Adventure News
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August 2016

25

Aug

Imagine for a moment that an evil witch has kidnapped a group of innocent children. Who would you send to the rescue? The police? A passing action hero? A time-travelling scientific pop group? The answer's obvious, at least according to British developer James Lightfoot and his "otherworldly" adventure The Mystery of Woolley Mountain, which has successfully met its Kickstarter campaign target. 

The plot reads a lot like what would happen if you mixed Buckaroo Banzai, the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, and a raft of classic point-and-click adventures, then simmered them over a low heat to really bring out their full quirkiness. Vandamme Laudenkleer, adventurer, multi-instrumentalist with The Helmholtz Resonators, and the first to uncover the witch's despicable actions, sets off alone for the her lair atop Woolley Mountain. Problem is, also being a bit of a duffer, he promptly gets himself captured and it's up to the rest of the band to hop in their time-travelling Crystal Submarine, overcome their many and varied personality flaws, and save both Laudenkleer and the missing children.


Namechecking everything from Day of the Tentacle and Discworld to The Phantom Tollbooth and Adventure Time, Lightfoot aims to combine "the halcyon adventure game days" with thoroughly modern HD cartoon graphics and a ten-track concept album from The Helmholtz Resonators. You play as several different characters over "three huge acts", in which you’ll encounter various beasts, automatons, ropemen and other strange creatures. We're also promised interaction with almost anything in the world to elicit a wide variety of unique reactions. It's a family-friendly game, too, the characters' stiff upper lips precluding more than the odd "darn" at times of high emotion. Unfortunately, a stretch goal to provide full voice acting was not met.

Having raised almost £10,000 through crowdfunding, The Mystery of Woolley Mountain is due to rock out on Windows and Mac in October 2017. If you'd like to explore further, why not saunter over to the official website or help the game get voted in on Stream Greenlight. Better yet, a playable demo is available through the game’s Kickstarter page to check it out for yourself.



22

Aug

We've all heard the sci-fi stories about mankind creating sentient machines that eventually overrun their makers. What seems far more realistic, however, is that mankind wipes itself out and any artificial lifeforms remain to pick up the pieces. This is the premise behind The Uncertain, a three-part episodic adventure set to debut next month.

The series' first episode, The Last Quiet Day, stars an engineering robot named RT-217NP. In this post-apocalytpic world, the human race has long since exterminated itself through military conflict, and since then the artificial lifeforms have created a utopian society ruled by logic and free of emotional chaos and unpredictability. The only reminder of our existence are the objects we've left behind for the machines to find and utilize for their own purposes. But RT-217NP is very curious about our bygone civilization, and the more he learns the more he begins to realize that the whole truth is being concealed. Now he finds himself confronted by "moral" choices in a world where morality is an outdated concept.


The Uncertain is a third-person adventure with realistic 3D graphics, as seen in the first episode's screenshots and trailer. Although described as a "story-driven" experience, players will be required to test their skills and solve diverse puzzles in order to succeed. But you'll also need to make "fateful decisions" that will impact the "presence and behavior of the non-player characters" later in the game and lead to one of several different endings.

Although there are three episodes planned in total, indie Russian developer ComonGames says that each installment will tell a largely self-contained story. The series debut is set to launch on September 22 for PC, with iOS, Android, PS4 and Xbox One ports to follow later on. To learn more about The Uncertain, visit the series' official website for additional details.



21

Aug

The line between traditional adventures and interactive narrative experiences continues to get ever more blurred. The newest game to walk that hazy space between the two is The Thin Silence, an indie game from two-man Australian team Two PM that is due out later this year.

The Thin Silence is a "cinematic narrative adventure game with both puzzle and exploration elements, told through the introspection and recollection" of its protagonist, Ezra Westmark. Very little has been revealed about the story, as experiencing Ezra's "journey back to confront his past" is the entire point of the game. What we do know is that Ezra finds himself trapped in "the darkness", a place where "every task feels like scaling a mountain, every day feels impossible." Only by following Ezra's tale will players uncover "the journey that lead him there and the hope that leads him home."


Created by Ben Follington and Ricky James, The Thin Silence is not a traditional genre game, though it is "inspired" by classic point-and-click adventures and "allows you to collect and combine important items along your journey." In this way you can creatively "manipulate the environment in many varied and unexpected ways." But puzzle-solving is not the primary focus here, and obstacles are "not intended as a test of your intelligence." Instead, the game is more an interactive form of storytelling as you relive Ezra's experiences along with him on a journey that could take anywhere from 2-10(!) hours to complete.

There is currently no firm release date for The Thin Silence, but the developers are aiming for launch on Windows and Mac before the end of this year. In the meantime, you can learn more about the game through its official website.



20

Aug

If it's true that you get what you deserve, then horror fans might want to think about getting the newly-released You Deserve, a 3D first-person survival horror from indie developer TGA Company.

