Adventure News

March 2008



Independent FMV sequel plots third quarter release target

It's been almost four years since Conspiracies II: Lethal Networks was first announced. Originally slated for a 2005 release, not much has been heard from the developers about the sequel to Conspiracies since then but that doesn't mean they haven't been hard at work. Some of that hard work can be seen in a new trailer for the game.

The new full motion video adventure picks up where the original left off. In the first game, Nick Delios, a private investigator, stumbles onto a conspiracy while looking into the murder of a small-time thief. Playing as Nick once again, Conspiracies II will focus on the investigation of this conspiracy, taking the player from Earth into space.

The new trailer is 5-1/2 minutes long and features in-game footage showing the multiple locations and characters as well as some hints of the plot. The video can be viewed directly at YouTube.

Conspiracies II is currently targeting a release in the third quarter of this year. For more information on the game, visit the official website.



Playable sampler offers "several hours" in pursuit of Arsène Lupin

For fans of Sherlock Holmes, it's time to put on your thinking deerstalker and dive into the newly-released demo of the great detective's latest case, Nemesis.

The fourth Sherlock Holmes adventure from Frogwares is a battle of the wits between Holmes and the renowned French burglar, Arsène Lupin. The demo takes place at the beginning of the story, as a quiet morning at 221b Baker Street is interrupted by a letter from Lupin, announcing his intention to steal five priceless artifacts from London in the coming week, and daring Holmes to stop him.

Nemesis, like its predecessor The Awakened, is a full-3D adventure that provides the option of using either a mouse-only or combined keyboard/mouse control scheme. Playing as both Holmes and Dr. Watson at times throughout the game, the immediate task is to figure out where the first attempted theft will occur, and the full demo reportedly offers several hours of gameplay.

The demo checks in at almost 650 MB, and can be found at the usual download sites such as FileFront and GamersHell, or directly from the game's original publisher, Focus Home Interactive.



Lighthouse to bring murder mystery to UK and North America

Adventure games from Russia haven't had the greatest track record at reaching international markets, and for a long time it appeared that Dead Mountaineer's Hotel would join the list of games that many players will never get to see. Fortunately, Lighthouse Interactive today announced a publishing agreement with Akella to bring the murder mystery to North America, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Benelux territories.

Based on a story from popular Russian novelists the Strugatsky Brothers, Dead Mountaineer's Hotel casts players in the role of a police detective trapped by an avalance in the mountains and forced to seek shelter in the eponymous inn. What begins as a relaxing stay at the scenic resort soon becomes a full-scale investigation, however. The hotel has experienced "strange and mystical events" during the previous few days, culminating in a shocking murder, and it's up to players to determine who is behind the death and other unexplained disturbances.

Solving the mystery involves interacting with the game's fifteen unique characters, each with their own secrets and personal agendas, and exploring the mountain area and hotel in a non-linear fashion. Dead Mountaineer's Hotel also provides five different endings, allowing player choice to dictate the outcome.

The target release date for North America is the third quarter of this year. No dates have yet been announced for the European releases of the game.



The Devil takes center stage in What's New, Beelzebub?

For some, the final episode of Sam & Max: Season Two will be arriving too soon. Unlike the first season, which contained six episodes, Season Two contains only five, and that fifth episode is almost upon us. For many who have been following the dramatic build-up of the first four episodes, however, even the first details of that last episode can't come soon enough.

At long last, those first details have finally been unveiled, including the episode's title, What's New, Beelzebub? The search for Bosco in Chariots of the Dogs, which ended in a cliffhanger, has led Sam & Max to confront the Devil himself in the "corporate wasteland known as Hell" as they bargain for Bosco's soul. As they do so, they find themselves battling with Satan to avoid heir own eternal damnation.

For more information on this episode, which will be released on April 10 on GameTap and worldwide on April 11, visit the official site where you'll find the game's first cinematic trailer.



Early registration now accepted for Atlantic City convention

After a rather turbulent first attempt to get off the ground in 2007, AdventureCon is back to try again in 2008.

