Adventure News

August 2005



An adventure game? Perhaps.

EuroGamer has reported that Ron Gilbert, the legendary designer behind the first two Monkey Island games and Maniac Mansion, is working on a new title, and is currently pitching the game to publishers.

According to his weblog, Gilbert is travelling to Paris next month, where he will meet with a publisher. The name of the publisher has not yet been mentioned. However, both Vivendi Universal and Ubisoft are possible candidates, as they are based in Paris.

Not much has been revealed about the game, but according to EuroGamer, Gilbert has not ruled out that it's going to be an adventure. He has been quoted in saying "Just curious, and I'm not saying it is or isn't, but why would you assume it's not an adventure?"

Adventure Gamers will bring more information on Gilbert's new title when it is available.



DVD to be packaged with the limited edition

Turner Broadcasting System has announced their development of a behind-the-scenes documentary on Ubisoft's Myst V. The game will explore the story behind the success of the Myst series, and focus of the creation of the final episode, End of Ages.

A DVD version of the documentary will be included with the Myst V limited edition, but a shorter version will be available for streaming through GameTap, an entertainment network that offers games-on-demand plus original programming via broadband. GameTap will also be responsible for producing a game trailer, and a trailer showcasing the new documentary.

"Gamers are like the toughest film fanatics: they want more than a technical look at the making of a game", said Michael Watchulonis, Executive Producer for GameTap Entertainment. "They want to see the compelling story behind its creators, the challenges and triumphs of the creative process."

Both Myst V: End of Ages and the GameTap network will debut in the fall of 2005.



Black Mirror developers release their newest mystery

The Adventure Company has today released the English version of the mystery adventure NIBIRU: Age of Secrets. The game was developed by Future Games, the team behind 2003's The Black Mirror.

NIBIRU's storyline begins with the discovery of a mysterious tunnel from World War II, and leads the player into a storyline involving murder, the dark secrets of the Nazis, as well as the demise of the Mayan civilization.

Future Games promises that the game will feature visual effects such as rain, lightining and fog, 80 photo-realistic locations and a captivating musical score.

The game is available for the PC, and has been rated for Teen by the ESRB.



Development extended until spring

For the many gamers anxiously awaiting Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the wait just got a little bit longer. Today Funcom announced the game has been rescheduled to launch in the spring of 2006 for both Windows and Xbox.

Originally projected for a release late this year, Funcom notes that the additional months of development ensure "the highest possible quality while making sure the game reaches the market in a more favourable timeslot." (Indeed, we've all witnessed games die cruel retail deaths in the overcrowded Christmas season.)

Dreamfall, of course, is the highly anticipated and perhaps equally controversial sequel to The Longest Journey. While creating what the developers call a "classic adventure game at heart", Funcom is forsaking the traditional point & click format of its predecessor. Instead, Dreamfall "takes the genre in a new and bold direction" in a fully 3D world with direct control, free exploration, and includes some action and stealth elements that develop naturally from its mature storyline.

To help pass the time through the Dreamfall-less winter months, be sure to check out our several previews.



German release announced, but English version planned

Adventure fans have been salivating over the early screenshots of Secret Files: Tunguska since the game was unveiled at the Games Convention in Leipzig. Along with the first look at the game came the announcement that the title would be published in Germany by Deep Silver (a division of Koch Media) in the second quarter of 2006.

Fortunately for those whose German doesn't extend past "Gesundheit!", the game's developer, Fusionsphere Systems, has confirmed that an English language version of the game is also planned. There is currently no target date scheduled for localized releases, however.

Secret Files: Tunguska is a fictional tale based around the mysterious (but real) 1908 explosion in central Siberia that devastated thousands of square miles of forest. In the game, secret documents are discovered in present day that reveal the phenomenon was not a meteorite as first believed. With her father missing and the military now conducting experiments in the territory, Nina Kalenkow arrives to investigate his disappearance, and finds the characters she encounters to be anything but friendly.

A classic point & click adventure, the game will feature highly detailed, pre-rendered backgrounds with 3D characters, and also promises real-time lighting effects and plenty of ambient animations. Projected to provide 20-25 hours of play time, Secret Files: Tunguska will have a second playable character in addition to Nina, allowing you to switch between them freely.

