Adventure News

March 2006



One hour timed segment offers online purchase option

Canadian publisher Meridian4 today released a demo of its unique murder mystery, Daemonica.

The download includes the full game, and the demo provides a one-hour playable period with an online purchase option to unlock the remainder of the game. While Daemonica is available as a retail boxed product in North America, the game currently has no UK publisher, making the online distribution a chance for international gamers to play the game. (Addendum: Unfortunately, the option to unlock the full game is not available for gamers outside North America.)

Daemonica closely resembles an RPG in its presentation, but is predominantly a 3D adventure with only a small amount of simple combat. Using a keyboard/mouse combination, Daemonica casts the player in the role of Nicholas Farepoynt, a "Beast Hunter" whose ability to speak with the dead brings him to a small town to investigate the murder of a young woman. There he'll find the murder is only the beginning of a much darker supernatural mystery.

The Daemonica demo clocks in at almost 400 MB, and can be downloaded from standard download sites like GamersHell and 3D Gamers.

For more information about the game, take a look at our hands-on preview.



Download carries virus alert, but this time it's a good thing

For those who have been looking for something a little different, you'll find what you're looking for and more in the new demo released for Pathologic.

The surreal adventure with elements of survival horror, simuation, and RPGs takes place in a town infected by a deadly plague. In the demo, you'll assume the role of the "Haruspicus" (a kind of half surgeon/half sorcerer), one of the game's three playable characters. Arriving in town to a rather unpleasant welcome, the Haruspicus soon finds himself confronted not only by the disease itself, but by a frightened and hostile community who doesn't recognize the true enemy. The demo begins after being cleared of most of the town's suspicions, but you'll need to watch your character's reputation level, along with his various physical conditions.

Dial-up users need not apply, as the demo weighs in at almost 700 MB at sites like 3D Gamers and GamersHell.

For more information about this unique game, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview. At present, the only English release is in the UK, being distributed by GMX Media. However, Russian publisher Buka Entertainment is still looking for an international partner to infect North American shores with Pathologic at some point in future.



Navigation feature highlights latest patch update

Lighthouse Interactive today released a new patch for its fantasy adventure, Keepsake. Along with addressing a few more stability issues since the last update, the new version also includes an in-game map, which should prove helpful to anyone who has started roaming the enormous Dragonvale Academy and promptly gotten lost.

The new patch updates the game to version 1.5, and separate downloads are available for the UK, Dutch, German, and Italian versions. As with the first patch released, the latest update does not apply to the North American version published by The Adventure Company.

The hefty 30 MB UK patch is available for download at sites like 3D Gamers and GamersHell.



Free emulator adds many new improvements

Don't throw out all those old DOS classics you thought were now obsolete, as an improved version of DOSBox has now been released.

Many retro gamers are already familiar with DOSBox, the OpenSource program that emulates an Intel x86 PC, allowing older games to be played on current hardware and operating systems. The previous version of DOSBox, released back in 2004, has reportedly been downloaded over two million times. Not willing to rest on their laurels, however, its creators have continued to enhance the program to improve stability and performance.

The new version, 0.65, offers a variety of modifications, which for the technically-minded can be read here. For those who just care about getting hold of the best version of DOSBox yet, swing on by the official site to grab the appropriate download for your operating system.



Enhanced version ships earlier than expected

The Adventure Company made a surprise announcement today in revealing that Keepsake had shipped to retailers in North America.

After the game debuted in Europe late last month, TAC opted to hold back its own release of the fantasy adventure in order to update the game with various enhancements. Among the highlights of this version are new voiceovers and an in-game map to help with navigating through the immense Dragonvale Academy. The original projected date was still several weeks off, so today's news arrived much earlier than expected.

A third-person point & click adventure, Keepsake casts the player in the role of a young woman named Lydia. Arriving on her first day at an acclaimed school of magic, Lydia finds the entire building deserted, with only a few clues and an abandoned keepsake belonging to her childhood friend to guide her. With the help of a quirky talking wolf named Zak, who clearly has secrets of his own, Lydia must delve into "the mystery behind the strange disappearances, the beloved keepsake, and the treachery that lurk the halls of the prestigious Academy."

For more information about Keepsake, check out our recent hands-on preview, though keeping in mind that the key criticisms have since been addressed.



The demons are being unleashed in North America

Meridian4 today announced that Daemonica, RA Images' new murder mystery, has shipped, and is now available in stores and for online distribution.

The game puts players in the role of Nicholas Farepoynt, an investigator who can talk to the dead. As he investigates the murder of a young girl, Farepoynt discovers that the town of Cavorn is starting to slip into insanity as the result of a long-forgotten secret awakening.

Judging from the game's screenshots, one could mistake Daemonica for a typical Diablo clone. Although the game does contain a small amount of fighting, Daemonica's story and core gameplay are still those of an adventure, according to our recent [url=/articles/view/17916



An educational adventure in medieval Ireland

Star Cave Studios have released an interactive educational adventure tour, Camelot Galway.

The game gives you a chance to visit Ireland in the year 1651 and gather clues as to the wherabouts of hidden pages for eight books of Irish folklore. In addition the player can help citizens with solving different tasks, play mini-games to earn money (required to buy some of the hidden pages) and learn more about Irish culture through exploring the town of Galway.

The game is available for sale at the official site, where you can also read more about the game.



