Adventure News

January 2008



Hercule Poirot stars in Agatha Christie whodunit sampler

From the department of "better late than never" comes today's announcement that a playable demo for Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun has now been released by JoWood and The Adventure Company.

Released in October of last year, Evil Under the Sun is the first Agatha Christie mystery adaptation to give players control of famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. By recounting the details of his wartime vacation to his friend Captain Hastings, Poirot allows Hastings (and the player) the opportunity to relive the mysterious events surrounding the murder of an actress who seemed to have as many enemies as admirers at the Seadrift Island resort.

Available in multiple languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian (separate downloads for each), the demo is taken from the start of the full game, presenting a series of seemingly unrelated backstory cinematics, before allowing brief control of Hastings to prepare for the adventure, and then finally Poirot to begin the game proper.

The 214 MB demo can be found at FileFront or GamersHell, among other standard download sites.



Freelance Police boogie down as release date is bumped up

If a new trailer is out featuring vampires, zombies, disco, and other long-dead things, that can mean only one thing... No, not impending Armageddon, but close. It's the first glimpse of Night of the Raving Dead, the next installment of Sam & Max: Season Two.

In Episode 203, zombies are on the loose, so Sam & Max set out for the town of Stuttgart to confront the leader of the undead, a nipple-ringed vampire that would have Béla Lugosi turning over in his grave (figuratively speaking). The trailer takes a decidedly offbeat approach to its subject matter, and can be streamed directly from Telltale's website.

Along with the video and first screenshots of the new game comes a slightly altered release date, as Night of the Raving Dead will release two days earlier than originally planned, premiering on GameTap on February 12th and released for download worldwide the following day.



First new Adventure Game Studio editor in 18 months now released

Popular freeware adventure creation system Adventure Game Studio has just announced the full release of version 3.0 which has been in beta for some time. It was August 2006 when the last release of AGS came out, but the list of changes is pretty long so one can see why:

  • The editor (not the runtime engine) has been entirely rewritten with the .NET Framework and has a throuroughly modern new look
  • The game engine has been updated to support hardware acceleration
  • Integrated script debugger
  • Vista Game Explorer support
  • Source code control system support
  • and many more
  • So, if you're into creating as well as playing adventures, you may want to head over to Adventure Game Studio and check out the new download.



    Experience112 gets new title, February release date

    If you just can't get enough of Experience112 news, today's your lucky day, as the innovative adventure from Lexis Numérique is back in the headlines already. Not only is a functioning demo of the game now available, but at long last comes official word of an English language release from The Adventure Company.

    To the surprise of absolutely no one, the title of the game has been changed to The Experiment. To the surprise of many, the game's release has not only been announced, but is just around the corner, with a scheduled launch date of February 5th in North America. There is still no word on a UK release for the game under any title.

    For plenty of information about The Experiment, check out our preview of the game, and head over to the game's original website.



    Technical problems with earlier demo now corrected

    After an earlier attempt to post a demo that resulted only in a program that wouldn't run, Micro Application and Lexis Numérique have updated the downloadable file for Experience112 (now re-named The Experiment in North America), allowing players to finally try out the upcoming adventure for themselves.

    A highly unusual game that allows only indirect influence over the action, Experience112 puts players at the helm of the controls of a grounded, dilapidated ship. From that detached vantage point, it's your task to guide Professor Lea Nichols through the ship to safety, all the while trying to piece together the events of what happened to put you both there. By manipulating systems such as surveillance cameras, light intensifiers, and thermal vision, you'll need to guide Professor Nichols through a series of environmental and human obstacles without the benefit of direct communication.

    The demo takes place at the beginning of the game, easing players into the unique and rather complex control scheme. The 600 MB download can be found at the game's official website.



    Plenty of in-game footage in latest video of DS adventure

    With its February release fast approaching, Professor Layton and the Curious Village hasn't received a lot of publicity so far. Now, however, players can catch a glimpse of the puzzle-heavy DS adventure in a brand new trailer.

