Adventure News

August 2010



The City That Dares Not Sleep now available for download

If you thought a rampaging space ape was bad, wait until you get a load of the monster terrorizing New York in The City That Dares Not Sleep. Better yet, don't wait, as the Sam & Max season finale is now available for download.

In the fifth and final episode of The Devil's Playhouse, a strangely familiar giant creature is stomping through the neighbourhood and feeding off the dreams of people in their sleep. Only one person – make that, one dog can stop them.... Actually, one dog, two people, and a few other interdimensional beings... Okay, suffice to say, only an absurdly eclectic team led by Sam can cut the monster down to size and hopefully save Max (and the city) in the process.

As with all previous episodes this season, The City That Dares Not Sleep is available for PC and Mac only as part of a full-season order, which is currently on sale for $19.95 at the Telltale's webstore. The game will be available as a standalone title on the PlayStation Network in North America tomorrow.

For full details about the game, be sure to check out our review of the game.



Sampler of latest puzzle-adventure now available for download

If the thought of a full RHEM game makes your brain hurt, now you can try a sampler instead, as a demo has now been released for the latest installment of the popular puzzle-adventure series.

RHEM 4: The Golden Fragments picks up where the previous game left off, but here you'll be exploring a new part of the island, and for the first time ever, you now have a hope of escape. In order to access the transport system that may lead to a way out, however, you'll first need to explore another vast area in search of nine key fragments, solving numerous puzzles as you go.

The demo gets you started with little preamble, introducing the scenario and then confronting you immediately with puzzles of all sorts to solve before you can proceed. You can download the small 77 MB sampler directly from the publisher.

RHEM 4 has been released for purchased online, with a retail version expected shortly.



Upgraded version of Revolution's classic now available for download

Finally! After watching Broken Sword: The Director's Cut released on multiple platforms from Nintendo to Apple in the last year and a half, at long last the upgraded version of Revolution's classic has arrived on PC.

The new, improved version of Shadow of the Templars (or Circle of Blood) includes the same great story of vacationing American George Stobbart and French photojournalist Nico Collard as they investigate a a modern day conspiracy rooted in medieval legend, and adds a host of extras for good measure. Along with all-new playable scenes for Nico, the Director's Cut includes a context-sensitive help system, plus new cutscenes and animations by acclaimed artist Dave Gibbons.

Available only through digital distribution, Broken Sword: The Director's Cut can be purchased now for $9.99 through download portals like The Adventure Shop and GamersGate.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affiliate.



TARDIS now available to download for British residents

If you've always wanted to fly the TARDIS, now's your chance, as the BBC today released the third episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games. At least, you'll get your chance if you live in Britain. The rest of the world will have to keep waiting.

In the appropriately-named new episode, TARDIS lets players explore the peculiar blue box that's so much bigger on the inside than out. But it's not just a joyride, because "with the TARDIS stuck in a riptide, and the Doctor sucked into space, Amy Pond must explore the secrets of the time machine in order to restore normality." The third installment of this four-part interactive series is written by TV series writer James Moran, and will include a brand new monster, The Entity, and a location designed specifically for the game that will become part of the Doctor Who canon.

As with the first two episodes, TARDIS is available free to download for British residents from the official website. For those outside the publicly-funded BBC's territory, there will be a short wait for the game to be made internationally available, and a small fee will be required to download it upon release.



Sequel to casual fantasy adventure from Big Fish unveiled days before release

Fans of the casual adventure Drawn: The Painted Tower not only have a sequel to look forward to, but won't have long to wait, as Big Fish Games recently unveiled a sequel that's due to arrive in mere days.

Picking up where the last game left off, Drawn: Dark Flight returns players to the striking fantasy world of Stonebriar. Now free of the imposing stone tower where the first game took place, players must explore the kingdom, "lighting the town’s magical beacons to banish the shadows and rescue its young queen, Iris."

The sequel will be available for PC and Mac, and unlike most casual fare, both download and retail versions will be offered simultaneously at launch as a "Collector's Edition". This version includes extras such as a soundtrack and concept art, a built-in "smart guide", and more importantly, an additional 1-2 hours of gameplay that "reveals an alternate ending to the game in which Franklin, the narrator, is reunited with Iris." A standard version of the game will also be available for download from Big Fish in the coming weeks.

Drawn: Dark Flight - Collector's Edition will be released on August 31st.



Sci-fi puzzler now in production from Ghost in the Sheet developer

Science fiction offerings have been few and far between in adventure games of late, but indie developer Cardboard Box Entertainment is looking to fill that space (quite literally) with J.U.L.I.A., a unique puzzler slated for early 2011.

