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Adventure Game of the Year (Posted Dec 11, 2004) Printer Friendly Page

2004 Adventure Game of the Year

Game Tunnel defines adventure games as either platform games, think Super Mario Bros. (Charlie II for indie purists), or action games that are heavier on the storyline and lighter on the action (those that have RPG aspects, but aren't really RPGs).  Last year the adventure category really shined, with the top two games from this category also placing #1 and #2 overall.  Will we follow the same trend this year?  Who knows?  One thing that is definitely for sure is that you cannot go wrong with any of the titles listed here!

5th Place - Kid Mystic

Developer: Hamumu Players: 1
Release: October 2004  
System Requirements: 300 MHZ processor, Windows 95+, DirectX 3.0+ (also available on Mac)

Once again Hamumu is back as a finalist in the adventure category, this time with a game that looks and plays somewhat similar to last year's finalist Dr. Lunatic Supreme with Cheese, but there are quite a few differences that I think make this game one that the more mainstream crowd will check out. 

In fact Kid Mystic for me is more like Dr. Lunatic meets Zelda.  This game pits you as a wizard against the evil Bobby Khan (see his name even sounds evil, there are few names more frightening than Bobby!)  That type of strange, dumb, and let's face it pretty entertaining humor runs throughout the game.  Hamumu has become renown for their slightly odd approach to games (tagline of the company "Making Dumb games since 1998").  However while the games may provide a slightly strange sense of dumb humor the real thing that I believe keeps people coming back for each title that Hamumu releases is the sharp game play and the length of it.  Playing all the way through Kid Mystic may not take you 150+ hours like Dr. Lunatic, but if you want to find everything, play every mini-game and solve every puzzle you are looking at 50 hours easy.  If the game were tedious that would be a problem, as it is, find some time to play for 50 hours as you're sure to enjoy it!

Our Review:
None available at this time (check back in the near future)

4th Place - Flatspace

Developer: Cornutopia Players: 1
Release: December 2003  
System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/XP/NT/2K, DirectX 9.0+, 500 MHz CPU, 3D Video Card

Just as we were finishing up our end of the year awards last year Cornutopia released what has certainly been their most acclaimed game so far.  Flatspace is a monstrous game that provides players with so many different options as to what and how to play that most gamers I think become quickly intimidated by the game.  

In the game you can become a trader, bounty hunter, police officer, mercenary, etc. Basically, you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want. This game is very open-ended and allows you to play the game as you find it to be most entertaining. You can trade between stations, or destroy them while avoiding the Law, or become the Law yourself.  The game allows you to really have a completely different adventure every time you play it, as you may be on the opposite side or trying to achieve a different goal entirely than you were trying to achieve last time.  If you are looking for something that provides you with a lot of play options and the ability to really have a different adventure every time, you could try Nethack...but if you want something a little better looking and more in-depth, you should give Flatspace a try.

Our Review:
"With the huge world, incredibly dynamic AI, and sheer number of things to do, Flatspace should provide plenty of hours of diversion."

3rd Place - The Witch's Yarn

Developer: Mousechief Players: 1
Release: December 2004  
System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 7+, 400 mhz, 128 MB RAM (Mac also available)

The Witch's Yarn is a different type of adventure game than we've included in our adventure category in year's past.  I think some people might see it as closer to the roots of adventure gaming, and there is certainly something to that.  The game however is actually quite difficult to categorize because it plays more like a play or a book than an actual game.

In the Witch's Yarn you don't control a character.  Now of course the game revolves around a character, a young witch named Wednesday, but you don't actually control what she does.  Instead the way this game plays is that you advance the story on by queuing up different objects or people in the story.  You can for example queue up the mother, and the next part of the story will occur by her.  Or you can queue the spinning wheel and the next part of the story will revolve around the wheel.  The game is somewhat "Choose Your Own Adventure-ish" in that you do need to select who and what you queue up wisely or you will not advance to the next chapter of the game.  This makes the game somewhat the antithesis of Flatspace as you don't have a very wide-open game play, but it is quite entertaining nonetheless and if you are looking for something innovative or different, The Witch's Yarn definitely meets the mark with a quality adventure.

Our Review:
None available at this time (check back in the near future)

2nd Place - Wik & the Fable of Souls

Developer: Reflexive Players: 1
Release: September 2004 Download Now!
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP, 128MB RAM, Pentium 733 MHz, TNT2 Video card+, OpenGL drivers installed

Somewhere in-between Troll dolls and Gollum is a little creature known as Wik. Who knows maybe Wik is a love child of an unknown love story between the two. What I can tell you is that that Wik is definitely one of the cooler games to come along in quite awhile.

In addition to his his likely mixed heritage, Wik might just have a little bit of frog in him. He has a very long tongue that is used heavily in his movement much like Spiderman uses his webs. Wik can extend his long tongue, attach it to a branch or rock, and then jump into swinging action. Typically you will find yourself swinging from one side of the screen to the other, up and down and in all sorts of loops as you play. Though getting the hand of this isn't easy, those who quit early are missing out on how much fun it is to move around the board with Wik.  Swinging back and forth across the screen with Wik while catching bugs and grubs plays almost like an art form, and I'm confident that anyone can get the hang of it, and once you do you'll be thoroughly thrilled with how good this game is.

Our Review:
"Wik is one of the cooler characters to come around in awhile and definitely fits in with Gish as one of the best games that has come out this year."

2004 Adventure Game of the Year - Gish

Developer: Chronic Logic Players: 1-2 (vs)
Release: May 2004  
System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 1000 mhz+ Processor, 32 MB Video

Ahh Gish!  From the moment I first started playing this game way back in January of this year, back before there were enemies or dynamic lighting or all of the versus levels, I was absolutely hooked on Gish and how many things that this character can do.  For those who have watched "The Incredible" I think you'll agree with the statement that its not about having the ability to do something, it's all about how you use that ability.  In this game, much like that movie, the developers have gone out of their way to not just give Gish the ability to do things, but to also make you have to think about his abilities and use them well.  The real joy in the game comes directly from being able to accomplish things with Gish that you would never have thought of doing with a character.  Gish is clearly one of the better characters ever conceived and that is saying a lot for a ball of tar!

Anyone who has played this game will find themselves trying desperately to explain what the game is like, using other games to try to explain it and realizing that they are failing by so doing. Gish is a one of a kind game that must be seen and played to be understood and appreciated. It is quite unlike anything you've ever played before and clearly one of the most original games created in recent history.  It is with great pleasure that we award Gish our 2004 Adventure Game of the Year award!

Our Review:
"For those who aren't downloading the game at this moment, all I can say is get to it, you won't be sorry, this is the gaming experience of a lifetime."


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