Adventure News
 


December 2009

27

Dec

Chapter 1: Separation now available for Collector's Edition download

Kheops Studio is back with a new game, though for now you can't look for it on store shelves, as the debut episode of The Fall Trilogy has launched exclusively at the company's own web store.

A puzzle-based title (remember those?) designed to appeal to both adventure fans and casual gamers alike, The Fall Trilogy kicks off with Chapter 1: Separation, in which players awaken in an Asian temple with no memory but plenty of obstacles standing between you and escape. The three installments will each present a standalone experience with a larger narrative arc that ties them all together, with the full adventure concluded at the end of the third and final chapter.

More of an episodic puzzler than a casual release like the many hidden object games, Kheops CEO Benoit Hozjan describes The Fall Trilogy has having a "spirit close to Safecracker", the French studio's earlier popular puzzle game. With a projected game time of 4-6 hours, the first chapter will offer plenty of brain-straining challenges to keep players occupied, though a help system will assist those in need.

Separation is currently available only in a Collector's Edition version, which adds a strategy guide along with the game. Kheops says the game is likely to circulate among other download portals in future, and hopefully even see a retail release eventually.



17

Dec

Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum free to download until December 24th

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as two free games, as the earliest Tex Murphy adventures, Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum, are now available at no charge at GOG.com until December 24th.

Often overlooked among the more renowned FMV adventures of the down-on-his-luck P.I., the first two games in the series introduce the lovable sneaker-and-trenchcoat wearing Murphy, hired to uncover the facts about a university professor's death and the disappearance of the daughter of a powerful executive, respectively.

The two games are available as a bundled order directly from GOG, a DRM-free download portal. Registration is required, but is free and comes with no additional commitment.



17

Dec

Playable sampler introduces Miles Edgeworth as new playable character

While the defense rests for a change, the prosecution takes center stage in the playable demo for Capcom's next DS adventure, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.

After splitting time between Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice in the first four Ace Attorney games, now players finally have the chance to adorn the wine red suit of Wright's longtime nemesis, Miles Edgeworth. The new game is also the first in the series to incorporate a third-person perspective as Edgeworth visits crime scenes, looking for clues and interacting with various suspects and witnesses.

The demo begins at the start of the first episode, introducing the new features such as the "logic" function of combining connected clues. To control the game, simply click the appropriate area of the lower screen.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is currently scheduled for release in February 2010.



16

Dec

Society of the Serpent Moon moves longrunning horror series to third-person

The Last Half of Darkness series has been around for many years, and until now, its first-person perspective has been the one constant. However, the newly-released demo of Society of the Serpent Moon shows off the series' switch to third-person perspective for its upcoming installment in 2010.

In the new game, players control a man who receives a "strange package with a scrawled note, a mysterious map and your fiancee's ring with blood on it." She was last seen on her way to Antibes to "investigate a story on a series of vampire-like murders that have plagued the dark streets and alleys of the tiny European town. Your journey follows the path of clues left behind by your missing girlfriend, where along the way you will have to solve an ancient mystery and the source of evil causing the local townsfolk to turn into a rare breed of savage night-thirsty murderers."

The demo kicks off with a haunting scene that hints of what happened to the missing woman, before giving players control of the protagonist to begin his search for her based on the clues left behind. The 190 MB demo can be downloaded directly from the official website.

This sampler will need to tide you over for a while, as the full game is still some time away. Last Half of Darknes: Society of the Serpent Moon is currently scheduled for release in the third quarter of next year.



15

Dec

Five-part episodic "dark medieval fantasy" series now in production

Fantasy adventure fans often have long waits between new games, but the wait may prove to be much shorter beginning next year, as Corbomite Games and Fluff Entertainment have announced joint production on a new episodic series called Knights in Shining Armor: Our King’s Tale.

The planned five-part series is set in a "dark medieval fantasy post war world" and follows the story of the young Prince Rupert. Before he is crowned king, Rupert sets out into a "foreign and hostile land. All kings need a queen, and Rupert has set his sights on his toughest enemy's daughter. All that's left now is to follow tradition and prove his worth to his beloved."

According to the developers, each chapter of the point-and-click series will be quite different from the last, with new settings to visit, characters to meet, and challenges to overcome as the story builds towards its climactic conclusion. The current plan is to release new episodes on a monthly basis after its initial launch through digital distribution, though retail opportunities will also be explored.

The first episode of Knights in Shining Armor: Our King’s Tale is still a way off, with the debut targeted for winter 2010. In the meantime, be sure to pop by the official website for more information.



