Adventure News
 


July 2012

31

Jul

Now here's something you don't see every day... In fact, it's something you won't actually see this time either, as indie developer epicycle has recently released its unique audio horror adventure BlindSide for PC and Mac.

Originally released earlier this year for iOS platforms, BlindSide casts players in the role of an assistant professor named Case, who "wakes up blind, to find his city destroyed and mysterious creatures devouring people. Will you and your girlfriend be able to find your way without sight? How will you escape? Run for your life, save the girl, and uncover the mystery of the apocalypse—all in the dark!"

In a game "inspired by co-creator Aaron Rasmussen's temporary blindness as a result of an explosion in high school chemistry", players control Case using only audio cues to guide them.  On the Apple version, you "put on headphones, hold your iPhone, and face the direction you want to go. Listen as the world rotates around you and explore the darkness."  In the newly-released PC and Mac versions, the game uses "custom audio algorithms to turn any pair of stereo headphones into simulated surround sound."

As if stumbling about in the "dark" wasn't challenging enough, you'll also need to contend with monsters lurking about.  In order to avoid them and survive, you'll need to pay close attention to over 1000 different sound effegts and lines of dialogue.

BlindSide is available for download now for $2.99 at the App Store or $4.00 at Desura.  For more information about the game, check out the official website for details.

 

 


 



29

Jul

A trio of new adventure games currently seeking crowd-funding are quickly approaching their deadlines, each with less than $5,000 to raise.

Detective Grimoire

The name Detective Grimoire may ring a bell, as it was first released as a free online flash game back in 2007.  Now the title character is back in a commercial sequel (though sharing the same name as the original) by SFB Games.  The mystery adventure revolves around the death of Richard Remington, founder of tourist attraction "Boggy's Bog".  The exact cause of death is unknown, but the evidence all points to Boggy, the legendary swamp creature itself.   

As detective, players will need to collect clues, solve puzzles, and interrogate suspects to determine the truth.  SFG describes the gameplay as "a little like Phoenix Wright, a little like Professor Layton, but with a focus on solving a mystery!"  You don't have to wait to find out how accurate that assessment is, as there's a playable browser-based demo already available.

Detective Grimoire has been in development since 2010, and is approximately 90% complete at this point.  Regardless of meeting the fundraising goal of $25,000 by August 2nd, the game will be released for iOS and Android, but successful funding will result in additional DRM-free download versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well, and a much earlier August/September release date than would otherwise be possible. Check out the Kickstarter page for a campaign video and full details on the various pledge tiers and their rewards.

OURFIRG

One of the rare open-world, real-time 3D adventures in production, OURFIRG stars an "enigmatic figure" from a mystic monk society, who "becomes a witness to the eternal battle between good and evil". Called by the Master of the Order for a meeting in the Great Tower, you are assigned a mission to travel to the Oracle and to talk to someone about "the Ourfirg".

Guiding this robed hero "to the fulfillment of his divine destiny" involves plenty of third-person exploration though a fictional fantasy world.  Day and night, you will journey through both residential and rural areas, visiting such places as "caves, villages, forests, castles, house interiors, docks, prisons, islands, and towers". OURFIRG will also include a degree of combat, but the game's indie Greek developers A and B and S and A cite LucasArts's Loom as its primary inspiration and stress that traditional adventure elements will be far more prevalent.

OURFIRG has been in development for four months now, but will need an additional $6,000 raised through Kickstarter by August 4th in order to be completed before the end of the year. An unsuccessful campaign would result in a longer development time with fewer resources available for its PC, Mac, and iOS releases.  The OURFIRG Kickstarter page has additional videos and full pledge details. 

Reversion: Chapter 2 - The Meeting

The planned six-part series from indie Argentinian developers 3f Interactivo got off to a promising start with a free first episode. A young man wakes up in a Buenos Aires hospital believing it to be 2015, only to shockingly discover that twenty years have actually passed. The city is now cut off from the rest of the country, and the hospital serves as headquarters to a paramilitary group that has a special interest in his revival.

With that premise established, the developers are now seeking funding to complete the second installment, which they claim will be "considerably longer" and more substantial than their freeware debut, introducing much more diverse locales, some of which will be recognizable places in Buenos Aires.

