Adventure News

September 2008



Testament of Sin gets a new title with November release ahead

What's in a name? Well, apparently a lot to City Interactive, as the Polish publisher has recently changed the title of Testament of Sin to Chronicles of Mystery: The Scorpio Ritual.

In a flurry of activity that would give The Adventure Company a run for its name-changing crown, the conspiracy thriller was originally announced as Testament of Faith before undergoing two more changes to its current incarnation. Whatever the title, players will control a young archeologist named Sylvie Leroux, following in the footsteps of her missing uncle, who had been investigating a dark secret that dates back to biblical times. Her investigation across various Mediterranean locations is a dangerous one, however, as there are those whose sole purpose is to ensure the safety of the secrets she seeks.

For more information about Chronicles of Mystery, be sure to check out our GC preview as well as the official website, which includes a variety of short gameplay videos.

Chronicles of Mystery: The Scorpio Ritual is currently scheduled for release this November.



Adaptation of Enki Bilal's graphic novels now shipping to retailers

While Enki Bilal's Nikopol graphic novel trilogy is relatively unknown outside of France, the series is ready to make its first major leap into North America in game form, as Got Game Enteratinment has now released Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals.

Created by White Birds under the watchful eye of Bilal himself, the game is set in the not-too-distant but very-much-different future of 2023. Players control a struggling artist named Alcide Nikopol in Paris, which is now largely run down and governed by a totalitarian regime. Making matters more surreal, a large pyramidal spaceship hovers over the city, with Egyptian "gods" seeking to interfere in human affairs. Against this backdrop of political intrigue, players must guide Nikopol in his dangerous quest to find his long-lost father, who may just prove to be "a possible pawn in a looming political battle between a power hungry dictator and the Immortals."

For more information about Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals, including a playable demo, be sure to check out the game's official website.



Enhanced Paradise port for Nintendo DS due out in November

Given its rather lukewarm reception when released on PC, perhaps Paradise wasn't the best name for the first adventure from White Birds. That's not an issue for the enhanced DS port of the game called Last King of Africa, which can now be seen in action in the first official teaser.

As a young amnesiac named Ann Smith, daughter of the king of a fictional wartorn African country, players must cross a variety of imaginative landscapes, all the while accompanied by a black leopard whom Ann must return to its home. The DS version brings several key changes from its PC predecessor, however, as the puzzles have been modified to take advantage of the unique DS functions, while the storyline itself has undergone some changes, particularly in the areas of dialogue simplification and relationships between important characters in the game. The action sequences spent controlling the leopard in Paradise have also been removed, making Last King of Africa a more traditional adventure.

The cinematic trailer offers a sampling of in-game footage, highlighting the use of the stylus in interacting with the environment. The 12 MB video can be streamed online or dowloaded directly from the publisher's website.

While specific territorial details have yet to be revealed, Last King of Africa is currently scheduled for release in November.



Release date moved up after first preorders shipped early

Fans of supernatural mysteries can now get a closer glimpse of Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, though some will be getting a much bigger glimpse than others.

In preparation for its October release date, Got Game Entertainment today announced that production of Rhiannon has been completed. However, some preorders were inadvertently shipped to customers early, so a lucky few will soon be playing the first-person Welsh adventure, though future shipments will be stopped until October. The good news for those left anxiously waiting is twofold: not only has the date been moved up from the 15th to October 5th, but a new cinematic trailer for the game has now been unveiled. Available at Got Game's website, the teaser shows a nice selection of in-game images from the haunting events at Ty Pryderi.

The remote Welsh farmstead is the central location in Rhiannon, which is based on the Four Branches legends of the Mabinogion. Unknown to its new residents, including the teenaged Rhiannon Sullivan, the house is the setting of an ancient, otherworldly battle for revenge that is unleashed once again as the result of new home renovations. When frightening experiences begin to plague Rhiannon, her parents remove her from the house, but the teen's sanity still hangs in the balance, and it will be up to players to visit Ty Pryderi in the hopes of settling the issue once and for all.



Historical adventure from Kheops and partners now shipping to retailers

True to its predicted release date, Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy is now shipping to retailers in North America.

The latest adventure from Kheops and its partners TOTM and MZone studios, Nostradamus casts players in role of the famous astrologer's daughter Madeleine during the French Renaissance in 1566. Sent to help the former regent Catherine de Médicis in her aged father's stead, Catherine must not only investigate a string of murders in dangerous political times, she must also disguise herself as her own brother César for social acceptance in scientific fields.

