Adventure News

March 2012



PC, PS3 versions now available, following earlier Wii and DS releases

Ahoy, mateys! No matter what your platform of choice, you can now get your hands on Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, at least in the UK.

A spin-off adventure from the So Blonde series, Captain Morgane follows the feisty Morgane Castillo from childhood through to her rise as one of the most fearsome pirates of the Caribbean. Written by industry veteran Steve Ince, the game sends players on a journey through five different islands on the trail of the famous adventurer Buckleberry Tanner. But as Morgane and her crew search for clues to the hidden treasure of Turtle Island, they must also contend with the villainous Hilary Simpkins, who seeks to claim the riches first.

Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle was released in the UK for the Nintendo Wii and DS a couple weeks back, but only now have the PC and PlayStation 3 versions been released as well. (Note that the Wii version of the game is region encoded while the others are not.)

For more details about the game, be sure to check out our preview and Steve Ince interview and the official website.



Downloadable side-scrolling adventure offers player choice of survival tactics

If you like your scary games to have a real and tangible threat, look no further than Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor, a unique new "adult psychological horror" that not only offers actual dangers to contend with, but plenty of choice in how you want to get through the ordeal alive.

As the masked protagonist in this retro-styled, side-scrolling adventure, you have just one goal: "escape from a city ravaged by disease, by any means". The enemy is both without and within, however, with shambling monsters lurking in shadows and a starving, exhausted protagonist beginning to question "how much of what he sees is even real." One thing is certain in any case: the danger is real enough, and it's entirely up to you how to deal with it.

As seen in the game's trailer, Lone Survivor is not a traditional adventure by any means, but the freedom to choose your own survival tactics are what set the game apart. You can "sneak through without firing a single shot, or kill everything in your path. Eat and sleep well, or resort to drugs to keep going. Search for survivors, or try to escape the city alone. Look after your mental health, or descend into madness..."

Lone Survivor is available to download for $10 on both PC and Mac from the official website, and a browser-based demo can be sampled at Kongregate. A $50 "First Aid Edition" of the game is also available, including a limited edition art print and soundtrack. Both versions offer "DRM-free updates for life."



First commercial adventure from Jonas Kyratzes to launch sometime this spring

Indie developer Jonas Kyratzes has made quite a name for himself in the freeware adventure scene, releasing numerous quirky but memorable games over the years, but now Kyratzes is preparing to release his first commercial adventure in the form of The Sea Will Claim Everything.

A continuation of the "Lands of Dream" series, which includes The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge, The Book of Living Magic and The Fabulous Screech, the new game begins in Underhome, the "subterranean dwelling of the Mysterious-Druid family. This ancient place, a marvel of biotechnology, is inexplicably facing foreclosure, and your help is required. But as you will soon discover, there is more going on: Lord Urizen, a ruler from the mainland, is using the issue of debt to force his own policies on the people of the Isles. Fear and uncertainty rule the day – but perhaps an outsider can bring a different point of view to the situation."

The game features the same distinctive hand-drawn artwork as the series' previous games, and like all of Kyratzes's self-professed "eccentric and puzzle-light" offerings, The Sea Will Claim Everything promises to defy easy classification as either a "point and click adventure game or a narrative exploration game". One thing that is certain, however, is that it is guaranteed to deliver "lots of words. This is a game that is exploding with words. There are so many words in it that they’ll start seeping out into your brain. Some people complain about walls of text; well, this game is a city built out of such walls."

The Sea Will Claim Everything will be much bigger than any of Kyratzes's freeware adventures, but he's been working on the game for some time, and we may see it released as a download for a "very affordable" price as early as April.



New trailer heralds digital launch of Pendulo's dark mystery thriller

The past meets the present as Yesterday arrives today, as the new dark mystery thriller from Pendulo Studios has now been released for download.

