Adventure News

March 2009



Sequel coming to PC, Wii and DS May 8th

It’s been a rather long time in coming, but Deep Silver has at last announced that the English-language version of Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis is scheduled to hit stores on May 8th. Players will even have a choice of platforms to look forward to, as Secret Files 2 is to be released on PC, Wii and DS.

In this sequel to the popular Secret Files: Tunguska, a ruthless secret society known as “Puritas Cordis” are responsible for a succession of natural disasters, leaving the world at the brink of destruction, and by the time Nina Kalenkow finds out it’s almost too late to stop them. Joining forces with a priest in France, Nina investigates the link between the group’s sinister prophecies and the leader of an ancient order. Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend Max witnesses the disturbing practices of Puritas Cordis at the excavation site of an Indonesian temple complex. Together they must race against time to stop the impending apocalypse.

For more information about Secret Files 2, check out the official website as well as our preview of the game.



Fiscal challenges of distribution partners and new owners spells end for operations

The writing has long been on the wall for financially-strapped Lighthouse Interactive, and now the writing is finally on paper, as the adventure game publisher officially announced that it has been "declared bankrupt".

The brief announcement was made on the Lighthouse Interactive website , stating that "due to the demise of its parent company Silverbirch Incorporated and the bankruptcy of its largest debtor Pinnacle Entertainment, Lighthouse was unable to carry on."

While hardly surprising given all the early warning signs, this official statement of closure still comes as a blow to the genre. Responsible internationally for the release of such games as Overclocked, The Lost Crown, and Keepsake, Lighthouse's absence now leaves a void that won't easily be filled in either Europe or North America. Naturally, this news also affects the status of Dead Mountaineer's Hotel, which was scheduled for release by the company this year, leaving the future of the Russian murder mystery in doubt.

As Lighthouse goes quietly into the night thanking all its "business partners, press and its customers for their support over the past years", so too does Adventure Gamers offer its thanks and appreciation to Lighthouse for its invaluable contributions to the genre over the years.



New video of medieval murder mystery available now; interactive contest now open

Fans of the 2006 medieval murder mystery Daemonica are no doubt looking forward to its upcoming sequel, and the teaser released today offers the first glimpse of Legends of Daemonica: Farepoynt’s Purgatory in action.

Leaving behind light combat sequences of its predecessor, Legends of Daemonica stars the same tortured hero as the original, but is not a direct continuation. In the new game, Nicholas Farepoynt and twelve other characters arrive on a mysterious island in the 14th century to discover they have been brought there to be “purified” of their special gifts, including Nicholas’ ability to talk to the dead.

The minute-long cinematic trailer shows Nicholas trapped aboard a ship caught on turbulent seas, plus a few scenes from the island village, and can be downloaded directly from the publisher or standard download sites like WorthPlaying.

To help pass the time until the game’s release, there is also a Legends of Daemonica contest available at the official website, with a series interactive puzzles to solve in a mini-adventure called “The Case of the Scarlet Executioner”.



Acclaimed designer the star of new freeware mini-adventure from Double Fine

For years adventure fans have been clamouring for the return of Tim Schafer to the adventure genre, and at long last, the acclaimed designer has indeed come home... sort of. Instead of developing a new adventure, Schafer is the playable star of a small freeware adventure from Double Fine called Host Master and the Conquest of Humor.

With mounting pressure from his agreement to host the upcoming Game Developers' Choice Awards, the playable (and real, presumably) Schafer is in desperate need of finding jokes to entertain the audience. Players must help him locate as many as... (no wait, that would be telling)... a lot of jokes to truly satisfy the masses, though you can end the adventure early if you're willing to perform at less than peak yuk-capacity.

Created by Klint Honeychurch, the entire game is playable in web browsers, and the point-and-click controls will look instantly familiar to those who have played SCUMM-based games from LucasArts. To begin playing, simply head on over to the Double Fine website.



Dark new "text-based adventure" available in stores now

Nintendo DS fans will be pleased to learn that a new “text-based adventure”, Lux-Pain, is available in stores throughout North America today.

In Lux-Pain, a “worm born through hate and sadness” named “Silent” has wreaked havoc amongst the inhabitants of Kisaragi City. The worm infects human beings and is the cause of many unexplained mysteries, none of which have any logical explanation. The hero Atsuki, seeking revenge for the death of his parents, has a dangerous operation to acquire “Lux-Pain” in his arm, a power so potent that it turns his eye golden when using it to search for and destroy Silent.