For more information about Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy, be sure to check out the game's website.



Eidos officially confirmed as publisher for comic adventure

After a long wait for an English release of So Blonde, not only is the game at last destined for UK shores, but it's coming soon, as Eidos Interactive today announced its plans to publish the comic adventure on September 26th.

Originally released in Germany earlier this year, So Blonde tells the story of Sunny, a spoiled and shallow teenager who becomes shipwrecked on a tropical island following a storm that hits her luxury cruise. For Sunny, it's bad enough that she now needs to learn how to deal without her precious conveniences, but making matters worse is that the storm has somehow magically transported her centuries in time, back to the age of cutthroat pirates.

The PC version of So Blonde is not to be confused with the recently announced Nintendo version, now in production for Wii and DS, which follows the same basic premise but tells an alternate story from the original title.

For more information about So Blonde, be sure to check out our preview of the game and pop over to the official website.



Popular teen duo's upcoming mystery slated for late this month

Step aside, Nancy Drew, it's time to make room in the genre for the Hardy Boys. With the teen sleuths' own PC adventure due out later this month, now the first trailer for The Hidden Theft has been released.

The cinematic teaser introduces Frank and Joe Hardy and shows a variety of locations and puzzles from the game, in which the boys must investigate the robbery of an unbreakable safe at the nearby Spencer mansion. What the trailer doesn't include is the celebrity voicework for the brothers, as popular Hollywood talents Jesse McCartney and Cody Linley provide the vocal performances for Frank and Joe, respectively.

The 29 MB trailer can be downloaded from WorthPlaying. For more information about The Hidden Theft, stay tuned to Adventure Gamers for an upcoming preview of the Hardy Boys mystery.



Strong Badia the Free released for download on PC and WiiWare

If there's anyone less politically correct than Strong Bad, they've yet to grace an adventure game, and never has that been more apparent than in Episode 2 of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, released today by Telltale.

The gloves come off (figuratively speaking) in Strong Badia the Free, as Strong Bad has finally had enough of the King of Town's tyranny and decides to form his own independent nation. Trouble is, instead of joining him, the other characters all have similar ideas, presenting a series of comical obstacles preventing Strong Bad from a showdown at the castle.

As with last month's debut episode, Homestar Ruiner, the new game is being offered for download on both PC and WiiWare. The PC version includes a free demo, and can be found at Telltale's official website, either as a standalone episode or part of a full season purchase. The WiiWare version is available today in North America, with additional territories to follow shortly.



New developer blog assures the project is delayed but progressing

For fans of Jane Jensen, the non-news about Gray Matter has become news in and of itself, with speculation about the game's future becoming more and more resigned and even bitter. Today, however, there's a small but encouraging sign of Gray Matter activity once again, as a developer's blog has now been launched.

The blog is introduced with a short but straight-speaking admission of the delays encountered due to the developer change from Tonuzaba to Wizarbox. But Jensen assures fans that "the commitment to the project, and getting it to market, is absolute from dtp entertainment, the team and myself."

Regular updates on the blog are promised, and to help kickstart the proceedings, today's entry also includes a new series of artwork for the game.



Sampler lets players experience Bilal's unique futuristic world first-hand

With the release of Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals just around the corner, Got Game has released a playable demo of White Birds' game adapation of Enki Bilal's graphic novels.

In Nikopol, players assume the first-person role of struggling artist Alcide Nikopol in Paris, 2023. Although only a few years in the future, Bilal's unique vision of the world is much different than our own, with a power-hungry dictator controlling the city as a pyramid inhabited by Egyptian gods floats overhead. Set against a backdrop of political turmoil, Nikopol begins a search for his father, a missing astronaut who may just be a pawn between the two competing powers.

The playable section challenges players with the task of getting Nikopol out of his shabby apartment to meet a religious order, but first he'll need to create a portrait of his father, then escape a monstrous police creature in the first of the game's timed elements. Note that you cannot save your progress mid-game in the demo, so leave yourself ample time to explore.

The demo is available as a 354 MB download from Got Game's Nikopol website.



Rare comic adventure released as freeware through ScummVM

When it was first announced that one of the new games supported by ScummVM was the rare Drascula: The Vampire Strikes Back, the reaction was probably "So where the heck do I get it, and how much will it cost me?" The good news is, rather than monitoring spiralling eBay costs for the answer to that question, the game has now been officially released as freeware by its developers, Alcachofa Soft.

