Adventure News

November 2011



Frogwares unveils new website and trailer for The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

With the release of the next Sherlock Holmes adventure mere months away, Frogwares has launched the official website for The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and a brand new teaser.

The “decidedly-mature storyline” immerses players in the dark ambiance of 1898 London, where “the very personality of the famous detective is explored, and his true nature called into question.” Holmes himself is the chief suspect in a recent crime, and even Watson can’t account for his good friend’s increasingly erratic behaviour. To discover the secret behind this unexplained transformation, players begin an open investigation in which they must decide which leads to follow and which to ignore.

This latest release from Frogwares is the first to be designed not only with the PC in mind, but with current generation consoles as well, utilizing a new game engine specially built to display complex scenes and high-resolution textures, some of which can be glimpsed in the new trailer. You can discover more about this game for yourself at the official site.

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is currently slated to arrive in early 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.



New adventure from The Dream Chronicles developer nearing completion

KatGames may be best known for its popular Dream Chronicles series, but the studio is nearly ready to start out in a new direction with The Cross Formula.

In this lite "story adventure game", the main character has no memory of who he is, but he is "being pursued as the prime suspect in the murder of a professor who studies subliminal imagery. In hopes of restoring his memory, he retraces his steps, from a gritty motel to an old diner, to the trailer of a UFO fanatic, to a secret military base, all set against a backdrop of lonely desert roads." Players must attempt to discover what really happened by conversing with other characters and solving numerous puzzles, all while staying one step ahead of of the authorities along the way.


In a departure from the photorealistic backgrounds in the developer's previous games, The Cross Formula features a more distinctive hand-drawn art style and promises a "film noir tone and mood", with somewhat cynical characters and downbeat audio to best suit its gritty atmosphere and setting.

While no firm release date has yet been announced, The Cross Formula is currently nearing completion and targeted for release for both PC and Mac sometime in January 2012.



Daedalic Entertainment to publish Amanita Design's next adventure

We don't always get boxed games of Amanita Design's adventures (at least right away), but that won't be a concern for Botanicula, as Daedalic Entertainment is set to distribute the game in most European territories when it releases early next year.

Botanicula is the latest wordless adventure from the creators or Samorost and Machinarium, which tells the tale of five tiny tree creatures whose home is invaded by parasites. In order to preserve the final seed from destruction, the five must set off on a quest using the unique skills of each to overcome various obstacles along the way.

While Daedalic is best known in the English-speaking world as a developer of highly-acclaimed adventures like The Whispered World and A New Beginning, the company has also been successfully publishing third-party titles throughout Germany for some time now. The publishing agreement for Botanicula includes the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Benelux, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

There is still no defined release date set for Botanicula, but the game is slated to launch some time in the first quarter of 2012.



Casual first-person fantasy puzzler now available for downloadable purchase

What is about books in first-person puzzle-adventures that always lead to no good? It's true again in today's release of Pahelika: Revelations, a sequel to the 2009 casual puzzler that sees players attempting to undo the harm caused by acquiring a magical book the first time around.

After overcoming the many obstacles protecting the mystical Pahelika in Secret Legends, Sudesh Budkoti thought the book was safe and all was well. But then came feelings of unease, followed by nightmares, as Sudesh finally came to realize that by taking the book he "managed to inadvertently free an ancient evil which now threatens the entire world. The player must explore ancient ruins, solve intricate puzzles, and navigate deadly traps in his quest to stop this terrible foe."

Pahelika: Revelations is available for download now exclusively from the official website, where a playable demo is also available to sample. The game sells for $14.99 (not $19.99 as the site currently states -- the correct price is noted during checkout).



"Experimental interactive narrative" now available for purchase and download

'Tis the day for story-driven indie adventures. Along with the release of To the Moon, an "experimental interactive narrative" called Girl with a Heart of has launched today as well for PC, Mac, iOS and Android platforms.

Girl with a Heart of follows the story of Raven, a young girl whose subterranean city of Underfoot has been attacked by a neighbouring army. Separated from her parents, Raven learns that "the artificial heart beating in her chest is imbued with a power that can help save her people, if only she can learn to use it. Now she needs to gain a better understanding of her role and the possible impacts her choices will have -- and she must choose the right path, while there's still time to make a difference."

Not a conventional adventure by any means, this debut title from indie developer Bent Spoon Games features a side-scrolling perspective to set the stage for a conversation-driven tale that "explores issues of human rationality and recursive self-improvement". Players must make many dialogue choices throughout the game that affect the responses of other characters and lead to a number of different endings. These are not right and wrong choices, however, as "decisions that seem good can actually be detrimental and players must use rationality and logic to succeed."

Girl with a Heart of is available for PC and Mac directly from the developer's website for $5.99, or the App Store and the Android Market for $2.99.



Demo introduces new story-driven adventure about recreating memories

One of these days, Alice... Ralph Kramden probably didn't have this in mind when he threatened to send his wife to the moon, but today's the day when we can all venture To the Moon in a stylish new Japanese adventure just released from Freebird Games.

To the Moon follows the exploits of doctors Eva Rosalene and Neil Watts as they attempt to delve back into an elderly man's memories, rather Inception-like, to implant a recollection of his lifelong wish. It's a process that can only be done on a person's deathbed, as it leaves them unable to function once complete. But if successful, it allows the patient the chance to "wake up, having lived the dream life they never had, and embrace a brief moment of blissful fulfillment." In order to help a man named Johnny fulfill his wish to go to the moon, Rosalene and Watts must step back through his interactive memories in fragmented reverse chronology until finally reaching his childhood.

