Point-and-click games are a dying breed but they aren’t completely dead. You might recognize cult classic hits like the Myst and Monkey Island series, both of which have won hearts all around the globe. It’s definitely a niche genre – games like Telltale’s critically acclaimed The Walking Dead are the exception – but it’s still alive and kicking.
Most adventure games are found on the web, but there are some notable mobile adventure games too. If you’re willing to spend money, you can get some great adventure games under $5 from GOG. Wii users can even play classic adventure games with ScummVM.
But if you want free, here are some great titles that you should try out.
Escape From 26 [Web]
Escape From 26 is a strange little gem that’s absolutely perfect for beginners to the genre. A lot of point-and-click games can be overly obscure, making it almost impossible to navigate or solve puzzles unless you know what to look for, or if you’re incredibly lucky.
Escape From 26 is different. It’s more straightforward than most games in this genre and the playing space is restricted to a few simple areas. There aren’t any red herrings to throw you off the proper trail and it’s often made clear what you should be doing at any given time.
The reason I love Escape From 26 is its premise. You’re trapped inside what appears to be a bird cage and there’s a beautiful sense of mystery waiting around every corner. This game is worth playing for the atmosphere alone.
Worldgate is a point-and-click game that’s reminiscent of the original Myst. Both movement and graphics are similar and it has the same air of mystery that’s central to the plot. In this game, you’re a scientist who has stumbled upon a strange device and it’s your task to find out more about it.
The puzzles in Worldgate escalate at a fair rate. I love point-and-click games but I’m not particularly good at them, yet I managed to get pretty far before giving up. Even if you don’t beat it, Worldgate is worth at least one playthrough.
If you end up liking it, you can always check out Worldgate 2: Contact.
Linkage is a wonderful point-and-click game that falls under the “room escape” subgenre. You start in a strange room and you need to explore every nook and cranny for clues and tools to help you get out. It’s one giant interactive puzzle box.
The reason I like Linkage is its thematic consistency. Most of the clues that you’ll find in this room are related to the four suits of a playing card: hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. Shapes play a prominent role in this game and really tie everything together. You get the sense that you’ve been trapped by someone who’s a little off in the head.
Tea Break Escape [Web]
Despite the name, Tea Break Escape is not a light and easy game. You start off in a room with a padlocked door and you need to find a way out. All around you are shelves, furniture, and mundane objects – typical affair for a “room escape” adventure game. What sets this game apart is its intricacy.
There’s an impressive level of detail here, though I don’t mean graphical detail. The puzzles are a bit more complex than “find this, open that” and you’ll need to use a mixture of awareness, curiosity, and experimentation to find the answers you need. Veterans of the point-and-click genre tend to like Tea Break Escape.
The Silent Age [Android, iOS]
The Silent Age is the only mobile point-and-click game on this list, primarily because most free mobile point-and-click games are unremarkable. This one, however, is superb in almost every way. The first thing that pops out is the art style, which is deceptively simple, yet beautiful.
In this game, you play as Joe, who is just an average human being living in mediocrity. As you progress, you realize that you’re being sucked into a deep conspiracy that threatens the survival of mankind. Your task is to prevent the extinction of the human race.
The Silent Age has top-notch atmosphere. The art, lighting, sounds and music all come together and propel the story forward. The interface is smartly designed and optimized for mobile interaction. And, it’s free. If you want to play a point-and-click game on the go, this is one you won’t want to miss.
Are you a fan of point-and-click adventure games? What are some of your favorite titles? Share them with us in the comments so we can play them too!