Adventure News

November 2010



Sample of Jane Jensen's long-awaited game features two playable characters

Seven years after "Project Jane-J" was first announced, Gray Matter is finally so close we can taste it, thanks to a PC demo just released by German publisher dtp Entertainment. The 1.6GB download is available at the game's official website as well as mirrors including WorthPlaying. The demo is fully localized in German and English, and also features French, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

After an opening cutscene that shows "ex-goth" street magician Samantha Everett's arrival at the ominious Dread Hill House and a brief tutorial, control switches to the game's second protagonist, neurologist David Styles, to showcase a portion of Chapter Three. Dr. Styles, who lost his wife Laura in a car accident three years earlier, is trying to make contact with her spirit via a series of memory experiments. In the demo, players must explore Dread Hill House to recover items that will evoke a vivid memory of Laura, all the while learning more about Gray Matter's key players and the larger mystery afoot.

Gray Matter is Jane Jensen's first adventure game since the acclaimed Gabriel Knight series concluded in 1999. The game released in Germany earlier this month. An English version is scheduled to launch in February 2011 for PC and Xbox 360.



Six-episode bundle now available for purchase and download

People are croaking everywhere, but what would you expect from something called the Blue Toad Murder Files? For the first time, PC gamers can now check out the game for themselves, as a downloadable version is now available for purchase.

The six-episode series began life as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, but the series has now been ported to PC and offered as a full-season bundle. In The Mysteries of Little Riddle, you'll discover that something very sinister is going on in the seemingly quiet, quaint English town. Beginning with a cold-blooded murder right before your eyes, as one of the Blue Toad detectives you'll need to "solve puzzles, interrogate suspects, use your powers of observation and investigate clues" to get to the bottom of each distinct whodunit and find out who or what is behind it all. Better yet, up to three other players can join in to cooperatively track down the culprits together.

Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle can be downloaded now from the official website or other portals such as The Adventure Shop. For more details about the series, be sure to check out our reviews of the original Playstation 3 releases of Episodes 1-3 and Episodes 4-6.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affiliate.



New point-and-click fantasy set in popular pen-and-paper RPG universe

Daedalic Entertainment is turning to a pen-and-paper roleplaying game for its next inspiration, though genre fans can rest assured that The Dark Eye: Satinavs Ketten (German title) will be a fairly traditional point-and-click adventure.

The German studio unveiled news of its latest project at a recent convention, followed by a press release to officially announce the title. While few details have yet been revealed, Satinavs Ketten will be a 2D, hand drawn adventure based on The Dark Eye, a popular German fantasy roleplaying game. Not to be confused with Inscape's 1995 adventure of the same name, The Dark Eye has previously inspired other computer games like Drakensang and the Realms of Arkania trilogy.

The German version of The Dark Eye: Satinavs Ketten will be released in cooperation with Deep Silver, with a target launch date occurring some time in 2012. There is currently no official English-language title for the game, but Daedalic expects to firm up plans for an international release and announce the details next year.



Debut of new series now available for download on iPhone/iPod Touch

iPhone games are great for playing on the go, and players will be doing just that in a new episodic series called The Train, whose debut episode is now available at the App Store.

The Train takes place in the not-too-distant future, but it's a future quite unlike our own. A cataclysmic inter-dimensional event merged Earth with an alternate version of itself, a world full of magic. Out of the resulting chaos rose a mage who called himself the Great Emperor and ruled through tyranny and oppression. Fearing other magic users, he sought to stamp out any magic use. Amidst this bleak urban fantasy world is a young man named Martin, a secret wizard who can cast spells on paintings. Martin has fallen in love with Isabell, a former chronicler for the Great Emperor who now lives in the ironically-named city of Hope under State Secret Service supervision. If Martin wants to meet up with Isabell, he'll first need to find himself a rare train permission.

According to the developers, who liken the format to the TV show Lost, three episodes are planned in total, with each picking up where the one before it concluded, then ending with a dramatic moment of its own. Players will control Martin throughout Episode 1, but further playable characters will be available in future, as players must deal with a resistance group called the "Brotherhood of the Phoenix" and determine what to believe in a world of no black and white, only shades of grey.

