What makes a game stand out against its peers? Honestly? Often it’s because if how it resonates with the person more than how it may compare in a by the numbers game.
Continuing on our two week gush fest to celebrate Chalgyr’s Game Room’s 10th anniversary, here are our top three games of the decade in the Adventure category!
Tales From the Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series
Telltale Games first reeled me in with their Back to the Future episodic games, but no series of theirs tickled my funny bone the way this title did. There was a lot of heart to this story, but more than that, the colorful environments and characters as well as the plethora of literally laugh out loud moments I had with it make this gem my favorite offering from Telltale ever.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
There have been spin-offs, remakes and more, but the original title in this series was one of my favorite PS Vita games yet. Bizarre twists aplenty, this story was anything but predictable and one that still stands up nicely half a decade later.
King’s quest had a fun story, great characters, and some outstanding voice acting – all important parts of putting together a great adventure game. That being said, I had to go back and experience it as a single, whole adventure to fully appreciate it, as the lengthy pauses between episodes certainly hurt the game’s momentum. This had the unfortunate side effect of reducing its impact and reception. However, if you do go back and play it one episode after another without the months-long breaks in between, you are in for a treat.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
If you’ve never played a Ys, The Lacrimosa of Dana would be an EXCELLENT place to start. Surviving yet another shipwreck, Adol is marooned on an island with the survivors of a travel / cruise ship. Setting out to find supplies, this adventure for survival quickly takes a turn for the worst when you find out not only are there giant and damned near impossible to kill predators, but there’s a link to the past and a woman named Dana that will affect the outcome of the future. Quick-paced, excellent main and secondary cast, this is definitely worth Adventure of the Decade.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
While A Link to the Past will always be my #1, Twilight Princess shares the second seat just ahead of Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild. Having re-released for the WiiU, this was perhaps one of the darkest The Legend of Zelda made by Nintendo which also leads into some fairly potent storytelling alongside the Twilight Princess herself, Midna. Be either Man or Wolf, it leads to some innovative gameplay for the time and was more than worth several goes especially after no longer having to swing around a Wiimote.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
While no other entry into the Lords of Shadow compared, this was a Castlevania worthy of the title. Playing as a Belmont on a quest to defeat the evils of the land, he himself becomes the greatest of them. It was an amazing take on the transformation from man, to Dracula. It also helped to have an excellent voice cast like Robert Carlyle and Patrick Stewart as the central two voices.
Grand Theft Auto V
Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Life is Strange
Life is Strange is a story-based game that following teenaged girl Max who attends Blackwell for photography. Throughout five episodes, the players follow a series of events that change their perspective forever. The reason why it is the best adventure game, in my opinion, is because it caused me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. It’s not something I’m going to explain per se, except that I have a friend who might have ended up making a certain decision similar to that presented in Life is Strange. While I hated to be put in those shoes, it made me understand things about myself that I didn’t previously know. I also place Life is Strange at the top of the list for adventure games because the music in it is spectacular. I can’t listen to Mt. Washington without thinking about the game events. In short, Life is Strange is an emotional rollercoaster and I identified with the characters. I love this game too much not to put it on my personal best games list.
Hob is a spectacular adventure game that has many puzzles and some platforming elements. With each puzzle solved, new sections of the map are cleared of the plague and sometimes new areas would open up. It’s the sort of game that I absolutely love because sections available aren’t immediately obvious, as they appear out of nowhere. It is also on my list because this game kept me occupied while I was going through an immensely difficult time in life. Hob saved my sanity and caused me to focus on something that wasn’t reality. I loved this game for causing me to solve puzzles that were not straight forward. In fact, this puzzle game has a couple of different endings! As such, this action/adventure game makes the runner up.
This game was a great combination of ambience, storytelling, and the wonderful nostalgia of point and click adventures. With choices that legitimately affect your gameplay instead of just giving you a red, blue or green ending, balancing your sanity against your professionalism and investigation stats in order to find a solution that works the way you want is one of the main draws of Tokyo Dark. With an autosave after literally everything you do, Tokyo Dark gives a real weight to your actions by restricting you to no save file during your first playthrough, forcing you to redo the whole game if a choice doesn’t go the way you want. Now with Tokyo Dark Remembrance out for the Switch, if you haven’t had a chance to try this great point and click crime-noir mystery adventure, you should really give it a try.
While probably closer to a puzzle than an adventure game, the amount of routes available and the manner in which you go about this really great “room escape” style game give a more “explorative” feel. With a bunch of interesting, ingenuitive, and surprisingly reasonable puzzles, I had a ridiculously fun time working through the rooms, puzzles, and unique characters presented in this game. While the two sequels got a little…weird, to say the least, the first game was by far the best in my opinion and took a large chunk of my time when I first found out about it.
Super Daryl Deluxe
This game. This game just…did so much. So much. I mean, the theme song was just… I can’t even. The jokes were ridiculous in a good way, the gameplay was kooky yet smooth, the characters were the weirdest batch of people I’ve ever seen, and the animations were just, so…I don’t even know how to describe this game other than a hilarious romp through the worst years of your life: high school, where you beat up living beakers and meatballs and cacti.
Life is Strange
I ended up buying this game on a whim at the local game store. It was recommended to me by one of the employees and I’m glad to say he recommended right. I was so intrigued by the ability to manipulate time. To rewind a situation if you thought you chose wrong. It made for a compelling story, cast of characters and life chooses.
Did someone say teenage angst and hormones? Making you chase after life, horrible death situation AND jump scares? Sign me up! Nothing makes me happier then playing through a corny horror cliche with a group of scaredy cat friends. Making this game one of my favourites to play in the dark.
Detroit Become Human
This game is pretty. So much so I fear I need a pair of shades to hide from the high definition. It’s also pack on punch right in the feels. Unlike Life is Strange, where you can go back and fix your mistake, every moment making decision counts and it has me standing on my toes to keep my focus. Don’t die, don’t die don’t die!