Adventure News
 


October 2011

31

Oct

The Gunpowder Plot released for free download to UK customers

The Doctor is once again materializing on UK PCs today with his new adventure, The Gunpowder Plot.

The follow-up to last year’s popular season of adventures sees the Doctor landing the TARDIS in London, 1605, and "encountering a group of men who are plotting to assassinate the Head of State. The Doctor, Amy and Rory realise they are at a pivotal point in time but so are two alien races, each of which are more than happy to change history to suit their own ends."

Written by Doctor Who alumni and overseen by Broken Sword’s Charles Cecil, The Gunpowder Plot promises to be “considerably larger“ with “more adventure elements, and many more people to talk to than the earlier games”.

Like last year, the downloadable adventure is free to UK gamers through the official site, where you can also download the four-episode first season of stories. No word yet on a worldwide release, though as an inexpensive commercial deal was struck last year, it’s likely the same will happen again at some point.

Update: The game is now available for purchase outside the UK from Legacy Interactive.



31

Oct

First two episodes due for combined release in January 2012

Just in time for Halloween, Headup Games and Twice Effect have served up a little treat with the first video for the "spooky crime adventure" The Second Guest.

The upcoming episodic mystery stars a student named Jack Ice, who receives an invitation to the reading of the last will and testament of Lord Averton. Though Jack never knew Averton, his curiosity sends him to Grace Castle anyway, where it soon becomes clear that the deceased was murdered. Worse still, the killer is now coming for his heirs, and when a violent thunderstorm causes a landslide that traps them all on the castle grounds, "Jack has no choice but to get to the bottom of things. If he and the others want to survive this night, he will have to reveal the mystery about Grace Castle and also a big mystery about his own past."

The first trailer highlights the stylish 2D art that is inspired by Tim Burton, and offers a first glimpse into this grim but wacky world and its "balanced mix of creepy atmosphere and slapstick" that brings "a new shine to the flair of mystery thrillers of the 20’s."

The first two episodes of The Second Guest will be released together, though not quite as early as expected. The new projected launch date is now January 26, 2012.



30

Oct

Jane Jensen to consult on episodic crime thriller by The Silver Lining developers

With Phoenix Online's The Silver Lining nearing its completion, the developers are already looking ahead to their first commercial project, and the announcement is a mind-blower, in more ways than one. The title of the episodic mystery is Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, and involves a certain Jane Jensen as story consultant.

The planned four-part series stars the titular Erica Reed, an FBI special agent living in Boston. When Erica's brother was murdered by a serial killer who was never caught, she "began developing the strange and uncontrolled power of post-cognition: by touching an object, she can see its past, events that happened on, to, or around it." Her new powers are both a blessing and a curse in ways, but when Erica "comes across a crime scene that has clues that were left specifically for someone with her abilities, a new hunt is on. Who knows her secret? How? And what do they want from her?"

Designed "in the spirit of Dexter and Heavy Rain", the game will be produced in partnership with indie Dutch developer Khaeon Gamestudio with consulting input from Jane Jensen. The catch is, Cognition is only in pre-production at the moment and a Kickstarter fundraising campaign has been established to help finance the production, offering special bonus incentives to contributors. When asked about the viability of the project if the donation target is not met, Phoenix representives assured us that "Cognition's development is not fully dependent on the Kickstarter campaign; we're also talking to publishers and seeking alternate forms of funding. But raising this money now will let us get started sooner."

It may still be a way off, then, but it's something to begin looking forward to once The Silver Lining wraps up with its final episode sometime next year. For more details in the coming months, be sure to check out the official website.



28

Oct

Long-awaited Russian adventures now available for download

Think back, and you may recall a game called A Stroke of Fate. Now think waaaaay back, and you may remember a game called Dead Mountaineer's Hotel. Both have long since fallen off the radar, but it turns out they were gone but not forgotten since their original release in Russia, as the two games have just been released on Steam.

