Top adventure gaming website AdventureGamers.com has launched a thirty-year retrospective of the Top 100 Adventure Games. Jack Allin, the editor, had the enviable* task of compiling feedback from the staff and herding us cats as we wrote up our reasons for including certain games. I was honored to be assigned some of my all-time favorites to praise, and I look forward to reading what other writers had to say about their faves. As with any Top X list, I’m sure it will inspire plenty of debate as to why one game was ranked higher than another, why someone’s favorite wasn’t included, and why another was put on the list at all. For me, that’s part of the fun.
The countdown will be rolled out over the next couple weeks, starting today with the first batch, numbers 100 through 91. I encourage you to check out the list, read up on some classics, and maybe even find a couple (dozen) new games to try. Keep checking back from now until the new year to see more games revealed on our way to the top ten.
I’ve been a fan of point-and-click adventure games since I was a teen. Like a lot of my hobbies, I came to it through my brother who introduced me to games like Prisoner of Ice, Bad Mojo, and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father. Once I had my own PC, my first game purchase was Sanitarium and I soon moved on to Grim Fandango and Blade Runner, two classics of the genre. I took a break from gaming in the early 2000s but I came back big time in 2005. Quickly upon my return, I rediscovered my love of point-and-click adventure titles. I fell hard for Syberia I & II, Still Life, Puzzle Agent, Trace Memory, Hotel Dusk, and many others. Right now, my computer’s desktop is littered with shortcuts to adventure titles from the new games on retail shelves and Steam to the not-so-new from my personal archive or Good Old Games.
My love of the genre is well-documented, as many online and face-to-face conversations attest. And that love is about to be even more documented as I have recently joined the world’s most popular site dedicated to my favorite genre, AdventureGamers.com, as a Staff Writer. My first article, a preview of the hotly-anticipated A New Beginning is up already, and I’ll be contributing as much as the site’s editor-in-chief Jack Allin and my schedule will allow.
If you dig adventure games, you should already be checking out AdventureGamers.com. My presence there, on the main page and in the forums, is just a bonus, right?
I’ve been following the development of Joshua Nuernberger’s Gemini Rue for a while. I first heard about the game a couple months ago and, as a fan of point-and-click adventure games of days past, I was pulled in by the retro graphics and the promise of a compelling noir-soaked narrative. Previews and early reports dropped names like Beneath a Steel Sky* and Westwood Studios’ Blade Runner when talking about it. So when Dave Gilbert posted on the Wadjet Eye Games‘ Twitter account he was looking for a fistful of beta testers for the demo, I couldn’t throw my hat into the ring quick enough.
I downloaded the demo and got playing immediately. Over the course of a half-hour, I was pulled into a noir-cyberpunk world of addiction, oppression, interstellar travel, imprisonment, brain wipes, and lots and lots of rain—all centered on Azriel Odin, a cop with a shadowy past, and Delta-Six, the subject of clandestine experiments only hinted at in the demo.
As someone who has played hundreds of games over the past twenty-five years, it takes something special to suck me in. Gemini Rue had me within a few clicks and the demo stopped on a great hook. I knew the end was near but was hoping I’d get to play just a little bit more. When the game comes out on Thursday, I will.
If you’re a fan of old school adventure games—or just like great games—give the Gemini Rue demo a try when it comes out. If you like it, pick up the game when it launches on February 24th. (If you want it on disc, that’s only available through pre-order so hop to it. You’ll get the download copy as well so you won’t have to wait unless you want to. I’ve already ordered my copy.)
If you try out any of those games, I’d love to hear what you think. For more about Gemini Rue, check out the official trailer below.
*Click that Beneath a Steel Sky link. Seriously. You can grab a legal copy for free from the folks at Good Old Games and it’s worth a whole lot more than that. Sadly, Blade Runner is over a decade out of print but if you have a chance to snag a copy, I highly recommend it.