Adventure News
 


November 2012

27

Nov

If you're yearning for a little taste of cyberpunk sci-fi, look no further than the demo of Wormwood Studios' Primordia a week before the final game is due to arrive.

Many years after man last walked the planet, Primordia tells the tale of a fiercely independent bot named Horatio Nullbuilt (version 5) and his hovering sidekick Crispin in the post-apocalyptic wastelands outside the city of Metropol. When their power core is stolen by an invading machine, their very survival is in jeopardy, so the two robots must set out to retrieve it. Along the way, however, Horatio will be confronted by some startling secrets of his chip-wiped past.

The Primordia demo takes place right at the beginning of the game, introducing the two metallic protagonists as their grounded craft called the UNNIIC is deprived of its power. The playable sampler is nearly 800 MB and can be downloaded from the game's publisher, Wadjet Eye Games.

For more information about the game, be sure to check out our preview and interview with the developers . Primordia can currently be pre-ordered in either DVD or downloadable format, and you can vote for it to be released on Steam through the Greenlight program.

The full version of Primordia is due for release on December 5th.

 

 

 

 



26

Nov

Three years after the original announcement of Syberia III, the good news is that the game is now officially underway with series creator Benoît Sokal back on board. The bad news is that we may need to wait another three years to see it.

Hot on the heels of announcing a new installment in the Dracula series, French publisher Anuman Interactive is right back at it with news that Sokal has signed on for Syberia III as writer and Art Director. Also returning to the franchise is Elliot Grassiano, the founder of Microïds, who will oversee production.

Not much has been revealed about the new Syberia title, but Sokal has referred to it as "another Kate Walker adventure", so at long last we'll find out what happened to the plucky American lawyer after her life-alterning journey into the frozen land of mammoths.

Syberia III will be developed for (as yet undisclosed) multiple platforms, and is expected to launch sometime in 2014 or 2015.



24

Nov

The Wild West may be long gone, but its spirit continues to live on in classic adventures like the upcoming Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold.

Co-designed by Finnish designer/composer Paavo Harkonen and acclaimed industry veteran Josh Mandel (who should know a little something about westerns from his stellar work on Freddy Pharkas), Fester Mudd is a three-part "comic saga of exploration, reunion, and redemption" that hearkens back to the classic '90s adventures, starring an unlikely hero who "somehow manages to be intrepid but cowardly, ambitious yet lazy, dimwitted but brilliant".

In Episode 1, Fester plans to join his long-lost brother Bud for a treasure hunt, but when he arrives in the town of Loamsmouth, he discovers that Bud has disappeared. Now Fester must "enlist the aid of an experienced gunslinger to help him make his way through Indian territory to track down both his missing brother and the gold that awaits them both! But gunslingers don’t come cheap... and Fester must find a way to convince him to join him on the perilous quest."

As the game's amusing announcement trailer indicates, Curse of the Gold is a retro-styled adventure with 320x200 resolution graphics and SCUMM-style interaction. In the first episode, players will accompany Fester in "exploring Loamsmouth and surrounding territories. Along the way, he’ll meet and deal with an assortment of Old West roughnecks, flim-flammers, and other larger-than-life characters."

Published by Replay Games (of Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded fame), Fester Mudd is currently on track for downloadable release in the first quarter of 2013, with both sequels to follow hopefully before the end of the year. If you'd like to see the debut released on Steam, you can vote for the game through the Greenlight program while you wait.



23

Nov

It's been a long time since adventure fans got to sink their teeth into a juicy new Dracula game, but with Anuman Interactive's announcement that Dracula: The Shadow of the Dragon is coming next spring, vampire fans can begin salivating over the prospect once again.

Unveiled at the Game Connection Europe conference, unfortunately there are no details about the game's plot so far. Anuman is best known for its many casual titles, but the publisher has assured Adventure Gamers that The Shadow of the Dragon is a full-fledged traditional adventure, designed by French studio Koalabs to be distributed under Anuman's Microïds label.

Like its predecessors, The Shadow of the Dragon will be a first-person adventure, but apart from the first screenshot released and the promise of a "totally original storyline that takes players to the four corners of the world", that's all we know so far.

Dracula: The Shadow of the Dragon is currently slated for release some time in the second quarter of 2013.



