Big Adventure Edition
Hungry for a good, meaty adventure game? We've got three excellent titles that will draw you in with a deep story, keep you hooked with delicious artwork, and perplex you at every turn with some seriously challenging puzzles. They may not be as casual as some might prefer, but they more than make up for it with a heavy-hitting presentation and well-designed gameplay.
Syberia (Windows, Mac, 228MB) - Conceived and designed by Belgian comic artist Benoît Sokal, Syberia is a classically-styled graphical adventure game that has won a number of awards over the years. You take control of Kate Walker, an American lawyer sent to a remote French village to finalize a take-over of a toy factory. She quickly learns that the previous owner has passed away and her brother must be contacted in order to proceed. The story pulls you across Central and Eastern Europe and wraps itself around subplots as you go, weaving a delicate and intricate web you must untangle on your own. Both art nouveau and steampunk elements make cameo appearances in this game, creating a truly striking setting that's practically unmatched in the gaming world. Also available in a Mac version.
Dracula: Origin (Windows, 1.72G, no demo) - As the name implies, this adventure is all about the famed vampire as told through Bram Stoker's works. Dracula has learned of a manuscript that has the ability to raise souls from the beyond. Take the role of Professor Van Helsing, whose singular purpose is to destroy Dracula, and keep the valuable manuscript out of the fiend's hands. The visuals are a stunning mix of 2D scenery with 3D characters, and the soundtrack fits the game like a glove. And what vampire game would be complete without the traditional array of blood, crucifixes, stakes, and garlic?
Syberia II (Windows, 1.16G, no demo) - Picking up where the original Syberia left off, the sequel also continues the series' stunning art style and challenging steampunkesque puzzles. Kate Walker abandons her stressful life in New York to accompany an inventor traveling to the remote land of Syberia where, rumor has it, prehistoric mammoths still survive. Journey across the frozen wilderness, passing through remote villages and hazardous passageways until you finally reach Syberia. (Free 1-hour time-limited demo available.)