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The Crimson Diamond is an old-fashioned mystery in the style of Sierra's Laura Bow

An upcoming adventure game in the style of Sierra's Laura Bow mysteries, The Crimson Diamond is one fans will want to keep an eye on, as it nails the spirit of those adventurous point and clicks. As geologist/detective (surely a first?) Nancy Maple, you'll visit the town of Crimson, in Ontario, to get to the bottom of a mystery relating to a precious diamond. The diamond of the title, obviously.

While the full game isn't finished yet, you can play a demo of The Crimson Diamond, which offers a hefty slice of the adventure. There's even a tutorial to get you used to its decidedly old-fashioned method of interaction.

If you've not played the old Laura Bow games (I haven't), that interaction method might trip you up, as it combines text-adventure-style command typing with the more common (today) point-and-click interface. Which is to say, you move Nancy around by clicking with the mouse (or by tapping the cursor keys), and have her look at, talk to, take or open/close things by typing out the relevant commands with your keyboard.

It might seem a bit of an odd system at first, but ultimately finds a neat balance between the flexibility of parser games, and the more approachable nature of the more modern point and clicks. If you enjoy old-style adventures, be sure to download The Crimson Diamond and see for yourself.

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.