Adventure News

November 2006



Situation: Comedy targets December 21 release

While Sam & Max once had a sitcom of their own, now they've got a Situation: Comedy due up next. Along with the first screenshots released, the title of episode two from the first season of Sam & Max games was one of the details revealed today by GameTap and Telltale.

Featuring several new locations and characters along with some familiar faces from Culture Shock, the new episode involves a TV talkshow host named Myra Stump, who has taken her audience hostage. This is clearly a job for the Freelance Police, who motor down to the studio, but first have to "prove they're worthy of 15 minutes of fame before they can get onto Myra's stage."

Episode 2 is currently targeting a December 21 release date exclusively on GameTap, followed by a worldwide downloadable release on Telltale's own site on January 5th.

In the meantime, there are still the promised Sam & Max machinima shorts to look forward to. The first of these is scheduled for release on GameTap today, and unveiled on Telltale's website next Monday. The following two shorts will follow the same staggered release pattern as the first.



Some new screenshots and details uncovered

Undercover: Dual Motives is the upcoming prequel for Undercover: Operation Wintersun, which is, in fact, also a upcoming game, as its English release is due out Q1 2007. As hinted from the title, Dual Motives is an adventure game for Nintendo's handheld, the Nintendo DS, which has proven to be a successful console for adventure games.

In Dual Motives, players take on the role of the British scientist Dr. John Russell, who is on a wild chase for a German nuclear bomb in the middle of WW2. Russell will be investigating a British research facility with the help of a second playable character named Audrey, the secretary of the facility's director.

The game will take advantage of the DS' touchscreen, and will present players with innovative ways to solve puzzles. For instance, the microphone can be used to blow air into a blowgun, and the unique abilities of the console's touch screen have already been explored in other adventure games for the DS, like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney and Another Code.

Undercover: Dual Motives will be released worldwide by Anaconda, starting with the German-language version in March 2007.



English release date pushed back another month

If it seems the English release of Dream of the Turtle is becoming a crawl of the turtle, news of another delay won't be welcome, but at last the end is in sight. Mere days after announcing a publisher for Runaway 2 in North America with a February release date, now publisher Focus Home Interactive has revealed on the official website that both the UK and North American versions have been pushed back a while longer.

As the game has already been released in various parts of Europe, we're waiting now only for localization, though apparently that's easier said than done. So while the new adventure for Brian and Gina and their supporting cast of bizarre characters is indeed on its way, now we can all circle March on our calendars for the English release. The game will be released by Ascaron in the UK on March 9th, and in North America by CDV on March 12th.

To help pass the time until then, be sure to check out our Runaway 2 preview.



Aussie indie Gridwerx release Croshaw's creation

Independent game developer Gridwerx have released a couple of demos of games that they've been doing as side projects while working on their main RPG Genesis. Renowned Underground developer Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw has been developing a point-and-click adventure for them with AGS. The demo of this adventure, simply titled E, is now out on their website, and they're looking for playtesters' feedback.

In the game, you play as the eponymous E, who is booted out of the house to get some sunshine by parents P and M, and from there you explore a world full of other single-charactered characters, such as girlfriend G.



Supernatural Greek thriller gets a new look online

Track7 Games, the independent developer out of Greece, have today unveiled a stylish new website for their upcoming adventure, Theseis.

A real-time 3D, direct control adventure, Theseis stars siblings Andronicus and Pheve as playable characters. Devoted to science, Andronicus is a journalist intent on exposing myths as fantasy and superstition. But when his stepfather disappears and is presumed dead, Andronicus and his feisty sister are caught up in an ever-escalating mystery lurking deep underground that will surely put those convictions to the test.

Soon to forsake debunking for spelunking, "from the hidden network of caves beneath the Greek metropolis, crawling with the remnants of a bygone age and the treasures of the past, to long lost places of legend all over Greece, Andronicus and Pheve struggle to uncover the pieces of an ancient conspiracy, kept secret through stealth and murder. But what they find could well be just the tip of the iceberg. For beneath the cover of shadows and time, a great power lay dormant, waiting for the time when it will once again come forth to the light of day."

