Adventure News

November 2007



Restored label to represent a "symbol of French creativity"

Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. This axiom has certainly proven true in the long and complicated history of MICROÏDS, as today marks the official re-launch of the MICROÏDS brand.

Originally founded as a development studio for interactive multimedia programs in 1984 and expanding to a games publisher and producer in 1995, MICROÏDS merged with Wanadoo Edition into a new company called MC2 in 2003. Two years later, the game studio known as Microïds Canada, responsible for such popular adventures as Syberia and Still Life, was disbanded in a partial acquisition by Ubisoft.

Not much had been heard from MC2 until recently, when the company first revealed its plans to begin publishing games again. The first titles announced were Sinking Island, Nostradamus, and Dracula 3, due for release in North America in early 2008. Since then, the company has revamped the official website, and has at last officially re-launched the MICROÏDS label.

The new-but-familiar brand will be headed by the founders of Index+, another longtime development and production company once absorbed into Wanadoo Edition before the merger into MC2. Under the guidance of Emmanuel Olivier, the aim of the new label will be to focus on "collaborating and integrating on an international level -- with the goal of designing interactive games reflective of the francophone culture." With offices in both Canada and France, all new productions will be associated with either MICROÏDS Montreal or MICROÏDS Paris.

While there is no indication that MICROÏDS plans to solely develop its own original content, the return to prominence of a such an important genre contributor is welcome news in its own right, and it looks like MICROÏDS will clearly be a company to keep an eye on in the coming months.



Cold Winter Waiting targets August '08 release

As December rolls around, the dropping temperatures aren't the only signs of a chilly season ahead, as indie developer Viperante has officially announced production on Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting.

Described by the developer as a "dark, shocking, uncompromising, and fear charged horror adventure", Corrosion is a first-person game that casts players in the role of Sheriff Alex Truman. In an attempt to discover what happened to an enigmatic car crash victim, Truman must explore the unknown area beneath Cold Winter Farm, descending into the "deserted and claustrophobic confines of a mysterious and secret underground complex." The more he explores, however, the more twisted the truth he's pursuing becomes.

If the name of the UK-based Viperante rings a bell, the developer had previously unveiled another adventure project called Restless, but that project has since been put on hold. In the meantime, Corrosion has been in development for over six months now, and the targeted release date is August 2008.

For more information about Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting, be sure to check out the game's newly-launched website.



Lovecraft-inspired horror adventure now available in Europe

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder quietly crept into North American retail outlets a few weeks ago, and now Lighthouse Interactive has announced that the game has shipped to UK and European stores as well.

In this H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, first-person adventure, Detective Howard Loreid is called upon to look into the murder of a wealthy man known to be involved in the occult. Loath Nolder had made a name for himself as a successful private investigator but disappeared for five years before returning to take on the missing person case of Clark Field. While investigating the disappearance, Loath Nolder becomes a fugitive suspect in Field's murder. As Loreid tries to find Nolder, he encounters strange dreams and paranormal happenings as he tries to distinguish what is real and what isn't.

The game is now available at major game retailers in Europe and North America as well as through digital download. For more information about the game, visit the official website.



Panoramic screen gallery available for Frogwares' newest mystery

A natural limitation of screenshots is that they don't do justice to 3D games. Unless, of course, you make the screenshots 3D as well, which is exactly what Focus Home Interactive and Panogames have done with a new gallery of images from Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin.

In the fourth Sherlock Holmes adventure from Frogwares, currently available in English only through digital download, the great detective must match wits with the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, creation of French writer Maurice Leblanc. In this battle of the minds, Lupin challenges Holmes to prevent him from stealing five precious items from prestigious locations around London, including the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.

The 3D images visit some of these historic locations, and can be viewed online at the Panogames website. Two of the panoramic scenes are available as a 7 MB download for both PC and Mac. To pan around the scenes, simply click and hold the mouse and move the cursor in the direction you wish to view. The images can also be zoomed in and out by clicking the "+" and "-" icons.

For more information about Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin, be sure to check out the game's official website.



Paranormal adventure now available for purchase in North America

Halloween has passed, but that doesn't mean that the ghosts go on holiday. They may just end up on your PC instead as Tri Synergy and CBE have announced that Ghost in the Sheet is now available in North American retail stores.

