Adventure News

October 2008



The Dream of the Turtle now available for Nintendo's handheld

The Nintendo DS is quickly becoming the port platform of choice for popular PC adventures. Today it's Runaway's turn, as Ascaron announced that The Dream of the Turtle has been released in the United Kingdom.

The Dream of the Turtle is the second adventure for Brian Basco and Gina Timmins, but the first to make it to the DS. In the game, both protagonists narrowly escape a plane crash in Hawaii, but Gina disappears, leaving Brian to track her down once again. His travels take him from tropics to tundra as he and some familiar faces from the original game "come face to face with soldiers, pirates, spies, surfers and even aliens."

For more information about The Dream of the Turtle, have a look at our review of the original PC adventure. The game is also in production for the Wii, which is scheduled for release early next year.



Cinematic Halloween teaser released as full game nears completion

One of these foreseeable autumn moons, the long-awaited A Vampyre Story will be ready for release, but in the meantime, the latest cinematic teaser should help whet gamers' appetites.

The offbeat adventure casts players in the role of opera singer Mona De Lafitte, who longs to return to Paris to resume her career. To do that, however, she'll need to escape her captivity in the Draxsylvanian castle of vampire baron Shrowdy Von Kiefer. And so with the help of a bat named Froderick, players must guide Mona to freedom, even as she learns to cope with being a vampire herself.

The new trailer includes almost 90 seconds of in-game footage, introducing a wide variety of the game's characters and colourful locations. The video can either be streamed directly or downloaded from the website of Focus Home, the game's international publisher.

For a more in-depth look at A Vampyre Story, be sure to check out our recent preview of the game, which is due for release in both Europe and North America some time in November.



Port of Microïds' classic optimized for touch screen experience

Who says you can't have a mammoth adventure on a tiny little platform?

It's been six years since Kate Walker began her original PC pursuit of an eccentric inventor on the trail of woolly mammoths, and soon that experience will be available in smaller form, as Microïds and The Adventure Company announced today that Syberia will be released later this year in North America on the Nintendo DS.

In Benoît Sokal's classic adventure, young New York lawyer Kate Walker travels to a remote European town to finalize the corporate takeover of a unique robot factory. Instead, she discovers that the factory's mastermind and owner has embarked on a fantastic journey north, convinced that mammoths have avoided extinction. And so Kate must follow, riding the inventor's own bizarre train with the help (or hindrance) of a robot named Oscar. The imposed stops introduce her to a bizarre range of characters and challenges, and somewhere along the way, Kate's journey becomes one of self-discovery as well.

Like any good DS port, the revamped Syberia will be optimized to make best use of the platform's unique features like the touch screen. Using the stylus, the DS version allows players to "control their movements directly", and the interface will be simplified in certain areas, such as an ever-present inventory and improved dialogue system. The soundtrack and jaw-dropping cinematics of the original, meanwhile, will be adapted for the DS but presented in their entirety.

Syberia is currently scheduled for release in December.



New Carol Reed mystery returns players to Sweden for fifth time

You can practically set your calendars by the annual release of a new Carol Reed mystery, and 2008 is no exception, as indie developer MDNA Games has just released The Colour of Murder.

In her fifth adventure, Carol's Midsummer's Eve plans are sidetracked by a request from her allotment neighbour, who suspects his handicapped son has become involved in a murder and asks Carol to investigate. The case soon escalates beyond these humble beginnings, however, as the trail leads all the way to Sweden's Royal Family.

The Colour of Murder is now available on CD-ROM from the developer's website, selling for $15.95 USD plus shipping. A playable demo is also available from the site to check the game out prior to purchase.



Baddest of the Bands now available, plus demo and new website

There's never any peace when Strong Bad is around, and with today's release of Baddest of the Bands on PC and WiiWare, gamers can kiss the quiet goodbye, as well.

In the third episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, the diminutive tough guy finds himself in desperate need of funds to fix the Fun Machine, and sets out to stage a Battle Royale of the Bands contest. With last-place talent and first-place ambitions, however, Strong Bad will need to pull out all the stops for guest judges Limozeen, and no tactic proves too sneaky when victory is at stake.

Following the same release pattern as previous episodes in the series, the new game is available now for worldwide download on PC, and on the Wii Shop Channel in North America, with international WiiWare availability still to come. A demo of the game is also available for PC at Telltale's website.

As a first for the series, Baddest of the Bands arrives with an all-new website of its own, with background on the game's concert, a downloadable flyer, and a new trailer.

For a more in-depth look at the latest adventure of Strong Bad and friends (or... "company" would be more accurate), be sure to check out our review of the game.



Cinematic teaser hints of devastating catastrophe in upcoming sequel

While details of the English release of Secret Files 2: Purditas Cordis remain sketchy, Deep Silver today unveiled a new cinematic teaser to help tide players over.