According to organizer Howard Sherman, the new convention will be held this summer on Labor Day weekend, running from August 29-31 in The Water Club casino resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

While the full weekend's events have not yet been finalized, confirmed "VIP" guests include Scott Adams, Al Lowe, Lori Ann and Corey Cole, and Chris Jones. Among the activities planned are various discussion panels, workshops, plus an exclusive Friday night reception and weekend-long "live-action adventure game" reserved for those staying at the hotel.

The AdventureCon organizers are aiming for a total of 400 paid attendees, and have begun accepting early registration now. From now through April, a weekend pass will cost $99 (all amounts in US figures), with the price increasing to $129 in May and June, and $149 beyond that. Prices do not include food or hotel accommodations, though participants are encouraged to wait for the announcement of a special Water Club pricing plan for AdventureCon attendees, expected some time in mid-April.

As the convention's details are still somewhat tentative at the moment, be sure to check out the AdventureCon website for all the latest updates.



New Vegas-based cell phone game has optional interactive call feature

After last year's release of the first CSI mobile game, CSI: Miami, Gameloft and CBS Mobile have followed up with another game for cell phones, CSI: The Mobile Game.

Like the previous mobile game, the content of the new title is unrelated to existing CSI PC games, and was developed with input from the show's creator, Anthony Zucker. The new game is based on the original series in Las Vegas, and players will once again examine crime scenes, collect evidence, interrogate suspects and play laboratory mini-games.

The unique feature of this game is its increased interactivity designed solely for cell phones. Although entirely optional, players who choose to activate the interactive call feature will receive phone calls from in-game characters that will contain tips and clues to aid them in their investigation.

CSI: The Mobile Game is currently available through most U.S. carriers. To verify availability with your carrier, you can text message "SUSPECT" to 82174 on your mobile phone. The game will soon be available on international carriers, but will incude slightly different features.



Viva Media to publish sci-fi adventure renamed as The Immortals of Terra

When an adventure based on the popular German science fiction series, Perry Rhodan, was first announced last summer, the chances of the game being published in territories outside of its native country seemed uncertain. Fortunately, today comes the welcome news that Viva Media will be bringing The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure to the North American market this spring.

The weekly Perry Rhodan stories have been written by numerous authors over the years, and are very popular in Germany. The first adventure starring the famed astronaut features an all-new storyline, however, and will center on Perry's search for his missing girlfriend, Mondra Diamond. In 1346 New Galactic Era (4934 A.D.), the center of world power has been overturned and Perry must find his girlfriend and save the universe while he's at it, never fully knowing who he can trust.

The Immortals of Terra has an expected release date of May 2008.



Videos show first glimpse of DS "digital novel"

Jake Hunter may not be familiar to many outside of Japan, where the crimefighting legend is known as Jinguuji Saburo, but Western gamers can now get a first glimpse of the star of the upcoming DS adventure Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles in a pair of trailers.

The official English teaser shows a rapid sequence of scenes of the game's three cases, while a more subdued Japanese trailer better demonstrates the game's noir atmosphere and gritty style.

Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles is being referred to by its English publisher as an "interactive digital novel" rather than a conventional adventure, but players will still need to put their sleuthing skills to the test, whether interviewing witnesses, scouring for clues, or following various leads in pursuit of the truth.



TAC to release the recently re-named Nemesis this April

Well, that didn't take long.

Following yesterday's announcement that the newly-renamed Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis had secured publishers for both the UK and US, today The Adventure Company announced that it will be the publisher responsible for bringing the great detective's latest mystery to North American shores. Better still, players will be sleuthing their way through 19th century London sooner than expected, as the targeted release date is next month.

Originally known as Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin (and the name change was surely our first clue to today's news), the fourth Sherlock Holmes adventure from Frogwares presents a battle of wits between Holmes and fictional French burglar Arsène Lupin. Lupin is determined to steal five precious artifacts from London's most prestigious locales in five days, and challenges Holmes to spare Britain this national humiliation.

For more information about Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis, be sure to check out the game's official website.



Arsène Lupin adventure renamed for release this year

Arsène who?

