Relive the glory days of adventure gaming with ScummVM


Developer: ScummVMDownload: Android
Category: AdventurePrice: free

For those of us who grew up in the digital era, feeding on a steady stream of music, movies, TV, and video games, there are few things as satisfying as revisiting a well-forgotten classic and seeing how it holds up today. This, however, isn’t always an easy feat, particularly when it comes to gaming, where each game is totally dependent on the systems it was designed for, however obsolete they may be.

So rather than sit back and watch as their favorite games gradually become unplayable, some people have taken it upon themselves to aid in their preservation for future generations. One such example is the ScummVM project, which began life more than 15 years ago as a recreation of the engine powering most of LucasArts’ beloved point-and-click adventure games. In the time since, it has blossomed into a much larger undertaking, aiming to make any adventure game playable on modern platforms. As a result, it has been ported to almost every modern OS, including Android and iOS (jailbreak required).

So this means that, provided you have the original files of one of the supported games, you should be able to effortlessly play it on each of your devices. The list of titles is also very large ranging from popular classics such as the King’s Quest and Monkey Island series, to less-known ones like Toonstruck and the Gobliiins series. Overall, there are more than 200 games in various stages of support, with new ones being added regularly.

The app itself features a very limited interface, consisting of a game launcher and an in-game menu. It offers two ways of controlling the mouse pointer – a touch and a trackpad mode, with the latter working the same way a laptop’s touch pad would. The biggest difference between the original games and the way they run in the app is that, on some occasions, ScummVM’s menu replaces that of the title, and thus becomes the only means through which saving and loading are achieved.

But before someone accuses us of promoting piracy, as tends to happen whenever emulation is concerned, consider this: unlike conventional emulators, ScummVM doesn’t ask its users to dump their own ROMs using exotic hardware (which is a legal gray area anyway), but rather requires only a small set of files, which can easily be obtained from any installation of a given game. A significant amount of supported titles can still be bought today through services such as GOG and Steam, while others, such as Beneath a Steel Sky and Lure of the Temptress, have been released for free by their developers, making them a great start for newcomers to the genre.

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