With production already well underway, the second episode is about 70% completed, but additional funds are needed to finish the game by October or November.  Failure to meet their target fundraising goal of $4,000 by August 9th won't mean the cancelation of the project, but will result in a notable delay.  Like the other campaigns, Reversion's fundraising appeal through Indiegogo includes a variety of pledge tiers and rewards, including a purchase of the game for PC or iOS, but unlike Kickstarter, all funds contributed to this game will go to the developers, regardless of whether the campaign meets its ultimate target.



17

Jul

A visit to the D’Ayas Valley in the Italian Alps may sound like a dream vacation, but it's the source of nightmares in the newly-released horror adventure Anna.

Anna sends its protagonist to an abandoned sawmill in Valle d’Aosta to discover the meaning behind his recurring nightmares.  There he'll discover puzzles to solve and a "dark presence" awaiting him, but "his greatest enemy will be his mind. Can he bear the weight of the truth?"

A real-time 3D game by Italian indie developer Dreampainters, Anna's storyline is based on real local folklore.  As you encounter mysterious forces, the state of the protagonist's mental health will cause locations to change and different secrets to be revealed, leading to one of three possible endings.

Anna is available for download now for 7.99€ or $9.99 at various download portals such as Zodiac and Desura


 



13

Jul

A crime investigation set in New Orleans?  Could work... The latest such endeavour doesn't star a certain Mr. Knight, but SilverPlay's Louisiana Adventure will offer plenty of grisly detective work when it's released worldwide this fall.

Set in 1902, a series of particularly brutal murders has been plaguing a New Orleans suburb. The viciousness and seeming lack of connection between cases attracts the attention of the Bureau of Special Investigation, who sends their best special agent to investigate.  

Players will guide the young woman through real-time 3D environments through various control methods, making choices that promise to affect the storyline in relevant ways, while tracking the "Detective Points" you achieve along the way. 

Louisiana Adventure will be published for PCs worldwide by Anuman Interactive this September.



12

Jul

Step aside, Bond, James Bond.  Make way for Mark T. Ross and James Peris, two new crimefighting heroes making their respective adventure game debuts.

Mark T. Ross: A Private in Paris - Episode 1

 

Mark T. Ross stars in A Private in Paris as an American P.I. who has recently set up shop in Paris.  When a "mysterious and powerful man asks him to find his kidnapped son", Mark sets out with very few clues to start, so he'll need to unearth evidence and question many suspects in order to solve the case. 

As you might notice in the game's launch trailer, it's FMV! (Remember those?)  French developer Space Asylum refers to this as an "adventure game mixed with an interactive movie experience" that includes about an hour of video and multiple paths to shape the story as you like. This game is the first of two connected parts, the sequel expected sometime next year.

Available only for PC, the DRM-free download of Mark T. Ross: A Private in Paris - Episode 1 can be purchased directly from the developer for $4.99.  If you'd like to try before you buy, a very short 60 MB demo is also available to provide a brief glimpse of what to expect.

James Peris: No Licence Nor Control


Moving from Paris to James Peris: No Licence Nor Control, Spanish developer Pavo Entertainment's titular hero is a recently promoted secret agent whose goal is to meet as many women as possible.  He soon has bigger problems on his hands, however, as his first case proves much more difficult than he imagined, and he will now need to "resolve the mission with the least collateral damage possible."

A LucasArts-style, 2D comic adventure, James Peris promises more than 50 different scenarios to explore and over 25 diverse characters to interact with, plus additional minigames and alternate game modes that will be unlocked after completing the main game.

James Peris: No Licence Nor Control is available now for PC at a cost of €3.95 directly from the developer, where you can also find a playable demo of the game.



11

Jul

Word of yet another fundraising appeal isn't good news in itself, but news of free games is always welcome, and to highlight its Kickstarter campaign, indie developer Gato Salvaje has released the first episode of AR-K free of charge.