Throughout the game, players gather hints by conversing with characters whilst conducting an investigation around the enormous world of Kisaragi City. The stylus can be used to autopsy the Silent worms you find, as well as being used to stop the worm from reaching victims’ hearts, which you can see using your psychic powers.

For more information about Lux-Pain, including several streaming trailers, be sure to check out the game’s official website.



First episode launches for PC; Xbox 360 version still to come this spring

Wallace & Gromit have faced crises before: runaway robotic pants, giant were-rabbits, and a major cheese shortage, but today the stars of several award-winning animated shorts are up against a swarm of new obstacles in the PC release of Fright of the Bumblebees.

The first of four episodes in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures by Telltale, the game puts players in the shoes (and, uhh... paws) of the affable inventor and his longsuffering canine companion. Wallace's latest invention is a bee-powered honey-making machine, but it only runs on flower power (literally), and in order to get enough, he devises a scheme that soon plunges the whole town into a prickly situation that only Gromit can help overcome.

Unlike Telltale's other episodic offerings, the new series is available for purchase only as a complete "season" on PC, though the episodes will be available individually through Xbox Live Arcade when the series debuts there later this spring. A full season order gives instant access to the downloadable episodes upon release, plus access to an upgrade to disc version at season's end for only the cost of shipping. The regular cost for the season is $34.95, though Telltale is offering a launch week sale price and discount on other merchandise for those who order before March 29th. Full details can be found at the official website.

For a closer look at Fright of the Bumblebees, be sure to check out our review of the game. The remaining episodes will launch in May, June, and July.



Holmes' first outing on "Next Gen" console announced

With Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper fast approaching its scheduled PC release date, Frogwares and Focus Home Interactive have announced that the next instalment in the popular series will also be released for the Xbox 360. Adapted by French studio Spider Games, this will mark the eminent detective’s first adventure on a “Next Gen” console.

Set in London of 1888, Holmes’ mission is to track down the brutal murderer who is responsible for a series of dead prostitutes. The police are following a trail of mutilated bodies but are unable to find a lead, so they turn to Holmes to reveal the identity and motives of the criminal behind the evil alias of Jack the Ripper.

In a move to immerse more players in the sinister and seedy atmosphere of the backstreets of 19th century London, two perspectives will be available in this game. The third-person perspective offers classic point-and-click gameplay, whilst there is also an option to investigate from a direct-controlled first-person view, which should ideally suit the Xbox 360’s gamepad.

The PC version of the Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper will be released in April 2009; the release date of the Xbox 360 port has yet to be revealed.



Deep Silver to publish Daedalic's fantasy adventure later this year

Daedalic Entertainment's The Whispered World isn't whispering anymore, but it's getting a whole lot closer to covering the world, as it was announced today that Deep Silver will be publishing the game in 18 different territories, including the United Kingdom.

The Whispered World tells the story of a young clown named Sadwick, who sets off on a dangerous journey to save the world after learning of its impending destruction through a prophecy. Joining him in his travels is his faithful companion Spot, a colourful caterpillar who has the unique ability to take on different elemental forms to help overcome the many obstacles on the way. For more details, be sure to check out our preview of the game.

While Daedalic's no stranger to the German adventure market, the company had yet to previously develop a foothold in English language markets, so today's news is a significant announcement. The company's first internally-developed game, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, is still awaiting English distribution, while the promising ecological thriller A New Beginning is also currently in production, so hopefully this marks only the beginning of Daedalic's international expansion.

Along with the UK, the deal between Deep Silver and Daedalic includes France, Italy, the Scandanavian countries and many others. The German version of The Whispered World is scheduled for May, but there is no firm release target for the English version, promising only to launch "later this year".



Third game in the popular horror series returns players to Dowerton's haunted environs

It's been a while since players last delved into a Dark Fall adventure, but there's plenty of life left in Jonathan Boakes' popular horror series, as the much-anticipated Dark Fall: Lost Souls was officially announced today. Plenty of death, too, as the new game will take players back to the ghostly environs of Dowerton.

