While many genres cross over into adventure, the adventure game genre itself has endured many changes in technology and graphics over decades.
With a focus on narrative and good storytelling, they might not be the action-packed games you may be used to, but they are certainly a fun way to spend a few hours. Adventure games excel in providing a compelling narrative, with plenty of choices and moral decisions to wrestle with.
While it’s been a hard decision to come to, we have put together a list of our top five picks for adventure games to play in 2020.
The Best Games Of 2020: 10 Games We’re Looking Forward To The Most
Take a look at our top picks for the best games of 2020 across PC, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Did your favorites make the list? Click below to find out!
Release Date: 24 April 2012
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
The Walking Dead video game is an episodic adventure game which throws you into the zombie-infested world made popular by the AMC TV show, adapted from the original comics.
The characters are original to the game including protagonist Lee Everett, a convicted criminal who was about to be transported to prison when the infection broke out. He saves a young girl called Clementine who he quickly bonds with and vows to protect in the dangerous world.
This title focuses on character development, choices and the overall narrative which is affected by the actions you make during tense situations. This means that certain characters can be killed or characters can behave differently to Lee, depending on how interactions have gone up until that point.
Release Date: 30 January 2015
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix
Life is Strange is a graphic adventure game which focuses on the mechanics of rewinding time to allow the player to redo any actions they’ve taken.
The story is in an episodic format and revolves around Max Caulfield, a photography student who discovers she can rewind time at any moment. She foresees a disastrous storm approaching her town and tries to adjust the events around her to save everyone. Gameplay includes puzzle solving and fetch quests for items needed to progress the story.
The game allows you to explore different locations and communicate with various characters. The dialogue options lead to branching paths in the future so there are a few different ways this game can take you.
Release Date: 25 June 1993
Now for the oldest game on this list. Day of the Tentacle has long been regarded as one of the most popular adventure games by fans even two decades after its initial release.
This is a two dimensional adventure game with a point-and-click gameplay style. The game follows Bernard Bernoulli and his friends on an adventure to stop the evil Purple Tentacle from taking over the world.
It’s a fun little game which allows you to direct characters around the world in a variety of interactions and actions. Time travel is a heavily used theme in this game with a faulty time machine featured as part of the opening set up.
Release Date: 21 February 2017
Developer: Infinite Fall
Night in the Woods was a crowdfunded film first appearing on Kickstarter. Now, just a few years later, it is regarded as one of the most highly rated adventure games in recent years, also going on to win a number of awards for its writing and narrative.
This game is a narrative-based exploration game which follows a woman named Mae who recently dropped out of college and returned home. On returning to her hometown, she realises there are some unexpected changes to contend with. The town is now populated by animal-human hybrids.
It has been praised for being an imaginative way to explore real-life issues such as mental health and what it’s like being a student not sure what to do with their life. It’s certainly a game that will stick with you for a while.
Release Date: 30 October 1998
Here’s another one developed by the great minds at LucasArts. Grim Fandango offers another brilliantly imaginative and surreal adventure game. This was the first of LucasArts games to use 3D computer graphics over pre-rendered backgrounds.
In this story, you play as Manny, a travel agent who attempts to save a virtuous soul named Meche on their journey through the Underworld. Gameplay involves puzzle-solving, communicating with characters, collecting items and exploring the world.
Sadly for LucasArts fans, this game did not do well commercially and led to the studio’s decision to end adventure game development. However, it has been nominated for several awards and has long been considered one of the best adventure games. If you want an adventure game with an imaginative plot and design, then give Grim Fandango a go.
Adventure games such as these are certainly not for everyone. You won’t find much in the way of action-packed combat or vast open worlds to explore, but you will find a unique setting with a compelling storyline to keep you entertained.
Adventure games are great if you’re taking a break from other more popular genres and want something a bit different from your usual gaming style.
This genre has been around for a while and we could certainly list many more games but these are our top picks for those looking to start gaming in this genre in 2020. If we have missed your favorite off the list, feel free to let us know in the comments. We’d love to see what adventure games you’ve been playing.