We review the best point and click adventure games that you can download in 2017 for iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices. From classic remakes such as Gabriel Knight and retro-style titles like Primordia, to all-new puzzle adventures like The Room series, these are our favourite adventure games for your smartphone or tablet.
Since the golden days of LucasArts, we've been massive fans of point and click adventure games. Collecting bizarre inventory items such as dead porcupines for seemingly no reason, because you'll just happen to need them ten hours later, has always had a certain charm. And exactly how the hero manages to secrete a step ladder in his or her slacks is quite a mystery.
Point and click adventures were sadly out of favour when we hit the new millenium, stuck away on the endangered genre list and destined to die out entirely. However, adventure games have enjoyed a serious resurgence on phones and tablets and it's not hard to see why. Those touchscreen controls are perfect for point and click, while a whole new generation are discovering classic titles such as Day of the Tentacle and Myst, which haven't aged a bit.
As well as remastered versions of old classics, we've seen a fair few original adventures hit Android and iOS, which are just as awesome as those originals. Here's our pick of the very best point and click adventure games you can play in 2017 on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Nelly Cootalot The Fowl Fleet
If you're a Monkey Island fan, you absolutely have to pick up Nelly Cootalot. This iOS adventure game is almost a spiritual sequel to the classic LucasArts title, thanks to the rather bonkers plot and wry, rib-tickling humour.
Nelly Cootalot is the pirate heroine of the game, tasked with stopping the nefarious plot of Baron Widebeard. The cartoon graphics and animation are gorgeous and the voice acting (including the dulcet tones of Tom Baker) perfectly suits the wacky cast of characters. We love the puzzles too, which are well integrated and good fun to figure out. Thank god for that hotspot highlighter too, which helps to alleviate any frustration from missing a vital item.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Myst
Myst is almost 25 years old yet still imprinted in the minds of every true adventure game fan, thanks to its gorgeous visuals, memorable worlds and suitably tricky puzzles. The game was spruced up earlier this millenium as 'realMyst', which featured an updated control scheme, a full hint guide and a fresh new world (or 'age') to explore. And the great news is that realMyst has just hit Android, to keep our brains ticking over on those long journeys.
The Android version of Myst is easy to control, perfectly suited to a touchscreen device. However, you can also hook up a Bluetooth controller if you prefer.
Check out our full Myst for Android preview
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Broken Sword Director's Cut
One of the most famous point and click adventure games is this globe-trotting adventure, which sees you thwarting a dark conspiracy as intrepid pair George Stobbart and Nico Collard. The story holds up well and this Director's Cut version is impressive work indeed, rather than a simple, lazy repackaging.
You get a number of plot tweaks and fresh puzzles to solve, so even Broken Sword veterans have a reason to download onto their iPhones, iPads or Android devices and restart the adventure.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Simon the Sorceror
Another classic adventure game, Simon the Sorceror is now over two decades old but still a chucklesome and hard-as-nails point and click title.
This mobile remaster features high-def graphics, although you can play with the original graphics if you like. Thankfully a hotspot highlight feature has been introduced too, so you don't need to poke every last pixel to find interactive objects - one of the reasons we struggled to complete the game back in the 90s.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: A Normal Lost Phone
Not a traditional adventure game by any means, A Normal Lost Phone has a simple but brilliant concept at its heart.
As the name suggests, you've found a lost mobile and your task is to track down the owner. To do so you'll have to unlock its secrets and hack some passwords, but as you dive deeper into the owner's personal life, questions of morals and social acceptance come to light.
With a brilliantly told story and some cleverly integrated puzzles, A Normal Lost Phone is one of the best narrative-driven games of 2017 so far.
Check out our full A Normal Lost Phone guide for hints on how to complete the game.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Grim Fandango
Lucas Arts’ classic point and click adventure inspired by the Mexican Day Of The Dead celebration has been remastered and brought back to glorious life (so to speak) for a whole new generation of iPhone, iPad and Android owners.
Strong voice work, striking visuals and a very dry sense of humour help Grim Fandango to stand out from the adventure game crowd, while the epic story will take you many, many hours to complete. Noobs be warned, however; this is a traditional point and click game, which means it doesn't hold your hand at any point. If you resort to internet walkthroughs, we won’t judge. Much.
Read next: Best Android games of 2016
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Day of the Tentacle
If you haven't played this classic LucasArts adventure game and you own an iPad or iPhone, then stop everything right now and go and download it. Day of the Tentacle isn't simply one of the best adventure games you can play on iOS devices, it's also one of the greatest games of all time.
DOTT sees you controlling three different geeky friends who find themselves scattered through time, as they desperately try and reverse the maniacal actions of an evil purple tentacle. The glorious cartoon visuals, ridiculous gags and brain-crunching puzzles make this classic adventure worth every last penny.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Gemini Rue
This gripping sci-fi noir thriller may look like another remake of a classic adventure game thanks to its pixelated graphics, but Gemini Rue is actually only a few years old. That retro style is just how developer Wadjet Eye rolls, and the old-school presentation suits this grimy noir thriller perfectly fine.
You play as two different characters, a grizzled assassin and a prisoner trapped in a bizarre futuristic prison complex, with the ability to switch between them at any time. Watching as the complex plot unfolds is a true joy, while the gripping gameplay makes this one of the best adventures of recent times. Even the brief action sequences are well integrated and fun to play.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Shardlight
If you like your adventure games with a healthy dose of post-apocalyptic melancholy and conflict, then Shardlight is the one for you.
Our second entry from developer Wadjet Eye retains that old-school presentation and futuristic setting, but offers a completely different vibe. In Shardlight, the world is dying. A disease called Greenlung is spreading through the population and only the rich and those lucky enough to win the state lottery are allowed a dose of the cure.
