Adventure News

May 2008



Playable sampler picks up the vampire's trail in London

With the international release of Dracula: Origin close at hand, now you can check out the vampiric adventure from Frogwares for yourself in the new playable demo.

Dracula: Origin is a return to third-person, point-and-click adventuring for Frogwares, after a few free-roaming 3D Sherlock Holmes games. In the new game, players are cast in the role of famed vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing. Already determined to kill Dracula, now Van Helsing must stop the Count from finding an ancient manuscript that will allow him to raise the soul of his former love back to life.

The demo takes place early in the game, as Van Helsing learns of a disturbing series of murders in the vicinity that he believes will lead him to Dracula.

The 600 MB demo can be downloaded directly from the publisher or from standard download sites like GamersHell.



Kalypso to publish German-developed adventure later this year

In ye ol' surprise adventure game news, Kalpyso Media announced today that it will be publishing the point-and-click, fantasy-themed adventure Ceville in the UK.

Developed by German studio Boxed Dreams, Ceville tells the story of its eponymous anti-hero in his quest to save his kingdom. Once a ruthless tyrant who ruled over the fairy tale realm of Faeryanis, Ceville was ousted in a public revolution and driven from the realm, replaced by the far kinder Queen Gwendolyn and her noble council. Unfortunately, a traitorous cousellor named Basilius is now secretly conspiring to "murder queen Gwendolyn, take the crown and subdue the realm with the help of murderous beasts he summons from the planes of eternal darkness." In order to save the kingdom, it's up to none other than Ceville himself to foil Basilius' evil scheme, though throughout the game, players will also have the chance to control "Ambrosius, the pompous and self-important knight or Lilly, a quirky, but kind and gentle girl."

Although no firm launch date has been set for Ceville, Kalypso is currently targeting a release some time later this year.



Gothic mystery from Frogwares now shipping to retailers

If you've stocked up on garlic, wooden stakes, and crucifixes in preparation for the upcoming wave of Dracula games, your first test is close at hand, as The Adventure Company announced today that Dracula: Origin has shipped to retailers in North America.

For those that don't take the legend quite as seriously, the game will supply all those items anyway, as Dracula: Origin casts players in the role of renowned vampire killer Professor Van Helsing. Already committed to killing the Count, now Van Helsing has a more immediate reason to stop Dracula before he discovers an ancient manuscript that can bring the soul of his beloved back from death.

Dracula: Origin will retail for $19.99 USD, and should be available in major stores soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview and head over to the game's official website.



Blackwell Convergence and new indie project highlights video release

If you've been wondering what's going on at Wadjet Eye Games these days, Dave Gilbert is now offering a news update on a video podcast. While light on details, the video does offer a promising status report of Blackwell Convergence, plus teases of a new outside indie project being financed by the company.

In the nearly seven minute vidcast, Gilbert explains that most of his own time has been occupied in recent months by the as-yet-still-unspecified project underway in conjunction with Playfirst. While that has meant an inevitable delay to the third installment of the Blackwell series, Gilbert has taken the opportunity to completely revamp the artwork for the game, starting over from scratch with a new studio, Luminous Arts, now providing full-time work on the game's backgrounds and Shane Stevens handing the characters. These improvements to the graphics do not, Gilbert insists, mean that the game is moving away from its low-resolution retro look.

Meanwhile, Wadjet Eye is also now dabbling in the field of publishing itself, as the video teases of an independent project that will be financed by the company but not developed by Gilbert himself. The only information provided is that the developer has worked with Gilbert on a previous Wadjet Eye title, and while still early in its design phase, more details could be revealed about the project sometime in June.



Gameplay video of Homestar Ruiner now available

If you're highly awesome, you'll be interested to know that the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People now has a name and a gameplay trailer to accompany it. If you're less than cool, you can stop reading now.

