Adventure News

April 2007



Online surveillance begins for unique upcoming adventure

The power is on, and all systems are go for Experience112, as the official website for the game has recently been launched.

Experience112 is an experimental adventure that removes the direct element of control. Instead, players find themselves in the control room of a dilapidated old ship, where they see a young woman trapped in her room through a surveillance camera. Professor Lea Nichols needs your help to escape through the ship, but you can only do it from afar using the sophisticated ship controls immediately available to you, and though you can hear her, she can't hear you, so your influence must be indirect. There are many obstacles and dangers, however, and along the way, you'll also need to discover why both Nichols and yourself are there.

The website offers a trailer that can be either streamed or downloaded, along with the usual assortment of artwork and some additional information about the characters involved in the story.

To read more about Experience112, be sure to check out our preview of the game. The game is currently scheduled for a spring release, though no firm details have yet been revealed about an English language version.



Her Interactive offers plenty of news about both upcoming mysteries

With the 16th and 17th Nancy Drew PC mysteries due out in the coming months, Her Interactive has recently released additional information about the games, along with a video trailer for each, and a playable demo of the first.

In June, Nancy takes off for a (literally) chilling adventure in the Canadian Rockies in The White Wolf of Icicle Creek. A series of unexplained accidents is devastating the lodge, with each incident occurring just after the appearance of a mysterious wolf, whose nighttime howls further terrorize the guests. At the request of Chantal, the lodge owner, Nancy is called in to investigate the trouble, going undercover as a maid and chef to give her plenty of access to the hotel and guests.

As soon as she arrives, an explosion destroys a bunkhouse, and "Nancy soon discovers there is a dangerous plot afoot that could have international repercussions. Will she discover the source of the sabotage before someone becomes seriously injured? And will the lone howling wolf turn out to be friend or foe?" To answer these questions, players will need to work through a wide variety of puzzles, face dangerous situations like jumping ice flows and escaping a sauna, and engage in a "wonderland of activities", including such things as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

Following her summer in the snow, Nancy is off to New Orleans in October to tackle the Legend of the Crystal Skull. Along with her friend Bess, Nancy is heading to the Big Easy for a vacation. But where Nancy goes, mystery is sure to follow, and sure enough, Nancy finds a new adventure when she meets a friend of Ned Nickerson, Henry Bolet Jr. Henry's grandfather Bruno has recently died, but Bruno possessed a powerful crystal skull that was said to protect its owner against death by any natural causes. And so it's up to Nancy and Bess to figure out whether Bruno was murdered.

That's right, this time around, Bess joins the adventure as a playable character. While Nancy explores the Bolet mansion, Bess is off to the French Quarter. Between the two of them, players will need to do plenty of exploring, including finding the way through a swampy cemetery and infiltrating a secret society. They'll also need to outwit Bruno's pets, as his iguana, spider, and alligator threaten to devour the key clues the girls need to solve the mystery.

For more about The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, be sure to check out the game's official website, where you can also download a 235 MB demo of the game. To stream or download the 104 MB trailer for the game, head on over to FileFront, which also hosts the 4 MB teaser for The Legend of Crystal Skull.

Update: The demo has temporarily been removed from the Her Interactive website. In the meantime, it can still be downloaded from Gamespot.



Season finale launched today exclusively on GameTap

With five successful episodes already in the books, today the much-anticipated finale of Sam & Max: Season 1 has been launched exclusively on GameTap.

The release of Episode 6: Bright Side of the Moon marks the end of the comic crimefighters' battle to save the world from an ongoing plot to hypnotize its populace. In the new episode, Sam & Max lift off on their most ambitious adventure to date, as they travel to the moon to confront the nefarious (naturally!) mastermind behind it all.

All six episodes of Season 1 are now available on Turner's popular broadband network, and anyone in Canada and the United States can subcribe to GameTap for only 99 cents for the first month. For those waiting on the downloadable retail version of Bright Side of the Moon, the game is currently scheduled for release from Telltale on May 10th.



Barwood, Falstein provide story for new game

Stop the music, the secret is out! According to dtp/ANACONDA, the legendary Mata Hari will soon be starring in her own self-titled adventure.

Set in Europe in the early 20th century, Mata Hari is a classic point-and-click adventure based on the life of the Dutch woman who rose to prominence as an exotic Oriental dancer. In the game, as in her real life as a courtesan, "her daring dancing shows attract influential gentlemen from the realms of industry and politics, amongst these the attractive Swiss Oscar Samsonet. He quickly realizes that this exotic beauty can be ideally used to realize his aims. Lured by her taste for adventure and the prospect of making a fast buck, Mata Hari becomes a spy. She uncovers highly sensitive military secrets using her finesse, charm and seductive skills. She thereby gets caught between the fronts: The Entente ran a frantic arms race with the Central Powers, World War I is threatening on the horizon."

The story and game design for Mata Hari are provided by Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein, who are no strangers to the genre, having been involved in the Indiana Jones games The Fate of Atlantis and The Last Crusade with LucasArts many years ago. The actual development of the game is being done by the Hanover-based 4Head Studios.