14

Dec

Release dates for Gray Matter, Black Mirror 2 and more now set for next year

We're not done with 2009 just yet, but adventure gamers should pull out their 2010 calendars a little early to mark down the impressive lineup now unveiled by Mamba Games for the UK in the first half of the new year.

You can see each game listed in our usual Release Dates calendar, of course, but when an announcement is full of this many highly-anticipated games, it's worth an extra notice. Headlining the list is Jane Jensen's long-awaited Gray Matter, now scheduled for release on May 21st. Helping fill the wait until then will be Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island (February 19th) and Black Mirror 2 (April 30th). There's more after that as well, as 15 Days is set for June 25th.

That's just the games never yet released, of course. Mamba, through its adventure-based Odyssia brand, is also releasing several other games for the first time in the UK. Along with the first retail version of Machinarium on March 5th, gamers who missed out on the earlier North American releases can look forward to the arrival of Memento Mori on February 12th and Mata Hari on March 26th.

Although official, bear in mind that all release dates are subject to change. The fact that the publisher is narrowing on on specific targets can only be good news for gamers, however, so 2010 is already shaping up to be a very promising year.



12

Dec

Indie developer of Downfall hard at work on new horror for 2010

If you haven't yet recovered from the trauma over the atrocities seen in Harvester Games' Downfall, time is running out, as the indie developer is already hard at work on its next horror adventure, The Cat Lady.

The Cat Lady is Susan Ashworth, a troubled young woman who attempted suicide when her husband died and life lost its meaning. Discovered by a friend and revived on the way to the hospital, Susan is ripped from a dreamlike world on the edge of life and death. Given this unexpected second chance, this time she decides to embrace it. Placed under Suicide Watch at her rundown two-bedroom flat, she is guarded closely as she attempts to find happiness again. The trouble is, "she brought something back from that other world – a warning. Something bad is going to happen and she'll have to fight to survive. Five people will come into to her life. One of them will change her life and make it better. But the other four have nothing but cruel intentions."

Like its predecessor, The Cat Lady is largely the creation of one man, Remigiusz Michalski, and the two games naturally share some things in common, like the heavy use of black and white as Susan "struggles with depression that makes her see the world in shades of grey". Also like Downfall, the new title will feature plenty of gore, though Michalski plans to make it less gratuitous this time around, giving it more emotional impact.

There will be some significant changes in The Cat Lady as well, at least the way the game is currently conceived. Michalski cautions that the plan could still change, but his goal is to move from traditional point-and-click to a keyboard-controlled scheme where players move only left and right, with interactive items being highlighted in close proximity. There will also be a much greater emphasis on player choice, some of which will have dramatic consequences throughout the course of the game.

There is currently no firm release date planned for The Cat Lady, but Michalski is targeting completion some time in 2010. In the meantime, for additional details, including some music samples from the game, be sure to have a look at the developer's website.



11

Dec

Second trailer heralds retail release of Jonathan Boakes' latest horror

While its downloadable counterpart got a head start last week, today the retail version of Dark Fall: Lost Souls is on its way to stores in the UK. And to help mark the occasion, a new and longer trailer for the game has been unveiled as well.

The third and final game in the Dark Fall series takes players back to where it all began: the abandoned train station and hotel in Dowerton. Much has changed since the first visit in Dark Fall: The Journal, as the derelict buildings are now in worse shape than ever. And there's an evil entity actively haunting it now, stalking you in your every move as you seek to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of a young girl five years earlier.

Unlike the previous teaser, the new video offers an actual glimpse of the eerie environs awaiting in Dark Fall: Lost Souls. For additional information about the game, be sure to check out the Dark Fall website and our interview with series creator Jonathan Boakes.



11

Dec

Episodic PlayStation 3 exclusive to be released next week

Relentless Software has released a new trailer for its upcoming episodic adventure Blue Toad Murder Files: Mysteries of Little Riddle.

In this six-part PlayStation 3 exclusive, players take on the role of one of the famous Blue Toad detectives and must solve puzzles and cross-examine suspects in order to discover the identity of a killer. Blue Toad Murder Files: Mysteries of Little Riddle can be played alone or cooperatively with up to four players.

The trailer offers a closer look at the quaint and formerly safe English village of Little Riddle and introduces the four detectives who will attempt to thwart the schemes of a deadly mastermind who is trying to destroy the village.

The first episode of Blue Toad Murder Files: Mysteries of Little Riddle is scheduled to be released for download on the PlayStation Network on December 17th.



