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Picks of the Month
In loving memory of Shane "ProgZmax" Stevens
"He was a very talented pixel artist who contributed graphics for some of the best AGS games made.Limey Lizard is a personal favorite for me." – Snarky
"I do have fond memories of watching most of the development of Limmy Lizard on Stickam many years ago and how he wanted to make basically an adventure game that was like an episode of The Smurfs." – IndieBoy
"Progz's way of coloring things was/is just magnificent" – Dualnames
"He was a great animator and an awesome pixel character artist." – Miez
"He was always very passionate about his work; we've lost a talented guy." - Grundislav
"simply by looking and studying some of his sprites and animations, I
learned some very useful tricks, especially regarding color use and
shading. I hope that his art will keep on teaching and inspiring people
in the future as well." - Hobo
"I'll always remember working with him on Limey Lizard and I'll always be immensely grateful to him for the opportunity." - BOYD1981
The Barn Runner series is back! In this new chapter Noriko has to face an ember storm to save MAGS (Modular Auto-charging Gauss System) -- but more importantly: find love!
Help her navigate a maze of dialogue choices, arcade games, an actual maze, hidden objects sections, funny banter, and much more!
(Beware: there's some somewhat "spicy" content in the game, in case this kind of things bothers you)
Poor Billy's been grounded and his credibility has reached an all-time low.
Not the best time to stick his nose in the neighbor's affairs - or is it?
Let's enjoy this first foray by Postmodern Adventures in the English-speaking world. It's short but perfectly Mastered.
Ever wondered how the dinosaurs died out? Dr Abraham Lutz has been asking himself that question for years.
And now, with the help of his latest invention, he can go back in time and see first-hand exactly what happened to these magnificent creatures.
There's no shortage of fan-games oozing with love of the golden classics on AGS.
Yet, they are not fairly distributed and some popular series get overlooked over time, such as Sierra's Police Quest.
Fortunately, you can count on GOC Games to recapture what made it so special.
Made for a game jam, Tea for Two is a short, but intriguing detective
mystery. Investigate the murder of a woman in this one-room game, with
great graphics, full voice acting, and a nice futuristic noir
What's that strange shuffling sound you can hear outside your window?
Why are things in you kitchen being moved around?
Where's that cake you left on the kitchen surface?
Don't worry, you're not going crazy. It's just the dead looking for another chance.
The Goat Crone is the Christmas themed second episode of the "Tales From The Outer Zone" series. If you expect a jolly festive game, you will be disappointed. But if you are up for a dark story inspired by heathen Yule traditions, you will be rewarded with great graphics, animations and atmosphere.
All space travellers will tell you: many merchants are not too fussy
about the security of their customers. Poor Clotilde should have read
the title of her first adventure!
With a style reminiscent of the best European comics Lorenzo builds a lousy spaceship, yet a solid comedy.
Exploration, puzzles, RPG battles, quest solving: this game has it all.
There are so many activities to do, you're bound to find something you
The only problem? It is too addictive! Prepare to be entertained for many hours!
The murder of his father, a prominent politician, always seemed a bit
suspicious to the protagonist. According to the authorities it was a
random burglary, but maybe some enemies wanted to silence him and used a
hit-man. How deep is the rabbit-hole? You can find out in this very
elegant and professionally made new horror adventure.
Join a bitter, cynical, down-on-her-luck detective on an unexpected and very much unwanted journey into her past.
Whilst more picky players may find the visuals lacking, the interesting non-linear structure of this investigative noir game and a strong focus on narration should easily make up for it.
A somewhat disturbing journey into the mind of a troubled 8 year old struggling to control her anxiety.
The strong focus on storytelling takes it toll on the puzzles, the verb coin is a bit awkward and there is no sound or music, but if you can appreciate a game for its backstory, cool NPC and an occasional jump scare, you will definitely enjoy this dark fantasy tale.
What do you get when an AGS novice and two veterans team up for a MAGS competition? A detective game with unique graphics, clue hunting, some tricky puzzles and a clever final quiz to test your theory.
It was a close runner-up of MAGS November and is worth a try.
Isolated from your unit after a landing mishap, you must jerry-rig your way to find out what lies at the bottom of the shaft.
Modern adventure games often neglect inventory puzzles. Not Kastchey's winning entry for last July MAGS competition. Plus, it's all wrapped up in glorious pixel art. Time to party like it's 1989!
What this game lacks in polish it more than makes up for in charm. It's a sci-fi adventure with a fair dollop of humour, not too much to tax your little grey cells but the puzzles are all logical and held together by a nice storyline. All in all this is an enjoyable romp that will take you about an hour to complete, and will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.
This months pick is not a classic adventure game: A Private Detective has to solve procedurally generated murder mysteries. While the game has its flaws and is far from perfect, it is an interesting concept you should give a try.
Enjoy puzzle solving? Being baffled by "ancient" mysteries? Taking notes? Roaming aimless through a maze to find all secrets and finally save the woman trapped in the maze? Then you must not miss this 1st person adventure game with beautifully detailed rendered scenes.
Creating a humorous adventure of a quality normally reserved for commercial titles, Perils of Poom created something truly special. A great example of full and funny storytelling; this game manages to build a fantastic experience in a tangible universe, where nobody can spell the word "stereo". Highly recommended.
Don't let the two cups fool you, this is an underrated classic. A hilarious game where you must get revenge, but karma keeps getting in your way.
A fun piratey adventure game that's NOT a rip-off of Monkey Island, but still shows love for the genre and theme, built on rogueish music, pretty pixel art and an interesting story that hints at more. While it is a bit short, you're unlikely to leave it disappointed!
Joe is not happy; and has reason to not be so. You could say his life lacks sauce. In reality, though, he has a few friends, including a spider and a speaking doll. He is resolved to find a way to help his friends, utilizing powers given to him by loved ones departed and thoroughly internalized.
Warning by mod: This game is rather disturbing, play at your own risk!
Tough girl Ida thought, stepping into the allegedly haunted House without Windows is a short trip. Soon she will learn, what a real mind trip it is!
Support her on this funny, weird and intense journey in this tricolor pixel adventure, written, designed and composed by Loslem.
