Adventure News

June 2008



Cinematic teaser offers peek at 18th century conspiracy thriller

If you've been anxiously waiting for updates on Mozart, today's news will be music to your ears, as Micro Application recently unveiled a cinematic teaser for the game.

The 18th century thriller casts players in the role of the enigmatic composer himself, in Prague to launch his famous opera, Don Giovanni. Unfortunately, a conspiracy to dethrone the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (and Mozart's benefactor) places the musical prodigy square in the middle of a conflict involving murder, secret societies, and occult ceremonies.

The trailer shows a variety of scenes from the game, including several locations and puzzles, and of course is accompanied by a healthy dose of operatic music. The 7MB video can either be downloaded or streamed directly from GamersHell.

For more information about the game, be sure to check out the Mozart website.



Popular teen detective series gets first port to Nintendo's console this fall

Nancy Drew has gone a lot of places and done a lot of things in her 75-plus years of detective work, but this fall she'll encounter the Nintendo Wii for the first time, as Her Interactive has announced plans to port the PC adventure The White Wolf of Icicle Creek to the popular console.

Originally released a year ago, the 16th entry in the long-running detective series sends the plucky teen to the Canadian Rockies, where a series of unexplained incidents and the late-night howling of a wolf is driving guests away from the Icicle Creek Lodge. Posing as a hotel employee, it's up to Nancy to sift through the stories of the remaining guests and hunt down clues in order to discover the culprit and the wolf's connection to the case.

The Wii port is being produced in partnership with SEGA, promising not only a conversion of the original mystery but also a "variety of gesture-based mini-games with the Wii Remote".

The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is currently targeting a release on the Wii this October. In the meantime, there is more Nancy Drew action on tap, as The Phantom of Venice is due to arrive on PC next month. For more information about both titles, including a second trailer for Phantom, be sure to check out Her Interactive's website.



Welsh horror to be published in North America this fall

Horror fans can look forward to more Halloween frights later this year, as Got Game announced today that it will be publishing Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches in North America this October.

Originally known as Rhiannon - Beyond the Mabinogion, the game is based on the "Four Branches" tales of the Mabinogion, a collection of historical records combined with classic Welsh myths, legends, and fantasies. In Curse of the Four Branches, a remote Welsh farmstead called Ty Pryderi is the home of 15-year old Rhiannon Sullivan. But when Rhiannon is tormented by noises and experiences visions that can't be explained, she is taken away by her parents, leaving the player alone in the house to uncover its "terrible connection to a timeless struggle between man and magic".

A first-person, point-and-click adventure, Rhiannon is the debut title from Welsh team Arberth Studios. For more background about the game and the legends that inspired it, be sure to check out the developer's website.



Port of Kheops Studio's PC puzzlefest due this fall

While the Nintendo Wii may be best known for its physically-demanding motion controls, there are still plenty of games designed to work out the mind. Add Safecracker to the latter list, as JoWood and DreamCatcher announced today that they will be porting Kheops Studio's popular PC puzzle-centric adventure to the Wii.

Originally released almost two years ago (and not to be confused with its similarly-named predecessor almost a decade earlier), the game casts players in the first-person role of an expert safecracker called to the mansion of a recently deceased billionaire who has hidden his will in one of 35 increasingly challenging safes throughout the house. While there is some exploration to be done apart from the safes, the main focus of the game is its puzzles, as each opened safe adds new clues that let you progress further.

No firm release date for the Wii port has yet been announced, but the game is currently on schedule for a release this fall.



Overhauled games database and new Editor version released

Adventure Game Studio, the popular engine behind games like Blackwell Legacy, Al Emmo and 5 Days a Stranger, has recently received a double upgrade.

To developers, the more important change is to the AGS Editor, which has now been upgraded to version 3.0.2. The update includes many bug fixes and minor features added, as described in the complete list of changes. To check out the latest version of the AGS Editor, download the new installer.

The other important update is helpful to everyone, as it affects the large database of games at the AGS website. The result of many months of work behind the scenes, games can now be searched by (thematic) genre, and each of the 1000-odd games listed now has a 1-to-5 "cup" rating given by an AGS committee to represent the quality of the game.



Atmospheric teaser establishes gritty tone for the upcoming crime thriller

There hasn't been much news of Still Life 2 so far, but following the first screenshots unveiled earlier this week, now a cinematic teaser has been released for Microïds' upcoming crime thriller.