As infected worker Amy Wellard, you're fighting for more than just your life. If Amy is to survive, she needs to win the trust of the very government who is oppressing her people and uncover the sinister shenanigans within. With its dark but gripping plot, shocking turns and dense game world, Shardlight is a must-play for adventure game addicts.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Primordia
Imagine a world where humans are no more, and only robots of all shapes and sizes roam the planet. This is the setting of Primordia, where two such robots - Horatio and his big-mouthed sidekick Crispin - find themselves on a quest to reclaim their stolen power source.
Primordia is another proper old school point and click adventure, which sees you exploring a bustling robotic city and interacting with an eclectic cast of characters. The puzzles are perfectly integrated into the environment, making full use of the futuristic, crumbling technology that makes up the world.
Wadjet Eye helped out with the creation of Primordia, and Wormwood's smart adventure game certainly has the same retro cool and intelligent plotting of a Wadjet title. In fact, we'd go so far to rank Primordia in our top ten list of best point and click adventures, ever. You can grab it now for iOS devices on Apple's App Store.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Blackwell series
Our final Wadjet Eye offering in this best mobile adventure games round-up, the Blackwell games (Legacy, Unbound, Convergence, Deception and Epiphany) have you teaming up with a sardonic ghost to help trapped souls escape to the next world.
We highly recommend playing through the games in order; it’s perfectly possible to play and enjoy them as stand-alone titles, but the rolling plot and sparky relationship between the two protagonists make it well worth smashing through them as intended. The heart-wrenching climax is something that sticks with you for quite some time.
Read next: Blackwell series review (iOS)
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: The Room series
If you’re after gorgeous visuals and smart puzzles, The Room and its two sequels are insta-buys. Sure, there’s little in the way of actual plot here (although the second and third titles do add some interesting backstory), but these adventures boast atmosphere in spades.
The aim of the game is to unlock the secrets held within all manner of clever mechanical devices. Beating each puzzle is genuinely rewarding, especially if you manage to resist the built-in hint system that prods you gently in the right direction.
Read next: The Room 3 review
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: The Last Door
Like Wadjet Eye’s games, The Last Door is a modern adventure with an old-school vibe, but this time with a gothic horror theme. Don't be put off by the creepy low-res graphics either; they prove surprisingly effective, a true case of imagination proving the most terrifying thing of all.
This spine-tingling point n' click game isn’t a real brain-stomper like Grim Fandango and other classic adventures, so you should be done with all of the episodes in just a few hours. However, the tense atmosphere and sphincter-clenching soundtrack make for a truly compelling experience. Things get very dark, very quickly. If you’re a fan of horror, definitely check it out.
Read next: Best iOS horror games
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Jane Jensen’s point and click horror adventure is twenty years old. Twenty. Frankly, that’s almost as terrifying as the voodoo-based murders that drive the game’s plot, but this Android/iOS remake breathes fresh life into one of the best adventure games of all time.
Novelist-turned-detective Gabe Knight is a truly memorable protagonist, as is his long-suffering assistant Grace who slams down every cringe-worthy attempt to charm her pants off with a killer sharp wit. The dark and gruesome story intertwines perfectly with smart puzzles, keeping you hooked until the absolutely batsh*t crazy finale.
Read next: Best Android horror games
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Machinarium
For a game where the characters don’t utter a single word throughout, Machinarium is absolutely bursting with charm. The aim is essentially just to guide a cute little robot called Josef from one location to the next, bypassing any obstacles that stand in his way, including a tyrannical robo-gang. If you manage to get through the entire game without resorting to a walkthrough, we tip our hats to you.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Telltale Games series
Telltale Games’ episodic adventure series may be rather simplistic for hardcore adventure addicts, with very straightforward puzzles and lots of quick time action sequences scattered throughout, but few other adventure games have the same ability to shock or devastate. The Walking Dead in particular will send you hurtling through an emotional roller coaster as you try your damndest to protect the beleaguered gang of survivors from a grizzly fate.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Adam Wolfe
Adam Wolfe is a mind-trip of a game that casts you as a supernatural detective, desperately searching for his long-lost sister. You'll need to battle demonic forces, solve loads of grisly puzzles and dive back in time using a mysterious watch to piece together what actually happened at various crime scenes.
Check out our full Adam Wolfe review for more on this supernatural adventure. The first season is available right now from the App Store, in four episodes.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Syberia
Syberia and its sequel are classic adventure titles in pretty much every sense. The epic, sweeping plot, gorgeous vistas and eclectic cast make for a memorable point n’ click romp, ported nicely onto Android and iOS so you can play on the go.
You play as Kate Walker, a lawyer who finds herself taking a breathtaking trip across the wastelands of Russia in search of a mysterious inventor. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth if you grab the iPhone bundle for a fiver, with many, many hours of gameplay.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Yesterday
This utterly bonkers point and click noir adventure sees you tracking down a serial killer preying on New York beggars, but the plot soon cranks up to WTF territory - you’ll keep on playing just to see what crazy shenanigans happens next. Pretty cel-shaded visuals and decent puzzles make Yesterday a mobile adventure well worth playing through.
Best point and click adventure games for iPhone, iPad and Android: Sanitarium
Few games have managed to creep us out better than Sanitarium, another horror point n' click adventure that sees you struggling to break out of a twisted asylum. Of course, to do so you'll need to figure out who you really are and what happened to land you in this dark, dismal place.
As you piece together your missing memories, you'll find yourself transported to bizarre and horrifying locations such as a village filled with mutant children and a dilapidated circus stranded on a tiny island. Definitely not a point and click game for those with sensitive stomachs.