Adventure News
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February 2017

21

Feb

The indie development team behind Mudlarks and A Date in the Park is going off the beaten path in their latest point-and-click offering, the upcoming jungle adventure Sumatra.

Players take on the role of Yandi, a native villager employed by the Pandang Logging Company to help clear parts of the Sumatran jungle on the Indonesian island. Caught in a devastating landslide, Yandi is separated from the other loggers and becomes lost in the jungle, kicking off his adventure. While making his way home, Yandi must survive the untamed wilds, including feral beasts, native Kubu tribespeople, scientists, and malicious loggers.


Indonesian myths and legends will play a role in Sumatra, adding cultural authenticity to the experience. Plenty of puzzles, multiple subplots, playable flashback scenes, and some decision-making elements promise to add even more variety to the gameplay. Inspired by vintage point-and-click adventures such as King’s Quest and Space Quest, and even the seminal platformer Pitfall, the whole thing is wrapped up in retro-styled pixel art and 8-bit soundtrack.

Sumatra is actually a much-expanded version of Cloak and Dagger’s earlier freeware game, Pendek (which is still available for download). Whereas the original game was a 30-minute affair, Sumatra promises at least three hours of gameplay, with many additional scenarios and characters. The game is currently up for voting on Steam Greenlight, and if successful could be launched within a few months’ time at a budget price.



20

Feb

Regardless of whether the problem is war, oppression, or societal exclusion, people look for anything to make the toughest times in life bearable, and one of the most potent of those things is friendship. Polish developer Juggler Games seeks to explore this theme in My Memory of Us, a story-driven adventure coming next year.

The game is set in a futuristic world where an “Evil King and his robot-soldiers” occupy the protagonists’ city and some of its citizens have been “marked and forced to move out of their homes and live in a place that was sealed off from the rest of the city by a huge wall.” Against that bleak backdrop, the story is a “reminiscence of a friendship between a boy and girl,” recounting the tale of how that friendship helped them to survive by carving their own paths in this gloomy world.


While the setting is futuristic, with its robots and fly train-like vessels, the premise is inspired by the developers’ own families and their experiences during the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II. As such, history buffs may encounter familiar names and characters as they progress. Still, the goal is to create a game that could just as easily have taken place “in another time and place.”

My Memory of Us will be played from a third-person, 2.5D side-scrolling perspective, with pictogram communication and an aesthetic inspired by “naïve art.” The striking black-and-white graphics are punctuated by splashes of brighter colors to accentuate certain features. Though details are sparse at the moment, gameplay will focus on logic puzzles, and some will require cooperative solutions by the two characters. They “complete each other,” and only when they are together will they be able to overcome the toughest of obstacles.

My Memory of Us is currently in development for PC, with other platforms being considered in time for its 2018 release. To keep up with its development, you can check out the game’s official website.



19

Feb

When your job is to force poor people out of their homes on behalf of greedy bosses, it's not going to do your soul any good. That's what a young man named Price discovered to his horror when Jesse Makkonen's Distraint released in 2015. Now the indie Finnish developer is returning to this surreal world, once again blending reality and nightmare in a "bigger and better" round of side-scrolling adventure due this fall.

The first game saw the protagonist sell out his humanity in the misguided hope of a partnership at his company, McDade, Bruton & Moore. Wrestling with guilt and remorse, Price learned too late that there's a price (pun no doubt fully intended) to be paid for such heartless deeds. Picking up the "sinister tale" where the original left off, the sequel follow a despairing Price, trapped in a prison of his own torment, in his efforts to restore peace and find new purpose in life. But the question remains: "How does one fight without hope?"


Like its precedessor, Distraint 2 is a hand-drawn pixel art adventure with a viewable area set horizontally in of the center of the screen. The people have skinny legs and oversized heads, and a muted colour palette helps establish a disturbing, oppressive backdrop in which reality and unreality are hard to distinguish one from the other. And yet, despite its grim subject matter, the game promises its share of "dark humor" to go with its item collecting, puzzle-solving, and "complex story full of intriguing twists and characters." The eerie atmosphere is created not through "cheap jump-scares or mindless gore but psychological horror with a deeper meaning."

Currently in development for PC, if all goes well we will see Distraint 2 released in time for Halloween this year. In the meantime, you can support the game on Steam through its Greenlight campaign.



18

Feb

Grief is a terrible thing to experience in real life, but it makes for a powerful motivator in interactive entertainment. We're being reminded of that once again with the PC release of Among the Innocent, the first of a series of related "Stricken Tales" that deal with working through painful personal loss.

