Adventure News
 


September 2006

27

Sep

First teaser video narrated by Suchet

With Murder on the Orient Express charging down the track towards its November release, The Adventure Company has just released the first live footage of the Agatha Christie thriller in a new trailer.

Narrated by David Suchet, who lends his voice talent to the game in the role of eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the video includes a few of the game's environments, and an introduction to the playable character Antoinette. The trailer is a little over 21 MB, and can be downloaded from sites like WorthPlaying and 3DGamers.

For background information about Murder on the Orient Express, be sure to read our preview of the game and check out the newly-launched official website. And of course, there's still time to read the original Christie novel with no concern about spoiling the experience, as the game reportedly offers a different final solution than the book in order to keep every player guessing right up to the very end.



26

Sep

Episode one now complete, new promo trailer unveiled

The long-awaited return of Sam & Max drew one step closer today, as Telltale Games announced that development of the first episode in the upcoming "season" is now complete.

Scheduled for release on the American entertainment network GameTap on October 17th, and as a commercial download on November 1st, the pilot episode entitled Culture Shock is the first of six planned installments featuring the popular comic crimefighting duo.

To help mark the occasion, Telltale has also unveiled a new promotional trailer that can be streamed from its website. The accompanying developer blog indicates that a downloadable version of the trailer will be released on Wednesday.



24

Sep

Episodic adventure "CDX" released

A couple of days ago the BBC launched a new Flash-based adventure game as a tie-in for their new television series of historical dramas, Ancient Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire. Called CDX, and dubbed an "interactive video adventure", the game is - perhaps surprisingly - set in the 21st Century, with players taking on the role of a member of the series' production team who becomes involved in what the BBC is describing as "a world of greed, betrayal and murder."

The first of four episodes, "Amnesia", is now available to play, with the rest of the game to be unlocked in the coming weeks; a "secret code" system allows you to mark your progress between chapters so that you can move on immediately when the next episode is released. The website states that a broadband internet connection is required due to the video-heavy presentation, and that it is only available to those based in the UK, though some people have reported being able to access the game from outside of this area.



22

Sep

Website for upcoming DS adventure now live

For owners of the Nintendo DS (or those still looking for an excuse to buy one), it's a good time to be an adventure fan. With three different adventures on the horizon, the popular handheld is building momentum as a viable platform for the genre.

First up will be Touch Detective, a quirky detective mystery. As it nears its North American release next month, Atlus has now launched the official website for the game, which includes artwork, character information, and even a short trailer.

In Touch Detective, players take on the role of a young girl named Mackenzie, who inherits the family detective agency when her father passes away. In a "fantastic world of mystery and intrigue", Mackenzie must prove herself worthy to be called the Touch Detective. Along with her investigative assistant Funghi and her butler Cromwell, Mackenzie tackles four distinct cases, which include an additional twenty "mini-quests".

Using the DS stylus, players will "guide Mackenzie through crime scenes, talk to witnesses, and discover new evidence. Touching mysterious objects, people, or places allows essential case cracking clues to develop. The dual screens also enable players to simultaneously view clues, inventory, and maps throughout investigations."

A word of warning to anyone who visits the website, however... whatever you do, don't try to catch Funghi!



22

Sep

Celebrates the genre by adding The Last Express and a "lost" Cyan adventure

GameTap, the broadband entertainment network which provides video games on-demand (and is currently only available to US customers), has launched their adventure week, and is adding six new-to-the-network adventure games to their portfolio. Among them is the first game from Phoenix Licensing and a "forgotten" Cyan classic.

Marking Phoenix Licensing's debut will be The Last Express, the highly acclaimed murder mystery from the hands of Jordan Mechner, the designer also responsible for Prince of Persia. The Last Express puts player on the Orient Express on its way to Constantinople shortly before the start of the First World War. The game was given excellent reviews by its release in 97, and is known to be one of the true adventure gaming classics.

Cyan is probably best known for their Myst franchise, with the relaunching of Myst Online: Uru Live coming up this holiday season. The original Uru Live was terminated only months after release, and this will be Cyan's second attempt on creating an online experience out of the Myst franchise. Now, GameTap is launching one of their past, and lesser known games, Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo, an educational game disguised as a cave exploration adventure. It has previously only been available for Mac, and is now making its PC debut.

