Adventure News

July 2008



Supernatural mystery announced for Russia in third quarter

Russian adventure games don't have a great track record of international releases. Nevertheless, all eyes are on Akella today as the publisher has announced production of a new supernatural mystery adventure called Night Watcher (working title).

Based on the novel of the same name by Oleg Divov, the game explores the disturbing mysteries of a small Russian town. People have been disappearing in Posolsk, while badly damaged corpses are turning up everywhere. Journalist Andrei Luzgin begins to investigate, but he's followed by someone that is "clearly not a human being", and Luzgin himself disappears after learning of scientific experiments being conducted in secret. Later, FSB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Dolinsky arrives with a secret mandate of his own: to create a vaccine for his sick wife from a genetic sample he can only find in Posolsk.

According to today's announcement, the game will feature two playable characters in a traditional third-person adventure along the lines of other supernatural mysteries like Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers and The Black Mirror. Additional details about the game can be found at the official website.

Night Watcher is currently scheduled for release this fall in Russia. Predictably, there is no immediate word on when the game might be localized for release in other markets.



The Colour of Murder targeted for October release

Quickly becoming one of the more tireless adventure game sleuths, the indomitable Carol Reed is back for her fifth mystery this year, as MDNA Games has announced production of The Colour of Murder.

Following on the heels of Mikael and Eleen Nyqvist's previous indie releases, from Remedy through East Side Story, the new game once again thrusts Carol into an unexpected (if not unwelcome) investigation. Midsummer's Eve approaches in Sweden, and Carol's plans are interrupted when she's approached by her allotment neighbour. The man suspects his handicapped son is involved in a murder, and so a new adventure begins, taking Carol "through dark tunnels, abandoned military areas, derelict mines, and beautiful places of historical importance, leading all the way up to the Royal Family."

The Colour of Murder is currently scheduled for release this October, and a demo is expected shortly on the game's official website.



Serial murder mystery now shipping to retailers

So much for confidential... City Interactive announced today that its gritty serial murder mystery Art of Murder: FBI Confidential is now shipping to retailers in North America.

Designed by the creators of Schizm, though a much more story-driven adventure than its puzzle-centric predecessor, Art of Murder puts players in the shoes of young FBI agent Nicole Bonnet. Wealthy, upstanding citizens of New York City are being brutally killed, and Bonnet must travel through the city's seedy underbelly in an attempt to stop the killer, but her adventure will lead as far away as the Amazon jungle to first determine the connection between the victims.

Art of Murder is selling at a budget price of $19.99 and will be available at major retailers. For more information about the game, be sure to check out our recent review.



Fantasy adventure highlights new international distribution deal

As adventure fans are all too aware, distribution deals are often the bane of localized releases. Fortunately, there's bright news on the horizon from The Adventure Company, as JoWood and The Games Company have announced a partnership for multiple new releases in North America and the UK.

First up is Everlight, the fantasy adventure by Silver Style Entertainment. The game casts players as a young man named Melvin, who finds himself magically transported to the village of Tallen, where he's guided by a cheeky fairy named Fenny. The townsolk all suffer from an unusual affliction, as each character's personality turns into its polar opposite at night, and even the town changes in subtle ways to reflect the altered characteristics. In helping Melvin, players must switch between day and night to make best use of this strange duality.

The new distribution deal between the two companies will include other games after Everlight, though no further titles have yet been revealed. The Games Company recently published the stylish Goin' Downtown in Germany, but it's uncertain whether the new adventure is included in the current arrangement.

Everlight is scheduled to be released in North America in early September. In the meantime, be sure to check out our preview of the game for more information.



Cinematic teaser heralds announcement of new series

Wallace & Gromit are right at home in animated shorts, so it's no surprise that the two are front and center in a new cinematic teaser released today

The trailer accompanies the official announcement that Telltale Games and Aardman Animations are teaming up to release Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures. While few details about the series have yet been revealed, the "stories you can play" will allow players to control both the mild-mannered, absent-minded inventor, and his silently long-suffering canine companion. Presented in Telltale's familiar "TV-style format", each episode will see players "exploring a vivid world, assembling intricate contraptions, and getting the duo out of the sticky situations they frequently find themselves in."

The Grand Adventures teaser introduces Nick Park's popular characters as they contend with yet another of Wallace's inventions gone (naturally) awry. The video can be streamed directly from the game's official website, where you'll also find some additional character renders and concept art.



