Adventure News
 


August 2014

28

Aug

In 2012, Benjamin Rivers kept his debut horror adventure close to home, but for his next production he is switching gears and setting his sights a little farther out. Today the Canadian developer announced Alone With You, a "sci-fi game for people who love adventure, exploring and maybe even a little romance", coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 and Vita.

Players control the gender-neutral, "sole remaining member of a doomed terraforming colony. Your planet will crumble and implode in less than a month, and you must use your remaining time to try to escape. The catch? There is only one escape pod left, and it isn’t functioning. Even worse, the only people who specialized in its systems are all dead from the colony’s mysterious failure." Fortunately, as the title suggests, you're not entirely alone, as you're still accompanied by the installation's artificial intelligence. By working cooperatively and "piecing together information scattered across the mysterious planet, you will unlock clues to help you fix the sole escape pod before it's too late."

Like Home, Alone With You is a narrative-driven pixel art adventure, but unlike its predecessor, which was steeped in nerve-wracking isolation, this game will require "constant communication with the ever-present A.I." in order to progress. In fact, as the two of you work together to uncover information about your deceased colleagues, you may "even fall in love along the way."

There is no firm release set for Alone With You, but the game is due for release sometime in 2015 on PS4 and Vita. In the meantime, you can follow the game at the official website.



28

Aug

A year ago, horror fans got their foot in Saibot Studios' Doorways with the launch of the first two (combined) chapters. Next month the series continues with the newest installment called Doorways: The Underworld.

Thomas Foster is one of the agents of Doorways, a group detectives "prized for their psychic abilities" who are "charged with tempting the thresholds of sanity to hunt down the most depraved criminals." Unfortunately for Foster, his previous sojourns down this dark and twisted path may have pushed him "too close to the edge. Confused, his memories riddled with holes, Foster's only option is to go deeper in search of his next target: The Surgeon."

The Underworld is once again a free-roaming, first-person psychological horror adventure and it follows on from the first game's premise. As each chapter is devoted to a specific investigation, however, the developers claim that the new game can be played as a standalone adventure without previous knowledge.

Developed for PC, Mac, and Linux, with Oculus Rift support for the "bravely masochistic", Doorways: The Underworld is due for release on September 17th. In the meantime, a special pre-order offer is available on Steam.



27

Aug

It's been a long time since we last heard from Simon the Sorcerer – not just for his many fans, but for Simon himself. We'll hearing once again from the former-boy-wizard soon enough, however, as indie developer StoryBeasts are currently working on Simon the Sorcerer: Between Worlds, with input from the original series creators.

Between Worlds will be a hand-drawn, 2D point-and-click adventure that harkens back to the earliest games, and the good news for those who wrote the series off when Simon magically became American is that he's back to being British! He's also still a slacker (some things never change). But this newest adventure isn't simply a return to Simon's teenaged fantasy world of yore. This time around, more than twenty years after his debut, Simon himself is all grown up (chronologically speaking). Now in his mid-thirties, he has been "working in Calypso’s curio shop by way of apology for accidentally transforming the old wizard’s granddaughter into a frog." At least, in this dimension. But imagine a parallel dimension where Simon is "good at magic, hard working, respectful, competent"... and actually a girl named Simone. This scenario provides the basic premise for Between Worlds.

In Simone's dimension, her "world is in trouble. All the magic is being drained out of it, leaving the wizards helpless and pouring magic into a world full of people with no idea how to control their new and spectacularly dangerous powers." Simone uses the last of her remaining powers to open a portal to "contact the one person she thinks can save both their worlds – our hero, Simon. Actions carried out in one world affects the same location in the other world. Simon and Simone need to work together to re-balance the magic and then deal with whoever caused all this trouble in the first place, (not to mention the nasty, tentacled consequences of opening up a whole load of dimensional portals all over the place)."

While much of the game will focus directly on Simon, Simone will also be a playable character at times. According do the developers, gameplay as Simon will be traditionally inventory-centric, while gameplay for Simone will involve the use of magic as her powers gradually return. Series fans can also expect to encounter other familiar faces, including Calypso, whose return seemed in doubt following the events of Silver Style's fourth and fifth Simon games. StoryBeasts are not totally ignoring the events of those games, using the "dimension-jumping aspect of the new game to acknowledge them", but they have chosen to treat only the orginal Simon adventures as canonical.

There is no target release date set for Simon the Sorcerer: Between Worlds just yet, but you can follow the game's production in the coming months through the developer's blog.



24

Aug

Norse mythology probably isn't the first association that leaps to mind when you hear the word "noir", but indie developers KreativeSpill are looking to change that with their upcoming adventure Norse Noir: Loki's Exile, currently raising funds through Kickstarter.