    In Professor Layton, players join the scholar and his young apprentice Luke as they arrive in the village of St. Mystere, where townsfolk "greet each other with rebuses, lock their doors with sliding puzzles, and hide their secrets within brainteasers." They are there at the request of a deceased Baron's family to search for a treasure hidden by a series of cunning puzzles. Interrupting their search, however, is a suspicious death in the Baron's family, so the pair will need to sleuth their way through two mysteries in order to uncover the full truth.

    The video shows off some of the game's distinctive hand-drawn art, and offers a few examples of the sorts of puzzles to be expected, demonstrating the use of the touch screen in solving them.

    The trailer can be streamed or downloaded from GameTrailers.



    Playable sampler highlights first case of game

    CSI: Hard Evidence was just released last week for the Nintendo Wii, several months after its debut on the PC and Xbox 360. To further showcase the game while it's back in the spotlight, Ubisoft has just released a playable demo.

    The demo contains the training level as well as the beginning of the first case where the player can investigate the crime scene and process the collected evidence in the mobile and CSI labs. While the playable sampler is for the PC, the cases are the same for all platforms.

    The 411 MB demo can be downloaded from Telltale's website.



    Hardboiled series coming to North America

    The Japanese game industry is apparently rummaging through its archives of locally released games of years past to find anything that can be refurbished on Nintendo DS and re-released worldwide. Following the international success of the Phoenix Wright games, which were originally released on Gameboy Advance in Japan only, other publishers are following suit.

    Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles will be the Western name of Jinguuji Saburo, an adventure game series that originally appeared on the Famicom (NES). Unlike Phoenix Wright, the series is said to be fairly grim and serious, though not surprisingly still features a somewhat comically spikey-haired protagonist.

    When asked in an interview if the gameplay is like a traditional point-and-click adventure game, the American localization team said it's "closer to a straight forward digital novel", but "you'll still need to search for clues, talk to witnesses, find the right line of questioning to progress in the game".

    The first game includes three different cases and will be budget-priced at $19.99. Whether the digital novel characterization implies less interactivity than usual or is merely a marketing angle remains to be seen. In terms of gameplay length the team says "it would probably take about 4-5 hours to complete one episode. So about 15 hours to finish all 3 episodes."

    Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles is being brought to North America by Aksys and is set for release in Spring 2008.

    In other Japanese adventure game news, last week we reported that two detective games by Goichi Suda are being translated and released in English, while Capcom has released a free online Flash demo of Apollo Justice, which will be the first Ace Attorney game made specifically for Nintendo DS.



    Release marks first adventure ported to Nintendo's console

    While the Wii and the point-and-click adventure would seem a natural fit, publishers have been slow to bring new adventures to Nintendo's console. That is beginning to change, however. Following the recent release of Harvey Birdman comes the announcement by Ubisoft that the Wii version of CSI: Hard Evidence is now available.

    The latest CSI game has been available for the PC and Xbox360 for a little while now, but the Wii port was not available at the time of initial release. Hard Evidence features five cases that make use of new forensics tools and a new garage lab as well as the characters that have become familiar from the other CSI games.

    For more information about the game, visit the official site.



    Playable sampler of upcoming episode now available

    While release of The Blackwell Convergence is still several months off, Wadjet Eye Games has offered up an early playable demo of the next Blackwell adventure.

    After taking a chronological step back in Blackwell Unbound, the new game returns focus once again to spirit medium Rosangela Blackwell and her ever-present ghostly sidekick, Joey Mallone. In Convergence, a series of seeming unrelated circumstances may just appear to be everyday events in big city life, but somehow they're connected by something sinister, and it's up to Rosangela and Joey to figure out the link between them.

    The demo is taken from the opening section of the game and provides a standalone story, though offering only a short glimpse into the larger tale of the complete game. The 23 MB demo can be downloaded directly from the Wadjet Eye website.