Wait, what? Dark mystery thriller? Pendulo? Indeed, Yesterday marks a fairly dramatic turn for the creators of Runaway and The Next BIG Thing, as the Spanish studio set it sights on much more serious fare this time around. With homeless people in New York City being burned alive, players are thrust into the heart of an "incredible mystery surrounding the amnesiac John Yesterday, discovering connections among the strange mark which scars his hand, a dangerous and murderous cult, and a philanthropic young billionaire."

Along with the titular character, players control two other protagonists as well: the rich but charitable Henry White, who's concerned about the recent killings, and his burly friend Cooper. Together their experiences slowly but surely weave together a complex story that spans both centuries of time and place, culminating in a choice of protagonist for the grand finale, leading to one of four different endings.

Yesterday is available now though digital distribution platforms like The Adventure Shop and the game's official website.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affiliate.



Long awaited sequel confirmed, with Kickstarter campaign slated for May

There are three words sure to delight longtime adventure gamers: "Tex Murphy revival". For a long time that appeared to be a pipe dream, but it's finally going to become reality, as series creator Chris Jones has confirmed plans for a new game in the highly acclaimed detective series.

After teasing an upcoming announcement that fueled rampant speculation last week, now Jones has officially confirmed what many guessed (ironically making the news "official" on the Unofficial Tex Murphy Web Site), with a video and definitive confirmation that a new Tex Murphy game is on the way. Exactly what that game will entail, however, is still to be determined. Originally the plan was for a "modest game design" with a budget suited to a small independent studio. But like the rest of us, the Tex team watched as Double Fine's Kickstarter fundraising campaign became a phenomenal success, and the idea was planted for a "larger scale" adventure.

According to Jones, public funding will allow the new game, codenamed Project Fedora at the current time, to reach the "epic level" that Tex Murphy fans have come to expect. Expanded features would include "more actors, locations, broader stories and yes - even meaningful, varied story paths." And of course, the all important promise of a "true Adventure game with Immersive 3D world, Full Motion Video, and longer game play."

The Tex Murphy Kickstarter campaign won't actually begin until May 15, as the developers are still considering bonus incentives for backers, and are encouraging feedback along those lines. They're also soliciting "Tex Murphy Testimonials" from fans, some of which will be incorporated into the campaign's promotional material. Those interested in contributing should address mail to the Big Finish Games contact page.

We won't know any concrete details about the game for some time (and bear in mind that Kickstarter campaigns are all-or-nothing, depending on whether the financial goal is met in its entirety), but for now it's a thrill just to know that Tex is returning in one form or another. Stay tuned!



Telltale reveales pricing and release information for upcoming zombie adventure

It liiiiiives! I'm talking about the first trailer for Telltale's upcoming The Walking Dead, of course, which was released today along with the first concrete information about the upcoming zombie series.

Set in the same world as Robert Kirkman's acclaimed comic book series, Telltale's The Walking Dead stars Lee Everett, a convicted criminal who has "been given a chance for redemption in a world devastated by the undead. Players will experience events, meet people and visit locations that foreshadow the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead offers a tailored game experience – player actions, choices and decisions affect how the story plays out across the entire series."

Kirkman notes that The Walking Dead is not a traditional zombie horror, focusing instead of "how people caught in an apocalypse deal with facing their own death every day, and the horrible choices they have to make to survive." That said, the first trailer has plenty of blood-spilling carnage and terror, suggesting the game has earned its "Mature" rating entirely on merit.

The best news of all is that we don't have much longer to wait for the series to arrive. Beginning in late April, the five-part episodic series will release monthly on PC and Mac as part of a full season purchase for $24.99 directly from Telltale (pre-order special currently in effect). The series will also appear on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and the PlayStation Network for 400 Microsoft points and $4.99 per episode, respectively.



Intro cinematic released as upcoming sequel nears completion

It's been a while since we've heard much about Memento Mori 2: Guardian of Immortality, but the newest trailer for Centauri Production's upcoming sequel gives us the chance to be a fly on the wall, so to speak.

Original stars Max and Lara return as newlyweds this time around, but their honeymoon is short-lived when they're contacted about a museum art heist in Cape Town. Following a high-speed chase, Max and the thief are involved in a perilous cliffside accident, and only the thief's body is recovered. With her husband missing and presumed dead, Lara returns to her Interpol office in Lyon, but clues discovered in her next case suggest that Max may not be dead after all.