Have you ever wondered what the King was up to in his final years? Probably not since we'd rather remember him as the legendary crooner he once was. In stark contrast, BRANE gives us control of an overweight drug-addicted Elvis about to... about to what exactly?
When a game called Hang On features a lonely mountain cabin on its title screen, you know that it won't talk about telephone queues.
Don't worry though, this lighthearted adventure won't involve any woman falling to her death because of a defective harness.
Embark alongside Dr Ego Goodmind on his journey through vaguely Eastern Europe to teach superstitious locals the benefits of modern psychiatry. With art worthy of the Great Mouse Detective and a story Gelliant Gutfright would bite for, this game is the perfect remedy to your pathological need for proactive inactivity.
In Archeos, a short and beautiful adventure game made for #AdvJam2017, help archaeology professor Pangloss and his student Seamus in their exploratory quest on the now ancient, ruined and abandoned planet Earth. This game is a mix of a cool story with beautiful graphics, supplemented with nice music.
Besides that, the player might also learn a thing or two history wise during this investigative quest.
Usually, I don't choose demos as Pick of the Month and rather wait for the full game. Sadly, in this case, this demo is all we will ever see of this game because development was cancelled. Luckily, we can at least play the first part and enjoy a game with an amazing production value that makes us wonder, what the full game would have been like...
For May, I want to show you a game with wonderful pixel art executed in a lovely restricted palette. The game mechanics are unique and lead to lots of interesting puzzles. Too bad it is over before the story really starts!
Presented in a "choose your own adventure" style, Waiting for the loop features different outcomes that encourage replayability. Well-written dialogs supported by spot-on dubbing emphasize the importance of your choices in this striking tale about AI.
You don't know what a Scruffedy Bumtious is? Well, then you should play this game and find out. During your search you will be entertained with cute graphics, lovely music and a nice range of puzzles.
If you like games filled with mystery and horror you should give Rabbit Hill a try. Photographic backgrounds and a creepy soundscape provide a tense atmosphere. The story unfolds piece by piece with a nice mixture of exploration and classic adventure game puzzles.
What Monkey Island is to Pirates, The Man From Fugue State is to Spaghetti Westerns. While the game is clearly a tribute to the movie genre, it has a unique storyline and set of memorable characters. The puzzles are clever and the humorous writing and quirky ideas will make you laugh from start to finish.
MS Paint meets Conway's Game of Life.
With this simulation you can see and explore the fragile relationship of predators, herbivores and plants. Or, you could just make a few green, red and yellow dots in Sydney and then lean back and watch them take over the Australian continent while listening to relaxing music.
Love is in the air! But since speed dating is so 2005 we're gonna take it slowly. And what could be slower than a sloth?With its unique protagonist, beautiful graphics and atmospheric day/night cycles, A Sloth for Both Seasons takes love-making to a new level.
A wonderfully calming and yet upbeat little adventure that begins when your car runs out of gas on the way home. Navigate a charming and bustling little city, that is however not without its own seamy underbelly, in your quest to simply return home. This is a game that should keep a smile on your face with its cheery tone, while at the same time presenting interesting puzzles, some eccentric characters, and a memorable playing experience.
Being a dunkin' funride throughout, this coming-of-age story shines with tasty characters and graphics so sweet that you'll be left drooling over your screen. The low difficulty and various puzzles make it perfectly suited for young adventurers to get their teeth into.
A comedic game set in a dark war setting - can this work out? Yes, it does, and even so very successfully! Sniper and spotter being patriotic tells the story of two very different protagonists and their struggle during The Great Patriotic War. Can you help them to survive?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It's a girl that turns things into a purplish-red color! It's a heroic adventure game for you to enjoy, with witty dialogues and unforgettable comic characters and - a lot of hilarious game over screens. So? What are you waiting for? Download it already!
Sunrise Paradise was made for the OROW competition but didn't receive much recognition in the voting. However, this little game has a very interesting setting and makes you wonder, how the story might continue. Why don't you play it and see for yourself?
Books are just words, right? Movies are just single frames played really fast, right? AGS games are just a bunch of rooms and objects, characters, and whatever tied together by some code, right? We all know how each works, especially AGS, but sometimes....and only sometimes in a very long while...somebody manages to combine the words in a book, the frames of a movie, or the structure of AGS in just the right way to create magic... The magic where the reader/viewer/player starts to forget the interface of words/images/game and makes the jump from their everyday reality into the world that the author has created for them... This game falls solidly into the category of such magic... The story, characters, gameplay, mystery, intrigue of this game just grabbed me instantly by the short and curlies and propelled me forwards. There was never a moment when I lost interest in knowing what the story was going to throw my way next...
Finally there is a game that takes advantage of one of the most important features of the new AGS version: custom resolutions. With its square window, limited color set, fantastic graphic and music Leopold Kettle takes you back to when you were a kid playing with a Game Boy.
If you think rock-paper-scissors is boring, you should try The Knobbly Crook for a different take on it. Explore a world with a unique art style and voice acting in a made-up language, that follows the principles of the simple kid's game.
Life at Camp 1, a geological trial drilling site, hasn't been easy in the past . But, somehow, things got even worse. What kind of future will await the four inmates of the camp?
Camp 1 is an outstanding science fiction game. Every single aspect is excellent. Fantastic visuals, intense atmosphere, clever puzzles, wonderful colours - the limited palette works really well. Anyone who hasn't played this yet, go and do so. You'll love it.
The third installment of the darkly comedic series about Moss -- the universe's most accidentally lucky field agent -- sends him on his most dangerous mission yet. Visitor 3 is bigger, better, funnier -- and scarier. There's lots of green blood, pink goo, black tentacles and other terrifying appendages -- and a head in a jar that's not only quite friendly, but also not at all fazed by its current situation.
It's a shame this game missed out completely on the AGS Awards. While the initial version might have had some weaknesses, the improved version is absolutely worth to play. The setting and story are intriguing and the graphics and music are of outstanding quality.
Warning: There is strong sexual and violent content!
A short game which explores the themes of life, eternity and the meaning of our actions. An example of what the adventure game medium can achieve without losing its characteristics, teeming with ideas but not overwhelming the player.