The episode will be called Homestar Ruiner, which bears a rather striking similarity to the acclaimed Homestar Runner online cartoon on which the new series is based. In the first adventure to be released through Nintendo's WiiWare download service (and PC, for non-Wii owners), Strong Bad begins his day much like any other, "answering emails, dominating in video games, and setting out to pummel his enemies. Then Strong Bad's scheme to win the tri-annual Race to the End of the Race lands him with an unwanted guest: his dimwitted adversary, Homestar Runner. Now Strong Bad must find a way to get the disgraced athlete back on the Free Country, USA A-list (and out of his house)."

The gameplay trailer features a single exchange between Strong Bad, the obnoxious, boxing-costumed loudmouth, and the dimwitted, propeller-topped Homestar before the big race. The video demonstrates the game's icon-based dialogue system and of course the rather unique brand of humour that has made the cartoon series a cult favourite. The trailer can be viewed at the official SBCG4AP website.

For more information about Homestar Ruiner and the new series in general, don't miss our recent preview of the game.



New teaser shows first glimpse of upcoming vampiric adventure

Vampires may not cast a reflection in mirrors, but we sure will be seeing a lot of them on PC in the coming months. The next to star in his own adventure is none other than Dracula himself, and now gamers can catch a first animated glimpse of the Count in the new trailer for Dracula: Origin.

In Dracula: Origin, players assume the role of famed vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing, who has made it his life's work to kill Dracula. He also faces a more immediate challenge, however, as Dracula has learned of a manuscript that can bring damned souls back to life, and Van Helsing must stop him before he's able to find and use the manuscript on Mina, the fiancée of Jonathan Harker.

The new cinematic teaser introduces a number of the game's characters and environments throughout an adventure that takes players from London into Egypt, Austria, and of course Transylvania. The trailer can either be streamed directly or saved as 76 MB download.

For more information about Dracula: Origin before its international release in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview and pop over to the official website.



Hollywood voice talent secured for title roles

The names of Frank and Joe Hardy are instantly recognizable, and now their game voices will be as well, as The Adventure Company announced that two Hollywood stars will be playing the lead roles of the newly-retitled The Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft.

In the first game featuring the famous teen crimefighting duo, developed by XPEC Entertainment, the voice of elder brother Frank will be provided by former daytime soap actor and current platimum-selling singer Jesse McCartney, while younger brother Joe will be handled by Cody Linley, perhaps best known for his recurring guest role on Hannah Montana.

To this point, little was known about the mystery the Hardy Boys will be tasked to solve, but today's announcement also revealed the first details about The Hidden Theft. The brothers are first called in to investigate the robbery of the Spencer Mansion vault, but "they soon find themselves in the middle of a major criminal investigation that takes them on an adventure all over Bayport, and even into New York City."

No firm release date has been set for The Hidden Theft, but look for the teen sleuths to arrive on PC some time in fall 2008.



Enki Bilal's acclaimed graphic novel comes to PC this August

The name Nikopol, or even Enki Bilal, may not be well known outside of France, but that will change this summer when Got Game Entertainment publishes White Birds' Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals.

Bilal is a French graphic novelist who is perhaps most famous for his Nikopol trilogy and subsequent film, Immortal. The first game in a planned trilogy covering each book in the series, Secrets of the Immortals is White Birds' adaptation of The Carnival of the Immortals. Bilal himself is heavily involved in the game's development to ensure a faithful translation of his striking art style and unique vision.

The backdrop of Nikopol is a surreal and complex one, taking place in 2023 in a Paris "now ruled by a power-hungry dictator, a place where the fascist rich and the abandoned poor are separated by both a literal and figurative wall." A pyramid inhabited by Egyptian gods floats over the city as Nikopol discovers that his father, an astronaut thought frozen in space decades earlier, may still be alive. In an adventure filled with political intrigue, Nikopol begins a search for his father in the city's underground, only to find himself "caught between two worlds, one of anarchy and one of immortality."

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals is currently targeting a release in August 2008. In the meantime, be sure to read the second part of our White Birds feature article for more information about the game.



