Adventure News
 


August 2012

30

Aug

Adventure games often have a lot in common with books, but the recently announced Tengami is reminiscent of a particular type of book: the paper pop-up kind.

Created by three former Rare employees at Nyamyam Games, Tengami blends a strong Japanese cultural influence with a distinctive fold-out paper aesthetic.  Set in "Japan of ancient dark fairy tales", the game promises to be an adventure "full of wonder and mystery", where "the world is at your fingertips as you manipulate it to solve puzzles and discover secrets."

As seen in the game's announcement trailer, the world of Tengami literally unfolds around you as you proceed, and the developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the "paper" architecture behaves in an authentic way. Its unique style has already earned it a nomination at this year's IndieCade Awards, along with other highly acclaimed adventures like Botanicula and BlindSide.

Tengami will debut on the iPad in early summer of next year, followed in the fall by a PC and Mac release.



29

Aug

It's been two months since the last Walking Dead episode, but like its zombies the series is far from dead, as Episode 3: Long Road Ahead is launching today for PC, Mac, and Xbox 360, following yesterday's early North American release on PlayStation 3.

After the grisly climax of the previous episode, the small group of zombie apocalypse survivors are forced to leave the relative safety of the motel in which they've been holed up for several months. But sometimes the bigger enemy is within, and "the fallout from treachery within the group will lead to some shocking moments, and - depending on thechoices you make - one of the hardest things that Lee has ever had to do."

Long Road Ahead will be available today for PC and Mac exclusively as part of the full-season purchase, while Xbox 360 owners can buy the game for 400 MS Points as DLC within the original Walking Dead Xbox LIVE Arcade release. North American PS3 owners can purchase the standalone episode for $4.99 or as part of a season pass, but European and international release dates for the PlayStation Network have yet to be determined. An iOS release is also planned for a later date.

For more information about the series, including plenty of additional videos, check out Telltale's Walking Dead website.



28

Aug

Shakespeare is probably still rolling in his grave over mif2000's delightfully quirky adaptation of Hamlet, and now the indie developer has set his sights on a new classic author in The Franz Kafka Videogame.

Rather than following any of Kafka's individual storylines, the game will be a "compilation of different ideas" from his collected works.  According to the designer, the "twisted" basic formula for the game will be "The Castle + Amerika + The Metamorphosis + some surreal and absurd ideas."

As the first screenshots of the game indicate, The Franz Kafka Videogame will feature the same distinctive hand-drawn art style as its predecessor, along with a host of original puzzles to solve. 

While no firm timetable has yet been announced, the game is currently in development for PC, Mac, and iOS, and is due for release sometime in 2013.



28

Aug

Where have all the Myst-style adventures gone?  That's what indie developer Neebla Games must have been wondering, but instead of coming up with an answer, they created one of their own in the form of The Five Cores

Not surprisingly, you play as a stranger who arrives on a mysterious island to find a letter pleading for your help.  The island's former inhabitants have become exiled on another world, and only by making the "dreams of a miracle child" become reality can you cause the collapse of this world. It's your task to explore these strange lands and solve puzzles in order to "wake up the child with magic stones."

The Five Cores looks and promises to play very much like Myst as you "discover five mysterious islands and try to resolve their strange mechanisms", but the game is displayed in real-time 3D, controlling more like realMyst or End of Ages in that respect.

Developed exclusively for PC, The Five Cores is close to completion, with a target downloadable launch date some time next month.



27

Aug

Indie developer Deirdra Kiai has long been known for quirky, experimental titles, so when turned loose for her first commercial adventure, it's no surprise that she'd come up with a "stop motion musical detective adventure" called Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!"

The titular star of the game is a "down-on-their-luck private investigator of ambiguous gender only one rent payment away from homelessness."  It looks like Dominique might catch a break when "the CEO of a major record company shows up asking Dominique to locate a missing pop star", but of course things go terribly wrong, and s/he soon "winds up framed for a crime they didn’t commit, bringing to surface their mysterious past and the events that led them to take up shady detective work in the first place."

According to Kiai, just about everything in the game is "made from real, physical things: clay, aluminium wire, cardboard, paper, fabric, felt, duct tape, and whatever else I’ve been able to get my hands on." In addition to the unique art style and stop-motion animation, Dominique Pamplemousse is a musical that aims to "integrate music and singing into an interactive narrative format" with a soundtrack "composed in separate sections that can be played in a different order depending on the player’s actions."

