Gaming has become a popular form of entertainment across the world and can take on many forms depending on what the player is interested in. He or she can play single-player games or multiplayer games with friends or strangers, depending on the platform he or she uses. With so many people jumping into interactive games, developers are able to create a variety of worlds and ways to play a game. A popular, usually single-player option is the genre of adventure games.

WHAT ARE ADVENTURE GAMES?

Adventure games are when the player takes on the role of the main character and, through exploration and interaction, gains knowledge and clues about how to tackle a quest. These types of games come in all shapes and sizes but usually contain these following concepts.

With adventure games often being single-player experiences, the gameplay can emphasize the story more than any other genre. The story is usually set in a fantasy world and switches settings depending on the chapter or world the player is in. The main character will also most likely go through some type of emotional or personal growth in addition to gaining new information or powers.

An immersive world is a key to a quality adventure game. Players are able to pick up items and manipulate their surroundings as they navigate the story. As they gather items and store them away, they save them to use later on another objective to ultimately complete the quest.

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With the storyline comes a significant amount of dialogue, and adventure games are known for having conversation trees. As players interact with a non-player character, or NPC, they can choose dialogue that is already written. When a line of dialogue is picked, it triggers a response from the NPC. As a player chooses where he or she wants the conversation to go, the storyline moves in that direction, and an NPC may reveal clues or hints on how to solve puzzles and win the game.

Puzzles can include anything from finding and using items, exploring, opening locked doors or decoding messages. When a puzzle is solved, access to different areas or worlds will be unlocked and the player will realize and be able to utilize more of the game story.

The goal of an adventure game is to complete a quest. The quest is completed through the gameplay, with success and failure dependent on the player’s exploration, gathering of clues and conversation with NPCs. Some games include striving to reach a high score that is affected by battles or fights, but adventure games usually don’t base reward systems on scores but rather through a won or lost quest.

These games were reviewed based on high ratings and fan bases. It’s difficult to choose a top 10 with so many options out there, but if you are looking for a great game to play in the adventure genre, this list will come in handy.

Product
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Description
Where to buy

Back to School’ edition includes game, two 2.5” tall figurines, and soundtrack CD; figurines have interchangeable arms and faces, and are considered choking hazards 

EPISTORY

The player gets to watch the story unfold in front of them, narrated by the thoughts of the writer and in a world that is paper-themed

The game follows the adventures of Gordon Freeman, a young research associate at the Black Mesa Federal Research Facility. 

The player is able to control the boy so he can use objects, climb, run, walk and swim while beating obstacles and progressing the game. 

Gameplay for "Myst" is in the first-person, and the player moves when a location is clicked. Objects may be interacted with by dragging or clicking.

NIGHT IN THE WOODS

Mae Borowski goes to her hometown, a former mining community, and realizes it is not the same as when she left. Strange events are happening, and something is in the woods.

"Portal" is another video game developed by Valve, just like the "Half-Life" series. "Portal" is set in the "Half-Life" world and focuses on Chell, a woman who went through tests for the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. 

"Subnautica" is a survival game allowing the player to navigate an alien planet’s ocean. Played from a first-person perspective, the player is the only survivor from a spaceship crash and must explore the world and gather resources in order to survive.

STORIES UNTOLD

This video game is in the horror genre and incorporates themes of 1980s technology. Over four episodes, the game takes place in England in 1986 and revolves around James Aition,

In "Undertale," the player controls a child who fell underneath the Earth and into the Underground. Playing the child, the character meets monsters and other characters that affect the quest,

OVERALL PRICE RANGE

The prices for these games vary from $.$$ to $$.$$ depending on what the game offers, how deep the story goes, if it is the main game or an expansion pack and the expected fan base.

TOP 10 BEST ADVENTURE GAMES

Corpse Party: Back to School Edition - Nintendo 3DS
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CORPSE PARTY

CORPSE PARTY 4.2 out of 5 Stars

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4.2 out of 5 Stars

"Corpse Party" is an adventure and survival horror video game. The goal of the game is to escape the haunted school grounds, so players must explore the setting and interact with their surroundings. This could include inspecting documents, talking to characters or picking up objects, all while dodging the enemies the world possesses. The gameplay in "Corpse Party" is split into five chapters. Each chapter focuses on a different character, and a variety of endings can be reached depending on the decisions a player makes while playing. To progress in the game, the player must reach a “True Ending.” “Wrong Endings” are also possible if a player performs too many irrelevant tasks or receives too many hit points (HP), meaning they take on too much damage. If gameplay goes well, the player may unlock “Extra Chapters” which expand the story for side characters in the game.

Originally, Makoto Kedoin created the game and Team GrisGris developed the game. It was released in 1996 and can be played on NEC PC-9801, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Nintendo 3DS and Android.

"Epistory - Typing Chronicles" follows the process a writer goes on as she writes. The player gets to watch the story unfold in front of them, narrated by the thoughts of the writer and in a world that is paper-themed. The developers did not want the game to solely feel like a typing program, so they incorporated player choice in the design concepts. The game was developed by Fishing Cactus and officially released in March 2016 for Linux, Microsoft, OS X and Windows platforms.

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HALF-LIFE SERIES

HALF-LIFE SERIES 3.8 out of 5 Stars

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3.8 out of 5 Stars

"Half-Life" tells the story of a theoretical physicist, Gordon Freeman, in the aftermath of a dimension rift of the Black Mesa Research Facility that now allows aliens to invade the facility. Freeman’s goal is to resolve the issue and stay alive.

