15 Best Mobile Adventure Games for Android and iOS
Looking for an alternative to repetitive time-killers like Angry Birds or Candy Crush? Take a welcome detour with a truly engaging and interesting adventure game. The genre's focus on exploration, puzzles and story make adventure games a natural fit for mobile, leading to a rich variety of titles. You'll also find plenty of personality to these titles, some focusing on horror, some time travel and some murder mysteries. From old-school point-and-click ports to more modern fare with jaw-dropping graphics, here 15 of the best mobile adventure games for Android and iOS devices.
The Walking Dead: Michonne (Android, iOS) ($4.99)
Telltale Games returns to the Walking Dead universe, this time focusing on a badass fan favorite with The Walking Dead: Michonne (Android, iOS). Covering the time between issues #126-139 of the comic book, the new three-episode mini-series covers where she went after leaving Rick & crew, and why she would eventually go back. Alternatingly gritty and haunted, Michonne makes for a compelling lead character in Telltale's latest zombie apocalypse story. As with other titles in the series, the choices you make in the first episode carry over, creating a variety of possible story outcomes as the series progresses.
The Talos Principle (Android) ($19.99)
Croteam's critically acclaimed "philosophical puzzler", The Talos Principle, makes an appearance on devices powered by Nvidia's Tegra K1/X1 hardware. As a newly awoken android in a world filled with classical ruins and high technology, players are tasked by their creator, the mysterious Elohim, to solve a variety of puzzles. You must unlock clues about what happened to create the desolate world that surrounds you. While The Talos Principle is a Tegra exclusive, it includes some reasonably smooth touchscreen controls, making it playable even without a gamepad.
To Be or Not To Be (Android, iOS) ($5.99)
Imagine William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as a choose-your-path gamebook, and you get Ryan North's "To Be or Not To Be" (Android, iOS), which has you playing the part of Hamlet, Ophelia or Hamlet Senior on their insane adventures. Powered by Tin Man Games' Gamebook Adventures engine, the app takes full advantage of the digital format by accompanying the branching text with music, sound effects, hilarious achievements and an end-game "Haml-o-Meter" and a statistics page that compares your choices with the Bard's. A particular delight is the wealth of illustrations by a variety of Web comic greats such as Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant), Zach Weinersmith (SMBC), and Matthew Inman (Oatmeal). Incredibly hilarious and brilliantly executed, "To Be or Not To Be" will make sure you’ll never look at Shakespeare the same way again.
Game of Thrones (Android, iOS) ($4.99/episode)
Enter the world of Westeros in Telltale Games' latest adventure game based on the hit fantasy TV series Game of Thrones (Android, iOS). Players take control of the scions of House Forrester, minor bannermen of House Stark, in the great struggle for the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Telltale Games' signature high-stakes, timed decision-making is particularly apt for the Game of Thrones episodic game, with players having to think on their feet as they make tough choices in the battlefield and within the murky politics of the court. With the release of the sixth episode, "The Ice Dragon", users an play the entire game in one go.
The Room 3 (Android, iOS) ($4.99)
The Room 3 (Android, iOS) builds on the success of its previous installments, providing gamers with a series of challenging puzzles and satisfyingly tactile controls. Players must unravel a series of increasingly complex puzzles as they seek to unearth the secrets of The Null and the mysterious Craftsman. The game’s hallmark is its use of touch screen controls, with swipes, taps, and gestures intuitively manipulating puzzle elements, giving the game a very natural, immersive feel. New additions to the series include a 'hub' area called Grey Holm with a series of ongoing puzzles, as well as a branching ending that depends on how well you solve the game's mysteries.
Adventures of Poco Eco (Android, iOS) ($2.99)
A collaboration between indie musician iamyank and Possible Games, the Adventures of Poco Eco (Android, iOS) has players guiding the titular character through surreal, dream-like environments in search of the lost Sounds. Along the way, players must solve a variety of light environment puzzles, with the helpful Ledbug guiding the way. A low-stress adventure and puzzle game, Adventures of Poco Eco makes for a nice audiovisual treat for kids and adults alike.