December asks for a Christmas game as Pick of the Month, so here is a somewhat different take on the usual story: An evil usurper has taken control over Santaland. Can Aida find enough allies to fight him and save Christmas?
Warning, some gore included!
It's hard to believe that this game was made within just one month. The gameplay, graphics and sound provide a strong arcade feeling and are also a great showcase for AGS's capabilities. Press space bar if you love retro driving games!
Mudlarks is a story of friendship, hidden secrets, and ghosts. Two friends are searching for treasures on the banks of the River Thames when they find a mysterious golden locket, containing old photos of a woman and a teenage girl. Days later, one of the friends, Vincent, goes missing - and it's up to you, Winston, to find him. The search will drag Winston into a world of paranormal and historical intrigue in a well written story, with interesting and varied puzzles. This is a full length game which has a unique quirky graphics and animation style, and gives the player the sense of something very strange happening under the surface of normality. Do give it a try!
Chosen by AprilSkies
Orion needs milk, and it needs it in the next 12 hours! A challenging boardgame, ACRONYM is a testament to AGS versatility. Battle, outwit, charm or use-alien-technology on pesky earthlings, abduct bovines, make it back to spaceship before time is up. Be prepared to restart often: strategy, tactics and a bit of luck are needed to get those precious proteins!
Chosen by bicilotti
Help Mountie Paige to survive in post-apocalyptic Canada. This includes visiting Tim Hortons, watching Hockey and (as all of Ponch's games) tons of hilarious dialogs. This summer has been too hot already - time for some sub-zero temperature action!
Donald sat with glazed eyes. He was retired. He rocked in his chair. His wife shouted at him to paint the fence. He rocked. He read his favorite books over and over. His wife shouted at him to do something, anything. Donald rocked. And as he rocked a spark grew under the chair in which he sat. With every rock the spark found kindling in the recesses of his still youthful mind. That kindling grew into a fire which could not be stopped. Donald knew he had to go back to work! But not just any old menial work. The work he had dreamed of since he was a kid! Donald stood up from his rocker. And then at last: HE ROCKED!
Chosen by Mandle
Great, just great. These days a man can't play golf without a wizard miniaturizing him! Thank you Manlocke, now I am stuck in this bunker!
The garish palette of this game will immediately bring you back to the 90s, along with some great humor, a desert to explore, sassy skulls and many other quite talkative but less than cooperative characters.
Help Ronan club his way out of the bunker!
Chosen by bicilotti
Ever wanted to talk to a tree or see a turtle carrying a burning candle on its back? Get yourself teleported to the surrealistic world of Breakage with its cute and creative setting and characters. Being as clueless as the player character you can enjoy exploring a colorful world of coherent absurdity with a variety of good puzzles and certainly some of the best animations you can find in an AGS game.
Awesome retro music and graphics, 1337-speak and a furry in a tight suit - what else do you need for a cyberpunk adventure?
Heatwave has this all and even more. Dive into this dystopic world and its likeable characters and help our nerdy protagonist to get along in real life during a blackout.
Initially a parody of Blade Runner, as it progresses it forms into something else entirely. Ponch released a few episodic short games, before releasing Barn Runner: Forever Friday Part 1, showing that the universe was already well-fleshed. Words and sentiments, can't describe the craftsmanship that Ponch will always deny, if ever attributed concerning the story elements resolving around the Barn Runner Universe. As Pythagoras once said "The beginning is half of the whole", and this holds true for the Armageddon Eclair. Sci-fi dystopian neo-noir 80s retro good-cop vs bad-cop boogie dance anti-hero SAGA; or Barn Runner.
Chosen by miguel and Dualnames
If you could turn back time, what would you do differently? You are Elle, a young and naive wizard's apprentice on your way for your routine potions lesson. As you arrive to bask in the glory of your teacher's infinite knowledge, the last thing you expect is for your trusty mentor to be overcome and kidnapped by none other than an evil warlock! Worse still, you end up locked up in his house yourself! Well, kind of. By use of your intuition, and with the help of a boisterous dragon, you must find a way to rescue your tutor and discover the mystique of the Time Stone in this modern day throw-back adventure, reminiscent of 90's adventure gaming's heyday. The fate of the world is in your hands...
Chosen by the AGS community
When a beautiful dame in distress enters gumshoe Cooper Chutney's office, asking for help to investigate her husbands infidelity, something didn't seem right. Why would anyone cheat on such beautiful broad, he thought? Little did he know that this seemingly simple case would lead him down a spiral into the darkest depths of Port Horizon. SeamanNaranja's Skumring is a 1950's Noir point and click adventure set in the sleepless city of Port Horizon. A city on the verge of moral collapse.
Step into the shoes of a PI yearning to prove himself in this slick, contemporary tale of gangsters, greed and goons.
With classic comic book-esque cutscenes, full voice acting, varied jazz/classical soundtrack, intelligent writing and 3+ hours of gameplay, this is certainly a must play for any adventure gamer.
Ancient Aliens - The Roots of Time follows the exploits of a jazz musician whose life turns upside down when his father dies. It's a traumatic event in itself. but when people start showing up and and being intensely interested in the research that his father had sent him, things start to get complicated. Can the beautiful woman who claims to have been a colleague of his father's be trusted? Who are the henchmen who are now after him? Just what is his father's mysterious research project that can apparently change the world anyway?
Beautiful graphics, a moody jazz soundtrack and intelligent puzzles make this an encouraging start to what promises to be a very interesting game series. There is some unnecessary innuendo and the game is admittedly very short, but it's highly enjoyable and certainly makes you want to find out what's happening in the next episode.
Certainly one of the most unique AGS games ever made, Cross Stitch Casper does not only convince with its graphic style, but also its touching story.
You will soon start to see past the rough pixel and get immersed into a sad and deep world with believable characters.
A speeding train! A ticking time-bomb! An agent in a vest! Board the KTX-1, and prepare for the ride of your life! Jam-packed with danger and intrigue, a trip on the KTX-1 will prove an exhilarating experience! With a great sense of style, and plenty of puzzles, this is one train you won't want to miss!
Barely Floating proves the elderly can kick pirate butts better than most young dorks, as they come with the benefits of dangerous prescription drugs and a strong cane in hand.
