Adventure News

February 2010



Early screenshots show off photorealistic first-person indie mystery

The first-person adventure mantle continues to be carried largely by independent developers these days, and you can add another studio led by designer Batu Eritenel to that list, as the small Turkish team recently announced a new adventure trilogy called Laranzuh.

While little has been revealed about the Laranzuh games at this point, the first point-and-click mystery takes players into a "dark and gloomy atmosphere of a small town and its desolate surroundings" in an attempt to discover the truth behind the disappearance of a little girl and her family.


The developers cite Myst and Jonathan Boakes' adventures as inspirations, and are attempting to make Laranzuh as realistic as possible by using "real photographs of the eclectic locations seamlessly integrated into the game engine with photo-realistic real-time effects." A few glimpses of the town are offered up in the initial screenshots shared with Adventure Gamers.

Laranzuh is a self-financed project, though Eritenel plans to distribute the series with publisher support when each game is finished. There is no firm release date for the first title yet, but the current goal is to complete the game by the end of 2010. Additional details will be available at the official website as production of the game progresses throughout the year.



Quantic Dream's highly-anticipated genre-blending adventure now available

PC(-only) owners can simply read it and weep, but PlayStation 3 gamers must now make the first of many decisions, as the highly-anticipated unique genre-blender Heavy Rain has now been released in both Europe and North America.

The PS3 exclusive is the new game from Quantic Dream, the ambitious creators of Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Like its predecessor, Heavy Rain blends traditional adventure exploration, context-sensitive controls, a series of complex QuickTime Events, and a host of consequential choices into an intense, emotional storyline to create a new type of interactive movie experience.

In Heavy Rain, players control four different characters, including an FBI profiler named Norman and a photojournalist named Madison. The protagonists are unrelated to each other, but each has personal reasons to track down the "Origami Killer" throughout the game's 60 distinct chapters that can play out in a variety of ways according to player decisions along the way.

For more information about Heavy Rain, be sure to check out our preview of the game and the official website.



Cards of Destiny now shipping to North American retailers

There's a new serial killer on the loose, and today's North American release of Art of Murder: Cards of Destiny will give players a chance to track down the culprit.

The third adventure in City Interactive's crime series once again casts players in the role of FBI agent Nicole Bonnet. Having brought two murderers to justice already, this time she's up against a ritualistic killer who leaves playing cards on the bodies of his victims, and dares Bonnet to catch him (or her) by leaving cryptic puzzle messages in a battle of wits.

Shipping now to retailers, Art of Murder: Cards of Destiny will be available for purchase soon, at a budget cost of $19.99.



Fifth adventure for the cheeky teen wizard now available for download

As if by magic, Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Even Want Contact? has appeared out of (seemingly) nowhere with a downloadable release today on GamersGate.

In the fifth adventure for the smart-alecky teen wizard, and the second since development was taken over by Silver Style, the Magic Kingdom has been invaded by aliens. In order to save not only the world of magic but Earth itself, Simon will need to pull out all the stops in an adventure that takes him from the cozy medieval city to the Caribbean Sea and even into outer space.

Though the game was released in Germany some time ago, Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Want to Make Contact is currently available only through digital distribution in English. The game is sold at GamersGate for a cost of $26.99.



Lengthy gameplay video demonstrates Penumbra developer's new horror game

As with Frictional Games' Penumbra series before it, it looks like Amnesia: The Dark Descent is set to blur the lines between traditional adventure and survival horror even more, as evidenced in the first trailer released for the game.

In Amnesia, players assume the role of a man named Daniel, who wakes up alone in a horrifying castle -- naturally, with no memory of his past. But maybe not so alone, as screams and growls and other fear-inducing noises echo through the darkened halls. In order to escape, you'll need to bravely venture out, but soon enough you'll discover that "you must also take part of Daniel's troubled memories. The horror does not only come from the outside, but from the inside as well. A disturbing odyssey into the dark corners of the human mind awaits."

The video shows a lengthy gameplay clip demonstrating the playable character's lonely, and at times terrifying, ordeal of moving defenseless through the castle. Like Penumbra, there are genuine elements of danger involved in Amnesia , but the focus is more on free exploration through 3D environments with real physical obstacles, and escape through problem-solving over violence.

For more information, be sure to check out the official website. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is currently scheduled for release in August 2010.



Autumn Moon's new swashbuckling romp available soon in UK

If you're among those suffering through the long winter months (and even if you're not), a little trip to the fictional Azurbbean Sea just might cure what ails you, and now you can with the UK release of Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island.

Ghost Pirates is the latest adventure from Autumn Moon, and lets players control three different characters. But as the title suggests, there's one hitch: they're ghosts. Spared death but separated from their bodies by a curse, Papa Doc, Blue Belly, and Jane Starling must now fight to reunite their spirits with their bodies before bringing justice to those who caused their affliction.

