Adventure News
 


July 2006

31

Jul

Early demo of unofficial King's Quest sequel now available

Phoenix Online Studios, developers of The Silver Lining (previously known as KQIX), have released an early demo of the first chapter of the game. Returning the player to control of King Graham - last played in King's Quest V - The Silver Lining charges him with the task of saving the lands from an evil enchantment.

The demo is based on the code sent to Vivendi Games during the game's brief cancellation on legal grounds, and as such much of it is actually nine months old; a number of bugs and disabled features appear to have crept into the demo, but the developers are assuring fans that these will be addressed before the full release.

Eager gamers can download the 75MB file from the game's website.



28

Jul

Acclaimed actor signed for three Agatha Christie games

The Adventure Company recently announced that David Suchet has been signed to provide voiceovers for Hercule Poirot in three upcoming Agatha Christie games, beginning with this year's Murder on the Orient Express.

This signing is significant for the franchise, as the acclaimed British actor has portrayed Christie's eccentric Belgian detective in more than fifty television appearances, and there are many who consider him to be the definitive Poirot. DreamCatcher CEO Richard Wah Kan expressed his enthusiasm by saying, "When players step into our games, we want them to become fully immersed in the excitement and adventure of solving an Agatha Christie-style mystery and the addition of Mr. Suchet's distinctively recognizable voice will certainly heighten that element."

But while Suchet will provide the voice, players must still provide the little grey cells. In Murder on the Orient Express, players won't control Poirot himself, as the detective is injured and bedridden aboard the luxury train. However, he will provide his wisdom and guidance throughout the game to help solve the murder.



26

Jul

Supernatural thriller now underway

Adventure fans can start looking ahead to another new title, as UK developer Viperante today announced its debut production, a supernatural thriller called Restless.

The third-person, point and click adventure follows the story of a former criminal defense attorney named Kate Jones, whose life was ruined when she committed an unforgivable offense. Now burdened by guilt and shame, and having lost everything, Kate drinks heavily and is plagued by nightmares of a woman in pain. When a news clipping mysteriously arrives with a story of the young woman's disappearance, it includes a note that says, "If you want to help yourself, help her!"

With her fate clearly tied to the young woman's, players will join Kate as she "steps out of the shadows and into a deep and dark mystery involving police corruption, the local Mafia, secret experiments, family crises, lost love, missed opportunities, revenge, a life's work, frightening supernatural disturbances, and a mysterious and elusive former CIA neurologist known only as Janus."

Viperante calls Restless "a journey into the human soul, an examination of right and wrong, responsibility and retribution, and an exercise in just what it would take to evolve one person's entire personality completely." The game will reportedly feature high resolution, hand drawn backgrounds, more than a dozen interactive 3D characters, and over fifteen unique locations to explore across New York City and beyond, with graphic novel-style cutscenes interspersed throughout.

For more information about the game, be sure to check out the newly-launched official website. Restless is being developed for PC, and the target release date is currently scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2007.



22

Jul

First case now available to purchase as download

Fans of Law & Order that didn't get a chance to check out Criminal Intent now have another chance, as Legacy Interactive has released the first case as a commercial download under the name Law & Order Criminal Intent: The Vengeful Heart.

The third-person, point and click mystery casts players in the role of Detective Goren. In Goren's own unique style, players are able to interview witnesses, interrogate suspects and gather evidence from the crime scene. Vincent D'Onofrio (Detective Goren) and Jamey Sheridan (Captain Deakins) voice their respective characters from the popular television series.

Episide One, which can be downloaded from Legacy's game portal, can be played on a "try before you buy" basis and purchase of the title (priced at $19.99 USD) will unlock the remainder of the case. The game will also be available through most popular gaming sites such as Big Fish Games and Yahoo, as well as on NBC.com. For more information on the games, log on to www.cigame.com.



19

Jul

Puzzle adventure fast approaching release

News of gold should be tempting to any safecracker, but the real treasure is yet to come, as today The Adventure Company announced its slightly-renamed SAFECRACKER: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure has reached gold status in North America.

A spiritual successor to the 1997 release of Safecracker, the new game casts players in the roll of "an expert safecracker hired by the wealthy family of recently deceased billionaire, Duncan W. Adams. As an avid safe collector, this 'eccentric' billionaire has hidden the deed to his riches in one of 35 extraordinary safes."

