Games with real mechanics and/or win/lose states, but that are focused on exploration and environmental discovery.

Screenshot of Bonbon

BonbonRecommended!

Category: Adventure Games
Excellent, creepy horror game with a memorable antagonist and nice production. Bonbon puts you in the shoes of a child, and surrounds you with the exact kinds of stuff that shares the crap out of kids. Really well done.Read more...

Date posted: Sun Jun 3, 2018

Screenshot of AER Memories of Old

AER Memories of OldRecommended!

Category: Adventure Games
Despite its missteps, I really enjoyed AER Memories of Old. It’s a no-combat light-puzzle/exploration game in which you take the role of a lady who can turn into a bird, and explore a beautiful but post-apocalyptic world of floating islands. There’s a lot of downsides on display here - it’s short (for a paid Steam game), the story is nonsensical, and it’s possibly the epitome of “low-poly Unity game.” It’s sort of a collection of cliches from the last decade of gaming (especially the faux-pastoral “technology is bad” philosophy).Read more...

Date posted: Sat May 26, 2018

Screenshot of Static Speaks My Name, The

The Static Speaks My NameRecommended!

Category: Adventure Games
The Static Speaks My Name puts you in the shoes of an…interesting individual. This is a short, dark, and funny exploration of one very fucked up situation. Not for the kiddies, but worth a spin.Read more...

Date posted: Sat May 26, 2018

Screenshot of Woodsy

Woodsy

Made for Ludum Dare, Woodsy puts you alone in the haunted woods, searching for your keys and talking to your creepy neighbors. I don’t want to spoil too much, but this is a cute and novel riff on a few genres (indeed, the jam theme was “2 incompatible genres”) and is worth the ten or so minutes it takes to complete. The game has a lot of personality, and I hope the developers flesh out the concept and/or characters.Read more...

Date posted: Thu May 17, 2018

Screenshot of A Good Gardener

A Good Gardener

Categories: DioramasAdventure Games

A gardening game where you are tasked with maintaining a British WWII victory garden. Interesting premise and nice presentation, but the controls are a little floaty and weird. It actually reminds me of the ancient game Lemonade Stand that I used to play on my old Apple IIgs, in that the main loop is waking up each day to different weather, tending to your plants, and repeating.

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Date posted: Tue May 8, 2018

Screenshot of Music Machine

The Music MachineRecommended!

Category: Adventure Games
David Szymanski’s best, in my opinion. A haunting story about a couple of fucked up folks trapped exploring a creepy world.Read more...

Date posted: Mon May 7, 2018

Screenshot of Myst

MystRecommended!

Category: Adventure Games
In Myst, you’re dropped onto a sunny but creepy island with no backstory and no context, and you’re left to explore and figure things out yourself. It’s a precursor to a lot of the more obtuse and “lore-heavy” games available now, but at the time it was something of a revelatory mechanic, at least to me. Myst was a minor cultural phenomenon at the time, and deservedly so, as it combines surreal (and, for the time, advanced static CG graphics), a dark story told through magic books and video clips, multiple surreal and beautiful zones to explore, and tricky, multi-screen puzzles that are still challenging.Read more...

Date posted: Fri May 4, 2018

Screenshot of Anatomy

AnatomyRecommended!

One of, if not the best, horror game I’ve ever played. An incredible sense of dread really permeates this game, and it’s all done with a very stripped-down design. I kept being reminded of the novel House of Leaves, which explores similar themes of domestic space and creeping dread. Highly recommended.Read more...

Date posted: Wed May 2, 2018

Screenshot of Stanley Parable, The

The Stanley ParableRecommended!

One of the real classics of the genre, and a real breakthrough indie PC game. Absolutely worth the playtime and price. There are so many branching paths you can beat it multiple times and still not see everything.Read more...

Date posted: Tue May 1, 2018