Adventure News

April 2008



Loony 2D adventure launches next month in Germany

The Internet is a crazy place at the best of times, but it just got a little more wacko with the launch of the English website for Edna & Harvey: The Breakout.

The 2D hand-drawn comic adventure, which revels gleefully its old-fashioned sensibilities, casts players in the role of Edna, a young girl who wakes up to discovers she has no memory of her past. What's worse, she's now wrongfully locked up in an insane asylum. But she's clearly in her right mind -- even her talking stuffed bunny Harvey agrees -- and so the unlikely pair plan a daring escape. As they go, they'll meet up with the asylum's other nutjobs, including a man in a bee costume and a pair of Siamese twins. But standing in their way is the head of the institute, who seems determined to stop Edna at all costs for reasons that begin to reveal themselves as Edna's memory gradually returns.

The new website features some additional information about the story and characters, along with a nice selection of wallpapers, music samples, and three different streaming teaser videos.

No firm release target has been set for English markets, but Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is due out in German speaking territories next month.



Playable demo now available; full game release due next week

Usually the scariest part of adventuring on a Mac is the thought of simply finding a game to play. But thanks to Frictional Games, both Mac and Linux gamers can now get their chills in the playable demo of Penumbra: Black Plague.

The critically-acclaimed Penumbra games, soon to be joined by a final expansion called Requiem, are horror titles that rely heavily on real-world physics, allowing far more hands-on interaction with the environment than most adventures. Players assume the role of a man named Philip, who follows in the footsteps of his dead father and finds himself trapped in an underground tunnel complex in the frozen north of Greenland. Unfortunately for Philip, he's not alone, and the games also involve a certain degree of action-based elements in surviving the dangers, though far more in Penumbra: Overture than its sequel.

The demo is taken from the game's early levels, and can be found at the developer's website. The release of the full game is expected next week, along with an update to Overture.



New versions of AGS and ScummC now available

Independent developers will be interested to know that new versions of two adventure game development tools have recently been released.

AGS 3.01, the latest iteration of the popular Adventure Game Studio engine, has seen its official release to the wild of the Internet, a minor update to the bigger 3.0 release earlier this year. And ScummC has had its first update in about three years with version 0.2.0, and finally can produce a game that works in ScummVM. They have also converted the AGS game OpenQuest to ScummC as a proof of concept.



Tri-Synergy to publish the Roswell-based sci-fi thriller

The name "Area 51" conjures up images of aliens, crashed UFOs, and decades-old conspiracy theories, but perhaps something much different has been going on in New Mexico. At least, that's the idea behind Aurora: The Secret Within, which will soon be released by Tri-Synergy in North America.

The first adventure from Italian developers BluMiAl Studios, Aurora puts players in the first-person role of Detective Pileggi, assigned to a case involving the disappearance of a local farmer in Roswell, circa 1950. During the course of his investigation, however, Pileggi discovers that "his reality has always been an illusion" and that Area 51 is really host to a secret project created for travelling through time.

For more information about Aurora: The Secret Within, most notably a streaming trailer of the game, check out the official website of Lexicon Entertainment, the game's international publisher.

While today's announcement revealed the publishing agreement to bring Aurora to North America, no firm release date has yet been established.



New partnership includes four games for "back half" of 2008

There are few publishers today with a more impressive upcoming lineup than Microïds, but with release dates coming and going with no new information, the uncomfortable silence was growing louder by the week. Clearly there was plenty of talking behind the scenes, however, as today Microïds and Encore announced an exclusive partnership to publish the entire Microïds calalogue in North America.

The agreement between the companies includes Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon, the first of four new titles, to be followed (not necessarily in order) by Sinking Island, Still Life 2 and Nostradamus. Along with the newer games, Encore also acquires the rights to all of Microïds' previous games, including Syberia and Amerzone.

If Encore is a name unknown in adventure circles, it's definitely not an inexperienced software publisher, having brought popular brands like Hoyle, Reader Rabbit, and Mavis Beacon to store shelves in the past.

The only downside of the deal is that each new release is now slated for some time in the "back half of 2008", so North American gamers anxiously awaiting these games will need to hold off a little while longer.



Download-only expansion due out this summer

So it's a trilogy after all.