You can already sample this interesting mix of elements in a playable browser-based demo.  Providing more of this bizarre goodness doesn't come cheaply, however, and to help fund the game through to completion, the developer has launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign.  The goal is to raise $9,500 by August 31, with several thousand left to raise and only a few days reamining at time of writing. Pledge rewards range from $5 for the game itself on PC, Mac, iPad, or "any platform of your choice for which it becomes available" to higher tiers that include early beta access and hand-crafted elements from the game. 

Unlike other Indiegogo campaigns, Dominique Pamplemousse is an all-or-nothing "fixed funding campaign".  According to Kiai, the goal of a successfully funded campaign is to finish the game before the end of the year.  Without crowd-financed support, Kiai still plans to finish the game, though naturally with a much longer development time.  To learn more about the game or donate to Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!, check out the Indiegogo page for full details.



25

Aug

His name may sound ominous, but Captain Disaster looks to be off to a productive start with a trailer and playable demo now available for Death Has a Million Stomping Boots.

The indie sci-fi comedy stars the the titular bumbling spaceship captain who takes a job delivering a package he's forbidden to open. Upon successful completion of his assignment, however, the captain discovers that "if not stopped, his current employers are about to wreak havoc across the galaxy using the contents of the package he has just delivered along with a lot of sneaky planning...  Using all of his wits (such as they are) and his ship's computer (who is helpful... every so often), CD must save the galaxy from a threat no-one knew existed."

As seen in the game's trailer, Captain Disaster has a decidedly retro design, but promises full voice acting, devious puzzles with hints to help out, many sci-fi references to uncover, a series of "totally pointless and worthless achievements" to earn, plus space pirates and planet-eating monsters (but no Roger Wilco in sight).

The demo takes place roughly around the halfway point of the game, with CD attempting to do something "amazingly challenging" (at least for him): "getting his spaceship, Disaster Area, out of orbit." At just under 24 MB, the download can be found at the Adventure Game Studio website.

Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots is currently on track for release late this year or early in 2013.  For more details about the game while you're waiting, drop by the developer's blog.



23

Aug

At last!  The long-rumoured, oft-teased announcement of a new Broken Sword adventure is finally official, though still not fully guaranteed, as Revolution has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of The Serpent's Curse.

The fifth adventure of lovable American patent lawyer George Stobbart and sassy French journalist Nico Collard begins in Paris once again. It's spring now, but crisis comes anyway when a "pizza guy with a gun" interrupts the pair's chance meeting at an art show by killing someone and stealing a seemingly worthless painting.  As George and Nico's investigation takes them "to London and beyond, the trail becomes a race against time as dark forces from Europe's turbulent past are woken from their slumber. Broken Sword characters old and new are encountered - but who can George and Nico trust? The journey they are on reveals a conspiracy as old as the written word, whose ancient heresies will cause innocent blood to spill once more..."

For many fans, the series' return to hand drawn 2D backgrounds will be welcome news, and the artwork this time will be rendered in sharp HD that promises to "translate the original charm to a contemporary adventure".  And since George just wouldn't be George if not voiced by Rolf Saxon, Revolution founder Charles Cecil has confirmed that Saxon will reprise the role once again, along with other familiar voice actors from Broken Swords past.

Though the game has been in self-financed development for six months already, it's going to need a hand in reaching completion.  The Kickstarter campaign is seeking $400,000 by September 22 in order to "proceed at a faster rate, and ensure the game achieves its ambitious design."  The game isn't totally dependent on the success of the appeal, but the developers claim that "without this funding we will risk having to cut back features and delay the game's release."

Pledge tiers vary from the minimum $15 for a digital download of the new game for PC and Mac and exclusive insider access to digital design documents and high-res comic books from previous Broken Sword games, a boxed edition of The Serpent's Curse, artwork prints, and many more rewards at the higher levels.

The PC and Mac versions of Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse are currently scheduled for April 2013 if the fundraising campaign is successful.  Android and iOS versions are planned as well, though there's no indication that the mobile releases are covered by Kickstarter donations.

 



21

Aug

Screen 7 has plotted a course for two very different destinations next year, as the indie developer behind the recent pay-what-you-want Summerbatch bundle promotion has a pair of its own adventures underway in Kinky Island and A Night at Camp Ravenwood.

Kinky Island

Originally conceived as a "joke" by designer Mark Lovegrove in 2001, Kinky Island got so far as a playable demo in 2006 before fizzling out for several years.  Thanks to a successful Indiegogo fundraising appeal, however, this comic tale that "parodies classic '90s adventuring with slapstick, jokes and references" is back on track for a 2013 release, promising more than 30 hand-drawn scenes to explore, an original soundtrack, and "humor, nudity and many puzzles" (not necessarily in that order). 

