Welcome to The Best of Five, a new weekly series made exclusively for IGM readers. Every week I will choose a theme, list five indie games that fit that theme and give them a brief description. In this series, you will have the power to choose which game you believe is the best of the group. Well, you and every other person who sees the post. The results of each poll will be posted the following week. I will try to stick with more recent and memorable games in each list, and you should feel free to use the comment sections below to point out any games that should have been listed.
The Best of Five this week debuts with five point-and-click adventure games, a genre made famous by LucasArts in the 90s, almost forgotten during the early 00s, and revived by indie development in the 2010s.
Speaking of revivals, Grim Fandango Remastered couldn’t be left out of this list. Manny Calavera, one of the travel agents of the Department of Death, was brought back to life by Double Fine in the beginning of 2015, 17 years after its debut in the hands of LucasArts. Manny is, in fact, a Reaper responsible for selling travel packages to The Land of the Dead for people who have recently died. During one of his sales, he starts discovering that the DOD, the Ninth Underworld, and the most expensive travel packages are all a part of a much bigger plot that he will try to uncover throughout the game. This remastered version is almost the same as the 1998 version, but with enhanced graphics and controls.
The titular clown explores an island full of deeply unhappy people, while giving hugs and trying to make them happier. Accompanied by his loyal dog and other pets that join him during his quest, Dropsy also deals with his father’s sickness, a circus fire, weird people with suspect plans, and engages in lots of humming in a colorful world. There’s no text or understandable voice-over in Dropsy, which requires you to guess which items to look for and where to search for them; the only clue lies in speech balloons with images above the character’s heads. If you’re open for a more emotional link with a game, there’s also plenty of this in Dropsy.
After witnessing the brutal murder of her parents, a little girl is institutionalized. One of a few point-and-click horror adventures, Fran Bow was acclaimed by its dealing with heavy subjects like suicide, mental disorders, and child abuse in a compelling story. Controlling this little girl, you have to escape the asylum and find her cat, Mr. Midnight. As stated by our editor, Bonnie Burgette, in her review of Fran Bow, “this is definitely a story worth paying attention to” for those “who either love horror or can at least put up with it for the sake of a good story.”
Probably one of the most-awarded modern indie point-and-clicks, Lumino City stands out in its art. Every character and background element was hand-made by State of Play Games in a special studio designed specifically for the game. In it, you explore a colorful and vivid city with a little girl named Lumi, who is trying to find her lost grandfather. During the exploration, she also helps other citizens in daily tasks, completing puzzles and simple quests along the way. These side characters are part of what makes Lumino City a pleasant game to some people, along with its original and unique appearance.
Created by the veteran indie developers from Daedalic Entertainment, Anna’s Quest hides an evil story behind its cartoon visuals. Okay, probably not as evil as Fran Bow‘s, but being a rat lab to an evil witch’s mind experiments is also not something anyone would like to take part in. Anna is the little girl who is kidnapped by the witch, but she does everything possible to escape and find the cure for her sick grandfather. Nintendo fans may probably notice how it resembles the Professor Layton series when it comes to art.
Take a good look at each game’s description, find out more on their websites (linked through their titles above), and vote below for the game you liked the most, that interested you the most, or that you would buy right away. The result will be published next week along with a new list.
For theme suggestions, use the comments section below!