The first-person, point and click game focuses mainly on puzzle solving, but will also require careful exploration of the mansion for clues to cracking each safe. Developed by Kheops Studio, the game contains 30 different rooms, which will be easy to navigate thanks to the evolving game map. Progress through the game will be somewhat non-linear, though some safes contain clues necessary to open others. Puzzles will vary in difficulty, but the in-game hint system should help with the more challenging obstacles.

There is no specific release date available for the game yet, but with the game ready for duplication, it should be on store shelves soon.



17

Jul

First commercial adventure from the creator of Other Worlds

A new independently developed game is now on the horizon, as Atropos Studios has recently announced production of Diamonds in the Rough.

Although this is the first game from the startup Greek studio, Atropos was founded by Alkis Polyrakis, who is no stranger to adventures, having previously released the Underground title called Other Worlds.

Diamonds in the Rough is a traditional third-person, point and click adventure that casts players in the role of a high school dropout named Jason Hart. Although oblivious to any special abilities he may possess, Jason is approached by an organization who recruits those with extraordinary mental powers. When he accepts a job with this company and moves to the American midwest, "he will soon start to wonder who he is really working for, and what the purpose of the organization is."

For more information about the game, be sure to check out the official website. Diamonds in the Rough is currently targeted for release in the fall of 2007.



14

Jul

New filmed taunt by the serial killer available for download

A new trailer has been released by The Adventure Company for the upcoming cyber-thriller, EVIDENCE: The Last Ritual.

In this sequel to MISSING: Since January, the serial killer known as "The Phoenix" returns once again to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the player. Like its predecessor, EVIDENCE uses a combination of offline and online gameplay, where players will "receive actual emails from virtual characters, scour real and fictitious websites, analyze video excerpts, photos, soundtracks, and piece together evidence to break the Phoenix's embedded codes."

The new trailer is a filmed taunt from the killer in the gritty, sometimes disturbing style of the games, reminding players of his return this coming October. The video is approximately 17 MB, and can be downloaded from sites such as GamersHell and WorthPlaying, though the latter is a larger download containing alternative movie formats.



11

Jul

Third adventure for the star of Remedy and Hope Springs Eternal

Amateur detective Carol Reed returns for her third mystery this fall, as independent Swedish developer MDNA Games has announced Time Stand Still.

The new first-person, slideshow-style adventure uses the same point and click interface and watercolour graphics effect as the previous games in the series, Remedy and Hope Springs Eternal, but will also include a feature to bypass the more complicated puzzles.

This time around, Carol "stumbles upon a new case while browsing through a local newspaper. A seemingly haunted house leads her to a complicated chain of events, which go all the way back to World War II, involving characters long forgotten by history, but not by fate."

Time Stand Still is currently scheduled for release in October.



7

Jul

Crimson Cow announced as worldwide publisher

Although the news that A Vampyre Story had found a worldwide publisher was first reported last week, today the mystery partner was at last revealed. In a press release, German publisher Crimson Cow has announced that it owns the worldwide publishing rights to Autumn Moon's much-anticipated comic adventure.

The lack of familiarity with Crimson Cow outside of Germany may revive unwanted memories of AVS's first ill-fated publishing agreement, but the new publisher is well established in Germany, and no stranger to adventures, having released the German versions of such titles as Runaway and Fenimore Fillmore: Wanted since its inception in 2002.

A Vampyre Story, a classic point and click adventure that blends 2D and 3D technologies, casts players in the role of "the beautiful, gifted opera singer Mona De Lafitte, whose life is brought to an abrupt end by a vampire baron named Shrowdy von Kiefer. Henceforth, she is doomed to a miserable existence as the unwilling companion of the vampire in his gloomy castle. Fate smiles on her briefly when her undead captor is destroyed. Seizing the opportunity, Mona runs away from Baron von Kiefer and tries to fulfill her dream of singing at the Paris Opera. Accompanied by her mischievous bat Froderick, Mona must face a number of challenges in her odyssey and learn not only to accept her vampire nature, but also to use the abilities she has acquired to her advantage."

For background information about A Vampyre Story, be sure to check out Autumn Moon's stylish website.



3

Jul

Three games for 5 years of MAGS

Every month, underground adventure creators rush to finish their games in order to make the deadline for MAGS, the Monthly AGS competition. Recently, the contest has produced entries such as Spooks, The Family Treasure, and Cedric and the Revolution.

