Among the many subgenres of adventure games, one of the most important is the point-and-click genre, which are games where the player controls his character by pointing at certain areas of the screen and clicking on those areas. . Since these are adventure games, the player usually uses this style of play to solve puzzles and progress a story.
Due to the simple yet versatile nature of these commands, thousands of point-and-clicks have been performed since the 1980s. While some of these games have been successful, there are also many great titles that have gone unnoticed.
The Charnel Trilogy
Released in 2015, The Charnel Trilogy is a surreal psychological horror that follows two strangers, Alex Davenport and Doctor Harold Lang, as they board a train called the Gloria. Although the word “trilogy” is in the tile, the three parts the game is separated into feel more like three acts of a narrative rather than three separate experiences.
While the two main characters are on the Gloria, they slowly realize that the train seems to exist in a realm between the living and the dead as they find themselves interacting with many characters from their past. Despite the supernatural elements, however, the scariest moments come from the unnecessarily gruesome actions of the human characters rather than any monsters. Although the game ends with more questions, the interesting cast and challenging narrative make the experience worth playing.
The little acre
Worked by Charles Cecil who is a British video game designer best known for cyberpunk gaming Under a steel sky and the broken sword series, The little acre is a 2016 fantasy adventure set in 1950s Ireland. While investigating the disappearance of his father, a young engineer named Aidan accidentally discovers a mystical world. Shortly after being transported, his daughter, Lily, follows him.
As the player explores the world as the characters, they will enjoy beautiful animation and a great soundtrack. Although the game is quite short, it is still an interesting experience for all point and click fans.
Itch.io has the best indie horror games and free horror game 2019 Affection is part of this huge selection of hidden gems. Created by Asephy for the game jam SCREAMWORLD, this track follows a man who wakes up in an eerily sparse white room with no memory of who or where he is. After leaving his room and encountering several other characters, he discovers that they are all trapped in a building.
As the characters try to find a way out, inexplicable things start to happen, and it all may be related to why the man is the only one with absolutely no memories. After making this short but effective experiment, the developer also created two more point-and-click horror games, Obsession and VIRMACHINE, that exist in the same universe.
Another great free point and click adventure game available on Itch.io is 2014’s Paranormal Mystery Mud larks. Created by Cloak and Dagger Games, who also created A date in the park, a horror game that doesn’t initially look like horror, this title follows a young man named Winston who spends his free time as a mudlarker, that is, someone who collects objects useful at the edge of a river. While searching the bank of the Thames, Winston’s friend and fellow sludge worker Vincent finds a valuable-looking medallion.
A few days later, Winston discovers that his friend has disappeared. As he tries to find out what happened to Vincent, he slowly discovers that it may have something to do with the ghosts and the two women who are depicted in the locket. Although it’s freeware, the experience is quite long, the puzzles are well done, and the mix of real photography gives the game a unique art style.
Tormentum – Dark Sorrow
Based on the obscure 90s gaming duology black seed, the 2009 demonic souls, and the works of HR Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, Tormentum – Dark Sorrow is a 2015 dark fantasy game about an amnesiac man who finds himself in a nightmarish world. While exploring the three unique realms and meeting intriguing characters, the player will have to solve puzzles, uncover various secrets, and make moral decisions that will affect the ending.
Although the game’s pixel-hunting puzzles can be a little frustrating at times, the extensive soundtrack, hand-painted scenes, and interesting story will keep the player engaged. A sequel, simply titled Tormentum II, should be released this year.
Released in 2016, Kathy Rain is a mystery game that’s on par with most of the best case-solving games. Set in 1995, the game follows the titular Kathy Rain as she tries to solve the death of her recently deceased grandfather, Joseph. While investigating a local mystery in her hometown of Conwell Springs, Kathy uncovers dark secrets reminiscent of her own troubled past.
Along with having great voice acting and well-designed puzzles, the game also has lots of little details, such as weather changes and showing Kathy riding her motorbike to different destinations, which solidifies the experience. In 2021, the developers released Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut, which contains new puzzles, locations, story elements, and more.
Originally starting as a series of Flash games, Samorost is a surreal puzzle game trilogy that follows a humanoid creature known as Gnome on multiple journeys across the galaxy. Although each game has a story and there are puzzles, there is no dialogue or inventory. Instead, the player simply solves puzzles by clicking on the correct objects on the screen.
Each of the games has a unique art style and beautiful soundtrack that sets them apart from other adventure titles. After creating this trilogy, the developer went on to create other adventure games, including the recent horror title Good game.
Created by Doug TenNapel, who is best known for creating The earthworm Jim, The Never is an adventure game from 1996 where all settings and characters are made from clay, which means that all animations and gameplay were made using clay. The game follows a character named Klaymen who wakes up in a mostly desert clay world that exists in a seemingly endless void.
Since Klaymen has no idea where or who he is, most of the game navigates the strange world in order to solve puzzles that will allow the player to obtain discs, which slowly reveal the plot. At the end of the game, the player is able to make a choice which determines which of the two endings they get. Although the gameplay is a bit tedious, the art style, humor, and characters make up for any inconvenience the player may face.
From 2003, the Chzo Myth is a series of adventure and horror games created by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, who is best known for his series of video game reviews Zero punctuation. The first game of this tetralogy, 5 days a stranger, follows an infamous cat burglar named Trilby who breaks into DeFoe Manor after learning that the previous owner has died. But, shortly after entering the house, he finds several other people and discovers that they are all now trapped by a demonic being.
While the next games in the series all take place at wildly different times, they all connect to the secrets of DeFoe Manor and an evil being known as Chzo. Although the graphics may look simple and dated, the storyline is incredibly detailed and immersive.
Released in 1990, LOOM is a fantasy adventure game that takes a different direction than most other LucasArts adventure titles in terms of story and gameplay. Instead of a humorous narrative with a verb-object interface, LOOM has a serious story and the player interacts with the world by playing melodies on his distaff. These melodies, called “drafts,” are magical spells that affect the world in various ways.
The game follows Bobbin Threadbare who is part of a guild of weavers who have learned to literally weave the fabric of reality. After the rest of the guild turn into swans, Bobbin must use his skills to save the world from Chaos. Although short, the game is absolutely an interesting classic for its stunning pixel-art, beautiful soundtrack, and gripping story.
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