When the Penumbra series was first announced, Overture was to be the first of three games, but with the arrival of Black Plague came word that the series had been reduced to two games. Now, however, a third part is coming anyway, as Paradox Interactive announced that Penumbra: Requiem will be released this summer.

Requiem is called an "expansion" rather than a full-fledged sequel, tying up loose ends even as the storyline "delves deeper into the world of the Tuurngait infection and personalities from the previous two games". Once again cast in the role of Philip, players will encounter long lost friends who may or may not be trustworthy, and "telling what is real and what is not will be even harder and not always trusting your senses will be essential in order to survive."

Unlike the earlier titles in the horror series, Requiem won't be available on store shelves, or even widely available online, as the game will be offered exclusively through the GamersGate download portal, beginning in June 2008.



Two very different adventures available in North America

No matter what your taste in adventures, chances are there's a new game to suit you either shipping now or already on store shelves in North America.

If comedy and swashbuckling adventure is your thing, Jack Keane should fit the bill. The new adventure from Deck13 (Ankh series) casts players in the title role, whose botched Colonial-era escort mission lands him on the tropical Tooth Island, where he's confronted by the mad scientist Dr. T and his army of trained apes. It's up to Jack and his foe-turned-love interest Amanda to save the British Empire's tea supply and foil the doctor's plans to rule the world. Jack Keane shipped today, and should soon be available in all major North American retailers.

For something a little more current and a lot more serious, Overclocked: A History of Violence may be just the ticket. The complex exploration of the psychological impact of violence puts players in multiple roles, including forensic psychiatrist David McNamara and his five patients. These five young people are all guilty of violent acts but have no memory of recent events, and it's up to players to both unlock and then live out their recollections in reverse chronological order. Overclocked began shipping late last month, and should now be available in all major stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For more information about each game, be sure to check out the Jack Keane and Overclocked websites.



Trailer offers first glimpse of art-based conspiracy thriller

There hasn't been much news of Memento Mori for even the most ardent conspiracy theorists to whisper about lately, but that has now changed with the recent launch of the game's official website.

The upcoming thriller begins with a seemingly trivial art theft in St. Petersburg, which soon hints at the involvement of a secret Finnish society called "Ikuinen nukkuja", which has dedicated itself to confiscating any artwork that portrays the Angel of Death. According to a centuries-old legend, many painters attempted to capture this image in their work, though the angel can only be seen when one is straddling the line between life and death. It's up to the game's two playable characters, Detective Larisa Svetlova and art forger Maxim Durand, to delve into the details of the St. Petersburg robbery and the deeper mysteries of the order.

The new website provides more details about the game's story and characters, and an 18 MB teaser in the "Downloads" section offers a quick peek at the game. The trailer can either be streamed directly or downloaded.

While there is no word yet on an English language version of the game, the initial European release of Memento Mori is currently targeted for fall of 2008.



New episodic series from Telltale set in Homestar Runner universe

The adventure genre and Nintendo WiiWare have hardly been synonymous so far, but all that is about to change, as Telltale Games has announced that they will be bringing the first episodic adventure series to WiiWare in the form of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. And if you don't have a Wii, fear not, as the series will also be available on PC.

The new series is based on the popular online animated series created in 2000 by brothers Matt and Mike Chapman. The game will feature Strong Bad and other characters and locations in the Homestar Runner universe, and the characters will be voiced by Matt Chapman and the original cast. Telltale has been working closely with the Chapmans to capture the distinctive Strong Bad humor and style, and players will control Strong Bad as the comic story unfolds in each episode through dialogue and inventory puzzles as well as mini arcade games like those found at the Homestar Runner website. Players will also be able to check Strong Bad's email and make prank phone calls.

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (SBCG4AP) will be released in a five-episode season that will come out monthly, with the first episode expected in June on the Wii. The first trailer and additional information about the series will be available on Telltale's website later today.



Worldwide download of Season Two's last episode to follow tomorrow

Things have really started heating up for Sam & Max, so much so that the Freelance Police find themselves in Hell in the Season Two finale, which launched today on GameTap.

In What's New, Beelzebub?, the canine shamus and hyperkinetic rabbity thing must confront none other than the devil himself in a showdown for Bosco's soul. They quickly discover, however, that getting to Hell is easy; penetrating its torment of bureaucracy... not so much. But they're up to the challenge, and along the way they may just discover the nature of the disturbing events of the previous installments as well.

