Adventure News

February 2012



Wrestling-themed indie comic adventure now available for purchase

If you've been wrestling with the idea of picking up a new comic adventure game, today's release of Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass may just be the deciding factor.

Da New Guys melds "traditional adventure gameplay reminiscent of the LucasArts classics and the fast-paced humor of a Saturday morning cartoon", telling the unusual story of a trio of professional (but not very skilled) wrestlers named Brain, Simon, and Defender. When Brain becomes the unlikely champion of the Wrestle Zone's title belt entirely by accident, an angry mob appears and Brain is kidnapped, leaving his hapless buddies to track him down.

While the thought of pro wrestling may suggest an adventure that's more brawn than brain, the game's UK developer Chris Burton explains that Da New Guys aims to "capture the over-the-top theatrics we see on TV, and then take the wrestlers out of the ring and into the real world. These guys are used to solving problems with their fists (and nearby pieces of furniture), but now it's time to use their heads, and sometimes the results are even funnier."

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass is available now exclusively at the Wadjet Eye website, where you can also find a playable demo of the game. The download-only version costs $9.99, but a CD version will be available for one more week at $19.99, which includes a Da New Guys cartoon short and exclusive trading cards. Shipping is free in North America and costs only $0.99 internationally.



Playable sampler heralds release of unique sci-fi indie on March 2nd

The machines are coming! With the release of J.U.L.I.A. just around the corner, players can get an early sample of what's to come in CBE's unique sci-fi adventure from the demo released today.

J.U.L.I.A. is named after the A.I. of an interstellar probe sent out in search of extraterrestrial life. In the year 2430, astrobiologist Rachel Manners is awakened from cryo sleep by her artificial companion to find her crew gone and the ship damaged. The first step is to repair the craft, then send a hulking mechanical robot to search the nearby planets for clues to the mysterious disappearance of her colleagues, keeping watch for any signs of sentient alien life along the way.

The demo takes place right at the start, giving players the chance to "experience the introduction to the game, solve the first few puzzles and travel to the first planet in the solar system". The sampler is available for download now, weighing in at 276 MB.

J.U.L.I.A. is scheduled for release both in the UK and through digital distribution later this week, with a launch date set for March 2nd. (Which gives you just enough time to enter our latest game giveaway while you wait!)



Experimental sci-fi indie adventures emphasize full 3D exploration in surreal environments

This is shaping up to be a very good year for experimental indie adventures, as a pair of unique new sci-fi titles are just around the corner.


Cradle is a first-person, free-roaming quest that centers around "the protagonist and a mechanized girl, who by enigmatic circumstances find themselves together in a yurt among the desert Mongolian hills. The player is to restore the lost functions of his companion's mechanical body parts and together reveal the mystery of the neglected entertainment park found not far from the yurt."

As seen in the game's first trailer, Cradle features detailed 3D graphics of a surreal world meant to convey what developer Flying Cafe for Seminanimals describes as "a specific emotional experience similar to what we may see in a night dream". While little is known about the gameplay itself, Cradle promises to involve a combination of "classic quest mechanics with dynamic arcade puzzles" and a high density of "unique interactive objects providing extra story details".

If all that sounds a bit vague, that's probably the idea, but we'll soon know more as the game is scheduled for release sometime this spring. In the meantime, check out the official website for additional details.


Richard Perrin's Kairo is perhaps even more mysterious, with its stark colours, spartan presentation, and unconventional approach to story. This "3D exploration and puzzle solving game" by the creator of the acclaimed freeware adventure the white chamber drops players into the lost world of Kairo and challenges them to "explore vast abandoned monuments. Bring strange and ancient machinery back to life. Slowly uncover the true purpose of Kairo and fulfil a great destiny."

