What's the Deal With Adventure Games in 2023?

I was trying to dig up some information on Trace Memory/Another Code this morning and found this interview with CiNG's vice president Rika Suzuki from 2009 where she said:

"One thing that I am particularly proud of is that if you go into a games shop in Japan now there is an adventure corner, and that's something that we feel we've contributed to coming back,
"It's a nice feeling. We feel that with our games you don't need the special skills required to play other games. There is no gender or age classification, it's just you and the story."

By this point, CiNG had released the original Another Code (with a [perfect Insert Credit Metacritic Rating of 70/100](https://www.metacritic.com/game/ds/trace-memory)) and Hotel Dusk and had worked on other adventure games prior to the DS as well. I think it's fair for Suzuki to say that CiNG was contributing to the revitalization of the genre at that time.

Since then, have adventure games become more or less prevalent? Just a couple of years ago, I played the Famicom Detective Club remakes, which I thought were really well done and sparked my interest in older adventure games too. Earlier this year, I played Square Enix's fantastic PARANORMASIGHT and I was so impressed with the cinematic touches and feeling of suspense that it invoked. In my opinion, there are still great and unique adventure games coming out! It seems unlikely to see a prominent adventure game section in a game store in 2023, but I think the genre is in a healthy place (aside from stuff like Square's downright ridiculous and awful [AI remake of The Portopia Serial Murder Case](https://store.steampowered.com/app/2280000/SQUARE_ENIX_AI_Tech_Preview_THE_PORTOPIA_SERIAL_MURDER_CASE/)... I would still love to see a proper Portopia remake and English localization someday without AI nonsense!)

Are we in a golden age for adventure games? Was the genre really at its height in the late 2000's or the 90's? And does anyone have recommendations for adventure games new or old?

1 Like

Not many lavishly-funded adventure games since the height of the CD-Rom era but the indie scene seems to be thriving imo

>

@“IsopodBod”#p117474 does anyone have recommendations for adventure games new or old?

**New:**

_The Excavation Of Hobb's Barrow_
_Detention_
_Pathologic 2_
_Know By Heart_
_Disco Elysium_
_Return of the Obra Dinn_
_The Case of the Golden Idol_
_Night in the Woods_
_Observer_
_Fear & Hunger 2: Termina_ ***only suitable for gamers over the age of 30***

I’ll add strong 2nd’s to

_Hob’s Barrow_
_Golden Idol_
_Obra Dinn_

I’ll sheepishly admit I still haven’t played _Pathologic 2_, which leads me to avoiding at least two threads (even though one of them is explicitly marked as “safe”! That’s a me-problem however)

I’ll add some bonus recommendations:
_Oxenfree_
_Thimbleweed Park_
_Return to Monkey Island_
_Gemini Rue_

If you believe hard enough you can accept the Ace Attorney games are adventure games as much as they are visual novels. Professor Layton could also count.

Perfect Tides

@“yeso”#p117477 Obra Dinn and Night in the Woods are two of my favorites too! So excited for Revenant Hill when it eventually comes out. Thanks for the reccs, Golden Idol seems right up my alley and some of these I haven‘t heard of so I’ll have to check em out :smiley:

@“rejj”#p117479 Dang yeah, I got real deep into Ace Attorney and love that series! Hob‘s Barrow looks really neat, I like the art style and it’s interesting that it takes place in the Victorian era. Pentiment is another one I want to check out since it also takes place in a specific historical time period. Although, both games seem like they use the historical background in different ways.

some faves of the past…

_The Last Express_
_Scratches_
_A Mind Forever Voyaging_
_Lighthouse: The Dark Being_
_Lunacy_

I finally sourced a copy of Drowned God, psyched to finally play it

@“yeso”#p117494 i recently attended an evening of experimental music/noise and the only visuals were a playthrough of drowned god. what a wild bit of software. the story of the guy behind it is quite troubling but man, what a cool lookin game.

