PC adventure games have seen a much-needed resurgence in the past couple of years, attracting newer audiences and developers who wish to get in on the fun. With renewed interest in the once-forgotten genre, we're seeing sequels to cult classic, new tales with familiar heroes, and in the case of some newcomers, those who dare to push the boundaries of convention. Going beyond simple detective stories, murder mysteries, and real-world trappings is welcome, and while we have a handful of modern examples doing so, the edgiest games were found in the genre's formative years. Some hardly made sense. Others ended up weirding out or offending and alienating audiences completely. We're celebrating the oddities of twenty of the strangest PC adventure games ever. Let's get weird.
Who says adventure gaming is dead? With a handful of exceptions, the adventure game genre might not be particularly lucrative anymore, nor will the Call of Duty crowd ever understand what all the fuss was about. But for those of us constantly looking over our heads for three-headed monkeys (or "look south" for you Zork-anites), we're pleased as punch to see fellow fans keep the genre alive.
Such is the case with Phoenix Online Studios, a collection of fan developers who at one point received a cease and desist letter from Activision for their work on a fan-made sequel to King's Quest called The Silver Lining. After extensive discussions and a recognition of "the overwhelming community support," Activision eventually caved and allowed the project to go on.
Eight years in the making, the first chapter in The Silver Lining is finally available for download, and not only is it free, but it gets the nod from Roberta Williams, the famed game designer responsible for the original King's Quest series.
"Now, there is a chance that many can truly find out what happens to the royal family of the Kingdom of Daventry," Williams is quoted as saying on The Silver Lining's site. "This game is very true to the original series and features many of the storylines and characters, especially of King's Quest VI. I found it beautiful and fun to play. I, too, like many other fans, would like to see how this story unfolds!
Robert, like the rest of us, will be able to do that through five episodes, the first of which is available now.
Get your fedora hat, gas up your Weird Edsel, and practice avoiding all sorts of untimely deaths, because we're about to take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the most fun freeware adventure games you can find. It feels like there's never a shortage of freeware adventure titles on the ol' Internet. But it's definitely a little tricker to dial down and find the games that are worth playing--especially in the adventure genre, where the first three to five minutes of gameplay can greatly affect your interest in going through the rest of a game's storyline.
We've hand-picked five adventure games that you need to slap on to your hard drive this instant. Check out our comprehensive list, including details and screenshots, after the jump!