Adventure News

June 2006



Comic adventure finds a new worldwide publisher

It's been a long time coming, but there's good news at last for anxious fans of Autumn Moon's A Vampyre Story. The developer announced today that it has signed a publisher agreement to bring the comic adventure to PC.

Although AME is keeping the identity of the publisher quiet for now, CEO Bill Tiller has confirmed that the new publisher has worldwide rights to the game, and the funding allows the team to begin full-time production. The small California-based developer plans to increase staff in the coming months to accommodate the increased workload.

Autumn Moon has been down this road with AVS before, of course, having experienced a much-publicized relationship with upstart German publisher bad brain entertainment before finally parting company over a year ago. The long wait since then had cast doubt about whether we'd ever see the game come to light, but Tiller expressed confidence and enthusiasm about AME's new partners going forward.

There's still a while to wait for fans, however, as the game is only in the final stages of pre-production, with a general target date of late next year.



Yeeeehaw! Classic adventure gaming is back

The new Al Emmo website went up last night at midnight Anozira time, providing eager fans with lots of new information about the upcoming game, plus some goodies to boot.

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine is the first commercial release from Himalaya Studios, an independent team comprised of many of the same people who made the King's Quest 1 and 2 VGA remakes. The eye-catching Flash-based website was designed by team member Eriq Chang, a long-time adventure game fan who draws much of his inspiration from the artwork of LucasArts and Sierra classics.

The site currently contains game information, screenshots, selected soundtrack MP3s, and a link to the official demo that's hosted right here at Adventure Gamers. The full game isn't available yet, but Himalaya's online store is open for pre-orders. According to a coming soon note, "behind the scenes" video featurettes will launch tomorrow. The site also features a contest in which 50 copies of the game, along with limited edition posters signed by Chang, will be given away as prizes.

So, while you're waiting for that demo to download, mosey on over to the website to see what Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine has in store for you!



Lighthouse to publish horror adventure in October

The standing stones of Barrow Hill have sure been doing a lot of travelling lately. After the recent announcement of Got Game as Barrow Hill's North American publisher, now Lighthouse Interactive has announced a publishing agreement to bring the independent horror adventure from Shadow Tor Studios to the rest of the world.

A first-person, node-based adventure described as "archeology meets adventure", Barrow Hill allows players to explore a dig site at an ancient burial grounds in the Cornish countryside. However, it seems the site is also home to a lurking danger unleashed by the archeological team that preceded you, and you'll have only a single night to overcome the barrow's curse.

The Lighthouse version of Barrow Hill will come on DVD, and the publisher is targeting a pan-European release in October.



Short LEGO game does exactly what it claims

Few underground adventure games can compete with commercial efforts when it comes to length. Instead, amateur game makers rely on uniqueness and charm to create something that is worth a little bit of players' time.

And so it is that in barely more time than it takes to read this news item, you can play Mr. Tater Gets a Soda, a Flash-based game with four screens and a grand total of two actions required to complete the epic task set before you.

The main attraction of the game is the animation. Filmed on a LEGO set with LEGO characters, stop-motion animation brings Mr. Tater to life.

The creator, KG, says he intended this as a quick test for a longer game, so hopefully there are more adventures of Mr. Tater to come. For now, Mr. Tater Gets a Soda can be played within your browser.



Large-scale, Wiki-based AGS project looking for volunteers

It's a common sight to see requests for help making a game popping up throughout the Underground community, but occasionally a request comes along that's especially notable. One such example is SPHINX, an Ancient Egypt-inspired adventure that anyone and everyone is encouraged to help make through the use of a Wiki web page.

The game is being pitched by the project leaders, well-known members of the AGS community, as "an ambitious, modern adventure game in the classic style". In SPHINX, players take the role of a travelling puppeteer and charlatan called Ravi, who arrives in the big city seeking to strike it rich. Instead, Ravi soon finds himself caught up with a group of revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the government. Meanwhile, "someone is digging up an ancient, enormous sphinx, and the statue is causing political and religious tensions to boil over. Nothing you can't deal with... until the sphinx wakes up."

Community-produced adventure games aren't themselves a new idea. The Reality-on-the-Norm games have demonstrated how successful they can be using shared resources. However, rather than creating a series of personal, shorter games that are loosely linked to an overall plot, SPHINX sets itself apart by making use of collaboration for a jointly-produced individual project. Interested parties can contribute as much or as little as time (and ability) allows to help bring the game to fruition.

Anyone wanting to know more should take a look at the Wiki set up to gather together the different aspects of production.



Yahtzee releases another 5 Days a Stranger sequel

Anyone who has watched any of the Halloween or Friday the 13th movies knows that no matter how many times the masked and seemingly supernatural serial killers are put down, they always come back.

If Yahtzee was sticking more closely to horror movie conventions, his newest game, Trilby's Notes, would have been released under the title 5 Days a Stranger III. In all other ways, the game is a true Roman numeral-style sequel to 5 Days a Stranger, and a prequel to 7 Days a Skeptic. It brings back the hero of the first game, Trilby the cat burglar. He once again has to go up against John DeFoe, the machete-wielding serial killer who wears a welder's mask and leather apron. This time, the Welder is loose in a Welsh hotel.

Gamers who don't faint at the sight of blood or text parsers can download Trilby's Notes from Yahtzee's website.



Feeble and Brandon join the crowd

The ScummVM team announced today the release of version 0.9.0 of their now famous interpreter. ScummVM makes it possible to play numerous adventure classics on a variety of operating systems and platforms, including Windows, Linux, MacOS X and several consoles and hand-held devices.

