Top 12 best narrative adventure games you can play right now
Updated on September 18th, 2023 - re-checked the list
If you're someone who gets lost in gripping novels, then narrative-driven adventure games might just become your new favourite genre. Much like the term suggests, the entire game is based on an interactive story, where you, the player, get to influence the outcomes. Narrative adventure games are very similar to text-based games, and we have already compiled a list of some of the best ones available.
One of the most striking features of these games is direct player engagement. You are an active participant in the story, and you get to decide what happens next. To add to that, as the game relies heavily on the story, you can expect rich plots.
Moreover, narrative adventure games are easily accessible on your phone - so all you have to do is whip your phone out and get started.
With that being said, we have put together a list of some of the best narrative adventure games available on the Play Store and App Store. Get ready to dive into some compelling stories where you get to be the hero.
In case you're looking for point-and-click adventures for iPhone, we have a list for that too. They're good if you want a relaxed adventure.
Reigns is known for its first game, where you can swipe at cards that appear on your screen, making decisions for a kingdom. Now, kingdoms, kings, princes... all of that is a bit old-fashioned. Why not spend some time managing an intergalactic band instead?
Reigns: Beyond is exactly that, the same concept of swiping cards left and right to make decisions. Only this time, you are managing resources on a ship and deciding how to best lead your band through the galaxy. It's an iOS-only game, so it's a bit unfortunate that Android users can't enjoy it.Download Reigns: Beyond
This is more of a creepy point and click adventure game that has a strong narrative line, about a young girl who is going to die today. On her last day on Earth, you need to explore through a slightly strange, almost spooky town. The world is strange, Little Misfortune has bad luck, and only Mr. Voice can show her the way and guide her to whatever happens next.
Little Misfortune captivated me and kept me following and waiting to see exactly what happened next.Download Little Misfortune for Android or iOS
Tales of the Mirror
Tales of the Mirror is a narrative adventure game that tells the story of a murder (or murderer, depends how you'd like to look at it). Tales of the Mirror is absolutely brilliant, and it plays out as a point-and-click visual novel, with a rich narrative that unfolds in real-time.
You have a limited time to put together the pieces of the puzzle that is the clues leading you to the murderer, and you have to think carefully before you take any step. You've got a magical mirror to help you out, but other than that you're on your own. It's absolutely brilliant, and if you want to learn more, make sure to read our Tales of the Mirror review.Download Tales of the Mirror for Android or iOS
The Almost Gone
The Almost Gone is more of a sombre game, following a strangely hallow story about death, loss, and dealing with the grief that comes along with it. Through looking at empty rooms and strangely peaceful places, you will explore areas and learn about the people who used to be there. Slowly, slowly this will unravel the story of what happened to you and why you are at that place, as well as the people that are still there, even if you cannot see it.Download The Almost Gone for Android or iOS
Another sci-fi adventure, Lifeline tries something a bit different. A space explorer is stranded on an alien planet, and his only hope of returning home is . . . you. Your phone serves as the only point of contact you have with this person, and you’ll have to single-handedly keep them alive.
It’s essentially another choose-your-own-adventure game, but Lifeline uses the phone interface to great effect. There will be lulls in gameplay as you wait for the space explorer, Taylor, to reply, adding to it's realism while also making it a great choice for those who prefer to play their mobile games in short spurts.
If you'd like to know more about what makes it a mobile classic, be sure to check out Susan Arendt's feature on why the original Lifeline still stands head and shoulders above its many spin-offs. Or you can read our Lifeline review.Download Lifeline for Android or iOS
A Dark Room
A Dark Room starts out as a simple idle game that tasks you with building a fire and scrounging for wood. Before long, though, you begin to explore the forest around you and the game expands into something quite unexpected.
Entirely text-based, A Dark Room relies only on words to set the scene, and it is quite effective. It mixes RPG and survival elements into its design to create something completely unique. We don’t want to spoil anything for you, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you should absolutely give this one a go.Download A Dark Room for Android or iOS
Reigns immediately caught the gaming world’s attention when it launched in 2016. Borrowing dating app Tinder’s left and right-swiping mechanics, you play as a monarch in a cutthroat medieval fantasy world.
You’re presented with a number of decisions, swiping a card left for no and right for yes. Seemingly innocuous decisions can sometimes lead to your death, and you’ll be doing a lot of learning as you play through the lives of kings over a period of centuries. We have a Reigns review so don't forget to check it out if you're curious about how Reigns plays out!Download Reigns for Android or iOS
80 Days has quickly become a classic since its debut just four years ago. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure game set in an incredible steampunk world based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. In 80 Days, you assumed the role of Passepartout, the manservant to Around the World’s protagonist Phileas Fogg.
You’ll chart Fogg’s course, manage budgets, and meet some fascinating characters on your travels. Rich decision-making means there’s a lot of replay value here as well. Did you know we have an 80 Days review? Make sure to read it if you want to get the game.Download 80 Days for Android or iOS
Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be
Whether you’re a Shakespeare buff or not, this retelling of Hamlet reframes the classic story with doses of wit and humour and modernised language. A remake of the classic gamebook of the same name, you’ll dive right into the story, making decisions as you go that can impact the way the rest of the tale plays out.
The writing is impeccable and pays due justice to the source material. Accompanied by lovely hand-drawn illustrations, To Be or Not to Be is an essential experience for anyone who enjoys a good text-based adventure. We have a To Be Or Not To Be review, so if you're not yet convinced to try this out, make sure you read it. It'll change your mind.Download To Be Or Not To Be for Android or iOS
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
J. K. Rowling's beloved novel series has been the subject of several video games, and here we're talking about the latest one - Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Much like the name suggests, this game combines Harry Potter's magic with mystery elements and it all takes place in Hogwarts. But it goes well beyond this.
As a new player, you get a letter from Hogwarts, which starts off your journey into the wizard world. You step in as a new student at Hogwarts - so you can take classes with Snape and other teachers, learn spells, brew potions, get sorted, tame magical creatures, solve a mystery, and do much more.Download Hogwarts Mystery for Android or iOS
Life is Strange
If you are looking for a mysterious story about teenagers, we highly recommend you try Life is Strange. It tells a story about the student Max Caulfield and her investigation. One of the most interesting features that make it unique is the main character's ability to rewind time. Throughout the game, you will have to make decisions regarding your next action. Be careful with your choices because some of them lead to various consequences. But that's what makes this journey even more exciting.
The plot will definitely surprise you, and the story will stay in your head for a long time. Before you download it, make sure to check out our article with some tips that will help you during this incredible adventure.Download Life is Strange for Android or iOS
To the Moon
Dreams usually don't come true, however, things are a bit different in To the Moon. Here you will meet two characters who have a pretty weird job. Using special equipment, they can rewrite the memories of a patient. They can affect various events in the past to help him achieve his dream. Usually, it is not that hard, but suddenly, they face an extremely complex case.
A dying man Johnny has only one dream, to go to the moon. Surprisingly, the workers couldn't help this man even after a few attempts. Moreover, it turns out that the patient was not interested in becoming an astronaut. Therefore, the wish of a trip to the moon is hiding something else. Do you want to know how the story ends? Play the game to find it out!
And these are all of the narrative adventure games that we have prepared!Download To the Moon for Android or iOS