Bacardi Jim's Game Recommendation List

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Bacardi Jim
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Bacardi Jim's Game Recommendation List

Postby Bacardi Jim » Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:14 pm

Below are some of my favorite adventure games, titles that I frequently recommend to other gamers looking for something they haven't played. I have tried to include a wide variety of styles and motifs. Hopefully, you will find something here that you haven't yet played but ought to. :D

Byzantine: The Betrayal--Officially billed as an "edutainment" title and made by the people at The Discovery Channel, this game is a sheer wonder. It combines Full Motion Video with a lovingly crafted "cyberspace" realm to put you in the middle of a smuggling/murder mystery set in modern-day Istanbul. The plot is great, the mystery involving, and the suspense high as you race to find your friend's killer while eluding the police who consider YOU their prime suspect.

Amber: Journeys Beyond--A bit short, but a creepy, sad, haunting (literally) game. Made by an independent "garage" company (Hue Forest) Amber looks and plays like a product of any of the big-name companies. Kind of a 'Morpheus Lite'. (See Below)

Timelapse--This one is a must-have! Explore many of the classic adventure game settings (Easter Island, Chechen Itza, Atlantis, etc.) in one of the most beautiful adventure games ever made. A wealth of truly brain-busting puzzles and a plot that holds together well make this one a cult classic.

Chemicus, Bioscopia, Physicus--A series of recent "edutainment" titles from Tivola, all of these games are billed as being for "ages 8-102," but are really adult-oriented. Wonderful graphics and great puzzles, combined with as much or as little science "edu-" as you want.

Journeyman Project Trilogy—This sci-fi series of games rivals the Gabriel Knight series for best writing ever. 'Nuff said!

Sanitarium--Bizarre, wonderful, funny, creepy, and totally unique. One of the best adventure games EVER! The top-notch twisted plot will have you alternately spraying your monitor with Coke (from laughing) and lunch (from losing it).

Morpheus--One of the most emotional adventure games ever released. It has the sadness of Amber combined with real creepiness as you visit the dream realms of some of the most disturbed people ever brought together outside of a Hitchcock movie. Beautiful, eerie, and unforgettable.

Spycraft--Though there are a few easy action sequences, this game rates as one of the most intelligent and realistic mystery/adventure titles ever. Become a CIA operative and join "The Great Game."

The Dig--Based on a story by Steven Spielberg and made by LucasArts. Space opera at its finest as a trio of astronauts are catapulted to an alien planet with no way home.

Sam & Max Hit the Road--Sheer lunacy and comic mayhem as a dog-and-feral-rabbit team of private eyes investigate the disappearance of a Bigfoot from a carnival.

Obsidian--A cross between Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (the story) and the movie "Brazil." TOUGH puzzles, but a sheer delight as you find yourself trapped inside the brain of a computer bent on destroying humanity.

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time--Forget the movie, play this instead! As a British spy, it is your job to complete an espionage mission aboard the Titanic before it sinks. Great mix of gameplay styles and a real sense of urgency as you race time and destiny. Multiple endings let you alter history in a variety of ways.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon--As funny as the Monkey Island games...maybe funnier! Based on the books by Spider Robinson. Pun-haters need not apply.

Rama--Based on the books by Arthur C. Clarke & Gentry Lee, this game is tough and smart. A team of scientists is sent to investigate a massive city-sized spaceship that appears to be on a collision course with Earth. “Death” cutscenes include appearances by Clarke himself!

Discworld--Terry Pratchett's fantasy world voiced by Monty Python's Eric Idle. This game is simply hilarious, while being filled with some really devious (and deviant) inventory puzzles. Spawned two wonderful sequels. Though it is completely different in theme and tone, those who prefer satire over Pythonesque silliness will want to try Discworld Noir.

Gabriel Knight series--The first truly adult series of adventure games, and probably the best written overall. They set the bar against which all other adult adventure games are measured. If you haven't played them, why are you reading this?

Riddle of the Sphinx—At the time of this writing, this is probably the best game published by Dreamcatcher/The Adventure Company. A Myst-style slideshow format featuring some absolutely gorgeous graphics and really tough and interesting puzzles as you explore the mysteries underneath the Great Sphinx in Giza. Features one of the best game endings ever. Sadly, the sequel, The Omega Stone, was one of the biggest disappointments of 2003.

Grim Fandango--If you haven't played this game yet, stop reading and go buy it NOW! There is a reason it is a classic. Alternately touching and hilarious, long enough to be considered epic. Only drawback is a kind of funky interface, same one as Monkey Island 4.

