Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 100 All-Time Adventures

The team at - that I am proudly a part of - have put together a list of one hundred of our most cherished Adventure Games. The list is by no means definitive, and has been put together in a very democratic manner, but it reflects a list of titles that we feel any Adventurer worth their salt should have played - or should give a chance.

Personally, I am very happy with the game that tops the list, and a lot of my favourites fared very well in the run-down. But how did your favourite titles do? Have a look for yourself and see whether you agree or disagree right here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Book of Unwritten Tales Review

One of the most-anticipated Adventure Games of recent times has finally got an English-language translation. German-developed "The Book of Unwritten Tales" has been lovingly translated into English, and the results are quite something.

This is an Adventure Gaming experience in the traditional Lucasarts and Sierra style, that any true Adventure fan cannot afford to miss. Check out my full coverage over at in The Book of Unwritten Tales Review.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Top 10 Funniest Games

At, a feature called The Vault allows its writers to put lists that rank their favourite games of a particular genre, of features from a game that are particularly memorable to them. In my latest entry, I chose to look at the top ten games that have made me laugh most - and many of these ended up being classic Adventure Games. Without further ado, sit back, relax and prepare to laugh, as we see what games made my list for The Vault: Top Ten Funniest Games.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Casual Adventures - Mystery Legends: Beauty and the Beast

A new month, and a new casual Adventure Games for me to delve into, courtesy of The Casual Adventure Game round-up for releases in September 2011 includes a varied bunch of lite adventure games, and I took a look at a sequel to a traditional tale - that of Beauty and the Beast.

The game is a dark follow-on to the events of the well-known story, and players get to take on the role of Belle, as she tries to save her beloved from an evil enchantress. See what I thought of the title in the Casual Collection.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Hector: Badge Of Carnage – Episode 3: Beyond Reasonable Doom Review & Series Round-Up

Hector is a rather coarse anti-hero, if ever there was one in Adventure Gaming. The Badge of Carnage series has walked the line between good and bad taste, and displays a very British sense of humour. The games are now available across a variety of different gaming platforms, and now that the series is complete - let myself and bring you a full review of this final episode, and a round-up of the season as a whole. Get the low-down here for Hector: Badge of Carnage.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Eurogamer Expo 2011: Silent Hill: Downpour Hands-On Preview

The Survival Horror genre straddles several genres. Is it a shooter? An action game? An adventure? The games usually feature a combination of puzzle-solving, investigation, shooting and sneaking - which doesn't take the genre a million miles away from the Adventure Game.

Story is always a truly important element, and that isn't more true in any Survival Horror game than it is in Silent Hill. So it is with some excitement that we anticipate the latest title in the series. Will it re-capture the excellent atmosphere and thrills of the first few games, or be a stinker like Silent Hill: Homecoming? I got some hands-on preview time with the game at the Eurogamer Expo 2011, and you can read my full hands-on impressions here.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Casual Adventures - Paranormal Crime Investigations: Brotherhood of the Cresent Snake

As delves into the realm of the Casual Advenutre Game once more, it's time for me to take a look at another Hidden Object Game based title. As has been the trend over the last few months, I was faced with yet another grisly and spooky tale to traverse through, as Paranormal Crime Investigations: Brotherhood of the Crescent Snake deals with voodoo and an evil cult, down in the Bayou, in New Orleans.

GI Games has done a great job of creating an eerie and unsettling atmosphere in this title, and those of you who are easily scared by Snakes should be forewarned - this isn't the game for you. Twists and danger lie around every corner as you investigate an ancient cult that is behind a series of murders in the city. Check out my full review of the title in the latest Casual Collection.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Casual Adventures: Mystery of Venice

It's that time of the month agian, as we take a look at some of the latest casual Adventure Games to hit the market, at The casual Adventure Game round-up this month brings us the usual mixture of the more serious and some light-hearted fare, but I got the chance to play another new ERS Games title, Grim Facade: Mystery of Venice.

The game is obviously set in Venice, but in the time of the Renaissance. A mysterious plague has afflicted the city, and only you - as a privately-hired Detective - can help a desperate husband trace what has happened to his wife and daughter, and to find out just what - or who - is behind the awful events.