The new adventures of the week are as follows:

The Last Express - Phoenix Licensing

Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo - Cyan

Beyond Atlantis - DreamCatcher Europe SA

Crystal Key 2: The Far Realm - DreamCatcher Europe SA

Curse of Atlantis - Thorgal's Quest - DreamCatcher Europe

SA

Dark Fall: The Journal - DreamCatcher Europe SA

Other games that have recently been added include Zork: Grand Inquisitor and Shadow of Destiny. Sam & Max: Culture Shock will be launched through GameTap October 17th, with its worldwide release following on November 1st. GameTap is currently only available to US customers.



22

Sep

New website unveiled in anticipation of game's November release

The official website for Murder on the Orient Express launched today, providing some teaser information to satiate the fans eagerly awaiting this second installment in the Agatha Christie game series.

With its 1940s atompshere and haunting musical accompaniment, the website is similar to that of And Then There Were None, although critical fans will be pleased to learn that the cumbersome page-turning navigation scheme from the ATTWN website has been abandoned. In addition to previously-released screenshots and what seems to be a new desktop wallpaper, the site also features background information about the novel from which MOTOE is adapted and biographies of key players behind the scenes, including Poirot actor David Suchet and Dame Christie herself. Downloads and character bios are reportedly coming soon.

According to the press release that accompanied today's site launch, new content will be added to the MOTOE website weekly until the game's November 14 release. Can't even wait a week? In that case, check out our E3 preview to learn more about this game.



19

Sep

Early 2007 instead of late 2006

Those hoping to explore the planet Sarkash, in Step Creative Group's upcoming adventure Inhabited Island: Earthling, before christmas are going to be disappointed. As first reported by Blue's News and confirmed by the publisher's game site the release date has been changed from its early 2006 estimate to the first quarter of next year.

Inhabited Island, based on the best-seller by Strugatsky brothers, puts you in the shoes of Maksim who winds up on the planet Sarkash, where he meets an alternate human civilization after a nuclear war has obliterated the planet's egology. Maksim finds that the remaining survivor's integrity is questionable at best.

So if all goes well we'll be exploring a post-apocalyptic planet alongside Maksim Kammerer before next summer.



18

Sep

It's official: they exist, though not to hear Vivendi tell it

At long last, four much-rumoured-but-never-confirmed classic Sierra compilations are now available for purchase.

It's been well over a year since the online retailer Amazon (U.S.) first created product listings for budget-priced King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, and Space Quest collections, supposedly updated to run on Windows XP. Since then, the bundles have had their ship dates repeatedly pushed back, and as publisher Vivendi Universal refused to make any official statement on the status of the games, many had begun to wonder if they would ever see release.

The uncertainty continued right up to this week, when Amazon began shipping orders to those who pre-ordered the game. With still no announcement or publicity from Vivendi, it was left to the gaming community to confirm the releases once and for all.

Early reports from those who have received the collections bring some bad news with the good. The good news is that the games do indeed appear to be relatively functional on XP, though not without some exceptions. The less-inspiring news is that not all of the bundles contain every game (or original game iteration) in the series, manuals are in disc-only PDF format, and the technical upgrade appears to be little more than a systematic implementation of DOSBox, the free public utility credited with getting many older games to run on modern operating systems.

So while the collections are a convenient way to pick up most of these Sierra classics inexpensively, if you already own previous versions of the games, the bundles may offer little more than what you already have. Be sure to check the above product listings for details on what is included in each collection.



14

Sep

New movie spurs interest in nostalgic comic adventure

Hot on the heels of the game's release, Himalaya Studios has released a trailer for its classic-styled, point-and-click adventure, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine.

The trailer shows almost two minutes of in-game footage, accompanied by an original narration done with the same kind of over-the-top, amusing style as in the full game. The trailer is just over 7 MB, and can be downloaded in either DivX or wmv formats at FileFront.

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine is the first original creation by the developers responsible for the highly-acclaimed King's Quest I and II remakes, and is currently available from the online Himalaya store.