Adventure Gamers will keep a close eye on this one as its development progresses. Until our next update, Auf Wiedersehen!



Tri-Synergy will distribute Frogwares' 3D epic this fall

North American fans can finally start packing, because Tri-Synergy announced today that they will be publishing 80 Days this fall. French and German publishing deals are already in place, but the Texas-based publisher's announcement heralds the first English-language release of Frogwares' upcoming game.

In 80 Days, players will travel with protagonist Oliver Lavisheart all over the world in an attempt to settle a bet for Oliver's eccentric uncle, Matthew. The game is loosely based on Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, and the itinerary includes stops in such varied locations as Cairo, Bombay, and San Francisco. Although 80 Days takes place in 1899, modern pop culture references contribute to the game's off-beat humor. The journey will unfold in real-time 3D, and players can customize the experience by opting for or against time limits, a point system, and physical challenges.

Tri-Synergy plans to release 80 Days in October. In the meantime, learn more about the game from our in-depth preview.



Sample the final episode of Cyan's adventure saga

Cyan has released a playable demo for Myst V: End Of Ages, the final chapter of the critically acclaimed Myst series. The demo weighs in at 275MB for PC, downloadable at, 3D Gamers, and Worthplaying. The Mac version is 457MB and can be got from mirrors at Ubisoft's Myst Worlds page, Ubisoft, Gamespot, and Gamer's Hell.

For more on Myst V read our E3 preview. Expect the game to launch sometime later this year (Q4).



New game a controversial look at the psychology of violence

At the recent Games Convention in Leipzig, German developer House of Tales unveiled the first details of its next adventure game, Overclocked.

Set in the United States, Overclocked is what Creative Director Martin Ganteföhr calls "a controversial present-day thriller game about the psychological dimensions of violence." The developer's willingness to explore such complex, mature topics will come as no surprise to those who have played their previous game, The Moment of Silence.

Although not a lot is known about the game at this early stage, House of Tales is seeking to create a "journey into character" with this new title. Featuring six playable characters, including five young people and a psychiatrist, Overclocked will utilize an innovative storytelling technique to connect the characters' stories together in a way that has a direct impact on the actual gameplay.

Like the developer's previous titles, Overclocked will feature a point & click interface with 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. However, in order to create a more dynamic, immersive gameworld, the new game will include many more technical innovations like improved lighting and real-time physics.

Though not yet finalized, a worldwide publishing deal has been agreed to in principle with a Letter of Intent already signed, and an announcement is expected from the publisher shortly.



Grab a slice of ancient secrets, Nazi mysticism and modern conspiracies

The Adventure Company has just released a playable demo of NIBIRU: Age of Secrets, giving players a first-hand look at the upcoming game.

The demo weighs in at 139 MB and can be downloaded now at: Worthplaying.

This playable section covers a slice of the game's beginning, where you, as Martin Holan, embark on a quest to unravel the truth linking the dark secrets of the Nazis and the demise of the Mayan civilization. You arrive at a highway construction site, in Bohemia, where workers have unearthed a World War II era tunnel. Who built it and for what purpose is cloaked in mystery. Luckily, you "obtained" a pass from the Director of the city's Office of Historical Monuments, which gets you past the barricades and security. Your goal? To gain full access to the newly discovered tunnel and start your search for answers.

NIBIRU is scheduled for release at the end of August 2005

For more information on this game, check out Adventure Gamers' NIBIRU preview.



Recent update shows new screenshots, some nibbles on the publisher front, and more

Autumn Moon Entertainment, developers of the upcoming 2D point-and-click A Vampyre Story, have updated their site with some choice news morsels chronicling the game's progress.

We still don’t have a deal - yet, but the prospects are looking good and we will let you know right here the instant we have signed with a publisher. I can’t give any details yet due to the standard NDAs we have to sign, but I am feeling positive that we will have a deal signed very soon. Stay tuned.

In the meantime we are testing our new engine, creating our production schedules and budgets, and have finished our first pass at the 3D Mona model, done by the VERY talented Charles Berrnaert.

