Adventure games and stories
The best adventure game for iPhone and iPad: Year Walk
Rich in Swedish folklore, Year Walk has you venture into the cold, dark woods, where strange creatures lurk and terrible events blur reality and fiction, past and present.
With an interface that resembles a creepy, twisted picture book, you must discern clues, unravelling the dark secrets of the forest. Literal horror awaits, along with one of the finest conclusions of any modern adventure title. The journey there will keep you transfixed, not least during those moments it’s scaring the pants off of you.
You know you’re in for a treat as soon as Device 6 launches, unleashing a ballsy credits sequence any classic spy show would be proud to call its own. It then dumps you on a remote island with a name (Anna) and absolutely no idea of how you got there or what to do next.
You navigate the story — literally, since words form corridors you travel along — trying to make sense of what you see and hear, to complete cryptic puzzles and unravel the island’s secrets. To say more would spoil the surprises within, but suffice to say this is a modern gaming classic, and was one of 2013’s finest titles on any platform.
Death Road to Canada
This game is like if someone had made The Walking Dead on the SNES, fashioning a home conversion lacking in gore but laced with black humour.
The randomly generated road trip has you travel from Florida to the reported safety of Canada. One moment, you’ll be scavenging for supplies with your little crew, smacking zombies with brooms, and finding a surprising amount of petrol hidden in toilets. Elsewhere, your fortunes are driven by multiple-choice narratives, and intense ‘siege’ scenes where you’re dumped in a claustrophobic space and told to survive.
The randomness can irk when one of your team loses half your supplies through having a hole in their bag, but it’s hard to remain mad at a game that lets you recruit dogs – and those dogs then out of the blue suggest making Molotov cocktails from fuel at an abandoned petrol station.
Love you to bits
Love You to Bits is an old-school point-and-click adventure reimagined for touchscreen. Rookie space explorer Kosmo searches planets for parts of his robot girlfriend (don’t think too hard about that), regularly finding himself immersed in challenges littered with pop-culture references.
The charm offensive never lets up, from a 2D Monument Valley to a certain famous space cantina. And although the puzzles are typically quite simple and sometimes require crazy leaps of logic, the game’s ceaselessly clever nature, warmth and smarts means you’re going to love it to bits in return.
In Her Story, your device is temporarily transformed into an ancient desktop PC. As it whirrs and clanks into life, you see a window for the L.O.G.I.C. Database, ominously pre-populated with a search term: MURDER. Hit ‘Search’ and video fragments appear, all of a woman being interviewed by police.
If you’re a remotely inquisitive sort, that’ll be it for you. Hours will be spent eking out clues from everything the woman says, and trying to unravel mysteries within mysteries. The database itself intentionally hampers you, limiting access to five videos (although listing how many were actually found). The contrivance is obviously designed to force you to delve deeper, but anyone who lived through the 1990s PC era will probably grin, remembering when software really was that user-hostile.