In this first-person point-and-click adventure, you play as a ghost who finds himself with only a dirty sheet to his name and working for an unpleasant boss in an agency that investigates paranormal activities in the mortal world. The ghost is sent to Sector Omega, an abandoned factory now inhabited by the spirits of its former workers. Being new to the supernatural world, the ghost must learn new paranormal skills in order to help him discover what happened at Sector Omega.

For more information about the game, check out our hands-on preview and the official website.



Three new adventures debut as downloads

It's safe to say that the age of digital distribution has arrived. Or at least, that the adventure genre has officially caught up. In recent days, three different highly anticipated new adventures have debuted exclusively as downloads, including Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin, Jack Keane, and Nostradamus - The Last Prophecy.

In the latest Sherlock Holmes mystery from Frogwares, the great detective must match wits against the renowned gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin. Available at the newly-launched Adventure Shop, the game sends players back to 19th century London, where the young French burglar has challenged Holmes by announcing his intention to steal five valuable objects in five days, from such prestigious locations as the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Tower of London and even Buckingham Palace.

Far from jolly ol' Victorian England, sailing on the high seas of the Colonial era, is Jack Keane, the titular captain of the newest adventure from Deck13. Currently offered only at GamersGate, Jack Keane begins with its reluctant hero accepting the job of escorting a British secret agent to the mysterious "Tooth Island". Once there, however, Jack gets far more than he bargained for, as his ship is destroyed and he's left to fend for himself on an island ruled by the nefarious Doctor T and his man-eating plants.

Meanwhile, back on dry land but even further back in time is the world of Nostradamus, the 16th century apothecary and astrologer. In Nostradamus - The Last Prophecy, for sale now at the Kheops Studio webshop, players assume the role of Nostradamus' daughter Madeleine, even as she disguises herself as her brother César to gain access to the court of France, which is caught in the midst of a dangerous mix of political scheming and ancestral prophecies.

All three games are still expected to be released as boxed retail products in the coming months, but no firm release details have yet been announced.



Psychological thriller now shipping in North America

If you've been anxiously awaiting the English release of Reprobates, the latest adventure from the makers of The Black Mirror and Nibiru, you may not realize that it's been re-named Next Life for North America. And with very little publicity to this point, the game's release has flown under the radar as well. Today, however, The Adventure Company has announced that Next Life is now shipping to stores in North America.

In this psychological thriller, you play as Adam Raichl, a technician who gets killed in a terrible car accident. But when he wakes up on a desolate island, he wonders if he really did die or if he's only dreaming. As Adam explores the island and meets its other residents, he finds more mysteries that he must uncover if he wants to learn the secrets of the island and what has happened to him.

Next Life will be available at major retailers soon at a retail price of $29.99 USD.



Videos launched for Penumbra 2, Insecticide, and The Bad, the Ugly, and the Sober

It's trailer time again, as new videos have recently been released for not one, but three very different upcoming action-spiced adventures.

For those who like their adventures horror-tinged and heavily interactive, the 18 MB gameplay footage of Penumbra: Black Plague should cause ripples of excitement, if not chills down your spine. The second installment of the series following last year's Penumbra: Overture, Black Plague continues the playable character's search for his dead father through a dark and dangerous underground Arctic complex. The trailer demonstrates the game's focus on physics and gesture-based interaction which set the game apart from traditional adventures but will be very familiar to those who played Overture.

If creeping around in the dark isn't your thing, there's always Insecticide, a stylish noir detective title that casts players in the many shoes of humanoid bugs Chrys Liszt and Roachy Caruthers of the Insecticide Squad. The debut action-adventure from Crackpot Entertainment combines both light combat and story-based detective investigation, as a murder at the Nectarola soft drink company sends the two heroes to the city's seedy underbelly in pursuit of justice. The newest 24 MB gameplay trailer focuses largely on the game's action elements.

Meanwhile, far away from any bug-infested metropolis is The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober. The old west adventure puts players in the spur-heeled boots of a former sharpshooter named Jack. When Jack's farm is burned down, he is forced to enter a bandit tournament for money, and to win he'll need to succeed in a variety of challenging activities. The 34 MB trailer can be found at Akella's website.



Got Game to publish the first-person puzzler in February

Puzzle fans in North America had better start dusting off and strapping on their thinking caps, as Got Game Entertainment has announced today that RHEM 3 will be released early next year for both PC and Mac.

