Adventure News
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July 2015

11

Jul

Anthropomorphic animals are a regular staple in other mediums, but they've been relatively scarce in adventure games. Soon indie developers Artem Vodorez and Sergey Belov hope to reverse that trend with the release of their first adventure, Foxtail.

While little is known about Foxtail's story so far, the game stars a young fox named Lea on her way to visit her grandmother, which offers her an "escape [from] her problematic world and from her own tragic past." This game is more about the journey than the destination, however, as along the way she will encounter "many amazing characters, visit strange places, solve many puzzles all in a beautiful adventure that is inspired by the greats such as The Legend of Kyrandia, Monkey Island and King's Quest."


Foxtail's inspirations are clearly on display in the visual presentation as well. The early screenshots and trailer show off the retro pixel art and the hand-crafted animations, with the developers promising "no shaders, motion-blur, bokeh and other stuff. Everything is like it was in good old times."

There is currently no firm timeline for Foxtail's release, but the game is on track for completion sometime in 2016 for Windows and Linux. In the meantime, to assist the game getting picked up on Steam, you can vote for it through its Greenlight page.



5

Jul

The indefatigable Carol Reed is coming back again in 2015 with her 11th mystery, this time in an adventure called Shades of Black, due out next month.

If Carol is a little later than usual this year, perhaps that's because she's been trying her hand as an author. Having written about one of her previous cases, she's been trying to get the book published, only to be discouraged by rejection after rejection. One such publisher, though not interested in her book, is very interested in her detective skills, and hires Carol to investigate the disappearance of an eccentric author. It's clear to Carol right from the start that "it's not an average missing person case. The author's wife was murdered six years ago. Just before his disappearance, a young woman was found murdered, with pages from the author's latest book stuffed into her mouth."

As with the previous Carol Reed games, Shades of Black will be a first-person slideshow adventure consisting of numerous photographs of the more beautiful and unusual places taken around developer Mikael Nyqvist's home country of Sweden, as seen in the screenshots released so far. As usual, a demo of the new game is expected shortly for those who'd like a more hands-on trial experience.

There isn't much longer to wait for the final version either, as Shades of Black is due for release sometime in August.



4

Jul

We first heard about the collaboration between Telltale Games and Mojango on a new Minecraft: Story Mode adventure late last year, but until now no concrete details had emerged for an episodic series in which literally any story was possible. Now, however, the picture has started coming into focus.

Set in the distinctive Minecraft world, Story Mode tells the tale of four friends who "revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon. The Order are the very best at what they do: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect." While attending an EnderCon, however, this unlikely foursome led by a man named Jesse will have to go from hero worshippers to heroes themselves when they discover that "something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion."


The game promises to take players on an epic adventure "spanning from the Nether to the Farlands, the End, and beyond." As seen in the first teaser, Story Mode retains the series' familiar blocky look, but is brought to life by some notable Hollywood voice talent led by Patton Oswalt as Jesse. Other familiar names and/or voices include the likes of Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West, and Paul Reubens. As expected with a Telltale series, player choice will be a key component of the game, as players must "steer their own path through a tale of adventure and survival."

There is still no firm timetable set for the launch of Minecraft: Story Mode, but we can look for the series to launch sometime later this year.




June 2015

27

Jun

Ghostly possession has proven to be a winning adventure game mechanic, and indie Irish developer Outsider Games is hoping to continue that success with Wailing Heights, a “supernatural, body-hopping adventure game” set to debut on PC with a mobile version to follow. Featuring offbeat characters like vegan werewolves, hipster vampires, and gossiping ghosts, the game promises to be “part point & click adventure, part sardonic crime thriller”.

Wailing Heights casts players in the role of Frances Finklestein, a has-been musician whose soul is forcefully removed from his body when he accepts a gig in the titular town, grasping at any opportunity to get back into the spotlight. Separated from your body, you must use the ability to “hop into” and control other creatures. Possessing the ghouls and ghosts of Wailing Heights will let you access specific, monster-only areas, and will ultimately aid you on your path to reclaiming your body and escaping.

As befits a game starring a musician, Wailing Heights places a heavy emphasis on music, and not just as jaunty background tunes, as the body-hopping mechanic incorporates completing song lyrics from the items and information you collect. But the developers also advise keeping your ears open at all times, as songs you hear will actually incorporate hints and clues to the game’s mysteries. You’re not the only one with a musical bent either; there are Motown Zombies, nightly performances at the Crematery, and werewolves favoring country-rock jukebox playlists.

While not strictly a comedy, with plenty of opportunity for adventure and drama in a game described as “Cluedo meets Professor Layton by way of Monkey Island”, the developers do promise plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and witty dialogue along the way. Helping to ensure a comic tone, Hector: Badge of Carnage writer Kevin Beimers is on board, and comic artists like Glenn Fabry and PJ Holden have been enlisted to lend their visual talents as well.

With another six months of planned development time remaining, we can look forward to unearthing all that this self-financed game holds in store when it arrives early next year. In the meantime, to give interested players a sense of what they’re all about (and keep abreast of breaking news), the developers have set up a production blog which includes videos, art previews, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the game.