Kinky Island follows a young man named Joey Cormack, who is having trouble finding a girlfriend until one rainy night in London that transports him to "a beautiful tropical island filled to the brim with hot chicks! Help him discover the secret of Kinky Island and put all he's learnt to good use. That is, if he can stop getting distracted and quit daydreaming for any length of time... (probably not!)"

For more information about Kinky Island, check out the official website

A Night at Camp Ravenwood

If the thought of a sexy comic romp doesn't turn you on (or even if it does), perhaps you'd be interested in spending A Night at Camp Ravenwood, a "horror-dramedy point-and-click adventure game inspired by the works of Ron Gilbert, Shigesato Itoi, Tim Schafer, John Carpenter, Kazuma Kaneko, Dario Argento, and Junji Ito."

Camp Ravenwood is a "dangerous, dirty camp for delinquents, owned by vampires, and run by Switchblade and his cruel and unusual biker gang."  During the day it's a normal campsite with the usual summertime activities, but when the sun goes down Ravenwood becomes "a place where death is around every corner. A headless maniac with an axe stalks the camp, there are aliens and monsters lurking in the woods, and jocks and bikers riding around waiting for any chance they can get to beat you to a pulp."

Attending this camp are "five ex-scouts accused of starting forest fires." If Smoky and Germy Bumblerose, Benny Berkybile, Clancy Swindler, and Franky Flynnigan are to survive their night at Camp Ravenwood, they'll need not only their wits, but additional help in the form of "a mysterious witch named Barbara and a troupe of Girl Scouts led by one pissed-off mother."

Also due for release sometime in 2013, you can find more details about A Night at Camp Ravenwood, including an additional trailer, at the official website.



14

Aug

The thought of a new sci-fi adventure from Wadjet Eye Games may have you at hello, but there's plenty more than that available as the publisher officially announced its plans to release Primordia this fall.

Set in an era long after the "legendary Man walked the planet", Primordia stars a robot named Horatio, who resides in the wastelands outside the city of Metropol.  Horatio "jealously guards his freedom and independence", but loses both when a "marauding foe steals his power source, forcing him to leave the safety of his home and set out on a perilous journey into the wastes – and into his own mysterious past."

As seen in the announcement trailer, Primordia features the kind of retro aesthetic that we've come to expect from Wadjet Eye, and will also include recognizable voice actors like Abe Goldfarb (Blackwell series), Logan Cunningham (Bastion, Resonance, and Sarah Elmaleh (Resonance). 

A co-production with with Wormwood Studios, the best part of today's announcement is that the game has been in production for nearly two years, and is nearly complete.  There is no firm release date scheduled just yet, but Primordia is currently on track for launch sometime this fall.  For more details in the meantime, be sure to check out the official website.



14

Aug

Most people would probably want to get out of an asylum, but players anxious to get into Senscape's Asylum can now briefly do so in an interactive teaser.

Asylum sends players into the haunting first-person environs of the Hanwell Mental Institute.  Once a thriving facility, it was closed down after a series of accusations of patient abuse, becoming decayed and decrepit from neglect ever since. As a former patient yourself, you've begun having disturbing visions related to Hanwell, and though you have only horrid memories of the place, it's time you returned to investigate. 

The demo offers players a personal look at the first handful of what promises to be many locations in the large, sprawling institution.  As you explore such areas as the cafeteria, tree-blocked hallways and infirmary, your observations will be accompanied by voiceovers from industry veteran Josh Mandel. The interactive teaser is approximately 170 MB in size, and is available from the official website for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu operating systems. 

Currently on track for final release late in 2013, Asylum will be on display at the Gamescom convention in Germany this week, and we'll be there to see more of it, so stay tuned for further coverage of this promising indie horror in the weeks to come.



13

Aug

When you call a game "Chronicles", chances are there's going to be more than one, and that will soon be true of Lexis Numérique's Red Johnson, who returns next month in Red Johnson's Chronicles: One Against All.  And this time, he's coming to PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

In the first installment of this "puzzle-based investigation game set in a noir universe with dark humor", the titular private eye in Metropolis City investigated the murder of one of the most hated people in town.  While no plot details have yet been revealed, the sequel promises an all-new storyline that will force players to "use their brains as well as many tools in-game to analyze crime scenes and question witnesses." A new help system will also be included, and the motion capture animations enhanced. 

While the first game was originally released exclusively for PlayStation 3, the sequel will be launched on both Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network in mid-September. PC gamers may need to wait a bit longer, but it's for double the good news, as both the new game and the original Red Johnson's Chronicles will be available for Windows "soon".



