Adventure News
 


September 2004

30

Sep

Publisher Digital Jesters announced today that House of Tales' upcoming point and click adventure, Moment of Silence, will ship in the UK this November. This is a change from the game's previous late October release.

"The sheer size of The Moment Of Silence has meant that unfortunately we have had to push back the release date," Digital Jesters marketing director Leo Zullo said. "If this means waiting an extra month to make this game one of the biggest graphical adventures ever seen on the PC then we are all for it. As I am sure all those who play it will be."

The game is being led by Martin Ganteföhr of Mystery of the Druids fame, and has been highly anticipated in the adventure community. For more on Moment of Silence, check out Adventure Gamers' previous coverage.



30

Sep

Today, Japanese publisher Marvelous Entertainment released a localized version of Revolution Software's Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon across Japan for PS2.

As is customary with Western titles introduced into the Japanese market (a fairly rare event), marketing artwork featuring the game's characters has been modified to better fit its target audience. Click here for a shot of the Japanese box art, featuring slightly mangafied George and Nico. The press release did not indicate whether any in-game art was retouched.

The Sleeping Dragon is the first Revolution title to be localized for Japan, and probably one of very few Western adventures to make it to Japan at all since the early 90s, when many adventures, including most of the classic LucasArts titles, were introduced to that market.

"As a fan of Japanese adventures, it's a real honour to finally see a Revolution Software game officially released in the territory," says Charles Cecil, managing director, Revolution Software.

Best of luck to Revolution and Marvelous in their endeavor.



28

Sep

GMX Media have announced their plans to publish Razbor Studios' Legacy: Dark Shadows in the UK.

Legacy is a point and click adventure spanning a period of 200 years, incorporating state-of-the-art graphics with a sstoryline inspired by great sci-fi movies. Japanese scientists discover a substance that can stop the aging process, but it becomes clear that something's gone terribly wrong. The Russian government then ends up with a package from the Japanese, containing all the information on this mysterious substance.

GMX Media is a highly prestigious UK-based publisher that distributes to the PC, PS2 and XBOX and has in the past published many adventure titles such as The Watchmaker, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Black Mirror.

Look for more news about Legacy right here on AG.com.



28

Sep

Private Moon Studios have just announced their plans to release AGON part 3, Pirates of Madagascar, for purchasing and downloading on their site on September 27th.

They also mention their plans to bring the current episodes of AGON to the Macintosh this year.

The press release sums up the storyline of this third episode:

Following the tracks of the second lost board game, Professor Samuel Hunt arrives in a paradise-like Madagascar, where success seems easy this time. The only living descendant of the family that was cursed once is the chief of a harmless fishing tribe and the village is only a few steps from the shore where he arrives. However his peaceful arrival meets surprising resistance and it seems it is hopeless to try to come near the chief. He is forced to find another way to the solution. Discovering the coast of the area, its lush jungle and clearings, which hide secrets, he comes across an unusual human abode and its inhabitant. Through him he gets to know a strange legend that goes back to decades, which speaks of a mysterious treasure among other things. Like from a rather incomplete jigsaw puzzle, he comes to the conclusion that if he discovers the truth of the legend, he can also get closer to his own aim, and so he may also have the chance to meet the distrustful villagers. Of course, gamers will also get to know an ancient board game at the end of the story, this time the Malagasy Fanorona.

Read the full press release here.



28

Sep

Dark Fall: Lights Out scored 7.5/10 at Gamer's Hell:

 

"What may save Lights Out from being a plodding scavenger hunt is how well the story is built around the ambience, and vice versa. Walking through the lighthouse at any time period and hearing the footsteps of those you know are not there is creepy no matter what year it is, and those ghostly voices riding the wispy backs of wind gusts and crashing waves is goosebump heroin. Lights Out could have been a mood powerhouse, if only an exploratory camera had been implemented (but that would have required an extensive move to 3-D). It’s the still-life backdrops and fairly linear pathways that don’t really give you the full breadth of the spooky environments you’re in, from darkened corners to spiritually animated mannequins. In some cases, the non-descript environments can be disorienting, but it’s a small blessing that you really don’t have a lot of ground to cover throughout the game."

 



28

Sep

News are hot these days as previews start coming out for Myst IV Revelations. The latest preview now is on Computer & Video Games where they talk about important bits of the game, including the story, which has never been a much talked of feature in Myst games:

 

Storywise, it's a fanciful affair, but fans will be pleased to learn that it answers questions left hanging since both the original Myst and Myst III: Exile. Essentially a family drama, it involves the two brothers from the first game, Sirrus and Achenar, who have been trapped in separate prison worlds, abandoned by their father for crimes against literature.

 

A very short preview, you can read it all here.

On to other matters, and a bit more story-heavy ones, the recently released Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silver Earring has been reviewed over at Xequted, who are, despite the name, very fluent in English. In their very nice review, they score it a fine 34 out of 50:

 

“The Silver Earring” succeeds in many aspects and fails in others. Unfortunately, the failures come from Frogwares reusing old formulas that many developers are afraid to touch these days. And we hate to call them failures because the adventure game structure works nearly perfectly with the subject matter. But we also cannot deny that most gamers today steer clear away from the very limiting point-and-click gameplay. Regardless of how the game is played, it may be worth it to just experience the world of Sherlock Holmes first hand, as it is extremely well presented in this game. And although the rigid gameplay is frustrating at times, taking on a mystery in the shoes of Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson has a certain appeal that is hard not to deny (which may be the only reason why buyers of this game may come back a second time to play it).