If you thought you'd seen the last of the train station and hotel at the end of the original Dark Fall, you'll be either pleased or terrified (or more likely, both) to learn that not only will you be returning to old haunts, but they're now more deadly than ever. The buildings are in worse shape than before, and this time you'll be "stalked from one derelict room to the next, by the Dark Fall itself. It wants your soul; to feed upon, devour and torture. You must make the ghosts of the hotel your ally, through any means you can. For it is only through successful exorcisms that you will gain the strength to battle the darkness that lurks in that long forgotten, abandoned place."

While the new game will seem familiar to the original Dark Fall in some ways, it promises to be different in other key areas. Although still largely a node-based adventure, the new engine behind the game promises "full exploration and movement" in some scenes and the ability to "physically interact with the eerie setting" with some light motion-specific mouse controls. Your investigation of an all-new mystery will require you to use light as a "weapon" against the darkness and experience the nightmarish memories of the dead before you'll be able to discover the "true identity, and power behind, the Dark Fall itself."

If the promise of new Dark Fall goodness isn't enough, the first two games in the series are also being released by Darkling Room. Dark Fall: Classic Edition is largely the same as the original but optimized for Windows XP and Vista with "new sounds and a few technical tweaks" for good measure. Lights Out: Directors Cut, however, has been "massively updated to include new scenes, revamped puzzles, a new musical score and many ‘ghost’ events to send a chill up the gamers spine. You can now converse with the dead, who have many dark secrets to tell."

Both updated versions are available now from The Adventure Shop and the Dark Fall website as downloads, or bundled at the latter in a special limited edition DVD version called the 'Pins & Needles' Edition with bonus content.

The wait for Dark Fall: Lost Souls will be a little bit longer, as the target completion date is some time this summer.

Note: The Adventure Shop is an Adventure Gamers affiliate.



"A Bat's Tale" to pick up where the original game's story left off

To no one's surprise but the relief (and delight) of many, Autumn Moon has now officially announced the sequel to A Vampyre Story, launching a new website today for A Bat's Tale.

In the original game, Mona de Laffite and Froderick the bat managed to escape imprisonment from the evil Baron Shrowdy, but got only part of the way on the long journey to Mona's ultimate goal of resuming her opera singing career in France. A Bat's Tale will pick up where previous events left off, presenting the game's protagonists with a new set of locations to explore and obstacles to overcome. For details, who better than the developers themselves to describe the events of the sequel:


  • Mona, the unwilling vampire mired deep in denial, is trapped by the vindictive Dr. Riga Mortus in his secret lab in Draxsylvania. Players will guide Froderick through the macabre town of Gothford Falls, where he will encounter old enemies and make some new friends, including inept magician The Great Fauxdini, conceited local Goth artist Raven Gothguy, and seriously lame serial killer Jack the Gimper among many others. Mona and Froderick will explore many interesting locations, such as Dr. Legume’s Home for the Sanity Challenged, an Executioner’s Practice Grounds, Mortus Labs, and, the scariest of all, a tavern full of disgruntled sports fans low on beer! Help Froderick free Mona by dressing as a little girl again, making his own zombie, and getting pummeled almost to death by the local hooligans, the notorious Belfry Boyz. Then play Mona as she scours through hundreds of shamelessly padded résumés looking for the perfect daytime guardian to watch over her as she returns to Paris!


To help mark the occasion of A Bat's Tale's unveiling, Autumn Moon has provided Adventure Gamers with an exclusive image of "The Mortus Monster", whom players will encounter in the new game.




And so the wait officially begins for the next installment in the ongoing Vampyre Story saga, though it does not yet have a target completion date. For more information, be sure to check out the game's official website, which will be updated later today.



"Artistic horror adventure" from Tale of Tales available for download

For independent developer Tale of Tales, the long journey along The Path is now over, but it's only beginning today for gamers, as the "artistic horror adventure" has been released for purchase and download.

Loosely based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood and called "a new type of game" by its ambitious creators, The Path casts players in the roles of six sisters sent, one by one, to visit their grandmother in the forest, with only one instruction: don't stray from the path. But of course, "there's plenty of fun to be had in the woods. And even a friend to meet. But every forest contains a wolf. And though he may appear to be friendly or harmless, or even attractive, there should be no doubt about his evil intent. The question, however, is: wouldn't it be worth it? Even if it leads to a certain end, wouldn't the experience make up for that?" This is the question that players will need to answer for themselves.