The Vampyre Story website's gallery page has also been updated with some new artwork from the game, including some new screenshots, and concept art. Of note is a new screenshot of their main character rendered in realtime 3D against a 2D hand-drawn backdrop, as the screenshot is far more representational of how the final shipping game will look than any of the previous screenshots, all of which have used 2D drawn art for the characters.

Bill Tiller, the project lead on A Vampyre Story, has promised more frequent updates like this in the future as they get closer to securing a publisher and full production, so keep an eye out for that here at Adventure Gamers.



Revolution and THQ team up to continue series

In an announcement sure to thrill the many Broken Sword fans, THQ and Revolution Software revealed today that a fourth game in the highly acclaimed series is scheduled for release on PC in summer 2006.

Although originally designed as a trilogy, the latest installment is the result of an "overwhelming" demand for more adventures in the Broken Sword series. About the decision to revive the series, Revolution's Managing Director Charles Cecil said, "We were delighted to relent and are very pleased to be working with THQ again to enthrall fans and carry on innovating in the adventure genre."

Details of the new title are thin, but according to the official press release, the new game "sees unwitting hero George Stobbart fall in love with a mysterious and beautiful woman; a woman whose sudden disappearance draws him into a desperate search for a nefarious artifact of great and terrible power. Unfortunately for George, it looks like the world needs saving one more time."



Lighthouse Interactive debuts with upcoming adventure

A new publishing company has arrived on the worldwide scene and it provides an immediate impact on the adventure genre. Lighthouse Interactive, formed by several industry veterans with offices in Amsterdam and Montreal, intends to deliver "high quality games for the PC platform across Europe and to territories globally." Calling itself a "strong alternative for developers looking to bring their products to market", Lighthouse has prepared a healthy startup portfolio, and plans to publish four games within the next six months.

The good news for adventure game fans is that the company's first release will be Keepsake, by Canadian developer Wicked Studios. According to the official press release, Lighthouse holds the publishing rights for Russia and all of Europe except for French-speaking territories. Erik Schreuder, the CEO of Lighthouse, noting the importance of launching with the right title, said "Keepsake is a great adventure game with an enchanting storyline. It looks amazing and everyone can play at their own level and pace. We couldn't be more pleased with having this game kicking off our campaign."

Keepsake is a fantasy adventure that tells the story of a young woman named Lydia, who arrives at the acclaimed Dragonvale Academy only to find the acclaimed school of magic completely empty, with no sign of her friend Celeste. The only clue is a jester doll keepsake that fills Lydia's mind with strange images that seem to hold the answer to her friend's mysterious disappearance. As Lydia explores the school, she's accompanied by a dragon who has magically been turned into a wolf, and finding a way to return him to his natural form adds another element to her quest.

The game already has a scheduled release date, so look for Keepsake on October 31, 2005.

For more information about the game, be sure to read our Keepsake preview.



Verne-inspired game released ahead of schedule

In a surprise move, The Adventure Company has shipped VOYAGE, Kheops Studio's new science fiction game, in advance of its previously-announced September release date. The game shipped in North America yesterday, August 16, and should be arriving at brick & mortar stores shortly. It can also be ordered through online stores such as Amazon, and directly from the publisher.

VOYAGE, which takes place in the early 1900s, is based in part on the space-themed writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. The game follows the adventures of Michel Ardan, an explorer who has arrived on the moon to find a landscape very different than the one modern players may be expecting. Before he can return to Earth, Ardan must find a way to repair his shuttle and befriend a mysterious alien race, the Selenites.

While you're waiting for the shuttle to land in your area, you can get a feel for the gameplay by trying the official demo. Also check out Adventure Gamers' recent preview, A History of the Selenites, which features concept art to whet your appetite.



ANACONDA slithers onto publishing scene

Games publisher dtp, a prominent industry leader in the German adventure market, has announced that all future adventure and RPG games they publish will be released with a new brand called ANACONDA. The brand will be international, as dtp continues to expand its influence as a worldwide publisher.

The first titles to be published under the ANACONDA label are the German releases of 80 Days, Tony Tough 2, and Runaway 2. The initial worldwide release from ANACONDA will be Tony Tough 2, expected near the end of 2005.

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