Adventure News

August 2007



Sixth Ben Jordan case takes players to sunny Greece

Ben Jordan is no stranger to Underground adventure game fans. Francisco Gonzalez, better known as Grundislav, has five Ben Jordan games under his belt so far and with the release of his newest, Ben Jordan: Scourge of the Sea People, he shows no signs of slowing down.

Following the dramatic end of the fifth case, Land of the Rising Dead, Ben Jordan and his paranormal investigation team decided it was time for a vacation. In the remote fishing village of Agia Anna, Greece, however, they "soon learn that even while on vacation their work is never done. It seems that ancient creatures of legend known as the Sea People have been emerging from the ocean at night and dragging villagers down to the depths to eat them. Ben, Simon, and Alice must investigate and stop the scourge of the sea people!"

At 27 MB, Scourge of the Sea People is available for download at the official website.



New movies for PC, DS, and Wii adventures now available

With the end of any prominent convention comes an onslaught of new screenshots, previews, and game information, and this year's Games Convention is certainly no exception. In fact, the trailers are now coming so fast and furious that the only way to keep pace is to round them all up together.

With more attention to adventures on consoles this year than any in recent memory, Nintendo is well represented in today's lineup. First up is a 112 MB movie for Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, providing a somewhat humourous look at how the game handles with the unique Wii controls. Zack & Wiki is sure to create plenty of is-it-or-isn't-it debate about being an adventure, and perhaps the only thing we can say for sure right now is that it's something new altogether.

Not one, but two original DS adventures can now be seen in action for the first time. The first is Undercover: Dual Motives, the WWII-themed prequel to the upcoming PC adventure, Operation Wintersun. The Dual Motives video is available in both 32 MB and 74 MB versions. Also making its first public appearance is Nancy Drew's debut DS adventure, The Deadly Secret of Olde World Park. Unlike Her Interactive's long-running PC series, Nancy's new handheld adventure by Gorilla Systems puts the plucky teen detective front and center on screen. This trailer is also available in two formats, including a 9 MB QuickTime version and an 11 MB mpeg movie.

Not to be outdone by its console contemporaries, however, the PC is also making its presence felt on the adventure front. Among the new highlights are videos for Inhabited Island: The Earthling, a 38 MB teaser of the first-person adventure based on the best-selling book by the Strugatsky brothers, plus the first significant looks at The Abbey and Art of Murder: FBI Confidential. The 164 MB video of The Abbey introduces the third-person adventure in which players assume the role of the Grand Inquisitor Leonardo and his assistant Bruno, called in to investigate a series of mysterious murders in an old abbey in the Middle Ages. The 34 MB movie for Art of Murder, meanwhile, provides a glimpse of the new modern day adventure starring young FBI agent Nicole Bonnet, who must solve a murder mystery of her own, though in her case it's a series of violent killings of wealthy and influential citizens.



Season Two trailer offers clues to future freelance police mayhem

Ever since the second season of Sam & Max was announced, gamers have been waiting with much excitement for more details about the new season and the first episode. The wait is at least partially over now, as the first trailer has been released on the newly-launched Season Two website.

The trailer features glimpses of the neighborhood in evening splendor, returning characters from the first season and a taste of locations and situations to come, punctuated with the series' signature jazzy music. For those who have yet to play Season One, note that the video includes details you may wish to discover for yourself.

The new season's schedule has not been officially announced, but the first episode is slated for a fall release. While still untitled, the new episode will be referred to as "201", rather than contain the full Season Two: Episode One moniker, and all subsequent episodes will be similarly numbered in sequence.



First full-scale adventure from Amanita Design due next year

When last we heard from Amanita Design, the independent Czech developer was emerging from the woods with the cult classic Samorost 2. Since then, its focus has evidently become more metallic, as the team has just unveiled its first full-scale adventure, Machinarium.

Amanita was reluctant to reveal too many details at such an early stage, but the game will use a classic point-and-click interface, and share certain similarities with the Samorost games, such as 2D backgrounds and characters, and no spoken words. However, Machinarium will be much longer and more complex in many ways, and this time around, the art will be hand-drawn and players will have a small inventory.

Everyone in Machinarium's original world is a robot, including the main hero of the game shown in one of the concept drawings below, who must stand against the bad guys from the "Black Cap Brotherhood".






Click for larger versions



An official website for Machinarium has been created, though at the moment the site is limited only to the images shown above.

Thanks to the commercial success of Samorost 2, Amanita is able to independently finance production of Machinarium, and are currently targeting a release in the second half of 2008.



