Adventure Game Hotspot


Collector's Corner Vol. 1 – Join us on our first nostalgic treasure hunt for ten of the rarest, most obscure big box adventure games

Collector's Corner Vol. 1 – Join us on our first nostalgic treasure hunt for ten of the rarest, most obscure big box adventure games
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You may think you've got a pretty nice collection of old videogames on your shelf, but Stu of Stu’s Game Reviews is one of the adventure community's most respected aficionados of big box PC games. He's spent many years archiving his extensive collection for MobyGames, and helping others through various online forums and collector's groups. Now it's our pleasure to welcome to Stu to the Adventure Game Hotspot as as guest contributor of a new article series exploring only the rarest, hardest-to-find big box games that's sure to appeal to the collector in all of us (and no doubt make us a little envious).


Ah, nostalgia. Once upon a time, before the convenience of digital downloads, adventure gamers like us would eagerly await the release of a new title packaged in big boxes with vivid artwork. These collectible relics contained not just the game itself, but also an assortment of physical goodies or “feelies” – elaborate manuals, colorful maps, trinkets, and more. As time marched on, the big boxes became small boxes and then faded into oblivion, making these physical computer games even more prized among those who yearn to relive the golden age of PC gaming.

We all like a good adventure, so together let’s go on a modern adventure. A treasure hunt. Discover the allure that drives avid collectors to scour flea markets, thrift stores, and online marketplaces in pursuit of these highly valued rarities.

These are ten of the most obscure and rare point-and-click adventure games that are still out there in the wild but extremely hard to find. For now we’re going to stick to more “recent” games that were available on CD or DVD, but once we’ve exhausted those, perhaps later I’ll do a follow-up on disk-based games or even adventures on even older media such as audio cassettes.


Orion Burger

Let’s start off with a very colorful cartoon adventure game about a man named Wilbur, who’s abducted by aliens so that they can prove that humans are not sentient and thus suitable to be made into human-burgers for the rest of galactic “civilization” to enjoy. As Wilbur, you need to take a test to prove your sentience – but the test is rigged and impossible to pass. Luckily, a clever time travel mechanic allows you to take the test again and again, each time changing the conditions slightly so that you can ultimately win out.

Orion Burger was developed by Sanctuary Woods, which also made Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: The Riddle of Master Lu (another underrated adventure), and published by Eidos – but only in Europe, in the big box “Eurobox” format. The game never got a North American release, and as a result it’s VERY hard to find. A cartoon adventure like this should have gotten a lot more press, so this is particularly surprising.

Sort of fun fact: Years ago I corresponded with one of the developers, who told me that although the game was never actually released in English, one of his friends has a burned copy and he can probably get me one. When I told him that I have an actual released copy, he stopped talking to me. I still feel bad about it!



Duckman: The Graphic Adventures of a Private Dick is another colorful third-person point-and-click adventure game, although this one has a pixel art style. It’s based on the little known Duckman TV cartoon that aired on USA Network between 1994 and 1997 and starred Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander in the title role. I’ve never seen the cartoon, but my understanding is that the humor is very much on the adult side, similar to maybe South Park, and that the game follows suit. Apparently the publisher, Playmates, which is a much more kids-focused brand, was not aware of this and was surprised by what they got. The game seems to have been barely distributed – I certainly never saw it on store shelves back in the day.

There is a German release of the game called Duckman: Ente süß-sauer, which apparently means “sweet and sour duck.” While the box and manual of the German release are of course in German, the game itself is apparently in English and exactly the same as the North American release. I remember that 20 or so years ago, even the German version was super rare, and the one guy on the newsgroup who had it offered to make copies for others and send them to people for the cost of shipping, just so people would have a chance to play the game. The UK English release, on the other hand, was so rare that people weren’t even sure it existed. Since then, the German release has become slightly more common, and copies of the UK release have surfaced, but it’s still uber rare and hard to find.


Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road is a first-person adventure game using very basic 3D graphics, based on the famous Oz series of books by L. Frank Baum. The Oz setting is in the public domain now, and so has been used in many games (many of them unfortunately not very good). This game was developed and published by Synergy, a Japanese company, and has two sequels that are Japanese-only. Only the first game was released in North America, in English.

Our fearless Adventure Game Hotspot leaders tend to like some action in their adventure, and this game definitely delivers on that! In fact, maybe a bit too much action … and not very good action. In theory it should be really good action for an adventure game, because it’s strategic – if you pick the right attacks you should succeed, and if you pick the wrong attacks you’re done for. However, there are three problems:

  1. Knowing which are the right attacks and which are not is almost completely trial and error.
  2. There’s very little leeway for making a mistake before you lose and have to reload from a saved game.
  3. The whole thing is timed, and so, in some fights, even if you know EXACTLY what you need to do, it’s very difficult to do it correctly. The interface is also terrible, which makes it even harder.