The original game has three expansion packs. "Half-Life: Opposing Force" follows Adrian Shephard, a United States Marine corporal trying to cover up what happened at Black Mesa. "Half-Life: Blue Shift" follows Barney Calhoun, a Black Mesa security guard. The final expansion, "Half-Life: Decay," follows Gina Cross and Colette Green, two colleagues of Freeman who ultimately try to close the dimensional rift. Six years after the original "Half-Life" game, "Half-Life 2" was released; it puts the player back as Gordon Freeman, 20 years later, fighting off a race from another dimension, the Combine. Two episodes were later released for "Half-Life 2," fittingly entitled "Episode One" and "Episode Two," both following Freeman and Alyx Vance as they escape the Combine forces.

"Half-Life" was released in 1998 and developed and published by Valve. Platforms on which to play are Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Shield Portable.

Inside

3.9 out of 5 Stars

The main character in "Inside" is an unnamed boy in a frightening and dark society who has to survive while solving the world’s puzzles. The player is able to control the boy so he can use objects, climb, run, walk and swim while beating obstacles and progressing the game. The character may die but will continue from the last checkpoint. The game ends when a creature known as The Huddle escapes, but an alternative ending may also be experienced.

"Inside" was developed and published by Playdead and released in June 2016. It can be played on the following platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and iOS.

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5. MYST

5. MYST 2.7 out of 5 Stars

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2.7 out of 5 Stars

A player of "Myst" is put into the role of the Stranger. This character uses a book to travel to Myst, an island. While on the island, the player participates in puzzles and gains access to Ages, which are other worlds. The Ages holds other clues, which reveal characters' stories. Depending on how the worlds are interacted with and the choices a player makes, several endings to the game are possible.

Gameplay for "Myst" is in the first-person, and the player moves when a location is clicked. Objects may be interacted with by dragging or clicking. As the player explores Myst, they will get transported to the other Ages where they will solve puzzles to complete the game. The puzzles are interrelated and may need a clue from the original island or another world to be completed. Unique aspects to "Myst" include a lack of physical violence and enemies. The player goes at his or her own pace and solves puzzles through observation, logic and patience.

"Myst" was developed by Cyan and released in 1993. It can be played on MacOS, Saturn, PlayStation, 3DO, Microsoft Windows, Atari Jaguar CD, CD-I, AmigaOS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, iOS, Nintendo 3DS and Android.

Mae Borowski goes to her hometown, a former mining community, and realizes it is not the same as when she left. Strange events are happening, and something is in the woods.

The player in this game takes on Mae’s character and explores the world of Possum Springs. Mae dropped out of college and now lives in the attic of her childhood home. Mae begins to have dreams and even witnesses someone getting kidnapped. Through controlling Mae’s character, along with her friends, the player discovers the secrets of Possum Springs.

"Night in the Woods" was developed by Infinite Fall, Secret Lab and 22nd Century Toys. It was released in 2017 and can be played on Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

Portal 2 - Xbox 360
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PORTAL

PORTAL 3 out of 5 Stars

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3 out of 5 Stars

"Portal" is another video game developed by Valve, just like the "Half-Life" series. "Portal" is set in the "Half-Life" world and focuses on Chell, a woman who went through tests for the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. GLaDOS is an artificial intelligence system that controls the facility. The tests utilize a portal gun, creating a portal connection between two areas. The concept of the game is to move throughout the world using the portal guns. It can also be played in cooperative mode, with players controlling the characters of Atlas and P-Body.

"Portal" was first released in October 2007 and can be played on the following platforms: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Android.

Subnautica (PS4)
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SUBNAUTICA

SUBNAUTICA 5.0 out of 5 Stars

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5.0 out of 5 Stars

"Subnautica" is a survival game allowing the player to navigate an alien planet’s ocean. Played from a first-person perspective, the player is the only survivor from a spaceship crash and must explore the world and gather resources in order to survive. There are also other dangers on the planet that the player must interact with, including underwater wildlife and other creatures hunting the player down.

"Subnautica" was developed and published by Unknown Worlds Entertainment. It was first released in December 2014 for Microsoft Windows but can now also be played with MacOS, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

This video game is in the horror genre and incorporates themes of 1980s technology. Over four episodes, the game takes place in England in 1986 and revolves around James Aition, even though you don’t discover his entire name until the third episode. The episodes include "The House Abandon," "The Lab Conduct," "The Station Process" and "The Last Session." The player starts by playing an unknown character, who later becomes James Aition, and starts the story in a holiday home owned by his family.

Reading a note from his father to help him turn on the power, the character finds his old computer and "The House Abandon," a game to play. As he starts to play the game, the power goes out, and when the game restarts, the game’s environment has changed and so has his real environment around him. Every time he rereads the note from his father, a new and horrifying aspect becomes apparent in the message. Via puzzles and dialogue, the player navigates through the story and the other episodes.

"Stories Untold" was developed by No Code and published by Devolver Digital. It released in February 2017 and can be played on MacOS and Microsoft Windows.

Fangamer Undertale SONY PS4 PLAYSTATION 4 JAPANESE VERSION
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UNDERTALE

UNDERTALE 5 out of 5 Stars

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5 out of 5 Stars

In "Undertale," the player controls a child who fell underneath the Earth and into the Underground. Playing the child, the character meets monsters and other characters that affect the quest, either through battles or by giving information about how to complete the game. The player has the option, during battles, to either kill the monsters or subdue them, which ultimately, along with conversations between other characters, can change the outcome of the game.

The game was developed, published, written and composed by Toby Fox. It was released in September 2015 and can be played on Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linus, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch.

OVERALL RECOMMENDATION

If you have never played an adventure-style game, each these options are a great place to start, but the "Portal" series gets our pick for the best overall experience. With its compelling and twisty story, unique gameplay, and even moments of humor, there's a reason why both "Portal" and its sequel are considered adventure game classics.

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