TL;DR: Sub-par debut of otherwise nice Adam's Venture series of puzzle adventures.
When I saw the trailer for the first episode I was expecting an action-adventure of some kind. Actually, Adam's Ventures are puzzle-heavy adventures with some dialogue and traditional Point&Click style item searching in between puzzles.
In Adam's Venture you are Adam Venture, an adventurer and archeologist. Resemblance to Indiana Jones is obvious. In the background story it is revealed that you found a clue of the legendary Garden of Eden's whereabouts. You team up with Evelyn and a corporate-funded Professor and fly to the scene with a plane and supplies provided by the said Big Corporation. It gets painfully obvious that Adam and Eve's names were picked just for pun of the first episode.
Initially everything looks pretty cool. There's a sandstorm going on and critters are scattered all over the caves. Movement with keyboard works fine. The first encounter with the other two characters is a revealing experience.
Frankly, I had mixed feelings about our protagonist for those conversations. Adam is an irritatingly overconfident, reckless and careless man who often lacks common sense. He also lacks scientific fidelity and awkwardly can't see behind Eve's looks, as it turns out she's the wittier of the two. Being so boastingly overconfident nevertheless makes him an amusing protagonist and on the other hand it is used as a story hook to get him to all kinds of trouble. That is more relevant to the later episodes though.
Puzzles in the first episode are fairly simple and not very challenging (this changes for better in the later episodes). The first one of assembling a dynamite requires you to do a bit of calculation, which I found kind of cool. However, later on in the tomb I found it weird that there were many puzzle-related texts written in English
. I mean, it's supposed to be an ancient tomb! Inconsistencies like this are a turn-off for me in such a game.
While initially cool, the graphics reveal their flaws the further you get in the adventure. For instance only the characters have dynamic shadows and not everything has a proper shadow at all. So, when you are standing by a chasm, you'll see your shadow just hanging there on the wall seemingly standing on nothing. This could be a small issue but it makes it difficult to assess the distances in the caves. At least the characters look pretty good all the time in the cut scenes (made with the same engine as the game). I was still appalled by one animation: Adam wiping his face all the time when walking.
Frankly, the first episode of Adam's Venture was mediocre: I can't give it a positive recommendation. It lasts only couple of hours, and the only reason I had to play another hour was that I missed some of the hidden collectables and had to go look for them. Many of them have been deviously hidden by the fixed camera angle (a rather dirty move) made more difficult because of the lack of proper lighting effects (shadows).
If, however, you can force yourself through Episode 1, the subsequent episodes 2 and 3 are very nice experiences. They suffer from the same graphical issues but overall are harder (good thing for a puzzle game) and the secrets are properly hidden instead of the camera angle, and the story really gets to pace in Episode 2. For the price I'd advice to get all of them on sale or not at all because the first episode is just not good on its own.