Traditional point-and-click adventure games are an important part of gaming history. Without the adventure genre, we’d never have classic games like Monkey Island, Gabriel Knight, Syberia, and many others. These days, adventure games have managed to survive despite a perceptible decline, particularly by adapting for use on an iPad.
But pure adventure games aren’t for everyone. The slow pacing and emphasis on exploration and puzzles can be too sedate for some gamers.
But don’t give up on adventure games yet! There are some adventure games that shake up the genre by adding in some action. Here are a few adventure-action hybrid games that you might enjoy!
Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us
Telltale is the company to go to when you want a point-and-click adventure game that mixes in some action elements. From fending off zombies in The Walking Dead to swordfighting in Game of Thrones, it’s hard to beat Telltale for interesting episodic games. The Wolf Among Us is no exception.
Based on the Fables comic book series, Wolf Among Us tells the story of fairy tale characters living in squalor amongst the mundies (humans). A sinister series of murders sets the community against one another with Sheriff Bigby Wolf trying his best to keep the peace while unravelling the greater conspiracy behind the murders. The noir setting and art design are stunning.
While it doesn’t seem like a game that would be fast-paced, Wolf Among Us has a surprisingly high number of action scenes. Throughout the game, Bigby is involved in chases, tense stand-offs, and even full combat sequences. While they are tricky to play, since they involve the usual Telltale quick-time-events, they add a certain spice to the usual point-and-click gameplay and contribute to the unsavory-yet-colorful atmosphere.
The Tomb Raider franchise has a reputation for being about guns, most likely because the lead character carries twin pistols in every promotional picture and spends quite a lot of her time pumping things full of bullets. However, that’s a bit misleading. Lara Croft spends more time climbing, solving puzzles, and solving climbing puzzles than she does shooting things in her games, with the possible exception of Tomb Raider 2013.
Of the Tomb Raider games that are available, the original series could more accurately be described as an adventure game series. Since every game is now available on Steam, you can play the entire series, from 1996 through to the present day. If you want a similar Tomb Raider experience on your mobile device, we strongly recommend Lara Croft GO.
In this adventure horror game, you play a man who goes in for a brain scan one day and then wakes up after the apocalypse. Now he must wander the lonesome halls of an underwater facility and try to piece together what happened and how he got there. Except he’s not entirely alone done down there.
SOMA was made in the vein of Amnesia, in that it’s better to avoid your enemies than fight them. Finding ways around them frequently becomes a puzzle in and of itself. In addition, you must solve various actual puzzles while trying to figure out what exactly happened to the other humans who were in the facility.
While there aren’t exactly fight scenes in this game, the tense atmosphere and emphasis on stealth can make it just as exciting as any first-person shooter. SOMA is a game that requires you to think under pressure, which is perhaps appropriate given the underwater setting. Anyone who has played Amnesia or Slender and enjoyed either will be a fan of SOMA. You can play SOMA on Linux now as well.
If you want an adventure that takes heavy inspiration from 80s horror films, Until Dawn is the game to play. Due to its long development time and the multiple versions of it that were on the drawing board at any given time, Until Dawn suffers from a bit of indecision regarding which genre it falls into. But it most resembles the point-and-click adventure games of yore, with its emphasis on inventory and environment puzzles.
That being said, the game’s pace speeds up, especially from the second act onwards, and the slower exploration sections become fraught with tension. The game’s multiple protagonists must face sinister antagonists through a combination of environmental puzzles and quick-time events. There are many different endings depending on your decisions and you have to be on your toes sometimes if you want to achieve your desired outcome.
Until Dawn resembles an old-school gamebook, a combination of traditional video game tropes and a choose-your-own-adventure novel. If you want a game in which you can explore, collect clues, and use your wits to escape multiple horrifying enemies with the occasional action event to change things up, then Until Dawn is a game you’ll enjoy.
Omikron: The Nomad Soul
This game has jumped back into the public eye for perhaps the worst possible reason: The tragic death of its star, David Bowie. But don’t be blinded by this. Omikron is one of the most interesting hybrid games in existence and deserves to be played for itself rather than simply in memory of Bowie.
At various points, Omikron builds on its noir adventure game core with first-person shooter, fighter, and RPG elements. The Omikron product page on Steam even describes the gameplay as “Shooting and combat included in a real adventure game.” The game also has a huge open world to explore. Omikron really is something that has to be played to be believed or understood.
If you want to play a game that will constantly test your wits and ability to improvise, then you should already be playing Omikron. Even if you only picked it up while it was free after Bowie’s death, then you should play it while listening to the ultimate tribute to Bowie’s music.
Your Favorite Adventure-Action Games
Tell us about your favorite adventure-action games! Do you like a little action mixed with your point-and-click exploration? Let us know in the comments section below!