Despite its decrepit hero the game sports superior production values - like the (realistically) nauseating effects of everything on the ship rhythmically moving. Also there's true 720p HD - a first for AGS.
But most importantly BF is a carefully designed classic nautical point&clicker with dozens of custom interactions per hotspot and an innovative and neat dialog system.
While probably not the sort of game you'd want your kid to play, Femspray is peppered with quirky, raunchy and laugh-out-loud-hilarious dialogue, story and art that makes it a joy to play even now, 4 years after its release, which is why you are being reminded to try out and enjoy this gem!
Rear, train and race a few fine stallions in this imaginative simulation that shows AGS isn't always about traditional adventure games. A little patience will pay off as the coin begins to stack in your favor! Horse Park Fantasy exposes the potential for micromanagement games with the engine, and it's just good, clean fun! (At the expense of 5 coin)
Now freeware, this fantastic short tale will enchant you with it's captivating visuals and engrossing puzzles, as you help the scientist find a way back to his dimension. It's hard to deny that the level of quality in this short game makes it a must play for any point and click fan, beginners and adventure pros alike!
A long term project finally completed, Sheep Quest is a colourful, cute and well made game with some interesting puzzles and finishes off with a very well coded mini-game.
It's not the longest adventure, but the presence of optional puzzles, the fun graphics and the developer's attention to detail make Sheep Quest one to play!
Robo Quest is a cute, colourful, pixelated delight. You play a robot whose flying house has crashed, and find yourself needing to repair it. With charming graphics and puzzles, this is a lovely (if brief) creation that is sure to make you smile. Try Robo Quest today.
Made in just a 70 hour period, subAtomic isn't one of those immensely polished, epic length adventures that will keep you playing for hours. What it is, however, is cute, quirky and funny, and I found myself smiling and enjoying it the whole way through. Give it a try and you may find yourself thoroughly enjoying it, as I did!
There have been a bunch of non-adventure games built using AGS lately, and this one is a very impressive effort. Take on the entire world from your secret lair in this compelling and polished management game where you get to be the evil mastermind. Play Big Blue World Domination now!
Over 10 years! That's how long this month's pick was in the works, and it's a fine, fine thing indeed that such a long running project is finally finished. While it contains some crudity and nudity (be warned, folks!), it is sure to satisfy players looking for a more mature storyline. Try Donna: Avenger of Blood today!
We kick off the first month of a new year with the first game from a new developer that everyone has been watching for a while now. Featuring those beautiful graphics we've all come to know and love from him, Dane Krams gives us a very atmospheric and satisfying first effort with Egress - The Test of STS-417. Play it now, this is one you do not want to miss!
A magical medallion, a ghost who is terrible at telling jokes, and possibly the least encouraging companion ever are just a few of the fun things you'll encounter in this month's pick Venator. Featuring stylish graphics, a charming soundtrack and enough puzzles to satisfy the thirst for adventure in any fan, it simply is a must play. Check it out now!
A large, talented swarm of many fine AGS members, led by their Baron, have spent several months all adding small pieces to one single project in an attempt do do the unprecedented: An AGS Swarm game. But what a success! Colourful and quirky, Draculator II: Byte of the Draculator has been released just in time for Halloween and is all treat, no tricking at all.
It's hard to pick just one game with all the great games that have been released lately, but this month's pick, Arden's Vale is of such high quality that I simply couldn't overlook it. Superb animation and clever gameplay mean that this is a game you must definitely try out!
Although it has been several years since Ghost has charmed us with a game, he's returned from the dead with a MAGS entry that is sure to make you smile. Help Janet Burdie fulfil her life-long (and death-long) dream in Chance of the Dead, this month's pick!
The long awaited next instalment in the offbeat Barn Runner series, The Forever Friday Part 3 is an undiluted dose of rockabilly, rednecks, raunchiness and retro gaming. With loads of puzzles and tricky (but optional) arcade sequences, the laziest detective with the most erratic luck in the history of the future of the world returns in the longest, most satisfying Barn Runner game to date. Play it now!
Is it a game? Is it entertainment? Or is it social commentary and food for thought? One thing is for certain: This month's pick is Cart Life, the ambitious project by the bohemian game-design entrepreneur Richard Hofmeier. Creative, unique and quite possibly visionary, it's a title you should most definitely check out.
Wooo, Ok so if anyone asks, I *totally* didn't miss last month's pick. It was like a dream or something. This month we get a flashback-esque trip into a faux polygonal universe which can only be a good thing. I present Concurrence
Gosh, one day I might actually do this on time! I have little choice but to choose Ben304s latest outing. It's been a while since a standalone 304 game so it was refreshing to see him back on the top games list.
Although slightly derivative, Professor Neely And The Death Ray Of Doom does what it aims to do admirably and the graphical finish is to be admired. If you can look past the glaring and numerous spelling and grammatical errors you should not be disappointed with what you find.
How could I not pick this one? The Journey Down: Over the Edge has been hotly anticipated despite only being announced weeks before it's release and rightly so. It's not perfect but you'd be crazy not to let your adventurer gamer hands point 'n' click their way through this one.
One for the retro-nauts amongst us! The Secret of Hutton Church Grammar School is an odd little game from a by-gone era but if you can look past the adorable, horizontal pixels then it's alot of fun, even for a modern audience.
The pick of the month is a little late this time so for the sake of brevity let me quickly announce rein.
It's almost painful short but the desolate atmosphere, muted colours and gruesome animation make it certainly worth 20 minutes of your time.
Well, Cold Meat has been recommended to me various times for Pick of the Month (thanks to all who made any suggestions there!) and it also won the vote on my blog, so I have no qualms at all about recommending this award-overlooked game to you. Go Helme!
Well, in case you missed it, Ben304's games gathered about 30 nominations between them for AGS Awards but he only won 2 in the end. Backlash? Maybe...
So, in response, here's my forwardlash... a tribute to an awesome and charming game made last January by Ben, Annie Android although most of Ben's games are good enough to be a pick of the month.
Well, its the time of year to pick a deserving game that missed out on any AGS Award nominations and such a game is How They Found Silence. Not a visual masterpiece, but very atmospheric and with a good plot and characters it proves that you don't have to draw like Da Vinci to make a good game. The name always makes me think of the "Silence Dogood" letters that were mentioned in National Treasure but its not about that! Author discordance has also just made a great winning MAGS game, so there's lots of potential here.