In J.U.L.I.A., players control 35 year-old astrobiologist Rachel Manners, part of a select group of scientists chosen for a crucial expedition to encounter extra-terrestrial beings. When awoken from cryo, however, Rachel discovers from the ship's A.I. that she has been asleep for several decades already, and worse, she's now the only surviving member of the crew.

Across six different planets, players will employ a "MOBOT - mobile robot suited for planetary exploration - to discover secrets and mysteries of the solar system far away from ours." You'll also "solve puzzles, gather clues and communicate with the probe's temperamental artificial intelligence: Julia." These may sound like standard genre elements, though the developer notes that J.U.L.I.A. is more of a "strange puzzle game with elements of visual interactive fiction" than a traditional adventure like the studio's last release, Ghost in the Sheet.

J.U.L.I.A. is currently scheduled for downloadable release in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, be sure to check out the game's official website.



Free sampler available as downloadable game is released for purchase

If you've been hungering for Lost Horizon of late, now you can have just a little taste or the full course, as a free playable demo has arrived just as the full game is appearing on GamersGate.

The globetrotting Indiana Jones-styled adventure from Animation Arts puts players in the shoes of rogue pilot Fenton Paddock. Along with his feisty female cohort Kim, Fenton reluctantly begins a 1936 expedition into the Tibetan mountains in search of a former colleague. Little does Fenton know, however, that his friend was looking for the mythical city of Shambala, and the Nazis will stop at nothing to ensure that they make the discovery first.

The demo includes the prologue and most of the full game's opening chapter set in Hong Kong. The hefty download can be found at the official website, weighing in at a little over 1 GB in size. If you'd rather skip the middle man and go straight for the full game, you can now find Lost Horizon for purchase at GamersGate. The retail version of the game has slid back a bit, now currently scheduled in the UK for September 17th.

For more details about Lost Horizon, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview.



Latest Enter the Story installment now available for download

A new release is always the best of times for gamers, and that's especially true for fans of A Tale of Two Cities, as the Charles Dickens classic is the latest addition to Chris Tolworthy's Enter the Story adventure series.

For those unfamiliar with the original story, A Tale of Two Cities is the "story of a family: Lucie Manette has to rescue her father, find her true love, and rescue him. And Sidney Carton has no family, but desperately wants one. It's a story of love and sacrifice set in London and Paris in the late 1700s, featuring the fall of the Bastille, the Great Terror, intense love, massive death, noble sacrifice, world changing revolution, eternal conflicts, and spies."

As with the previous Enter the Story installments, A Tale of Two Cities is being offered as part of a single purchase price rather than a standalone title. That brings the series total up to four, each of which can be accessed from within the game, moving freely between them if so desired.

A Tale of Two Cities (and its fellow Enter the Story episodes) can be purchased from the official website. While there, if you'd like to sample this unique indie series first, the developer has now made Les Misérables available free to all.



Lace Mamba Global to publish Samorost-like indie adventure

If you just can't get enough of Samorost-like games, look no further than Springtail Studio's Alchemia, which Lace Mamba Global has now officially announced will be published in the UK this fall.

Like the developer's freeware Haluz games, Alchemia puts players in the role of an unnamed protagonist, who destroys the body of a strange mechanical creature and must now venture deep into an underground city to find a robotic replacement. When he arrives in this hidden city, he finds people skilled in alchemy, but discovers to his horror that the way back is now closed. To help him fulfill his promise, players must sort through the correct interactive sequences and timing in order to proceed through the many screens full of unusual obstacles, both natural and mechanical.

There's a free playable sampler of Alchemia at the game's official website, and you can already order the "extended version" with five additional levels and nine new locations for a small cost. The retail version coming soon is the same game as this full downloadable version.

The boxed version of Alchemia is due to hit store shelves in the UK on September 17th.



Three new videos emerge from the German games convention

Gamescom descends on Germany today (or perhaps the other way around), which means another week of new game announcements, trailers, screenshots, and details. Be sure to peruse our Screenshot Gallery for all the latest screens, but this is the page to see all the new trailers coming out of the show. Check back throughout the week for new additions!

Black Mirror III

Kicking off the week in fine fashion is dtp's Black Mirror III. Dubbed "The Final Chapter", the third installment of the dark mystery series puts players in the tortured shoes of young Darren, the returning protagonist from the last game. After watching Black Mirror Castle go up in flames, Darren is arrested as the suspected arson, and his detention is marked by "sleepless nights, nightmare-like visions, and the chilling specter of murder and death." Eventually set free by a mysterious benefactor, now Darren is alone to piece together what has happened, and try to understand the meaning behind his haunted dreams.