While Still Life 2 will once again follow the exploits of young FBI agent Victoria McPherson, the sequel will not be a direct continuation of the original game, though purportedly the unresolved questions will be answered. Instead, the new game sees Victoria sent to Maine in pursuit of a new serial killer, the East Coast Torturer. There she's contacted by journalist Paloma Hernandez, who has been critical of the FBI investigation and has been doing some digging of her own. Paloma claims to have vital clues to the case, but she's kidnapped by the Torturer before she's able to share them. Players will control not only Victoria throughout the game, but also Paloma at times, providing two unique perspectives of the same case.

The new trailer offers no insight into the game's characters or plot details, but establishes a gritty, disturbing atmosphere that suggests Still Life 2 will share its predecessor's menacing mood and tone. Almost 25 MB, the video can be downloaded from WorthPlaying.



TAC to publish Autumn Moon's comic adventure this October

It's been a long time in coming, and will be a while longer yet, but A Vampyre Story will soon be winging its way into North America, as The Adventure Company announced today that it will be publishing the highly-anticipated comic adventure in October.

The debut adventure from Autumn Moon tells the tale of a young opera singer named Mona, whose dream is to return to Paris and become a star. The first problem is, she's a vampire. The second problem is, she's imprisoned in the gloomy Draxylvanian castle of the vampire who victimized her, Baron Shrowdy von Kiefer. But with the help of her wisecracking bat friend named Froderick, Mona finally manages to flee her captor, and as her travels expose her to "strange inhabitants and some even stranger challenges, Mona must learn not only to accept her vampire nature, but also to use the abilities she has acquired to her advantage."

The history of A Vampyre Story has been a shaky one, to say the least. The brainchild of acclaimed LucasArts veteran Bill Tiller, AVS looked to be a stunning launch title for the fledging Autumn Moon studio. However, the future seemed bleak after one ill-fated publishing deal fell through and the lengthy period of inactivity that followed. But the team eventually partnered with Crimson Cow to continue work on the game, and while a European publisher had previously been announced, the plans for North America had not been revealed until today's announcement.

For more information about A Vampyre Story and the team behind it, head on over to the official website and have a look at our interview with Bill Tiller.



Paradise "totally rethought" for Nintendo DS incarnation

White Birds' Paradise didn't quite live up to its name when released on PC two years ago, but the game will undergo quite a few changes when it's published on Nintendo DS as Last King of Africa late this year by Focus Interactive.

The story casts players in the role of Ann Smith, who has come to the imaginary African country of Maurania to visit her dying father, the king. With the country gripped in the throes of civil war, however, Ann crash lands and awakens with amnesia, and her remaining adventure becomes as much about self-realization as a physical journey through the dangers of the wartorn African landscape.

While the two versions will share much in common, the original PC adventure has been "totally rethought" for adapting to the DS. Perhaps most notably (and importantly to some), the 3D action sequences of Paradise have been removed, making Last King of Africa a fully traditional adventure. Other key changes include puzzles that have been "completely reworked" to be more intuitive and make use of the DS features, and some differences in the storyline itself, such as a "radical change in the relationships between the principal characters". The interface and presentation will also benefit from several improvements, with simplified dialogues, a "clear and detailed layout" of the game's environments for easier navigation, and a help system to avoid unnecessary pixel hunting.

Last King of Africa is currently targeting a release at the end of this year.



Cinematic teaser shows new in-game footage of conspiracy thriller

There's no doubt about it anymore. Belief & Betrayal is ready for its international release, and to mark the occasion, Lighthouse Interactive today released a new trailer for Artematica's conspiracy thriller.

After several false starts, the long-awaited adventure will soon be casting players in the role of journalist Jonathan Danter, whose seemingly routine murder investigation soon exposes a much deeper ancient mystery involving dangerous secrets concealed by the Church for many centuries. Helping Danter uncover the truth are two other playable characters, language specialist Katrin McKendal and Damien, a hotshot computer wiz, as the adventure moves across Europe, including stops in London, Venice, Rome, and the Vatican.

The 10 MB trailer shows plenty of in-game footage from the game, and can be streamed or downloaded from FileFront, or from any of the mirror sites listed at the publisher's website.



Lighthouse to publish ghost-hunting adventure in July

What goes around comes around, at least where The Lost Crown is concerned. Jonathan Boakes' latest ghost-hunting adventure is returning to its original romping grounds this summer, as Lighthouse Interactive announced today that the game will be published in the UK this summer.