A game that had some controversy on the AGS forums when it was originally only given a low rating by the AGS games page cup committee, The McCarthy Chronicles has attracted praise and criticism. What it all boils down to is a similar problem to many other adventures: the puzzles are not hard. To some, this is a good thing, to others its a failing. Why not download and play and decide for yourself?
Aaargh, sorry its late this month! Anyway, this month, Trekkies should be pleased with this offering from a collection of AGS forum veterans but game dev newbie-ish guys. Star Trek Newton is Star Trek, so yo'll have some idea of the universe but you're not dealing with a mainstream ship so don't expect lots of famous characters.
Well, here's one of those picks that may not be to everyone's tastes, but certainly this game went under my radar when it originally came out in January 2008. It then took even longer for it to get into the AGS Games database but it's quite complex little game even if the graphics aren't Da Vinci standard.
Fasmo 2 follows the adventures of an alien insect who find himself in the Wild West. Expect surrealness, but also fun! You can also play the original Fasmo from the same author.
Apart from having one of the most intriguing titles of the year, this game is also author Scavenger's first release, despite having been around the forums for ages. It looks like it was worth the wait as Death wore Endless Feathers has been quietly gathering praise from many corners.
Rockabilly Kid won the "5 Years a MAGS host" special edition of MAGS back in May and so far opinion on this vignette has been pretty positive, garnering 3 cups from the review panel and in the high-seventies in user votes. It's a fun little Lucasarts-style game and worth a shot.
Never let it be said that we don't support commercial AGS game authors. As Zombie Cow release the sequel Time Gentlemen, Please, the first game is worth looking at if you haven't already. Witty, British, and most of all fun, Ben Thre, Dan That is quite a joy to play. Amazingly, it didn't win any AGS awards (perhaps because of alleged derogatory comments about AGS itself?) but I liked it.
Its hard to believe that none of Ivy's games have made it to these hallowed pages before. The guy picking games must be an idiot! Not to mention his dodgy expenses claims... Anyway, Erin Robinson has had acclaim throughout the known universe for her games and has won oodles of prizes. One of these praiseworthy gems is Nanobots.
Nanobots won 3 AGS awards and presents some great puzzles and entertaining gameplay to the user. So much so that AGS alumnus Dave Gilbert's Wadjet Eye Games have signed Erin up to make a commercial sequel called Puzzlebots. Meanwhile, bask in this first slice of bot-based goodness.
There are not many first person AGS adventures, as it takes a bit more effort to do one than with the standard 3rd person games, but as games like Unbound show, they are possible and with very good results. This month's pick, Fading Shades is another good example. The game oozes atmosphere and is well worth a try.
Not only do blog readers think that this is the best game so far of 2009, but it had mentions far and wide across the web. And it's not even author Ben304's first game this year! Other authors hoping to gain the Best Short Game award in next year's awards should hire a PI to expose some dirt on this guy or he's going to walk away with all 5 nominations at this rate!
Oh yeah, I better say which game... Shifter's Box of course, where you've got to find out what this box does (since no-one ever reads the instructions) in a strange and wonderful blue-tinged world. Hmmm, sounds a bit like the AGS beginners forum.
Quest for Glory II VGA is a remake of Sierra's classic title with more pixels and more colours. There's been an amazing amount of work put into this by the same team who remade the first two King's Quest games.
QFG2VGA won an award at this year's AGS Awards, but also won the blog poll for game that should really have had more nominations, so we're honouring this perhaps undervalued game here as Pick of the Month.
Montague, author of similarly under-rated Cayanne Pepper has come up with another quirky game that lots of people though should have got nominated somewhere in this year's AGS awards... but it didn't quite manage.
In This Game (and don't try searching for that name, as you'll get loads of useless hits: maybe that's why it missed out!) you play as a mobile phone salesman trying to make a sale, but plenty of humour and some great little animations ensue in the process.
Prick Peckard and his very much unwanted partner have to work together to reverse the effects of the Big Crazy before it claims Evansville as it has so many cities before. This episodic series (Barn Runner 5) has won much acclaim from those who have played it but has gone under some people's radar. You may, if you wish, want to play the earlier games in the series of serieses first to get some more background but you'll certainly find that all of the games are entertaining and the latest ones even more so. It also came second in the blog vote for December's pick of the month
Well, this month's pick won the poll on the AGS blog. Damsel is a funny parody of classic stories like Rapunzel but this time, you're the princess and you've got fed up waiting for some charming chap in shining armour to show up, so it's rescue-it-yourself time.
Author "Strange Vistor" has also been a creative force involved in A Cure for the Common Cold and Chicken vs Road so you'll definitely love it if you enjoyed those games (and who didn't?)
It's hard to do high-resolution games as an amateur, as all those extra pixels take a lot fo the work if they are not going to just be filler. One game that does it better than most is Cosmos Quest II. It's pretty hard, but if you're not afraid of tricky puzzles or don't mind occasionally referring to a walkthrough then you'll be fine!
The eponymous cougar is really just a wee black kitty cat, trying to get outside (and any cat owner knows that they are always on the wrong side of any door). This fun MAGS game from a couple of years back is a hidden humourous gem in the AGS Games database and those who have played it have few criticisms.
An often-ignored classic, Jessica Plunkenstein is a hilarious romp with, err.... "eclectic" graphics. It is a very decent length, full (and pretty good) voice acting, a mountain of humour, good puzzle design, and best of all an evil bBaron bent of mind-controlling all of Broadway!
A complex conspiracy, an island military base, absolutely no farming and lots of racist controversy all go to make Frank the Farmhand part 2 an interesting title. Fish-out-of-water Frank tries to overcome the racists and power-hungry military Syndicate to save the day.
Avec les pirates est une female pirate known as Dread MacFarlane. Elle est la heroine de this game and it has had grande acclaim et praise from many.
The game is based on author Marion's own comics, as is the just-released sequel, so this is kind of two picks for the price of one!
I wouldn't normally pick a demo, but the FOY demo is really a game in its own right and longer than many medium length games in the database. There are excellent production values and it is a great taster for the full game if it ever arrives (lets hope so!) but really just enjoy it as itself and you won't go wrong.