25

Jun

The characters featured in Norse mythology are likely familiar to most: Thor and his hammer Mjolnir; Loki the trickster and his son, Fenrir the wolf; the Valkyries and their horseback rides to the battlefield to carry the dead to Valhalla. But what about the unlikely mortals who get drawn into the gods' exploits? Telling their story is the basis of tiny & Tall: Gleipnir, an upcoming point-and-click adventure game by French comic artist Antoine "pins" Piers.

Adapted from Piers' comic of the same name, tiny & Tall revolves around the two titular characters, blacksmiths who are tasked by the gods to forge a magical chain, Gleipnir, to keep Fenrir from devouring the world. As you’d expect from their names, the protagonists are a study in contrasts: tiny is “a naive, enthusiastic and, well, tiny creature, while Tall is a tyrannical, bombastic yet cowardly character.” Both will be needed, however, as forging the chain won't be a simple matter: it requires gathering a collection of bizarre materials, including the sound of a cat's footfall and the spittle of a bird, among several other unusual items.


Piers promises an "epic adventure with absolutely unepic characters," and it is clear from the tone of his comic that Gleipnir will be a lighthearted tale as well, diverging somewhat from the more serious treatment Norse-inspired stories tend to receive. Players will be tasked with helping the oft-bickering duo in their quest, using mouse-centric controls to guide them through the hand-drawn, third-person environments while solving a variety of puzzles. All the while, they will be under the “malignant and glowing red gaze of Loki, who, as Fenrir's father, does not look kindly on their goal.”

tiny & Tall: Gleipnir has a tentative release window set for early 2016, but in order to reach that goal, a Kickstarter campaign is being planned for next month. PC is the primary development platform, but Mac and Linux releases will also be targeted as Kickstarter stretch goals. Until then, interested gamers learn more about the game through its Facebook page.



23

Jun

Dealing with grief and guilt can be difficult at the best of times, but all the more so when forced to confront the nightmarish physical manifestations of those feelings. Such is the premise that awaits players in Charlotte's Dream, a retro indie adventure currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.

Charlotte's Dream casts players in the titular role of a young girl who "barely escapes with her life after a tragic car accident. Haunted by guilt over the death of her brother, she becomes trapped in a dangerous and surreal dream world." In order to escape, Charlotte must not only make peace with her "darker self" but also "face her deepest fears and uncover the truth that she has denied herself." Yet the mystery runs even deeper than that, as "the game takes a darker turn when Charlotte explores a far more intriguing question: Could it be that her brother is still alive?"


Although described by indie Dutch developer Robert Guiscard as a "love letter to the classic point and click adventure genre", Charlotte's Dream isn't entirely traditional. Along with the usual genre conventions, the game promises to include a "time freeze mechanic" and a "leveling system, with a literal skill tree", in which players earn points for "finding clues, items and solving puzzles" that can be used to buy new skills needed to solve even more puzzles. There will also be a crafting system that rewards exploration with randomly scattered materials. In conjunction with optional recipes, this will "allow the player to craft so-called 'relics', which enable the player to approach puzzles from a whole new angle." In keeping with the freedom to approach obstacles in different ways, there will be multiple puzzle solutions and different endings.

If it looks from the screenshots that Charlotte's Dream would have been right at home 20 years ago, that's because Guiscard actually first designed the game back then (when he was only 12) for the Amiga. Now in development exclusively for PC, the game is being rebuilt from the ground up with "touched up" graphics that stay true to the original colour palette and pixel art style. Controls have also been upgraded to current-day point-and-click standards.

In order to bring this decades-in-the-making adventure to fruition by the end of 2015, Guiscard is seeking €20,000 by August 21st through Kickstarter, with a €10 minimum pledge needed to secure a downloadable copy of the game upon completion. To learn more about Charlotte's Dream and support the campaign, visit the Kickstarter campaign and official website for additional details.



21

Jun

Ever feel like you're going nowhere fast? Well, that may just be a possibility for iOS and Ouya gamers, as indie Spanish developer DarkPath Studio is currently working on a first-person mystery adventure, Nowhere: Lost Memories.

While few details about Nowhere's story have been revealed so far, that's because it's up to players to discover it. You don't know who you are, where you are, or why you're here, yet you "feel... sad... like if something terrible had happened..." As the unknown protagonist, you will wake up "alone, lost and trapped in a mysterious place in the middle of nowhere and the only way to escape seems to be moving forward, but... do you really want to know why are you here?"


Nowhere does indeed seem to be aptly named, as an ominous haze shrouds the eerily deserted town in which you find yourself – but is it really deserted? The game's teaser hints of "something dark" behind this place, suggesting that "you are not the only one who has been here before." A more extensive gameplay trailer introduces the game's real-time 3D environments and physics, touch-based iOS controls, and a sampling of the exploration and puzzles involved in discovering the truth about your situation.

There is no definitive launch date yet for Nowhere: Lost Memories, but the game is on track to be completed sometime later this year.



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