12

Aug

If the AGS Bake Sale back in January whetted your appetite for more indie adventure goodness (or if you missed the sale and are simply starved for low-cost fun), a group of five developers and Screen 7 have now whipped up the first volume of a Summerbatch.

Summerbatch is a new pay-what-you-want offer (albeit with a minimum requirement of 50 pence), giving you the chance to contribute as much or as little as you'd like.  Payments are made through PayPal, and most earnings will be divided evenly among the participating developers at sale's end.  The exception is £50 of every £500 raised, which will be donated to the SpecialEffect charity, which supports disabled children in learning to enjoy video games. 

Below are descriptions of the five games available in Volume 1, as provided by the official Summerbatch website. Each game was created recently and offers between 1-3 hours of play time, currently available exclusively through this bundle.  The download is approximately 280 MB for all five games, and to run them you'll need DirectX 9 with either Windows XP, Vista or 7, and 1.8 GB hard drive space for installation.

The Summerbatch game sale will run until November 11th. 

Barely Floating

Steamshock Interactive

Somewhere along the east coast of Africa, pirates have attacked a luxury yacht! They have taken a few seemingly wealthy passengers as their hostages, a family and an old man, hoping to collect a hefty ransom for each of them. When the hostage negotiations go awry, the rescue duties land on the weak shoulders of an unlikely hero. Little does he know that the ship's crew, that stands in his way, is composed of some very weird and silly individuals.

Jailbreak

Virtual Illusion

Jailbreak is an action game - an intrigue has brought you to prison, so your goal is to escape and find the evil who brought you in this mess. Test your ability to escape the prison without getting caught. Silence the guards in a beat 'em up minigame, and drive to freedom in a stolen police car.

Nancy the Happy Whore

Technocrat Games

Nancy, the titular sex-worker with an unshakeably optimistic attitude, runs out of fuel on her way to the Big City. With the help of her best friend & crack-fiend Susie, she must not only procure the petroleum for her car, but help defeat an armed robbery, a disillusioned amateur hippy and THE PROPHETS themselves to help uncover the evil lurking within - the PERFIDIOUS PETROL STATION!

Patchwork

Ivan Ulyanov

After a teleportation experiment goes wrong, a young scientist finds himself, and a good part of his laboratory, in someone else's house. In a parallel universe.

 

PISS

Ben Chandler

Moira is tired. The nightmares won't go away no matter how much she drinks. On top of this, one of her clients died before he settled his account. She may have forgotten everything else, but she's not about to forget this. The debt will be collected, even if it kills her... There are, however, those who remember that which she does not, and they're about to remind her. Sometimes the things that wake us up sweating and terrified are more real than we thought.



10

Aug

Following the success of the fantasy-themed Book of Unwritten Tales, developer KING Art Games is turning its attention a little closer to home for its upcoming 1960s crime caper, The Raven.

The Raven is the code name of an art thief who leaves behind black feathers as his trademark calling card.  His next target appears to be the "Eye of the Sphinx", a legendary sapphire en route from Switzerland to Egypt.  Rather than simply trying to foil his plans, however, players will experience the game from the perspective of both the thief and the investigators on his trail in this combination of "whodunit with a heist story".

While no further details about the game or its release date have yet been revealed, The Raven will be published for PC, Mac, and as-yet-undisclosed consoles by Nordic Games, and is described as a "stunning fast-paced point and click adventure journeying through thrilling and dense atmospheres".

We'll soon know more for sure, as the game will be on display at the upcoming gamescom convention in Germany. Adventure Gamers will be there for a first-hand look, so stay tuned for more.



3

Aug

Sometimes it's good to be bad.  And sometimes it's good to be Vile.  At least, it is when you're the demonic star of Reincarnation: The Root of All Evil, the first commercial adventure in the long-running series from Christopher Gianelloni and B Group Productions.

After an extensive collection of mini- and full-blown Reincarnation freeware episodes starring a little purple minion of the Devil sent to earth to reclaim escaped souls, The Root of All Evil begins in Hell, though after a "wild, partying bender", Vile finds his home to be not at all as he left it. 

The Root of All Evil differs from its freeware predecessors in several ways.  The new game will be fully downloadable for Windows, Mac, and Linux instead of a browser-based flash game. It will also be much longer, with over 50 scenes to explore, a wide variey of fully voiced characters to interact with both in Hell and on earth, plus "different Reincarnies to find, and a wide array of silly puzzles to figure out in order to finish your quest."

Successfully funded through a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, the developers are still offering special pre-order exclusives to those who missed out in order to help meet the game's target completion goal of August 2013.



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