Salammbô--Imagine a Heavy Metal comic brought to life! Take on the role of Spendius, an escaped slave in this tale of love and revenge. Quick wits and a silver tongue soon have Spendius leading an army against the nation-state that once enslaved him. Some of the most stunning graphics ever seen, designed by legendary French artist Philippe Druillet. The unique mix of gameplay styles make this game non-stop fun.

Dark Fall--Another “garage” game, this is another example of the great independent talent out there. While a bit derivative of some other games (and old British TV shows) this is one of the scariest, most nerve-jangling games ever released. Explore a haunted hotel and piece together a centuries-old mystery that has led to the disappearance of dozens of people… including your own brother! Though not as scary, try the sequel, Lights Out for a similar game with a deeper storyline.

Monkey Island series--There simply are no funnier adventure games in existence. Brilliantly written, with increasingly good graphics as the series progressed. Family-safe.

Zork Nemesis & Zork Grand Inquisitor--The final two entries in the famous Zork series. They are completely different types of games. Nemesis is a dark horrific tale of four "dead" alchemists who draw you into their plot for revenge. Easy-to-medium puzzles and a GREAT story, but very morbid and adult. ZGI is just the opposite, light-hearted and hilarious as you explore the world of Zork. Not as plot-driven as Nemesis, but with tougher puzzles and loads of laughs. A pretty big-name cast, including Dirk Benedict (The A-Team, Battlestar Galactica).

Legend of the Prophet & the Assassin--TAC got this game (originally released as two separate games) from Arxel Tribe along with 7 Games of the Soul (also a really good game) and combined the two parts of it together into a single volume… the way it was meant to be played. Good graphics and a really unique storyline as you play a rogue Templar Knight-turned-Arabian-warlord on a quest of vengeance against a legendary prophet who abandoned his followers to death and disease. Completely original in every respect.

The Last Express--Another totally original game, this one a mystery/adventure. You are an American expatriate who is wanted for a murder you didn't commit. You jump aboard the Orient Express to meet up secretly with a friend to discuss a business deal only to find your friend murdered in his cabin. Adopting his identity, you remain aboard the train to try to figure out who killed him and why. Unique slow-frame animation of beautiful art-deco graphics and a real-time operating AI that has the passengers running around the train according to their own schedules and motives lend this game a style and immersion unlike any other game.

Feeble Files--Classic sci-fi comedy epic. Gentle British humor and satire in an alien Orwellian dystopia. Help hapless Citizen Feeble “fight the power” in a long, fun-filled game packed with difficult puzzles.

Black Dahlia--A triumph of FMV and "twiddleware." Many of the puzzles simply cannot be solved by mere mortals. But the writing stands head-and-shoulders above most other Full Motion Video games, and the acting is better than the average in the genre.

The Neverhood--A classic and with good reason. It is a bit short, but the unique flavor and humor of the "Klaymation" make it a must-play. Not terribly hard and full of unexpected giggles.

Broken Sword 1 & 2--These games vie in their own way with the writing achievement of the Gabriel Knight and Journeyman Project games. Though a bit lighter in tone, these are both long, epic games. And the hand-painted 2D cel animation (from a protégé of Don Bluth) is absolutely gorgeous. Play the first one for the plot. Play the second one for the humor and puzzles.

Amerzone/Syberia--I am combining these two masterpieces by French artist Benoit Sokal as a single entry. They are both magical games, with amazing graphics that pull you right into the story. Amerzone is a 1st-person exploration of scientific discovery and redemption set largely in the jungles of a mythical Amazon rain forest. Syberia is a 3rd-person-perspective game of personal discovery along the lines of The Longest Journey. The argument over which is better will wage far into the next couple of computer generations.

Dracula: Resurrection & Dracula: The Last Sanctuary--Once again combining two games into one... the way TAC should do. Each game is a bit short and has logical flaws and bugs. But they tell a really good story and have some pretty good puzzling that outweigh the individual flaws. If they were re-edited/re-coded into a single game you would have one of the all-time great epic games.

John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles-- Don't pass it by even if you hate Saul’s' books. This game is eerie, grotesque and loads of fun. You are sneaking around an abandoned (and haunted) insane asylum looking for your son, who has been kidnapped in order to draw you into fulfilling the family legacy. The factual basis of the horrific treatment of the inmates makes it all the creepier.

Honorable Mentions to Dark Side of the Moon, Toonstruck, Riddle of Master Lu, and the Tex Murphy series. Very good games but getting them to actually work on your computer is a matter of guesswork and luck. Also check out Faust/7 Games of the Soul, Traitor's Gate, and Lightbringer/Cydonia.