Our Theseis preview provides a first-hand look at the game, and the new website offers plenty of additional artwork and information.



Heartland Deluxe: a panoramic conspiracy

Heartland Deluxe, an extended version of a One Room One Week contest entry from earlier in the year has been released. It features unique-for-an-AGS-game panoramic scrolling and a conspiracy theory plotline. First-person adventures are pretty rare in AGS, so if that's your cup of tea it may be worth a look.

In Heartland you play as David Lawson, reporter, going to the apartment of R J Coombs, local nut and all-round weirdo, after Coombs leaves a note at the offices of the City Pursuer newspaper. Upon arriving, Lawson finds Coombs is missing and sets about piecing together the clues he finds in the apartment.

More information is available on the AGS forums.



Delaware St. John Volume 3 to be published by Lighthouse Interactive

The third game in the popular Delaware St. John series is set to be published by Lighthouse Interactive sometime in Q1 2007. Developer Big Time Games will no longer be distributing the game independently in November as previously intended, now focusing on a January release instead.

Lighthouse have also signed publication rights for the two previous adventure games Delaware St. John: Volume 1: The Curse of Midnight Manor and Delaware St. John: Volume 2: The Town with No Name, for retail release in territories such as North-America, United Kingdom and Ireland, Benelux, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia/New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece and South Africa.

Delaware St. John: Volume 3: The Seacliff Tragedy centres around an abandoned amusement park which was closed four years earlier after a collapse killed more than a hundred people. Mysterious creatures known as Shadow People haunt the area, and it is up to Delaware and his partner Kelly Bradford to fend off these demons while uncovering the hidden secrets of the park and its dark past. Gadgets such as an VIC (Voice/Imagery Communicator) can be used to take pictures or record sounds and an EMF counter can be used by Kelly to track paranormal activity. Delaware's psychic visions will also be a useful tool during the investigation.

For more information, visit the game's official website.



New Agatha Christie mystery released

Agatha Christie fans and amateur sleuths will soon be making tracks in another whodunit, as The Adventure Company has recently released Murder on the Orient Express in North America.

Based on the renowned Christie novel, but offering a different solution to maintain the suspense for those familiar with the book, the new third-person, point-and-click adventure casts players in the role of a train employee, Antoinette Marceau. A fan of mysteries herself, Antoinette soon finds herself attempting to solve a shocking murder aboard the '30s-era luxury train bound for London from Istanbul. Fortunately, one of passengers from among the game's 25 different characters is none other than Hercule Poirot, who will guide Antoinette throughout her investigation. Poirot is voiced by David Suchet, an actor widely acclaimed for his many television portrayals of the famed Belgian detective.

Helping players to quickly navigate the train, Murder on the Orient Express promises a handy map system that allows instant movement from one rail car to another. But when Antoinette must venture out of Orient Express, the treacherous weather conditions will provide an additional challenge to her investigation.

For more information about Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, head on over to the official website, and take a peek at our preview of the game.



Details sketchy, but Funcom confirms Internet plans

With six years separating The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and with the cliffhanger ending of the latter begging for a concluding installment, there has been much concern among adventure fans about the completion of the series. Will it take another six years? Will it happen at all? While writer and director Ragnar Tornquist has offered repeated assurance that the story would be finished in one form or another, there has been no firm indication of Funcom's plans so far.

Now, however, an intriguing detail in the company's third quarter report has offered the first hint about the future of the franchise, or at least one future of it. Listed under the current highlights for Dreamfall are "Online demo version being developed" and "Planning future online expansions of universe". When asked for comment, Tornquist confirmed that there are indeed "plans" for the franchise that are "online-related", but he declined to elaborate with more concrete details.

No doubt this will spark speculation that Funcom, the company behind the MMOs Anarchy Online and the upcoming Age of Conan and The World Online, have decided to turn the world(s) of Dreamfall into a similar online-only, multiplayer project. As players of the TLJ games already know, the environments of Stark and Arcadia are well-developed conceptually, and could very easily play host to additional adventures in that universe. However, at this point such a conclusion is still nothing more than conjecture. Although more of a stretch, another possibility based on such vague wording could be an episodic approach using digital distribution, an idea that Tornquist has explored and supported in his personal blog. It should also be noted that the new project has not been established as "TLJ3", meaning the current plans are not necessarily exclusive of a final standalone game that concludes the story begun in The Longest Journey.

