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February 2004

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".



4

Feb

In this forum thread you can find a scan from the Australian gaming magazine "Hyper", showing four new shots of the upcoming Sam & Max: Freelance Police. A bigger (but equally grainy) version is available from Samandmax.net (direct link).

These are the first in-game screenshots that have been released. One previously released screenshot was said to be a concept rendering.

LucasArts already said the game will be point-and-click, which is now supported by the cursor seen in one of the scanned screenshots. The scans do raise speculation that the game may have pre-rendered graphics, even though it was previously assumed to be real-time rendered.

One shot shows a hand icon and a roll-down menu with three different options. Incidentally, it's the hand of Sam, which means that he will again be the player-controllable character. Given Max' violent tendencies, this makes a lot of sense.

According to the magazine, the game is "still on target" for a release this year.



1

Feb

Nucleosys, developers of independent mystery adventure Scratches -- the first commercial adventure ever developed in Argentina -- today updated their website with some interesting new stuff. Most importantly, the story page of the game has been expanded with new details; also, a music deal with black ambient band Cellar of Rats has been announced.

Scratches takes place in a Victorian mansion with a haunting secret, and is currently scheduled for a Q4 2004 release. Nucleosys promises the announcement of a major publishing deal very soon. Be sure to stay with Adventure Gamers for the latest information on this promising indie adventure!



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