To add insult to injury, the game ends on a cliffhanger. Of course, if you can read Japanese, you can play the sequels, but if not, you’re out of luck.

Don’t believe me how bad this game is? I streamed it recently on my YouTube channel in several parts and I encourage you to check it out. But it’s still very rare and expensive.


The Blobjob

The Blobjob is a supposedly educational title that was only released in Scandinavia, even though the game itself and most of the big box packaging is in English. Like Yellow Brick Road, it is a first-person title, but this one uses full-motion video (FMV) sequences. Hey, everyone likes FMV, right? I know I do. The plot is very reminiscent of Blade Runner (a game for another time), as it involves tracking down replicant-like androids, but it is a bit lighter-hearted and tries to be humorous.

The game’s obscurity is again probably a result of limited distribution, but it is also very hard to track down as a result of its unfortunate name. It … how can I say this … sounds like it might be some kind of adult title. As a result, back in the day it was hard to search for. Search engines would assume you were looking for something else and “helpfully” correct your searches. Even today, if you can find a copy of this one, consider yourself lucky. Just be careful not to get “blobbed.” Unless you like that sort of thing.


Grackon's Curse

When I was a kid, there was a comic in one of the issues of Mad Magazine called “The Mummy’s Curse.” An explorer finds a mummy’s tomb and opens it up, and then the mummy curses him out. As a result, when I first heard of the game Grackon’s Curse, I imagined the player starting up the game, some person named Grackon cursing them out, and then it says GAME OVER. Although that does not in fact happen in this game, you might end up doing a great deal of cursing while trying to locate a copy. And if you are lucky enough to find one, you might be tempted to swear some more when you see how simplistic the game art looks, especially if you ended up paying a lot for the privilege.

Grackon’s Curse is one of those games that is almost impossible to find. I have seen a total of three copies on eBay in about twenty years. If you find one, even a loose CD, I suggest you pick it up. If it’s complete in a big box, I would pounce on it – you’re not likely to find another. I’m not saying that more copies don’t exist, but the average person who finds a copy, having no clue of its rarity, is more likely to throw it out than try to get it into the hands of a collector or a gamer. It looks like (and probably is) low-budget shovelware.

The game itself is another first-person adventure, and features some crazy story about Grackon the wizard who puts a spell on a castle. You are the young prince Atamus who was saved by the good wizard Troda, and you need to lift the curse. Sounds like prize-winning material, doesn’t it? Actually, I have not played this one, so if you have, please let me know if it’s any good! I don’t have very high hopes, as sometimes these games are hard to find for a reason, but hey, I’ve been wrong in the past.


The Romantic Blue

The Romantic Blue is a game that’s so rare that even people who run adventure game websites may not have ever seen a copy. It’s a first-person point-and-click adventure by William R. Fisher III Studios. If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because William R. Fisher III is the same gentleman behind the long running Last Half of Darkness series of horror adventure games. There are some games in that series that are pretty hard to find as well, but since The Romantic Blue is not part of the series, most people haven’t even ever heard of it.

Like Last Half of Darkness, The Romantic Blue is a horror thriller. If you’re wondering, the “blue” in the title refers to the blue light of the full moon (cue the famous song made famous by The Marcels, among others), by which a young girl named Miranda pines away for her true love who is under a spell. You play a stranger who needs to help defeat the evil priestess…. blah blah, you get the idea.

Despite the title, this game is much more horrific than romantic, as might be expected from William R. Fisher III. The graphics, although relying very heavily on the color blue, are detailed and very atmospheric. I have not played this one yet either, but I’m very glad to have it in my collection, and I definitely hope to play it at some point soon.


The Vampire Diaries

Once upon a time, there was a game company called American Laser Games. Remember them? They made all these cheesy FMV arcade games that eventually got home ports, like Mad Dog McCree, Who Shot Johnny Rock, and Space Pirates. A few years later they decided to make another cheesy FMV game with bad acting, but this time target it to teenage girls, and thus, The Vampire Diaries, was born. There’s a dark and scary mystery going on in the town of Fell's Church, and as you might expect, it has something to do with vampires. The game is based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, which made vampires cool for teenage girls even before all of that Twilight stuff came out.

I am pretty sure this game didn’t sell very well, because it is also extremely rare. If you manage to find a big box copy, consider yourself very lucky. However, the developers kept at the idea of creating adventure games for girls, and after this they made a little game called Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill. You’ve probably heard of that one, or its thirty-plus sequels. That series did so well that American Laser Games focused all of its attention on it and effectively morphed into HeR Interactive.

The look and feel of The Vampire Diaries is very similar to that of those early Nancy Drew games, so if you can find a copy, you will probably feel right at home playing it. But seriously, good luck finding one.


Who's Fat Lou?

Who’s Fat Lou? Seriously, Who the %*$@*%#!* is FAT LOU?????