In the mostly-black-and-white adventure, players take control of amateur ghost seeker and treasure hunter Nigel Danvers, who finds himself on the foggy English coastal town of Saxton in pursuit of the fabled Crown of Anglia. Not all treasures are meant to be found, however, and players will confront opposition both living and dead, and success depends on applying various skills as a paranormal investigator, using real-world ghost hunting equipment and techniques to proceed.

For more information about The Lost Crown, be sure to check out the game's official website and read through our review of the game.

Lighthouse is currently targeting a release of July 18th in the UK, and plans to bring the game to other European countries (excluding France and Russia) in the fourth quarter of this year.



Tri Synergy discontinuing distribution over artwork copying fiasco

Amidst heavy speculation about the blatant similarities in artwork between Limbo of the Lost and such previous games as Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Eidos' Thief: Deadly Shadows, and Blizzard's Diablo 2, the publisher for Majestic Studios' upcoming adventure has made a pre-emptively bold response by announcing it intends to discontinue the planned distribution of the game in North America.

Earlier this week, GamePlasma posted the first comparative screenshots between Limbo of the Lost and Oblivion, and additional resemblances to other games have come to light since then. To date there's been no official statement from the developers, and the legal ramifications of the allegedly-copied designs are unclear at this stage, but Tri Synergy wasted no time in clarifying that it had no previous knowledge of such similarities and would not be releasing the game this summer, either through retail or online outlets as scheduled.

The history of Limbo of the Lost has been a long and troubled one, with the game in various stages of development for about ten years before finally seeming to clear the final hurdle for retail release. Even so, the game's European release through G2 Games late last year resulted only in a few copies available through eBay or from a small Asian retailer, casting doubt about the legitimacy of the release. The deal with Tri Synergy was to be the first widespread distribution of the game, but now its future appears true to its name, once again lost in limbo.



PC and Wii release of Homestar Ruiner coming in July

The much anticipated release of (deep breath) Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has seen a small delay until July, but to help pass the time, Telltale today released several quick peeks into the upcoming series.

First up is a gameplay trailer that follows Strong Bad around as he does typically Strong Baddish things like collecting "Snake Boxer V" manual pages, insulting ugly bushes, and conversing with a fence. Better (or more accurately, far FAR worse) yet, the diminutive tough guy in boxing garb has leaked a "payable" demo in his Dev Blog displaying the -- ahem -- great progress made in preparation for the feature-rich first episode, Homestar Ruiner. Both trailer and demo are available at the game's official website.

In Homestar Ruiner, Strong Bad's plot to win the tri-annual Race to the End of the Race results in Homestar taking up permanent residence on his couch, and players must help Strong Bad get his unwanted guest out of the house.

The first of five SBCG4AP episodes will debut simultaneously on both PC and WiiWare next month.



Available soon at North American retailers, next week in UK

It's said that good things come to those that wait, and the patience of those anxiously awaiting Belief & Betrayal is finally being rewarded, as Lighthouse Interactive announced today that the game has begun shipping in North America.

In Belief & Betrayal, players assume the primary role of Jonathan Danter, a tabloid journalist whose investigation into a ten-year-old murder case explodes into something far deeper and more sinister, exposing secrets concealed by the Church since the time that Judas betrayed Jesus. Along the way, players will also control language specialist Katrin McKendal and a computer expert named Damien in an adventure that spans London, Venice, Rome, and the Vatican itself.

The game will be available soon in major retailers across the US and Canada, and will begin shipping in the UK on June 20th. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Belief & Betrayal website for more information.



Crime thriller available in UK, shipping soon in North America

With the recent release of Art of Murder: FBI Confidential in the UK and its upcoming launch in North America, City Interactive has unveiled a new cinematic teaser for its gritty crime thriller.

In Art of Murder, players assume the role of young FBI agent Nicole Bonnet, assigned to a case investigating a series of gruesome, ritualistic murders of upstanding citizens in New York City. The trail leads Bonnet through the city's seedy underbelly before sending her all the way to Cusco, Peru, and into the heart of the Amazon jungle in search of the link that ties the murders together.

The 14 MB trailer can be found at standard download sites like WorthPlaying and FileFront, the latter allowing for direct streaming as well.

For more information about Art of Murder, be sure to check out the game's official website and our recent hands-on preview.

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