Adventure News
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July 2014

6

Jul

The iPad made be cutting edge technology, but it’s about to get a little dose of steampunk in a new point-and-tap adventure courtesy of developer Telehorse.

Steampunker is, as the name implies, set in a steampunk-inspired Victorian England, in which a gentleman named Vincent must defend his beloved home planet against evil invading robots from space. To do so, he must “use his imagination and creativity to fix a variety of machines and mechanisms” as well as solve over 30 types of minigames and puzzles.

Featuring a stylized art design, resembling grainy vintage photographs at times and cutout animation at others, Steampunker is the second game in recent memory to draw inspiration from inventor Nikola Tesla, and features a conceptual  soundtrack based upon his work.

While a firm release date has not yet been announced, the game is due to be released sometime this summer, and interested players can head to the game’s official website for continued updates.



4

Jul

As rampant kleptomaniacs, adventure gamers are used to some devious behaviour, but you'll need to be even more nefarious in the upcoming indie Spanish adventure Panchito Chepas, currently raising funds through Indiegogo.

Players assume the role of the titular character as he arrives in a "godforsaken town" ruled by gold. The once-wealthy town has fallen on hard times with the depletion of its gold mines, but the corruption remains. It's now a town "overrun by a plague of thieves, hustlers and all kind of scum. All of them lead by a ruthless and tyrannical mayor." These villains still have gold stashed away, however, and it's the player's job to deprive them of it by any means necessary. As the developers claim, "This is no game for a person of high morals; to get through you will have to be a real bastard."

As seen in the first screenshots and trailer, Panchito Chepas is a hand-drawn adventure that resembles "old European comic books", set in a world designed with a "mixture of classic western cinema and [the developer's] own peculiar fantasy world." It's a satirical point-and-click game, inspired by the classics, and it promises to be "filled with quirky characters, handmade animations and challenging puzzles."

Panchito Chepas is planned as a trilogy, the first episode requiring €6,000 by August 29th though Indiegogo (the second and third installments will also be included if stretch goals are met). A minimum pledge of €15 will earn backers a free downloadable PC copy of however many episodes are successfully funded. To learn more about the game and contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit the Indiegogo page for full details.



1

Jul

After a failed attempt at funding their episodic adventure game Through the Shadows on Kickstarter in 2013, Christian developer True Light has drastically lowered their goal for a second attempt from $50,000 to $1,500.

Described as a "sensory experience in the form of a psychological thriller, including elements of a mystery genre, suspense, and intrigue", the story, puzzles and clues in Through the Shadows are centered around information from the Bible.

A young man named Jesse, who always had a sense of purpose for his life and a strong desire to make a difference in the world around him, wakes up one day to find that everyone has disappeared. Strange events start to occur and Jesse soon discovers that he is related to the Seekers of the Truth. They have protected the true word of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and placed crucial information in secret locations that only someone like Jesse is meant to discover at a critical time of need.

Played from a first-person perspective, players traverse the 3D, open-world environments, and even different periods of time as Jesse progresses "through his adventure discovering the information that has been left for him, and will find that he plays an important role in preserving the truth for future generations. He will face an evil opposition that wishes to harm him and to prevent his success, and ultimately to bring the eventual fall of all mankind."

Through the Shadows is now being conceived as an episodic adventure. The Kickstarter campaign, if it successfully reaches its modest goal by July 16th, will fund the first (of "many") of episodes, entitled The Darkness Revealed, which is set to be released at the end of this summer. A minimum $10 pledge will get backers a free copy of this episode upon release.

There is already a tech demo available, so you can check out an early version of the game for yourself. To learn more about Through the Shadows and contribute to the fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.




June 2014

30

Jun

You know you're in for a retro-styled adventure with a game called The Wild Wild Pixel, but indie developer Fabraz hopes to incorporate plenty of modern sensibilities in their upcoming point-and-click debut, currently seeking financing through Kickstarter.

The Wild Wild Pixel stars a young man named Jacques, who's spent his entire life trapped in "The Valley", surrounded by "massive cliff walls that imprison the empty deserts within."  Unlike the other residents, Jacques desperately wants to escape, and has tried many times in the past, but "every attempt was met with mysteriously catastrophic failure." It is now the eve of his latest attempted escape, but "little does he know that he’s about to embark on a journey that will reveal what lies beyond those towering walls. If The Valley lets him."

The early screenshots and trailer show off the game's full voice acting and distinctive pixel art animation, but you can experience more first-hand by playing through the (still unfinished) playable alpha demo. The demo is set in the first of 4-5 planned chapters, each promising up to 5 hours of gameplay. To complement the retro stylings, the developers plan to include features like a "skit system, companion characters, side quests, [and] mini-games" as they try to eliminate "all the bad aspects associated with the genre like illogical item combinations and needlessly cluttered UI, without sacrificing gameplay complexity." They also want to make even the little player decisions matter: "You see a stray dog? Find him an owner. A girl’s being bullied? Save her from her bullies. You did both? The girl ends up playing with the dog outside of town, happy and content."

