Adventure News
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February 2004

10

Feb

Spector Studios today announced the publishing agreement for the release of Bonzo: Escape from Olympus in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Also, the publisher is currently working to publish the game in other areas. The game was published in Russia last fall.

In Bonzo, you take on the role of "a student who falls into the mysterious world of Ancient Greece. Mistakenly taken for the Greek Hero Hercules, he has to accomplish many tasks and exploits before he returns home."

Visit the game's website here.



10

Feb

The Unofficial Sam & Max Website recently speculated about whether Sam & Max 2 would be pre-rendered or real-time rendered. They decided to ask the only man who would know for sure -- project leader Mike Stemmle. Here's what Stemmle has to say about the engine used in Sam & Max: Freelance Police:

Actually, it’s full motion video with a toon shader; you just can't tell from those scanned screenshots you’ve been seeing. What’s missing from those shots is the surround smell technology and the motion-captured animation of a naked midget in a rabbit costume.

Kidding.

For the record, Sam & Max Freelance Police uses an honest-to-George real-time 3D renderer. Its “so-pretty-it-must-be-pre-rendered” look is achieved via a precarious balance of shaders, bump maps, lightmaps, and a little thing we like to call “sweet, sweet lovin’.

In case you missed them, check out the Sam & Max screenshots that surfaced a few days ago.



10

Feb

DIY Games have announced the results of their '2003 Game of the Year Awards', and a number of sections recognised the humble adventure game...

In the 'Adventure Game of the Year' section 5 Days a Stranger and Apprentice were both recognised, but the final award went to The Adventures of Fatman. And, as if that wasn't enough, SOCKO! Entertainment's offering also featured in the 'Excellence in Music & Sound' section, and as a finalist for 'Game of the Year'. And, as if THAT wasn't enough for SOCKO!, their closure was the tie for 'Biggest Disappointment'.

Quite a year for Underground adventure game fans, then...



10

Feb

Got Game Entertainment's newest adventure, A Quiet Weekend in Capri, has gone gold, the company announced today:

A truly unique game, "A Quiet Weekend in Capri" is comprised of more than 4,500 detailed photographs taken around the real island of Capri, an enchanted Italian island of gorgeous scenery and ancient secrets. Playing the game as a tourist visiting Capri for the first time, you are unexpectedly transported into a mysterious scenario, no longer certain where you are or which way to turn.

You arrive on the island by ferry with camera, notebook, cash, and credit card, all of which you may very well need to solve this mystery. As you search for "The Code" among Roman ruins, along azure seashores, through ancient streets and labyrinthine gardens, you must utilize strange inventions by an eccentric island scientist, along with your own deductive reasoning.

For more information, visit the game's official website. Adventure Gamers will have a review of A Quiet Weekend in Capri later this month!



7

Feb

Action Trip has just reviewed Jack The Ripper, giving it a score of 57/100:

 

"The question here remains: did the developers ever consider putting in something challenging enough to test the player's knack for solving crimes? And will players have enough patience to endure through the boring bits in order to get to the challenging stuff? Adventure fanatics certainly will, but I'm not so sure about casual gamers. If we discard a few sporadic puzzles that may actually require you to think a wee bit, there's really not much to keep you involved in the game. Well, I ask you, what good is an adventure if it doesn't include cleverly designed challenges for the player?

 

It's obvious that a lot of research and writing went into the concept of the narrative and the game's "historical accuracy", but that seems insufficient to charm your average modern-day gamer lusting for action shooters and MMORPG's. One can always argue, however, that this is not a game for people looking for a Serious Sam clone (and it certainly isn't). ...The real problem here is that unchallenging puzzles, certain technical glitches, and somewhat tedious gameplay may even turn away bona fide aficionados of the genre, and, sadly, dishearten even the most devoted of fans with a rather disappointing and frustrating ending. And there's just no excuse for that."

 

Read the full review here.



7

Feb

Dark Fall 2: Lights Out, the sequel to the critically acclaimed first-person suspense horror adventure released independently by XXv Productions in 2002, will (like its predecessor) be published by The Adventure Company. The game is scheduled for release this summer. To whet your appetite, a brand new trailer is available for download at Gamers Hell.

For more information on Dark Fall 2, be sure to read our preview as well as our interview with Jonathan Boakes.



4

Feb

Rand Miller, co-creator of Myst, has just announced on the URU forums that the decision has been made to pull the plug on URU Live, the massively multiplayer component of the latest game in the Myst series.

The goal with URU Live was to offer new content on a subscription basis. However, too few people subscribed to make this goal feasible. "We were just not able to sign up the number of subscribers (even for free) necessary to pay for that effort," Rand writes in his letter.

The content that's been produced at Cyan Worlds will be reused and sold as expansion packs. Miller also reveals that work is in progress on a Mac version of the singleplayer URU.

Cyan Worlds' original vision for URU -- a game played exclusively online through broadband connections -- has slowly crumbled apart. Before its official announcement, Rand Miller merely hinted their intentions were "to define a new form of entertainment". During the course of five years, the project went under various codenames, such as Mudpie, Myst Online and Parable. In 2003 it was decided, perhaps at the urging of publisher Ubi Soft, to create a traditional boxed singleplayer option that would serve as a 'teaser' for what was soon dubbed URU Live. Players would have to pay a monthly fee of $13 for online play, but it never came to that. Today, URU Live has become Uru Dead, and gone with it have all of Cyan's wild ambitions.

A "Prologue" to URU Live -- essentially a public Beta -- was included with the boxed product. It has been criticized by players for being too buggy, not offering enough gameplay, and servers being too unstable. URU Live never went beyond beta phase.

In his letter, Rand Miller thanks everyone for their continued support, saying "the soul of Uru Live will live larger" and "nothing can kill the community".

The first expansion pack, called To D'ni, will be available for free "in a month or two".



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