Check out the latest round-up here.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Back To The Future: The Game - Full Season Review

As a huge fan of the Back to the Future series - and of course, of Adventure Games in general - I have been following the progress of Back to the Future: The Game very closely. Now that the final episode has been released and the current series has been completed, I have taken the time to play through the new chapter of the adventures of Doc and Marty.

The main issue for me, before playing, would be whether or not the game series would dilute or ruin the feel and heart of the Movies. Well, I am happy to say that Telltale Games have shown great care with this beloved IP, and there is a lot to appreciate in the game. For my full review, and all of my thoughts on the series - click here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Red Johnson’s Chronicles Review

The advent of download-only console titles has been one of the stepping stones that have helped Adventure Games drag themselves out of the mire and back onto the gaming landscape. The support for Adventure Games on Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network is still yet to become expansive, yet several titles have appeared that have shown that this is a more than viable business model for developers to follow.

One such developer is Lexis Numerique - most famous for the In Memoriam series of games. The company has always traditionally worked on titles for the PC market, however they now have several games on the development slate that are set for release on PlayStation 3. One of these, which is a hard-boiled, Noir-style crime thriller - with a sense of humour to boot - a game called "Red Johnson's Chronicles."

Planned as the first of a series of Detective Adventures, the game has some well-developed and strongly acted characters, some very impressive graphics and a good variety of ingenious puzzles to keep you guessing. It also includes some quick-time action events - but don't let that scare you off, as it is a charming and intriguing title. To learn more about the title, why not read my full review at here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother.

Blade Runner - The Game.

When it came out in 1997, Blade Runner the game was somewhat of an oddity. Coming fifteen years after the original film release, the game chose to not even directly follow the plot of the movie it was based on. It featured familiar sets and characters, but followed a new protagonist and new incidents.

But the game was a cult hit. Branching storylines, the ability to set an emotional stand-point for your character and multiple endings made the game unique for the time in that your every action really did have an impact on the path and outcome of the story.

Head over to to read my Retro Review of the game and find out why you really should play this forgotten gem.

Friday, 15 April 2011

A New Collection Of Casual Adventure Games To Test Your Wits.

A new month, and a new collection of casual Adventure Games to cast your eye across. have just published their Casual Adventure Game round-up for releases in March 2011. As they cover the good and the bad of the past month of lite Adventure Games, available on the internet, several contributors pass their judgement over a selection of titles. This month, I reviewed Puppet Show: Lost Town - the third game in the Puppet Show series from ERS Game Studios.

Created by the same team who made Maestro: Music of Death - which I looked at in February, there are a lot of comparisons to be drawn - not all of them favourable, unfortunately. Click here to read my review of the game and to see which other casual Adventure Games are worth a try this month.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Review of Jane Jensen's Gray Matter

Fans of the Gabriel Knight series have been waiting for over a decade for the next instalment in the franchise. unfortunately, that has not yet come to pass, but a new project from creator Jane Jensen (I say new, it has also been in development for around eight years) has just been released on PC and Xbox 360, and it shares many of the same elements that made the Gabriel Knight games so beloved.

In my full review at, I delve deeper into the supernatural mystery that delves into the history of Oxford and the world of Magic. The game mechanics may be a bit hit or miss and the console conversion nowhere near perfect, but the game will reward the persistent adventurer and long-time fans of the genre will find plenty here to appreciate. So go on, read the review and see if it has been worth the wait.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

More Casual Adventure Games - Back Once Again

Once again its that time of the month when website put up their latest monthly Casual Adventure Game round-up. Covering the good and the bad of the past month when it comes to lite Adventure Games available via the internet, several contributors pass their judgement over a selection of titles.

This month I took a look at the spooky and mysterious Maestro: Music of Death. Set in Victorian Paris , the game concerns a troubling epidemic where locals are aging far too quickly and dying suddenly. As the chief Investigator, you will follow the clues to try and find the truth behind the illness. Read my review here.

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Game That Made Me Appreciate Action/Adventure Titles - Beyond Good & Evil

As the pure Graphic Adventure game started to decline in profitability and popularity, I was always wary of Action/Adventure titles. Games like Tomb Raider flooded the market and replaced the traditional Adventure games that had been so successful - the driving force behind the growth of PC Gaming. But now gamers wanted more action, they wanted 3D graphics. Less emphasis was put on story and character development - and I couldn't make the transition to Action/Adventures. I didn't find them interesting or involving. I began to fear good videogame writing was only present in a Graphic Adventure.

