Adventure News
 


March 2017

23

Mar

The balancing act between public safety and civil liberties is becoming an increasing concern worldwide, and indie developers White Paper Games are exploring this controversial dynamic in their upcoming, ominously-titled The Occupation.

In The Occupation, players control a "whistleblowing journalist" in Northwest England. It's October 24, 1987, and a terrorist attack killing 23 people has "become a catalyst for the creation of The Union Act." This act is highly controversial for its invasion of privacy, and the next four hours will be crucial in determining both "the outcome of the act and the future of the country." As a reporter, you must "decide the narrative" and determine whether "the cost of an extreme action [is] outweighed by the cause of the greater good."


Like the studio's previous game, Ether One, The Occupation is a first-person 3D experience. Unlike its predecessor, however, The Occupation promises to be a politically-driven narrative game that occurs in real time, requiring you to make crucial decisions quickly based on the evidence at hand. The first teaser offers a brief but intriguing glimpse of what can be expected, but for now the developers haven't yet revealed any more about the type of gameplay involved.

This lack of information extends both to the platforms on which the game will be released, and the target release date. Although the project is in "full swing of development" now, White Paper is only saying that they hope to bring The Occupation to "as many platforms as possible" and have a launch goal ready to announce soon. You can monitor its progress in the meantime by visiting the game's official website.



19

Mar

More and more horror adventures are going the way of Amnesia-styled 3D stealth-survival games these days, so it's refreshing to find one like the upcoming Green Mirror, which adheres to the traditional point-and-click formula while still adding in some perilous elements to contend with.

In a story with "clear Lovecraftian influences," Green Mirror casts players in the role of Dylan Riley, a "veteran member of the search and rescue unit" at Steelrock Canyon National Park. When a family goes missing while hiking the forests, Dylan is sent it after them but soon "suffers an accident that leaves him alone in the middle of the night and lost in an unexplored zone of the woods that has been closed to the public because of the dangers it may harbor." And indeed, danger seems to be all around, as "shadows glide through the trees, watching him, strange whispers accompany his steps like a creepy leitmotiv, and something that has inhabited those woods for eons wants to make it clear that he is not welcome there."


The game features crisp, hand-drawn graphics primarily in black-and-white, with just a few touches of colour. Players guide Dylan around in third-person perspective, exploring the "forgotten paths that wind through the undergrowth." Along the way, you'll discover "many hidden mysteries in the dark corners of Steelrock Canyon’s forest waiting to be unveiled, old knowledge yearning to be pronounced again, and more complex motivations than it may seem at first." Unraveling the mystery will require a combination of puzzle-solving and survival elements in the form of Quick Time Events as you "seek help and escape the threats that wait for you in every corner."

There is no firm timeframe yet for Green Mirror's release, but indie developers Bad2theBone Studio and Luminy Studios are currently targeting completion on Windows, Mac, and Linux by the end of this year. You can learn more about the game while you wait by visiting its official website.



18

Mar

Here's a tip for wannabe space explorers: NEVER be part of the initial research team, because you'll inevitably disappear without a trace. Now, being the investigator sent to find out what happened is a whole lot more fun, and players will have the chance to do just that this summer when The Station is released.

Yes, The Station embraces the tried-and-true science fiction premise of a missing space crew, in this case a small three-person team sent to study an alien race whose civilization challenged "everything we know about biology, chemistry, physics, religion" and addressed many of the questions that have always plagued mankind. Unfortunately, this newfound species was embroiled in the middle of a civil war, so the crew was deployed to "research the alien culture in search of a means towards a peaceful relationship." But then they disappeared. With all communications cut off, as a recon specialist you are sent to the "undetectable" facility to determine what became of them. But this is no standard mission, as "what players discover will challenge their view of surveillance, imperialism and moral law," and more importantly, the mystery you unravel will "decide the fate of two civilizations."


Gameplay in The Station will be largely exploratory in nature, as you venture through the station in free-roaming, first-person 3D in search of clues to what transpired. The game has been "creatively shaped by real space industry experts, in partnership with the Canadian Space Society," and players will interact directly with the environment and solve puzzles in order to progress, learning more about the three missing crew members along the way through audio logs and other materials left behind. The gameplay trailer offers a closer look at the sort of experience players can expect.

Created by an indie team of developers whose previous credits include the likes of AAA titles Destiny, BioShock Infinite, and Prototype, The Station is already well along in production, with a target completion date for Windows, Mac, and Linux sometime this summer. In the meantime, you can not only learn more about the game from the official website, but also receive regular updates from the fictional Axiom corporation, the company spearheading the space mission you've been sent to investigate.



17

Mar

Danger, Will Robinson! Wait, no. Wrong robot, wrong Lost in Space. This isn't the campy old 1960s sci-fi television show, but Lemuria: Lost in Space, a newly-released sci-fi adventure blending adventure, RPG, and survival elements. There is danger, though.

The game is named after the Lemuria 7, a spaceship that went missing for over 70 years. Recently it reappeared in the solar system, but badly damaged and completely abandoned. What happened to the ship and its crew, and why did it return? As Abrix, an AI-assisted robot that can hack computers, wield weapons, and operate in extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation, it will be your job to explore the ship's hundred-plus rooms as you "solve dozens of puzzles, find valuable resources and fight with security turrets and other enemies."


