Adventure News

May 2011



Slate of summer offerings include new missions, suits, and more

If you just can’t get enough of life as a 1940s gumshoe, Rockstar Games has filled the board with new cases for Detective Phelps to undertake in this summer's upcoming barrage of L.A. Noire downloadable content.

Set in post-war Los Angeles, L.A. Noire follows the police career of veteran Cole Phelps from his lowly beat cop days through his rise as the department's “golden boy” detective, cleaning up Tinseltown's dirty streets as possibly the only honest cop in La La Land. As he ascends the ranks, he takes cases from four different divisions, three of which will see new missions starting today.

Thanks to the first wave of DLC, gamers will have the chance to take on brand-new missions as well as ones that were formerly pre-order exclusives through major retailers. The previously-exclusive vice mission “The Naked City” and traffic case “Slip of the Tongue” hit today, with brand-new arson case “Nicholson Electroplating Disaster” and vice investigation “Reefer Madness” coming June 21st and July 12th respectively. These missions are “inspired both by famous noir fiction and real-life crimes taken straight from the headlines”, though they stand independent of the game's main storyline.

The available missions will run $4.00 a pop on the PlayStation Network (when it comes back online later this week) or 320 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Players have the option of buying everything separately or getting all four cases plus two detective suits and a collectible challenge as they are released by picking up the Rockstar Pass, which retails for $10.00 (800 MSP) until June 14th when the price will jump two dollars.

For the full details on this impressive action-tinged crime thriller, put your peepers on our L.A. Noire review.



Supernatural adventure with 3D special effects and glasses now available for purchase

It's time to set aside the old "3D vs. 2D" debates, as today's North American release of The Rockin' Dead is sure to usher in a whole new one.

On the surface, The Rockin' Dead is just like any other traditional third-person adventure... albeit one with hot rocker babes, head-banging skeletons, and a host of other metal-loving undead creatures. The Deadly Lullabyes receive an invitation to perform at a remote castle, but when their van crashes, Alyssa regains consciousness to find that all of the band’s equipment and the other two girls have disappeared. To find them, she'll have to delve ever deeper into an "insane world where occult, unexplained phenomena and heavy metal rule!"

Look a little deeper, however, and you'll find something much different. And I mean deeper literally. Using anaglyph 3D technology and special glasses included with the game, The Rockin' Dead pops out in real 3D. The game also comes with a purely 2D mode if that's your preference or you opt for a digital download version.

The North American version is published by Viva Media, and is available now at major retailers at a budget price of $19.99.



Playable sampler heralds launch of sci-fi thriller due on June 24th

With less than a month left before release, a playable demo of Alpha Polaris is now sending players on an early excursion to the icy climes of Greenland.

In this sci-fi thriller from Turmoil Games, an unprecedented ion storm is gathering in the skies above Alpha Polaris, an American oil research station, resulting in a dangerous mix of reality and night terrors. Now it's up to Norwegian biologist Rune Knudsen to face the "primordial force lurking beyond the veiled sky".

The demo takes place at the beginning of the game, introducing Rune and other key members of Alpha Polaris as they seek to stun a polar bear who has wandered onto the compound. The file is nearly 400 MB in size, and can be downloaded from GameFront.

Alpha Polaris is currently scheduled for downloadable release on June 24th. In the meantime, stay tuned for our upcoming preview and interview with Turmoil Games due early next week.



Society of the Serpent Moon now available for purchase

It's a good thing indie developer William Fisher is bad at math. Despite naming his popular horror series Last Half of Darkness, the franchise is now back for a fourth installment with the release of Society of the Serpent Moon.

In the latest adventure, after receiving a package with a map and your fiancée's bloody ring, you're off to Antibes to rescue her. She left just a few days previously to investigate a series of "vampire-like murders that have plagued the dark streets and alleys of the tiny European town", but as you pick up her trail, you are soon confronted with "the source of evil causing the local townfolk to turn into a rare breed of savage night-thirsty murderers."

Although this is the fourth game in the series (or fifth, if you include its original incarnation way back in 1989), Society of the Serpent Moon marks the first shift into third-person territory, which you can sample in the playable demo, available at the official website. There you can also purchase the game for $19.99 plus shipping.



Live-action horror adventure coming soon from Delaware St. John designer

Step aside, Delaware St. John. Time to make room for Matthew Hunter in Relics, a new horror adventure due this summer from developer Bryan Wiegele.