But then in 2003, Adventuring forums were abuzz with talk of a new game, and Action/Adventure hybrid - Beyond Good & Evil. Created by Rayman mastermind Michel Ancel, I was far from convinced by his back catalogue. I couldn't imagine the title having any real depth as I never appreciated the charms of Rayman - at least not until the Raving Rabbids got in on the act with him.

But real hardcore Adventurers were raving about this title. Players who would never normally touch action sequences with a barge pole were extolling its virtues. I however, remained unconvinced. I had already had some bad experiences with titles that were Action/Adventures, but had been recommended by pure Adventure gamers. For example, Outcast by Infogrames. In that game I certainly appreciated the music, design and story that it presented, but I loathed the gameplay and controls. I feel bad as I never gave the game a proper chance - I had my preconceptions and as soon as I met with the niggly navigation and often-unforgiving combat, I made my judgement. I wouldn't persevere. And that - as they say - was that.

Flash forward to summer 2004. With an ageing PC I was resorting to the PlayStation 2 for the majority of my gaming needs. Lacking any great single-player titles I hadn't tried already, I thought of Beyond Good & Evil. Could I put my reservations aside and give it a real opportunity to win me over. I tentatively took the plunge.

And how my fears were proved wrong. The game was more original and compelling than any point-and-click game of the time. The ideas and subject matter the game explored were mature and exciting, the game mechanics innovative and genre-defying. This game definitely deserved gamers' time.

But it was sadly unsuccessful at retail. Gushing gamers and critics with loving reviews couldn't help - the game suffered from poor marketing and a crowded release slot and never reached its full potential. Revered by those who did play it, it became a forgotten classic.

Until now. A High Definition remake has just hit Xbox LIVE, opening the game up to a whole new audience. It needs to be played to understand, but to get a better I dea why it is so good, read my full review here. I just hope that this time around, more people take a chance, like I did, and sample its delights.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Aggie Awards!

Head over to for the Aggie awards. The biggest end-of-year awards in the Adventure Gaming community. I myself was a part of the voting panel who decided the awarding of the accolades, and also contributed many of the award summaries related to Heavy Rain (which, if you have been following my blog for a while, you will see I have written about at quite some length previously).

So don't delay, see who the big winners in Adventure Gaming were this year, why they deserve those plaudits and also check out the readers' votes too, right here.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tim Schafer - A Retrospective Look At The Games That Shaped His Career

As part of the Retro Corner column I write for, and in celebration of the release of the latest title from Double Fine Games - puzzle adventure game Stacking - I have taken a look back at the storied career of designer Tim Schafer. There is no doubt about the huge imprint he and his games have left on the face of Adventure Gaming, and iess creative industry without minds like his being around.

But were all of his games as good as they are made out to be? What are his fatal flaws and why do his games never reach the huge sales figures that perhaps his concepts deserve? To read more and to reminisce about  the Monkey Island series, Day of The Tentacle, Grim Fandango and more - you can read the full article here. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think, or to add to the discussion.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

More Casual Adventure Games - the Lite Adventures strike again! have just put up their latest Casual Adventure round-up.

This month, I sampled: Dream Mysteries – Case of the Red Fox.
As you can read in the article, this was a very intruiging game with a great premise - but was that promising start carried through into a successful Adventure game?
Read here to find out!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My personal top adventure games of 2010

Here is a short (but sweet) look back at a few of the Adventure Games that really stood out above the others for me in the past year. This is not a definitive list, rather some suggestions of titles that really left an impression on me and come with my highest recommendations.

Adventure game of the year:

Heavy Rain - PlayStation 3

Love it or hate it, Heavy Rain has done more for taking Adventure Games into the mainstream than any other Adventuring title in 2010. Selling over 1 million copies in its first two months on sale, hitting number one in the sales charts in several countries and having a monster Sony marketing push behind it showed to the world that when marketed right, a good Adventure game can sell well to the core gaming audience. Don't we all just wish titles like Grim Fandango and The Last Express received half the marketing Heavy Rain got?