23

Nov

If you like your realism infused with a hint of magic, you'll want to keep an eye on Memoranda when it's released for download next year.

Created by indie Iranian developer MotioneyeZ, Memoranda tells the tale of a young woman who can't remember things very clearly, especially her own name. In order to restore her memories, players must guide her through a surreal adventure that leads even into her own dreams. Along the way, she'll meet a variety of bizarre characters; some are human, like a musician, baker, and soldier, and some are not, such as an elephant, a scarecrow and even a pair of eyes.

A hand-drawn, 2D point-and-click adventure inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short stories, Memoranda's aesthetic influence is truly eclectic, combining European-style houses, American jazz music, and Japanese elements in a setting that isn't based on any particular city or country, but rather one of imagination. The player's tasks will be equally diverse, as you must "fight with sounds in your head, talk to animals, collect sound wave frequencies floating the air and even bring things from your dreams to life."

There is no firm release date set for Memoranda, but MotioneyeZ is currently targeting a downloadable launch sometime in the second quarter of 2013.  In the meantime, keep an eye on the official website for more information.



22

Nov

The countdown to Telltale's grand Walking Dead finale reaches zero today with the launch of the appropriately-titled No Time Left on all major platforms.

Picking up where the previous dramatic cliffhanger left off, Lee Everett (and maybe others, depending on your earlier choices) must head out into the zombie-ravaged streets of Savannah to track down 8 year-old Clementine and discover the secret behind the mysterious voice on the other end of the radio.

As with previous installments, No Time Left is available only as part of a full-season bundle for PC and Mac, or as a standalone episode for Xbox 360 for 400 MS points. The PlayStation 3 and iOS versions are available either as part of a season purchase or as a single-episode download.

 



20

Nov

It turns out Senscape's Asylum isn't the only hospital for the mentally ill to be concealing hidden horrors, as indie Canadian developer Red Barrels has recently unveiled its chilling new survival horror, Outlast.

Long abandoned, the Mount Massive Asylum was "recently re-opened by the 'research and charity' branch of the transnational Murkoff Corporation", but has been operating under total secrecy ever since. When independent journalist Miles Upshur breaks into the facility, however, he discovers an atrocity that walks "a terrifying line being science and religion, nature and something else entirely. Once inside, his only hope of escape lies with the terrible truth at the heart of Mount Massive."

As the game's terrifying "found footage" video from Upshur suggests, Outlast is no traditional adventure, but rather a "true survival-horror experience" in which players must "survive encounters with opponents who are not simple monsters, but humans with their own often-unhinged agendas." This is not a run 'n gun action game, however, because "you can’t fight the horrors waiting for you in the Asylum, so you'll have to act smart to avoid getting killed... or worse."

The name Red Barrels might be unknown to most, but the new Montreal-based studio has an impressive pedigree, founded by experienced industry veterans whose credits include the likes of Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Uncharted. In their first independent title, they're committed to creating a "fear-based emotional rollercoaster" for players when Outlast is released for download in summer 2013.



19

Nov

What if you're a group of ghosts with no place to haunt? That's been the question for the spectral stars of Haunted until now, but at long last the supernatural comic adventure from Deck13 is heading for release next month.

Haunted follows the tale of a young girl named Mary, who awakens in 19th century London on a laboratory table just about to be dissected. Escaping the clutches of the unscrupulous Professor Lindsey Ashcroft and her henchman, Mary discovers she has the ability to see and hear ghosts, a gift that seems like a blessing in her quest to find her long-lost and presumably dead sister. But it also comes with some unexpected consequences when she forms a ghostly entourage, including the dimunitive Oscar the pirate, the kilt-wearing William Wallace, and the fish bowl-imprisoned Confucius.

Since originally appearing in Germany, the game has lived a rather cursed existence in getting an English language release due to the financial difficulties of publisher dtp. However, Viva Media will be handling distribution of the game this time, with a scheduled launch date of December 11th.

For more information about Haunted, check out our hands-on preview of the game.



18

Nov

Lori and Corey Cole's Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption isn't the only high profile Kickstarter to finish soon, as the sun is setting on the campaign for Zojoi's "reimagined" Shadowgate campaign as well, along with indie developer Petter Ljungqvist's Indiegogo fundraising appeal for The Samaritan Paradox.