Subtitled Sex, Lies and Class Work, the AR-K debut was released in 2011, introducing a young journalism student named Alicia.  Living in what she believes to be a utopian society, Alicia discovers a mysterious object that ensnares her in a complex web of research that suggests her world isn't nearly as idyllic as she'd been led to believe.

Most of that plot synopsis is still unexplored, however.  The first episode mainly focuses on Alicia's attempts to discover who she had sex with the night before, and to secure a research assignment from an overly-vindictive college professor.  The game is avilable free for a limited time, weighing in at a hefty 1.2 GB download.

The rest of the story is meant to play out over the course of four additional episodes, but the developer is going to need help to make that happen.  Launching a Kickstarter appeal for $150,000 by August 7th, a successful campaign will fund all of the remaining installments.  Pledge awards include either two or four DRM-free episodes as they become available, a boxed version of the complete series once complete, T-shirts, mugs, and even visits to or from the Spanish developer at the highest donation tiers.

The second episode of AR-K is due to arrive in October, but if the fundraising goal is reached, it will allow the developers to port the game to more platforms, localize into more languages, and improve the quality of the animations for the next chapter and beyond. To download the first episode and learn more about the fundraising campaign, check out the Kickstarter page for full details.



11

Jul

A Murder in Tehran's Alleys 1933 will be felt all the way to the UK 2012 when Lace Mamba Global releases the Iranian-developed crime story later this year.

As the title implies, a series of brutal murders occurs in the Iranian capital in 1933, but the evidence suggests it can't all be attributed to just one madman. As Detective Afshar, players must investigate crime scenes throughout Tehran, which reveal several startling similarities between each murder case: "All victims have been brutally tortured, before being cut into pieces. To top it all, the victims are innocent children."

Meanwhile, the local media is whipping the public into hysteria with a barrage of outrageous stories.  But a lone journalist named Sarsolooki seems to have inside knowledge that may prove useful, becoming an important informant in the case.

There is currently no firm launch date scheduled, but Murder in Tehran's Alleys 1933 is on track for release some time in the fourth quarter of 2012.



10

Jul

After finishing with Yesterday, Pendulo Studios is now looking ahead to Day One, though the Spanish developer is going to need some help to make its "dark comedy about corruption, easy money, immorality, politics, death, DRMs and other curses of our time!"

Day One stars a young man named Ethan Grant, a journalist who discovers he has just one day to live due a terminal illness. But he soon gets a brief reprieve when he arrives back home, finding a capsule with a note reading "This will keep you alive 24 extra hours. Come to Paris for more. We’ll find you.”

While the game promises to include the usual high quality production values we've come to expect from Pendulo, Day One will continue the darker direction taken in the studio's previous release. That's not to say there won't be humour, just not the same kind of lighthearted whimsy of the Runaway series or The Next BIG Thing.  In this "sarcastic comedy", Ethan's idol is writer Ambrose Bierce, and his cynicism allows the game to be "funny and adult at the same time."

There is one other important change this time around. While all previous Pendulo games have been privately financed, Day One marks the developer's first foray into the crowdfunding realm with a campaign through Gamesplanet Lab. The goal is to raise at least 300,000 euros by September 9th.  Pledge rewards range from a DRM-free download of the game for PC or Mac, access to a backer-only "VIP room" and participation in creative feedback surveys, plus soundtracks and artwork both digital and on disc, all the way up to the mega-rewards like a paid flight to Madrid to visit with the team. 

There is no firm timetable set for Day One's development, as the size and scope of the game will depend on the success of the fundraising campaign.  Meeting the base goal will result in a shorter, smaller game that could be finished as early as February 2013, but attaining the more ambition goal of 750,000 euros will result in a bigger game that stretches production until September. If the fundaising goal is not met, however, Pendulo says it's unlikely the game will be made through other financial means, so it's up to gamers to decide whether they want a game the publishers fear will "scare the kids".

To learn more or to contribute to Day One, head over to the Gamesplanet Lab fundraising page for full details.



9

Jul

The Cold War may be over and the KGB no more (at least in name), but the dark machinations of the Russian security agency live on in fiction, this time in Phantomery Interactive's 1953: KGB Unleashed.

