As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam in other posts, I can never get enough of point-and-click adventure games. For a while, most notably in the 2000s, the ability to find publishers and developers who were making them had become quite the struggle. Though it wasn’t a super-conscious situation (and I was busy with college and job-hunting most of that time, anyway), my gamer’s disappointment was immeasurable, and my decade was ruined.

Thankfully, it seems like that time was merely what it appeared to be—a temporary dip in a gaming style that is still very much beloved and represented. I’d like to think it’s partially because all the kids who grew up with the King’s Quests, Legends of Kyrandia, Leisure Suit Larry, and Myst games are now more than old enough to try their hands at the game engines of today to let their own imaginations take off.

And boy, have they let them take off.

The Indie (Gaming) Scene

Two places where indie game developers (and just plain game-making enthusiasts) can share and enjoy the digital fruits of their labor are Steam and Itch.io. I’ve been on Steam for years but only found Itch.io about a year ago. I’m so pleased to say, I have yet to stall in finding a game that meets my whimsies from either of these sites. Some of the games are a little rough around the edges—which, honestly, is to be expected if you’re only one to two people who were working to create a functioning game in time for a two-week game jam. But still, think about that: so many of these games were not just built in two weeks’ time; they were also imagined, storyboarded, designed, tested, and executed.

It’s both astonishing and phenomenal, and my awe, love, and respect go out to every single one of these artists. Nearly every game has taken me back to when I was between 9 and 15 years old, sitting on a small wooden stool beside my older sister while she navigated the plethora of computer games our parents bought us. Those moments will always be some of my most cherished memories.

That, and PnC games are just the epitome of gaming. That’s my opinion, and on this blog, my opinion = fact. So, neener neener.

But, I digress.

Since playing over 100 point-and-click adventure games across Steam and Itch.io over the last two years alone, I’ve learned that many of the developers decided to expand their initial game-jam ideas into longer, full-length versions. I’d like to share some of them here that will be launching in hopefully the near future. Don’t worry—more parts to this list are definitely on their way.

Disclaimer: I am not being sponsored to promote these games! This is just me wanting to do what I can to help get the word out for these incredible creators. If you like what you see/play, don’t be afraid to show them a little love via a rating, review, social media share/follow, or even Kickstarter/Patreon contribution. Knowing people want to play their game helps give them opportunities to make more games in the future!

6 Upcoming Point-n-Click Adventure Games

Aboard the Adventure

Promotional banner for Aboard the Adventure game
Image art property of Chenke Games

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows, SteamOS/Linux, Mac
Languages: English, Spanish, German, Portuguese
Learn more/Try the demo: Itch.io, Steam

Summary: It’s time to cast off with a trio of happy and eager adventurers! Led by the brave and always-ready Captain Quinn, he and his eager team embark on a treasure hunt that will lead them from ocean to ocean into the most daring and dangerous corners of the globe, all to keep the evil Professor Weaver from finding them first! It’s your job to join Quinn, his best friend Miguel, and the super-intelligent Doc on the exciting, hilarious, and always-adventurous…er, adventure.

My thoughts: Talk about an immaculate ode to classic PnC video-game style. Everything about this game—from its deliberately cheesy plot to its mildly oafish hero and his two-person crew to some lovely corny dialogue—speaks early 90s pixelated perfection. Think Indiana Jones core with a side of The Secret of Monkey Island and a dash of Flight of the Amazon Queen. You can tell from the artwork alone that this game is going all in for the quirky nostalgia factor—and I am all there for when the full version releases.

Death Corp

Promotional banner for the Death Corp game
Image art property of Alberto Costa

Release date: TBD
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows, SteamOS/Linux, Mac
Languages: English, Spanish*, German*
Learn more/Try the demo: Itch.io, Steam

Summary: There are two things that universally suck: death and looking for a job. Welp, imagine if while desperately looking for your first job out of college, you were recruited by the very specter of Death itself and voluntold that you’ll be in charge of taking mortal charges down to the lowest levels of the underworld. In this game, poor Art doesn’t have to imagine any of this, as he has become the Grim Reaper’s newest intern. Traversing the earthly planes under the craziest of circumstances? Guiding the souls of some of the strangest people on the planet? This is Art’s life now at Death Corp.

My thoughts: There’s nothing I love more than watching a trailer and playing a demo, and still have no idea what is going on. Mind you, the premise of this game is pretty straightforward and even kind of a trope: the Grim Reaper chooses the most unlikely candidate to be his sinister successor—and thus, hi-larious hijinks must absolutely ensue. I think the key to this one standing apart from similar games is what kind of adventures this new hire will be tossed into, and how he—and, by extension, you—have to resolve them. That aside, the voice acting is strong, the animation style is adorable, and the demo was fun with silly but thoughtful puzzles and a cliffhanger that actually had me cursing out loud.

