Adventure News

January 2006



Packaged version of Out from Boneville now available

For gamers who just can't warm up to a download, or for those stuck with hopeless dial-up connection speeds, Telltale Games is offering some welcome news. Today the developer announced that a packaged version of Out from Boneville is now available.

Priced at $24.99 (USD) and packaged in a DVD slipcase, the game comes with the MP3 soundtrack and digital colletor cards. Available only through Telltale Now, the game is also being offered for only $4.99 for those who bought the download version on or before January 26, 2006. To receive the discount, simply use the order number received in the initial order confirmation email as the Promo Code. This offer expires February 28, 2006.

Out from Boneville, the first installment of Jeff Smith's popular comic series, tells the tale of three Bone cousins who get kicked out of their hometown, separated and lost, and must find each other in a journey filled with talking bugs, a red dragon, and of course, quiche-eating rat creatures. The second episode in the series, The Great Cow Race, is due for release this spring.



Applications due February 1st

Himalaya Studios is looking for help beta testing the western-themed Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine. Although this is Himalaya's first commercial game, you may be familiar with the team's work from their fan-made King's Quest 1 and 2 remakes.

Himalaya has posed the following questions to potential testers:

-Do you have a tendency to interact with everyone and everything in an environment?

-Do you tend to play a game in a way it's NOT meant to be played?

-Do you like to break things?

-Do you feel a need to correct other peoples spelling and grammer? Did you find the spelling and grammar mistake in the previous sentence?

If you'd like to participate, Himalaya requests that you submit your answers, along with additional personal information, by February 1st. See the full guidelines here. Successful applicants will receive a free copy of the game upon release, as well as a mention in the credits.

After several years in production, Al Emmo is scheduled for release this year. To learn more about the game, please read our in-depth preview.



Operation Dorian Gray to be dubbed Crime Stories in North America

In an announcement that is sure to please many North American adventure gamers, The Adventure Company has revealed plans to ship Crime Stories on March 14. Never heard of it? That's because up until now, the game has been known as Martin Mystère: Operation Dorian Gray. It was released with this title in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe last year, and until today's announcement, prospects of a North American release appeared grim.

Martin Mystère, the game's protagonist, is an investigator who has appeared in Italian comic books and other media since the early 80s. In Crime Stories, he is tasked with solving the murder of well-known scientist Professor Eulemberg. The game features 3D characters on stylish 2D backgrounds, and employs a third-person perspective and a point & click interface.

While you're waiting for Martin's arrival on North American shores, learn more about the game in Adventure Gamers' preview and review.



Get ready to experience The Secrets of Da Vinci in April

Nobilis announced today that the upcoming Da Vinci Experience has been renamed The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript. The game is nearing completion and will be released in April 2006. Nobilis holds the game's worldwide publishing rights.

Although not an adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling The Da Vinci Code, the game will deal with similar subject matter as the player puzzles through enigmas hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci's work. The game will be in first-person perspective, using the same engine as last year's ECHO: Secrets of the Lost Cavern and VOYAGE.

As those games were, The Secrets of Da Vinci is being developed through a partnership among several development houses. The team includes Kheops Studio, Mzone Studio, Totem Studio, and Elektrogames. Keep your eye on Adventure Gamers to learn more about this title as it becomes available.



Vote for future titles in the Agatha Christie game series

The Adventure Company has posted an online questionnaire to gather information from purchasers of And Then There Were None. In exchange for participating, each respondent receives a 15% discount for The Adventure Company's online store.

The questionnaire collects market data, such as your age and where you purchased And Then There Were None. You'll also pick three books you'd like to see adapted for a future Agatha Christie game, and acknowledge your favorite detective (Inspector Poirot or Miss Marple).

And Then There Were None, which was released in North America in October and is scheduled to arrive in Europe next month, is the first of a proposed series of Agatha Christie adventure games. To learn more about the game, see our recent review.



Three minutes of footage now available for download

Lighthouse Interactive released today a trailer from Keepsake, their upcoming fantasy adventure. The trailer ticks in at 48Mb, and gives an introduction to the mystery of the medieval magic school of Dragonvale.

Keepsake tells the story of Lydia, a new apprentice at the Academy of magic. Expecting to meet up with an old friend, Lydia discovers that something is terribly amiss when she discovers that the campus is deserted. The only trace is an old puppet, a keepsake she once gave her friend, lying on the floor. Along with Zak, an enchanted wolf who is actually a dragon, Lydia sets out to uncover the mystery of Dragonvale, and to find her missing friend.

The magical adventure is due for release next month. In the meantime, check out the game's trailer here.



German demo fully playable in English

A German demo was recently released for the comedy adventure Ankh. With the full game already available in Germany, this appeared at first to be a case of the rich getting richer, and the rest of the world still locked out. Not so, however. The demo includes a hidden treasure in English if you know where to look.

Assuming you can "Weiter" and "Fertig stellen" your way through the initial German installation, the language can be configured to English by changing the "Ankh.ini" file (in the Media folder). Simply change the setting from "language=1" to "language=0", and you'll be off to ancient Egypt with full English voices and subtitles.

The demo itself weighs in at approximately 63 MB, and can be downloaded from GamersHell. The playable section sees the game's protagonist, young Assil, looking to charter a boat, only to find himself dumped overboard, where his challenges include a hostile crocodile and sunken pirate loot.

Ankh is due for release in English early next month. For more information about the game, check out our recent interview with the game's project leader.



North American release date moved up

The Adventure Company announced today that the North American release date for their upcoming Keepsake has been moved from March to February. The Canadian fantasy adventure has already been released in Germany, and is also scheduled for a UK release in February.

Keepsake tells the story of Lydia, a new apprentice at the Dragonvale Academy of magic. Upon her arrival at the school, Lydia discovers that something is terribly amiss, and finds that the campus is deserted. Accompanied by Zak, the charmed dragon, Lydia must overcome the tasks that lie ahead, uncover the mystery of Dragonvale Academy and find her missing best friend.

Keepsake hits North American and UK store shelves next month.



Aspyr Media to release TLJ sequel

Funcom made a somewhat surprising announcement today in revealing that Aspyr Media will be the North American publisher for Dreamfall, the highly-anticipated sequel to The Longest Journey.

Aspyr, a publisher more renowned for producing Mac titles, is making its first PC foray into the adventure genre with Dreamfall. Saying there's "nothing like it in the market place," Aspyr president Michael Rogers enthusiastically describes Dreamfall as "the next generation of adventure games." According to Rogers, Aspyr's interest in the game began the first time they saw it, as they were "captivated by the art direction, pulled in by the gripping storyline, and impressed by its sophisticated gameplay variety."

As most Adventure Gamers readers will know, Dreamfall returns players to the world(s) first explored with April Ryan in TLJ. Taking place a decade later, the sequel promises that "not only will those who enjoyed the first game find out what really happened to April, new players can start afresh by following the new protagonist, Zoe Castillo, as she becomes involved in a conspiracy threatening the very future of mankind."

Dreamfall is scheduled for release on PC and Xbox in spring 2006.