If you like sci-fi and you like parodies, you'll probably enjoy Charlie Foxtrot and the Galaxy of Tomorrow from the BaRoN who brought you The Winter Rose. It squeezes all sort of parodies from Star Wars to Sesame Street and Dr Who to the Matrix. Its characterisation seems to be quite strong with a few characters having got write-in nominations for the AGS Awards and it had full nominations in a few categories, but didn't quite win.
The illustrious Dave Gilbert said "GREAT fun so far! Reminds me of Space Quest back in the day, with all its funny scifi references".
As an American soldier behind enemy lines in 1944 France, you are defending the eponymous village La Croix Pan to save your own skin and that of your comrades-in-arms. This is a great first game from The Jburger and it got quite a few nominations in the AGS Awards, and like Earl Bobby didn't win any (its not like Earl Bobby in any other way, though!).
This tense and nicely drawn game is short, but is certainly worth a look.
It gathered quite a few nominations at the 2007 AGS Awards, but Earl Bobby is looking for his Balls didn't manage to win anything. It's a pretty fun game, although some of the double-entendres are as crude as the one in the title. It boasts voice acting, loads of amusing animations, and quite a decent amount of gameplay. I'd say its worth a play and a few laughs!
Poor Purgatorio just missed out on getting an AGS Awards nomination this year in the music and short game categories. Using photoshopped real pictures taken with a camera and single-handedly produced as a college project, the game has had acclaim for its graphics in particular and many other aspects.
Definitely the best game of 2008 so far at its release date! Once Upon A Crime has fabulous artwork, a fun story and very short skirts on Red Riding Hood!
You play the part of Red as she turns Private Investigator to get to the bottom of the Big Bad Wolf mystery and explore this entertaining fairytale land that debut author Bjoern Ghost Ludwig has created.
The wheel of fortune spins for one young, innocent hamster and it becomes a vicious circle in Murder in a Wheel. This multi-language game looks very Manaiac-Mansiony, as it is based on the Maniac Mansion Mania pack, but has its own set of characters and is very fun, entertaining and humourous. See if you can solve the murder before Christmas!
Prepare to be mesmerized by the spellbinding Trance-Pacific. This game made its en-trance to the September MAGS competition count and won against 6 other worthy competitors. The rules for that month were "Innovation" and there certainly are plenty of those in Trance-Pacific. You won't be feeling very sleepy when you play this game and if you think I'm sayiong it's good, you must be a mind-reader
By the way, it's about hypnotism
Yes, mince pies and plum pudding are already lining the shelves of the local supermarkets. Seems that the season to be jolly has begun with particular haste this year, so to increase your jolliment and get into the spirit, why not try out Christmas Quest 2?
For the last couple of years the team over at Adventure Gamers have made up a Christmas special game, but given the number of adventures that lot have played (and yes, I am on the staff over there, too, but I didn't get involved with this game and someone else suggested I make it Pick of the Month) and the fact that some skilled and experienced developers are on the team means that this parody is actually fun at any time of year, and not just after you've had too much of Auntie Gladys's sherry.
Anyway, to the plot: you find yourself having to perform a rescue operation for the National Elf Service, re-plumb your kitchen sink, deal with an irritating comedy sidekick and fight through hordes of groan-worthy references to classics of the genre, all in aid to get to play the Best Adventure Game Ever. Ho ho ho!
OK, so usually I pick a less well-known game but the sheer awesomeness of probably the only amateur adventure in existence that is full or pirates but without being a Monkey Island ripoff forces me to choose it!
Nelly Cootalot is the story about pirates and saving a doomed species and most of all about fabulous adventuring. Just enjoy it, ye landlubber!
Ah, the joys of a lovely long lie-in... waking up late, gently snoozing for hours, eventually getting up and lazily getting washed and dressed, finding that your space station has been evacuated and you only have minutes before certain death...
This short game, Trevon Daison in outer space is the first chapter of what is promised to be an epic tale, and certainly shows promise. Let's hope its not too long before another instalment of this story arrives.
A "unique" achievement in AGS graphics, the mildly surreal Life of D. Duck manages to be both terrible and great in the very same pieces of artwork. There is a whole load of animation and the slightly terrifying hand-drawn-and-scanned look to the game is consistent and functional.
The best aspect of Life of D. Duck is the wacky humour and situations. The puzzles have a twisted logic to them and the whole game is very entertaining. Just make sure you don't get hit by the train!
Many of those who have ever tried to make a game in AGS will be able to associate with T.Z.Games's problem: unhappy with his own artistic ability, he tried for a year to recruit an artist to his team, ultimately unsuccessfully. He has released Beyond the Horizon with his own artwork, which is certainly no Syberia but does the job necessary for telling the story.
Like an Ugly Betty of the AGS world, hidden behind the initially unappealing exterior is a real gem. When I came across this game in the database and saw the voting scores, I though some guy had got his friends to vote for him, or had faked accounts, but it the plaudits seem genuine and the acclaim deserved. Even better, one of the protagonists nearly has the same name as me!
So, press on past the dodgy graphics and English (yes, I've gone for an unspellchecked game again) and you'll find Beyond the Horizon a witty, multi-ended, clever, twisty game that will occupy you for an enjoyable few hours!
Are you on tenterhooks waiting for the Deathly Hallows, quivering in anticipation of the film of Order of the Phoenix? Well, sate your Rowling-esque desires by playing this Potter Parody, Warthogs by famously 'different' AGS author Radiant. META's Cuppit makes a cameo appearance, too!
Another game that was nominated in a few categories, but just missed out in them all was Sydney Finds Employment. The Independent Gaming bloglisted it as "narrowly missed it" on its top 20 adventures list, so it seems that its always a bridesmaid, never a bride! But Pick of The Month will be its dashing suitor this month...
The game is funny and satirical, but the satire has a serious side and does actually look at the issue of homelessness. On top of that, excellent graphics make this a noteworthy debut for author Ivan Dixon
An excellent game, from the maker of Cedric and the Revolution, Reactor 09 got an appropriate 9 nominations in the AGS Awards, but was pipped to the post in each category. Excellent characterisation, lovely artwork and an interesting premise make this one well worth playing.
