Adventure games, unlike platformers and RPGs, may be scarce on the Game Boy Advance, but the limited selection offers some fantastic choices. Here are seven standout titles that make these slim pickings well worth exploring. Note that the number one game on this list is one of the best games on the platform, but also stands out as one of the best adventure games ever made. It is not even a wild claim that it can even be included as one of the best games ever.
Best game boy advance adventure games
7. Jurassic Park III: Island Attack
Island Attack marks the Game Boy Advance's third foray into the world of Jurassic Park adventure games, and without a doubt, it reigns as the finest of the trilogy. During its initial release, critics appeared overly critical of these games, often missing the point entirely by claiming they would be better suited for home consoles to be considered acceptable. However, it's crucial to recognize that portable games come with inherent limitations, and it falls upon the developers to navigate these constraints and deliver an exceptional gaming product. In this regard, Island Attack rises to the occasion and provides a decent adventure game on the portable platform.
Island Attack presents a captivating blend of action and adventure, skillfully interwoven with challenging puzzle-solving elements. Taking on the role of Alan Grant, players will navigate through the aftermath of a plane crash, armed only with a portable transmitter to seek guidance from a rescue team. Across eight challenging levels, Grant must brave a treacherous world overrun by dinosaurs. The game surprises players with well-designed areas that strike a good balance between puzzles and action, allowing for more enjoyable and less frustrating gameplay.
Island Attack manages to maintain a thematic consistency, with puzzles and challenges aligning well with the plot. The inclusion of different perspectives and gameplay styles adds a welcome variety. Jurassic Park III: Island Attack is a game most appealing among ardent adventure game enthusiasts.
6. Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper for the Game Boy Advance offers a fun gameplay experience with its intriguing concept and diverse characters. Players can choose from four different characters - Princess Anneliese, Erika, Serafina, and Wolfie (the latter two being cats) - each possessing a unique ability. The princess wields a pink shield for countering objects, Erika can sing and interact with items using musical notes from her mouth, Serafina excels at climbing trees, and Wolfie is skilled at digging in the ground.
Throughout the game's levels, players are assigned two characters to work together, utilizing their distinctive skills to complete tasks and solve basic puzzles. Switching between the characters becomes essential, as some puzzles can only be conquered through their combined efforts. Although the game offers enjoyment, it is notably easy and brief, consisting of only four levels, each with approximately five sub-levels representing the castle, forest, mine, and village, with goals that change in each sub-level. After completing each level, players face unique challenges, akin to boss encounters, such as reaching the top before a room fills with water.
Barbie Princess and the Pauper offers a relatively short gameplay experience, while it may not be the first choice for players seeking intense challenges, it stands out as a gem among licensed games with subpar quality, particularly for Barbie devotees. It is also one of the few adventure games on the platform that is worth playing, whether you are bursting with testosterone or a Barbie fan. And there is nothing to be ashamed of for being both.
5. Yu Yu Hakusho - Ghost Files: Spirit Detective
Spirit Detective defies the typical expectations associated with licensed games by offering a well-written and engaging experience. While not without flaws, the game manages to capture the anime's narrative. Admittedly, its weakest aspect lies in the visual department, where pixelated and blurry graphics can make it challenging to discern details and characters. Nonetheless, the art style remains true to the source material. The game's compelling storyline and faithful adaptation make it a standout title among licensed games.
In this adventure game, players can take on the roles of four different characters, each with their own special skills, even allowing players to perform signature techniques from the show, like Yuske's Spirit Gun and Kurama's Petals and Thorns. The level system adds depth and progression. The puzzles are integrated seamlessly into the story, enhancing the overall experience and challenging players to think strategically.
Speaking of the story, Yu Yu Hakusho: Spirit Detective excels in this aspect. It takes players through the entire Spirit Detective Saga, staying true to the anime's narrative and even including minor episodes that fans will appreciate. The compelling plot, due to its faithful storytelling, is a worthwhile experience. For those looking for a captivating adventure that stays true to the spirit of Yu Yu Hakusho, this game is sure to satisfy those cravings.
4. Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion
Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion presents an engaging adventure set in a static first-person perspective. As Nancy, players navigate through various screens, examining objects, and conversing with characters to unravel the mansion's mysteries.
The game employs an inventive control scheme, where navigation involves moving between individual screens using cursor arrows and turning. Although unconventional, this setup allows for meticulous exploration of the mansion's various sections, examining objects and collecting essential items. Conversations with different characters play a crucial role, and players should make sure to gather as much information as possible from them to unravel the mysteries.
The story is the game's highlight, offering a compelling narrative filled with twists and clues. Players don't need prior knowledge of the Nancy Drew books to enjoy the captivating storyline. The game's chapter-based progression ensures that significant events unfold at regular intervals, and saving is achieved through a password system, though a battery-backed save option would have been more convenient.
3. Play Novel: Silent Hill
Silent Hill fans will find this game a must-play, while others unfamiliar with the series may not fully appreciate it. Adventure games are already few and far between on the dedicated gaming handheld. Play Novel stands alone in the horror field, hence the reason for a higher ranking on this list even though familiarity of the PlayStation One game is mandatory.
The game follows Harry Mason and his daughter, Cheryl, who become entangled in a dark mystery upon arriving in Silent Hill. With an engaging storyline, multiple endings, and the ability to shape the plot.
The game is impressive graphics-wise, featuring a captivating opening FMV and well-executed in-game movies. The backgrounds are intricately detailed, even surpassing the original game in some areas. Controls are straightforward and user-friendly, allowing easy navigation through the text and chapters.
The game is in Japanese but there is an English translation patch for the game today. Replay value is as atmospheric, with multiple endings rewarding players with Digital Trading Cards. Additionally, beating the game unlocks the opportunity to play as Cybil, the cop character and there is also the feature to review scenes and endings further enhancing the replayability factor.
Driv3r brings its ambitious driving missions to the GBA, and the game has the most stunning graphics that showcase a 3D city with improved scenery and varied buildings. The sensation of speed is well-captured, and the story follows the typical Driver grittiness, told through static screens that effectively portray the storyline.
While this game is atypical of what players get with adventure games, the combination of driving and sleek storytelling is how this game propelled in this ranking. The missions are varied, and the open-world format allows for exploration and side activities. The city's crowded roads add to the challenge, making it hard to weave through traffic.
On-foot segments provide some shooting action. Despite a good (or bad) number of flaws, Driv3r offers a respectable variety of cars and a decent on-foot experience, elevating it above its predecessor, Driver 2 Advance. With two cities, 25 missions, 4 mini-games, and hidden content, the game offers a decent amount of longevity.
1. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Broken Sword for the GameBoy Advance is an exceptional point-and-click adventure that stands out in a deluge of SNES ports and side-scrolling games on the platform. The game follows George Stobbart, an American vacationing in Paris, who becomes entangled in a mysterious bombing and sets out to uncover the truth with the help of a French photographer named Nico.
The gameplay differs from the PC and PlayStation versions, offering direct character control instead of the usual point-and-click mechanics. Players can freely move George and interact with hotspots marked on the screen. The real charm lies in the engaging plot and the intriguing characters.
The puzzles are well-designed and logical, requiring players to apply their knowledge and clues to solve them. The game's world-building and research-intensive nature is impeccable. Broken Sword's pace is relaxed but picks up towards the end with thrilling action sequences.
The game is a visual masterpiece, with finely detailed backdrops creating the atmosphere of Paris in summer. While character sprites lack faces, their personalities shine through still. The music and sound effects complement the gameplay.
The Shadow of the Templars remains the can't-miss and must-play adventure game that rewards ingenuity and attention. The level of detail, captivating storytelling, and stunning graphics make it a worthy investment for any gaming enthusiast, an avid adventurer or not.