In order to fulfill such ambitious goals, the developers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $45,000 by July 27th. Successfully meeting their goal would let Fabraz work on the game full-time towards a February 2015 release target for PC and Mac. A minimum early bird pledge of $10 will result in a downloadable copy of the game.

To learn more about The Wild Wild Pixel and support its fundraising campaign, visit the official website and Kickstarter page for full details. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



29

Jun

As adventure gamers, we've all had those "aha!" moments where the light bulb suddenly switches on in our heads. But an indie Polish development team is taking that notion one step further: what if the light bulb is our head?!  That's the premise behind the quirky new point-and-click adventure Bulb Boy, currently raising funds through Kickstarter.

The diminutive Bulb Boy lives in the Electric Forest, growing up in a "big old house with his GRANDPAraffin and Mothdog. It was a time of fun, friendship and love." All that changes one night, however, when "Bulb wakes suddenly from a frightening nightmare to discover that darkness has overshadowed the old family house. GRANDPAraffin and Mothdog have disappeared." In order to find them while warding off the evil creatures now roaming the house, you'll need to use your head – literally!

Having a bulb for a head comes with unique abilities, as "not only does your head light up, emit heat and electrical shocks, [it] can also be unscrewed for use in other places." You'll need all these talents and more as you fend off a host of monsters, including flesh-eating moths, Bulb's favourite plush bunny, whose "snot manifests itself into different shapes and forms and becomes deadly", and a headless chicken that can sense light and "choke the life out of you using its headless neck." Each of the game's four main sections will be protected by a "monstrous boss" and there will be reflex elements involved in defeating some of them, but you'll also need to employ "a little trickery" to succeed.

As seen in the teaser and first screenshots, Bulb Boy is a stylish hand-drawn adventure with no dialogue, just animated thought bubbles used to communicate ideas. Inspired by the likes of Gobliiins and Machinarium, the game promises to combine a cute and likeable main character with a "slow-paced horror story". You can sample the game for yourself, as there is a browser-based tech demo already available.

If you like what you see so far, you'll want to hop on over to the game's Kickstarter campaign, where the developers are seeking $40,000 by July 27th. If successful, the game is due to arrive on PC, Mac, and Linux by October 2015, with iOS and Android ports also possible. A minimum $15 pledge is required to receive a downloadable copy of the game upon completion. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



28

Jun

You might think the life of a worm is pretty low on the karmic scale, but it makes for a pretty intriguing premise in AuraLab's surrealist adventure Karma. Incarnation 1, currently seeking funding through Indiegogo.

In Karma, players control Pip, a "cute-yet-brutal worm, living in a truly surrealistic world." Just incarnated into this form, Pip is naive and knows little of this strange world, and he is as "willing to talk to flowers and stones... as he is ready to swallow whole another representative of local fauna." It's up to players to make Pip's moral choices in this "psychedelic tale of good and evil driven by the laws of Karma."

As demonstrated by the game's early gameplay video, Karma is a highly stylized, hand-drawn point-and-click adventure. There is no spoken dialogue, but there are plenty of decisions to make in a game that promises to be "jam-packed with original humour and brain-bending puzzles". Not only will your choices affect Pip's appearance throughout the game, they'll also impact the storyline itself, opening new avenues and closing off others during a single playthrough. In order to advance, Pip will need to view the world through his inner eye, a "special ability which allows him to perceive the spirit world at any moment of the game." In this "astral plane he'll find additional creatures and hints on how to sucessfully complete the quests."

The game has been in development for quite a while in Russia, and is now ready to take the final steps towards release on PC, Mac, and Linux by the end of this year. In order to do so, the developers are seeking $35,000 through crowdfunding on Indiegogo by August 3rd. A mininum $7 pledge will earn backers a free digital copy of the game, and a portion of all proceeds (this being a game about karma, after all) will go to support the World Wildlife Fund. Note that as a flexible funding campaign, the developers will receive all donations made, regardless of whether they reach their ultimate goal.

To learn more about the game, visit the official website and the Indiegogo fundraising page. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



21

Jun

Victorian England. A vicious killer is on the loose, and only one man can hope to stop him... No, this isn't Sherlock Holmes squaring off against Jack the Ripper once again, it's Bertram Fiddle in pursuit of Geoff the Murderer in an upcoming point-and-tap mobile adventure trilogy.

Bertram Fiddle, leading "Victorian Explorator" in 1884, is in desperate need of a new case, but he gets more than he bargained for in pursuit of Geoff the Murderer, London's "most elusive serial killer". Along with his Cyclopean manservant Gavin, when Fiddle takes to the "dark, shadowy streets of London" he becomes "embroiled in the greatest murder mystery of his time". It's up to Fiddle (and the player) to "unravel the clues and stop Geoff before he strikes again."

Although the premise sounds like a gritty suspense mystery, The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle promises plenty of dark humour to go with its intrigue. Inspired by Victorian-era novels, Hammer horror films, and point-and-click adventures, the game will include "strange creatures and lost worlds" to go with its "stunning vistas and... chilling terrors."

All this will be wrapped up in a hand-drawn, cartoon-style presentation on IOS and Android devices in three parts. The first episode, subtitled A Dreadly Business, is due for release in October. In the meantime, you can find more information about the game at the official website.



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