Genre Guides: Adventure Games

Adventure GamesGenre: Adventure

Recommended LWK Games: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Botanicula, Machinarium, Sam & Max Save the WorldSuperbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Popular M-Rated Games: The Walking Dead, Catherine

Common Thinking Skills Used: Working Memory, Focus



Adventure games commonly see players taking on the role of a sole adventurer, guiding the hero through a series of environments and story events. The games tend to put little focus on action-based gameplay, instead putting an emphasis on an interesting plot, interacting with non-player characters (NPCs), and solving some sort of mystery. However, there are entries in the genre that do feature a fair amount of combat, such as The Legend of Zelda series.


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks, especially shifting attention.

url2-325x243With such a strong focus on exploration and story, Focus skills play a big role in players’ abilities to discover items, piece together clues and notice hints and secrets throughout the environment. Players commonly must listen closely to characters they encounter and remain attentive of the items they come across, adding them to their inventory and trying to discover their intended use.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in her mind while working

full20060828142836Since adventure games put such an emphasis on character interaction, dialogue, and puzzles, players must always be absorbing information, and recalling and using it as they make their way through the game world. Recalling the location of previously inaccessible areas helps players discover uses of items they collect, and players must retain an enormous amount of information derived from the characters they encounter. Only by recalling these types of information can players hope to accurately navigate the game world and piece together the clues needed to advance in the game.

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