Official English language site for fantasy adventure launched

Some things you just can't keep quiet. Like, say... the launch of the English website for The Whispered World.

The official site for Daedalic's upcoming fantasy adventure includes a smattering of information about the game and a healthy serving of its impressive hand-painted artwork, accompanied by a sample of the orchestral sountrack. In The Whispered World, a young but sincere circus clown named Sadwick experiences a dream that foretells of the end of the world unless he is able to stop it. Despite the doubts of his family and the potential dangers that await, Sadwick sets out with his pet caterpillar Spot to the wild Autumn Forest and beyond in order to prevent the impending catastrophe.

The game is currently targeting a release in the fourth quarter of this year, though a German release almost certainly will predate an international English version. In the meantime, for a more detailed glimpse into The Whispered World, stay tuned for an upcoming preview of the game right here at Adventure Gamers.



"Grand Adventures" unveiled today, with details soon to follow

Obviously Telltale Games recognizes a quality dog-and-sidekick comedy duo when they see one. Following two successful seasons of Sam & Max, today Telltale finally revealed their long-awaited next series to be Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures.

Wallace & Gromit make for an intriguing choice of adventure game protagonists. There's no questioning the popularity of the cheese-loving, mild-mannered inventor (Wallace) and his mute but clever canine companion, though the pair offer less opportunity for snappy dialogue than Telltale's other series. Nick Park's beloved claymation characters first made a name for themselves in a trio of stop motion short films in the early '90s, followed by a series of ten mini-shorts and a full-length feature film. The two have also starred in video games before, though Project Zoo and the movie tie-in Curse of the Were Rabbit were more action-oriented than their Grand Adventures presumably will be.

The mystery franchise was first hinted at several months ago, leading to rampant speculation about the identity of the new license. But while that question has now been answered with the launch of the official website, no further details have yet been announced for this "all new series of games". However, an article by the Associated Press cites Telltale CEO Dan Connors as saying the studio is "certainly going for the clay look" while further noting that the series will "allow gamers to play as both Wallace and Gromit, engaging in zany entrepreneurial schemes and tinkering with kooky contraptions."

According to the new website, additional information will be available next Monday, so stay tuned for plenty more Wallace & Gromit coverage.



Time-bending mystery to launch this fall on Nintendo's handheld

Mark "Fall 2008" on your calendars for Time Hollow, an original new DS adventure officially announced today by Konami.

Of course, time loses much of its meaning in the new story-driven game, which sends players on a "time-bending adventure to solve the mysteries of the present by changing events of the past." Guiding a boy named Ethan Kairos in a quest to understand the mysterious disappearance of his family, players will discover the Hollow Pen, an "uncanny object that has the unique power to open portals to the past. Using the stylus pen and dual screen capabilities of the DS, players can use the Hollow Pen to draw portals between past and present."

Time Hollow promises a unique look and style with a "combination of a deep storyline and clever puzzles", and its developer has some experience in that area. Konami is no stranger to time-travelling adventures, after all, having previously released the unheralded Shadow of Destiny (or Shadow of Memories), though the new game has no apparent connection to the earlier title.

A Japanese version of the game has been in development for a while now, and Konami unveiled a playable English section of the game at the recent E3, so there's reason to believe that production of Time Hollow is moving along according to schedule. That is, unless something unforeseen screws up the timeline.



Long-awaited Collector's Edition contains plenty of additional content

It's been a few months since Sam & Max were last seen in the finale of Season Two, but the Freelance Police will soon be back to do it all over again in the Collector's Edition DVD, which is now available for ordering.

The Collector's Edition will naturally include all five of the season's original episodes, but a host of other region-free new content has also been added. Features include game footage with audio commentary from the development team and the 20-minute holiday video feature 'Sam & Max Nearly Save Christmas', along with outtakes and an assortment of trailers, concept art, desktop wallpapers, and MP3 soundtrack samplers. Even the cover offers an extra bonus, as it's based on an all-new painting by Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell himself.

As previously advertised, the Collector's Edition is available for just the cost of shipping for customers who ordered the downloadable version of Season Two previously. The disc version is also available to new customers, retailing for $34.95, which includes immediate access to the downloadable episodes if so desired.