I originally saw this game on a list of amazingly rare adventure games – I had never heard of it before. After a whole bunch of searching, I eventually found a lot of loose CDs on eBay that supposedly belonged to a magazine reviewer, and one of the CDs in the bunch was apparently a review copy of Who’s Fat Lou. In order to pick up the lot, I had to go into a shady apartment building in Manhattan where I sort of feared for my life, but I persevered! For years I thought that maybe the game was never officially released and that this reviewer was one of the only people who had actually seen a copy. However, much later, during the pandemic, I finally found a complete big box copy!

If you play the game, or even look at the box art, you will quickly suspect that you understand the reason it is so hard to find. The graphics look like they were made by some lunatic on psychedelic drugs, and one of the screenshots is a censored picture of an “exhibitionist cat.” Don’t believe me? Check out the box art I posted on MobyGames! The game describes itself as taking place in a “demented world,” and this is definitely evident from the art. I can’t imagine too many retail outlets wanting to stock this game.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all of that, I still have not played this game. So someone please play it for me and tell me who in the name of all that is holy is Fat Lou??? What kind of a name is that for a game?????


Treasure Hunter

Treasure Hunter, or Chasseur de Trésors, is a really obscure adventure game by French company Cryo – which by the way, is pronounced Kree-O, not Cry-O. If you’re an avid adventure gamer you’ve likely heard of Cryo, as they made LOTS of adventure games, the most famous of which were probably the Atlantis series. This one, however, is more infamous than famous. It was never released in North America, and very few people have had the opportunity to play it. As a result, it’s exceedingly rare. Back in the day, this and Orion Burger were the two games that were at the very top of many an adventure gamer’s wish list.

The gameplay is similar to most of Cryo’s other games in that it uses a first-person view, and has a point-and-click interface. And, like most Cryo games, there’s an edutainment aspect. The player character travels around the world looking for shipwrecks containing treasures that can then be exhibited in their uncle’s museum. Along that journey, the player will learn about shipwrecks, geography, history of piracy, and more. If you’ve played Cryo’s other historical-themed games, you’ll know what I mean. I remember learning so much about the ancient Aztecs while playing Cryo’s Aztec game (released in North America as The Sacred Amulet).

Unfortunately, despite having owned this title for a long time, I have not had a chance to play through it yet. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) I hope to do a livestream of this game at some point in the future. In the meantime, if you’ve played Treasure Hunter, let us know what you think of it! And if you actually own Treasure Hunter, you are a skilled treasure hunter indeed.


Dark Seed II

This last pick could have been the original Dark Seed, but I’ve gone with the sequel, Dark Seed II. Both games are third-person point-and-click adventures that tell the story of Mike Dawson (fun fact: also the name of the lead designer of the first game), a regular guy who gets thrust into a world of horror based on the artwork of H.R. Giger, including an alien pod famously getting implanted into his head.

Both games also come in really unusually shaped big boxes. They're a standard rectangular size but with a thicker bottom base that tapers to a thinner top, with a diamond-shaped cutout in the middle for a smaller decorative box. I once opened a shrink-wrapped copy of Dark Seed and I had no idea how to get the contents back inside afterward. I would guess that most people who actually bought the game ended up throwing the box away because it wasn’t of much use in storing the contents. Darkseed II was released several years after the original game and the big box is even harder to find than its predecessor – in fact, significantly more so. Well, that’s not entirely true. The Macintosh version, for whatever reason, is fairly common and can be acquired without too much effort. The PC version, on the other hand, is going to be tricky.

Unfortunately, like pretty much all of the games on this list, Dark Seed and Dark Seed II are not available on digital platforms, so if you want to play them legally, you’ll somehow have to find one of those elusive physical copies. On the plus side, though, if you can track them down, they look nice on a shelf and make great conversation pieces.


And that’s our initial list of ten rare and hard to find big box point-and-click adventure games! There are MANY more games that could have been on this list, so we’ll probably need to do a follow-up article at some point in the near future. In the meantime, though, good luck hunting down and playing some of these games!


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  1. Nice write-up. I have only one box of these 10; Duckman but I wish it was an English text box. I also expected the Daria game to be in this bunch. Looking forward to your next set of 10.


  2. I want Duckman (boxed) so bad!! I love articles like this one. Thank you!!! 😆


  3. I used to be a collector and still own some rare adventures. I have Orian Burger, liked it a lot but the time limit was annoying. I also have the English Duckman. Fun game. And both last and least: The Vampire Diaries. The FMV is really bad, even for those days. Boring story and I don't even remember the puzzles. I played the Blobjob (don't own it) and it's one of my candidates for the worst adventure game ever, but The Morlov Affair is a serious competitor. I hope that one is also on your list. I hated it so much that I sold it and didn't regret it one moment. Looking forward to your next 10 rare games!


  4. Excellent article Stuart. Despite being a 'serious' point'n'click collector of obscure-ish titles, I have to admit that I only have 8 of the 10 entries on your list. A terribly embarrassing admission. :D I think some people will assume I have them all. Nope! :\


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