 

Read the whole review here.



27

Sep

GameSpot have got their first impression of the new Myst IV Revelations and they've got nothing but good things to say about it:

 

That sounds like a typical cliché, but in fact, Myst IV pulls off some interesting techniques that really do create a convincing atmosphere. Notwithstanding the game's impressive visuals and ambient music, what really struck us on first impression was the game's subtle use of sound. As in previous Myst games, Myst IV is playable using only the mouse--an onscreen hand-shaped cursor contextually reveals whether you can move forward, examine something closely, manipulate an object, or simply tap on something. Most parts of the environment in the game of course don't do anything--and yet you can still tap on them, which produces a realistic noise; a knocking sound for wood, a rustling sound for a stack of papers, or a clanking sound for a metal pipe, to name a few examples. This subtle technique really gives Myst IV's world a substantive feel to it--so even though you can only manipulate certain parts of the environment, everything seems solid and grounded in Myst IV's surreal setting.

 

Read the full article here.



26

Sep

On his blog Ron Gilbert recently talked about his inspiration for Monkey Island, and I'm not talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. A most interesting read, if not for just his theories on why the stories in games like Hitman: Codename 47 don't really work.

I figured if Guybrush didn't know anything, then the player wouldn't be frustrated when they didn't know how to do basic pirate tasks. Which was the whole genesis for the opening line:

"Hi, my name is Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a pirate"

It told the player that Guybrush didn't know any more then they did, and they were going to learn together.

The recently played Hitman had this problem. I am supposed to be this kick-ass hitman - Agent 47 - who is, as stated on the box: "brutally efficient". But I wasn't. I sucked. And badly.

Not that I'm recommending that Hitman starts out with:

"Hi, my name is Agent 47 and I want to be a hitman"

Read the rest of it here and make sure to check some of his other interesting articles on his blog while you're there.



26

Sep

GeneralCoffee has released a demo for Future Boy, where you play Future Boy's roommate who has to rescue Future Boy from the clutches of Clayton Eno.

The 36MB demo is available at Gamer's Hell and various other locations listed here.



26

Sep

Argentinian developer and publisher Nucleosys sent us three new high-resolution screenshots of their first game, in development, Scratches.

A horror adventure set in a house, that was once occupied by a man accused of murdering his wife, where nothing is what it seems. As you go and uncover more of the house's mysteries it becomes clearer that you're definately not alone.

Take a look at our very own game page for Scratches to see the three hi-res screenshots.



26

Sep

There're two new reviews of Dark Fall: Lights Out up on the internet and our first stop is Gamehelper.com.

Gamehelper give Lights Out 6.5 points out of 10, saying:

 

Refusing to rest on Myst’s laurels, some adventure games have taken up the gauntlet and run with it. Syberia and Syberia II boast an incredibly absorbing, enthralling storyline, while Missing Since January took an innovative approach to its puzzles by interweaving them with both real and fictional websites. Unfortunately, this is the exception, rather than the rule, and few point and clickers stray far from what has come before. Although that’s frustrating enough from a gaming point of view, it drives me particularly nuts when I encounter a game like Lights Out. Locked away in its rigid code of adventure gaming conduct is a really cool plot and some genuinely spooky moments. The real meat of Lights Out is much, much better than the majority of point and click shovelware that’s out there, but it just doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from the rest of the drek.

 

Read the full review here.

Next stop is GameMethod.com who give Lights Out a great 80 out of a 100 score:

 

Decidedly superior to the original, Darkfall: Lights Out offers a surprisingly suspenseful adventure complimented by streamlined gameplay. Straightforward puzzle-solving surpasses not only the first game, but many others in the genre. A rich story and superbly crafted ambience makes playing the game a treat, encouraging active imaginations to supplement the game’s suspenseful atmosphere. Although the game can be slow at times, Lights Out is wholly an enjoyable experience that adventure fans cannot do without.

 

Read the full review here.



25

Sep

GameZone has got a review up for Alida giving it a very mediocre score of 4.5 out of 10:

 

With a weak story, awkward puzzles and a cliché environment, Alida makes for one weak adventure game experience. Not only that, but everything here has been done (and much better) a decade ago.

 

 

 

Read the full review here.



25

Sep

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game is looking for imaginative minds to help finish building its interface:

"As you play the game you will find default item graphics in the form of coded cubes, as well as captions in place of location images (see below). Your illustrations will replace the cubes and captions in the final version of the game."

The overall winner of this competition will receive the privelage of participating in a recording of the next installments of the series and a script autographed by the cast. CD boxed sets of the new series will be awarded to the runners up.

All information on how to enter this contest is here. Good luck, earthling!



22

Sep

Fellow adventure game website Mystery Manor has recently posted reviews of some of the more prominent adventure game releases.

First is Alida, which receives a 7 out of 10 for being a high-quality game, just lacking that certain fun factor.

Next is Sherlock Holmes: Case of the Silver Earring, with an 8 out of 10 for "a riveting storyline, excellent characterizations and wonderful graphics."

Finally, Mystery Manor was the first adventure site to review Dark Fall: Lights Out, giving it an 8.5 out of 10 and calling it "beautiful, involving and completely original."



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