The Collector's Edition DVD, along with a variety of other new Sam & Max-related merchandise, can be ordered exclusively from the Telltale store. Orders are being accepted now, with shipping expected to start in August.



The Dark Lineage targeting spring 2009 release

If you've kept your head buried under a blanket since the horrors of Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder, you'll need to peek out just long enough to scare yourself all over again with the new teaser for its upcoming sequel, The Dark Lineage.

While no firm details about the sequel's plot has yet been revealed, the trailer hints at the same sort of suspenseful chills as its Lovecraft-inspired predecessor; its unseen protagonist slowly moving through an eerie old house until finally discovering the horrifying... well, that would be telling, and you can see for yourself in either streaming or downloadable video form.

The original game told the troubling tale of police detective Howard Loreid, whose attempts to track down murder suspect Loath Nolder led to a trail of terrifying occult activities even as lucid dreams and other paranormal events threatened his own sanity. The Darkness Within saga was planned as a multi-part series from the beginning, though it's unclear exactly how the sequel ties into earlier events.

Fortunately, there's not that much longer to wait, as the game's developers have targeted spring 2009 for release.



Jonathan Boakes' ghost-hunting adventure released by Lighthouse

Better late than never, The Lost Crown has finally made its way back to the UK, as Lighthouse Interactive announced today that Jonathan Boakes' latest ghost-hunting adventure has now shipped to retailers.

Originally released several months ago in North America, TLC returns to its country of origin, taking players into the Cornwall area of southwest England. Joining treasure seekers and amateur ghost-hunters Nigel Danvers and Lucy Reubans, players must explore the foggy English coastline in pursuit of a fabled royal crown. Doing so requires interacting with both the living and the dead, however; the latter using real-world ghost-hunting equipment and techniques.

For more information about The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure, be sure to check out the game's official website and our review of the game.



English version of WWI-era spy thriller now established

Can you keep a secret? Neither can we, so it's time to spill the beans that the official website for Mata Hari is now available.

Mata Hari casts players in the titular role of the exotic dancer-turned-spy in Europe near the start of World War I. Designed by acclaimed LucasArts veterans Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein, the game introduces players to real historical characters like scientist Marie Curie and Major Georges Ladoux, Mata Hari's first contact for French secret service activities. Given her diverse skill set, both dancing and spying will be incorporated naturally into the gameplay.

The Mata Hari website provides additional information about the game's story and characters, plus an assortment of artwork and a streaming teaser. To access the English version of the site, click the flag in the top right hand corner.



Poirot whodunit coming in October; Sam & Max to join him this fall

The Wii continues to be the console of choice for adventure game ports, as JoWood and The Adventure Company announced today that Evil Under the Sun will be released for Nintendo's console in October.

The second Agatha Christie adaptation to be ported to the Wii, following last year's And Then There Were None, Evil Under the Sun allows players to control eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. While vacationing on a resort island, Poirot soon finds himself caught up in the murder of a famous actress, and players must guide him through the many mysteries and motives of the hotel's other guests to determine the culprit.

Poirot isn't the only investigator coming to the Wii this fall, though the others prefer great big guns to little grey cells. The Freelance Police are also Nintendo-bound, and Telltale Games today unveiled a new trailer for the port of Sam & Max: Season One. The trailer can be streamed directly from the official website. No firm release date has been revealed just yet, but the game is due out some time this fall.



Nobilis to publish comic western adventure in Europe

With all so very quiet on the western front of late, it seemed like maybe we'd heard the last of Fenimore Fillmore. But never count out a gunfighter, as today there's welcomes news from Nobilis, who announced that it will be publishing Fenimore Fillmore: Revenge throughout Europe in September.

The third game in the Revistronic's comic western saga, following 3 Skulls of the Toltecs and The Westerner (or Wanted), Revenge once again follows the exploits of unlikely cowboy Fenimore Fillmore. Along for the ride this time is the beautiful Rhiannon, whom players will control as a second playable character. In their new adventure, the two discover a wounded man who tells them of a buried secret treasure. Unfortunately for them, others are also after the treasure, and when Rhiannon is kidnapped by bandits, the race for the treasure becomes becomes personal.

The new game features a more realistic 3D art style than the cartoon-like earlier games, but Revenge still promises to be a "humoristic western adventure" with (and brace yourself for those who played the last game) "a lot of bandits to shoot at." For more information about the game, be sure to check out the developer's website.

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