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Companions to love of my life The Last Express?
April 17, 2011 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I don't know much about computer games, but I love historical adventure game The Last Express. Please help me find similar games.

When I was a kid, I played educational computer games pretty frequently, not being aware of the other stuff -- until, one day, my father bought The Last Express (previously featured, sort of, on MetaFilter). He gave up after a few minutes, so I took the CDs and played it myself. I fell in love with it immediately -- the history, the detail, the rich characters, the twists and turns.. I love that it feels like a movie and is easy to play through for someone who's not really into gaming. (Easy with regards to the way the game operates, not necessarily figuring out the puzzles and things.) I am pretty much obsessed with this game, but I haven't really played any games since and so I don't really know where to look for anything similar. I played the whole game again last year and now I want more. Do you know this game? Do you have recommendations of more amazing games like this?

I asked a friend who knows about these things and he told me to go find Syberia and The Longest Journey, which I now have and am planning on playing soon. (I've also played Prince of Persia, since it's by Jordan Mechner as well, and I really like it even though it's very different from The Last Express.) I read about the game Heavy Rain, and I'd love to play that -- it sounds exactly like the sort of thing I am looking for -- but I don't have a PS3 and it seems silly to buy a PS3 just for this one game, though if I win the lottery I'll do it.

Any recommendations, recent or older, are very welcome -- this question has been tearing away at me for years and it only just occurred to me to ask you knowledgeable people. I am looking for games I can play on my computer (just an average laptop, no special graphics card or anything) by myself without using the Internet. I also enjoy text games although that's not quite what I am looking for right now. Thank you!
posted by Put the kettle on to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
You might try Gray Matter, or Jane Jensen's older Gabriel Knight games, which are easy to find. GK III featured a similar time mechanic to The Last Express with the game taking place in real time.
posted by dortmunder at 4:38 PM on April 17, 2011


Yes! Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is a similar sort of game (made in a similar era, even.) It will totally run on your laptop, because it's about 10 years older than your laptop. I actually booked a week of vacation to play it back in the day, and did.

There were literally no other games I liked until I downloaded and played Drawn. It's free to try for an hour and has the puzzle aspect; it's also really, really beautiful. You might try it.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:54 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did enjoy Heavy Rain a lot, so definitely keep that in mind if you win the lottery.

The precursor to Heavy Rain is Indigo Prophecy. I haven't really played very far into it, but it seems like it has the same style of choices and similar control schemes.
posted by cali59 at 5:02 PM on April 17, 2011


I just recently played through The Longest Journey again (on Steam), and it seems right up your alley. I'd start with it, rather than Syberia (which I also liked, though). I was also going to recommend the Gabriel Knight series and Grim Fandango, but I just don't know if they are available in a playable version anywhere.
posted by gemmy at 8:35 PM on April 17, 2011


Old School
The gold star in adventure games was LucasArts.

Recs:
The Secret of Monkey Island + sequels
Grim Fandango
Day of the Tentacle
Loom
Sam & Max Hit the Road

The Dig was okay. I remember not liking Full Throttle at all. And I've played one of the Indiana Jones games, I think Fate of Atlantis, but I found it dull and never finished it.

The first two Monkey Island games have also been ported to iPhone with enhanced graphics. I played the first one and found it a little fiddly on the small screen, but it's still a wonderful game that holds up surprisingly well.

New School
In the last couple of years, there's been an adventure game renaissance. Modern adventure games tend to be short (5-8 hours) and focused, and often have sequels rather than being one long game.

If you enjoy Monkey Island or Sam & Max, both have been revived by Telltale Games in the series Tales of Monkey Island and Sam & Max. Despite my fondness for the originals, these versions didn't do a lot for me, but YMMV.

Recs:
Machinarium
Emerald City Confidential
Kaptain Brawe
Dream Chronicles (skip the sequels)
Seconding Drawn: The Painted Tower and Drawn: Dark Flight

iPhone
If you have an iPhone, there's also a small number of developers making little bite-sized adventure games there. I enjoyed Hamlet and Scarlett and the Spark of Life.
posted by Georgina at 11:27 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Longest Journey is my favorite game. Its sequel, Dreamfall, is not as good but still worth playing.

I remember playing Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (video) as a kid— it's a traditional RPG but it's well written and it definitely has a movie feel. Some of the other QFG games might also be up your alley, but I haven't played them.

Beneath a Steel Sky and Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier are incredible games, and they're the most movie-like point n' click games I've played.

Sanitarium is well written and has a creepy atmosphere. It's mostly point n' click but there are bits of action mixed in.

Definitely check out Masq. It's a multiple choice adventure game but everything is *timed*. Very unique, but the software is a bit clunky (e.g. it pings a server every time you try to switch chapters). Be aware it's NSFW and contains some sex.
posted by yaymukund at 12:02 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


OH, I haven't played this but I've heard very good things about The 7th Guest.
posted by yaymukund at 12:04 AM on April 18, 2011


I love the Lucas Arts adventure games of old, but I think they may be a little goofy compared to the examples given. Consider Blade Runner, which is not a Schafer game but considered an excellent example of the genre. Also, Starship Titanic, written by Douglas Adams.

Full Throttle is probably my favorite game of all time. Grim Fandango is a close second.

Tim Schafer (the god of the old Lucas Arts adventures games) is the founder of Double Fine productions. Recent publications include Psychonauts, an excellent adventure/platformer, and Brutal Legend, which includes voice acting by several metal celebrities, with Jack Black as the lead. Though Brutal Legend is fun, it's not the greatest game and deviates heavily from the adventure games of old. I would say that since Grim Fandango, Schafer games have become more and more arcad-y.
posted by teabag at 8:16 AM on April 18, 2011


Ah, the 7th Guest reminded me, there's a psuedo-sequel to it called The 11th hour.

I really recommend Grim Fandango... it's probably the best 3D adventure game ever made.
posted by teabag at 8:27 AM on April 18, 2011


Thank you so much for the suggestions, everyone! I've added lots of these to my list and I'm looking forward to trying them. I didn't know there was a Blade Runner game and I had no idea Indigo Prophecy existed so I'm especially eager to play those. I have Monkey Island so I'm sure I'll get around to that at some point. But I'd never have found all these on my own, so, thanks!
posted by Put the kettle on at 9:46 AM on April 20, 2011


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