Mata Hari will be released worldwide by ANACONDA, and the game is currently scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2008 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.



Underground adventure looks back in time

If I told you about a humorous cartoon adventure where you visit the same house in different time periods, your first thought might not be Dr. Lutz and the Time Travel Machine. However, the recently released Underground game by Pijin Pastrana is more than just a tribute to Day of the Tentacle, it is a game well worth playing in its own right.

The eccentric inventor Dr. Lutz has just completed his time machine, and is ready to go back to the age of the dinosaurs in order to prove his theory of their extinction. Of course, something goes wrong, and Lutz has to explore different time periods and scavenge for parts to get his machine working again. Otherwise he'll be hopelessly stranded in time, and he hasn't even had his lunch!

The detailed cartoon graphics are beautifully complemented by a jaunty soundtrack by Greg Schlaepfer. Dr. Lutz and the Time Machine can be downloaded from here (12.5 MB).



Popular TV cartoon character to star in "interactive story" this fall

It was inevitable, really, that the Phoenix Wright series would inspire other games seeking to capitalize on the success of the quirky courtroom drama. That time has now arrived with Capcom's recent announcement of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, coming this fall to the Sony PlayStation 2 and PSP in North America.

Those who watch the popular television cartoon will need no introduction to Harvey, but for those not familiar with the name, Harvey Birdman is a third-rate superhero who's become a third-rate lawyer. With contributions from writers of the TV show, Capcom describes the game as "primarily an interactive story that the player participates in, rather than a challenge-based game that needs to be won. Each case is a self-contained story, incorporating the characters, settings, and most importantly, the off-beat humor that Harvey Birdman fans have come to expect."

Throughout the game, players will guide Harvey through a series of bizarre cases in which he must "explore the scene of the crime, gather evidence, talk with other cartoon characters, occasionally have drinks with opposing council, and of course, tear holes -- no matter how ridiculous -- in the testimony provided by the witnesses for the prosecution."

That Capcom (the developers of Phoenix Wright) is behind the new project should come as no surprise, but Sony's interest in licensing the game certainly is, so hopefully Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law represents the beginning of a broader, more genre-friendly strategy for Sony going forward.

For more detailed information about the television series, be sure to check out the Harvey Birdman website.



Playable sampler released for Ankh sequel

The English release of Ankh: Heart of Osiris is still a month away, but it's now time for some early fun in the sun and sand, as UK publisher Xider has released a playable demo for its upcoming comic adventure.

A sequel to the original Ankh from Deck 13, Heart of Osiris once again takes players back to a cartoony, highly-stylized ancient Egypt. Many familiar faces return, including Assil, Thara, and the Pharaoh, all of whom are playable characters in the new game. This time around, our heroes will need to overcome an odd (what else!) assortment of obstacles to prevent Osiris from reclaiming his heart and returning to the land of the living.

The demo is taken from the second chapter of the game, putting players in the shoes of Thara, who must sneak into the Pharoah's palace to retrieve a valuable trophy. The download is just over 200 MB, and can be found at sites like GamersHell and FileFront. Note that the demo requires an email address to activate.



Capcom announces third installment coming to DS in September

The decision to port a third installment of the popular Phoenix Wright series to the Nintendo DS proved to be no contest for Capcom, and the publisher announced yesterday that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -- Trials and Tribulations will be coming to North America this September.

Following the success of Ace Attorney and Justice for All, the new game will once again cast players in the role of Phoenix Wright, an awkward but spunky defense lawyer whose clients always face seemingly insurmountable evidence. This time around, players will also get to play as Phoenix's mentor Mia Fey, as Trials and Tribulations explores "both the past and present of the idiosyncratic lawyer" in what Capcom calls "the completion of Phoenix Wright's story".

In Trials and Tribulations, "Phoenix will face the toughest prosecutor yet as the mysterious hard-boiled 'Godot' will try to take him down at any cost. The complete story of Phoenix Wright comes together as truths are revealed in twisting storylines and intriguing gameplay. Players must collect evidence, survey crime scenes, weed through inconsistent testimonies, and overcome corrupt agendas to ensure that justice prevails."

A trailer of the upcoming game has also been released, which you can stream at IGN.



Alternate date and location considered as original plans cancelled

Back in February, news of an adventure convention planned for Las Vegas this summer was announced, with popular names like Jane Jensen and Al Lowe being featured as headlining attractions. Since then, the organizers have reconsidered the logistics of AdventureCon as originally planned, and recently pulled the plug on those arrangements.

Citing such factors as costly airfare for patrons and conflict with the Games Convention for publishers, the choice of both Vegas and August presented some unavoidable obstacles for AdventureCon, causing the decision to step back. According to the AdventureCon website, however, the event itself has not been cancelled, but simply sent back to the drawing board for an alternate date and location. No firm details have yet been confirmed for the next iteration, though September in Atlantic City has been mentioned as the primary option at this stage.