There's not too many games come with voice-acting, and those that do generally have a high profile, but the farm seems to have crept below many peoples' radars. It got quite a few votes for nominations for the AGS Awards 2006, but not enough to make it to the final voting round in any category.
In the farm you have been forcibly removed to a health farm-cum-asylum for the portly in a dystopian future where chubbiness is akin to terrorism. It's an interesting concept and some nice animation and graphics complement the story. It could do with a few less default responses to actions, but on the whole its a worthwhile play.
The game was also apparently nominated in the student category for the British Interactive Media Association's awards, and the EUROPRIX Top Talent Award.
Sorry for the late pick this month... but on with the show!
Emerald Eyes was a MAGS winner from Sinitrena, a regular MAGS competitor. It has some dodgy grammar and simple graphics, but the story is a cracking one. The game opens with your own death, but all is not as it seems. Your first puzzle in the game is then to kill a famous swimmer, but then you wake up and realise that it was all a dream... or was it?. As the body count racks up, what is going on, and can you stop the killings, or do you want them to continue? It's certainly worth playing this one through for the whole plot to be revealed.
Ah, 'tis the season... in-laws, distant uncles, great-aunt Doris' big slobbery kisses... its like being trapped in a bad dream! Get in the festive mood with this gory horror game. The English may need a little work, like Robotragedy, but otherwise Lost in the Nightmare is an excellent game. But don't let the kiddies or those of a nervous disposition (like great-aunt Doris!) at it...
Both of the Robotragedy games feature excellent graphics and interesting stories, but also slightly dodgy English. But don't let you put that off, it is very playable and worth exploring the strange alien worlds and saving the universe in this game, Robotragedy 2: Countdown to Doomsday.
AGS's first meta-game, Meta, is very unusually and innovative. It starts off as a very badly-written game similar to those first attempts of a n00b, but you soon discover that Radiant, the game's author has written a nearly complete simulation of AGS itself, IN AGS! So you'll need to edit the game within the game to progress and deal with Cuppit, who has wrestled Clippy's crown from him as most irritating "assistant" in a computer program.
And so the game progresses, with puzzles getting more fiendish as it goes on, but it is a very clever and entertaining game. Those with some experience in AGS scripting might do very well, but there is an underlying thread of logic and the sense of satisfaction in solving the puzzles is enourmouse. Think outside the box, and let Cuppit guide you through the maze of the AGS editor...
Save the world from the Ice Dragon! Fire your only arrow at things! Try to extract knives from the posterior of a yeti! All these things and more can be expected from The Winter Rose.
Our eponymous heroine journeys through a land covered in snow, yet always with nicely drawn, interesting locations and characters both frozen and living. The animation is also very well done, with much more of it than many games give you.
Many find games where you can die irritating, but this one gives you plenty of amusement when you do and lets you restart from where you left of without having to remember to save constantly, a great feature that makes this a very playable game.
The music is just a bit of quiet Vivaldi, but the dialogs, animations and humour make up for it and this charming game will entertain you for a while.
The mind of Richard Evans has produced some wierd and wonderful games, such as Magsic, Crave, Where's m'hat ma? and Zugzwang and Bog's Adventures in the Underworld certainly qualifies for both of those adjectives
You start off trying to cook some food and the recipie ends up somewhat, er.... unorthodox, to say the least. From there, you descend into hell and have to find your way back to your beloved wife, but not before you've terminated termites, beckoned for bacon and numerous other surreal and humourous escapades.
Bog's Adventures in the Underworld has the honour of the longest hints-and-tips thread on the AGS forums: its puzzles are a bit unusual, but there is a thread of wierd logic going on, and those who persevere are certainly well-rewarded. So, prepare to descend into hades....
Another source of excellent games has been the "One Room One Week" competiton. The fourth OROW has just finished on the forums. Now sometimes the "one room" concept has been a bit hazy, but they are all made in one week and yet some truly great games have resulted. For example, Automation, winner of the first OROW. Created by the author of "6 Day Assassin", this game probably would have won some AGS Awards if it had been in the games database in time. You are a scientist trying to get a robot out of a hole, and it uses some innovative control methods and puzzles to make a great little adventure.
Excellent cartoony graphics and a plot that takes us where no other AGS game dares to tread (wrestling) make Da New Guys a unique and superb game. Da New Guys had loads of write-in nominations in the AGS Awards 2005 but didn't quite manage to win any category. The forthcoming sequel also had a lot of mentions. The Awards are good for recognising talent, but some of those games that just miss out, like this one are also well worth playing.
How interesting can a game be when you just stay in one place? Competitions like OROW and MAGS impose restrictions that can often fire the imagination of game authors to come up with innovative gameplay, and Alien Time Zone is such a game. Travel through time to solve the puzzles in this short but unusual adventure.
Despite being a comic homage to the Leisure Suit Larry, Chick Chaser seems to be popular with the girls as well as the boys. It's less sleazy and the sexist guys in the game learn some things.
This was actually the game with most write-in nominations across all categories in the 2005 AGS Awards that did NOT get nominated in any... it was one vote off a "Best Puzzles" nomination.Fun in a college setting!
While not a recent release by any means, Just Another Point n Click Adventure is a much-underrated classic, deserving of more attention. JAPNCA centres around a young man, Andrew, and his quest to escape his house to enter a competition and hopefully make it big. This isn't as easy as it might seem: first he has to struggle to even manage to make it downstairs in his own home; then he has to find some way of getting out of the house and to the competition. With good puzzles, charming dialogues and often hilarious humour, JAPNCA is well worth playing. Play it!
The Ben Jordan series has been very well received since its first episode last year, and now the fourth installment is here. Take on the role of a paranormal investigator as you tackle a new mystery, this time in London.
Originally designed for the 2004 AGS Team Competition, this game was released this month, some 3 months after the originally planned release date. However, the final product was well worth the wait, this game is of a high quality that wouldn't have been possible in the Competition's allocated month. The art is excellent, the dialogues well-written and often hilarious, and the puzzle design very well done.
The AGS-community surely is not surfeited on games made by women, but when they appear, it usually means you can expect something special.