A Stroke of Fate: Operation Valkyrie is the first of a two-part World War II-era tale starring a high-ranking Nazi officer working for the Gestapo but determined to kill Adolf Hitler. Living in Berlin, 1944, Gerhard Mayer is actually assigned with tracking down known conspirators behind a recent assassination attempt against the Führer. Little do his superiors know, however, that he's secretly plotting one of his own. For further details, check out our hands-on preview. The game is available now for $9.99.

Dead Mountaineer's Hotel tells the story of vacationing police lieutenant Peter Glebski, who arrives at a remote hotel where unexplained events have been been occurring that are attributed to the ghost of the "dead mountaineer" himself. But when an avalanche blocks everyone in and one of the hotel's residents is threatened, you soon find yourself caught up in a bizarre investigation. This game is also selling for $9.99 on Steam.



28

Oct

Much-anticipated fantasy adventure finally arrives in UK stores and digital download

Some adventures are epic, and The Book of Unwritten Tales is no exception – and that was just to get released! For what seems like an age, KING Art’s much-anticipated fantasy has been awaiting its English language release, but today the wait is finally over as the game hits store shelves (in the UK at least).

First announced in 2008, The Book of Unwritten Tales, with its tongue firmly in its cheek, tells the story of four unlikely heroes: the little gnome Wilbur; the elf princess Ivo; a human adventurer named Nate; and The Critter, a shaggy creature that Nate adopted. Their cooperative adventure is set in a fantasy world ravaged by war, where an elderly gremlin guards the secrets of an artifact that can decide the fate of the world, with an army of darkness aggressively trying to claim it for themselves.

The Book of Unwritten Tales is available now in UK stores, or can be ordered online as a download directly from the official site, where you can also try out the bite-sized demo chapter.

You’ll find more details about The Book of Unwritten Tales in our recent hands-on preview, accompanied by an interview with the game’s Creative Director.



27

Oct

Trailer introduces four-part episodic thriller starring ex-priest in Rome

Step aside, Dan Brown. There's a new high-charged political and religious thriller in Rome, and it's coming soon in the form of the four-part adventure Shadows on the Vatican.

Inspired by real events in Italy and "freely adapated" from David Yallop's 1984 bestseller In God's Hand, the new series stars James Murphy, an Americn ex-priest who receives a distressed call for help from an old friend in Rome. Once he arrives in the ancient city that's "bathed in eternal twilight, its skies tinted the color of blood", Murphy discovers that a briefcase full of compromising documents has gone missing as well, and "the Vatican’s involvement and some strange parallels with his own traumatic past inspire James to get to the bottom of this mystery."

Of course, no trip to Rome by a former member of the clergy would be complete without some soul-searching, and indeed James will encounter "the most unlikely travelling companion who will question his deepest beliefs. And so the two characters begin both a physical journey in search of the truth, and a metaphysical exploration of the inner soul and the darkest secrets that everyone hides, even a 'champion of the faith' like James."

While no firm release schedule has yet been announced, the debut episode entitled Greed is due for release sometime before the end of the year. For more details in the coming months, pop on over to the official website.



21

Oct

Trailer accompanies Tri-Synergy launch of Nintendo DS puzzle-adventure

If you thought it was strange for Emily the Strange: Strangerous to be released only in Europe, that's no longer the case, as Tri-Synergy has now published the Nintendo DS puzzle-adventure in North America.

Based on a franchise that has spawned a series of books and even clothes, Strangerous marks Emily's first foray into gaming. The quick-witted teen wakes up after a nightmare to find that her four beloved cats have been kidnapped. Though she begins searching at her fairly strange home, she soon ventures out to even stranger locations like a carnival and a ghost pirate ship to find them. Once she locates her kitties, Emily must then make strategic use of their special feline abilities in order to track down their abductor.