Perrin is reluctant to give any more details about the game at this time, telling Adventure Gamers that the world and puzzles themselves are used to tell the story "without relying on the usual crutches of text or dialogue." The game will initially be released for PC and Mac, with iOS and possibly Android launches following at a later date. There is no firm timeline for the game yet, but the developer is currently targeting completion sometime in May. If that's too long to wait, a pre-order option from the official website allows exclusive access to alpha builds in the meantime.



Wadjet Eye to publish long-awaited indie sci-fi thriller later this year

It's been over four years since we first heard of Resonance, but the sound of its launch is finally drawing closer, as indie developer Vince Twelve has announced a publishing deal with Wadjet Eye Games.

Set in the near future, Resonance casts players in the roles of four different characters who become caught up in a race against time following the mysterious death of a particle physicist. The scientist's terrifying new discovery is hidden somewhere in a vault, and these four strangers must learn to trust each other to find it before a dangerous organization gets there first, as "in less than 72 hours, an event will take place that will change the world forever."

The first commercial offering by the developer of What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed has been in a various stages of production for some time now, but according to the developer's blog, the schedule has been ramped up considerably in recent months due to a partnership with Wadjet Eye Games. Not only will the company behind such games as Gemini Rue and the Blackwell series be publishing Resonance later this year, but Dave Gilbert is personally handling the voice directing, while his wife Janet has become the lead programmer for the game.

There is still no firm timetable for the game's completion, but we should finally see Resonance sometime in 2012.



Episodic comic adventure with a "black African twist" slated to debut this spring

If you've been anxious for news about Skygoblin's The Journey Down, don't worry... be happy... because the indie developer has just released the first trailer for its upcoming comic adventure that's quite unlike any other.

The Journey Down stars two unlikely characters, as "Bwana and his trusted sidekick Kito struggle to make ends meet at their run-down gas station." When a mysterious woman arrives with cash in hand and an interest in something hidden in their attic, their lives are suddenly turned "upside down as they're thrown into a twisting plot of corruption, laughs and brainteasing adventure."

What makes The Journey Down so different from other adventures is its "black African twist". The trailer displays its distinctive visual style, fashioned after central African arts and crafts, and introduces just a sample of the toe-tapping jazzy reggae soundtrack that awaits in the full game.

Originally released as a freeware adventure that's still available at the developer's website, Chapter One - Over the Edge is being revamped with HD graphics, full voiceovers, and additional locations and characters. The game is currently scheduled for release on PC and Mac sometime this spring, followed by iOS and Android releases soon after.



Picture of Dorian Gray, Journey to the Center of the Earth switch to browser "gamebook" format

Just when you thought you knew what to expect from Chris Tolworthy's Enter the Story series, after five episodes the indie developer has decided to completely overhaul his story-centric adventure series from the ground up, beginning with The Picture of Dorian Gray and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Previous Enter the Story installments were light on gameplay but still involved fairly traditional adventure-like exploration and the occasional puzzle-solving. Now Tolworthy is moving to a more choose-your-own-adventure "gamebook" type of format, presenting new stories as a series of interactive dramatic images and player choices, though still with the odd puzzle, maze, and point-and-click interaction sprinkled in for variety. The other major change is a move to strictly browser-based gaming for all future episodes, opening the series up to users of all different platforms that use Javascript, including smart phones and eBook readers.


As seen in this screenshot from The Picture of Dorian Gray, gone are the detailed black-and-white collages of previous stories, along with any animation. Now each scene is presented as a series of interactive stills for players to click through.

This significant overhaul has also changed the way in which new episodes will be released and sold, and the speed with which they'll be offered. According to Tolworthy, games in progress will be updated daily, and can be played right through to completion online for free, much like an ongoing web comic, at which point the story will be archived for a cost of 99 cents per story. (The first half will remain playable for free, but the second half will be locked without purchase beyond that point.) The developer anticipates entire stories to be released within a matter of a week for shorter stories like Dorian Gray, though some larger tomes like War & Peace could take much longer.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (complete) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (currently underway) are available now at the official website.



