Adventure News

July 2009



Treasure-seeking Russian adventure now available for purchase and download

There seems to be no stopping Diamon Jones these days. After appearing for the first time in Amulet of the World just this past May, now the treasure seeker is back again for his next adventure, Diamon Jones: Eye of the Dragon.

Having traipsed through Egypt and Tibet in the last game, overcoming a variety of puzzles and dexterity-based minigames along the way, this time around Jones travels to China to find a mystic trophy of the Celestial Empire, the Eye of the Dragon.

Diamon Jones: Eye of the Dragon is currently available exclusively for download at Big Fish Games for only $6.99. Though Big Fish is better known for its casual games catalogue, Eye of the Dragon is a full-fledged adventure with a 1.28 GB file size.

Note: Big Fish is an Adventure Gamers affiliate.



Revolution to bring "revamped" classic to iPhone and iPod Touch

Revolution Software today announced a new division, Revolution Pocket, which is aimed at bringing new and classic titles to the latest mobile gaming devices. The first game to get a "Remastered" treatment is Beneath a Steel Sky. The game will be released on iPhone and iPod Touch first, and then later on other handheld devices.

Originally released in 1994 and since made legally available as freeware on PC, Beneath a Steel Sky is a sci-fi adventure set in a dystopian future where the population is being repressed by mind control and medical science. Players take the role of Robert Foster, who has grown up in a wasteland known as the Gap. One day the police come to take him back to civilisation, but Foster manages to escape and sets out on a mission to uncover the corruption at the heart of the city.

The "Remastered" version will expand on the original with new movies by Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, who recently worked on Broken Sword: The Directors Cut as well. The game will also feature a context-sensitive help system and improved audio quality.

Beneath a Steel Sky - Remastered is due to be released this autumn on the App Store, with the price yet to be announced.



Release of The Bogey Man concludes the season's Grand Adventures

Not to be outdone by that other Telltale series, Wallace & Gromit are back this month for their "grand" finale in The Bogey Man, now available for purchase and download.

In the fourth and final episode of Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, the absent-minded inventor's latest proposal (introduced in the cliffhanger ending of last month's installment) causes Wallace to join the Prickly Thicket, a prestigious country club despised by Felicity Flitt due to a longstanding family feud. Membership isn't just fun on the golf links, however, as once admitted, he realizes the club was "built by Wallace and Gromit's own ancestors, the club itself is a grand machine in the style of Wallace's own inventions, and its mechanical inner-workings hide a secret that must be recovered to return life back to normal."

As with the earlier episodes, The Bogey Man is available either as a standalone episode or as part of the full-season package. Ordering information for both can be found at the official website, along with a free playable demo. Each episode in the series will eventually come to Xbox Live Arcade as well, with the first already released, though further details have yet to be announced.



Got Game brings art-themed conspiracy thriller to retail and digital download

Following a brief slip in its anticipated release date earlier this month, Got Game Entertainment today announced that Memento Mori has now shipped in North America.

The new conspiracy thriller begins in the hallowed halls of an art museum, as a priceless painting has been stolen from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Believing a secret society is behind the robbery, Interpol detective Lara Svetlana teams up with former forger Max Durand to track down the missing artwork. Their journey leads them to uncover the secrets of an ancient brotherhood that is obsessed with the concept called “Ars Morendi” or the “Art of Dying”.

Memento Mori is available now for $29.99, both in retail stores and as a digital download. For more information about the game, head on over to the official website.



Warnings at Waverly Academy to launch in October

Autumn is that dreaded time of year when students head back to school, but for fans of Nancy Drew, the chance to hit the books will be occasion to celebrate a new adventure in Warnings at Waverly Academy, announced today by Her Interactive.

In the 21st installment of the longrunning series, Nancy enrolls undercover at the prestigious all-girls boarding school, which has seen a series of dangerous incidents befall its most promising students, with threats of more to come. In order to get to the bottom of the mystery, players will need to help Nancy not only fit in with the other girls, but also "snoop through dorm rooms and snap cell phone pictures of evidence" along the way.

Nancy Drew is currently summering with her friends Bess and George in Ransom of the Seven Ships, released earlier this month. Of course, with all the kidnappings and dangerous treasure hunting activities on and around their scenic tropical island, school might feel like a vacation in comparison.

Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy is currently scheduled for release this October.



Long-awaited third installment now available for purchase and download

Things were deathly quiet at Wadjet Eye Games yesterday, as purchasing issues plagued the long-awaited release of The Blackwell Convergence, but today the independent developer annnounced that the game is ready for ordering and download.

It's been quite a while since we last saw medium Rosangela Blackwell, the latest in a long line of Blackwell women forced to team up with wisecracking spirit guide Joey Mallone to help wayward ghosts. Following their debut in The Blackwell Legacy, the series took a step back chronologically to Rosangela's aunt Lauren in Blackwell Unbound, but the new adventure reunites the original pair for another round of supernatural mysteries to solve. In The Blackwell Convergence, Rosa and Joey are confronted with a variety of seemingly unrelated cases that seem like "just normal life in the big city", but something more sinister is clearly going on, and Rosa and Joey must figure out just how deep the connections run.

While not directly related to the new game, be sure to check out the second Blackwell Convergence animated short, which will introduce the game's main characters.

The Blackwell Convergence is currently available only from the Wadjet Eye website. The download-only option is $14.99, with an option to get a disc version of the game for an additional charge. A free demo is also available from the site as a playable sampler.



Miles Edgeworth gets North American release next February

A trailer for the fifth game in the Ace Attorney series, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, has been released today by Capcom, alongside the announcement that the game will be released in North America early next year.

In this third-person spin-off from the previous Ace Attorney games, players will take the role of Phoenix Wright’s former rival Miles Edgeworth. Working with the police, Edgeworth will investigate crime scenes while solving the puzzles laid before him in order to bring the criminals to justice.

The trailer shows off the game’s new format and introduces several other main characters in the game, including Kay Faraday and Detective Dick Gumshoe. The video also highlights Edgeworth’s reliance on logic and deduction in order to devise a convincing case.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth was previously announced for a European release towards the end of 2009, and will hit stores in North America on February 16, 2010.



Long-awaited WWI-era spy thriller now shipping in North America

As befits a game about a historically-renowned spy, Mata Hari has quietly begun sneaking into North American stores.

Mata Hari marks the long-awaited return of designers Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein (of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis fame), casting players in the titular role of the exotic dancer-turned-spy. As the spectre of World War I looms ever closer, the Dutch seductress uncovers some highly sensitive military secrets and finds herself in the center of a vast conspiracy, playing a pivotal role on Europe’s political landscape at a particularly crucial time.

Along with the traditional adventure conventions, Mata Hari features a variety of key minigames and introduces a three-tiered inventory system that includes objects, conversation topics, and ideas that need to be realized before use. For more information about the game, check out the official website (click the flag in the upper right-hand corner for the English version).

Mata Hari (not to be confused with the Frogwares' casual adventure Secret Missions: Mata Hari and the Kaiser's Submarines) is available now at most major retailers for a cost of $19.99.



Treasure on the Tracks to be found on Nintendo DS this September

Her Interactive today unveiled the first trailer for The Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks, the first DS adventure for the teen sleuths.

Treasure on the Tracks sees Frank and Joe team up with a mysterious female spy in searching for the missing Romanov family treasure and unlocking the family’s long-kept secret. In their travels, the boys will take an epic journey across Europe, including stops at Paris, St Petersburg, Warsaw, Vienna and Prague.

The trailer introduces the game’s main characters and offers a glimpse of several locations, along with a sampling of the many puzzles to solve as the boys look for clues hidden in paintings, interrogate suspects and sneak around train cars aboard the Royal Express.

The Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks will be available this September. To learn more about the game, you can snoop around the official website.



Fifth installment to be released in separate adventure and hidden object versions

We haven't seen much of the AGON series since last year's UK release of The Lost Sword of Toledo, and it seems we'll have to look even harder to find details of the fifth installment, as Private Moon announced its plans to release a hidden object version of the game in addition to a full-fledged adventure episode.

The next adventure in the series will be called The Tale of the Four Dragons, in which Professor Samuel Hunt continues his search for cursed board games in exotic locations around the world. That much had previously been revealed by the independent Hungarian studio. The surprise news is the production of an alternate version of the game made specifically for the casual game market. The versions will include common elements but provide a distinctly different gameplay experience and even title, as the hidden object version will be known as Treasures of Peking.