Unlike other games, including adventures, The Path promises to forsake typical gaming "rules" in favour of entirely optional activities and free exploration. And defying yet another norm, directors Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn reveal that the game "ends with death. But despite the gloomy and sometimes unsettling atmosphere, The Path contains a positive message: enjoy life to the fullest, no matter how short it may be!"

The Path is available only through digital download for $9.99 USD, and can be found at such portals as Steam, Direct2Drive, and the developer's own website.



New DS title from White Birds tackles forensic investigation

This summer, would-be adventure game detectives are going to need all the best forensic equipment: UV lamp, swabs, adhesive strips, tweezers... and a Nintendo DS, if you're to use all the others in the upcoming investigative title called Crime Scene.

Not to be confused with the CSI series, Crime Scene is an original title by White Birds that promises to "turn your Nintendo DS into a crime lab". Players are cast as Detective Matt Simmons, recently promoted into the forensics department and now challenged in a variety of cases that require him to "find and analyze clues with sophisticated equipment, interrogate witnesses and suspects, build a file with enough proof so there is no room for doubt and condemn the guilty". With nine different forensic tools for examining crime scenes, six hi-tech lab instruments for analyzing blood, hair, ballistics, photos, and DNA (among others), and 19 witnesses and suspects to interview through multiple choice dialogues, these tasks are easier said than done.

The game promises to make use of the DS's touch screen and stylus to move beyond basic point-and-click mechanics for a more realistic investigative experience. Along the way, players will also have the help of Peter Wayne, an "incompetent" detective who's nearing retirement but is always willing to aid you as necessary, and superintendent Alexandra Malone, who will provide you with search warrants when you've convinced her they're justified.

Crime Scene is scheduled for release in June, and better yet, Nobilis has already secured a UK distributor, so it should only be a few short months before we see it on store shelves. In the meantime, the game already has an official website, though for now there's no new information available.



Site of newly-christened Who'd Even Want Contact? now launched

With the German release of Simon the Sorcerer 5 now at hand, the English-language release watch can begin in earnest. Fortunately, today brings some positive first signs, as the latest installment now has a full title and official website.

Who'd Even Want Contact? promises to be rather different than its predecessors, as this time Simon is up against an army of alien invaders who seem intent on destroying the Magic World and Earth alike. Naturally, this would be inconvenient for Simon, so it's up to him to save the day, with a little "help" from recognizable faces like the Swampling, Goldilocks, and the trash-talking Little Red Riding Hood. The teen wizard will meet a variety of new creatures as well, from the "goofy mole agents to a giant space octopus or transvestite pirates", on a quest that will take him beyond the magical city, where he'll discover "futuristic looking underworlds or idyllic Caribbean beaches, and even travels with steam powered starships through the infinity of space."

The new installment carries some features over from Chaos Happens, while adding some distinctly new ones in the process. Returning are such elements as the journal and tiered hint system, while a new cel-shading technique gives the game a fresh artistic style. Simon 5 will also offer different endings and a personality profile upon completion that tracks the way each player has approached the adventure.

While waiting, hopefully patiently, for an English release of Who'd Even Want Contact?, be sure to check out the game's new website.



New trailer, playable sampler precede series launch on March 24th

The countdown to Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures is now officially on, as Telltale has officially announced that the first episode of the new series will launch on March 24th. Better yet, in order to create a little more buzz before launch (quite literally in this case), a new trailer and playable demo are now both available.

The four-part series featuring Aardman's popular clay duo will debut with Fright of the Bumblebees, and the demo features select portions of that game, including a short tutorial to get newcomers started. Wallace's latest venture is a honey business, but the mild-mannered inventor is having difficulty getting his bees to produce, and his solution results (as his solutions often do) in what can only be described as "giant problems".

The 138 MB demo will be available directly from Telltale's Wallace & Gromit website starting tomorrow, but for those who don't mind the free registration, it's available today from FilePlanet. The demo is also expected on Yahoo later today, though for now only the new trailer is available there for streaming. The teaser shows new footage from the first episode, plus sneak peeks of the remaining three installments, due out monthly beginning in May. The video can also be downloaded from sites like FileFront and GamersHell.

Along with today's releases, Telltale also announced a discounted full-season preorder special of $26.00 through March 23rd, at which point the price will climb to $34.95. For ordering information, plus additional details about the series, head over to the official website. And of course, because you just can't have enough Wallace & Gromit, be sure to check out our recent preview and developer interview.

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