Third and final action-charged 3D adventure slated for release early next month

With Adams's Venture 3: Revelations running, jumping, and shimmying its way towards release next month, the first trailer has been unveiled just ahead of the action-charged adventure.

The third and final game for Adam Venture and his girlfriend Evelyn actually takes players back to where it all began, as "left for dead by the megalomaniac Clairvaux leader in Solomon's collapsing palace, Adam relives his first meeting with Evelyn and their expedition to the small French town of Luz. Templar secrets, powerful corporations and the importance of keeping a promise all fight for attention in his feverish mind." Once revived, Adam will have his hands full ensuring the end of the series doesn't mean the end of him as well.

As with the previous two installments, Revelations features real-time 3D environments with an emphasis on physical activity, though with 25 new puzzles to solve rather than resorting to violence, the challenge once again remains an intellectual one rather than a matter of reflexes. The first trailer offers the first live glimpse of some of the 1920s locations featured in the game and briefly introduces Adam's father, a lazy French postman.

Development of Adam's Venture 3: Revelations is now complete, and the game is right on track for release in the UK and through digital distribution on March 9th.



Anastronaut: The Moon Hopper, 2299: The Game now available for purchase

The indies have taken over! Following a flurry of releases earlier in the week, now another pair of sci-fi indie adventures have been launched.

Anastronaut: The Moon Hopper

Anas Abdin's Anastronaut: The Moon Hopper casts players in role of -- not surprisingly -- an astronaut who encounters an asteroid while drifting in space. As he investigates, he soon finds himself stuck in a space lab, but this is just the start of an adventure that will see him fly spaceships, travel to other planets, and meet a variety of interesting characters. Boasting a host of puzzles, three different minigames, an original soundtrack and full speech, the game is available for $15 exclusively from the developer's website.

2299: The Game

Though the setting may be in the distant future, Bryan Lunduke's 2299: The Game is an old-school, text-heavy adventure featuring 8-bit retro graphics and inspired by the likes of Space Quest and Maniac Mansion. Based in the same universe as the developer's daily-updated web comic, in which humans can transfer their minds into interstellar vehicles, the game casts players in the role of Ted, who is sent on an errand to pick up some stationery from Mars. But of course "shenanigans occur, and you get sent to a previously unknown part of the Galaxy... and now must find your way home." The game costs $5, and is currently available for PC and Mac at the developer's website.






Website launches online "talk show" to detail upcoming Walking Dead zombie adventure

Zombie alert! Telltale's game version of The Walking Dead may still be off in the distance, but we'll have plenty of chance to see it coming, as a new behind-the-scenes video series called "Playing Dead" has been launched today on the official website.

Set during the same period as the award-winning comic book series by Robert Kirkman, the five-part episodic horror adventure doesn't feature Sheriff Rick Grimes, but rather focuses on "a new group of survivors as they struggle to flee the horror of Atlanta and the surrounding communities consumed by the undead" in the early days of the apocalypse. According to Telltale's FAQ blog, players will control Lee Everett, a man "convicted of a crime, but who is offered a chance at redemption…albeit in a world overtaken by walkers."

The nine-part "online talk show" video series is hosted by A.J. LoCascio, the remarkable Michael J. Fox soundalike as Marty McFly in Telltale's Back to the Future: The Game. The debut installment includes a lengthy interview with lead designers Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin. Future guests will include Kirkman himself, along with Gary Whitta, screenwriter for The Book of Eli and story consultant for the game.

Along with first video and the launch of the Walking Dead website, the first screenshots for the game have also been unveiled, demonstrating a much different look than previous Telltale games, with distinctive artwork inspired by original comic artist Charlie Adlard.

There is still no firm timetable for The Walking Dead, but the game is currently scheduled for release sometime this spring on "all major gaming platforms".



Corrosion, Shadows on the Vatican, Dark Secrets, Doc Apocalypse now available

Brace yourself for a tidal wave of indie adventures this week, as not one, not two, not even three but a whopping FOUR new adventures are now (or will be shortly) available for download!

Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting

Viperante's Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting, a horror adventure first announced over four years ago, puts players in the first-person shoes of Sheriff Alex Truman as he probes the terrifying secrets under the scenic country estate of Cold Winter Farm while investigating the case of an unidentified car crash survivor who now mutters the farm name repeatedly. The entire game is set underground, in the "deserted and claustrophobic confines of a mysterious and secret underground complex... a place nobody knew existed." Currently available only as as a download from the publisher's website or Just Adventure, a boxed version is also planned in North America for sometime in the second quarter of 2012.

Shadows on the Vatican: Act 1 - Greed

The first episode of the four-part Shadows on the Vatican sends players to Rome as an American ex-priest named James Murphy. Long after a falling out with the Catholic Church, Murphy returns to Italy at the request of his friend Cristoforo. But when Cristoforo is seriously injured in a suspicious incident, the "disappearance of a briefcase containing compromising documents is enough to convince James that his friend is a victim of something shady and sinister. The Vatican’s involvement and some strange parallels with his own traumatic past inspire James to get to the bottom of this mystery. Along this dangerous and disturbing path, James finds the most unlikely travelling companion who will question his deepest beliefs." Act 1 – Greed will be available for download tomorrow (February 11th) exclusively through the Zodiac webstore, a download portal of the game's Italian publisher, Adventure Productions.

Dark Secrets

The four-part, free-roaming Dark Secrets adventure series kicks off in a small isolated Scandinavian village, where a man named Arthur returns home after his father's death following several years away. Having inherited the family antique shop, Arthur begins to examine some of the mysterious items it contains, and as he retraces his father's footsteps he begins a disturbing "journey to uncover the dark secrets that are hidden behind the facade." The game is available now from The Adventure Shop and GamersGate, though you might want to wait a week, as the developer plans to release a patched version shortly. A playable demo is also available (or soon will be) at the official website.

Dark Secrets Updated Trailer - Indie DB

Doc Apocalypse

Named after the brilliant but reclusive scientist Lewis P. Higgins, Doc Apocalypse begins with a bang – quite literally. Higgins has just finished his revolutionary invention that can control the weather, but when he launches it from a bunker beneath the earth, something goes terribly wrong. A portal inexplicably opens and unleashes an unknown terror on the earth, which is met in force by a hail of nuclear bombs. With much or all of the planet now destroyed, Higgins has only one hope: to engage a temperamental time machine and return eight months to warn his previous self in order to prevent the apocalypse. The game is available for download exclusively at the developer's website.



Kickstarter project launched to promote new point-and-click adventure

Normally Adventure Gamers doesn't report fundraising campaigns for new adventures. It's a matter of principle, as it's easy to cross the line from press to promotional vehicle for ambitious developers. In this case we feel obliged to make an exception, however, and there's three simple words to explain why:

Tim freaking Schafer.

The legendary designer behind such classics as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango has been largely absent from the adventure scene since departing LucasArts, though the acclaimed Stacking was created last year by Schafer's Double Fine Productions. As it turns out, that was merely a stepping stone to the announcement of a "brand-new, downloadable 'Point-and-Click' graphic adventure game for the modern age."

As yet still untitled, the new project will be a classic adventure that utilizes "modern touch technology", developed over a 6-8 month period by a small team under Schafer's supervision. The catch is, the project will be entirely funded by the public through the studio's Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of raising $400,000 by March 13th. Pledges of $15 and over come with a variety of rewards, including a downloadable copy of the game on Steam when the final game releases (effectively making this a long-term preorder rather than donation).