Recently unveiled at the RuneSoft webshop for online ordering, Got Game will bring Knut Müller's third first-person puzzle adventure to store shelves in February. A sequel to RHEM and (naturally) RHEM 2, the new installment once again casts players in the lonely shoes of an explorer who must help brothers Kales and Zetais in the land of Rhem. In this latest trip to the "labyrinthine world of hidden rooms and secret passages, strange vehicles and odd machines", you'll be searching for a mysterious black gem, but standing between you and the treasure are a staggering number of mind-bending puzzles.

RHEM 3 is expected to retail for $29.99 USD. For more information about the game, keep an eye on Got Game's RHEM 3 website.



Early 2008 release target slated for North America

It's been known for a while that Apollo Justice will be Phoenix Wright's successor as defense attorney, and now that Phoenix has ended his tenure, new details are emerging about the next game in the series, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Now slated for North American release in early 2008, Apollo Justice is the first game in the series to be made exclusively for the Nintendo DS. While the game will have a similar structure to the previous three games with investigative and courtroom phases, one of the key differences will be the addition of a Crime Recreation Mode, where the crime scene can be reconstructed in order to uncover clues.

Along with Apollo, whose youth and inexperience are balanced by a special ability to interpret body language, a new cast of characters will also be introduced in the game. Whereas Phoenix had a mentor in Mia Fey and her sister Maya as a courtroom assistant, Apollo will turn to Kristoph Gavin, a cool-headed and logical defense attorney, and be assisted by Trucy, a mysterious magician he meets by chance. Of course, no Ace Attorney game would be complete without a larger-than-life prosecutor and the new game is no exception. Klavier Gavin is not only a brilliant prosecutor, but the lead singer in a rock band, as well as Kristoph's younger brother.

While no specific details about Apollo Justice have yet been added, keep an eye on the official Ace Attorney website for any further information.



Season Two's Ice Station Santa debuts today on GameTap

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a few brightly wrapped presents beneath the tree, a row of stockings hung neatly by the fireplace, and of course a wisecracking canine shamus and hyperkinetic rabbity thing speeding to the North Pole in a DeSoto. You're on your own for the first two, but the latter is now underway, as the second season of Sam & Max has kicked off today with the launch of Ice Station Santa on GameTap.

In the season's holiday-themed first episode, there's trouble in Santa's workshop, and it's up to Sam & Max to find out why the jolly old elf is now packing heat and delivering nasty presents. Not only does the fate of Christmas hang in the balance, but delivering mayhem and destruction is the job of the Freelance Police, after all.

Beginning a pattern that will run throughout the five episodes of Season Two, Ice Station Santa is available today exclusively on GameTap, and tomorrow the game will be available for worldwide purchase and download from Telltale's website.



Episode four of Sam & Max: Season One now available free of charge

In anticipation of the imminent release of Ice Station Santa, the premiere episode of Sam & Max: Season Two, Telltale has announced that the fourth episode from Season One can now be downloaded in its entirety at no charge.

In Abe Lincoln Must Die!, a fan favorite and critically acclaimed episode, Sam and Max find themselves at the White House trying to contend with a president who seems to be enacting some crazy laws. They soon learn that the president isn't who they thought he was, and are now up against a former president they thought was long dead.

The free episode is available for download from FilePlanet and GameSpy and will be soon available at Telltale's site.



New Age of Ahnonay, K'veer and Myst Islands highlight latest update

It may be the end of a season, but today's launch of "Exodus" on GameTap marks the start of an all-new Age in Myst Online: Uru Live.

The final episode of the first season offers plenty of new content, highlighted by the Age of Ahnonay, described as an Age of "deception, mystery and visual wonders spanning thousands of years", in which players will "witness the deterioration of a rugged landscape as they travel through time to uncover the truth." Along with Ahnonay comes the release of K'veer and Myst Islands, which should be familiar to fans of the series.

The developing storyline also has some dramatic moments in "Exodus". The D'ni Restoration Council must now deal with the Bahro creatures, whose presence raises crucial questions about whether the Bahro War will bring destruction to the cavern, and whether the DRC should fund further restoration work.

To help introduce new players into the Uru Live experience, GameTap has also created a free trial offer. Details of the free downloadable version can be found at the Myst Online website, along with information to help players catch up on the first season's episodic content.