In June, MAGS turned five years, and to mark the anniversary the contest adopted a special set of rules: Each entry could choose freely from any past rule set of the contest. The winner was to receive a special prize, a MAGS CD featuring most games ever created for the contest.

Three games are now competing for the honor of becoming the fifth anniversary MAGS winner.

From Dave Gilbert (Two of a Kind) comes The Shivah, probably the first adventure game ever to feature rabbinical dialogue puzzles. Named after the seven days of mourning after the death of a close relative in Jewish tradition, The Shivah puts you in the yarmulke of Russel Stone, a disillusioned, bitter and broke Manhattan rabbi. The murder of a man he threw out of the temple years ago leads Rabbi Stone into a conspiracy that may cost him not only his congregation, but his soul.

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Meanwhile, Zor and Bartimaeus cross over to the other side with The Netherworld, a verb-coin controlled game where you play as a newly arrived shade in the hereafter. Something to check out for fans of Spooks.

[image=5652] [image=5653]

Finally, Radiant (META) offers up Infinite Monkeys, undoubtedly the most extreme of the entries. Radiant claims to follow every single rule set ever used for MAGS, and the conflicting requirements of so many different restrictions have led to a truly eccentric game. In addition to the plot ("a futuristic game set in the past where the Mittens crew in their zombie-infested flying city has to help elves by taking a journey through time during their new year's party to stop the supervillain's conspiracy in his zoo"), Infinite Monkeys is set apart by an overwhelming interface featuring twenty five verbs (including "pinch", "wear" and "play on"), which can be rearranged at will.

[image=5640] [image=5641]

If you go right ahead and download and play The Shivah, The Netherworld and Infinite Monkeys, there is still time to cast your vote for your favorite candidate. But hurry, as voting for this anniversary edition of MAGS is due to close soon!

Edit: As voting has now been closed, the winner of the Anniversary MAGS contest is The Shivah. Congratulations to Dave Gilbert.



3

Jul

New photographic first-person game

Fans of first-person adventure games usually have to look outside of the underground scene for their fix, but a new game by Eugene Couto offers some of that node-based thrill.

The Oracle is a first-person game using photographic backgrounds. All the screens were shot on location in Canada and Portugal, giving The Oracle an unusually firm sense of place and identity. The story, involving a powerful artifact and a mysterious order of monks, may sound familiar, but the game also includes a more unusual feature: an in-game hint system.

Featuring confident writing and reasonable puzzles, The Oracle should prove an engaging game for players no matter what their point-of-view preference is. They can download it from the AGS games database.



2

Jul

Robotragedy 2 released

About a year ago, Berian Williams reviewed Robotragedy, a cartoony graphic adventure about Toby X, a little robot who sets out to save his idol and love, the kidnapped actress Robotinna.

Somewhat more recently, Toby X returned in the sequel: Robotragedy 2: Countdown to Doomsday. This time, the metallic hero is tracking down five pieces of an amulet to stop the dark lord Nazgu Bain, who has escaped his imprisonment in a black hole at the edge of the universe.

Robotragedy 2 offers the same attractive, Day of the Tentacle-esque graphics as the first game. Unfortunately, the English translation still suffers from the same problems as well. Players who found the first game too hard should breathe a sigh of relief that the puzzles have been made a bit easier this time around.

The creator, Pijin Pastrana, has a hard time getting online, but Greg Schlaepfer hosts the game for him on the Herculean Effort server, where it can be downloaded.



1

Jul

Comic adventure finds a new worldwide publisher

It's been a long time coming, but there's good news at last for anxious fans of Autumn Moon's A Vampyre Story. The developer announced today that it has signed a publisher agreement to bring the comic adventure to PC.

Although AME is keeping the identity of the publisher quiet for now, CEO Bill Tiller has confirmed that the new publisher has worldwide rights to the game, and the funding allows the team to begin full-time production. The small California-based developer plans to increase staff in the coming months to accommodate the increased workload.

Autumn Moon has been down this road with AVS before, of course, having experienced a much-publicized relationship with upstart German publisher bad brain entertainment before finally parting company over a year ago. The long wait since then had cast doubt about whether we'd ever see the game come to light, but Tiller expressed confidence and enthusiasm about AME's new partners going forward.

There's still a while to wait for fans, however, as the game is only in the final stages of pre-production, with a general target date of late next year.