This new version adds support for Westwood's The Legend of Kyrandia (with the following games in the series forthcoming) as well as The Feeble Files from Adventure Soft. This latter addition may seem especially welcome, as the version currently sold by Adventure Soft was until now only playable under Windows 95/98.

Those two new games enter an already long list of supported games, which includes all the LucasArts adventures, Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2, Beneath a Steel Sky, Broken Sword 1 and 2, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Inherit the Earth, Gobliiins and numerous children games from Humongous Entertainment.

The new version also features an improved graphic interface, as well as bug-fixing for previously supported games. Users are encouraged to read the ReadMe file for a list of known problems as well as instructions for obtaining or re-encoding video sequences for certain games.

ScummVM is free software and can be downloaded from this page. Freeware versions of Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen can also be downloaded from there.



New teaser sets the mood for supernatural horror

North American publisher Got Game Entertainment has released a short teaser for its upcoming horror adventure Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle.

The new trailer shows a... well, a trailer (the mobile kind) from which a terrified woman's voice sets the stage for the game's creepy atmosphere. The independently produced first-person horror from Shadow Tor Studios is described as "archeology meets adventure", as players travel to a dig site at the stone circle of Barrow Hill, set deep in the Cornish countryside. This ancient burial ground, however, is home to "powerful mystic forces" that confront you as you explore the "Celtic legends which haunt the green lanes of the hill."

The new trailer is a little under 7 MB, and can be downloaded from GamersHell. If you missed it the first time, you might also want to check out the older gameplay video.



King's Quest III remade in VGA

Sierra's early graphic adventures are among the most classic of the genre. However, the text parser interface, the low resolution and the 16-color graphics can be a barrier to enjoyment for modern players.

That's where fan remakes come in. Updating the visuals and the interface to 1992 standards or thereabouts, with VGA graphics and mouse control (similar to King's Quest V or VI), the old games are new again ... or at least slightly less old.

Now the time has come for King's Quest III. The third in Roberta Williams' flagship series is remembered as far more ambitious than the first two King's Quests; a game that was ahead of its time back in 1986.

Unlike the VGA remakes of the first two games, which were made by Tierra/AGDInteractive, King's Quest III VGA is produced by a team calling themselves Infamous Adventures. However, the quality remains as high as fans of the first two installments have come to expect.

So download King's Quest III VGA, and begin the wait for the VGA remake of King's Quest IV.



Improved herb distribution allows easier potion making

After seeking player feedback in the adventure community to Daemonica, Meridian4 recently announced that a patch for its medieval murder mystery has now been released for the English version of the game.

The patch addresses two technical problems, including a rare crash sequence and an inventory bug, but the real feature of the download are the additional enhancements to the game. As one of the main complaints in Daemonica was the ability to find the rare herbs needed for making potions, the game will now provide an even distribution of herbs for much easier access. A new text font is also offered as an alternative to the default selection for those who find the original difficult to read.

The 2.8 MB patch can be downloaded directly from the Meridian4 website, or from the usual download sites like GamersHell.



Sequel to Aura gears up for fall release

There hasn't been a lot for fans of first-person, puzzle-oriented games to be excited about it recent months, but drawing closer on the horizon is The Sacred Rings. With the sequel to Aura: Fate of Ages now only a few months away, The Adventure Company has launched an official website for the game.

The new game puts players back in the familiar role of Umang, this time in a dark and uninviting world. Umang possesses a series of rings that provide the holder unlimited power and immortality, but he is pursued by an opposing clan that seek the rings for their own purposes. Through the course of over 400 locations and many challenging obstacles, Umang "must protect the Sacred Rings and return them to the Keepers... The only ones who will be able to watch over them."

The Sacred Rings website offers an assortment of information and art, including a series of developer diaries that began here at Adventure Gamers.



Bug fixes, improved cursor highlight long list of changes

There is long-overdue good news for owners of Paradise, the latest game from writer and artist Benoît Sokal, as a patch has now been released for the North American version of the game.

While drawing mixed reactions from players overall, the common experience of Paradise has been one of frustration over the number of technical problems with the game. The new patch, which will update the game to version 1.1.1, should fix many of these issues. Even better, there will now be an option to adjust the animated cursor to make it more responsive than it was in the original.

The patch is a little under 12 MB in size, and can be downloaded from sites such as 3DGamers and WorthPlaying, which also provide a complete list of bug fixes.



Got Game to release the indie horror adventure in August

Following its independent release by developer Shadow Tor Studios in April, Barrow Hill has been well-received in the adventure community. Now the game looks to get far greater exposure, as Got Game Entertainment announced today that it plans to release the game in North America as Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle.

The first-person, slideshow-style horror adventure takes place at a mysteriously abandoned archeological dig site in the Cornish countryside on the night of the Autumn Equinox. There players will "explore well trodden pathways across the land, seek clues in almost forgotten shrines, unearth ancient artifacts, and delve into the Celtic legends which haunt the green lanes of the hill."

Got Game President Howard Horowitz summed up his impressions of the game, saying, "Unlike any other game before it, Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle offers players the opportunity to get beneath the surface of archaeology... Shadow Tor has done a great job of combining archeology and adventure, but without all that dirt."

Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle will be released in August, and will retail for $19.99 (USD). For more information about the game, be sure to read our recent review. There is also a new website created by Got Game.



Teaser trailer for fan remake available

In order to quell rumours that the Quest for Glory 2 VGA remake project has been cancelled (and also "just because [they] felt like it"), AGDI have released a short trailer to showcase some parts of their upcoming game.

The trailer can be viewed in your browser with the Flash plugin on AGDI's news pages.

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