Adventure News
 


October 2014

1

Oct

Many games have been influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, but only one game bears the official licensed seal of approval – or at least, it will if Senscape's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is able to successfully raise enough funds through Kickstarter.

The latest point-and-click adventure by the creator of Scratches and Asylum is a "faithful and painstakingly researched adaptation" of its literary namesake, thrusting players into the dual roles of "both the inquisitive Charles Dexter Ward and Dr. Marinus Willett in a race against time to save Providence (and possibly humankind) from the evil warlock Joseph Curwen, who has made a pact with powerful forces of ineffable cosmic hideousness to exert his abhorrent influence across centuries."

The entire game is set in Lovecraft's hometown, inviting players to "explore mystery-laden Providence and uncover its enchanting secrets, research ancient history of witchcraft and occultism in shadow-blighted Salem, and sneak into an eerie Pawtuxet farm to meet unspeakable horrors lurking underneath." Stops along the way will range from "dusty libraries where awaits the hideous Necronomicon, through excursions to nightmarish cemeteries where time-worn bones tell of horrible past events, to sojourns in the old Salem-Village of crumbling gables and clustered gambrel roofs where wizards of yore still prowl."

Unlike Senscape's other games, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward will be a third-person adventure, though everything else promises exactly what we've come to expect from the indie Argentine studio. There will be "no weapons, no enemies, no jumping, no running, and no dying" in the game, nor cheap scares (or tentacles!), as the focus will be "strictly on story and mood".

In conjunction with the game, Senscape's Agustín Cordes and Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi will be filming "The Shadow Over Providence", which offers "both a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of Charles Dexter Ward and a documentary on Lovecraft’s life in Providence." Viewers can follow along as Cordes and Joshi "travel to Providence and scout the remaining locations that were key in Lovecraft’s lifetime, including the John Hay Library, Moses Brown School, the 'actual' home of the Ward family, and the queer building that inspired Curwen’s old house in Olney Court."

In order to make all this possible, the developers are seeking $250,000 through Kickstarter by the rather fitting deadline of October 31st. A minimum early bird pledge of $15 will earn backers a DRM-free download of the game for Windows, Mac, or Linux. If all goes well, we could see the game completed as early as the end of 2015, as the artists who have completed their work on the still-in-production Asylum can get started on the new game right away.

To learn more about H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details, along with the game's official website.




September 2014

23

Sep

Claustrophobics have an intense fear of being stuck on elevators, but indie developer Fezziwig Games has made that prospect even more (enjoyably) disturbing for everyone with its debut mobile release, Escape the Hellevator!.

Players control a dying man named Clarence Ridgeway, who's being rushed to the Emergency Room in a hospital elevator. This is no ordinary trip, however, and you'll take your time getting to your destination, as a "mysterious priest forces Clarence to relive his sins on each floor as he plummets to his final judgment. Can you survive the drop and escape damnation?"

Each of the six rooms Clarence visits represents one of his past sins, and he'll need to escape them all in order to complete the journey. This involves solving a series of "fiendish" puzzles and interacting with the real-time 3D environments that let you "swipe the screen to investigate in an intuitive manner", while "each item you pick up can be examined and/or interacted with in a similar fashion."

A mobile exclusive, Escape the Hellevator is available for only $1.99 for both iPad and iPhone at the App Store, and for Android devices at Google Play.



21

Sep

You can imagine that any tale of the cosmos would be many years in the making. That is especially true of Red Dwarf Games' Tales of Cosmos, which has already been in development for several years and will take a little longer yet, though its PC release is at last visible on the horizon.

Tales of Cosmos casts players in the roles of Perseus the Dog and Professor Gagayev, two astronauts who have crash landed on an unknown planet. With nothing to rely on but the "environment and their own resourcefulness", players must help the pair escape and launch them into an even greater adventure that will have you "explore space, discover new planets, recruit the help of local lifeforms, and unravel a cosmic mystery."

Inspired by the point-and-click classics of the '90s, Tales of Cosmos promises what so few modern adventures do anymore: provide a "huge" open world to explore. Travel between the various hand-drawn planets and moons will not only be possible but necessary, as "each planet has numerous characters and objects to interact with, as well as many puzzles to solve." Some puzzles are even interconnected, as "an item acquired on one planet may be useful on another." There's no fear of being bogged down by its scope, however, as an integrated hint system will be available in times of need.

There is still no firm release date set for Tales of Cosmos, but the developers are estimating a PC launch sometime in the first quarter of 2015. To learn more about the game in the meantime, visit the developer's website and Steam Greenlight page.



20

Sep

We're all familiar with the Genesis story of how the world came to be. But what would happen if the world ever needed to be created anew? Enter Exgenesis, a whole new kind of creation story currently seeking funding through Indiegogo.

While details are still sketchy about the game's plot, Exgenesis is set in a dystopian future  where "mankind has completely lost his spirituality and is now living only to fulfill his material needs. This isn’t acceptable anymore. A new beginning is needed. A new earth." But what would that new world be like, and who would inhabit it? These answers will be up to the powers that be, as "they’re already watching us. They’re judging us. They’re already choosing who's worthy of watching the dawn of the new humankind, and those who will take part in it."