New trailer offers a glimpse into the exclusive World Union

With the release date for Culpa Innata closing in fast, a new trailer has been released in anticipation of the upcoming conspiracy thriller.

The new video has over 2 minutes of in-game footage featuring Phoenix Wallis, a young peace officer in the seemingly utopian World Union city of Adrianopolis. When a World Union citizen is murdered in the outlying rogue state of Russia, followed soon after by an Adrianopolis professor being found dead under suspicious circumstances, Phoenix is called in to investigate. However, her involvement in the case attracts the attention of an underground revolution and Phoenix soon learns all may not be well in the idyllic society she serves.

The 71 MB trailer can be downloaded at the publisher's website. For more information about the game, visit the official website.

Culpa Innata is set for release this October both in stores and on GameTap.



King Art Games at the helm of sequel

Black Mirror 2 has been one of the most highly-anticipated sequels since it was officially announced earlier this year. And while the game is proceeding as planned, dtp revealed at the Games Convention that it is doing so at the hands of a new development studio, King Art Games.

The original Black Mirror was developed by Unknown Identity, the studio of Czech publisher Future Games. The supernatural mystery was something of a surprise hit, casting players in the role of Samuel Gordon, who returns to his ancestral home to investigate the tragic death of his grandfather and finds himself forced to face both his family's demons and his own. The ending perhaps raised more questions than it answered, leaving many fans clamouring for a second installment.

The Bremen-based King Art is virtually unknown internationally, but the company has plenty of development experience, focusing predominantly on online games in the past seven years. Future Games will still be involved in the sequel, but this time they'll provide support to King Art as consultants.

No details have been revealed yet about the plot of Black Mirror 2, and dtp has indicated that the game is still a long way off, with release currently targeted for late 2008.



Fourth Carol Reed mystery set for October release

In what is becoming an annual occurrence, independent Swedish developer MDNA Games has just announced the fourth game in the Carol Reed mystery series, East Side Story.

Like the first three games, East Side Story is a first-person, point-and-click adventure that features a visually distinctive watercolor effect. This time around, Carol starts out on vacation. However, her holiday is short-lived as she receives a letter from a friend who informs her of the death of a vagrant at his friend's apartment. Never one to turn down a friend's request and a mystery, Carol agrees to investigate the death and soon finds herself involved in an extremely complex case.

East Side Story will be available for online purchase in October of 2007 and a playable demo is forthcoming. For more information about the game, visit the official website.



Daedalic to revive the project from development limbo

The first good news out of the Games Convention in Leipzig comes early, as Adventure-Treff reports that Daedalic Entertainment is the new publisher of Marco Hüllen's previously ill-fated The Whispered World.

Originally a student project, The Whispered World was one of several games announced by upstart German publisher bad brain entertainment several years ago. Unlike other bad brain adventures, The Whispered World showed promising signs of nearing completion, to the point of a playable demo released in 2005. However, when the publisher folded, it seemed the game was gone for good.

Thankfully, with the emergence of Daedalic, a company making news with its own debut adventure A New Beginning, The Whispered World is once again back on the public radar. Daedalic has confirmed to Adventure Gamers that it will be publishing the game, but declined to offer any further details at this early stage.

The traditional third-person, point-and-click adventure casts players in the role of Sadwick, a young boy earning a living as a clown. When he meets a mysterious creature who offers the chance to discover enlightenment, Sadwick embarks with his pet worm on a long and challenging journey.



Gamers can sink their teeth into the revamped site

It seems as if A Vampyre Story has been on everyone's lips for quite some time. Now, as the game comes closer to its release, Crimson Cow and Autumn Moon have given gamers something to sink their teeth into with the launch of an updated official website.

Along with details about the story, settings, and characters, the new website includes a developer's blog that offers additional insight into the game's progress, and promises several other features not yet implemented.

In A Vampyre Story, Mona De LaFitte, a Parisian opera singer, is held captive in Draxsylvania by Baron Shrowdy von Kiefer, who has turned her into a vampire. When the Baron does not return to the castle one night, Mona sees her chance to escape with her only companion, Froderick the bat. As she tries to find her way back to Paris, she will meet with numerous strange characters and use her vampire abilities to her advantage.

A Vampyre Story is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2007.



House of Tales' psychological thriller goes online

Its release may still be many months away, but the highly-anticipated Overclocked now has an official website to help kill the time.