If you act fast, there may still be time to enter our Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island game giveaway (expires February 18th), but if you miss out, the game will retail for £29.99 at UK retailers.



New DS adventure features prosecutor Miles Edgeworth in lead role

The defense is resting for now, so for the first time in the acclaimed Ace Attorney series, it's the prosecution's turn in the recent release of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.

The name Miles Edgeworth should be near and dear to fans of the Phoenix Wright games, though the ruthless but enigmatic lawyer has typically represented the opposition to date. In his first starring role, Edgeworth has "changed his approach to seeking the truth", getting out of the courtroom and into crime scenes for some first-hand investigations of his own, pursuing a series of murders that seems to have an unknown connection with himself.

If his experiences are first-hand, however, they're shown in third-person, marking another significant shift for the series. Players will now directly control Edgeworth around on screen in order to "examine and analyze clues, work directly with characters on the scene, find contradictions in suspect statements, and get to the truth by presenting decisive evidence." Players will also utilize a "Logic" system to combine clues for new information.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is now or will soon be available at major retailers in both the UK and North America.



Horror sequel gearing up for April release

Iceberg interactive has today released a new teaser for the upcoming The Dark Lineage, the second and final instalment in the Darkness Within series, due to be released this spring.

In the new game, players once again take the role of Howard Loreid, the detective from the original, who is now haunted by his own past and must escape his “dark lineage” or go insane. The atmospheric trailer gives a brief look at some of the gameplay, with its full 3D direct control interface and the ability to physically push and pull objects.

Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage is scheduled to be released in April. For more information in the meantime, check out our preview of the game and the official website.



THQ's The Model Mysteries now shipping to North American retailers

Announcing a new Nancy Drew adventure is nothing unusual, but this time it isn't for the latest in Her Interactive's longrunning sereis. Instead, today THQ's Nancy Drew: The Model Mysteries for the Nintendo DS is shipping to retailers.

The new handheld adventure is based on the popular book trilogy consisting of Model Crime, Model Menace, and Model Suspect. In the game, Nancy becomes part a reality TV show as a bridesmaid in a celebrity wedding. All advance preparations are being filmed, but "the plans go off-script when an unknown villain is bent on sabotaging the wedding." As Nancy, players must interview 15 different suspects, and solve a variety of puzzles and minigames in order to identify the culprit before the wedding is called off.

Nancy Drew: The Model Mysteries is priced at $19.99 and will soon be available in all major North American game stores.



Episodic pirate adventure the first of several series to be released for Macintosh

Get ready to swash your buckles, Mac gamers. Telltale Games has just released a Mac version of Tales of Monkey Island. The downloadable 5-episode series is selling for $34.95 from">Telltale's website, and customers who have already purchased the PC episodes from Telltale can access the Mac versions for no extra charge. A free Mac demo is also available for download.

The company stresses that Tales of Monkey Island is a native Mac application--not a port--created using new functionality that has been built into their proprietary development tools. Telltale has long maintained a desire to develop games for the Macintosh, as well as hand-held devices such as the iPhone and iPad. When asked about future plans, CEO Dan Connors responded, "We've always believed that Telltale's games make sense in a touch environment. This release brings us one step closer."

As an added bonus for Monkey Island fans, the Mac version of the first Tales episode, "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal," features the voice of fan-favorite Earl Boen as the evil LeChuck. Boen joined the Tales of Monkey Island cast midway through the episodic series and his performance has not yet been incorporated into the PC version of the first episode.

Next, Telltale plans to release their existing Sam & Max, Strong Bad, and Wallace & Gromit games for the Mac, and the company is asking gamers to decide which of these series should come first. The next Mac series will launch in March.



Canine protagonist stars in newly-announced pirate-themed 2D adventure

Putting the "wag" in scallywag this summer will be Gaius James Rover, the canine star of Jolly Rover, a new 2D pirate-themed adventure announced today by Australian developer Brawsome.

In Jolly Rover, players control the 18th century protagonist on a quest to start his own circus (hopefully not a flea circus) across three tropical islands. It sounds simple enough. After all, what could go wrong on a quest that's "hampered only by pirates, villains, voodoo, love and considerable lack of loot." Okay, maybe a lot.

Jolly Rover will be the first full-length commercial adventure from Brawsome, the small indie studio whose previous credits include the freeware title Just Another Point n Click Adventure, plus work on Emerald City Confidential and Avenue Flo. Although influenced by the early Monkey Island adventures, Jolly Roger was originally conceived before the latest influx of piratey adventures, and has been in production since summer of last year.

While no firm release date has been announced yet, Brawsome is currently targeting a release through digital distribution in July 2010. For more information about Jolly Rover, be sure to check out the official website.