In this Professor Layton-meets-teen goth puzzler, Emily encounters 65 different standalone brainteasers in her travels, along with a handful of minigames at the Atrocity Fair. There are some unique DSi features for compatible handhelds as well, as you can "scan QR codes with the DS camera to unlock Zonster parts to create your own personal Zonster."

Originally launched in the UK in June, Emily the Strange: Strangerous is now shipping to major North American retailers, just in time for Halloween. For more detailed information, have a read through our recent review of the game.



21

Oct

Third installment of popular casual series now available for download

The ending of last year's Drawn: Dark Flight seemed to leave no room for expansion, so the developers went back to the drawing board (so to speak) to develop a prequel, which has been released today as Drawn: Trail of Shadows.

Set when Princess Iris was just a little girl, Trail of Shadows follows the tale of a young boy with the power to make magical paintings that come to life. But when an evil wizard kidnaps the boy, planning to blot the world into darkness and chaos, it's up to you to follow him through once-lush gardens, living mountains, and flourescent caves, solving numerous puzzles and repairing his twisted creations along the way.

Drawn: Trail of Shadows is available exclusively at Big Fish Games for $19.99 USD (or $13.99 for Big Fish Club members) for the Collector's Edition, which includes a "Calligrapher's Caves" bonus chapter and other extras like wallpaper and a soundtrack sampler. A standard version without the extra content will be released in the coming weeks for $9.99 ($6.99 for members).

Note: Adventure Gamers is a Big Fish Games affiliate.


20

Oct

Series creators discuss comic crime series origins in video interview

You may have thought the skimpy medical gown worm by Hector in the series finale was enough of a "behind-the-scenes" look, but a new trailer from Telltale Games and Straandlooper Animation goes a lot farther behind the scenes than that, offering a developer's look at the work behind Hector: Badge of Carnage.

The three-episode series stars the boorish "fat arse of the law", who finds himself thrust into a hostage crisis in the filth- and crime-ridden town of Clappers Wreake. A terrorist demands three unthinkable righteous acts and has gunned down all the negotiators before Hector, leaving the slovenly one to reluctantly fulfill the requests. But Hector's determined to track this destructive do-gooder down with the "help" of his hapless partner Lambert using any an all means at his disposal -- and Clappers Weake has nothing if not plenty of disposal.

The video features Straandlooper's many-titled Dean Burke and Kevin Beimers briefly discussing the origins of the franchise, as well as Richard Morss, the man who singlehandedly provided all the male voice acting (and some of the female parts as well).

All three episodes of Hector: Badge of Carnage are currently available for PC, Mac, and iOS platforms, with a PlayStation version coming soon. For more details about the series, check out the official website and any of our reviews, beginning with Episode 1.



19

Oct

25th PC mystery now shipping in boxed and digital download versions

What goes around comes around, and after many sleuthing adventures around the world, Nancy Drew is returning home for her 25th PC mystery, Alibi in Ashes, which is now shipping to retailers.

The change in location is just one of many in this game, including the fact that Nancy herself is the chief suspect in the latest crime. A local contest gone bad has left the River Heights Town Hall in smoldering ruins, and "well-placed incriminating evidence and poisonous local gossip compelled authorities to make only one arrest: Nancy Drew." Fortunately, Nancy has some people on her side, as along with the teen detective players will control her friends Bess, George, and boyfriend Ned to help clear her name.

Alibi in Ashes is shipping now to retailers in North America, and can be purchased worldwide either in boxed form or as a digital download directly from the official website.



17

Oct

Puzzling prequel includes bonus role-playing game with additional storyline

Ever wondered how a fine English gent becomes one of the most renowned puzzle solvers in the world? Wonder no more, as you can now find out with today's release of Professor Layton and the Last Specter.

