Adventure News

October 2015



Here's a disturbing thought: What if you found out you were inevitably fated to become a dangerous lunatic? Would you embrace your destiny? Fight against it? Can you change your destiny? These are some of the central questions at the heart of Jon Oldblood's newly-released psychological horror-drama, Masochisia.

Although a point-and-click game, Masochisia is anything but a traditional adventure. You are not the hero; in fact, you're the "bad guy" who's "clearly insane". Or at least, you're well on your way and will continue along this path if you're unable and/or unwilling to prevent it. Playing a young man who "discovers through a series of hallucinations that he will one day become a violent psychopath", it will be up to you to decide what to do about these revelations. But your course won't be nearly as simple as making moral choices, as you're "troubled by macabre visions, abusive parents, vicious monsters and unrelenting voices in your head" that are "designed to make the player feel uncomfortable with their progressively-darker choices."

Based on a true story and created by a self-described "lone developer battling his own demons and struggles with violence", Masochisia is less an adventure game – or "game" at all – and more of a "relatively short" linear narrative experience in which player agency drives the story forward. You choose to either "unravel the reality behind the narrative.... or ignore its existence." Designed to be "horrific" rather than a standard "horror" tale, the game's hand-drawn art style and colour palette serve to juxtapose the "pleasant visuals with twisted content".

If you're up to the challenge of confronting your grim fate, there's no need to wait, as Masochisia has been released on Steam today for Window, Mac, and Linux.



For nearly 30 years, Gold Rush! has been one of the few classic Sierra properties that hasn't been thoroughly mined for sequels, but that looks set to change next year with the announcement of Sunlight Games' Gold Rush 2.

Much time will have passed in the game world as well, as the sequel takes place 20 years after the original. Now 1869, Jake and Jerrod Wilson have done very well for themselves after striking gold in California. But troubling news arrives from back home in New York, where their banker and family friend Mr. Quail sends word that a gang led by William "Boss" Tweed has overrun Brooklyn. And so, armed with evidence that should send Tweed to prison for life, "Jake and Jerrod decide to sell their mine and travel home on the newly constructed Transcontinental Railroad... but the boss has heard that they are coming and plans to stop them from ever returning to Brooklyn."

A collaboration between one of the original game's designers and German developer Sunlight Games, the team behind last year's Gold Rush! Anniversary remake, Gold Rush 2 promises more than 80 pre-rendered scenes to explore with a variety of puzzles to solve, along with modernized graphics, voice acting, and an intuitive point-and-click control scheme.

The game will be released across a variety of platforms, including either a DRM-free boxed version or Steam download for PC, Mac, and Linux, as well as optimized versions for iOS and Android devices. The former is already available for preorder through the developer's website. If all goes well, interested prospectors can lay hands on the game sometime in March 2016.



With October arriving, 'tis the season for all-things-horror. Along with a slew of new games releasing comes word of another now in production, in the form of ChaosCore's The Last Look.

The Last Look casts players in the first-person role of Alice, who "wakes up in a rundown bathroom" as "strange voices echo through the locked door." The last thing she remembers is attending a company party, and although she didn't drink too much, she has no recollection of she got here. But two things quickly become apparent: "something strange is happening" here and "she is not alone." Questions abound in Alice's mind, like the role of her boss and the identity of a "spooky goth girl teenager", but her most pressing concern is escaping the old building in which she's trapped, solving puzzles and evading a "scary enemy" along the way.


Created with the Unreal Engine 4, The Last Look is a free-roaming survival horror "especially designed for explorer-type gamers." It's cleverly described by its indie developers as "MacGyver meets The Ring", aiming to include both challenging puzzles and tension-inducing stealth elements. Taking cues from such inspirations as Phantasmagoria, Silent Hill, and Fatal Frame, the developers have confirmed that there will be no combat involved, but there will be some "scary hide-and-seek gameplay" along the way.

Currently in production for PC and PS4, with VR support planned but not yet implemented, there is no firm timeline yet for the game's release, but if all goes well we could be seeing The Last Look by next fall.



Now here's some news we just don't get enough of these days: an adventure game on Wii U! Although not a brand new game, the former mobile exclusive The Rivers of Alice has now been updated and released as an "Extended Version" on the Nintendo eShop.

In The Rivers of Alice, every time the game's titular heroine falls asleep, she enters a surreal fantasy world and begins a "journey of self-discovery and enlightenment" during which she must "confront the fears of her everyday life like sloth, envy, and dishonesty that manifest themselves in the form of mysterious characters and puzzles."

