June 28, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome
Apple's iPhone and especially those amazing (and rather expensive) iPads truly make for an excellent adventure gaming platform that's very indie friendly indeed. The large memory and multi-touch screen of the iOS devices, combined with the low asking prices and reasonable development costs have already provided us with more than a few excellent and at times innovative takes on the genre. Here are the 10 adventure games you really shouldn't miss:
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
A huge indie hit on numerous platforms and a digital art manifesto all wrapped up in one innovative game that started its life on iOS. Intrigued? Well, you should be, for Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery is a rare game indeed, that effortlessly combines point-and-click gaming with simple combat mechanics, well-paced exploration and a ton of highly experimental ideas. It's artistically impressive too, what with its incredibly stylized visuals and downright brilliant soundtrack.
The magnum opus of Amanita Design and another stunningly beautiful adventure with some properly taxing puzzles, a touching story and some excellent ideas on interactive storytelling. Help a small robot explore an almost dystopian city and unravel an ominous plot in this award-winning, robot-stretching and at times incredibly cute game.
Broken Sword: Director's Cut
In this classic adventure remake Revolution has gone beyond merely touching-up the graphics, interface and sounds. It has added extra scenes and new puzzles, and actually managed to add gaming value to an already fantastic adventure. In case you were wondering, it's a tale of mystery, Templars, conspiracies and lovely humorous touches, that sports some really good puzzles, stunning cartoon graphics and an intuitive interface.
Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered
Another Revolution offering that has been updated for the iOS point-and-click (or, well, touch-and-touch) crowd and a rare game that takes advantage of the visual talents of Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame. Beautiful graphics, a brilliantly dystopian setting, funny dialog, a unique robotic sidekick and some pretty original puzzles, should be all that you need to enjoy while waiting for that accursed bus.
Not so much an adventure game, but more of an otherworldly exploration game, Dream:scape transports you to another time and place, where you play as a comatose (or is it deceased?) man named Wilson. You get to explore the lovely 3D environments, piece together the story of Wilson's life, uncover his secrets, get slightly disturbed and solve some rudimentary puzzles.
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge
Monkey Island 2 is the best adventure game ever made and the greatest work of legendary game designer Ron Gilbert. Then again, you should already be aware of just how beautiful, funny, dark, original, groundbreaking and good looking it has always been. Well, know it looks even better now, while also sporting a brand new UI that works like a dream. Oh, and the classic Monkey Island cast has provided it with an excellent voice-over, whereas Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman offer an amazing dev-commentary.
Tales of Monkey Island
Not on par with the first two Monkey Island games (then again, what is?), but one of Telltale's finest and funniest offerings to date, and a series of episodic adventures many times superior to Escape From Monkey Island. Besides, the first episode is free to play and the series does provided with good humour, exotic locales and some of the most imaginative puzzles around.
Simon the Sorcerer
Traditional British humour in the finest of Python-aping traditions combined with old-school adventure gaming in the finest of Lucasarts-aping traditions (only vastly more challenging). Guide Simon through a wardrobe and into a humorous fantasy world, where lots and lots of pixel hunting awaits you. Capacity for lateral thinking is essential.
HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1
Quite possibly the most cynical and gritty adventure game available on the App Store and one of the few offerings to go for open, societal satire. It's funny, good looking and -shockingly to younger gamers- quite a bit difficult. Also, it can be very, very rude indeed.
Okay, I'm cheating here, but you really have to install Frotz. It's free to download, comes loaded with dozens of fantastic games (including horror masterpiece Anchorhead), allows for the download of more text adventures and is the best way to enjoy interactive fiction on the go. Or, well, on your iPad, which I suppose is pretty portable. Especially when compared to this.