Shadowgate

They just don't make 'em like they used to... sometimes they make 'em better. That's now true of Shadowgate, Zojoi's modernized reimagining of the classic horror adventure. Originally launched in 1987 and since ported to a variety of platforms, the latest Shadowgate incarnation is not just another re-release, but an updated version complete with hi-res hand-painted artwork, environmental animations, intuitive command-based interface, two different soundtrack modes, in-game hint system, and all-new puzzles. Along with the same compelling story and monster- and trap-filled gameplay that made the original so successful, of course.

For those who missed out the first time around, Shadowgate sends players "from room to room through the labyrinths of the living castle, confronting the devilish denizens and confounding the fiendish traps laid by the Warlock Lord." As the last descendant in a line of heroic kings, players must collect a variety of objects and three ancient artifacts to assemble the "Staff of Ages - the only weapon that can stop the traitorous sorcerer's plan of unleashing the Behemoth, a titan of tremendous power, on an unsuspecting world."

The name Zojoi may not ring any bells, but designers Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs are no strangers to the game, having worked together on the original Shadowgate at ICOM Simulations. In order to complete this enhanced version for PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices, however, they've created a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of reaching $120,000 by November 25th. At time of writing, the appeal has reached just over 70% of its target, so a big push in the final week will be needed to put the total over the top. Pledge rewards begin as low as $15 for a DRM-free Windows or Mac download upon completion next November, with higher tiers adding various additional kinds of digital and physical extras.

According to Zojoi, there's still a chance we'll see their reimagined Shadowgate if the Kickstarter campaign falls short, though other funding opportunities would be necessary in its place, making the game's future far from guaranteed. To learn more about the new and improved Shadowgate or to pledge to the campaign, check out the Kickstarter page for full details, and drop by the developer's website as well.

The Samaritan Paradox

While Shadowgate may be an old game getting a new look, Petter Ljungqvist's The Samaritan Paradox is a new game with an old-school look. Set in 1980s Sweden, this "interactive detective story" stars Ord Salamon, who's helping Sara Bergwall find a book her father Jonatan wrote just before he died. He soon discovers that "Jonatan was investigating the weapons industry, and more specifically some covert affairs with foreign dictatorships. But more questions arise. What is the book about, and why does Sara want Ord to find it for her? Did her Alzheimer's-stricken mother know the secret before she grew too demented to share it? And how did Jonatan actually die?"

Described as a "mix of Stieg Larsson and the Brothers Grimm", The Samaritan Paradox features a traditional 2D pixel art style and possibly full voice acting. The latter is dependent on whether the game meets its modest $3,500 fundraiding goal on Indiegogo by December 5th. Ljungqvist is still committed to releasing the game before the end of 2013 in any case, but he'll need the additional funds to finance professional quality voiceovers.

Pledge rewards for The Samaritan Paradox are fairly spartan, as befits a nearly one-man production like this, ranging from $10 for a free download of the game upon completion to getting your name in the credits and even having a character portrait based on your likeness at the upper tiers.

To learn more about this game or pledge to the campaign, visit the Indiegogo fundraising page. Note that all funds contributed to this campaign are granted to the developer, regardless of whether it meets its target goal.



16

Nov

The original Book of Unwritten Tales certainly proved worth the lengthy wait for its English localization, and there's every reason to believe the same will be true of The Critter Chronicles, which publisher Nordic Games has just announced will be arriving next month.

The Critter Chronicles is a prequel to KING Art's #64 top all time adventure, which "allows players to travel back to the very beginning when Nate Bonnett first met his hairy sidekick Critter." In this game, a whole tribe of Critters is being threatened by a warlock, while the original Critter has fallen in love with the chieftain's daughter and is in need of assistance that perhaps Nate can provide.

As seen in the game's new trailer, background graphics in The Critter Chronicles have been improved over its predecessor, as the story takes players "from the Northlands to the Mage's Tower of Seastone", meeting bizarre new characters along the way, such as "animal rights activist Petra, a schizophrenic Yeti, and the Critters."

The Critter Chronicles will be available for download through major digital distributors on December 5th for Windows, Mac, and Linux. To help tide you over in the meantime, have a look at our preview of the game.



15

Nov

When it comes to adventure games, genre distinctions aren't always black and white. They're more like light and shadow, with plenty that falls in between, as evidenced by upcoming titles like Contrast.