In this live-action first-person supernatural mystery, designed by Wiegele in partnership with Subdued Software, players control Hunter as he investigates Ridgecrest High, where "a series of disappearances and a fatal accident indicates a cursed relic may be in someone’s possession." Visiting undercover, it's up to you to "recover the relic before the body count grows."


While no firm release date has yet been announced, Relics will be distributed digitally for both PC and iPad sometime this summer. For more details in the coming months, be sure to check out the game's official website.



Deep space game footage spotlights alien worlds and strange creatures

Indie developer Cardboard Box Entertainment (Ghost in the Sheet) has released the first trailer for their upcoming sci-fi puzzler J.U.L.I.A. that details a bit about the game's story while showing off some of the title's exotic locales and alien beasties.

In J.U.L.I.A., players take the role of astrobiologist Rachel Manners, a member of a far-future space probe crew on a mission to find intelligent life amongst the stars. An unexpected alarm awakens Rachel from her cryogenic sleep prior to the ship reaching its destination, however. Disoriented, the scientist asks the ship's artificial intelligence for answers. When the program tells her that decades have passed since the mission started and that she is the only surviving member of her team, Rachel sets off to unearth what went so horribly wrong.

The new trailer hints at all of this and shows off some of the game's locations, cinematics, and the characters you will meet during your journey, including the ship's titular (and temperamental) AI. Keep your eyes open for the MOBOT as well, a remote robot you will use throughout the game to discover secrets and solve some of the game's mysteries.

The developers have stated that J.U.L.I.A. is a less traditional adventure title, promising more of a "strange puzzle game with elements of visual interactive fiction." We will find out exactly what CBE means by that when the developer's self-published effort sees digital release for PC later this year.



"Guardian of Immortality" officially announced for Q4 release in Germany

The series about death just won't die. That's a good thing for adventure gamers, as dtp has at long last officially announced production on Memento Mori 2: Guardian of Immortality.

Though news of a sequel to 2009's Memento Mori first leaked many months ago, the veil has finally been lifted with the first details and screenshots. In the new game, Lara and Max are now married, but their honeymoon in South Africa is short-lived, as Lara is called in to help with an art theft case in Cape Town. After picking up the thief's trail, "Max and the thief get caught up in a terrible car crash. The thief’s body is salvaged from the bottom of the steep coastal cliff and Max is declared missing, presumed dead." A grieving Lara returns to her Interpol office in Lyon, but her next case keeps dropping clues that Max may still be alive.


Guardian of Immortality promises three playable characters that will take players to more than 50 locations, including stops in Finland San Francisco's Chinatown. There is no word yet on an English-language release date, but dtp is currently aiming to launch the game in the fourth quarter of this year in German-speaking territories.



Real "3D" heavy metal horror adventure arrives later this month

If you live west of the Atlantic and love metal, monsters, and funky 3D glasses, you may have thought you’d be missing out on The Rockin' Dead. But put your fears to rest, music fans, for publisher Viva Media is releasing Grasland Production’s upcoming horror-rock adventure game in North America later this month.

The Deadly Lullabyes are a hard-rockin' trio whose dreams of stardom (or at least a high-paying gig) are boosted when they get an invitation to play a mysterious concert at a remote location. The band sets out in their trusty van but their ambition and travel plans are stalled when the girls crash into some woods out in the middle of nowhere. As Alyssa, the group's leader, you awaken from the accident to find your equipment—and fellow bandmates—are missing. As you set about to find them, you run afoul of some creatures of the night set on stopping you dead in your tracks.

The Rockin' Dead promises over 90 hand-drawn locations, 20 unique characters, and a heavy dose of B-movie camp presented in stereoscopic 3D using Anaglyph images and a standard pair of red-blue glasses. For those wary of the third dimension, the game can be played in standard 2D as well.

If you’re ready to rock out, grab your axe (both kinds) and prepare to face the music, because The Rockin' Dead is scheduled to hit retail shelves on May 31st. 3D glasses included.



Lace Mamba Global to publish two versions of third episodic season in August

There will be no idle hands in the UK this summer, as Lace Mamba Global has announced plans to publish Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse for PC and Mac in August.

The third season of episodic adventures for the Freelance Police was arguably the zaniest so far, as the "ancient toys of power" unlocks some latent psychic powers in Max. And if we can be sure of anything, it's that chaos follows wherever Max's psyche leads. The season includes such highlights as a purple spacefaring simian, an ancient Egyptian sojourn as Sam & Max's own ancestors, the removal of Max's brain, and an army of undies-wearing Sam clones (shudder). Oh, and a giant rampaging rabbit monster running amok in New York, plus a black-and-white narrator who knows all but isn't telling us everything.