Venturing through the ship in free-roaming 3D and completing puzzles will reveal new story details about the ship's crew, as well as reward players with the necessary resources to proceed – running out of battery power or anti-radiation protection will prove fatal. Far from a traditional adventure, Lemuria will also include roleplaying elements such as "special software that allows [Abrix] to upgrade himself during the mission." A hacking minigame will "challenge your math, geographic and logical thinking skills" and result in the ability to overrun security systems, while another allows you to access the ship's network in order to "avoid certain fights with hostile robots."

If you're a little uneasy about the mix of action and adventure, rest assured that you can check it out for yourself through the playable PC demo, recently upgraded with full voice-overs. If you like what you see, the full game is just a click away on Steam.



14

Mar

It's a bit early for most of us to be looking for the first leaves of the season, but spring has come early this year in the form of not one but TWO games from German studio ZAR 21 and Daedalic Entertainment.

In LEAVES: The Journey, players arrive on the "high plateau of the Stony Mountains" inhabited by a race of tiny creatures known as the Treefruities. Unfortunately, your appearance causes such a commotion that they let go of their protective leaves, only for a gust of wind to scatter them "all across the lands of Mononino." After exploring this fantastical land to help the Treefruities retrieve their missing leaves, it might seem that all is well. But many years later in LEAVES: The Return, after the Treefruities have moved to a less windy location, their new home tree is "rocked by a giant fit of sneezing" that sends the leaves flying in all directions once again. And so you head out once more, traversing the strange world of Mononino on your second leaf hunt.


Inspired by the likes of Samorost and Machinarium, each LEAVES game sends players through four distinct worlds depicting "real sculptures in a surreal dreamscape." Both are first-person point-and-click adventures, and you can can expect plenty of "challenging puzzles and unique mini games" along the way, as the developer also cites RHEM as a key influence. If for some reason you're interested more in the sequel than the original, The Return can be played as a standalone game with no knowledge of its predecessor.

Both LEAVES: The Journey and LEAVES: The Return are available now on Steam for Windows and Mac.



13

Mar

While most adventure games feature protagonists who are upstanding citizens acting for the greater good, they also involve a fair bit of underhanded manipulation and even rampant kleptomania – the end justifies the means, right? But what if your goals weren't so noble, your intentions not nearly as pure? This is the moral dilemma at the heart of The Low Road, an upcoming indie point-and-click adventure from XGen Studios set in the 1970s world of corporate espionage.

In 1976, Noomi Kovacs (recently graduate of the ominously-acroynmed LeCarre Institute for Exceptional Spies – or L.I.E.S. for short) is hired by the Penderbrook Motors’ Division of Outside Intelligence. It's not a great job, being "confined to an office and underestimated by her gruff supervisor—a disgraced former government agent named Turn," but Noomi has much higher ambitions. To fulfill them, she will need to "exploit her colleagues and surroundings to help further her dream of becoming a globetrotting secret agent." Once operating in the field, however, both "Noomi and Turn begin to realize that their company’s dogged pursuit of their rivals extends to something far more sinister than 'healthy competition' and the two will be forced to reconsider the paths they’ve chosen." In a world where nice guys finish last, "lying, blackmail, and emotional manipulation will become Noomi and Turn’s greatest assets."


The Low Road features a distinctive visual style inspired by gouache paintings and 1970s television, accompanied by an "original score of swirling psychedelia and dusty Americana." Players will control both agents in carrying out top-secret missions, a "fully-voiced cast of spies and civilians joining you and thwarting you in the dark comedy of corporate espionage." The game's more traditional genre elements include numerous puzzles to solve and branching conversations meant to "challenge the player’s deductive and intuitive abilities."

Would-be auto spies don't have much longer to wait, as The Low Road is due out for Windows and Mac on April 20th. While you wait, you can snoop around the game's official website to see if you can dig up any additional details.



9

Mar

If you're up for an intriguing new 3D murder mystery, then look to the north later this year (and probably a little east or west). No no, farther north, WAY north! We're talking Alaska north.

Alaska casts players in the first-person boots of a man living in a remote Alaskan mountain village. It's a small, tight-knit town consisting of "five families, living in their own way, providing for themselves and for their neighbors." They enjoy each other's company and do many things together, whether skating, fishing, or sharing in feasts following a hunt. But all that changes one fateful day when "a body is discovered, murdered, on the town's airstrip... Who do you trust now?"


A free-roaming mystery creating by Wreck Tangle Games' solo UK developer Adam Reed, Alaska introduces players to a day-in-the-life of this rugged but seemingly quaint and hospitable setting, with important tasks to perform such as wood chopping and turning on generators when necessary. After the murder, however, the stakes are raised and the game becomes more of a thriller in nature, as anyone could be the killer, and surely it's possible they might strike again if you're not careful. Along the way there will be some basic puzzles to solve and "minimal" action elements incorporated into the otherwise adventure-oriented gameplay.

There is currently no firm timeframe for the release of Alaska, but Reed is hoping to complete the game for PC sometime in 2017. To follow the game's progress in the coming months, pop over to the official website for additional details.



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