Gray Matter

dtp was apparently just picking up steam, as the German publisher also unveiled a new Gray Matter trailer. The long-awaited new adventure from Jane Jensen needs no introduction at this point, but as the game approaches its is-it-almost-really-here due date, players have been starved of any in-game footage so far. This teaser still emphasizes the graphic novel-style cutscenes, but does introduce some of the actual environments around Dread Hill House, and offers some quick glimpses of the two playable characters, neurobiologist Dr. David Styles and street magician Sam Everett in action.

So Blonde: Back to the Island

Players will soon find themselves once again deserted on the pirate-infested, 17th century tropical island first seen in 2008's So Blonde. In a reimagined, alternative-reality storyline created exclusively for the Nintendo DS and Wii, Back to the Island sends teen heroine Sunny Blonde to the other side of the island this time, where this time she'll befriend the shady "One-Eye", encountering whole new obstacles and characters. The new trailer for the game highlights the way it's been tailored specifically to the unique Nintendo platforms for a familiar, yet all-new interactive experience.



Iceberg Interactive to publish the horror adventure in Europe this fall

It's been quite a while since we last heard about Bracken Tor: The Time of Tooth and Claw, but that just pushed the horror adventure closer to a Halloween release date. And that's exactly what we'll get from Matt Clark's Shadow Tor Studios, as Iceberg Interactive today announced its plans to publish the game in the UK and most other parts of Europe this fall.

The new game from the developer of Barrow Hill sends players once again into the secluded English countryside. This time, something is stalking the misty moorlands, something "feral, ancient and terrible". A hiker was recently mauled to shreds, the victim's throat torn out. As a journalist, it's your task to spend the night on this dangerour moor, visiting the ancient rock formation called the Bracken Tor and delving into the ancient past to discover the terrifying secrets that may have brought about this current curse.

While waiting for All Hallows' Eve to roll around, be sure to check out the game's official website for more information about the moorland beasts and their role in this haunting new adventure.



Fatal Conspiracy comes to PC and major consoles, with Unsolved! arriving on DS

If there's one thing as certain as a new CSI season on television, it's the announcement of a new adventure to match. This year is no different, as today Ubisoft announced two new titles across multiple platforms.

CSI: Fatal Conspiracy offers up five original new cases penned by the show's writers, developed once again by Telltale Games. Unlike the disconnected cases of years past, this game promises a connection between each case as players partner with the CSI Vegas team and FBI agent Gene Huntby to "not only to solve some of the most gruesome crimes of Sin City, but also to take down a dangerous drug cartel." Fatal Conspiracy will be released on PC, Wii, Xbox 360, and for the first time in the series' history, the PlayStation 3.

Few details have been revealed about CSI: Unsolved!, but the new title developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS family of handhelds is being designed to best utilize the platform's unique touch screen features and the DSi camera "for exclusive lab and field work."

Both games are currently scheduled for release this October. For additional details, check out the Fatal Conspiracy and Unsolved! websites.



Traditional roles reversed in haunted house mystery that lets players do the haunting

The spiritually squeamish may want to look away, as Lace Mamba Games today announced a truly devilish new adventure called Lucius.

Produced in partnership with Finnish developer Shiver Games, Lucius casts players as the "son" of the devil who must rid a mansion of its inhabitants. In order to succeed, the boy will need to devise evil schemes using only common household items that will cast no suspicion on himself.

Being demonic has its advantages, however, as Lucius possesses supernatural powers that enable him to "control objects and people with mind power, move objects around without touching them. Lucius even has the incredible mind power to dictate weak people into causing destruction and pain." Along the way, players will uncover the mansion's many secrets that reveal why and how it's become so "tangled with evil".

Lucius is currently scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2011. In the meantime, be sure to check out the game's official website.



JoWood/DreamCatcher announce publishing plans for later this year

The on-again/off-again publishing travails of The Book of Unwritten Tales took a turn for the better today, along with bright news about Deck13's Haunted, as JoWood/DreamCatcher announced plans to release both games this winter.

The Book of Unwritten Tales was released to widespread acclaim in Germany, but has since been troubled by original publisher bankruptcy and endless localization delays, even reaching the point of official project cancelation status earlier this year. Hopefully this time the plan will stick, so players can finally get their chance to play the fantasy adventure that casts players in multiple roles of a gnome, an elf princess, a human adventurer, and a shaggy Critter, all contributing their unique skills to succeed as a team.

Haunted is currently in development at Deck13. This 19th century supernatural adventure puts players in the shoes of young Mary, who's following the trail of her presumed-dead sister when she's captured by the ruthless Professor Lindsey Ashford. When she escapes, Mary learns that she can communicate with a very eclectic group of ghosts, and that her quest is more important than she realized, as the fate of the entire spirit world may rest with her.

No specific release dates have been announced for either game, but the publisher has targed each for "winter 2010".

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