Despite his headline billing, the god of mischief isn't moonlighting from his Avengers gig here. The game tells the story of a name named Lars, a Norse immigrant living in the United States in the 1920s. Lars was "once a low-level courier for the local mafia famed for his amazing luck", but nowadays he's a struggling street magician who has run afoul of his mafia creditors. He's got just a few days to pay off his debts, but he soon "stumbles across a series of events that leave him questioning himself, his friends, and even the very nature of reality itself. With muscle-bound mooks breathing down his neck and a mysterious pendant that seems to be making him public enemy number one, Lars is going to have to do some quick thinking, fast talking and probably some swift running if he wants to make it through this adventure!"

As seen in the early screenshots and trailer, Norse Noir features a hand-drawn art style the developers hope will set a "light-hearted tone" for their "glimpse into the swing-era United States." Despite the game's serious-sounding subject matter, Norse Noir actually promises to be "comedy-focused" and a "family-friendly adventure title that appeals to all ages." KreativeSpill claim that "the current plan is to implement at least partial voice acting for the game, and hopefully offer a fully voice-acted title if the option becomes financially feasible."

Norse Noir has been conceived as a series of games that will each feature a minimum of three hours of gameplay, and in order to complete the first episode, the developers have launched a Kickstarter campaign for a modest $10,000 by September 20th. A minimum $8 will earn backers a download of the debut episode as early as this November. The game is currently being developed for PC and Windows 8 tablets, but Mac and Linux versions are also being considered.

To learn more about Norse Noir: Loki's Exile and to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.



16

Aug

Life may be strange, but what's even stranger is Square Enix's sudden attraction to adventure games. Following the release earlier this year of Murdered: Soul Suspect comes news of Life is Strange, an episodic, narrative-driven series currently in production at Dontnod Enterntainment.

Life is Strange is set in the fictional town of "Arcadia Bay, Oregon, where senior student Max Caulfield returns after a 5 year absence. Reunited with her former friend Chloe, the pair begin to uncover the uncomfortable truth behind the disappearance of fellow student Rachael Amber." While this may sound unremarkable at first, the developers promise that "choice and consequence play a key role in how the narrative unfolds." Even that may not distinguish it from a number of other recent story games, but the twist here is that "Max discovers she has a remarkable power… the ability to rewind time. In Life is Strange the player has the power to affect the game’s narrative and also change the course of history itself."

In terms of presentation style, Life is Strange will be a third-person, free-roaming 3D adventure, not unlike Dontnod's previous game, the equally-story-driven but more action-oriented Remember Me.

There is currently no release date set for Life is Strange, but the game is slated to launch on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.



12

Aug

With gamescom 2014 just kicking off today, the news for adventure fans may already have reached its peak (metaphorically speaking), as Activision confirmed today that both the Sierra brand and King's Quest are being revived for a new installment in the venerable classic series next year.

Activision hinted at the Sierra news early this week with a website and teaser, leading to much speculation about which properties might be dusted off under the old/new label. It turns out that King's Quest will be the first adventure series resurrected, with a new game developed by The Odd Gentlemen, the indie developers behind The Adventures of P.B. Winterbottom and Wayward Manor, and self-proclaimed "huge fans" of the original KQ series.

While very few details have yet been released, this promises to be a "fully reimagined" installment that is "fit for both the old and new generation of King's Quest players." Promising a "charming new adventure with an awe-inspiring art style, engaging puzzles, and a wondrous interactive narrative brimming with humor", the new story will see King Graham share his "life's adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather."

We'll be keeping a close eye on developments of this game, and hopefully it enjoys a better fate than the previously-announced (then quietly cancelled) reboot from Telltale Games. If all goes according to plan, King's Quest is due to arrive sometime in 2015.



12

Aug

Fans of Kan Gao's poignant 2011 adventure To the Moon will need to wait a while longer for a full-fledged sequel, but a bridge episode called A Bird Story is now scheduled for release this November.

A Bird Story is set in the same universe as its predecessor, where technology allows scientists to enter the mind of a dying patient in order to fulfill their lifelong wish before they die. Aiming to provide around an hour's worth of gameplay, the new game recounts the tale of "a boy who found an injured bird", taking place "between a mix of memories and dreams, telling a simple and surreal tale without dialogues." Although a self-contained episode in the sense that it has its own beginning and ending, this installment sets the stage for the sequel proper, as "the boy [will] grow up to be the elderly patient in episode 2."

As seen (and heard) in the game's first trailer, A Bird Story uses the same top-down pixel art style as before, with an original soundtrack once again composed by Gao (with "possible contributions from others"). If you like what you hear of the latter, there are additional preview tracks already available.

Currently in development for PC, Mac, and Linux, A Bird Story is due for release on November 5th.



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