Adventure News
 


September 2014

2

Sep

Last year's Master Reboot gave new meaning to the term "life after death", and now indie studio Wales Interactive look to take the next step into the virtual afterlife with the upcoming Soul Axiom.

A "spiritual successor" to Master Reboot, Soul Axiom is set in a world where human dreams and memories can be recorded for posterity and relived forever. As advertised by the "Digital Soul Provider" Elysia, "death has no dominion and life has no boundaries. Cast off your mortal body and discover the secret to everlasting life in your digital afterlife." But as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and you must now "take a journey through the deepest darkest recesses of your soul on your quest to unlock your identity, your story, your mystery. But beware: some mysteries are better left unsolved."

At the start of the game you will find yourself "free falling through a stormy sky. Lightning sporadically illuminates the dark storm clouds showing vivid flashes of memories from your life. You struggle to take a breath as you plummet into the eye of the storm, out of control... You brace yourself for impact, for your imminent death... and then - blackness." But this is not death after all, as you rewaken "on the deck of a ship, rain pummelling the wooden boards. You look up to see four shadowy figures on the bridge gazing into the distance. You can make out an old man at the helm who appears to be shouting at you. As you zone back into the moment you hear him call out 'Come on boy, you have to save us, you need to get the engines working or we're doomed!'"

As seen in the game's early screenshots and trailer, Soul Axiom's surreal setting, like its predecessor's, will be presented in free-roaming 3D. Throughout the 40 unique environments in this "psychological adventure with exploration and puzzle elements", players will be "taken on an intriguing voyage of discovery, through beautiful, haunting locations, facing challenges that will take you into danger on your mission to unlock your identity, your story, your mystery."

Soul Axiom is currently in production for PC, along with as-yet-unannounced home consoles. There is currently no firm release date, but we can expect to see the game next spring. In the meantime, you can learn more about Soul Axiom at its official website.




August 2014

31

Aug

Most of us associate Red Thread Games with the highly anticipated Dreamfall Chapters, but along with producing the next installment in The Longest Journey saga, the Norwegian studio has also begun work on a much different adventure, a first-person psychological horror called Draugen.

Inspired by "Scandinavian literature, legends and fairytales, along with Norse mythology and the Icelandic sagas", Draugen is set in the 1920s amongst the "deep fjords and towering mountains of Norway’s awe-inspiring west coast." There the  population of an entire remote fishing village has mysteriously disappeared, and it's up to a visiting "American nature photographer, botanist and entomologist" to investigate. As players "explore the tiny settlement, gathering clues and memories, and unearthing the truth behind a terrible tragedy, they will learn more about the history of the village and its inhabitants. And they will come to see that behind even the most innocent of facades lurks the potential for malice."

You won't be entirely alone in this deserted town, as "from time to time, a woman in black can be spotted in the distance. Who is she, and what is her connection to this place? Who is the little girl singing broken lullabies as the sky begins to darken?" These haunting apparitions will be the least of your worries when night falls, however, as the titular Draugen – undead creatures from Norse mythology – "reside in their watery graves, guarding the treasures and secrets that were buried with them. And they will protect those secrets at any cost…"

Currently in early development for PC, Mac, Linux and next-gen consoles, there is no firm release target for Draugen just yet, as Red Thread is planning on launching a Kickstarter for the game in order to complete it sometime in 2015.



29

Aug

While most teenagers are preparing to head back to school for the fall, you can always count on Nancy Drew to be gearing up for another new mystery. This year is no exception, as the busy teen sleuth will be appearing in Labyrinth of Lies this October.

In this, her 31st adventure from Her Interactive, Nancy is called upon by a museum curator to "assist with the most anticipated event of the year, but artifacts from the exhibit are mysteriously disappearing. Are these mishaps connected to the amphitheater’s upcoming performance? Or is an unseen villain pulling strings behind the scenes?" Naturally, it's up to Nancy to both uncover the truth and find the missing artifacts.

The new game will feature plenty of ancient Greek flavour, and one of the tasks players will confront will be organizing displays and exhibits for the museum. As usual, there will be plenty of educational value throughout, as you'll need to "solve challenging puzzles based on actual Greek myths and artwork." And if that proves too difficult, you can always call up your pals Frank and Joe Hardy on the phone for some "potentially lifesaving tips".

Her Interactive will soon begin accepting preorders for both PC and Mac, and those who order early will receive Labyrinth of Lies a week before the retail release on October 14th.



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.



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