Release date set for April 17th in North America

The long anticipated arrival of Dreamfall is at last close at hand, as publisher Aspyr Media announced today that the game has gone gold in North America. Developed for both Xbox and PC, Dreamfall is scheduled to release on April 17th.

Dreamfall is the sequel to The Longest Journey, one of the most popular and successful point & click adventures in recent years. The new game boldly leaves behind the interface of its more traditional predecessor, presenting a fully interactive world (or three worlds, to be precise) in full 3D. Dreamfall promises plenty of variety, with three playable characters, optional control schemes, and the ability to choose paths and strategies that will affect the gameplay experience.

The controllable characters include TLJ's April Ryan, along with a new female protagonist, Zoë Castillo, and a mysterious character named Kian. Each character has their own unique abilities, and players will guide all three to discover how their destinies are bound together.

For more information about Dreamfall, take your pick from our extensive coverage of the game during its development.



New movie steers attention to The Great Cow Race

The Great Cow Race took its mark earlier this week with five gameplay videos, and now gets set with a new theatrical trailer from developer Telltale Games.

Available in three different sizes, ranging from 43 to 122 MB, the new video shows some impressive glimpses into the second episode of Bone. Promising to be "the game that has it all", The Great Cow Race looks poised to better its predecessor in every way, and should give fans of the first game plenty to ruminate about until Telltale shouts "Go!" some time in April.

The new trailer can be downloaded from FileFront.

For more information about Bone and The Great Cow Race, be sure to check out our recent preview of the game.



Renamed Martin Mystère adventure finds an online home

With the game hitting North American store shelves right about... now, The Adventure Company has unveiled the official website for Crime Stories.

Based on the popular comic book character, the third-person point & click adventure was originally released in the UK last year under the name Martin Mystère: Operation Dorian Gray. The North American version is virtually the same game, but with all-new voice acting and a few minor enhancements.

In the game, the enigmatic Mystère is called in to investigate the murder of a reputed scientist. With the help of his wife and his Neanderthal companion, Java, Mystère must uncover the secret research that motivated the murder in an investigation that takes the detective on an intriguing but dangerous globetrotting adventure.



IF web magazine names the best of 2005

News for interactive fiction lovers here, as XYZZYnews, one of the best-known news websites in the field, has announced the winners of its awards for 2005.

Leading the pack with four of the ten awards was Jason Devlin's Vespers - a monastery-set game with multiple endings - which was also the winner of this year's Annual Interactive Fiction Competition, while group effort Beyond triumphed in the "best story" and "best individual puzzle" categories.

For more details the list of winners and the list of finalists are both available over at the XYZZYnews site. Many congratulations to all the winners!



Telltale's latest 3D adventure now available in North America

Ubisoft has announced that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: 3 Dimensions of Murder, otherwise known as CSI 3, has shipped to North American stores and should be available at the estimated retail price of $29.99. The game is developed by the former LucasArts employees at Telltale, and is said to improve on the design concepts of the previous CSI games by featuring an all-new 3D engine and by adding more interactivity to the gameplay.

CSI 3 takes players back to Las Vegas, putting them alongside Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the original cast to help solve intense cases and investigate crimes, once again using cutting-edge techniques and forensic equipment.

The game is due out in UK and other parts of Europe next friday.



Five gameplay videos available for newest Bone episode

In anticipation of the upcoming release of The Great Cow Race, developer Telltale Games has released a set of five videos that show the second episode of the Bone series in action. The new movies feature Fone, Phoney, and Smiley Bone, as well as the lovely (and slightly remodelled) Thorn, and a suspicious-looking patchwork cow.

The trailers are available in a 119 MB bundle from GamersHell or individually from WorthPlaying.

For fans more into audio than video, Telltale has also released the first three music tracks from the new game. The tracks are available in MP3 format directly from the Telltale website.

The Bone name should need no introduction by this point, of course, but in case you've been held prisoner by rat creatures for the last year, the episodic series of 3D adventures is an adaptation of Jeff Smith's beloved comic series. Having been cast out of their hometown and separated in episode one, the three Bone cousins meet up with an unusual cast of characters while a sinister but still mysterious subplot takes shape around them. The new episode sees the cousins reunited in the town of Barrelhaven, whose citizens are anxiously anticipating the annual cow race. For information about episode two, be sure to read our hands-on preview.

For background information about the Bone comic series, you might want to check out an interview with Jeff Smith, who talks about his creation.

The Great Cow Race is charging down the home stretch in preparation for an April release.



The Secrets of Da Vinci developer wants to know what you like

Kheops Studio, developer of VOYAGE, ECHO: Secrets of the Lost Cavern, and the upcoming The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript, is asking what adventure gamers want to see in their games. To find out, the developer has posted a detailed user survey on their website.

CEO Benoit Hozjan hopes fans will use the survey to provide feedback on what they like and dislike in Kheops' games and in adventure games in general. "We always try to look at forums and reviews to improve our games," Hozjan says. "We hope that adventure gamers will follow us. The more answers we have, the better it will be for us to analyze their expectations."

The survey includes some technical questions about users' computers and Internet connections. However, the bulk of the survey focuses on the playing experience through questions about your use of hints and game manuals, your preferred interface, and what type of game universe you want to explore. The survey also features specific questions about each of Kheops' previous games, for those who played them.

Kheops has released five adventure games since its inception in 2004, and is expected to release three more this year. The company has shown a willingness to respond to fan feedback in the past, so now's your chance to help shape their future projects.

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