Grim Fandango (Android, iOS) ($9.99)
Step into the shoes of Manny Calavera, travel agent to the dead in the remastered version of the classic adventure game Grim Fandango (Android, iOS). First released in 1998, Grim Fandango melds Mexican folklore, film noir sensitivities, and a healthy dose of humor to create a fun and memorable adventure game. Double Fine’s remastered version features improved graphics, an orchestral score, and a wealth of extras like developer commentary and concept art. About the only thing that hasn’t translated well is the obscure 90s adventure game puzzle design, which can be counterintuitive to modern gamers.
Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy (iOS) ($9.99)
Part video game, part interactive film, David Cage’s Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy takes you through a creepy mix of crime thriller and supernatural horror, all seen from the eyes of a varied cast of characters. Fahrenheit pioneered some interesting adventure mechanics such as limited, high-impact branching dialogue and timed choices that would influence later adventure and RPG greats, and the game still stands up well with its branching storylines and fully voiced cast. The mobile port however still retains the clunky quicktime events of the original.
République (Android, iOS) ($4.99)
République (Android, iOS) is an episodic stealth adventure that immerses you in a fictional surveillance state. Armed only with backdoor access to surveillance cameras and security systems, you must help the young girl Hope escape and evade a gauntlet of guards. Intuitive touch controls allow players to easily switch between cameras and hack objects, giving you quick one-tap control for helping Hope evade guards and pick up mission objects and collectibles. Three episodes out of a planned five have already been released, unlockable through in-app purchases or a Season Pass.
Broken Age (iPad) ($9.99)
The first act of Double Fine's adventure Broken Age tells the story of two teens, each struggling against traditions that bind them. Deep in the bowels of a starship, Shay Volta is trying to escape the clutches of a stiflingly maternal AI, while Vella Tartine has been chosen to be sacrificed to a mysterious monster in order to save her village. Gorgeously rendered 2D graphics, a neat soundtrack and a genuinely well-built adventure make Broken Age Act 1 a keeper, and we're sure many eagerly await the Android release as well as Act 2.
The Silent Age (Android, iOS free)
Armed with a time travel device and stuck between a dead future and a present that ignores him, it's up to Joe to save the world in The Silent Age (Android, iOS). It's 1972, an age of free love, Cold War, and the blowing winds of social change. Of course, all that seems to have passed by Joe, an average guy scraping by as a janitor living a life of soul-crushing tedium. All that changes when he's suddenly confronted by a dying man who seemingly appears out of nowhere to hand Joe a time travel device and a dire warning: unless Joe acts now, in 40 years, humanity will be extinct.
Gemini Rue (Android, iOS $4.99)
This brooding cyberpunk noir thriller tells two stories that eventually come together. One is of Azriel Oden, a former assassin turned law enforcer searching for his brother. The other is of Delta Six, an amnesiac trapped inside a medical institution. Like many other adventures by developer Wadjet Eye Games, Gemini Rue (Android, iOS) sports a retro graphical look reminiscent of classic adventure games like Beneath a Steel Sky. It's a compelling sci-fi mystery with excellent writing hampered only by some awkward action sequences.
Device 6 (iOS $3.99)
Device 6 is a weird combination of narrative and puzzle challenges, and draws some inspiration from surreal spy dramas like The Prisoner. Anna wakes up in a castle in a remote island with no memory of how she got there. What's up with the two identical castles on the island, who is the man with the hat, and what is the meaning of the tests she's being put through? An extremely stylish audio visual presentation meshes brilliantly with the puzzles.
Machinarium (Android, iOS $5.00/$1.99)
Sporting a unique art style that is equal parts storybook whimsy and industrial apocalypse, Machinarium (Android, iOS) begins with a nameless robot dumped at the top of a scrap heap. From there, one begins to solve a series of point and click puzzles and brain teasers to unravel the plot, accompanied by little more than the ominous yet mournful soundtrack. Machinarium is confident in its storytelling, using no spoken or written dialogue to convey information. Rather, animations and thought bubbles tell you all you need to know about your intrepid protagonist and his motivations.
Year Walk (iOS, $3.99)
Simogo's "Year Walk" marked a surreal departure from the developer's formerly casual gaming roots, presenting players with a strange romp through Swedish mythology. A first person adventure game, players embark on the year walk, a Scandinavian vision quest, trudging into the woods and encountering mysterious creatures from out of folklore. Equal parts horrifying and wonderful, Year Walk is a short and strange experience worth savoring. A free companion app provides more background about the folklore that the game presents.