10

Dec

Independent horror adventure from Finland targets release next year

There will be plenty of chills out of Finland next year, in more ways than one, as indie developer Turmoil Games has just announced its debut horror title, Alpha Polaris.

A third-person, point-and-click adventure, the game sends players to the titular Alpha Polaris, an American oil research station in snowbound Greenland, where "high above, the ion storm of the century is gathering, bringing about a strange intermixing of reality and night terrors. It is up to Rune Knudsen, a Norwegian biologist, to take on a desperate struggle against fear and death, and to face the primordial force lurking beyond the veiled sky."

According to project leader Teemu Vilén, the game promises a "restrained horror setting" and a mature, character-driven storyline that focuses on "a wide range of human themes in a realistic way: paranoia, isolation, friendship, love and so on." For additional details as they become available, be sure to check out the game's official website.

While no firm release date has yet been announced, the developers are currently targeting completion some time in mid-2010.



10

Dec

Casual puzzle-adventure game now available for purchase

The growing wave of casual puzzle-adventure games builds up even more momentum today with the downloadable release of Anka.

The first point-and-click adventure from French developer Ovogame, Anka tells the the story of its eponymous hero, a young and happy boy living in a quiet, peaceful village. His carefree days come to an abrupt end, however, when "one day his mother doesn’t come back from town. Soon afterwards his father disappears too. Bravely, the resourceful Anka sets off to find them." To locate his parents, players will need to guide Anka in solving a variety of puzzles and minigames as he interacts with the game's 15 other fully voiced characters along the way.

Anka is available for purchase directly from the developer's website, where a free playable demo is offered as well.



9

Dec

PC release of Rise of the Pirate God marks season finale

When Tales of Monkey Island began earlier this year, the episodic series resurrected a franchise many believed dead. With today's release of the season finale, Rise of the Pirate God, the series itself undergoes a little resurrection, but you'll have to play it to find out how.

The fifth and final episode of the season picks up where the shocking end of the previous episode left off. Having survived a variety of trials in pursuit of a mystical sponge that would rid the world of the pirate pox he himself unleashed, Guybrush's moment of triumph is abruptly ended when a "resurgent LeChuck deals a mortal blow to the heroic mighty pirate." Now Guybrush faces his most deadly challenge yet – literally.

Rise of the Pirate God can be purchased as part of the full season series for PC, or as a standalone episode directly from Telltale. As with the previous episodes, the season finale will also be releasing on WiiWare in the coming weeks.



8

Dec

Amanita's acclaimed adventure joins Mamba's ever-growing 2010 catalogue

Having taken the adventure world by storm as a downloadable release in October, now Machinarium looks set to start conquering the retail fronts, beginning with the UK next March.

The first full-length adventure from the creators of Samorost puts players in the role of a little robot cast out of a giant, towering mechanical city. In order save the city from the ruthless plans of the Black Cap Brotherhood and rescue his girlfriend in the process, the robot must first overcome a variety of obstacles in his way.

Machinarium is the latest addition to an impressive 2010 lineup for the Odyssia label of Mamba Games, the fledgling publisher who made a huge genre splash earlier this year with the announcement of its plans to publish such titles as Gray Matter, Black Mirror 2, 15 Days, and Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island.

The UK retail version version of Machinarium will include some bonus materials like a CD with the game's soundtrack and five additional songs, a poster, and a booklet with never-before-seen concept art.

For more information about Machinarium, be sure to check out our review of the game.



4

Dec

Teaser heralds early release through digital distribution

Dark Fall fans have been waiting quite a while for the third installment of the popular horror series, and for some that wait is now over. While the full retail release of Lost Souls is still a week away, the game is now available for purchase through digital distribution.

The latest adventure by Jonathan Boakes' Darkling Room sends players back to the haunted train station and hotel at Dowerton, first explored in Dark Fall: The Journal. The area has aged and suffered since you visited last, and is now more dangerous than ever, as this time you'll be stalked by the malicious Dark Fall itself as you strive to discover its true identity and the power behind it.

To herald the download release, publisher Iceberg Interactive has released the first teaser for Lost Souls: an ominous appeal for help in locating an 11 year old girl who was expelled from school for her "macabre drawings and an unhealthy interest in the dead". Now little Amy Haven has disappeared without a trace, and perhaps only you can help find her.

The downloadable version of Dark Fall: Lost Souls is available for now at The Adventure Shop and Impulse. The boxed version of the game is due to be released in the UK on December 11th.



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