It will tide over New York as well -- literally. The trailer hints at destruction of cataclysmic proportions, from erupting volcanoes to massive tidal waves, which suggests that returning heroes Max and Nina will have their work cut out for them.

A couple years after the events of Secret Files: Tunguska, the two protagonists have gone their separate ways. Nina is relaxing on a luxury cruise ship while Max investigates an Indonesian temple site, but natural disasters are becoming more numerous worldwide. These catastrophes may just be related to the ancient notes of a prophet who predicted the apocalypse, so it isn't long before Max and Nina are drawn back into the fray once again.

The new 28 MB trailer can be streamed or downloaded from FileFront.



Frogwares offering 60% download discount to owers of original

Queasy-feeling sleuths can finally put away the Dramamine and snatch up a magnifying glass (and a credit card while you're at it), as Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered Edition is now shipping to retailers in the UK.

In his darkest adventure to date, Sherlock and his trusty partner Dr. Watson are investigating a series of unexplained disappearances. The case soon takes a turn for the macabre when all clues lead to a dangerous cult worshipping Cthulhu, a mythical being popularized (in real life) by writer H.P. Lovecraft.

In the enhanced version of The Awakened, a new help system as been added to go with a variety of graphical improvements. The most important change, however, is the inclusion of a full third-person, point-and-click control option. The original free-roaming, first-person control scheme remains as an option, but the new version lets players choose and even switch between them at will.

While the full retail version of the Remastered Edition will now be available in stores, those who already have the original game might prefer a downloadable version of the upgrade instead. According to the Frogwares website, a 60% discount is available when ordering through the company's own shop. To receive the code enabling the discount, write to [email protected] with your request.



1930s-era detective mystery targets late '09 release

Germany and France may be the leading providers of European adventure games these days, but Italy is beginning to establish itself as an up-and-coming genre contributor. Hot on the heels of the recent news of Rinascimento - Florence 1529 comes word from independent developer Mad Orange that production has begun on Face Noir: The Cat with the Jade Eyes.

Face Noir is set in 1930s New York, a city gripped in the throes of the Great Depression. Jack Del Nero, and ex-cop turned private eye, contemplates life from the bottom of a bottle until a fateful phone call sets the wheels of a new case in motion that soon spin out of control. The pursuit of a small statuette draws Jack deep into a mystery that spans three different cities and includes over thirty different characters while "the murder of his ex-colleague, Little Emily, and the great eclipse are just a few elements of the tortuous path he has to run through in his hunt for the cat with the jade eyes."

As its title suggests, the storyline will be heavily steeped in classic noir and supported by a jazz soundtrack that befits its setting. The game is presented in 2.5D using a third-person perspective and point-and-click interface, but Mad Orange claims that Face Noir will include some as-yet-undisclosed features that help distinguish it from traditional adventures.

With a projected completion date of the end of 2009, there's still some time before the release of Face Noir: The Cat with the Jade Eyes. In the meantime, however, be sure to check out the game's official website for more information.



Historical thriller supported by the Biennale of Modern Art in Florence

With news of not one but two more adventures now in production, the genre is experiencing something of a renaissance in Italy, so it's only fitting that one of the games is entitled Rinascimento - Florence 1529.

The debut adventure from independent developer DGform, Rinascimento takes players to the heart of the Renaissance, but these are troubled times for Florence, and a servant named Clara in particular. Clara is passionate about art, but falls under the mysterious spell of a cursed painting, even as the city is besieged by Imperial troops. While the armies of the Republic await a final battle, Clara begins to investigate the painting, but it's stolen before she can find the answers she needs. Meanwhile, a man has just been accused of devilry and burnt at the stake, and his identity may just provide the clues for solving the mystery.

A third-person point-and-click adventure, Rinascimento should appeal to those who enjoy other art-themed thrillers like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, while further offering players an authentic glimpse into 16th century Italy. The game's cultural significance is highlighted by the fact that production is being supported by the Biennale of Modern Art and the Institute of Art and Restoration of Florence

Unlike many international titles created in their native languages, the good news for English gamers is that DGform is developing Rinascimento in English, and localized versions will follow. The developers have no firm release date at this stage, but they are currently targeting late 2009 for the game's completion.

For more information about Rinascimento - Florence 1529, head on over to the game's official website, which includes a couple of trailers in the Media section.



Educational adventure/simulation now available online for PC and Mac

No, you haven't accidentally stumbled into regular world news. It's rare for adventures to tackle real-world crises, let alone controversial subject matters, but today Serious Games Interactive is doing just that in releasing Global Conflicts: Latin America for PC and Mac.

