AdventureX 2019 round-up: Part 2
Reporting from E3, GDC, AdventureX, Gamescom and other gaming events around the world
Feb 3, 2020
Jan 27, 2020
As ever, AdventureX 2019 was a delightful place to frequent for a few rain-sodden days in London, not only for its setting in the comforting confines of the British Library but also for how welcome everyone from organisers to developers made me feel. The huge array of offerings on display, whether from first-time teams working round the clock on their passion projects to more established developers expanding their repertoires, made the event the go-to destination for any adventure game enthusiast worth their salt.
Picking up from where my colleague Steve left off in the first half of our two-part coverage, prepare for a whole new wave of furry detectives, creepy mansions and sad little imps as we venture deep into the depths AdventureX 2019 once again for the last but certainly not least round-up of the many promising games available to play during a memorable, fun-filled weekend.
Detective Grimoire and Sally Spears
In Tangle Tower, a sequel (in terms of recurring characters if not plot) to SFB Games’ 2014 murder mystery Detective Grimoire, you once again play the quiffed private eye with a penchant for snappy one-liners as he tries to solve a murder at the eccentric titular mansion. Alongside the equally pun-happy Sally Spears, returning from the first game, Grimoire must investigate what happened to the murdered manor owner Freya Fellow, with the only “suspect” being a painting holding a bloodied knife.
With updated animations and digitally painted environments, this game looks even better than the already lauded original. There’s plenty of witty dialogue voiced up to enjoy too. A particular favourite was the exchange around a small handheld harp – the resultant lines “lyre” and “it’s the truth I swear” being just one of many jokes that made me crack a smile in my playthrough.
As with its predecessor, you have to speak to witnesses and pick up clues through simple pointing and clicking to unravel the mystery. At certain stages you’ll be invited to make new deductions by dragging specific clues down from a list to make a sentence (e.g. Freya Fellow + was killed by + the painting) which will advance the plot when all lined up correctly. This structure was a little confusing in the first example shown in the demo due to the abstract nature of the main suspect, but presumably these will become less obtuse throughout the rest of the game, which the developers told me should last up to six hours.
The tutorial, which developers Lost Pilgrims consider a must to complete before attempting the main game, will introduce players to the many, many options that will become available in the much less linear and more open world of The Riven Realms, whilst using the same intricate gameplay systems as I saw in the demo.
For now only backers of The Riven Realms’ Fig Open Access campaign can see if they have what it takes to become a true Vagrus by playing through the tutorial, with early access for the full game planned to be unlocked this December, followed by the public release later in Q1 2020.