The Vault №20
Welcome to another edition of The Vault, your ticket to the gems of yesteryear. (It's like Christmas in December!... uh... nevermind.) This week I'm going to talk to you about one of my favourite subjects; adventure. Adventure is pretty rad. You can ask Sir Theodore Roosevelt, who would probably agree that some of the best games are those that tell a story and take you to another place. (Also good games: Those that mesmerise you with pretty colours and amusing sound effects.) Here are some of the older titles in the genre, and some of my favourites. Try them, won't you?
- Climate Chaos - This ridiculously adorable point-and-click adventure game puts you in the soft, fluffy feet of Blue Rabbit, who crosses the ocean with his friends and comes across a beautiful island which, he soon discovers, has some rather unusual weather problems. Created by the marvelously talented Super Flash Bros, it features simple but beautiful visuals, frequent and well animated cutscenes, and expressive characters who use pictures rather than words to communicate. Even four years later, Climate Chaos is still a beautiful representation of its genre, and is wonderfully polished, engaging fun. If you're looking for a game to play with a rugrat on your lap, this is it, but those of us who still secretly love Saturday morning cartoons when we think nobody is looking will enjoy it too.
- Tri-Achnid - A collaboration between Florian Himsl and Edmund McMillen produced this wonderfully moody and faintly melancholic action-adventure game that follows one of the last of an endangered species after the death of his mater, who is trying to find a safe place for the cocoon he's carrying around... which just happens to contain the next generation. The control scheme takes a little getting used to; it can feel a little cumbersome at first, and even get a little frustrating when you're trying to move somewhere in a hurry. Still, Tri-Achnid manages to be surprisingly engaging, with its strange alien environment, oddly affecting story, and slick art by Edmund McMillen. It's definitely one of the most unique adventures out there and represents how far the right choice of sound and art can really go to create an engaging experience.
- Escape to Obion - What sorcery is this?! This final entry in this week's Vault is not one game but five! This engrossing series from Matt Slaybaugh follows you as member of a resistance trying to stop the sinister Dr Saturday's plot of hijacking the minds of every sentient machine in the world! (The last thing you want is a computer that can give you crap about your browsing history.) Although each episode is short, Obion offers some great "Myst-like" adventuring combined with good-old-fashioned puzzle solving like your mama used to make. While the hotspots can be tiny, the fact that they highlight when you mouse over them helps, and features some wonderful contraptions and puzzles for you to wrap your big, magnificent brain around.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!