Cirque De Zale, created by Kinoko, a fairly new addition to the AGS-crew, is indeed something special. Even though 2004 has not been a weak year in the games department, this might be the favourite title so far.
A great sense of humour is what brings Cirque De Zale from a decent game with nice but not outstanding graphics and puzzles, to a masterpiece with an ingenious dialogue.
Writing a funny manuscript might be the most difficult thing you can do, while also being the thing that most unexperienced people think they can carry out, which constitutes an unfortunate equation. Too many games end up with repetitive and cheap slap-stick jokes of the kind that people concieve who never leave their rooms, or who simply are very young.
And sure, after a while you can start to recognise the jargon of protagonist Zale's cynical comments, but since the most brilliant punch-lines appear on regular basis, you will just wait for the next opportunity to laugh.
The highly original plot also helps adding to the fresh wind that this game is. Zale nonchalantly ignores all who cannot help him pursue his dream of having his own circus, and the ordinary ingredients of epic fantasy - saving princesses and so on - are sarcasticly disregarded.
All in all, this is one of my personal top ten games ever, and I can only congratulate Kinoko for her great work.
When Permanent Daylight was released in spring 2001, it quickly became one of the most influential games of its time, and newcomers long after strived to emulate its so simple yet artful style.
Delicate simplicity can be used to describe both the graphics and the gameplay per see; the game is short, it features no advanced scripting and the puzzles are down to earth. The plot is based on the all-familiar "mad scientist is going to destroy the world", and does little to present twists or unexpected elements.
Simply put; this game will not make your head spin, but it has a professional and picturesque atmosphere, and is very easy on the eye.
Unfortunately, the maker (Linus Larson, aka 2ma2) only produced a few titles after this (one of which is the mags-game Who killed Kenny Rogers, featuring real ags-members in a short detective parody), although his in-production title since many years, What time is it?, has raised high expectations in the forum.
As a matter of fact, the feature game of this month is Davy Jones C'est Morte, but since the game catalogue of this site presents RON as a group (with just a few exceptions, which could be just misplaced entries), that is where the link goes to.
DJCM, the second RON-game by the expressionist artist Captain Mostly, is more well-known for the controversies it caused in the RON-community than by its own qualities; killing off Davy Jones was by many considered a violation of the RON-code, and the (maybe even more controversial) decision to resurrect him was soon made.
From the misspelling of the title (it actually says "Davy Jones it is dead") to the final scene where the protagonist is sexually abused by the devil, DJCM is a short but intense exercise in morbidness. Whether you care for the well-being of Davy Jones or not, this "game" (I would prefer to call it a very short semi-interactive story) will undoubtedly disturb you.
Less attention would probably be paid to Captain Mostly's games if it were not for the fact that he still is essentially the only expressionist game creator in the AGS-community. With the exceptions of Novo Mestro and Captain Muchly Drinks Bleach, which both must be considered just parodies of the genre, Dada: Stagnation In Blue might be the only competitor so far (which I personally consider nothing but expressionistic, although the title suggests something else).
It is safe to say that this genre still has much room for development within the AGS-community.
Night of the Hermit might have been the first attempt to create something that could pass as a professional game. With an - for the time being - outstanding gamelength, topped with an impressively extensive voice-pack, NOTH became the early flagship of the AGS-fleet.
Graphic-wise, NOTH goes for the late LSL-style, and does it well; both animations and backgrounds are top notch.
Unfortunately, its sometimes far too difficult puzzles (albeit still ingenious at times) weakens the gameplay somewhat, and the astronomical number of inventories will confuse even the most cunning players.
One could say that NOTH sets its aim very high, and reaches almost all the way; with just a slightly less complicated plot, NOTH could have been taken for a Sierra-title any time (given, of course, that many of the voices were replaced by those of real voice-actors).
VonLudwig is not a game that generally would be expected to find its way to the "pick of the month", by many reasons. Its graphics is far from appealing to a mainstream audience, the puzzles are not always logical and the jokes are highly politically incorrect. But this game should really be given a serious chance. It has a genuine humourous atmosphere that is not constructed by simple slapstick or witty puns seen in more popular games. This game was simply not groomed to please somebody. It has an impressive game-length, and once through the initial rooms (after some really difficult puzzles) the player can look forward to yet some 35 scenes.
Mourir en Mer is a study in dreary melancholy, certainly the most moving story ever presented within an AGS game. In order to pursue his one goal in life, our cripple-hero needs to escape the attic room in which his vicious father keeps him a prisoner, an attic full of memories of his childhood (like the terrifying wodden horse, as well as the books that made him dream of the sea), and reach the sea before he dies. Both the introduction and the ending scene are superb literary moments, and even though there are many brilliant animations and nice backgrounds, the plot is what makes this game so great.
Does this game make sense? Whatever your answer, you're bound to love this hilarious romp in the recently completed Robert Redford trilogy. Take control of Robert as you try to fulfill your mission from God himself.
The last game in the Rob Blanc series (and according to the concluding text also the very last game by Yahtzee; a statement proved wrong as Odysseus Kent was released in late 2002), and perhaps the best in the trilogy. This game sometimes gives the impression of still being in the development stage, but as soon as the player begins to grasp the chronological twists that are the trademarks of this game, it will show how far you can go from the ordinary cause-and-effect puzzles and still provide a fascinating (yet incomprehensible at times) game-play.
This is one of the few games around made by a female creator, but it's definitely worth a look for its own qualities as well. The hilarious characters, the imaginative setting and the curiously fascinating plot will keep you playing for hours, despite many difficult puzzles and a slightly abstruse beginning.
This game was nominated for the best room art category at the AGS-awards 2001, but its fascinatingly philosophical plot is just as big a reason to play it. Take the role of Aaron, one of the characters of the myth of the cave by Plato, and let him bring the books of wisdom to the people.
Winner of 5 AGS Awards in 2001, including Best Game, Pleurghburg: Dark Ages brings you a new detective game similar to Sierra's Police Quest series. Guide Jake McUrk through one of the longest amateur adventures yet produced.
One of the original AGS games, made back in 2000, it has achieved cult classic status in the years since. Larry Vales brings you a dodgy walking animation, tons of pop culture gags, and most importantly, more sideburns than you can shake a stick at!