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The 25 Best Adventure Games Ever Made

Point, Click, Agree

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15: Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars

Developer: Revolution Software

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

The Broken Sword series has been running from 1996 to the present day, and while it’s had some splendid entries (the woefully underrated Broken Sword 3 included), it never got better than this first entry.

The will-they-won’t-they leads of American tourist George Stobbart and French press photographer Nicole Collard had an immediately brilliant chemistry, as they attempted to solve a conspiratorial mystery that takes them from a terrorist café bombing in Paris to a Baphomet-based Templar-related underworld.

Despite the nationalities of its main characters, it has a distinctly British tone and sense of humour, thanks to its creators Charles Cecil, Steve Ince and co. Packed with an obvious love for history, and always wearing a wry grin, it remains splendid fun to play today.


The Goat Puzzle, that is so often used as a reference point for bad puzzles, appears in this game. It’s still rubbish, but much improved in the current version of the game.

Disclaimer: In 2009 I, rather oddly, wrote a whole bunch of content for the Director’s Cut of BS1. Please apply this information to your Corrupt-o-Meter.

Where can I buy it:



What else should I be playing if I like this:

Revolution’s other classic is Beneath A Steel Sky, which is now free.

Read more:

An interview with Charles Cecil.

14: To The Moon

Developer: Freebird Games

Publisher: Freebird Games

But isn’t it an RPG? No. It’s an adventure. So shush. To The Moon is the completely compelling and ludicrously moving ADVENTURE game about changing the memories of an elderly, dying man.

You’re dying, and you never quite lived your dreams. What if someone could jump into your memories and change things such that you remembered achieving all your ambitions, finding happiness? That’s the ethically dubious position Dr Eva and Dr Neil find themselves in, as they set out to change the elderly Johnny Wyles recollection until he achieved his goal of going to the moon.

The result is a game that asks difficult questions about morality, love and death. Also, you will cry exactly three times.

Yeah, there’s a shitty sequence involving zombies (don’t ask), but that’s forgettable once you’re sobbing over the closing credits. The skill with which it allows you to piece together its tragic story as it tells it backward is stunning.


A sequel should appear one day. The rather disappointing A Bird Story appeared as a stop-gap between the two games, but the two minisodes released so far tease a much more interesting game to come.

Where can I buy it:



What else should I be playing if I like this:

Make sure to pick up the two minisodes that follow on, and take a look at Richard & Alice.

Read more:

Our review.

And Verdict.

13: Machinarium

Developer: Amanita Design

Publisher: Amanita Design

Amanita have never released a game that isn’t worth playing, including their Samorost games (part 3 could well be, when it comes out, the game to tip Machinarium from their top spot), and the gorgeous Botanicular. But it’s Machinarium that stands out as the strongest adventure game in their collection.

The heart-breakingly sweet tale of a small robot called Josef focuses on his efforts to save his city’s tower from some bad mean robots. BAD MEAN ROBOTS! This involves a combination of point-and-click and slightly more traditional puzzly puzzles, but most of all staring and gawping at how unrelentlessly pretty it all is. And indeed ear-gawping too at its soundtrack.

It’s a bit like being cuddled by a game.


Microsoft are such big stinky fatheads that they didn’t allow Machinarium to publish on Xbox. Who even remembers who Microsoft are, now?

Where can I buy it:



What else should I be playing if I like this:

Get hold of Botanicular, and the first two Samorost games.

Read more:

Our review.

12: Full Throttle

Developer: LucasArts

Publisher: LucasArts

This Schafer-led LucasArts adventure was woefully overlooked for so long. In fact, it was pretty woefully overlooked at the time of its release, rather unhelpfully convincing LucasArts that the time for 2D adventures was over.

What a mistake by everyone. Full Throttle remains just the most superb game, a combination of wonderful cartoon graphics and a story about a motorcycle gang of the future. It’s a game about nostalgia, aging, and murderous tycoons, and the only time in a LucasArts SCUMM adventure where you could die.

The relationship between biker Ben and mechanic Maureen is beautifully subtle, and the Ride Of The Valkyries meets Duracell Bunnies on a minefield remains the best fail sequence in a game ever. A touching, albeit short, point and click adventure that is too easily forgotten when celebrating LucasArts’ masterworks.


The voice of Ben, Roy Conrad, very sadly died in 2002. LucasArts described him as “one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever meet.”

Mark Hammill voices baddy Adrian Ripburger. He, incredibly, is still alive.

Where can I buy it:

Like DOTT and Sam & Max, beyond all comprehension Disney aren’t selling it anyway. Ebay is your best bet.

What else should I be playing if I like this:

Bit off the adventure track, but check out Schafer’s Brutal Legend for more rawk-influenced gaming.

Read more:

John’s Eurogamer retro.

Cara’s perspective of the relationship in the game.

11: Kentucky Route Zero

Developer: Cardboard Computer

Publisher: Cardboard Computer

So often, when there are attempts to further minimise interaction in point-and-click adventures, it can lead to frustrating, distancing experiences. Not so at all in the astonishing Kentucky Route Zero series of episodes.

The dream-like surrealism, the bewilderingly wonderful minimalist graphics, and the precision in the writing create an atmosphere like little else. What is, technically, the story of a trucker attempting to deliver something to an address on Kentucky Route 0, becomes something that can only be harmed by describing in text.

Three of its five acts have been released so far, and while we’re desperately hungry to play the rest, there’s also a strong sense of not wanting to hurry Cardboard Computer as they complete their project. But even at 3/5ths, it’s already one of the best adventure games ever made.


It’s oft forgotten that this game began life with a Kickstarter, asking for just $6,500, and making a mere $8,583. That’s an awful lot of game for not much money.

They’ve recently added gamepad support to the first three chapters, for those who want to sit farther away from the screen.

Where can I buy it:



What else should I be playing if I like this:

Have a look at Life Is Strange.

Read more:

Interview with the developers.

Act I review.

Act II review.

Act III review.

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Who am I?

John Walker


One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I tried to leave, but they won't let me. If anyone reads this, please send help.

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