How to Play Point-and-Click ScummVM Adventure Games on Raspberry Pi
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There is a bunch of retro gaming options for the Raspberry Pi, but they’re almost all about arcade action. But one key genre of classic gaming is often overlooked: point-and-click adventures. Here’s how you can install mouse-driven adventure games on your Raspberry Pi with ScummVM.

What Are ScummVM Adventure Games?

These days, point-and-click games have been supplanted by third and first-person RPGs and MMORPGs. But once upon a time, point-and-click adventures were one of the most popular types of game available. These (and others) ran on the Scumm game engine. Gamers of the 1990s were blessed with games starring Indiana Jones, the Zork adventures, even games from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

Flight of the Amazon Queen in ScummVM

Some of the most popular games of the retro gaming era are available to play with ScummVM. These include:

  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  • The Secret of Monkey Island
  • Flight of the Amazon Queen
  • …and many more

The ScummVM wiki lists the full collection of over 200 supported games. That’s certainly enough to keep you busy!

Note, however, that most of these games cannot be played. You should only play games that you already own, or else play freeware titles. We’ll look at what is available to play legally below.

If you’re ready to revisit the mouse-driven adventure game on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to install software called ScummVM.

What Is ScummVM?

Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine (ScummVM) software that contains custom-coded remakes of various game engines. Released under the GNU General Public License, it is open source and free.

ScummVM essentially enables you to play many adventure games by creating a virtual machine environment. However, in most cases you should own an original copy of the game.

Games played in ScummVM can be saved and restored at any point. This often makes playing the games (and completing them) far easier than on the original platform.

Which Version of Raspberry Pi Should You Use?

ScummVM will run on the Raspberry Pi (as well as other Linux platforms, Windows, macOS, mobiles, and many more). But with so many versions of the Pi to choose from, which is best option?

Well, you should avoid early models of the Pi, as well as the Pi Zero. Instead, use the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 4. We’ve tested ScummVM on the Raspberry Pi 4 for this article.

In addition, you’ll need your Pi to be connected directly to your TV, with a keyboard and mouse attached. Although you can install the software remotely if you prefer, running ScummVM games requires direct use of the Raspberry Pi.

Configure Your Raspberry Pi

Before installing ScummVM, it’s worth making some tweaks to your Raspberry Pi’s setup. There is a chance of mouse lag with emulated point-and-click titles that you want to avoid.

In the terminal, enter:

sudo raspi-config

Use the arrow keys to select Advanced Options > GL Driver and then highlight G2 GL (Fake KMS) OpenGL desktop driver with fake KMS.

(Older versions of Raspbian will have the option GL (Full KMS) OpenGL desktop driver with full KMS. Use this instead if available.)

Select OK, then OK again to confirm, and then Finish. Select Yes when prompted to restart the Raspberry Pi.

Install ScummVM on Your Raspberry Pi

You can easily install ScummVM on your Raspberry Pi from the command line. Start, as ever, by updating packages and checking for upgrades. Open a terminal and enter:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

Next, install ScummVM:

sudo apt install -y scummvm

Once installed, it’s a smart idea to create a directory for your ScummVM games. Change to the Home directory, then use mkdir to make a new folder:

cd ~

mkdir scummvm-games

For enhanced game support, meanwhile, you should install a couple of extra packages. The fluidsynth and timidity packages improve the audio of the ScummVM games you play, where supported.

sudo apt install fluidsynth && timidity

Improve sound quality on ScummVM

You can now begin downloading games to your Raspberry Pi for play with ScummVM.

Finding a ScummVM Game to Play

As noted above, only freeware games can be played legally. If you own original copies of other games, that is fine too.

Flight of the Amazon Queen in ScummVM

A collection of freeware titles can be found at www.scummvm.org/games. To use one of these, browse to the page in your Pi’s browser, and download the game you want to play. It’s a smart option to download the CD version where available. This will provide a more complete experience, with cutscenes, sound effects, and other extras.

Remember to save the file to the directory you created earlier.

You can also install ScummVM games from within the Raspberry Pi terminal. These are games that have been included in the Raspbian package repositories:

  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Flight of the Amazon Queen
  • Lure of the Temptress
  • Drascula: The Vampire Strikes Back

To install these titles, simply use the apt install command:

sudo apt install beneath-a-steel-sky
sudo apt install flight-of-the-amazon-queen
sudo apt install lure-of-the-temptress
sudo apt install drascula

Install these games one at a time, waiting for completion with each installation. Four free point-and-click adventures, ready to run on your Raspberry Pi!

Playing Point-and-Click Adventures on Raspberry Pi

Once your preferred game is installed, it’s time to play. Remember, you’ll need your Raspberry Pi connected to a display with a mouse and keyboard plugged in too.

Open ScummVM (Menu > Games > ScummVM) to have a look around.

Launch ScummVM in Raspbian

It’s a straightforward tool, with an interface that can help you easily configure your gaming experience. As such, it is worth taking the time to look at the Options menu, where you will find tools to tweak Graphics, adjust the Control, Audio, Volume, and more.

Set audio options in ScummVM

To start playing games find the titles you’ve downloaded in the list. If they’re not listed, use Add Game to browse for the game you’re looking for on your Pi.

Simply click Start to launch!

While playing these games, the controls will often differ. Overall, however, you can use the following shortcuts:

  • Alt + Enter: Toggles full screen mode.
  • Ctrl + F5: Displays a menu with options to Save and Load the game state. You can also return to the ScummVM launcher or quit.
  • Ctrl + U: Mutes all game sounds (but not other sounds from your Raspberry Pi desktop).
  • Ctrl + Q: Quickly quit the game.

You can also use Alt + S to take a screenshot, which is how we made the in-game images for this guide. Cut-scenes can be skipped by hitting Esc on your keyboard.

Install ScummVM Games on the Raspberry Pi Today

With so many ways to play classic games these days, ScummVM titles are often overlooked in favor of classic consoles. Among the many games (not all of which are point-and-click adventures) on ScummVM, you’ll find titles from big-name developers.

LucasArts, Sierra/Disney, Activision, and Psygnosis all released games using the Scumm engine. This is a rarely mined archive of retro gaming goodness that you should check out today.

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Explore more about: Raspberry Pi, Retro Gaming.

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