How to Play ScummVM Point-and-Click Adventure Games on Raspberry Pi
There are plenty of retro gaming options for the Raspberry Pi, but almost all of them are about arcade action. But one key genre of classic gaming is often overlooked: point-and-click adventures. Here’s how you can install mouse-driven adventure games on your Raspberry Pi with ScummVM.
What are ScummVM Adventure Games?
Nowadays, point-and-click games have been supplanted by third- and first-person RPGs and MMORPGs. But once upon a time, point-and-click adventures were one of the most popular types of games available. These (and others) ran on the Scumm game engine. Gamers of the 1990s were blessed with games featuring Indiana Jones, The Adventures of Zork, even Terry Pratchett’s Discworld games.
Some of the most popular games from the retro gaming era are available to play with ScummVM. These include:
- Under a steel sky
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
- The Secret of Monkey Island
- Flight of the Amazon Queen
- …and much more
The ScummVM wiki lists the complete collection of more than 200 games supported. That’s definitely enough to keep you busy!
Note however that most of these games cannot be played. You should only play games you already own, or else play free titles. We will see below what is available to play legally.
If you’re ready to revisit mouse-driven adventure gaming on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to install software called ScummVM.
What is ScummVM?
Scripting utility for the Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine (ScummVM) software which contains custom coded remakes of various game engines. Released under the GNU General Public License, it is open source and free.
ScummVM basically allows you to play many adventure games by creating a virtual machine environment. However, in most cases, you must own an original copy of the game.
Games played in ScummVM can be saved and restored at any time. This often makes games (and completing them) much easier than on the original platform.
Which version of Raspberry Pi should you use?
ScummVM will run on the Raspberry Pi (as well as other Linux, Windows, macOS, mobile and much more). But with so many versions of the Pi to choose from, which is the best option?
Well, you should avoid early models of the Pi, as well as the Pi Zero. Use Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 4 instead. We tested ScummVM on the Raspberry Pi 4 for this article.
Additionally, you’ll need your Pi connected directly to your TV, with a keyboard and mouse attached. Although you can install the software remotely if you prefer, running ScummVM games requires direct use of the Raspberry Pi.
Configure your Raspberry Pi
Before installing ScummVM, it’s worth making a few changes to your Raspberry Pi’s configuration. There’s a risk of mouse lag with point-and-click emulated titles that you want to avoid.
In the terminal, enter:
Use the arrow keys to select Advanced Options > GL Driver then highlight G2 GL (Fake KMS) OpenGL desktop driver with fake KMS.
(Older versions of Raspbian will have the option GL (Full KMS) OpenGL desktop driver with full KMS. Use it instead if available.)
Select OKAYthen OKAY again to confirm, then Finish. Select Yes when prompted to restart the Raspberry Pi.
Install ScummVM on your Raspberry Pi
You can easily install ScummVM on your Raspberry Pi from the command line. Start, as always, by updating packages and checking for upgrades. Open a terminal and enter:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
Next, install ScummVM:
sudo apt install -y scummvm
Once installed, it’s a good idea to create a directory for your ScummVM games. Navigate to the home directory, then use mkdir to create a new folder:
For better game support, meanwhile, you need to install a few more packages. The fluidsynth and timidity packages improve the audio of ScummVM games you play, when supported.
sudo apt install fluidsynth && timidity
You can now start downloading games to your Raspberry Pi to play with ScummVM.
Find a ScummVM game to play
As stated above, only free games can be played legally. If you own original copies of other games, that’s fine too.
A collection of freeware titles can be found at www.scummvm.org/games. To use any of these, go to your Pi’s browser page and download the game you want to play. It’s a smart option to download the CD version when available. This will provide a fuller experience, with cutscenes, sound effects, and other extras.
Don’t forget to save the file in the directory you created earlier.
You can also install ScummVM games from the Raspberry Pi terminal. These are games that have been included in the Raspbian package repositories:
- Under a steel sky
- Flight of the Amazon Queen
- Temptress Lure
- Drascula: The Vampire Strikes Back
To install these titles, simply use the apt install command:
sudo apt install beneath-a-steel-sky
sudo apt install flight-of-the-amazon-queen
sudo apt install lure-of-the-temptress
sudo apt install drascula
Install these games one by one, waiting for each installation to complete. Four free point-and-click adventures, ready to run on your Raspberry Pi!
Play Point-and-Click Adventures on Raspberry Pi
Once your favorite game is installed, it’s time to play. Don’t forget that you will need your Raspberry Pi hooked up to a display with a mouse and keyboard plugged in as well.
Open ScummVM (Menu > Games > ScummVM) to take a ride.
It’s a simple tool, with an interface that can help you easily configure your gaming experience. As such, it’s worth taking the time to look at Choice menu, where you’ll find tools to tweak Chart, Adjust it Control, Audio, Volume, and more.
To start playing games, find the titles you have downloaded in the list. If they are not listed, use Add game to search for the game you are looking for on your Pi.
Just click Begin throw!
When playing these games, the controls often differ. Overall, however, you can use the following shortcuts:
- Alt+Enter: Switches to full screen mode.
- CTRL+F5: Shows a menu with options to save and load game state. You can also return to the ScummVM launcher or exit.
- Ctrl+U: Mutes all game sounds (but not other sounds on your Raspberry Pi desktop).
- CTRL+Q: Quit the game quickly.
You can also use Alt+S to take a screenshot, which is how we created the game images for this guide. Cutscenes can be skipped by pressing Esc on your keyboard.
Install ScummVM Games on the Raspberry Pi Today
With so many ways to play classic games these days, ScummVM titles often get overlooked in favor of classic consoles. Among the many games (not all of which are point-and-click adventures) on ScummVM, you’ll find titles from renowned developers.
LucasArts, Sierra/Disney, Activision and Psygnosis have all released games using the Scumm engine. This is a rarely tapped archive of retro gaming goodness that you should check out today.
Want more games on your Pi? Here’s how to play almost any video game on your Raspberry Pi.