14

Sep

New title arrives a decade after series launch

To the delight of fans in the UK (and the lament of those elsewhere), THQ has announced the imminent release of the much-anticipated fourth installment of the Broken Sword series, The Angel of Death.

Ten years after the debut of the original Broken Sword game, Angel of Death once again casts players in the familiar roles of George Stobbart and Nico Collard. This time around, George finds a new love interest in Anna Maria, but his involvement with her soon finds him investigating "dark secrets from a long-forgotten history, uncovering a nefarious plot and an age-old rivalry between the world's most powerful factions, and exposing a secret that they have secretly fought over for millennia."

Angel of Death retains the real-time 3D presentation of the previous game, The Sleeping Dragon, but has returned to its point-and-click roots, in response to overwhelming public feedback. The new game was once again written by Charles Cecil, although it was developed collaboratively between Revolution and Sumo Digital.

Broken Sword: The Angel of Death is officially releasing on September 15th, although some UK online retailers have already begun fulfilling orders for the game.



14

Sep

Popular comic adventure is budget priced

North Americans will soon get their first look at Ankh, the 3D comic adventure first released throughout Europe earlier this year, as publisher Viva Media announced that the game has shipped to retailers.

Although taking place in the familiar setting of ancient Egypt, the game is anything but the usual dry, dusty interpretation of such a fascinating time and culture. Instead, the game is a bright, humourous romp in and around Cairo, filled with bizarre characters and wacky obstacles. The third-person point-and-click game follows the exploits of young Assil, who must reverse a mummy's curse that he unwittingly released upon himself by removing a sacred ankh.

Ankh was well-received throughout Europe, and inspired the development of an upcoming standalone expansion called Heart of Osiris. The trade-off for getting the game six months behind their European counterparts is a significant price drop, as Ankh is retailing for $19.99 USD.

For more information about the game, be sure to check out our Ankh review or visit the game's official website.



13

Sep

Ascaron to distribute The Awakened in the UK

For those anxiously awaiting the next adventure of Sherlock Holmes, the game will soon be afoot in the UK. Ascaron Entertainment announced today that it will be distributing The Awakened in January 2007.

Developed in partnership with French publisher Focus Home Interactive, The Awakened is the third game based on the great detective by Frogwares, following Mystery of the Mummy and The Case of the Silver Earring. Like its predecessors, the game uses a point-and-click interface, though it will be the first to be rendered entirely in 3D.

Taking turns playing as both Holmes and his loyal assistant Dr. Watson, players will experience "an original confrontation between the universe of Sherlock Holmes and the myth of Cthulhu, for a fight between the rational and the supernatural." The game begins in London with a mysterious disappearance that seems to be related to a secret sect, but the adventure will eventually lead players through a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland, and on to the United States and Scotland.

For more information about The Awakened, be sure to check out the game's official website.



11

Sep

Sokal's classic goes mobile

Mobile games producer TetraEdge announced today that Syberia is now available for PocketPC. Yes, if you thought Kate Walker's mobile phone in Benoit Sokal's Syberia was the best or worst feature of the game, now you can revel in the irony that incoming calls can interrupt your Syberian adventure.

TetraEdge has previously been responsible for successful ports of titles like Atlantis Redux and Return to Mysterious Island, so they're no strangers at bringing classic adventures to mobile devices.

The game is available for various versions of PocketPC (no you don't really have to have phone capabilities) and PocketPC Phone Windows Mobile, supporting both QVGA and VGA. Minimum requirements include 24 MB program memory and 280 MB storage memory.

Syberia for Pocket PC is currently available at PocketGear.



10

Sep

Offers the first glimpses of in-game madness

Telltale has released two in-game movies from their upcoming Sam & Max: Culture Shock, the first installment in the unlikely heroes' new episodic adventures. These clips represent the first glimpses of actual gameplay, and demonstrate the same humour and general zanyness that made Sam & Max: Hit the Road an instant classic back in '93.

Culture Shock will be released October 17th through GameTap, an entertainment network currently available only to US gamers. Non-US residents will have to wait a little while longer, as the game will be available for the rest of the world on November 1st through Telltale's website.

You can find the new movie clips over at 3D Gamers.



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