Adventure News

March 2007



Episode 5: Reality 2.0 launched today

If the first four episodes of Season 1 have made you question Sam and Max's grip on reality, the fifth episode will take them to a new reality altogether. That trip begins now, as Episode 5: Reality 2.0 has launched today on GameTap.

In this episode, a hot new video game is holding its players as virtual hostages, and it's up to Sam (+4 wisecracking modifier) and Max (hyperkinesis +832) to take their unique skills online to free the players and avert an Internet crisis in the process. This is no ordinary game, however, and the Freelance Police will need to forget the world as they know it in order to succeed in Reality 2.0.

Episode 5 will be available exclusively on GameTap for the next two weeks, where you can also see the first four episodes if you're just joining now. The new episode will be available for purchase and download directly from Telltale Games on April 12th.



New "dark afterlife comedy" casts players as a ghost

The dead just never seem to catch a break. As if being deceased wasn't bad enough, sometimes you get stuck with a lousy boss and a challenging afterlife job. That's the idea behind Ghost in the Sheet, the debut adventure recently announced by independent developer CBE.

Called a "dark afterlife comedy", Ghost in the Sheet casts players in the role of a ghost who's wrapped in a dirty old sheet and sent out on his first mission to discover why a haunted factory called "Sector Omega" was forced to stop operations. Being a specter, your talents are paranormal rather than physical, and in order to discover the factory's hidden secrets, you'll need to develop your supernatural skills. The point-and-click adventure will start players off with a basic "Telekinesis" ability, but more will be introduced as you progress, including obsure skills like "Scary Sound".

Along with its unique premise, Ghost in the Sheet promises to feature high resolution graphics, largely non-linear gameplay that lets you freely explore and solve puzzles in different order, comic-style cutscenes, and various minigames. For those concerned about the latter, CBE offers the assurance that there is no dying (what with being dead already) or timed sequences in the game.

Ghost in the Sheet is already well along in production, with the game having entered beta testing phase already. With publisher negotiations now ongoing, the developers are currently targeting a release some time in the second quarter of 2007. In the meantime, be sure to check out the game's stylish website for more information.



Animated screen pack available for download

The problem with screenshots is that static images don't do a dynamic game world justice, right? Independent developers Gey and Silvio Savarese weren't satisfied with such a limitation, so the two have released a downloadable bundle of animated screenshots from their upcoming game Anacapri: The Dream.

In Anacapri, players seek a mysterious black Obsidian Disk, a legendary artifact of dangerous power, through careful exploration of the picturesque landscapes on the Italian island of Capri. The photorealistic images offered in the screen pack are just a representative sample of the 8000-plus screens in the full game, and the added sound and animation help elevate the environments above mere postcard-like quality. The screen pack can be downloaded directly or accessed from the Downloads section of the game's official website.

Anacapri: The Dream is currently in beta testing as it progresses towards its targeted spring release. Stay tuned to Adventure Gamers for a more in-depth look at the game in the near future.



Lexicon Entertainment to publish AGON 4

With episodic gaming becoming more and more popular, less and less has been heard about AGON following the release of the first 3 episodes in the 14-part adventure series. Though its developers have maintained all along that the project was still alive, release of the fourth installment has been continually pushed back, leading to speculation that the series may be done for good. At long last, however, there's tangible news about The Lost Sword of Toledo, as Lexicon Entertainment has announced it will be publishing the game this June.

The Lost Sword of Toledo takes the intrepid Professor Samuel Hunt to the lovely Spanish city, whose calm and peaceful atmosphere is concealing some longstanding dark secrets. According to the game's recently updated website, that underlying trouble may be about to resurface when "a young man formerly known for his honesty has recently been caught stealing treasures, and now some families have renewed wounds of past grievances."

The new game promises to be much longer than the first three episodes, which were originally released only as downloads before being compiled into The Mysterious Codex. In fact, while actually the fourth episode, Private Moon is considering AGON 4 to be the second complete "game" in the series, which helps explain not only the longer development time, but also its release immediately as a full retail product by Lexicon.

Private Moon still fully intends to deliver the remainder of the series as well, though it will follow a somewhat erratic development schedule. The 14 episodes in total will be broken down into 7 full-fledged games, some of which will be larger individual adventures (like Toledo and the next adventure in the series, The Tale of the 4 Dragons in Beijing), while others will be comprised of multiple smaller episodes (like the Codex). It's a little confusing, perhaps, but for now it's good news enough to know that the series is still moving forward at all.

Lexicon will be publishing AGON: The Lost Sword of Toledo worldwide, with the exception of the US, Canada, and Russia. No plans have yet been announced for these territories, but the initial release is scheduled for June 29th.



Five puzzles await in playable sampler

The Sacred Rings is not for the faint of mind, so for those who need to ease into the challenge without hurting themselves, The Adventure Company has now released a playabe demo of the new puzzle adventure.