In Drascula, which received a limited release in the UK almost a decade ago, players control John Hacker, an estate agent accompanying Count Drascula as he attempts to negotiate the sale of a property in Transylvania. Little does Hacker know Drascula's vampire secret, and so his adventure quickly becomes a whole lot more complicated than he imagined.

Joining the likes of the previously released Beneath a Steel Sky, Lure of the Temptress, and Flight of the Amazon Queen, the free downloadable version of Drascula can be found at the ScummVM website. The required downloads include the game itself and the ScummVM data file, while optional downloads include a music file and an international localization file containing a Spanish version with both voiceovers and subtitles, and subtitle-only German, French, and Italian versions.



Adventure game partnership formed for October 3-4 blood drive in California

The concept of Dracula wanting blood is nothing new. That's what vampires are all about, after all. What you don't see every day is a "Dracula Blood Drive", but that's exactly what will occur next month in several locations throughout southern California.

A cooperative effort between the American Red Cross and Encore, the North American publisher of the recently released Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon, the blood drive will occur on October 3-4 at eight locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Each donor will be eligible to win a free copy of Dracula 3 as well as other giveaways.

The Dracula Blood Drive will take place at the following locations:

    Pasadena Red Cross Donor Center

    133 North Altadena Dr., Ste. 103

    Pasadena, CA 91107

    Friday and Saturday - 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

    West Los Angeles Donor Center

    11355 Ohio Avenue

    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Saturday only - 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

    Encore Software Corporate Office

    999 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

    El Segundo, CA 90245

    Friday only - 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Woodland Hills Donor Center

    6338 Variel Ave.

    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Friday and Saturday - 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Long Beach Donor Center

    3150 E. 29th Street

    Long Beach, CA 90806

    Friday - 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Saturday - 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

    Pomona Donor Center

    100 Red Cross Circle

    Pomona, CA 91768

    Friday and Saturday - 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Fullerton Donor Center

    1144 Rosecrans Ave.

    Fullerton, CA 92833

    Friday and Saturday - 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Laguna Hills Donor Center

    22971 Mill Creek Drive

    Laguna Hills, CA 92653

    Friday and Saturday - 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

For more information about the blood drive, or to pre-register to donate, the telephone number is 1-800-GIVE-LIFE. To read more about Kheops Studio's latest supernatural mystery, be sure to check out the official website.



North American release of historical adventure due later this month

Given the unpredictability of release dates, it seems only fitting that one game destined to meet its target would be Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy, which has now shipped to retailers in the UK.

The latest historical adventure from Kheops and its usual partner studios casts players in the dual role of the famous astrologer's children, Madeleine and César, in a manner of speaking. Called on to help former regent Catherine de Médicis when she falls victim to a curse, Nostradamus himself has become too old to respond in person, so he sends his daughter in his place. But in times where women aren't accepted in scientific circles, Madeleine needs to disguise herself as her own brother in order to fully investigate a series of murders.

Nostradamus is distributed in the UK by Lighthouse Interactive, and should be available in major retailers soon. The North American release will follow later this month by Encore, with an expected target date of September 23rd.



CSI: NY the first to cast players as stars of the TV show

Where the hugely popular CSI television series goes, so the games seem to follow, as today Ubisoft and CBS announced production of CSI: NY.

Following previous adventures in Las Vegas and Miami, CSI: NY marks the sixth PC title to bear the CSI brand, but the first to feature the New York crew of investigators. Unlike previous instalments, CSI: NY will also be the first to let gamers play as the stars of the show, casting players in the roles of Detective Mac Taylor and Stella Bonasera throughout the investigation of five original cases devised by the TV show writers.

Another change from its CSI predecessors will be its "moody graphic novel art style", but the game also promises improved gameplay mechanics for computer use and blood work. One notable enhancement will be player control over interrogations, with the ability to use evidence to reveal lies, and a variety of "mini-games" will also be offered, including the likes of code breaking, facial reconstruction, triangulating shooter locations, physics simulation reconstructions, and Internet searches.

The developer of CSI: NY is no stranger to mystery adventures, as Legacy Interactive returns to the genre several years after the final entry in its Law & Order series. Little else is know about the new game at this point, but CSI: NY is scheduled for release in time for the "2008 holiday season".

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