You Deserve stars Amy Cooper, the leader of a group of teenagers who mercilessly "harassed a colleague in Raiven's High School." Overwhelmed by the bullying, the victim committed suicide, vowing to get revenge from beyond the grave. Too late in discovering the deadly repercussions of her actions, Amy now finds herself all alone in a dark and ominously unknown location, and must figure out where she is and how to escape alive.


A free-roaming, 3D first-person adventure that's projected to take 4-5 hours to complete, You Deserve requires careful exploration of your surroundings in search of clues – often with only the limited lighting you carry yourself – while solving what the developer describes as "lots of difficult puzzles" along the way. But you are not alone in these creepy environs, and at times you'll need to be stealthy to remain hidden from the danger lurking in the shadows.

Released exclusively on Steam, You Deserve is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.



19

Aug

If these are the dog days of summer (for many of us), then what better time to announce the forthcoming arrival of Don't Disturb, an Asian-flavoured 2D puzzle-adventure starring a canine experiencing life after death.

Don't Disturb is an exploration of the afterlife and its underworld as recounted in Asian folklore, which decrees that one isn't to sing, play or cause a disturbance of any kind during a funeral. The game casts players in the third-person... uhhh, third-dog role of a loyal pet whose owner has passed away. As you make your way to the "Bridge of Helplessness" in search of your former master, you will need to "solve many puzzles and make it through unexpected encounters" along the way. In doing so, you will be forced to make decisions that will determine the final outcome.


Like its story, the game's hand-painted artwork and music are heavily influenced by Eastern culture, as evidenced by the first screenshots and trailer released. Players will control the protagonist via keyboard as you "converse with the underworld's denizens to complete tasks and learn tales."

There is no firm release date scheduled for Don't Disturb just yet, but the game has been Greenlit on Steam and is nearly ready for launch, so you can look to get your paws on this one "soon" on Windows, Mac and Linux.



18

Aug

If there's just one person's house you get permission to freely rummage through for a little puzzling adventure, you couldn't go wrong with Leonardo Da Vinci's in 1506 Florence. And thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, that's exactly what we'll have a chance to do this fall when The House of Da Vinci is released.

Of course, this being an adventure game, you don't actually have permission, but as one of Leonardo's most promising students, you take it upon yourself to snoop around anyway when the famed artist and inventor mysteriously disappears. Perhaps he's the victim of "one of his amazing inventions [going] haywire" or maybe the "shadowy assassins from the Church" are responsible. Only by thoroughly exploring the Master's workshop and solving the many puzzles you discover will you find out where he has disappeared to and why.


Indie developer Blue Brain Games is promising a detailed, historically authentic recreation of Leonardo's quarters to explore. With a game design similar to The Room series of popular puzzlers, in order to succeed here players will need to "navigate through his workshop, examine his anatomical and architectural models, escape from rooms you find yourself trapped in, and solve riddles, mechanisms and puzzles inspired by Da Vinci’s actual inventions and concepts." And playing in the background, even the soundtrack will provide a realistic recreation of the era's music.

With 2,391 backers providing £43,600 of crowdfunding through Kickstarter, Blue Brain can now complete the project they've been working on and self-financing for some time already. In fact, the finished game isn't too far off, with a projected release date for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices this October. To learn more about the game while you wait, be sure to drop by the official website.



16

Aug

While various ports have been announced for The Inner World since its original release in 2013, nothing has been said about a sequel. Turns out, however, that work on a new game has been happening right under our noses, as revealed in today's announcement of Studio Fizbin's upcoming The Last Wind Monk.

In the previous game, a little long-nosed Asposian named Robert was unexpectedly thrust in the role of saviour when his underground world was threatened with the loss of its life force, the wind. Robert is back as the hero once again, but this time around the danger is a little more personal. You see, Robert is a descendant of the "flute nose dynasty" that has secretly provided their world with light and life for years. Now, however, a trader named Emil has "led all the Asposians astray, making them believe that the dynasty is in cahoots with dark forces." And so with a "huge dose of enthusiasm, but little to no idea what he’s actually doing," now Robert must seek out the legendary last wind monk in order to stop Emil's treacherous plan.


Although the developers claim that no knowledge of the previous game is necessary to enjoy the new one, there will be plenty familiar to fans of the original. The sequel features the same "hilarious" dialogue and stylish hand-drawn artwork as its predecessor, along with some returning characters and the ability to play Robert's nose like a flute. But there are some notable differences as well, such as Robert's love interest Laura and the "nutty" pigeon Peck being playable characters in the game. There will also be new songs for Robert's musical schnoz, and new locations like the "topsy-turvy" airport Asposia Central and the mysterious Shovel Mountains. And of course there are are "hours of fun brainteasers" promised as you seek to "cause trouble in a tumble mouse factory, play with Uncle Oboe for some toilet paper in prison, help a desperate Bingo-Pony become happy once again, bring the adorable baby gorf back home and save Asposia! Again!"

There is currently no firm timeframe for The Inner World 2's release, but the game is currently on track for completion sometime next year for "at least" PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS and Android devices." To follow The Last Wind Monk's progress in the coming months, you can visit the official website for additional details.



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