As with the previous episodes this season, What's New, Beelzebub? debuts today exclusively on GameTap, and will become publicly available for download tomorrow from the official website.



Ace Attorney spin-off to star Miles Edgeworth

Step aside, Ace Attorney, and make way for the new star of the courtroom, the Perfect Prosecutor.

The latest issue of Japanese magazine Famitsu has revealed the first glimpse of the Ace Attorney spin-off from Capcom, starring none other than Phoenix Wright's original opponent, Miles Edgeworth. Although details of the new game for the Nintendo DS are still very sketchy, the new game will reportedly focus more on the collection of evidence, as befits the role of a prosecutor. Controlling Edgeworth, players will need to search for overlooked evidence and inconsistencies at the crime scene using new search and deduction systems introduced in this game. Helping out will be another familiar face, as Detective Dick Gumshoe will also appear in Perfect Prosecutor.

As seen in the first images from the game, Perfect Prosecutor will allow players to guide Edgeworth on screen in full third-person perspective, which is a departure from the first-person Ace Attorney investigation segments.


The chance to play as Edgeworth is reason enough for us to keep a close eye on this game, so stay tuned for any new developments. For now these are the only details available, and there has been no official confirmation of an English-language version of the game. Given the popularity of the Ace Attorney series, however, it seems likely that Perfect Prosecutor will reach a Western audience some time after a Japanese release.



New trailer marks the release of great detective's latest adventure

When will Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis be available in North America, you ask? Elementary, my dear gamers. The answer is "very soon", as The Adventure Company announced today that the great detective's newest mystery has now shipped to retailers.

In the fourth Holmes adventure from Frogwares, Sherlock finds himself up against perhaps his greatest (gaming) opponent yet. Famed French burglar Arsène Lupin, the fictional creation of Maurice LeBlanc, has challenged Holmes to a battle of wits, announcing his intention to deprive London of five precious artifacts in a week. It's up to Holmes, with the help of his able assistant Dr. Watson, to discover the object and location of each new theft, and prevent a great humiliation for Britain.

To help mark the occasion, a new trailer for Nemesis has also been released, showing a montage of in-game footage that includes several of the game's locations and even some of its puzzles. The 11 MB trailer can either be streamed or downloaded from sites like GamersHell or FileFront.



Uncertain release date for teen wizard's newest adventure

With its targeted first quarter release date now come and gone, the future of Simon the Sorcerer: Chaos Happens was beginning to look bleak. But while the full game may still face an uncertain future, now at least there's a trailer to help tide fans of the wise-cracking teen wizard over while they wait.

In his fourth fantasy adventure, Simon experiences a vision of Alix, his girlfriend from the Magic World, who tells him that a Simon doppelganger is wreaking havoc. Naturally (or perhaps quite unnaturally), there's nothing for Simon to do but hop in his magical wardrobe and get to the bottom of the matter and stop his mischievous clone.

The new trailer shows a fair bit of in-game footage, introducing Simon and a few of the game's many magical inhabitants, from vampire cats to undead warlocks to two-headed dogs. At 7 MB, the video can be streamed or downloaded from GameTrailers.

You'll notice, of course, that the trailer ends with a message saying the game will be "Out March 2008", which did not occur. Playlogic, the game's publisher, still has no firm updated release dates, though the company reports that negotiations are still ongoing for localized English language distributors to get the game on store shelves.



Game has shipped to retailers in North America

To coincide with the release of the new adventure from House of Tales, Overclocked: A History of Violence, Lighthouse has recently made a new trailer available for a sneak peek at the game.

Overclocked tells the story of five young men and women who have been committing acts of violence and lost their memories. David McNamara, a former army psychiatrist, has been sent to explore their minds to find out the reason for their behavior by "rewinding" their recollections in reverse chronological order.

The 60 MB trailer, showing in-game footage that highlights more of the game's story and introduces the five young people you meet, is available for download at WorthPlaying or GamersHell, where it can also be streamed directly.

An earlier trailer, available previously only on the game's official website, is also now available from public download sites, including WorthPlaying.

For more information on the game, which has recently shipped to North American retailers, be sure to check out Adventure Gamers' hands-on preview.

Page 1 of 2  1 2 >