Twenty of the best freeware adventure games released in 2006 (roughly). Mac and Linux versions of the AGS engine are available. [show all twenty entries on one page, part 2 only, Digg this article]

1. Duty and Beyond
2. Reactor 09
3. Spooks
4. Knightsquire/The Family Treasure
5. Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth
6. Automation
7. Heartland Deluxe
8. Missing
9. The White Chamber: International Edition
10. Nathan's Second Chance

1. Duty and Beyond

Your 'quest' in Duty and Beyond is simply to deliver a pizza. But who knew that the adventure would take you on an epic journey across several exotic locations in search of the mysterious customer. Simply a winner in the content category, with multiple endings to achieve depending on your final score. Fans of classic LucasArts games (especially Maniac Mansion) will love this one to bits.

Name: Duty and Beyond
Developer: Wandering Adventures
Resembles: Maniac Mansion, The Longest Journey
Size: 4.25 MB
[ direct download link | walkthrough ]

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2. Reactor 09/Cedric and the Revolution

Warning: contains a short discussion about a mature subject.

Reactor 09 is simply a fine piece of work by Bernie. Featuring multiple endings and gorgeous art with hues resembling those found in Beneath a Steel Sky, this game demonstrates what the AGS engine is capable of in the hands of a professional.

A bit less controversial is Cedric and the Revolution, in which you play the role of the titular character on a quest to gather enough people for a demonstration. Both are definitely adventure games worth having in your collection.

Name: Reactor 09/Cedric and the Revolution
Developer: Bernie
Resembles: Beneath a Steel Sky
Size: 4.70 MB, 1.72 MB
Direct Download Links: Reactor 09, Cedric and the Revolution
Walkthroughs:
- Reactor 09
- Cedric and the Revolution

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3. Spooks

Spooks is an excellent AGS adventure game by Erin Robinson, where most of the sprites and backgrounds were drawn using MSPaint and nine shades of gray. The story begins as Mortia finds herself in possession of a goldfish on a day out at the carnival. The prize she won from a game of darts is the catalyst of her adventure to seek the meaning of life.

The writing stands out and most of the music employed doesn't disappoint, although puzzles can be slightly perplexing at times. A small drawback to an otherwise amazing achievement, considering that it's a first effort and a sign of things to come.

Name: Spooks
Developer: The Ivy
Resembles: King's Quest IV, Grim Fandango
Size: 4.88 MB
[ direct download link, walkthrough ]

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4. Knightsquire/The Family Treasure

Knightsquire is basically a remake of buloght's earlier one room adventure, with new backgrounds and a complete quest involving the rescue of the king's daughter.

Clicking on the portraits allow you to swap between two characters, since certain actions can only be attempted by either the squire or the knight. Items can be passed around to each other by simply selecting an object, then choosing the recipient. Use the left mouse button to interact and press the right mouse button to examine your surroundings.

The Family Treasure is another lovingly crafted AGS adventure game by buloght that uses a point-and-click interface made popular by classic Lucasart titles. A story about pirates and hidden treasures may not be original but the gameplay more than makes up for it.

Name: Knightsquire/The Family Treasure
Developer: buloght
Resembles: Discworld, The Secret of Monkey Island
Size: 849 KB, 985 KB
Direct Download Links: Knightsquire, The Family Treasure
Walkthroughs: Knightsquire

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5. Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth

Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth is a new game by Screen 7 featuring the immortal screen legend on another globe-trotting adventure. Out of all efforts by many other fans, this one resembles it's source material the most.

Like the original, multiple paths can be used to reach the objective. Arcade sequences are optional, depending on your actions in the game. No voice acting yet, plus the length is rather short but this release is well worth downloading even if it's not the full version.

Name: Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth
Developer: Screen 7
Resembles: The Indiana Jones series by LucasArts (of course)
Size: 5.83 MB
[ download page | walkthrough ]

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6. Automation

Automation is a winner of the first One Room One Week Competition, in which all entries are small games made in a relatively short period. The story is centered around a bloke who met an accident while transporting a rather expensive droid, and must attempt to recover his experiment back in one piece or risk losing his job.

The kick command yields some interesting actions when used on certain objects. Most puzzles are logical though some items require a bit of pixel-hunting.

Name: Automation
Developer: Mr Colossal
Size: 5.62 MB
[ direct download link ]

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7. Heartland Deluxe

Originally an OROW competition entry that won the prize for best writing, Heartland Deluxe now includes cutscenes and a panoramic view but it's relatively short length may disappoint many adventure game veterans, plus an abrupt end to proceedings does little to improve the situation. A commendable effort nonetheless.

Name: Heartland Deluxe
Developer: LimpingFish
Resembles: Hotel Dusk - Room 215
Size: 24.4 MB
[ direct download link | walkthrough ]

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8. Missing

Warning: Contain scenes of violence, strong language, blood and gore.

In Missing, you play the role of an ex-cop in search of his missing wife and child with only a handful of clues as leads. Most players will struggle with the controls at first but persistence is rewarded with one of the best stories this year. It's important to note that save games are only allowed in your room and nowhere else.

Tension builds up rather quickly after the protagonist settles into bed for the first night. There's a mystery to solve and a few twists in the story that will keep you playing right till the end. Full marks for one of the best games of it's kind.

Note: Try setting your monitor refresh rate to 60 Hertz if the game doesn't display correctly the first time.

Name: Missing
Developer: RPGCreations
Resembles: Uninvited, Shadowgate, the Deja Vu series
Size: 3.09 MB
[ direct download link | walkthrough ]

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9. The White Chamber: International Edition

Warning: Contain scenes of violence, strong language, blood and gore.

The White Chamber: International Edition is a new version of Studio Trophis' debut effort. There are plenty of easter eggs to be found, and some are hinted at the end of each adventure. Fans of the original certainly won't be disappointed with the extras.

Worthy of another mention in the 2006 list, owing much to the inclusion of four new endings and voice acting.

Name: The White Chamber: International Edition
Developer: Studio Trophis
Resembles: Silent Hill
Size: 299 MB
[ download page | walkthrough ]

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10. Nathan's Second Chance

Nathan's Second Chance is an excellent freeware adventure game made by Tim Knauf. Much like what the title suggests, your character has a sudden heart attack and finds himself embarking on his final journey.

Only this time, the trip involves a bus ride to meet a Brit. The eccentric man offers Nathan another opportunity to return to the land of the living, but under one condition. He must reconcile his differences with his daughter, who no longer stays together with the family.

And so the grand adventure begins. It's fairly simple to get into, thanks to an extensive tutorial. All the puzzles are relatively easy to solve as well, contributing to the gameplay because the story continues to move along without long pauses or unnecessary side quests.

Name: Nathan's Second Chance
Developer: Upper Orbit Software
Resembles: The Adventures of Willy Beamish (Dynamix)
Size: 6.84 MB
[ direct download link ]

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