i bought the golden idol bundle on switch despite having had an extremely expensive month because _damn i need to play it before someone spoils it for me!_

I'm pumped for Drowned God

Professor Layton was all the rage too. LEVEL5 doing their thang. Thimbleweed Park, with theTwin Peaks-y setting, is the only game by those guys (aside from Psychonauts) that I've ever put any real amount of time into due to it really clicking with me. (will play the uncensored NES version of maniac mansion someday)

@“treefroggy”#p117833 Layton seems like fun! The puzzle-y stuff mixed with story stuff can be cool. Ghost Trick is really good in that way too.

I had a lot of fun with Tangle Tower (also on Switch but currently on steep sale on Steam), and I bet fellow adventure game likers would too. I don't really think the ending works, but the aesthetics and writing on the way is great fun. Excellent vibes here.

What's the scoop/skivvy on Pentiment? is it worth a look despite it having been binned?

@“Gaagaagiins”#p117865 it's good and worth playing

May be worth pointing out that games sometimes called ‘visual novels’ in the west (Ace Attorney, Danganronpa, etc) are just “adventure games” (ADV) in Japan. Like they took a different evolutionary path from olde text adventures.

Which reminds me, didn't notice Sierra's Roberta Williams's [Colossal Cave 3D](https://store.steampowered.com/app/2215540/Colossal_Cave/) remake was released months ago. Never played the original but this seemed neat (also [Frank's podcast](https://gamehistory.org/ep-90-colossal-cave-adventure-with-roberta-williams/) on that matter).

@"IsopodBod"#p117859 If you already like Ace Attorney and have a 3DS at hand (and a cart/piracy since eshop is no more and ports unlikely) [Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJ7JwwlG6o) is a pretty good introduction.

ok here's my list of cool looking games that Adventure Games or close enough in spirit or format

### **Age of the Witch**

pixel art looking hot for this one (check dev social media too for screenshots)
https://ageofthewitch.com/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1690440/Another_Tomorrow/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1810270/Blood_Nova/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/734120/Bonbon/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1846460/Burnhouse_Lane/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2092620/The_Dark_Egg_Demo/

### **Darkweb Streamer**

https://kazielle.itch.io/darkweb-streamer

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1672310/Decarnation/

### **DDD: The Natural Playboys**

My personal most-anticipated
https://www.bachelorsoft.com/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1558000/ECHOSTASIS/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1687000/Fading_Afternoon/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1768470/The_Heroes_Around_Me/

### **Hibernaculum**

https://www.hibernaculumgame.com/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2235430/Holstin/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1665500/Hypnagogia__Boundless_Dreams/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1384490/I_hope_shes_ok/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/731040/The_Invincible/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1206350/JORRY/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/701670/KROTRUVINK/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1432340/Loveland/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1771070/Midnight_Scenes_The_Nanny/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/720350/Mundaun/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1407420/Milo_and_the_Magpies/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1207690/My_Work_Is_Not_Yet_Done/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1281490/The_Night_is_Grey/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1650590/Nightmare_Frames/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1780720/Nott_Longa/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1983300/Paper_Ghost_Stories_Third_Eye_Open/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1663850/REPLACED/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2243670/Return_to_Grace/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1917830/The_Safe_Place/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1796580/Sorry_Were_Closed/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063540/Space_Wreck/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2075460/They_Speak_From_The_Abyss/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2079180/VIDEOVERSE/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1724540/Welcome_to_Goodland/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2366430/Windy_Meadow__A_Roadwarden_Tale/?curator_clanid=33038208

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2006140/Withering_Rooms/

@“yeso”#p117926 fully unironically you’re so cool yeso

Won‘t lie, I’ve been kind of disappointed with adventure games recently, that I had to pop in a copy of Shadowrun on the Snes just to get my fix… am I jaded or was I just in the mood for shadowrun!?

'cause of this thread I started playing Pentiment, now that is one of those Good Games