The game features a distinctive Japanese RPG-style look but plays out like a heavily story-driven point-and-click adventure. It is currently available for $11.99 USD at the developer's website or through Wadjet Eye Games, a third-party affiliate without any development involvement in this game. There is an interactive demo available to sample from either website as well, if you'd like to try before you buy.



Telltale's dinosaur adventure title launches on multiple platforms

Telltale's Jurassic Park is welcoming visitors today for the first time, as the dinosaur-themed adventure has released today across multiple platforms.

Based on the multiple Oscar-winning movie of the same name, the game has an original plot that takes place both during and after the plot of the original film, and is set to resolve some loose ends left hanging, such as the fate of Dennis Nedry's shaving foam can. Telltale have promised to stay true to the continuity of the film and Michael Crichton's book series, while further expanding the story in their own way.

Unlike most Telltale adventures, not only was the launch of Jurassic Park delayed from its original April release date, but all four episodes are being bundled together as a single game for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PC and Mac versions are available now directly from Telltale, while the PlayStation 3 version can be found on the PlayStation Network. The Xbox 360 version is a complete retail edition that can be found now in major North American retailers. According to Telltale's website, an iOS version is also in the works, though as yet there is no sign of it on the App Store. Update: The first of four planned episodes is now available for iPad.

For more details about Jurassic Park, check out our preview of the game.



Haunting FMV indie adventure now available through Big Fish Games

The witching hour may have passed, but there are plenty of hauntings left to be experienced, like today's release of Relics: Dark Hours exclusively at Big Fish Games.

A joint production from Subdued Games and Bryan Wiegele, creator of Inherent Evil and the Delaware St. John series, Relics tells the tale of Matthew Hunter, a young man who can see ghosts. After his father's death, Matthew discovered that his grandfather once stole a collection of cursed artifacts that initially bring prosperity, but then sickness and death to all who possess them. His father compounded the problem by selling the items, and now Matthew is determined to track down all of the artifacts and destroy them.

In Dark Hours, Matthew fakes a nighttime custodial position at Ridgecrest High, a middle-of-nowhere secondary school that's been afflicted by the death of a teacher and other disappearances as well. The supernatural thriller uses a first-person slideshow-style format, with live actors and filmed locations setting the stage for this haunted high school mystery.

Relics: Dark Hours is currently available exclusively at Big Fish Games for $9.99 (or $6.99 for Club members). For more details, check out our hands-on preview and interview with Bryan Wiegele.

Note: Adventure Gamers is a Big Fish Games affiliate.



Port of Rockstar's gritty crime thriller and all DLC now available in stores

So you're heard all about L.A. Noire and wished you could find out what all the fuss was about, but you don't own a console... what do you do? Why, you wait for the release of The Complete Edition, which finally brings Rockstar's gritty crime thriller to PC this week, bundled with all current downloadable content.

If you missed the buzz originally, L.A. Noire is set in post-WWII Los Angeles. Players control Detective Cole Phelps as he investigates a series of crimes based on real-world events. But as he "rises through the ranks of the LAPD, Phelps comes face-to-face with the corrupt heart of Los Angeles: from fallen starlets to double-dealing police officers and the vast reaches of the criminal underworld – and finally, the darkness of his own personal demons."

While far too many console games get shoddy ports to PC, the conversion of L.A. Noire has been developed by Rockstar Leeds and promises it will "run on a wide range of PCs and feature customization, including keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality to both optimize and customize the performance and user experience. Along with increased fidelity and improved graphical enhancements, the PC version will feature 3D support for an even greater sense of interaction and immersion within a painstakingly detailed 1940s Los Angeles."

In addition to the main adventure, The Complete Edition also includes the game's DLC expansions, including the "Nicholson Electroplating” Arson case, the “Reefer Madness” Vice case, “The Consul’s Car” Traffic case, “The Naked City” Vice case and “A Slip of the Tongue” Traffic case, along with extra weapons and outfits. This expanded retail edition is available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as well.

Note that L.A. Noire does include some car chases and gunfighting, so it is by no means a traditional adventure, though much of the action is skippable if you don't succeed at first. For the full scoop on the game, be sure to check out our rare 5-star review.



Ubisoft launches new crime series, first-ever Nintendo 3DS adventures

There's a double dip of adventure today from Ubisoft, as the company released not one but two different mysteries in the form of NCIS and James Noir's Hollywood Crimes.

The release of NCIS marks the first interactive adventure based on the long-running TV naval crime series. Over the course of four different cases scripted by writers of the television show, players will "investigate crime scenes as agents Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo, conduct forensics analyses as Abby and victim autopsies as Ducky, interrogate and break suspects as Gibbs, and use satellite tracking to apprehend bad guys on the run as McGee." The game is available now at all major retailers in both the UK and North America for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. A unique Nintendo 3DS version has also been released, offering all-new cases exclusive to the platform.

Speaking of the 3DS, James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes was also launched today exclusively for the stereoscopic handheld. This puzzle-centric adventure "takes place inside a TV game show, where you are a participant. As you play, you discover a series of murders and a diabolical criminal mastermind that is manipulating and defying you at every turn. Everyone on the set of the show is in danger – especially you! Solving the puzzles left by the killer at every crime scene is the only way to clear your name and to uncover his identity before it’s too late." The game is available now in North America and due to launch in the UK on November 25th.