Contrast stars a young woman named Dawn, who has the unique ability to "turn herself into her shadow and then interact with the shadow world." Dawn must use her gift to help the only person who can see her, a little girl named Didi. Only by shifting in and out of shadow can Dawn unravel the mysteries behind the little girl's troubled family and help restore her future. 

As seen in the game's first trailer, Contrast takes place in a stylish, noir-themed setting, a "surrealistic, 1920s, vaudevillian dreamscape; a rabbit hole of theatre, memory, drama and intrigue" that includes a diverse cast of characters, including cabaret singers, circus performers, and illusionists.

Contrast's shadow-based puzzle-solving includes manipulating light sources to create new landscapes, and "your choices directly impact Didi's future; your light reveals what stories remain in shadow." The game also involves light platforming elements, but indie developer Compulsion Games has confirmed to Adventure Gamers that Contrast is "more of a puzzle game than a hard core platformer", its action "not particularly twitch-based" but rather a means to complement puzzles that can be solved in more than one way.

One of the first games voted in through Steam's Greenlight program, Contrast is currently on pace for downloadable release in the first quarter of 2013.  In the meantime, be sure to drop by the developer's website.



7

Nov

Neither bankruptcy nor hurricane could hold Lost Chronicles of Zerzura down, as Viva Media has officially announced the game's release in North America.

Originally slated to arrive in the UK earlier this year, the financial troubles of German publisher dtp entertainment threatened to put Lost Chronicles of Zerzura in localization limbo. Then, just when the final game from Cranberry Production (makers of Black Mirror II and III) seemed poised for release in North America, New York-based Viva Media was caught in the devastating hurricane that hit the eastern seaboard, further delaying the launch announcement and distribution.

All that is history now, however, as the game is available in North American stores and through digital distributors such as Amazon. And history is exactly where players will be going in this 16th century tale of an ingenious young inventor named Feodor. When the his brother is arrested by the Inquisition for his knowledge of a fabled artifact, Feodor's pursuit to find him "takes him through Spain, across the Mediterranean to distant Africa – and unbeknown to him, Feodor is now on a quest which will take him right back to the very roots of his origins: the legendary desert city of ZERZURA, in which an ancient terror guards over powerful secrets."

For more information about Lost Chronicles of Zerzura, check out our hands-on preview of the game. There is still no further word on the ongoing wait for the UK release.

 



6

Nov

The junk-filled planet of Deponia may be a nice place to visit, but you sure wouldn't want to live there. And that's exactly why Rufus is still desperately trying to escape in Daedalic's comic sequel Chaos on Deponia, released today for download.

Some time after his ill-fated attempt to escort the lovely Goal back to the skybound city of Elysium, the self-absorbed Rufus claims to have reformed from his havoc-wreaking ways, and as (his) luck would have it, Goal soon finds herself back on the surface to give him another chance. Unfortunately, he "accidentally splits Goal's mind, thereby losing his only chance to leave the junkyard planet on which he is stranded. The mind must be restored and, incidentally, must also save Deponia from the coming chaos."

The second part of a planned trilogy, Chaos on Deponia is available today exclusively for download through digital distributors like GOG.com, Steam, and GamersGate.

For additional information about Chaos on Deponia, be sure to check out our preview of the game and the official website.



1

Nov

Ragnar Tørnquist's Dreamfall Chapters was first announced in 2007, and finally in 2012 it's ready to begin pre-production... Yep, that's just about right for a new Longest Journey schedule!

We waited seven years for Dreamfall, so what's another five for the first concrete word of the next installment? Somewhat surprisingly, the big news is that the game has now changed developer hands. Instead of being made in-house by Funcom, production of the game will be handled by Red Thread Games, a new studio founded by Tørnquist.

According to today's press release, Funcom continues to own the intellectual property rights to the Longest Journey universe, which have have been licensed to Red Thread Games to "independently fund and produce the sequel to Dreamfall". As Tørnquist revealed on his Twitter account, part of the pre-production funding ($175,000) will come from the Norwegian Film Institute.

There are still no firm story, gameplay, or release date details available at this point, but the game will be a single-player adventure for PC and Mac, and with Dreamfall Chapters now back firmly on the radar, we'll be keeping a close eye on its development in the coming months.