This is a slightly unusual list in that, while it is full of adventure games that I loved, I have also made sure that I don’t choose any games in the top ten adventure game list already written by Gnome. This created some slight difficulties as there were games on his list that I would otherwise have included on mine.
1. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
2. Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
3. Grim Fandango
4. Day of the Tentacle
5. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
6. The Secret of Monkey Island
9. King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
10. The Longest Journey
So, my choices (in no particular order)…
The Curse of Monkey Island (LucasArts, 1997) – always my favourite Monkey Island game though I dearly love the first game, the combination of cursed-treasure plot, cartoony graphics and devious puzzles easily overcame even the slightly annoying verb-coin interface. Look! A three-headed monkey!
Broken Sword 2 (Revolution Software, 1997) – though I love the first game, really liked the third (yes, despite all the crate arranging!) and... well, the fourth had impressive visuals... the second Broken Sword game, with its majestic music, diverting puzzles and constantly changing scenery, is my firm favourite of the series.
Operation Stealth (Delphine Software International, 1990) – become a James Bond-like character in this excellent spy thriller adventure game. In addition to the normal adventure game features you’d expect, you also get a whole range of cool gadgets to play with.
Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders (Lucasfilm Games, 1988) – this was the game that really first engendered my love of adventure games, along with The Secret of Monkey Island. The daft plot about aliens using the phone company to take over the minds of humans, the ability to play multiple characters, the dry humour throughout, being able to take over animal’s bodies temporarily, long conversations with the guru in Katmandu, solving riddles on Mars, witch doctors who love golf, the ability to travel all over the world, even the maze sections (which I generally hate) – it all added up to a great game that took me two years to complete. Not to forget the greatness of nose glasses, of course.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (Lucasfilm Games, 1989) – strangely not all that many films get turned into adventure games, but the third Indy film got two games – an arcade adventure (which was okay) and this, which was awesome. It introduced a few extra ideas that maybe didn’t quite work – the fighting mini-game for instance – but you could usually get round those if you solved other puzzles. Trademark LucasFilm Games humour, great graphics and a storyline that followed the plot of the film well while stamping its own style on things made a really great game.
Discworld Noir (Perfect Entertainment, 1999) – the third Discworld novel introduced us to the Disc’s first (and possibly last) Private Detective. I like it more than the earlier Discworld games because it’s got more originality and the “smellovision” feature when you become a werewolf is an innovative feature. Perhaps a little too wordy in parts, but it brought Discworld to life in a way the the previous two Discworld games, good as they were, never got close to doing.
Sam and Max Season One (TellTale Games, 2006-7) – TellTale Games brilliantly reinvented Steve Purcell’s madcap freelance police and, despite the fact that seasons two and three have also been brilliant in their own way (and the third season boasts far superior graphics), the first season has a certain charm that isn’t matched by the others. A real joy to play from start to finish, and the first season has one significant advantage over the second and third - it has an extra episode. The "Abe Lincoln Must Die" episode is priceless.
Tales of Monkey Island Season One (TellTale Games / LucasArts, 2009) – Well, who would have thought that TellTale Games could manage with Monkey Island what they’d done so well with Sam and Max? Somehow, they did it – creating a series that was true to the spirit of the original games but carved a unique identity of its own. The finale of season one was a great pastiche of the end of the The Secret of Monkey Island.
Journey to the Moon (The Adventure Company, 2005) – called “Voyage” outside the UK, this too Jules Vernes’novel “Around the Moon” as its basis. The moonscape is brilliantly envisaged, and though some of the puzzles are perhaps unfairly difficult, this is the best first-person adventure game I can remember playing.
The Dig (LucasArts, 1995)– Perhaps not spectacularly good compared to other games mentioned here, but The Dig was a wonderfully atmospheric adventure game. A nice sci-fi storyline and some good characterisation made this one really enjoyable.
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