Among the Innocent casts players in the role of a struggling writer named Peter York, who finds himself trapped on an abandoned farm in the eastern Free State, South Africa in the year 2001. In your attempt to escape, you will need to "keep your wits together as you explore the bleak landscape and uncover (and maybe even solve) the many mysteries that lie in dark corners."


Described by indie studio Zero Degrees Games as a "first-person thriller adventure game," Among the Innocent tasks players with freely exploring twelve acres of 3D farmland, but the gameplay is "heavily inspired by classic point-and-click adventure games of the 1990s," so you'll find yourself examining important hotspots, collecting inventory objects, and solving puzzles along the way. Although the visuals promise to feature dark themes and a "strong horror and thriller aesthetic," the horror here is mainly psychological, in keeping with the dark themes of heartbreak and despair.

Available now on Steam for Windows PC, Among the Innocent is a standalone game, but also represents the first of a five-part series, each of which is "inspired by a stage in the Kübler-Ross model for dealing with grief and loss." Together, the five installments will "form an expansive narrative across multiple decades, characters, and stories both individual and connected."

To learn more about the game and the larger Stricken Tales project, there's a playable PC demo of Among the Innocent on the official website.



17

Feb

Did you watch the Double Fine Adventure series, the 20-episode documentary by 2 Player Productions that was recorded throughout the entire path of creation for Broken Age

Would you like to watch it again, or haven't had that chance yet and would still love to see it? We can certainly recommend it!

Here's the word from Double Fine on this:

2 Player Productions and Double Fine would love for the “Double Fine Adventure” series to next appear on Netflix.  Netflix has over 90 million subscribers worldwide and has become one of the premier destinations for films and series.  It’s our hope that by introducing a new audience to the series we can continue to educate the public about the realities of game development and help pave the way for more content of this type.

Help us present the Double Fine Adventure to Netflix by suggesting

Double Fine Adventure” right here -

https://help.netflix.com/en/titlerequest

Tweet at Netflix here -

https://twitter.com/netflix

It's actually quite easy to submit a request to Netflix; it doesn't even require you to have a Netflix account. Just go to this link: https://help.netflix.com/en/titlerequest and type “Double Fine Adventure” into the text box, click the CAPTCHA box and submit. Done!



14

Feb

Ever wonder where all those lost socks and missing odds and ends go when they mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again? Well now we know: The Forgotten Lands! Unfortunately, this magical place is in jeopardy in the upcoming Forgotton Anne, and it'll be up to players to save it.

Forgotton Anne (not a typo) casts players in the titular role of a young woman who acts as an "enforcer keeping order in the Forgotten Lands." Populated by magical Forgotlings, creatures "composed of mislaid objects longing to be remembered again," this magical realm is now at risk, and Anne must set out to "squash a rebellion that might prevent her master, Bonku, and herself from returning to the human world." In the process, she will "uncover the mysteries of the world and [her own] past in this emotional fantasy adventure where things are not always as they appear to be."


Described as a "cinematic adventure game combining puzzle platforming with adventure game elements," Forgotton Anne's first trailer highlights the hand-painted environments and traditional 2D animations that bring the world to life, as well as a sampling of music from the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. The side-scrolling adventure requires players to "run, jump and climb your way through the Forgotten Lands," and along the way your actions will impact how the story unfolds. It remains to be seen how prevalent the action elements are, but your power comes not through physical prowess but from the "Arca stone on your hand, enabling you to see and manipulate Anima energy in your surroundings." The stone's ability is integral to your progress, as it allows you to "distill and instill Anima into creatures and control machinery that runs on Anima."

Created by indie Danish developer ThroughLine Games and published by the Square Enix Collective, Forgotton Anne is due to arrive on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One late this year. In the meantime, you can follow the game's progress through its official website.



12

Feb

The word "adventure" (in the conventional sense) may conjure up images of globetrotting, swashbuckling escades, but the real adventure for all of us is life itself. Such is the premise behind the upcoming Old Man's Journey, a stylish "soul-searching puzzle adventure game" coming later this year.

Old Man's Journey presents a lifetime of memories through vignettes that tell a story of "life, loss, reconciliation, and hope." Players must interact directly with the environment and solve puzzles in order to "shape the world around them, growing the hills to create the old man’s path forward." As you progress, you will experience the "heartache, regret and hope" he encounters along the way (because who doesn't in life?).


The first trailer shows off the stylish artwork and "beautifully sunkissed and handcrafted world" of Old Man's Journey that made the game an IGF Awards finalist for Excellence in Visual Arts. Now Austrian developer Broken Rules is teaming with IndieFund to finance the rest of the game for release on PC and mobile platforms.

The final release date for Old Man's Journey has yet to be announced, but the game is currently on track for completion sometime in 2017. To learn more about it in the meantime, visit the official website for additional details.



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