Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Release date: August 31, 2017 (Episode 1 out now)
Developer: Deck Nine Games
Link: Steam page
A prequel to Life is Strange, delving deeper into the messed up life of Chloe Price after Max moves away. We'll learn more about Rachel Amber across three episodes, though sadly voice actress Ashly Burch won't be reprising her role as Chloe thanks to the SAG-AFTRA voice actor's strike. This seemingly won't be the last of Life is Strange, either: original developers Dontnod hinted that they have a sequel in the works as well.
Jenny LeClue is an attractively-illustrated adventure game about a kid detective—and also the meta-story of the author penning her story—that instantly charmed us. There’s no solid release date, but we should be hunting down clues (including head lice, based on the trailer), sometime this year.
This seems to have to do with burritos. Features include “cool talking,” “neat moving,” and “slap everything!! Ow!!”
Return of the Obra Dinn
We were in love with Return of the Obra Dinn , but we think it’s easy to see why. Lucas Pope, the creator of Papers, Please, is back with a mysterious ghost-ship exploration adventure—and all of it is rendered in the stark black-and-whites of an old 1-bit Mac game. It gets weird fast.
Scorn is horror of the finest vintage: you can’t even describe the world, except to say that it’s horrible. Can you picture a creature with seven faces that explodes into slugs like a bloody pinata? You’re on the right track, but that’s not weird enough. This first-person horror adventure is at the . Actually, the list is just the word “Scorn” written in blood over and over, then underlined.
Jack King-Spooner’s games, from Beeswing to Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, are always a bit weird. Interactive narratives that play with your definitions of game and software, they are if nothing else, always extremely interesting. Dujanah casts you as a woman in a majority-Muslim country, and the world is made up of clay sculptures, real-world objects, and King-Spooner’s eclectic musical tastes.
Is it right to call a game hard-boiled if the main character is a duck? Anyway, Detective Gallo is a quirky detective noir point-and-click adventure game starring a grumpy private eye with a cactus for an assistant. Five exotic plants have been murdered, and it's up to the titular detective to unravel the hand-drawn, hand-animated mystery.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series
Release date: April 18, 2017 (Episode 1 out now)
Developer: Telltale Games
Link: Official Site
Play as the Guardians in a game heavily inspired by Marvel's recent films. The gang's all here, with the same focus on QTE action and character dialogue choices we've come to expect from Telltale. In our middling review, we said the story "may eventually get someplace interesting, but it's a poor fit for Telltale's simple quick time events and stiff dialogue sequences."
The Sexy Brutale
Release date: April 11, 2017 (Out now)
Developer: Tequila Works
Link: Steam page
A clever, stylish time travel adventure game set in a mansion where a costume ball is well underway, and there are naturally murders to be solved. In our review, we wrote "The Sexy Brutale is a beautiful game, each chamber and hallway interestingly and exquisitely decorated. The manor is filled with secrets and curiosities, hidden rooms and intriguing portraits, and bizarre and often morbid sights. "
Full Throttle Remastered
Joining Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, . Featuring brand new 2D and 3D art, as well as remastered audio and soundtrack, you’ll be able to relive the adventures of Ben, leader of the Polecats motorcycle gang, as he battles other bikers and an evil corporate minivan tycoon. You’ll be able to toggle between the remastered and 1995 versions as you play, and it will also include audio commentary from the creators. Even 20 years later, you just can’t beat a Corley. A great remaster.
The better part of a decade in the making at this point, Syberia 3 looks like a classic adventure game in full 3D. Series fans will be happy to know writer Benoit Sokal is still writing Kate Walker's adventures. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to its predecessors. In our review, we wrote "there are few places where Syberia 3 doesn’t get it completely wrong, and even its high points suffer from notable problems. It would have been better if the series had ended with Kate waving goodbye to Hans as he rode off on his mammoth at the end of the last game instead of this unnecessary resurrection."
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Japanese visual novels aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the Zero Escape series is a remarkably savage story of survival as nine strangers must sacrifice one another to escape the machinations of a sadistic mastermind. Coming to PC for the first time, The Nonary Games is a bundle of the first two games in the series, 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward, with the former receiving a complete makeover with update high resolution visuals. Don’t be misled by its flamboyant anime aesthetic, Zero Escape is gut-wrenching and merciless. We gave the games a glowing review, saying they continue to set the bar for the genre.
What Remains of Edith Finch
Finally, a game for the family—sort of. It’s about family at least. A cursed family in Washington state, and you play through a series of short stories from from the perspective of uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, and more dating back to the 1900s all the way to the present day. Each vignette also features its own specific style of play. The only constant is that it’s all first-person and each ends with the death of that family member. So yeah, one for the family, if your family is haunted by an ancient curse. We loved it, writing in our review "What Remains of Edith Finch is a masterful piece of storytelling: gorgeous, skillfully told, uplifting in places, and devastating in others."
Release date: August 2, 2017 (Out now)
Link: Official site
By now we know that whenever you find yourself alone on an abandoned space station, you’re not really alone. In Tacoma, the first-person adventure from Gone Home developer Fullbright, you may not meet actual people but you’ll be able to interact with their AR holograms, which replay what they were doing before their disappearance from the station. And naturally, there will be an omnipresent AI to keep you company as you explore, snoop through personal belongings, read messages, and piece together the story.
In our review, we called Tacoma "a smart and thoughtful science fiction mystery featuring a cast of believable, nuanced characters. "
Night in the Woods
Release Date: January 10, 2017 (Out now)
Developer: Infinite Fall
Link: Official site
In this gothic rustbelt adventure, Mae, a young adult college dropout (and cat-person) moves back home and discovers she has paranormal abilities. From there, you’ll wander your old haunts, chat with friends, and bounce around on telephone wires. Despite the familiar 2D platformer presentation, this is a narrative-focused game dealing with heavy themes of faith, depression, the dissolution of rural America, and what it means to be a young (cat) adult in the world today. In our review, we called it a "beautiful, heartfelt coming of age story that says something about life, and cracks a few jokes in the process."
The Pillars of the Earth
Release date: August 15, 2017 (Out now)
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Link: Official site
Well here’s an interesting experiment. Daedalic is adapting Ken Follet’s ridiculously good (ridiculously complex) historic novel into an interactive format. This isn’t the first book-to-game adaptation, of course—TellTale has done great work with The Walking Dead, for example—but it’s certainly the most ambitious.
Maniac Mansion's creators team back up to write a new 2D point-and-click adventure with Mulder & Scully copycats as protagonists. Where Maniac Mansion took us to the spooky mansion, Thimbleweed Park expands that out to a spooky town but brings back the classic verb-driven interface. Also in the vein of Maniac Mansion, there are five playable characters. One of them is a ghost. Weird, right? In our review, we called Thimbleweed Park "a quality adventure game with challenging puzzles, oddball characters, and an intriguing, mystery-laden plot."