelling. The most important feature is always the story and characters. You can even consider these games as an interactive book because there are a lot of similarities to other story-focused media;
- Exploration. While playing, you will control a protagonist in a certain world that you will have to explore, searching for various items required for puzzles, or other things;
- Puzzle-solving. While exploring the game levels, you will encounter various puzzles that you will have to solve. Don’t forget to play carefully and search every corner. No one knows what secrets stay hidden around the corner.
What are the types of adventure games?
Take a look at the most common types:
- Text adventures. Games of this category are the oldest adventure titles. In these games, the player must read through passages of text that are revealed as a response to typed instructions by the player;
- Graphic adventure. This kind of game is newer and offers graphics to portray the environment to the player. In these games, you have to either input text types or interact via the touch screen for the story to progress. There are some kinds of camera perspectives in graphic adventures, such as first-person or third-person. Also, some games from this category can have hand-drawn or pre-rendered backgrounds;
- Puzzle adventure games. This type of game requires players to solve logic puzzles. For that, the exploration of environments is crucial. By completing puzzles, the player unlocks more stories and worlds to explore. These games often feature some NPC characters that can help to solve puzzles;
- Visual novel. These games are based in Japan. Visual novel games usually have an anime art style. Technically, it’s a hybrid of text and graphic adventure games. Usually, visual novels feature dialogue trees, branching storylines, and multiple endings;
- Interactive movie. Here most of the graphics are fully pre-rendered or use full-motion video from live-action sets. The player must respond to events by moving a controller and pressing a button, and every choice lets another scene play. Some interactive movie games also have 3D graphics used.
Best adventure games
Take a look at the most notable titles of this genre and choose your next adventure!
- Grim Fandango. A cult-classic published by LucasArts in 1998. The game is set in the Land of the Dead, where departed souls travel through before reaching their final destination. The player controls agent Manuel “Manny” Calavera, who has to save the new arrival Mercedes “Meche” Colomar on her journey. Grim Fandango is known for its noir style, which differs it from other titles;
- Myst. A graphic adventure puzzle game, developed by Cyan in 1993, Myst is one of those classic titles that are remembered to this day. In this game, the player has to travel through the book into an island called Myst. From this island, the player can travel to 4 different worlds and solve mysteries. It’s one of that point and click mystery games that fans love to this day;
- The Walking Dead. Another series of episodic graphic adventure horror titles from Telltale Games and Skybound Games. First released in 2012, The Walking Dead is all about characters that are trying to survive during the zombie apocalypse. The series is known for its drama elements, including tragedy and grief because not everything is fun and games when the apocalypse strikes!
- The Longest Journey. Another cult classic! Released by Funcom in 1999, The Longest Journey is a magical realist point-and-click adventure game that takes place in various parallel universes of two zones – magical Arcadia and industrial Stark. The player controls April Ryan, a student living in Stark. She has an ability to move between these worlds, and has a mission to restore their Balance;
- Journey. A game by Thatgamecompany and Santa Monica Studio released in 2012, Journey lets players control a figure in a vast desert. The goal of the game is to travel towards a mountain in the distance. During your session, other players can be discovered. Journey is one of those “art-house” types of games;
- Life Is Strange. An episodic adventure game by Dontnod Entertainment, first released in 2015, Life Is Strange is full of interaction with various objects and puzzle-solving. But the main point of this series is the story and characters, which are really immersive. Players can explore locations and communicate with other characters, some of the choices in dialogues may affect the story.
History of adventure games
Take a look at the brief history of this kind of game:
- The 1970s. Text-based adventure games started to emerge in 1975 with a release of Hunt the Wumpus (1975), which featured an exploration of maps and puzzle-solving elements. A year later, Colossal Cave Adventure was released – it is considered the first game of this genre, and a big influence on the growth of this style of games. But when PC systems started to display graphics, the popularity of text adventure games started to vanish;
- The 1980s. Mystery House (1980), by Sierra, is known as the first graphical adventure game. When PCs started to support pointing devices, this type of game offered commands the player could interact with on-screen. The first game that did this was Enchanted Scepters (1984);
- The 1990s. With the introduction of CD-ROM, games started to include higher-quality graphics, as well as video and audio. Naturally, it led to the addition of voice acting, as well as the rise of interactive films, such as The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery. When 3D graphics in these games were started to be used, the cult-classic title Grim Fandango by Lucasarts was released. It is known as the first 3D game of this kind. In 1993, Cyan Worlds released Myst, which is considered as one of the genre’s most influential games;
- The 2000s. The digital distribution platforms led developers to create episodic adventure games that include 3 or 5 chapters over a course of several months via various online stores.