Perhaps that's an unfortunate choice of words, as Overclocked promises to be a controversial examination of the psychological impact of violence. The new point-and-click adventure from Moment of Silence developer House of Tales casts players in multiple roles, including forensic psychiatrist Dave McNamara and five patients picked up on the same stormy night, all disoriented, suffering memory loss, and carrying guns. Over the course of seven days, players will need to both probe and live out each patient's memory in order to discover their identities and learn what has driven them to their current condition.

The website includes a video teaser and some background information about the game, along with a variety of artwork and a trailer in the "downloads" section. Both the trailer and the website itself contain some vocal narration in German, but the rest of the site information is presented in English.

For more information about Overclocked, be sure to read through our preview of the game.



Video teases of mystery awaiting on the scenic Italian island

While European gamers have had the chance to play Anacapri: The Dream and explore the scenic island of Capri, North Americans continue to wait until the game is released by Got Game Entertainment in the coming weeks.

To tide them over, a new trailer has been released which offers a sneak peek at some of the photorealistic landscapes and a hint of the mystery that awaits you in the game. Like its predecessor, A Quiet Weekend in Capri, AnaCapri is depicted through a variety of photographs of the island, which this time around is the location of a dangerous Black Obsidian Disk that players will need to discover. Along with real-life locations such as the Grotto of Ferns, the Marina Piccola and the Phoenecian Staircase, you will encounter villagers and historical figures as the mystery of the disk is explored.

The 40 MB trailer, featuring about one and a half minutes of in-game footage, can be downloaded from Gamershell and File Front. For more information about the game, be sure to check out our recent preview.



Free future noir video adventure released

Fate By Numbers is an English language full-motion video (FMV) game where you play as a private investigator in a futuristic city. It is also the graduation project of four students in Communication and Multimedia Design at Breda, the Netherlands. On a minimal budget, they have recreated the FMV era of adventure gaming, where actors of varying talent were filmed in front of a bluescreen, and the grainy footage then composited into 3D-rendered environments.

In Fate By Numbers, you take on the role of Alice Sanger, P.I. Having accepted a dubious but lucrative job from a mysterious client, you soon find yourself with a bullet hole through your lung and a strong determination to find out what is going on. How far up does the conspiracy go, and how is your ex-husband, previously missing, presumed dead, involved?

With her fifties-styled flying car, her broken marriage and her self-deprecating attitude, the hat-wearing, chain-smoking, hard-drinking Alice Sanger could be Tex Murphy's little sister. And that's not a bad family resemblance to have. Fate By Numbers is available from its official web site in two sizes: one 800 MB version and one 1.2 GB version with higher quality video. The game is relatively short for such a big download, but players who are nostalgic for Under a Killing Moon or black and white films noir will not regret the time spent. Others may want to check out the trailer.



A Stroke of Fate takes players deep into Nazi Germany

World War II has long been rich fodder for books and movies, and is increasingly becoming a popular setting in adventure games. With Undercover: Operation Wintersun set to take gamers behind German lines this summer, next up will be A Stroke of Fate, a new pseudo-historical adventure announced recently by Russian publisher Akella.

A Stroke of Fate is set in wartime Nazi Germany, where you play a sabotage and espionage expert who must infiltrate Hitler's inner circle with the goal of preparing an assassination of the Führer. To do so, you must fool the Gestapo into thinking you are a true German patriot, meeting people like Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels as you move your way through authentic locations like Hitler's private study and the Secret Police building.

Set for a fourth quarter 2007 release in Russia, Akella has confirmed that an English release is intended, but no details have yet been announced.

For more information about the game, including a downloadable trailer, be sure to visit the publisher's website.



Retail version of six-episode collection now shipping

Here's something you don't see every day: a Sam & Max game front and center on store shelves. Or at least, you haven't seen one any time recently, but North American fans of the Freelance Police will soon get the chance once again, as The Adventure Company and JoWood announced today that Sam & Max: Season One has begun shipping to retailers.

It's been well over a decade since Sam & Max Hit the Road, and the road has been rocky at times, but the canine lagomorph and hyperkinetic rabbity thing kept on rumbling in their DeSoto, and finally emerged last fall in the six-part episodic series known as Season One. Available previously only on GameTap or by download from Telltale Games, beginning next week the full collection of episodes will be offered at most major retailers on CD-ROM in what is referred to as the equivalent of a DVD box set for TV series.

Along with the six episodes, the retail version also includes a printed poster of artwork by Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell, plus a bonus disc with such extras as a behind-the-scenes video, trailers, and previously unreleased character bios. For complete details, check out TAC's Sam & Max product page.

Gamers in Europe will have to wait a little while longer, however, as the European release of Season One will follow in September.