Following up to the previous title from Quantic Dreams - Fahrenheit - the game had some expectations to live up to, and other expectations it would want to disprove. Over-reliance on Quick time events remained, but felt more natural in this case, as the movements and actions required were closely related to the movements of arms and legs in-gmae, for example - rather than random button mashing. Asking the player to swing the control stick in the same arc the on-screen character followed when moving their arm made sense, rather than combinations of X, and O buttons.

Another bug-bear of Fahrenheit was the games descent into fantasy and Sci-fi, which was handled badly. Starting as a gritty crime drama, the game quickly turned to the ludicrous and turned many fans off the game. Heavy Rain sticks to the realism of that first act, and manages to keep up the intense real-life plot going all the way through. Sure it dips into the unlikely - in the same way any thriller movie might, but it remains rooted in reality, and is stronger for it.

I have written a lot about this game in the past - please see some of my other thoughts on the title here and here, and if you decide to give the game a chance, I hope you will agree with me that this game helped Adventures take a real step forward in 2010.

Portable Adventure game of the year:

Nelson Tethers Puzzle Agent - Pc, Mac, multiple Apple platforms.

Released by Telltale Games, featuring the artwork of Graham Annable - this is a puzzle-filled Adventure game along the same lines a the Professor Layton series. Full of interesting characters and crazy situations, the game has an intriguing premise of disappearing locals in puzzle-obsessed small-town America and dangerous-looking Garden Gnomes!

The puzzles are very much the same standard we have come to expect from the Professor Layton games and range from simple to very challenging and will provide a lot of longevity, but to simplify things, you can collect hint tokens (also a feature in Layton games) which can be spent when you get stuck.

The sense of humour shines through in the artwork, voice-acting and situations. It is all very unusual, but will intrigue you and keep you wanting to uncover the real answer to the town mystery, and how to solve it. The links between puzzles and the storyline are more often than not very tenuous, which does tend to diminish the impact of the story - when the puzzles you solve have little real relation to the plot. This would be a huge flaw often, but seeing as the game is designed to be played on-the-go and in small bite-size chunks, you can see the idea of a coherent story may carry slightly less weight.

All in all an acquired taste - certainly for fans of logic puzzles, but not a game which will capture the hearts of everyone. I think it is more the unusual design and sound that kept me hooked - so many strange people to meet and places to explore.

Retro Adventure game of the year:

Broken Sword: The Director's Cut - multiple Apple platforms.

By retro Adventure game of the year, I mean a classic game re-imagined. As has been the trend recently, many popular Adventure games have been re-issued this year on new formats and with new features and this was a hard category to judge. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge came close, but I felt the conversion of Broken Sword, released across Apple platform in January, was a perfect fit on those devices.

Complete with full music and voices (not found in the Nintendo DS release) and additional puzzles and scenes which were not present in the original game, coupled with new Dave Gibbons (he of Watchmen fame) artwork and re-mastered graphics, the game found a new lease of life on touch-enabled devices. The control method works perfectly and the simple yet elegant graphic style works just as well on the screen of a phone as it does on a tablet or TV screen. The new puzzles don not seem out of place and blend seamlessly with the classic ones. Everything done to this edition adds to it, rather than hindering it.

Whilst the Monkey Island Special Editions continue to split opinions through their use of all-new graphics, Broken Sword has simply polished up the already lovely visuals, and added extra detail in the form of character portraits during conversations. The old aesthetic is still there, and this will not put off any fans of the original release, but the extra layer of sheen will help to attract new fans.

The story and characters remain some of the best ever written, the puzzles are (fairly) logical and intriguing, and the music still as stirring as it ever was. Voice acting compliments the characters well and for a game where conversations are key, the acting does entertain the player enough so that even long conversations do not grate.

There is little more that can be said for such an icon of Adventure gaming - but simply put, this is a must-purchase for all Apple users.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Puzzling (Mis)adventures - not quite adventures, but still recommended

Over at, we have posted a new article focusing on several games that really stretch the boundaries between platforming and puzzling, and although they are far from traditional adventure games, they contain some great puzzling elements for the wider audience.

I looked at Super Scribblenauts on the Nintendo DS, and you can read my impressions of the title here, which was a huge improvement over its predecessor. It comes with high recommendations as one of the best DS titles of the year.

Please check out the article for that game and more puzzling misadventures, and widen your adventuring horizons! Let me know what you think if you have played any of these games.