So what we don't know still far outweighs what we do, and plans are ever subject to change, so fans would do well to separate rumour from fact. But for now it's encouraging to hear that Funcom is actively pursuing plans for the franchise at all, and we'll be sure to keep our eye on any further developments.



CDV to distribute the next adventure of Brian and Gina

Runaway 2: Dream of the Turtle is off and running in various parts of Europe, and while English speaking players will need to wait a while longer, publisher Focus Home Interactive has just announced that the highly-anticipated comic adventure sequel will be released in North America on February 12, 2007.

If there's a surprise in the announcement, it's that distribution will be handled by CDV USA, a company renowned for its strategy titles rather than its interest in the adventure genre.

The new game once again joins Brian and Gina on a zany adventure... or at least, it does until they're separated and Gina disappears, a scenario sure to be familiar to fans of the original Runaway. As players "travel the world, from Alaska and Hawaii to the depths of the sea and the sky above", Dream of the Turtle promises the same kind of graphically-rich, point-and-click goodness as its predecessor as it "pays homage to all that was great about the glory days of graphical adventure games."

For more information about Runaway 2, be sure to check out the game's official website. The game is currently scheduled for release by Ascaron Entertainment in the UK in January 2007.



The Awakened set to release in March 2007

It may take him a while to cross the ocean, but Sherlock Holmes will be coming to North America after all. While The Awakened is scheduled for release in the UK in January, publisher Focus Home Interactive announced today that the game will be released in North America in March 2007.

The third Holmes adventure from Frogwares, The Awakened sees Holmes and his trusty assistance Watson once again embroiled in a mystery that only the great detective could solve (with a little help from the player). The game will have a much darker theme than the previous Frogwares titles, and promises to be a fight between the rational and supernatural, as this time around Holmes will be up against a cult of Cthulhu, the creation of famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Presented in full 3D but using a point-and-click interface, The Awakened will take players through London, a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland, various stops in the United States, and Scotland.

For more information about Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, check out the official website, which now includes a new trailer for the game. And if you happen to speak German or simply can't resist anything-Holmes, there is also a whopping 700 MB playable German demo available at FileFront and other standard download sites.



Carte Blanche to release November 24th in Europe

What's black and white and gold all over? That would be the gold master disc of Carte Blanche: For a fistful of teeth, which has now been sent for duplication in preparation for its release in Europe on November 24th.

The quirky new episodic adventure from Absurdus, the developers responsible for Eye of the Kraken, is set in 1920s Montreal and shown entirely in black and white. Players control Edgar Delacroix as he begins his career as a private investigator. In addition to traditional adventure game elements like questioning characters and scouring crime scenes for clues, players must also train Edgar in various "proficiencies", adding an additional layer of roleplaying that should let players personalize their approach in later installments.

For more information about Carte Blanche, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview of the game.



"Project X" trailer quietly released

Infamous Adventures, the team behind the VGA remake of King's Quest III and the forthcoming Quest for Glory spinoff Quest for Infamy, has posted a link to a trailer for a new game on its site.

The trailer for the game--known for now as Project X--features little more than background art, character sketches, and shots of sprites and the game's AGS code.

Hosted on YouTube, the trailer can be watched here.



Alternate ending, bug fixes now offered internationally

Following the recent release of a German language patch for Secret Files: Tunguska, publisher Deep Silver has now released an international version. The new patch is offered in one download, and updates the game to version 1.02 for releases in the UK, Italy, France, Poland and North America.

The download is a sizable one at 240 MB, but as with the German version before it, several entirely new features are included. Along with an assortment of technical fixes, the patch offers an alternative ending to the original, including a movie-style "what happened to..." summary of the game's characters. For those who have already played or started the game, it is not necessary to replay the game to see it, as loading an existing save will allow access to the new ending. Another new feature provided in the patch is a cutscene viewer, available to players after completing the game and the final credits have rolled.

The new patch can be found at Deep Silver's official download page.

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