That may have been the question asked by many when Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin was released earlier this year, which perhaps explains why the newly-announced US and UK versions of the game will be known as Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis.

In the fourth Sherlock Holmes mystery from Frogwares, the great detective matches wits with Lupin, the fictional gentleman burglar created by French writer Maurice Leblanc. The young thief is in London at the start of his criminal career, and has threatened to steal five national treasures in five days from such historic locations as British Museum, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace unless Holmes can foil his plans.

Under its original title, the game has been available in mainland Europe and through commercial download for several months. The retitled Nemesis will be published by Focus Home and Ascaron in the UK, due out in the third quarter of this year, and an as-yet-unnamed publisher in North America.



New teaser heralds this summer's The Phantom of Venice

Nancy Drew has been racking up the air miles with the help of Her Interactive, and this summer will be no different, as the spunky teen sleuth is off to Italy in The Phantom of Venice.

The 18th PC installment of the popular series won't all be smooth sailing, of course. Nancy's detective skills are put to the test in an effort to stop a masked thief who is threatening to steal precious artifacts from the exotic city. Amidst the interlocking canals during Carnival, players will once again assume the role of Nancy, undertaking a "series of challenges, including an undercover spy mission for the Italian police. Along the way, players must take advantage of the unique Venetian culture such as learning the language and navigating the transportation system (gondola or walking) to accomplish the mission at hand."

Along with today's announcement of the new game comes a trailer that can be viewed directly from Her Interactive's website, offering a brief glimpse of some of the environments we'll see when The Phantom of Venice releases in July.



New indie adventure available from Atropos Studios website

It's been fairly quiet on the independent developer front of late, but Atropos Studios has stepped up to fill the void with today's release of Diamonds in the Rough.

The first commercial game by the Greek developer previously responsible for the freeware title Other Worlds, Diamonds in the Rough casts players in the role of 20-year old Jason Hart, whose "special abilities" have drawn the attention of a mysterious organization. This company recruits those who possess psychic powers, and Jason is offered a job in the American midwest. After accepting the job, however, Jason begins to question the real purpose of the organization and the nature of his involvement.

Diamonds in the Rough is available on CD-ROM for €19.90 (plus variable shipping costs) directly from the official website. There is also a playable demo available for those who prefer to try before you buy.



New point-and-click edutainment adventure free to play online

Who says learning has to be boring? Certainly not BBC or Amanita Design, as the two have joined forces to present Questionaut, a free online edutainment title available on BBC's Bitesize website.

The flash game is presented in the style of Amanita's popular Samorost series, and once again a nameless protagonist must explore various creative, organic locations. This time around, not only do players click hotspots in logical sequences to proceed, but Questionaut's eight levels each present an educational quiz that must be passed.

The quizzes, posing questions created by the BBC, are aimed at 11-year olds, but aren't so easy that most adults won't be forced to embarrassingly lie about getting them all correct. The questions cover a range of topics, including math, grammar, sciences, and animal and plant life. Points are deducted for incorrect answers, and five points are required to advance to the next area. (No bonus points for spotting the typo in one of the questions, but in keeping with the spirit of the exercise, I feel compelled to point it out.)

Questionaut is entirely playable in your web browser and cannot be saved in progress, though it's not very long, so completing it in one go should pose little difficulty. So give it a try while you wait for Amanita's first full-scale adventure, Machinarium, and if you get stuck, there's probably an 11-year old somewhere nearby to help you get through.



First teaser for 2D cartoon adventure now available

Following the recent announcement of a new adventure from Daedalic, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, comes the first trailer for the game.

In this 2D point-and-click adventure, Edna find herself in a padded cell with no recollection of her past or how she got there. Edna, along with her talking stuffed rabbit Harvey, decides to break out and meets many of the asylum's residents along the way as she tries to evade the head of the asylum, Dr. Marcel.

The 5 MB silent film-style teaser shows a few in-game scenes and offers a glimpse of the many characters in the game. It can be downloaded from FileFront or viewed as a streaming video at GamersHell.

Edna & Harvey will be released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland this May with other territories to follow.

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