Further broadening their horizons, Private Moon also announced that they have received their Nintendo DS developer certification and that the "first steps" have been taken to launch a new project for Nintendo's popular handheld, though no further details are available just yet.



Monsters and Manipulations in the Magical Forest served up in August

Independent Israeli developer Corbomite Games has announced an August release date for Pizza Morgana: Episode 1 - Monsters and Manipulations in the Magical Forest, and served up a trailer to mark the occasion.

A planned five-episode series, Pizza Morgana is a comic adventure about a young girl, Jackie, who gets transported into a fifth dimension filled with pizza delivering monsters, faeries and demons.

The debut episode takes players through the events that lead Jackie to be transported into TerraMagia. There Jackie meets Abbie Positive, a pizza delivering vampire who acts as her guide, and a hybrid robot known as a Watcher, who is a kind of police officer for TerraMagia. The game will even feature some “celebrity” voice talent, with contributios from such sci-fi luminaries as Claudia Christian and Robin Atkin Downes of Babylon 5 fame.

Pizza Morgana: Episode 1 - Monsters and Manipulations in the Magical Forest is to be released on August 16th. For a bigger taste of the series while you wait, check out the official website.



Kheops' popular puzzle-adventure coming to Nintendo's handheld late this year

Professional safecrackers need sharp eyes and steady hands, and now amateur safecrackers will need them, too, as The Adventure Company has announced its plans to port the popular puzzle-adventure Safecracker to the Nintendo DS.

Based on the 2006 PC title SAFECRACKER: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure, not the similarly-titled Safecracker from 1997, the DS port puts players in the role of an expert safecracker called in to the home of deceased billionaire Duncan W. Adams. The eccentric Adams has "hidden the deed to his riches in one of the 35 safes scattered in his flamboyant mansion", and it's up to players to explore the mansion's 40 rooms and crack each safe at the family's request.

Also available for the Nintendo Wii, Safecracker for DS is currently scheduled for release some time in the last quarter of this year. For more details about the game, be sure to check out our review of the PC original.



The Search for the Lost Garden starts this winter

Iceberg Interactive continues to make its presence felt on the adventure scene with the announcement that it has acquired the publishing rights to the upcoming Adam’s Venture: The Search for the Lost Garden.

Developed using the Unreal 3 engine, The Search for the Lost Garden is the first episode in a planned series of Adam’s Venture games that combine “action oriented gameplay” with many puzzles along the way. But for those concerned about the level of action, the series’ developer, Vertigo Games, has stated that "Adam’s Venture has much more in common with the hardcore adventure genre than with games such as Tomb Raider."

The debut episode will introduce players to young explorer Adam Venture. After deciphering relics in an old Templar Church, Adam discovers a memoir that describes “a mysterious place with labyrinths of caves and grottos guarding the headwaters of four great rivers”. Adam thinks this could be the location of Eden and sets off to find it with the help of his girlfriend, his dog, and Professor Jacques Saint Omar.

For more information about The Search for the Lost Garden, visit the official website.



LucasArts' revamped Special Edition now available for purchase and download

Perhaps you've heard of Secret of Monkey Island? There are very few gamers who aren't familiar with LucasArts' seminal classic by now, but whether you missed it the first time around or simply want to revisit an old favourite, now you can with today's release of the Special Edition for PC and Xbox 360.

Also seen in this month's debut of Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush Threepwood begins the original game as a mere wannabe pirate. The young man with few skills but big dreams must overcome three trials to join the piratey ranks, and only then can he set out in search of the legendary secret of Monkey Island. Along the way, he'll also encounter the lovely Governor Elaine Marley and the evil ghost pirate LeChuck, who present much different obstacles but no less a challenge.

The Special Edition is a faithful "re-imagining" of the original game, offering enhanced graphics, re-mastered music, full voice acting, new interface and controls, and a hint system to help players along. For the most nostalgic fans, however, the game also provides the option of switching at any time to the original version of the game, first released almost two decades ago.

The Xbox 360 version of the game can be downloaded through Xbox Live Arcade, while the PC version can be purchased from Steam for a cost of $9.99. For additional information about the new version, be sure to check out our recent preview.

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