The new game from the creators of Outcry is set just prior to the KGB's official formation, sending you "deep within the bowels of a Soviet bunker", where prisoners were once used as laboratory experiments in the fields of human limitations, telepathy, and scare impact. All alone, players must "uncover the dark and horrifc secrets buried within, fighting their own paranoia along the way as well as the possibility of all-too-real terrors within the bunker."

Distributed by German publisher UIG, the English version of 1953: KGB Unleased is currently available for download through GamersGate.  A disc version of the game is planned for some time this quarter, but no firm details have yet been announced.



6

Jul

After a relative dearth of first-person puzzlers in recent years, it seems the indies are ready to fill the void, the latest being Ether, a newly-announced adventure from White Paper Games.

In an "alternative history where individuals who possess the unique gift of ethereal projection can cure mental disease and illness", Ether takes place inside the mind of woman named Jean.  You are a "restorer" who has been sent in to probe her broken memories, but have lost your identity in the process.  If you're to rediscover who you are, you'll need to seek out three unique artifacts that reveal your historical connection with your client.

As the first teaser displays, Ether is a real-time 3D game with full freedom of movement using a mouse/keyboard interface.  The game promises four different worlds to explore, a variety of "narrative-focused puzzles" to solve, a story with strong emotional themes, multiple endings to choose from, and optional QR-codes for additional information and social media interaction.

The first adventure from Manchester-based White Paper Games, Ether is currently on pace for release some time in the second quarter of 2013 for PC and Mac. For more information about the game in the meantime, visit the official Ether website



3

Jul

If you like lonley first-person horror adventures, then brace yourself for the solitude of a new indie game out of El Salvador called Enola.

In Enola ("alone" spelled backwards), players assume control of "an unnamed character (maybe a person?) on a desolate island, without any knowledge of who you are and what you're doing there." In a story about "fear, isolation and murder", you'll soon discover that there is "something dark and evil on this island." As you explore, you must solve puzzles and seek clues about a series of murders to discover who the killer is, hopefully reclaiming your lost identity in the process.

As the game's work-in-progress tech video indicates, Enola is a free-roaming, real-time 3D game controlled by a standard keyboard/mouse combination.  According to the developers, the game is all "puzzle solving, death traps, and unnerving situations. Enola is not the kind of game that features scary monsters, because it focuses on a kind of fear that explores human nature."  The death traps are not action sequences, but rather puzzles with life-and-death consequences.

For an early looks at Enola in action, a playable demo is already available from the official website.  This is strictly an "alpha" demo and not reflective of the finished game (there are very few sound effects in place, for example), but it does provide a glimpse of the island and a church you'll need to gain entrance to.

Unlike many indie projects these days, Enola does not have a fundraising campaign per se, but the game is available for pre-order now to help finance the project through to completion.  Those who order early get the game for $9.99 instead of the launch price of $14.99, and will have instant access to each new updated build as the game progresses.  Orders can be place at Indievania and a few other participating retailers listed at the game's website.

There is no firm release date for Enola available just yet, but the game is currently scheduled for a DRM-free launch in the first quarter of 2013.



2

Jul

Adventure games may not be particularly hip, but indie developer Facepuncher Worldwide is looking to change all that with the recent release of About to Blow Up.

At Small time Records, the "unbelievably evil hip-hop music manager" named Mr. Sleez refuses to let you join him as an assistant.  With the help of a wise old rat, you decide it's time to form your own company in a "classic 'if you can't join 'em, beat 'em' story, full of shattered dreams, triumphant over-comings, [and] utterly incompetent henchmen", but Mr. Sleez has other ideas, and will stop at nothing to stomp out the competition.

As the launch trailer clearly suggests, About to Blow Up is an "insane hip-hop cartoon adventure jam-packed with crazy characters", but unlike most comic adventures, this game is played in first-person and promises to have plenty of challenging puzzles as well.

About to Blow Up is only the first episode of a planned trilogy, so it's not a particularly long game, but nor is it a costly one, the PC version selling for less than two dollars at sites like Indievania and Desura.  The game is also available for Mac at the Mac App Store.

For more about the game, check out the About to Blow Up website.  If you'd like to actually try before you buy, a playable demo is also available.