A sequel to last year's Global Conflicts: Palestine, the new game once again casts players in the role of a freelance journalist who must research and write a series of articles based on realistic scenarios from one of the most troubled areas of the world. In this combination of adventure game and simulation, players are "confronted with ruthless land owners profiting on modern slavery; corrupt police officers and tainted state officials; men with bloody hands from their involvement in systematic genocide; organized criminals benefiting from the misery of others; and shameless businessmen putting profit before workers' rights and the environment. None of these wish to talk about the details of their doings. Your job is to identify them, throw them off balance, and bring the truth about their actions to the public."

Like its predecessor, Global Conflicts: Latin America includes a strong educational component, as the goal is to explore complex issues from all sides and raise awareness rather than promoting a particular political agenda, and a series of educational companion resources will be released soon. The game will be available starting today, however, at the Global Conflicts website. A trailer and playable demo are also available for those who like to try before they buy.

For additional information about the Global Conflicts series, be sure to check out our detailed look at the previous game.



New adventures on the horizon for familiar old brands

Remember Cryo? If you were adventure gaming a decade ago, you could barely turn around without stepping on a new Cryo title, but the French company's prominence ended in bankruptcy and a subsequent merger with DreamCatcher. While key personnel went on to form the likes of Kheops Studio and Atlantis Interactive Entertainment, Cryo's original properties seem destined to fade into oblivion. That won't prove to be the case, however, as Microïds announced this week that it has acquired the intellectual rights of Cryo's extensive catalogue of games and associated brands.

What does that mean to gamers? For starters, it means that the future of numerous games like the Atlantis and Egypt series, along with Jules Verne adventures like Return to Mysterious Island and Voyage (or Journey to the Center of the Moon) will be preserved as Microïds continues to make the games available through digital distribution. As adventure gamers are no strangers to games and intellectual properties being lost in ownership limbo, this deal secures a substantial number of titles for the foreseeable future.

Looking ahead, Microïds has also confirmed to Adventure Gamers that it plans to produce new games based on Cryo's IPs. While no firm details are being revealed just yet, the first title is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2009, and an official announcement will be made in the coming weeks. So stay tuned to see which of Cryo's large and diverse portfolio will be the first to continue under Microïds' direction.



Video shows over three minutes of in-game footage

The countdown is on for Memento Mori's release in Germany later this month, and while English gamers will need to wait a while longer yet, a new gameplay video of the upcoming thriller should help ease the wait.

In Memento Mori, a painting has been stolen from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and replaced with a counterfeit. To avoid a scandal, the case is assigned to young Russian police officer named Lara, with help from a former art forger named Max. Players will control both characters as they venture from the Russian Winter Palace to such places as Scotland, France, Portugal and Finland, as the clues to the mysterious art theft put them hot on the trail of the Ikuinen Nukkuja (Eternal Sleeper), a secret order with strong beliefs about art and the Angel of Death.

The trailer includes more than three minutes of in-game footage, introducing the game's two protagonists and a few of the main locations. The download is over 130 MB, and can be found at the game's official website. The download link is currently displayed only in the recent news section on the home page, not to be confused with the cinematic trailer available in the Downloads section of the site, though presumably the new video will find its way there before long.

For more information about Memento Mori, be sure to check out our recent preview of the game.



Lighthouse to publish White Birds' new adventure in November

With any exposed secret, once the jig is up, word begins to spread far and wide. Such is the case with Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals, as today Lighthouse Interactive announced its plans to publish White Birds' latest adventure in the UK and Scandinavian countries in November.

Recently released in North America, this game adaptaptation of Enki Bilal's graphic novels tells the rather surreal story of Alcide Nikopol, a struggling artist in Paris, 2023. A lot has happened in such a few short years, however, as the country is now ruled by a dictatorial regime, the rich are physically separated from the poor, and a giant pyramid-shaped vessel hovers over the city, inhabited by Egyptian gods. When Nikopol discovers that his astronaut father, missing and long believed dead, may still be alive, it's up to players to help him navigate a dangerous journey while "caught between two worlds... one of anarchy and one of immortality."

Although few details are currently available, be sure to check out Lighthouse's official product page for additional information.



Sampler of new Carol Reed mystery now available for download

With the fifth Carol Reed mystery charging hard toward release, indie developer MDNA Games has recently released a playable demo of The Colour of Murder.

The latest adventure for the amateur sleuth comes unexpectedly, just as Carol is preparing for the Midsummer's Eve in Sweden. Her allotment neighbour suspects that his handicapped son is involved in a recent murder, and asks Carol to investigate. With only three days to solve the case, Carol accepts, beginning a journey that will lead her to such places as abandoned military areas, derelect mines, and historically important locations that involve even the Royal Family.

The demo includes a step-by-step tutorial and the start of the full slideshow-like adventure, allowing a sneak peek at the first few locations presented with the same painterly graphical treatment seen in the previous Carol Reed mysteries. At 83 MB, the sampler can be downloaded from the game's official website. Note that the download link does not require a paid membership, as a free download option is also available.

The Colour of Murder is scheduled for release later this month.

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