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 Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List

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Bacardi Jim
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PostSubject: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:25 am

Yes, here it is yet again. I figure most everybody has seen it before, but there may be some few members here who haven't run across it in any of its other various homes. I asked Gelert and he said I should go ahead and post it here. Here we go:

Byzantine: The Betrayal--Billed as an "edutainment" title and made by the 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 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. Non-linear gameplay 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!

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?

Grim Fandango--If you haven't played this game yet, stop reading and go buy it NOW! 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!

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 recommended) 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. Assuming 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 lend this game a style and immersion unlike any other game.

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--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. Good games but getting them to actually work on your computer is a matter of guesswork and luck. Also check out 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.
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mindysue
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:44 am

I'll second the recommendations of ...
The Dig; Sam & Max Hit the Road; Gabriel Knight 1, 2; Monkey Island 1, 2, 3; Broken Sword 1, 2; Syberia 1, 2; and The Longest Journey! The others I either didn't play or didn't like.
Now those are older games, for 2 of the more recent games I would add Lost Horizon and Alter Ego.
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GreyFuss
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:34 pm

Hey BJ

Well done list. Even though there are many I couldn't recommend because they are not my type I do accept the fact that many out there do like them, thanks for posting. Do you have an updated list for the more modern games? Its not that I need any recommendations as I have played everything, I would be interested in your feelings on games released after you compiled this list and it would also give us a better idea of what you like in your adventures.
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tsampikos
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:32 pm

All of them are excellent games! I have most of them! Smile
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Bacardi Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:24 pm

GreyFuss wrote:
Hey BJ

Well done list. Even though there are many I couldn't recommend because they are not my type I do accept the fact that many out there do like them, thanks for posting. Do you have an updated list for the more modern games? Its not that I need any recommendations as I have played everything, I would be interested in your feelings on games released after you compiled this list and it would also give us a better idea of what you like in your adventures.

I don't play as many adventure games as I used to. Partly because I finally got through the backlog of older games I hadn't played, and partly because newer games that are true adventure games (as opposed to adventure HOGs) have become increasingly scarce. But here are a few newer titles I can recommend:

The Book of Unwritten Tales--Both beautiful and hilarious, the in-jokes had me laughing more than I have since the last Monkey Island game. A throwback of sorts to the old LucasArts games (though with far superior graphics), this game reminds us of why we fell in love with the genre in the first place. Don't be deterred by the $30 price tag--it's worth every penny.

The Blackwell Series--Indie game developer Dave Gilbert has repeatedly demonstrated that great games don't require a big budget. His Blackwell games (The Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, The Blackwell Convergence and The Blackwell Deception) are all decidedly low-tech in appearance, but deliver big-budget entertainment. They follow the adventures of Lauren Blackwell and her niece Rosa who, accompanied by spirit guide Joey Mallone, find themselves cursed with the responsibility of guiding reluctant ghosts into the Great Beyond. Joey's inability to physically touch anything lends a bit of freshness to the puzzling, but the success of the games is primarily due to the witty writing and some terrific voice acting.

Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis--I haven't played the first game in this series (Secret Files: Tunguska) , but I enjoyed this sequel. While it delivers nothing new either graphically or in the puzzle department, it has a sense of humor and a charming quality that won me over.

Aura: Fate of the Ages--Absolutely gorgeous and some really tough puzzling. The game is not without its flaws, as it is a little buggy and deceptively short. But it was one of the best games ever produced by the now-defunct (THANK GOD!!!) The Adventure Company.
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lakerz
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:17 am

The Blackwell games are enjoyable to play and only a bit challenging. All very good examples of producing quality games using the AGS engine.

I can't add any other games to the above lists except for Shivers. I'm not sure how well the game has aged, but I sure had a heck of a lot of fun playing through it 17 years ago.
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Bacardi Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:38 pm

lakerz wrote:
The Blackwell games are enjoyable to play and only a bit challenging. All very good examples of producing quality games using the AGS engine.

I can't add any other games to the above lists except for Shivers. I'm not sure how well the game has aged, but I sure had a heck of a lot of fun playing through it 17 years ago.
I actually prefer Shivers 2 over the original.
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gruefeeder
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PostSubject: Re: Bacardi Jim's Recommendation List   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:32 pm

You know I played Salammbo once, and I couldn't understand a thing that was going on.

I'd definitely add Shivers to the list. It's certainly fun if you like puzzles, but there's more to the game than puzzles. I'd also add Faust and 9: The Last Resort. However this is BJ's list, not mine or anyone else's.
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