The Train: Episode 1 for iPhone/iPod Touch is now available for purchase at the App Store for $2.99. The current version of the game is compatible with iPads as well, though a distinct iPad version is expected to follow next month. The final two episodes of the series are currently projected for release in the spring and fall of 2011.



Update: New details emerge about five-episode "Year One" for iPad and PC

While we continue to wait for A Vampyre Story to move forward with A Bat's Tale, Autumn Moon has decided to step backwards first with an episodic prequel called Year One.

As recently revealed on the developer's blog, the prequel will launch exclusively on the Apple iPad first, followed by PC versions some time after. The series will once again star opera singer-turned-reluctant vampire Mona and her wisecracking bat pal Froderick as they "explore more of Castle Warg and Draxsylvania, solve fiendish puzzles, and outwit hideous new creatures." As seen in the newly-released screenshot, we can be sure that Year One will look as good as ever artistically.


Update: According to Autumn Moon's Bill Tiller, the current goal is for Year One to consist of five separate episodes. The first episode will be called When Mona Met Froderick, and will feature both old and new characters, including Shrowdy and the Bellfry Boys. The debut takes players to a previously-unexplored part of the castle, but future episodes will progress to other parts of Draxsylvania, and even a glimpse of Paris. If successful, the series could even be extended into Year Two and beyond.

While focus on Year One will undoubtedly delay production on A Bat's Tale, Autumn Moon was also quick to assure fans than plans for the sequel are still in the works, optimistically suggesting "next fall" as a possible target.



Two very different sci-fi adventures now available for purchase

Sci-fi fans get a double dose of gaming goodness today, as not one but two different adventures have just been released.


Set in 2045, Alternativa is a cyberpunk adventure from Centauri Production, combining several short stories together to tell a tale about a world devasted by war and now run by an oppressive dictatorial government. The various tales promise to take players through such diverse scenarios as a "rape investigation, nocturnal visits to the morgue or database hacker attacks." Alternativa is available now for download from Steam at a special launch price of $22.49 USD.

DARKSTAR - The Interactive Movie

DARKSTAR - The Interactive Movie is a massive FMV project that's been many years in the making. As Captain John O'Neil, players awaken from a cryogenic sleep in the year 2499 with complete memory loss. One of your fellow cryo-mates has obviously been dead for years, while another is still occupied by a beautiful woman. A third chamber lies empty, and the ship's computer has also had much of its memory erased. In this "story of suspense and interplanetary intrigue" featuring hours of live-action film footage, you'll soon discover that "despite the icy, cold silence... you're not alone." A DVD boxed version of DARKSTAR can be ordered from the official website for $29.95 USD.



Seventh Swedish mystery to arrive sometime before the holidays

It may be a month or two later than usual, but another Carol Reed adventure is on its way, as MDNA Games has just announced Blue Madonna - A Carol Reed Mystery for release sometime before Christmas.

In the latest mystery for the amateur sleuth in Sweden, Carol is hired by artist Christina Falk, but just a day later her client is found dead, apparently by suicide. But this raises plenty of questions about the cause of death and even the real identity of the person who hired Carol. However, "with a dead client, Carol hasn’t even got a case. And with so little information, she hasn’t got any clues either. But the last thing that Christina did was to ask for Carol’s help, so Carol figures that the least she could do is look into it. And when she uncovers several curious circumstances leading up to Christina’s death, Carol just can’t let it go."

For more details about Blue Madonna, check out the official website, where a demo for the game will soon be available.



Playable demo available as comic sci-fi adventure now ready for purchase

The long countdown to Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World is at least partly over, as the comic sci-fi adventure from Cateia Games has now been released on GamersGate, along with a playable demo.

A promising indie adventure that disappeared off the radar for a few years before recently re-emerging, Kaptain Brawe puts players in command of the SPS Mazslow, which receives a distress signal from a nearby planet. What begins as a rescue mission for the spelling-challenged Kaptain, however, eventually spans across several diverse worlds as you "hunt for kidnapped aliens, blow up dams, blow up laboratories, cook and tinker with the latest space technologies", according to the game's designer, Petar Ivancek.

Kaptain Brawe is currently available exclusively at GamersGate, while a playable demo can be downloaded for both PC and Mac directly from the official website. The game is expected to be released at a variety of other download portals later this week.

For more details about the game, be sure to check out our recent preview and interview with the developers.