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October 2014

18

Oct

The time has almost come to break out those costumes, carve pumpkins, and fill the pillowcases to overflowing with sweets and treats! And for those who just can’t wait to bask in the spooky goodness that Halloween promises, independent developer Nostalgic Software have quite a trick in store for Android owners.

Candy, Please! is the latest offering in the Quiet, Please! series of handheld adventures. Following in the footsteps of the Yuletide-themed Quiet Christmas, Candy, Please! tasks you with fulfilling your childhood wish and amassing the candy motherlode in your neighborhood on All Hallows’ Eve. But to do so, you’ll need to be crafty and prepare for multiple go-rounds, as one simply will not do. And first you’ll need to explore, assemble your costumes, even carve your own pumpkin to make sure the night is a successful one.



Candy, Please! promises a lighthearted world full of puzzles and that classic adventure-game spirit of exploration. It is available now for Android platforms, and can be purchased for $1.99 USD from Google Play or the Amazon App Store.



17

Oct

Who's ready for The Antiques Roadshow: The Adventure Game? Okay, you might have to wait a while for that particular title to come along, but there's another game along those lines whose release is right around the corner. The Shopkeeper, currently in the home stretch from Viennese developer verse publications, is being billed as a combination of "The Twilight Zone, classic LucasArts adventures, and The Antiques Roadshow," though it thankfully aims for inspiration more from Rod Serling stories and less from public television programs.

The game tells the story of a man on the hunt for a special gift to impress a "difficult" older relative of his, and in his quest stumbles upon a small antique shop full of items with their own stories to tell, "some quirky, some macabre." Although details are being left intentionally vague in order to keep the mystery intact, the game’s trailer strongly hints that the protagonist has less-than-altruistic intentions for the "gift's" recipient. There's obviously more to the proceedings than meets the eye in any case, as touching the wrong item may have "unexpected consequences" for the main character as he uncovers each object's past.

The Shopkeeper will be a mouse-driven, third-person point-and-click affair, hand-drawn in 2D graphic novel-style. It will also feature a fully-voiced cast of characters, including Jeff Ricketts (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the lead. For those who want to unearth all the mysteries this little shop of (probable) horrors has to offer, it is worth noting that the game will require multiple playthroughs for a full experience. The developers describe it as a "short-form" narrative that will encourage a completist playstyle.

Primed for release on PC, Mac, and Linux, prospective customers can expect to snag the game on Steam later this month. Until then, more information can be found at verse publications' official website.



16

Oct

The first taste may be free, but once you're hooked it's going to cost you. No, we're not pushing drugs here, just describing the marketing tactics of House on Fire's The Silent Age series, which launched free to great acclaim last year. Now the series returns with its second and final installment, but this time there's a price tag attached.

The Silent Age casts players in the role of an "average Joe", a custodian whose encounter with a dying man thrusts him into a time-traveling adventure to help save an imminent apocalypse. In the first game, Joe found himself shifting back and forth between his present day 1972 and 40 years later, a future in which everyone is already dead, the world eerily silent. The second installment promises to conclude Joe's "quest to save mankind from a hellish demise."

Like its predecessor, Episode Two will feature an "eerie soundtrack and stylistic visuals that will keep you in suspense as you solve mind-bending puzzles." Along the way, you'll explore over 60 new locations and interact with new characters using an "optimized interface" for touch devices. The sequel also boasts of including an improved dialogue system, dynamic new animations, and enhanced graphic effects.

If you missed out on Episode One the first time around, it is still available free of charge for both iPhone and iPad and Android devices. If you like what you see, the sequel is now available for $4.99 as an in-app purchase on all devices.



11

Oct

We've all had crazy dreams at night, only to laugh at their absurdity when we wake up in the morning. But indie developers RainDance LX ask "what if everything just stayed as strange and out-of-place in the morning as it did in your dreams?" That is the basis of their upcoming adventure, Between Me and the Night.

In this "surrealist videogame that walks the thin path between sanity and madness", players control a fiery red-haired, nameless young boy who lives in a floating house. During the day you can explore this stange house, interacting with the environment, solving puzzles and "boosting skills" that you'll need come nightfall. Once the sun sets, no matter how hard you try to stay awake, eventually you'll fall asleep and "have to face the colossal fears that are in his mind."

As seen in the game's early screenshots and first teaser, Between Me and the Night is a third-person adventure with stylish hand-drawn visuals that promises to dwell on multiple levels of duality, including good vs. evil, sanity vs. insanity, and of course day vs. night. Originally begun as a student project in Spain, it is now being financed by Lace Games, who RainDance CEO Joao Ortega claims are giving the small indie team "all the creative control and liberty (needed to) make exactly the game we planned from the beginning."

Currently in development for PC, we should see Between Me and the Night released sometime in the middle of 2015. In the meantime, you can follow the game's progress at its official website.



10

Oct

Over 20 years ago, Myst helped revolutionize videogames in the burgeoning CD-ROM era. Since then, the game has gone on to spawn multiple sequels and spin-offs, while its extensive cultural backstory has been captured in numerous novels. Now the series is taking aim at television, as Cyan Worlds has signed an agreement with Legendary Entertainment to produce a Myst program.

The better news for adventure gamers is that this will be more than simply a passive viewing experience, as it's being designed as a true cross-media interactive event. As reported in VentureBeat, Cyan's VP of Business Development Blake Lewin claims that the goal is "not just to create a compelling TV drama but to develop a true transmedia product that will include a companion video game that extends the story across both media. With 70 percent of tablet owners using their device while watching TV, Cyan sees the potential to push the boundaries of interactive storytelling to a new level.”

While Cyan isn't ready to share any details about the project itself or release timeline just yet, they have confirmed to Adventure Gamers that franchise co-creator Rand Miller will be involved creatively in the project. More information will be available in the coming months, giving us something else to look forward to from Cyan, along with their highly anticipated non-Myst adventure, Obduction.



7

Oct

A new 3D hand-painted adventure named POKU, from indie studios Kalopsia Games and Renopy Games, should provide a breath of fresh air in more ways than one when it's released late next year.

POKU is set on Paloma, a "floating island populated by bizarre people who adore the wind and consider it godlike." Players control a clever girl named Aria, who discovers a mysterious egg in the forest one day in an encounter that will "change her – and the entire floating island – forever."

While POKU make look like a 2D adventure at first glance due to its distinctive painterly style, it is actually in full 3D, as seen in the game's first teaser. In fact, it is "exactly this 2D-3D contrast that some puzzles of the game will be based on, playing with camera position and perspective." A third-person game, the current plan is to make POKU a point-and-click adventure, though as the developers are considering console releases along with PC, they are exploring direct control options as well.

Production on POKU is still in the relatively early stages, but if it's expected we'll see it completed sometime in 2016. In the meantime, you can follow the game's progress through its official website.



5

Oct

If ever you needed proof that Interactive Fiction (IF) is still very much alive and kicking, look no further than the Annual Interactive Fiction Competition. Since its inception in 1995 it has become a centrepiece of the IF community, playing host to many critically-acclaimed and highly influential games, such as Photopia, Slouching Towards Bedlam and, more recently, Coloratura.

This year there are 42 entries – seven more than last year. There is something for everyone, from the more traditional parser-based adventures to hypertext and choice-based games. Some even have a bit of both worlds; for instance, one entry is a partly-graphical hypertext game that pays homage to point-and-click adventures.

You can play the entries through the IFComp website, either online or as a direct download. However, to vote on the entries, there is a requirement that you play at least five games beforehand.

The competition will end on the 15th November, after which time the winners will be announced and the various prizes awarded.



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