Originally launched this time last year, to date the five-part season has not been released as a boxed product. As they recently did with Tales of Monkey Island, Lace Mamba plans to release The Devil's Playhouse in two versions, including a Collector's Edition, though content details have yet to be announced.

Along with the UK, Lace Mamba will be distributing the game in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Portugal and further European markets this August.



Comic mole-themed port of iOS adventure now available at The Adventure Shop

If you're not digging the trend towards more iOS exclusive adventures, fear not, as aideMMedia's City of Secrets has now found its way to PC.

Originally released for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad on the App Store, City of Secrets is a colourful, comic story of Rex, a brave dog who accidentally falls into an underground ctiy of moles, where he is captured and imprisoned for espionage. Now his wise-cracking, British-accented friend Mr. Moles must help Rex escape and uncover the city's sinister plot.

City of Secrets is now available for download on PC from The Adventure Shop for $7.99 / €7.99. We'll have a review of the game shortly, but in the meantime, for additional information be sure to check out the developer's website.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affiliate.



New five-part episodic crime adventure inspired by the works of Tim Burton

The 7th Guest may have arrived in 1993, but The Second Guest won't reach us until later this year, as Twice Effect and HeadUp Games have just announced their collaboration on an upcoming episodic crime adventure.

The Second Guest stars Jack Ice, a young man called to Grace Castle in 1923 for a will reading following the passing of old Lord Averton. Curiously, Jack doesn't even know the deceased, but he heads off to the small town of Little Grace anyway, on the east coast of Cornwall. When he and the other guests arrive, however, it soon becomes clear that Lord Averton was murdered, and that the killer is now targeting his heirs. When the power goes out and a landslide cuts off any chance of escape, Jack must try to survive the night and discover the mystery of Grace Castle and the secrets of his own past as well.

With five episodes planned in total, The Second Guest promises a point-and-click control scheme with a "balanced mix of creepy atmosphere and slapstick" and a "modern 2D look" that is graphically inspired by the surreal works of Tim Burton. The game is currently in production at Twice Effect, by experienced adventure designers whose past credits include the likes of Jack Orlando and The Whispered World.

The Second Guest is currently scheduled to debut this October, just in time for Halloween.


May releases the Atari fantasy adventure free to all users

Digital game distributor recently made some changes to their delivery software, and to celebrate the occasion they are giving away a free copy of the fantasy epic Dragonsphere to all registered users.

Dragonsphere casts players as Callash, the newly-crowned King of Gran Callahach, whose father oversaw the imprisoning of the evil wizard Sanwe inside his castle two decades before. Alas, the binding spell has grown weak and a mystical device called the Dragonsphere warns that the wicked spellcaster is preparing his escape. To stop him, King Callash must venture out into the sorcerer's treacherous domain to prevent him from regaining his power. Along the way, Callash discovers a deception that could bring the entire kingdom to its knees.

Originally published by MicroProse in 1994, the game includes no enhancements to graphics or sound, but it has been modified for proper compatibility with modern computers, and the DRM-free download comes with a PDF version of the original manual.

You can grab your complimentary copy of Dragonsphere right now at the website.



"Spin-off" of Edna & Harvey: The Breakout stars new child protagonist

What's an Edna & Harvey game without Edna? We'll find out soon enough, as Daedalic Entertainment has recently unveiled the first details about its upcoming "spin-off" adventure Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes.

Although word of a pseudo-sequel to Edna & Harvey: The Breakout has been circulating in Daedalic's native Germany for some time, today's announcement marks the first English-language details for the upcoming adventure, including the first batch of screenshots in the series' distinctive hand-drawn cartoon style.


Despite her name being in the title, the child in the images is not Edna, but the (human) star of the new game, Lilli. Living in a convent school, Lilli appears to be "the best-behaved little girl in the world" who tranquilly fulfills all her duties without complaint, even when they're unfair, and "any angry thoughts, any childlike disobedience is buried deep beneath a seemingly impenetrable surface of sweetness." But it's a serenity that can't possibly be real, giving rise to the obvious questions: "How long will these feelings stay hidden? And where do the friendly little gnomes come from that paint over everything unpleasant in Lilli’s vicinity with a pleasant pink color? Are they real or just a product of her subconscious?"

There are no firm release details for an English-language version of the game, but Daedalic is currently targeting a third-quarter release of Harvey's New Eyes in German-speaking territories. In the meantime, keep an eye on the recently updated Edna & Harvey website for further details.