A sequel to Streko-Graphics' Aura: Fate of the Ages, the new first-person, point-and-click puzzler once again casts players in the role of Umang. This time around, Umang wakes up in a dark and dangerous world, where he must protect a mystical set of rings from a rival clan seeking to acquire them for their incredible power.

The demo includes the game's opening cutscene to provide the background, then leaps forward to the second chapter, where five different puzzle challenges await.

The download is a sizeable one at well over 500 MB, and can be found at sites like FileFront and GamersHell.



First AGS commercial adventure re-released; new game in production

I'm not sure where a caped crusader with a beer gut and leotards goes to hide, but it's been a while since we've seen much of Fatman, the out-of-shape superhero who debuted in 2003's The Adventures of Fatman. After becoming the first-ever commercial release made with the Adventure Game Studio engine, Fatman's retail sales were discontinued later the same year, and SOCKO! Entertainment has been quiet ever since.

It seems SOCKO! was only taking a standing eight-count, however, as the indie developer recently re-emerged with Fatman in tow, offering a Special Edition of The Adventures of Fatman and revealing plans for a new Fatman adventure later this year. The re-release is available for $14.99 (US, worldwide shipping included) from the official website, and highlights include an alternate new ending, re-mastered backgrounds, additional easter eggs, and a handful of behind-the-scenes extras.

Better yet, Fatman will be back to foil criminals and junk food once again in Fatman S.O.S. Shadowlawn's superheroes and supervillains alike are disappearing, and it's up to Fatman and his new support team of Aqua-Babe, Super-Speedy, and the Cyborg-inator to solve the mystery and restore order.

Fatman S.O.S. is currently scheduled for release near the end of 2007.



New Agatha Christie thriller due in October

Never mind the sun block. UV rays are one thing, but this year there's an even bigger Evil Under the Sun, as The Adventure Company has announced the next game in its popular Agatha Christie adventure series.

Based on the famous novel by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun will once again be developed by AWE Games and writer Lee Sheldon, who collaborated previously on And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express. In the new game, eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot returns to use his little grey cells to solve the murder of a famous actress on the tropical island where he's vacationing.

Unlike Murder on the Orient Express, which featured Poirot only as a support character, players will assume the role of Poirot himself to conduct the investigation this time around. And the playable character is not the only change featured in the game. As a result of player feedback from the previous titles, Evil Under the Sun promises to include other improvements such as "a more streamlined inventory system, character dialogue choices that will impact events as the player progresses in the game, less repetitive detective footwork, and more diverse environments and locales to explore."

Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun is currently scheduled for release on PC this October.



Micro Application announces Mozart

Micro Application has announced what they describe as "the first historical and musical game", titled Mozart. For the first time, you can step in the role as the legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Emperor's protégé, who has travelled to Prague in order to solve his money problems.

Not much has been revealed about the game's story, but according to the developer Game Consulting, Mozart will be a traditional point-and-click adventure in third-person with "exceptional graphics". The player is submerged in the historical city of Prague, with its legendary places and architecture, and as Mozart discovers the town, he has to solve musical riddles accompanied by the composer's music.

Will this be the Loom of 2007? Stay with Adventure Gamers, as we will bring more information on Mozart as it becomes available.



Online Myst continues to expand

Players of the cancelled-and-then-revived-and-renamed Myst Online: Uru Live just got new friends, as GameTap has now invited Mac users into their massive multiplayer adventure. The Mac version will be the the same game as the PC version, including all of the regularly added features, destinations, and missions, and TransGaming's Cider portability engine has been used to ensure "a fluid and harmonious experience between all players".

PC and Mac players alike can now explore the new area of Dereno that was launched last week, as the Myst Online universe and story continues to expand. Dereno is an arctic environment that features another mysterious pod for players to explore. Unfortunately, the game is still only available to GameTap subscribers in the United States and Canada and via download in select countries around the world.

To check on on availability in your area or get more information about Myst Online in general, be sure to check out the game's official website.



First episode to be digitally distributed

The Swedish independent developer Frictional Games have announced their agreement with Strategy First to digitally distribute the first of three parts of their adventure horror series, Penumbra: Overture. The game will also be distributed by Got Game in North America, if you prefer to buy a full retail version.

Penumbra: Overture will put players in direct control of your character, and use a combination of keyboard and mouse to avoid danger and interact with the game world. Players will have to take advantage of the game's physics engine in order to proceed throughout the game, providing a new and innovative way to solve puzzles and tasks in a dark, surreal world. There will be elements of action and enemies in the game, but players will be required to use one's wits, rather than brute force, to scare off enemies.