Although this is the fourth Professor Layton game launched on the Nintendo DS, The Last Specter is actually a prequel to the earlier titles. Back before Hershel Layton became a crime-solver extraordinaire, he was a university professor who received a letter from an old friend urging him to come to the rural village of Misthallery, which is reportedly "haunted by a nocturnal phantom. As players progress through the story by solving a wide variety of logic, slide, picture, number and language puzzles, they'll also encounter Layton's brainy assistant, Emmy Altava, and witness his first meeting with would-be apprentice Luke Triton."

As well as promising "more puzzles than any previous series installment", including free downloadable puzzles beginning October 23rd through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, The Last Specter offers another first for Layton fans: a bonus role-playing game called "Professor Layton's London Life". This provides an additional storyline and more than 100 hours of gameplay in its own right, allowing players to "customize their appearance and surroundings, work odd jobs or collect clues to help uncover the origins of a mysterious fairy."

Professor Layton and the Last Specter is available at retail stores now in North America, and will be launching in the UK next month under the name Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call. For more details about the game, including some sample online puzzles, be sure to check out the official website.



14

Oct

Response to fan feedback prompts slide back to February 2012

The fans have spoken, and Captain Morgane is heading back to the recording studio. UK publisher Reef Entertainment has now officially confirmed a short delay of the pirate-themed Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle in order to record new English voiceovers, among other updates in response to fan feedback.

As earlier announced in the Comments section of our very own preview/interview with writer Steve Ince, Reef has taken public criticism of the new voiceovers to heart. Chief among them is Captain Morgane herself, who first appeared in the two So Blonde games with a Spanish accent before being replaced by an English one in her own spin-off adventure. Even Ince expressed his surprise at the new direction in our interview. Now Reef is determined to correct this issue, stating that "there were a number of issues, including areas of the English voice acting, which needed to be addressed."

The downside to this news is that the game has now been delayed from its projected 2011 release. Not for too long, however, as Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle is now scheduled for launch in February 2012.



13

Oct

Playable sampler, new trailer herald release later this month

It may not be the whole Book of Unwritten Tales just yet, but today KING Art has offered an enticing new video and a single-chapter playable demo of the highly-anticipated fantasy adventure.

The Book of Unwritten Tales follows the exploits of four unlikely heroes: Nate, a human treasure hunter with his hairy purple Critter pal, Wilbur the gnome, and Ivo the elf princess. Between them (though not always together), the four must attempt to track down the legendary Artefact of Divine Fate before the evil minions of the Shadow Army, who intend to use it to control the world. Along the way, the adventure pokes tongue-in-cheek fun at plenty of familiar fantasy works from Lord of the Rings to Narnia to Harry Potter.

The lengthy demo is taken from from the game's second chapter, introducing Wilbur Weathervane as he carries out his charge to take a golden ring to the Arch-Mage in the human city of Seastone. The download is a sizable one at 1.4 GB, and can be found at the game's official website.

The Book of Unwritten Tales is currently on track for release later this month. For additional details, check out our recent hands-on preview complete with an interview with the developer.



12

Oct

Wadjet Eye release fourth installment of the popular supernatural indie series

Medium Rosangela Blackwell and her ghostly spirit guide Joey Mallone return once again today in Wadjet Eye Games’ Blackwell Deception, a spooky yet light-hearted jaunt through the darker side of New York.

When an old friend of Rosa's asks for her help to research a story, their investigation soon points to "a shady ring of street psychics who are preying on the gullible and milking them dry." Though there's no direct connection between the cases, slowly the mystery comes into focus as they converse with both the living and the dead across New York City, once again helping the latter cross over to the afterlife when possible.

The game can be purchased and downloaded exclusively from the game's official website for $14.99. For those looking for a bigger slice-o-Blackwell, a $24.99 Limited Edition DVD includes "all four Blackwell games, an exclusive MP3 soundtrack, animated Blackwell shorts, and other bonus materials". The disc version offer is available only until October 16th and will begin shipping on the 21st. A playable demo is also available to try before you buy.

To learn more about Blackwell Deception, you can also check out our very own review of the game.



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