    Remakes of PlayStation adventures by famed Goichi Suda

    While unknown to most adventure game fans, Japanese designer Goichi Suda has a cult following on par with the likes of Tim Schafer. Suda is most known for making highly unconventional action-adventures, but has also created pure adventure games in the past. These games were never published outside Japan, but that may change.

    According to gaming magazine Famitsu, Flower, Sun, and Rain, an adventure game first released on Playstation 2 in 2001, is being remade for the DS. In Flower, Sun, and Rain, players take the role of an assassin who relives the same day over and over again, a premise reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day. Only when he can find a way to stop a bomb from exploding at an airport, the day will stop repeating.

    At last year's GDC conference, Suda already revealed that The Silver Case, a detective adventure game originally released for Playstation in 1999, is being remade for Nintendo DS. In addition, he confirmed The Silver Case will be translated into English and released worldwide. The Silver Case is being targeted for a 2008 release, though no publisher has yet been mentioned, which might mean that Suda's company Grasshopper Manufacture is still looking for one.

    It is unknown whether Flower, Sun, and Rain will also see an international release, but it wouldn't be surprising if Grasshopper has similar plans for both titles.



    Play the new interactive Ace Attorney demo right here

    Usually the only way to check out demos of Nintendo DS games is to go to an official download center with a handheld console and download them. With the upcoming release of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Capcom decided to try something a little different and have released a flash-based demo of the newest Ace Attorney game that can be played directly online.

    To play the flash demo, simply click on "New Game" below.

    The demo introduces us to Apollo Justice and his mentor Kristoph Gavin, as well as a few familiar characters from the Phoenix Wright games. The playable section takes place entirely in the courtroom and contains part of the first case of the actual game, including a tutorial of the courtroom gameplay that has been used in every Ace Attorney game. The mouse is used to touch the relevant areas on the bottom screen instead of the stylus.

    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is currently set for a North American release in the middle of February.



    Empire to publish Cyan's classic on Nintendo's handheld

    By now there can't be many people who haven't seen, played, and probably uttered a polarized opinion or two on Myst, the classic adventure from Cyan Worlds. But for those who haven't, or for those who want to explore other worlds while on the go in this one, another chance is coming this March, as Empire Interactive announced today that it will be publishing Myst for the Nintendo DS in North America.

    Nearly fifteen years after the game's debut, the DS version of Myst has been "enhanced and recreated" by Hoplite Research with an original soundtrack and re-mastered video, and includes the Rime Age, which was not included in the original release. Making use of the handheld's dual screens, the upper screen provides information and shows close-ups, while the lower touch screen is used to navigate and interact with the environment using the stylus. Players will also have access to "a new arsenal of mini-tools", including a magnifying glass, camera, notebook, and map.

    Along with the earlier release of Myst for DS in Europe, the game has also recently been ported to Sony's PSP, helping to build on the legacy of the series that has already sold over 12 million games to date.



    Download version of Moai Better Blues arrives tomorrow

    We're just barely past Christmas, but already Sam & Max have moved on to Easter. Easter Island, that is, which is host to Moai Better Blues, the second episode of Season Two that launched today on GameTap.

    In the latest episode, numbered "202", an unexpected encounter with the Bermuda Triangle sends the Freelance Police to the land of giant stone heads. Unfortunately, a nearby volcano is threatening to destroy the island, but an ancient prophecy foretells of saviours bearing a striking resemblance to a familiar canine shamus and hyperkinetic rabbity thing. It seems it's up to Sam & Max to save the day again, with either help or hindrance from the island's surprisingly youthful inhabitants.

    After one false start earlier in the day that saw the episode released but then retracted temporarily, Moai Better Blues is now freely available to GameTap subscribers. The retail download version will follow tomorrow at the Telltale Games website, either for individual purchase or as part of the full Season Two package.

    Page 1 of 2  1 2 >