While music often seems like a complementary part of video games, here it's an essential component. Developed by Delirium Studios, The Rivers of Alice was co-produced with Spanish indie rock group Vetusta Morla, who "provided the inspiration for the game as well as the soundtrack", the latter consisting of 13 exclusive tracks that "fill every area of the game with intense emotion." The imaginative world conceived by the designers was then brought to life using watercolours, ink and graphite, in a hand-crafted adventure that promises more than 1500 illustrations, 700 main character animations, 177 conversations, and 717 objects to interact with deep within Alice's subconscious.

The Extended Version of The Rivers of Alice is available now exclusively online through the eShop. If you don't have a Wii U, the original version is still available both at the App Store and Google Play.

September 2015



If you still have an old Sega Dreamcast system lying around, you might want to blow the dust off it for a couple of bundled first-person adventure games, Elansar and its sequel Philia. Not to worry if you don't, however, as the games are also available on more modern platforms.

Elansar and Philia are related games in which players must explore a remote island, solving puzzles to unlock the island's mysteries. In the first game, you must rescue a woman named Elina, while in the sequel you play as Elina, delving the surreal depths of her subconscious mind in search of her husband, before finally ending up on the same island again. No more has been revealed about the plot, as discovering the details for yourself is the point of the story. Both games are displayed in 640x480 resolution, with Elansar using a Myst-like slideshow format and Philia adding panoramic camera control.

Originally created three years ago by indie developer Orion, specifically with porting to older systems in mind, Elansar and Philia can now be purchased together in a region-free Dreamcast disc bundle directly from the publisher, HUCAST Games. The Dreamcast discs also include Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of each game, though the latter can also be purchased digitally through the developer's website. Both Elansar and Philia are also available for Android devices.



Mankind has been busy seeking life on Mars of late, but that search will take on a whole new meaning in the upcoming open world sci-fi adventure Dome City.

Based on István Nemere’s novel The Secret of the Dome City, the game casts players in the multiple roles of three different protagonists who find themselves stranded in the Red Planet's titular domed city that's been abandoned for 100 years. Very few plot details have been revealed so far, as uncovering the mysteries of Dome City represents the bulk of the adventure. What we do know is that this will be a "choice-oriented" game in which players can alter the direction of the story, and even the final outcome.

Dome City is a first-person adventure that gives players plenty of freedom to explore this city where "where nothing is really as it seems." Indie Hungarian developers Overon Station promise "endless possibilities" in roaming and rummaging through the city's many buildings, rooms, and storage compartments. Along the way you'll encounter a variety of "complex and mind-bending" logic puzzles that range in difficulty levels and require "using mathematics, physics, and astronomy skills to solve the mysteries in town whilst trying to survive." As you progress, you'll need to "discover the hidden clues that leads to food, water, energy or let you find spare parts for the new spaceship." There will also be some action sequences sprinkled in, though the developers claim that no shooting is involved.

The current plan for Dome City is to release a single-person adventure first, but the developers are also considering a multiplayer option as well, though the latter will require successful crowdfunding in order to complete. There is currently no firm release date for the game, but if all goes well we could see it released on PC sometime next fall.



It's not uncommon in science fiction for an extravagant city in the sky to house the rich, while the poorest souls who can't afford such luxury are left to fend for themselves on the decimated planet surface. But the upcoming steampunk adventure Columnae: A Past Under Construction plans to meet those worlds somewhere in the middle: specifically within the gigantic metal pillars that separate them.

Columnae stars one of the survivors left behind in the pillars, forced to live by "parasitizing" on the resources coming from a giant apparatus below called Machina, built to automatically extract the planet's resources for the residents of the safe haven of Deus above. Not only "unable to enter Deus, but also unwilling to cooperate with people living on nearby Cliffs, the society of Columnae is plagued by corruption, political manipulation, power struggle and poverty." In the attempt to escape your plight and ascend into Deus, you'll need to "explore the world of Columnae, search the underground Machina, visit the neighboring Cliffs and discover the Greenhouse Dome in the middle of nowhere." All of this will be presented in silhouette-style graphics that give the world a very distinctive look.

Speaking of the middle, Columnae is taking a unique approach to chronology as well. Indie Serbian developer Moonburnt Studio hopes to create a "non-linear experience by exploring retrocausality." What that means is that the game begins in the middle of the story, but rather than simply learning about the past and shape the future, your decisions will affect history as well. As you progress, the game will "try to find an explanation in the past for your behaviour in the present. Since the story unfolds in an achronological way, when you play the chapters set in the past, you’ll be able to see those causes, potentially different on each playthrough." As unconventional as the setting and timeline may be, however, this story-driven game does promise to include such traditional point-and-click staples as item-based puzzles and character dialogues.

There is currently no firm timeline for Columnae, as just like in the game, you'll have the opportunity to directly alter the course of its future when a crowdfunding campaign is launched in the near future.

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