We review the best point n’ click adventure games of 2016 for PC and other platforms, including Wadjet eye’s latest slice of post-apocalyptic adventuring and some suitably sinister horror titles.
Amy Wellard is living on borrowed time after contracting a deadly new virus. Her only chance of survival is to carry out dangerous government jobs, which buys her entry into a lottery for the vaccine, until her latest job drops her into the hands of a resistance movement. Now she’s faced with a difficult choice; join the resistance and fight against the privileged upper classes, or spy on the movement in return for the cure?
Wadjet Eye is always a solid bet when it comes to high-quality narrative-driven point n’ click adventures, and while Shardlight doesn’t quite hit the giddy highs of Primordia or Gemini Rue, the game’s intriguing post-apocalyptic setting, well-drawn characters and smart puzzles make for another memorable and compelling experience.
Read next: Best adventure games for Android or iOS
The Last Door: Season 2
Anyone with a love of Poe-style gothic horror should immediately check out The Last Door, another retro-style adventure like Shardlight. Don’t be put off by the incredibly low-res visuals. If anything, those blocky graphics mean your imagination works overtime, finding all manner of horrors lurking in those dark, moody environments.
The Last Door Season 2 picks up exactly where the first season ended, so we’d recommend playing in order to get the most from the creepy narrative (all to do with a group of friends’ ill-advised experiments with supernatural shenanigans). Gameplay is much the same, and while hardcore point n’ clickers shouldn’t find much of a challenge, the overpowering atmosphere and bonkers plot are more than strong enough to hook your interest until the climax.
While The Last Door offers up sinister, creeping horror in a gothic style, this long-awaited remake of Rem Michalski’s Downfall veers towards gore, guts and in-your-face terror. It’s a very different experience but still deeply compelling.
Like Michalski’s other horror adventure The Cat Lady, Downfall offers up some thoughtful puzzles and a gripping story presented in a very unique style. We’re not kidding when we say it’s gory, though. There’s blood and body bits all over the place, so the squeamish best stay well away.
If you like your point n’ click adventures with a serious helping of surrealness, then Samorost 3 should satisfy. Anyone who’s played the first two games, or similar fare such as Machinarium, will know exactly what to expect here; strange alien worlds populated with all manner of bizarre beasties, and puzzles that demand a lot of trial and error-style poking.
There’s no hand-holding here, so you’ll be left to experiment all on your own, unless you cop out and resort to a walkthrough or the built-in hints book of course. But Samorost is best explored unaided and there’s no denying the little thrill that accompanies each successfully conquered puzzle. Colourful graphics and excellent sound design make this a fantastic visual and aural experience too, but only patient types need apply.
Although there are very few puzzles to solve in Oxenfree, a dreamlike tale about a group of teenagers trespassing on a creepy island where unsettled spirits linger, it’s still one of the best adventure games to emerge in 2016.
Gameplay is mostly focused on exploration and conversations between the well-fleshed-out characters, similar to the TellTale Games adventures. If you prefer to do rather than observe, then Oxenfree probably won’t do much for you. However, if you like character-based dramas or a good old-fashioned supernatural mystery, then you’re in for a treat.
Got any favourite point n’ click adventure games from 2016 that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.