Port of Cyan's classic on Nintendo's handheld now available

Fifteen years old and still going strong, Myst is back in the news today, as Empire Interactive has announced that the DS port of Cyan's classic has now shipped to retailers in North America.

Myst has been re-released on many different platforms over the years, but if you've yet to make the journey through magical linking books in search of red and blue pages, the DS version of the game does offer some enhancements. Developed by Hoplite Research, the game features such upgrades as re-mastered audio and video; new tools such as the magnifying glass, camera, notebook, and map; and the Rime Age not included in the original Myst, not to mention the most obvious difference of the dual screen presentation.

For more information about Myst for DS, be sure to check out the official website, which includes a trailer for the game.



Polish-developed crime thriller to release as budget title

They say crime doesn't pay, and if you're an adventure fan in the UK this week, it won't cost much, either, as City Interactive announced that its crime thriller Art of Murder: FBI Confidential will be releasing as part of its newly-formed "Premiere" budget lineup.

Distributed by Pinnacle, the official UK distributor for City Interactive, Art of Murder casts players in the role of young FBI agent Nicole Bonnet, assigned to investigate a series of gruesome murders of wealthy citizens in New York City. Her case takes her far beyond the reaches of the city, however, as new murders bring new mysteries, and the trail eventually takes Nicole to Cusco, Peru, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire near the Amazon jungle.

For more information about Art of Murder, be sure the check out the game's website and our recent hands-on preview. The game will be sold for £9.99, and is scheduled to begin shipping on May 16th.



Tri Synergy to publish otherworldly adventure this summer

Summer might usually be a time for rest and relaxation, but not this year, as the fate of mankind will rest in the hands of North American gamers when Limbo of the Lost is released by Tri Synergy.

In the debut adventure from Majestic Studios over a decade in the making, players must guide Captain Benjamin S. Briggs, the central figure in a battle for supremacy between twin brothers Fate and Destiny. In the realm of LIMBO, Briggs must seal the legendary book of Sufferance to prevent Fate from unleashing Armageddon. The book, however, is guarded by the Four Horseman, and just reaching the goal requires crossing a variety of environments, each with its own distinctive style and filled with devious puzzles.

For additional information about the game, be sure to check out the game's official website. No firm release date has been set for Limbo of the Lost, but the game should be shipping to retailers some time this summer.



Playable sampler showcases early portion of the game

Now that Overclocked: A History of Violence is out in both North America and Europe, those who are still on the fence about purchasing it will have a chance to take the game for a test drive, as an English demo has just been released.

The latest point-and-click game from House of Tales centers on former Army psychiatrist David McNamara. He must unravel why five young men and women have lost their memories and were found wandering around New York City by exploring the memories of each of them, all the while battling personal and psychological problems of his own.

The demo shows the game's introduction and takes place on the morning of the second day at the facility where the five young people are being held. The whopping 952 MB demo can be downloaded from GamersHell or WorthPlaying.

To read more about the game, be sure to check out Adventure Gamers' review.



Lengthy teaser includes intro sequence from full game

Like a ghost that lingers after the body passes away, so The Lost Crown is still making its presence felt even months after release. Today's sighting is a new trailer for the latest ghost-hunting adventure from Jonathan Boakes.

In The Lost Crown, players assume the role of Nigel Danvers, on the run from his boss after discovering company secrets he wasn't meant to know. Fearing for his safety, Danvers flees to the foggy English coastal town of Saxton, an area with a rich history of pirates, treasure, and even ghosts. Using real world ghost-hunting tools and techniques, Danvers decides to pursue a legendary crown on an adventure that takes him to a variety of haunted environments.

Along with a smattering of in-game footage, the new teaser includes a lengthy section of the game's introduction, which details the background behind Jonathan's flight from Hadden Industries. The trailer is available for streaming directly or as a 56 MB download from the game's official website.

For more information about The Lost Crown, be sure to check out our review of the game.