I didn't mention the Myst games or The Longest Journey because I assume there is no need to if you are reading this. :wink:
Last edited by Bacardi Jim on Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:31 pm, edited 8 times in total.
atticmouse

Wow

Postby atticmouse » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:50 pm

Wow. This is really a good list with alot of great information. I have printed it off and am keeping it handy for when I go on a game run.
:mrgreen:
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Postby Tanuvein » Sun Dec 21, 2003 5:29 pm

I know you originally showed me that in another forum, but I feel the need to mention it is a great list. I have been periodically buying all the ones you mentioned, and thus far, have been impressed with each one. You are a good, good man.
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Postby bermag45 » Thu Dec 25, 2003 1:44 pm

What an excellent choice Bacardi Jim! I have played most of the games on your list and I would have recommended them as you have done.

In particular the games on your list which I really enjoyed were Byzantine the Betrayal (and still play it again from time to time), Titanic Adventure out of time (brilliant story), Journeyman Project 3 and Spycraft.

In addition to your list I also really enjoyed Reah (prequel to Schizm), The X Files Game and Nightlong :)

Happy gaming

Bernie :D
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Postby britsy » Sun Jan 11, 2004 8:32 pm

Excellent choices in Bacardi Jims list.
The ones I haven't played are ones I haven't been able to get a hold of (Obsidian is one of them) - byt the Neverhood is an off the wall delight!
I loved my wee putt putt car!

I love the Atlantis series (the first three) - I know the last one - also known as Beyond Atlantis 2) was not that well received - but it was worth it for the psychopomp in Egypt and the tin dwarf at the tower in the Arabian Nights part of the story.

I must also give an honourable mention to Hand of Fate - I spent months on that game (one of the earlier graphic adventures I played) and was stuck in the first swamp for ages. It taught me a lot about adventure game strategy.
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Postby Fairygdmther » Sat Feb 14, 2004 12:08 pm

BJ, did you ever play Cameron files - loch ness? I'm playing it now. The characters look like a cartoon rendition of claymation. It has kinda weird p&c nodes and I've gotten killed 4 times already - no 5 times. I hate under water traveling, and I hate mazes, and this has an underwater timed maze. Oh, joy! But that only killed me twice. I found a good map schematic to follow. I'm nearing the end where I have to rescue the fair maiden, then rescue the city of London. I kinda like the game, but it is a little weird to me. Whaddya think?

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Postby Bacardi Jim » Sat Feb 14, 2004 12:53 pm

I played both CF games and they didn't even come close to making my list.
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Postby Fairygdmther » Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:05 pm

Ya know, BJ, It would be nice to know which games DON'T make your comprehensive list. It's hard for us to know if they are just lousy, or only that you haven't played them. Maybe you could make an addendum of the games that just don't make the list, and why. Are they just mediocre, or god-awful? Oh, dear game guru, we acolytes need your guidance.

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Postby Bacardi Jim » Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:14 pm

I don't think I can do that fairly. I don't buy a lot of brand-new games. I generally wait a while before I buy them or spend my time playing "classic" games. I have the opportunity to research the vast majority of the games I buy before I purchase them. As a result, I am able to avoid playing very many really bad games unless (like with Traitor's Gate 2) I am assigned one for a review. I've stumbled across a few mediocre games and even some real turkeys, but I've been lucky enough to avoid the bulk of them by not caring if I am the first on my block to play something and waiting until some reviews come out before I purchase a game.
Last edited by Bacardi Jim on Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior... if human beings don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
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Postby Fairygdmther » Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:47 pm

BJ, any updates to your list among the games you've played recently?

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Postby Bacardi Jim » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:00 pm

Well, neither Drowned God nor Lost in Time quite made it, but I am about a third of the way into I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and I have high hopes for it so far.

Black Mirror and Broken Sword 3 didn't even come close.

Also, we were a chunk of the way into Full Throttle and enjoying it when I got my virus and had to reformat my HDD. We haven't restarted it since.
Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior... if human beings don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
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Postby Fairygdmther » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:20 pm

URU? MJII?

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Postby Bacardi Jim » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:43 pm

You've read my series on URU, FGM. You saw my final vote.

And I quit on MJ2 when I hit the turn-the-wheels-to-complete-the-circuit locked door on the floating ship. Although I will say that I was enjoying it a lot more than the first one when I stalled out.
Last edited by Bacardi Jim on Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior... if human beings don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
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Postby Fairygdmther » Thu May 13, 2004 12:02 pm

BJ, I look at your list all the time - It is the single most valuable resource in adv games lore. I can look through quickly and see if a game is worth the effort to buy or to play.

Did you play the Kyrandia series? If so are they worth getting? I see them from time to time on eBay.

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Postby Bacardi Jim » Thu May 13, 2004 12:56 pm

They have some extremely devoted fans. I have not ever played any of them.
Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior... if human beings don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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