This backdrop, based on "real ancient beliefs", sets the stage for a point-and-click adventure that delves the "most intimate places of [your] personality... on a journey to discover the secrets of existence." It will be presented using a mix of real photographs, clay models, and computer graphics in order to create a "dreamlike and mysterious atmosphere." Along the way there will be traditional adventure elements like "puzzles to solve, items to collect and use, places to explore, dialogues", but since the protagonist is you yourself, deciding "what’s right or wrong is up to [you] and the story will take shape accordingly."

Italian indie developers 48h Studio hope to complete this "original take on the genesis myth" for PC sometime in the first half of 2015, and in order to do so they've launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise €35,000 by October 19th. (Note that as a flexible funding campaign, all pledges will go to support the game whether it reaches its target goal or not.) A limited-time early bird pledge of €12 will earn backers a DRM-free download of the game. Ports to other platforms, including Mac, Linux, iPad and Android tablets are also possible if certain stretch goals are met.

To learn more about Exgenesis and contribute to its crowdfunding, visit the Indiegogo page for complete details. You can also vote to have the game released through Steam Greenlight.



9

Sep

Adventure gamers have been treated to a stunning array of genre legends returning to the fold after years of absence lately. That trend continues today with the re-emergence of another acclaimed industry veteran, as Martin Ganteföhr will be teaming up with Daedalic Entertainment on an as-yet-unannounced adventure.

As one of the co-founders of House of Tales, German writer/designer Ganteföhr is best known for his work on dark psychological thrillers The Moment of Silence and Overclocked, the former depicting a world with an Orwellian "total government control of information flow" and the latter delving into "the substance of psychological trauma after extreme experiences of violence – such as in modern warfare."

While no actual details about the new game have been revealed, Daedalic CEO Carsten Fichtelmann claims that Ganteföhr will be "able to work with maximum creative freedom to craft a game fully in the spirit of his previous adventures." Additional details about the new game are promised "in the coming months."



8

Sep

Many correlations can be drawn between the mediums of film and interactive entertainment, with works of one genre often influencing those of the other. Now, independent developer Dale Penlington is drawing inspiration from some of filmmaking’s elite directors for a new series of games. The first of these, entitled The Silence, draws right from the top of the pile, aiming to emulate the trademark feel of the Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock.

In The Silence, the main character finds himself waking in a dark and dingy motel room, alone and with a bruise on his head, with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Further exploration yields a shocking revelation: everyone else has vanished, and he is all alone... Alone, save for the sound of crows carrying on the breeze.

To discover the protagonist's identity and solve the mysterious disappearances, players will navigate from left to right, in side-scroller fashion, advancing through a monochrome, silhouetted world by picking up inventory items, interacting with objects, and solving traditional adventure game puzzles to progress. With a look and soundtrack matching those of Hitchcock’s own black-and-white masterpieces, The Silence incorporates nods to the director’s works throughout the adventure, the two most immediately obvious ones being the creepy motel setting and the ominous cawing of the crows right from the very beginning.

Best of all, for mobile gamers there’s no need to wait, as The Silence is already available on the Google Store for Android and the App Store for  iPhones and iPads, with a PC version perhaps coming in the future.



7

Sep

Adventure gamers are used to making a lot of dubious moral choices, but perhaps never more so than in Elliot Collis's upcoming desolate, a tale about the path to personal redemption which is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.

In desolate, shadowy figures invade your village and you "sacrifice your friends and family to them in order to escape." Only afterwards do you realize the gravity of your selfish actions, and you now must "make amends for your mistakes." This is far easier said than done, however, as "sooner or later you will have to face your inner shadows and your inner self to change for the better." The first step in getting back to the village to right your grievous wrongs is to befriend the little cave creatures living "under the barren lifeless desert known as The Desolate."

Unlike most adventures, the wordless desolate will rely on the three core mechanics of sound, gesture, and touch, each having its own affect on those around you – some of them intended, some not. For example, "where the call of your voice might reassure a family member in trouble and make them try to get to you, the call of your voice might scare the little cave creature and make him run away." Solving many of the game's puzzles requires "finding the correct sequence of events for the desired outcome to happen." There will also be some light platforming and action elements that have you "trying to capture or corner someone", but Collis says that these sequences are slower-paced than a standard platformer. They will also serve to shift the game's perspective from horizontal to vertical, the largely side-scrolling gameplay giving way to climbing when "the player's world seems to start breaking down."

Desolate will be told in seven acts, each representing a new stage on this path to self-discovery and atonement, as reflected in their titles: Desolation, The Desolate, Deception, Corruption, Consumption, Depression, and Realisation. The game is inspired by the developer's own experiences, including its distinctive setting, which blends the "vast landscapes of New Zealand and the uniquely confined architecture of Tokyo" with the caves from both Nippara and Arizona. All of this is stylishly hand-painted, as seen in the early screenshots and trailer.

In order to complete this keyboard- (or gamepad-)controlled adventure by July 2015, Collis has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise a modest $12,500 by September 30th. A minimum $12 NZD (about $10 USD) will earn backers a DRM-free copy of the game for PC, Mac, or Linux upon completion, while those who pledge $50 or more can play each act as it's finished, beginning this December.

To learn more about desolate and to contribute to its fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for complete details. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



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