Adventure News

July 2010



Puzzle-adventure download arrives a month earlier than retail version

Puzzle fans just got a dream vacation lined up for the dog days of summer, as a fourth trip to RHEM island is now open with today's downloadable release of RHEM 4 : The Golden Fragments.

The latest entry in the popular series picks up where the last game left off, only this time with a hope of escape for the first time ever. Unlocking a gateway to a previously unexplored part of the island, players must follow in the footsteps of Kales, who has discovered a transport system that could lead to freedom. To access it, however, you'll first need to find several parts of a key, and a large number of complex puzzles stand in the way of that goal.

RHEM 4 is due to arrive on store shelves this September in the UK, but it's available now through digital distribution at major download portals like The Adventure Shop and GamersGate.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affliate partner.



First two episodes now available at Direct2Drive

While UK gamers have been busy playing the first two episodes of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games for a while now, the rest of the world had to look on from afar, patiently awaiting word of availability and cost. That time has come, as City of the Daleks and Blood of the Cybermen are now available for download at Direct2Drive.

With full voiceovers and the likenesses of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, the four-part episodic adventure is being produced by the BBC to coincide with this year's television series, putting players in the shoes of the good doctor and Amy for the first time. The first episode sends players to the home planet of the Daleks to restore human history after the TARDIS arrives in 1963 London to find the world totally destroyed. The second episode takes the pair to an Arctic research center where an ancient relic awaits.

Although the episodes are free in the UK (the BBC being a publicly-funded company), the rest of the world will need to pay for the privilege. The fee is nominal, fortunately, as the two episodes are available together exclusively at Direct2Drive for only $3.70 total.

For more details about Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, be sure to visit the official website.

Update: The games are currently offered only through the North American Direct2Drive portal, so check back for availability elsewhere.



Beyond the Alley of the Dolls available today on PC, Mac, and PS3

Sam & Max are back in full force today. Or more accurately, Sams & Max, as this time there's a whole army of undies-sporting canine shamuses running loose in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls.

In this penultimate episode of The Devil's Playhouse, the Freelance Police find themselves in a boarded-up Stinky's Diner fighting off hordes of mindless Sam clones, and the day only gets worse from there. Once free, it's off to locate the mastermind of this dastardly clone army (no, it's not George Lucas), making brief forays to the afterlife, other dimensions, and the top of a historic landmark along the way. Better yet, it all leads to a dramatic cliffhanger ending that is sure to give you nightmares until next month's finale (if the image of Sam in briefs hasn't already done that).

As with the previous episodes, Beyond the Alley of the Dolls is available today for PC and Mac exclusively as part of the full season bundle from the official website. The episode will be released on the PlayStation Network in North America later today, and in Europe tomorrow.

For the full scoop on Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, be sure to check out our review of the game.



Debut of indie production Post Tenebras available for download

A new independent adventure production called Post Tenebras has just kicked off with the launch of The Soul Eater on PC, with an iPhone version to follow soon.

The planned two-part series casts players in the role of Harry, a man trapped in a mysterious place with no memory of who he is or how he got there. To discover your identity and reveal the "dreadful secret buried in your memory", you must carefully explore your surroundings for items and clues that will help you on your way.

While sharing many similarities, the two versions of the game are not identical. The iPhone version will feature a basic "escape the room" style of gameplay, while more locations are available in the PC iteration, along with an increased storyline focus that explores the background behind Harry's current circumstances. The iPhone release is expected soon, but a free PC demo of The Soul Eater can be downloaded from the official website. In order to unlock the full version of the game, a one-time license fee of €5.00 is required.

There is no firm release date set for the second part of Post Tenebras, but the developer is currently targeting a completion date as early as the end of September.



Boxed Trilogy precedes latest puzzle-adventure installment

Puzzle lovers have not one but four reasons to celebrate today, as Lace Mamba Global has announced plans to release a RHEM Trilogy bundle in the UK, followed by the launch of RHEM 4 this fall.

First appearing in 2003, the RHEM series is one of the few remnants of the solitary puzzle-centric adventure era. Dropping players into the vast environs of RHEM island, guided only by messages from bothers Kales and Zetais, the first three games consisted largely of exploring different parts of the island, both above and below ground, solving a variety of challenging logic and mechanical puzzles along the way.

RHEM 4 picks up where the third game left off, but unlike its predecessors, this time there's hope of an actual escape. Kales has discovered a transport system that could ultimately lead off the island, but players must first collect several parts of the key to access it. So once more it's time to "explore this huge, fantastic world full of strange vehicles and buildings, unknown mechanisms and machines, secret passages and doorways, though players will this time meet new characters, who can help them solve some of the mysteries they will face."

Both the Trilogy and RHEM 4 will be available for PC and Mac, with release dates due some time this quarter.



Last Window: The Secret of Cape West available for DS this fall

The many Hotel Dusk fans who were holding their breath about an English release of its Japanese sequel can exhale today, as Nintendo announced that Last Window: The Secret of Cape West willl be launched on the Nintendo DS this fall.