For more details about the decision to re-organize AdventureCon, be sure to check out the official FAQ.



Swashbuckling comic adventure on course for Q3 release

Step aside, Johnny Depp. There's a new "Captain Jack" on the scene, albeit on a much smaller screen. We haven't heard much of Jack Keane of late, but there's good news from 10tacle today, as the publisher has announced the launch of the game's website.

Set in the early Colonial era, the comic point-and-click adventure from Deck 13 casts players in the titular role on a mission to escort a British secret agent to the mysterious Tooth Island. But when Keane's ship is destroyed, a new adventure awaits him as he's left to deal with the island's mysteries on his own. The ruthless Doctor T controls the island with the aid of his trained monkeys and man-eating plants, and has now set his sights on larger conquests. Jack will need to uncover the mad scientist's nefarious plans, and also determine why Doctor T seems to know him. He'll also meet up with the lovely Amanda, who must decide whether Keane is friend or foe.

The game's website offers more details about the game and its characters. You can also check out our Jack Keane preview for further information.

Jack Keane is currently scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year.



Freelance Police shoot for the moon in season finale

As Sam & Max: Season 1 rounds the final turn toward the home stretch, Telltale Games today released Episode 5 for purchase and download, along with the first details of the upcoming season finale.

Still right on schedule, and once again following the two-week exclusivity period on GameTap, Reality 2.0 is now available as a standalone episode at the Telltale website for $8.95 USD. Latecomers to the series can also catch the new game as part of a full-season package, with episode six still to come.

In Reality 2.0, a viral video game is holding its players hostage, and the Freelance Police must take to the information superhighway in virtual reality to avert a worldwide crisis. Even then, the comic crimefighters will have one adventure still ahead of them, in the form of Episode 6: Bright Side of the Moon.

Launching on GameTap on April 26th and released for purchase on May 10, the season finale promises to be a rewarding culmination of the previous five episodes. As described by Telltale's latest press release, "what started out as a local mind-control scheme has grown to global proportions, with links to the media, the mafia, the U.S. government, and the world wide web. Now it's up to canine shamus Sam and his mildly psychotic rabbity-thing sidekick Max to storm a bizarre lunar paradise, confront the mastermind behind the plot, and protect the unassuming world populace from an eternity of hypnotic enslavement."

To see the first teaser trailer of Bright Side of the Moon, you can find it at either the Telltale or GameTap websites.



Better late than never for historical Kheops adventure

Taking the phrase "historical adventure" perhaps a bit too literally, Electrogames has recently released a demo for The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript, almost a year after the game was originally released. Then again, late is better than never, particularly as the game is now being offered for purchase and download at the Electrogames web store for $19.99 USD.

The first-person, point-and-click adventure takes place in Leonardo Da Vinci's last home, the Manoir du Cloux, as a young artist named Valdo arrives with the intention of locating a hidden codex. The playable demo takes place during the first night of the full adventure, and players must find a way to get into the locked office of Leonardo.

Offering a reported hour's worth of gameplay, the nearly 350 MB demo can be found at standard download sites like FileFront and GamersHell.

For more information about The Secrets of Da Vinci, be sure to check out our review of the game.



Download versions offer second chance to wrack your brains

With retail versions of RHEM and its sequel becoming more and more scarce, finding the games has become as challenging a puzzle as the many found in the games themselves. Fortunately, any who missed the independent puzzle-adventures the first time around have a second chance, as the games are now available for purchase and download at the Adventure Game Shop.

Although the shop features mainly localized Italian games, both RHEM and RHEM 2 are the original English versions. The two games are offered through digital delivery, and are available worldwide with the exception of the US and Canada.

The RHEM games are Myst-like point-and-click adventures by Knut Müller that revolve around the brothers Kales and Zetais. In the first game, players find themselves trapped on the world of RHEM, and are tasked with delivering a letter to Zetais in order to get back to their own world. In the sequel, you'll travel deeper into RHEM, this time to a hidden city in underground caves. Both games offer a huge number of brain-testing obstacles, making them quite popular with those who enjoy puzzle-intensive adventures.



Website launched for upcoming independent title

There haven't been many science fiction adventures in recent years, but there's good news on the horizon for sci-fi fans. Though the wait will be a while longer yet, Digital Media Workshop is looking to fill the void with its debut PC adventure called Prominence.

Set in a realistic future universe, Prominence begins as the player wakes up alone in a hi-tech facility of some kind. The surroundings are unknown and yet seem vaguely familiar, so you'll need to figure out where you are and why you're there. That won't be easy, however, as your early exploration soon leads to "an evolving mystery that is revealed by physical clues, audio recordings, data archives, and a damaged central computer system in need of repairs."

A first-person, point-and-click adventure, Prominence will use a panoramic presentation complete with animated effects, and promises a variety of story-based puzzles to go with its branching storyline and multiple endings. For more information about Prominence, including a look at some early concept art, be sure to check out the newly-launched official website.

No firm completion date has been announced yet, but the developers are currently targeting a release some time in 2008.

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