The game tells the story of Philip, who uncovers a dark world while searching for his father, presumed dead. Trapped in an underground complex below the icy wastelands of Greenland, Philip fights for his survival and sanity. Anyone wishing to try before they buy can download the demo version from the Penumbra: Overture website.



Capcom reveals first Wii-exclusive adventure

There has been much speculation on the possibilities for adventures on the Nintendo Wii, and that potential is now being explored a few months after the launch of the new console. While The Adventure Company is working on a port of And Then There Were None, Capcom has announced the development of an original, Wii-exclusive adventure with the working title Project Treasure Island Z.

Capcom is no stranger to the genre, having already released two popular Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games on the handheld DS. Now the developer is turning its sights to the distinct features of the Wii, promising "an innovative, full-length puzzle adventure game that utilizes the unique control mechanics of the Wiimote." Not much is known about the gameplay at this point, but Capcom's recent press release offered the following details:

    Legend has it that a revered pirate named Barbaros once stole the world's treasure and hid it on a mysterious island. Though no one knows of its exact location, stories about the untold riches that lay in wait have been passed down through the ages, driving pirates from all walks of life to pursue the alluring prizes. One of these treasure seekers, a young apprentice pirate named Zack happens upon a mysterious talking skull, the skull of Barbaros himself. Barbaros promises to reveal the key to the island, if Zack will help to lift the curse he is under.

    Players will explore a variety of wondrous environments and stages, solving puzzles and interacting with the world in search of vast riches and the ultimate pursuit of becoming the greatest pirate the world has ever seen. Inventive gameplay mechanics and controller movements allow players to move and open objects, transform items, unlock new pathways and navigate through perilous stages based on a variety of themes including a jungle, ice temple, volcanic caves and more, each with their own sub-areas. Players will rotate handles, turn keys to open doors, play a piccolo and much more in order to solve the progressively difficult puzzle stages and collect Barbaros's legendary treasures.

Young apprentice pirate? Talking skull? Sounds... vaguely familiar, but for all its surface similarities to classics past, Project Treasure Island Z should be an adventure like no other, and we'll be closely monitoring its progress as it works towards its projected release this fall.



And Then There Were None adapted for Nintendo's new system

And then there were two.

It was only a matter of time before adventures started making their presence felt on the Nintendo Wii, and that time is now at hand. With Capcom already at work on Project Treasure Island Z, now The Adventure Company has announced its plans to bring Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None to the Wii this November.

Based on the popular novel by the Queen of Crime, the new game will be familiar to those who played the 2005 PC version of the game. The new version uses the Wiimote controller, however, and will be adapted to take advantage of the system's unique features. According to today's press release, "players will have the freedom to control their character's actions, such as using a digging motion to unearth clues, or spinning the handle of a safe using the Wiimote; and the introduction of timed puzzles where, for example, players must race up a set of stairs from a boat docked below."

And Then There Were None casts players onto a remote island, whose guests are all accused by an anonymous host of past crimes for which justice is finally being exacted. With seemingly no one else on the island, terror and suspicion is spread among the guests as, one by one, they begin falling victim to their host's vengeful plan.



Enhanced version of popular horror releases next month

If Scratches didn't satisfy your itch for horror when it was released last year, a deeper Director's Cut may be just what you need. In April, adventure gamers in North America will get that chance, as Got Game Entertainment announced today that they'll be releasing "an even more terrifying" version of the game.

While the new release will certainly appeal to those who haven't played the initial version, Scratches: Director's Cut promises several key features that should entice even those who have already experienced the game. Highlights of the new game include "an exciting new chapter, a much rumored alternate ending, over two additional hours of gameplay, new clues, higher supported resolutions, enhanced graphics," along with an alternate control scheme and new diary observations by the playable character, Michael Arthate.

For more information about Scratches, be sure to check out our review of the original version. To find out more about the Director's Cut, drop by the official website.

Scratches: Director's Cut will retail for $19.99 (US) when it releases for PC next month. A Mac version of the game is scheduled for May.



JoWood/TAC to release Season 1 on CD this summer

Downloadable content isn't everyone's cup of tea, so for those who have held off from playing Sam & Max: Season 1 these past few months, your patience will be rewarded this summer. The Adventure Company (North America), JoWood Productions, and Telltale Games announced today that the six-episode Season 1 will be released as a retail product worldwide this August.

Currently available only through GameTap or as downloadable content purchased from Telltale, and with four of six episodes released so far, Season 1 is the long-awaited return of everyone's favourite canine shamus and hyperkinetic rabbity thing after a 13-year hiatus following the LucasArts classic Sam & Max Hit the Road. The new series consists of distinct standalone episodes with a loosely connected story arc tying each episode together.

For those who have already invested in the series, the upcoming episodes will still be available for purchase from Telltale. The new deal will simply bring the ongoing adventures of the Freelance Police to a much wider market when it hits store shelves in August.

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