Click image to play video

Along with that comes unprecedented access to the development process itself, as "2 Player Productions will be documenting the creative process and releasing monthly video updates exclusively to the Kickstarter backers. This documentary series will strive to make the viewer as much a part of the process as possible by showing a game grow from start to finish, with all the passion, humor, and heartbreak that happens along the way." There will also be a "private online community set up for the backers to discuss the project with the devs and submit their thoughts and feelings about the game's content and direction, sometimes even voting on decisions when the dev team can't decide. Backers will also have access to help test the game once a beta is available."

For full details about the various pledge rewards, which increase with higher contributions, and answers to additional questions about the upcoming Double Fine Adventure, head on over to the Kickstarter page now.

If both the fundraising and production goals go as planned, we could be seeing the new project released as early as this October.

Update: Less than 24 hours after launching the campaign, Double Fine has already met their target goal! Pledges are still being accepted, however. What will they do with the overflow? According to the Kickstarter FAQ: "The extra money will be put back into the game and documentary. This could result in anything from increased VO and music budgets to additional release platforms for the game."



Daedalic's upcoming fantasy adventure due for release next month

Things are looking brighter for The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, as Daedalic and Deep Silver have just released the first trailer for the upcoming fantasy adventure.

Based on the popular pen-and-paper roleplaying franchise, The Dark Eye sends players into the fantasy world of Aventuria as a bird catcher named Geron. Geron has long been ostracized due to a foreboding omen from a doomsday prophet, but when a mysterious plague of crows besets the castle in his home town of Andergast, it's "an opportunity for young Geron to prove that the reputation for ill luck that has followed him since childhood is undeserved. However, the task proves much more difficult than he expects and leads him on the path of the greatest adventure of his life that will take him to the borders of the charted lands of Aventuria and beyond."

The first trailer offers only a brief teaser, but the in-game footage includes a few tantalizing glimpses of the impressive hand-drawn artwork and a peek at some of the dangers that await Geron and his mystical companion Nuri as they seek to find the source the of the evil afflicting Andergast. For more details about the game, be sure to check out the official website.

The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav is scheduled for release in Europe on March 23rd.



Deep Silver to publish retail version of Telltale's time-travelling adventure series

If you've yet to play Back to The Future: The Game, then fear not, you're not 'outatime'. Publisher Deep Silver have announced a new deal with Telltale to bring the popular game series to European stores within the next couple months.

Set six months after the finale of the original movie trilogy, Back to the Future The Game reunites Marty and the Doc for yet another continuum-disrupting romp across time. Back in 1931 Hill Valley, Marty finds himself having to recruit the help of a resistant teenage Emmett Brown in order to track down the current Doc, voiced by none other than Christopher Lloyd himself. There's lots for fans and non-fans alike to enjoy, with plenty of familiar faces from the movies cropping up throughout.

The five-episode series was launched last year as a download-only on various platforms. The European retail version will be released for the PlayStation 3 and Wii, and for PC in certain territories.

No firm release date has yet been announced, but look for Back to the Future: The Game to be available sometime in the first quarter of 2012.



Official site launched for upcoming "Runaway Noire"-style adventure by Pendulo

The release of Pendulo's Studio's Yesterday won't happen until some future tomorrow, but there's a bit more of Yesterday to dwell on today (everybody get that?) with the launch of the official website.

In Yesterday, New York City's beggars are being burned alive while a Y-shaped scar begins appearing on the hands of seemingly random people. Little attention is paid to these events by the police or media, but "Henry White, a young and rich heir dedicated to a charitable organization, and his friend Cooper, are the first to investigate these disappearances." Meanwhile, amnesiac John Yesterday has had his memory wiped, but now finds himself at the center of a worldwide conspiracy, and the fate of mankind may ultimately depend on him.

While Yesterday maintains the developer's trademark hand-drawn artwork, this game is a much darker adventure than any of the Spanish studio's previous titles. Affectionately dubbed "Runaway Noire" by Pendulo, Yesterday promises to be a dark, gritty thriller full of intriguing plot twists. To learn more about the game and its main characters, head on over to the new website.

Yesterday is currently scheduled for release in various parts of Europe sometime in March.

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