Go on an adventure
A guide to the classic point-and-click adventure games from the '80s and '90s
Adventure games were the booming genre in the late eighties and early nineties, tapering off as the decade came to an end. Today, apart from a few titles, adventure games are rare and few are as challenging or entertaining as their retro counterparts. So, here is a guide to the best adventure games and how to get them running on your computer.
Full Throttle (1995)
A fun murder mystery that involves a murdered motorcycle manufacturer, a biker gang and an evil plot that you must foil. The game has amazing voice acting, great soundtrack and is beautifully written.
Sam and Max Hit the Road (1993)
Based on a 1989 Sam & Max comic, you control the dog and rabbit duo as they take on the case of a missing bigfoot from a nearby carnival. The game involves some sharp dialogues and complicated puzzles.
Day of the Tentacle (1993)
This is a time-travelling adventure, where you try to save humanity from the evil purple tentacle. Brilliantly written with great audio and cutscenes.
Discworld Series (1995-1996)
Written by Terry Pratchett, this is the game adaptation of the Discworld books. You control a wizard called Rincewind who is trying to save the world. The writing is funny and the game is challenging. There are two games in the series. Some other titles to consider are The Dig, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Broken Sword and Simon the Sorcerer Series.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992)
Based on the Indiana Jones movies, the Fate of Atlantis manages to capture everything that makes the movie franchise great. A superb story, a love interest and puzzles at every corner.
Beneath a Steel Sky (1994)
This game is a masterpiece. Set in the future, where rich people live underground because of extreme pollution, the entire city is controlled by an all-powerful computer that you must defeat. The story is written by Watchmen writer Dave Gibbons.
Monkey Island Series (1990-1997)
In Monkey Island you play a bumbling pirate called Guybrush Threepwood, who has to defeat a terrifying pirate called Le Chuck. The game has excellent writing and will have you chuckling all through the three installments.
How to run adventure games on your computer and smartphone
All the adventure games mentioned here run on ScummVM, a virtual machine for the Scumm (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion). The script was behind the huge wave of adventure games. The virtual machine that runs it can be installed on almost anything with a processor on it. This includes computers that run Windows, Linux and MacOS, Android systems and some jailbroken consoles. The procedure for each is different, so we will concentrate on Windows and Android phones. Unfortunately, Apple phones don't officially support ScummVM.
. Get and install the appropriate ScummVM version. PCs can download it from the official website and Android phones can get the software from Google Play Store.
. Download the games. You can find torrents with compilations of ScummVM compatible games or you can find the games on game download sites listed in the download box. Try to get versions with voice and music intact; the file size for these maybe larger than just the game.
. Unzip and copy the files to a folder. Preferably a new folder for every game.
. Start ScummVM and add the contents of each folder to the software. Ideally leave the settings alone, especially if you don't know what you are doing.
. Once your game is listed, select the game from the menu and click "Start."
. Alternatively, if you don't want to go through the hassle, you can always download updated versions of the most popular games from GOG.com as long as you are willing to pay for them.
ScummVM for Android: bit.ly/smdscumm
Game Websites: www.scummvm.org/games
Updated games: Gog.com
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