The new game is set in 1980, a year after the events of Hotel Dusk, with players once again controlling former policeman Kyle Hyde. This time around, Kyle is attempting to "solve a mystery involving his father's murder and secretive past." Like its predecessor, Last Window is being described as an "interactive novel" in which "decisions you make throughout the game will alter Kyle’s journey and result in different outcomes in the storyline."

With a variety of puzzles blended into the "film noir-esque story" along the way, Last Window will also adapt the story into text form at the completion of each chapter for players to read through in regular novel form, once again holding the DS sideways like a book.

With the recent bankruptcy of developer Cing, it was no sure thing that we'd see a localized version of Last Window, but not only does this announcement assure us that we will, we won't even have long to wait, as the target release date for the game is September 17th.



First episode of fan-made series available now as free download

After eight years, several turbulent legal disputes, and a huge commitment from volunteers at Phoenix Online Studios, the first of five episodic instalments of The Silver Lining, a new fan-made chapter in the Kings Quest series, has finally been released as a free download.

What Is Decreed Must Be starts where the last King’s Quest game finished in the Land of Green Isles. There is meant to be a celebration but “the arrival of a black-cloaked stranger, however, revelry turns to tragedy as the royal twins Alexander and Rosella fall victim to a mysterious curse. Now patriarch King Graham must don his feathered adventurer's cap once again and set out on a quest to save his family.”

Unlike most freeware endeavours, this ambitious project features 3D artwork, an original soundtrack, and a cast of professional actors. It has even attracted the interest of series creator Roberta Williams herself, who claims "Now there is a chance to truly find out what happens to the royal family of the Kingdom of Daventry. I, like many other fans, would like to see how this story unfolds!”

To download “Whatever Is Decreed Must Be” and learn more about The Silver Lining, visit the official site. Registration is required to download the game, but is totally free of charge.



Next horror adventure by Scratches creator targeting 2011 release

After months of driving horror fans nuts with a series of viral videos and teasing with hints of an "Unnamable Project" in development, Agustín Cordes today released a trailer that at last reveals the title and a first glimpse into his new adventure, Asylum.

We've heard very little so far about the new game from the creator of Scratches, other than the filmed rantings of a tortured man named Bertrand released by escaped inmate Leonard Huntings, warning people of the horrors of the Hanwell Mental Institute. If the new trailer is any indication, Leonard may have been right.

The video (not recommended for children or the faint of heart) takes players on an increasingly disturbing tour of Hanwell, offering brief looks at the madness lurking within its hallways. According to Cordes, the "decaying Hanwell institute seems to have a life of its own and was designed from the ground up after real blueprints of vintage asylums.”

No further details are known about Asylum at this point other than a target release date of 2011. In the meantime, be sure to check out the viral trailers and other details about Hanwell at the official website.



Revamped LucasArts classic now available for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3

It was so much fun the first time, why not do it all over again? Today LucasArts released the ravamped Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Special Edition for download on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, a mere 19 years after the original launch of the piratey classic.

If you've somehow managed to miss the game all these years, MI2 once again follows the exploits of lovable pirate Guybrush Threepwood, this time in search of the fabled treasure of Big Whoop on Dinky Island. Along the way, he'll encounter the lovely Elaine, his didn't-I-kill-you-already? nemesis LeChuck, and a raft of other colourful characters both on land and on sea, all leading up to one of the most memorable endings in gaming history.

Like the Special Edition of Secret of Monkey Island last year, the sequel includes a graphical overhaul with the option to switch between the classic version and the "re-imagined contemporary art style" seamlessly at any moment. This time, however, the newly-recorded voiceovers can be played with either version of the game. Along with these enhancements, the SE includes a remastered orchestral musical score, an alternate direct control scheme, hint system, and as a special bonus, an art viewer and in-game commentary from creators Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Special Edition is available only through download, on PC at the Steam store for $9.99, and through Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network on their respective consoles.



Puzzle-centric debut episode of Telltale's Pilot Program now available

It's time for puzzle fans to don their thinking caps and earmuffs for a trip to Scoggins, Minnesota, in Telltale's Puzzle Agent, released today for download on PC and Mac.

In Puzzle Agent, Nelson Tethers is the one-man Department of Puzzle Research for the FBI. After years of frustrating inactivity, Tethers is sent to look into the mysterious shutdown of the Scoggins Eraser factory, supplier of all erasers for the White House. What he finds when he arrives, however, is a town full of unhelpful locals and a host of brainteasers to solve, along with a variety of red gnomes to chill him even more than the wintry environs.

Along with a free playable demo, Puzzle Agent is available for download now from the official website for $9.95. Unlike other Telltale episodic adventures, this game is available only as a standalone episode with no promise of a future disc release.

For more details about Puzzle Agent, be sure to check out our recent preview of the game.