Minds Beneath Us

Promotional banner for the Minds Beneath Us game
Image art property of BearBoneStudio

Release date: To be announced
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows
Languages: English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Japanese
Learn more/Try the demo: Steam

Summary: It’s a simple fact that we all have a mind, a consciousness, and an ego that makes us deniably ourselves. So, what do you do when you are nothing but a mind, where your only purpose is to invade the body of someone else and extract the deepest, most damaging secrets from the darkest corners of their lives? In this futuristic, sci-fi adventure where nearly everything—and everyone—is bound to artificial intelligence, you have been mysteriously freed from the system that made you and granted a second chance at life—by stealing someone else’s.

My thoughts: Honestly, this game had points against it before I finally broke down and played the demo. For me, the promotional poster was/is not a good reflection of all that this was. It’s not even the game’s art style—which is a crying shame, because the in-game art and animations are gorgeous. When I finally played the demo just to yay or nay it out of my Steam wishlist, I was so happy to see that it wasn’t what I expected. I was even jumpscared by a non-jumpscary part—which is pitiful for me, but really fun nonetheless! After completing the demo, I still have so many questions about how the story of a wandering consciousness that can take over the body of another, will end up.

Old Skies

Promotional banner for the Old Skies game
Image art property of Wadjet Eye Games

Release date: To be determined
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows, SteamOS/Linux, Mac
Languages: English
Learn more/play the demo: Official site, Steam, GOG.com

Summary: What would you do if you lived in a future where time travel, and even changing history, was just another day at the office? For Agent Fia Quinn, time is just that. Armed with the tools of her trade and her trusty homebase operator right in her ear, Agent Quinn [no relation to Captain Quinn from Aboard the Adventure] must escort seven elite customers to their chosen temporal destinations and ensure they get their money’s worth on the trip. You better be ready to traverse 200 years of Earth’s change, progress, and—of course—destruction. It is your job, after all.

My thoughts: This game comes from one of my favorite retro-style PnC adventure game developers—Wadjet Eye Games. It has been an honor and a pleasure to watch this award-winning company grow and expand from their first iteration of The Shivah (about a crime-fighting rabbi!), through the well-deserved success of The Blackwell series, all the way until now. They’re probably the only developer that I follow for new games on a regular basis—and, if they continue to deliver what they have delivered all this time, I sure as heck don’t intend to stop any time soon.

Port Valley

Promotional banner for the Port Valley game
Image art property of WrongPixel

Release date: To be determined
Platforms: Windows, SteamOS/Linux, Mac
Languages: English
Learn more/play the demo: Official site, Steam, Itch.io

Summary: Three characters, three points of view, three perspectives into what is to be a very, very important Election Day in the city/town/place of Port Valley. What ties these three souls together?? *shrug* I just know it does; I’m leaving the game to explain the rest. With humor (and a sewer system) reminiscent of Lucas Arts games (Monkey Island 2, anyone?) and a multitude of—er, three—players that you play as, Port Valley is sure to surprise you somehow. Like, surprisingly, the game’s not about detectives. Seriously. Their words, not mine.

My thoughts: I’m all for a silly (mis)adventure game with inside gags, Pokémon battle parodies, and Easter egg homages by creators who clearly worshipped the old-school PnC classics. Some of the gags came off a little too heavy or on the nose for me, but that could also be because I played the demo twice—one with the 2020 demo, and then again on Steam with the 2022 demo. I’m also hoping this game doesn’t fall into a developer’s limbo due to trying to incorporate too many ideas and gags. Either way, I’m keeping this one on my wishlist for whenever it’s ready.

Twilight Oracle

Promotional banner for the Twilight Oracle game
Image art property of Cosmic Void

Release date: To be determined
Platforms: Windows
Languages: English, Italian*, German*, Spanish*
Learn more/play the demo: Steam, Itch.io

Summary: Leo is just like any normal kid trying to pass school in a magical world: one part untapped potential, two parts rebellious teen, and a few extra parts slacker. Unfortunately, the last two have caught up with him, and the council has given him his final ultimatum: seek and return the legendary “Oracle,” or don’t bother returning to school! But don’t worry; along with the ability to breathe underwater, Leo’s got a few exiled classmates along for the ride, each with their own gift. Use them (the gifts I mean) wisely, and there’s no reason why you can’t complete your quest quickly and resume your schooling. But, can you trust what the faculty has told you about this Oracle, or is something else at work?

My thoughts: I found this demo recently and decided to see if it was worth my fancy. It’s definitely one of those “Why not?” kinda games—but not in a bad way! It’s brightly rendered with a potential plot twist and a good cliffhanger in the demo. It’s also got pretty good voice acting, vibrant graphics (along with a sprite that walks and poses an awful lot like an old game character I used to know), and an intriguing premise on an oft-used idea: outcast magic-school students must complete a sacred quest to be reinstated into school. It didn’t hurt to try, so it shouldn’t hurt to buy. I’m just really hoping the originality carries through the rest of the game.