The musical trailer represents the game's introductory cinematic, so rather than offer any detailed peeks into the story, it instead establishes the dark, ominous tone of the game, with a quick glimpse of the nightmarish fate that awaits Max.

Production on Memento Mori 2 is nearing completion as it approaches its German launch, though there's still no concrete word on when we might see the English version released.



Free-roaming 3D indie Italian adventure targets release this spring

The 2012 indie parade just keeps on marching, and the latest game to fall into line is Dreampainters' short horror adventure named Anna.

Based on authentic folklore as told by current village elders and recorded historical documents, Anna is set in and around an old sawmill in D’Ayas Valley, an Alpine region in north-western Italy. Players must confront the eerie presence haunting the six explorable areas, solving puzzles and fighting to maintain a healthy mental state along the way. Your actions will not only impact your state of mind, but ultimately lead to one of three possible endings.

As seen in the first trailer of the game, Anna is explorable in full 3D, including some direct physical interactions with the world. The game will use the standard WASD keyboard and mouse combination controls to navigate, but according to the developers, clicking the mouse on interactive hotspots calls up an "old-style graphic adventure interface, with three verbs: examine, pick up and use." Although a single playthrough will reportedly last only about three hours, replays will lead to new paths of exploration and gameplay, significantly increasing the play time as you pursue the alternate endings.

The developers aren't revealing much about the plot so far, but we may not have long to wait to find out more, as the game is currently on track for release on May 18th. Dreampainters plan to distribute the game digitally through various online portals, but are also contemplating a self-published version with additional bonuses, though no firm details have been planned to date.



Third and final installment also available through digital download

The Adam's Venture trilogy comes to a close today with the launch of Revelations, finally answering some of the questions established in the two installments so far.

With Adam left for dead in the crumbling palace of Solomon at the end of the last game, the third and final episode not only follows the titular hero in escaping his predicament and rescuing his girlfriend Evelyn from the clutches of the villainous Clairveaux Corporation, it also takes players back to where it all began, as Adam has "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."

Revelations continues to depict its realistic 1920s locations in crisp 3D, and although it's not an "action" game by any means, it allows players a much more physical, hands-on approach to its many puzzles, as you'll run, climb, and shimmy ledges to overcome obstacles, as well as using your brain.

The budget-priced final installment is available now at major UK retailers, and through digital distribution through portals such as The Adventure Shop.

Note: Adventure Gamers is an Adventure Shop affiliate.



French studio behind Heavy Rain show off impressive tech demo for latest project engine

It's been a couple of years since Quantic Dream wowed the world with their dark thriller Heavy Rain, a phenomenal success that blended adventure and player-directed action into a new kind of game no one had ever experienced before.

Since then the French studio has been pretty quiet on current projects, until yesterday at the GDC in California, when – much like they did with Heavy Rain's “The Casting” – Quantic unveiled a tech demo of their latest project’s engine in action. Entitled simply “Kara”, the demo shows an android being constructed only to find that it clearly has a defect when it starts exhibiting qualities unbecoming an automaton.

Little is known about the actual project so far, and Quantic Dream founder David Cage was quick to point out that this is purely a tech demo and doesn’t reflect the actual story or setting of the new game. Nevertheless, it’s a stunning teaser and an excellent showcase for their new engine, though Cage also noted that this is only the first iteration of the engine, and they are currently working on their third. The whole sequence is rendered live by a PlayStation 3, and can be viewed in either SD or HD versions on Eurogamer.

Whether there proves to be even a tenuous link to the upcoming game or not, the world is now watching, so stay tuned for more details on this exciting project as they arise.



Frogwares unveil new trailer for upcoming detective thriller

Frogwares today posted a new teaser for their latest Sherlock Holmes mystery The Testament of Sherlock Holmes.

Perhaps the greatest mystery of the latest Holmes game is what’s happening to Sherlock himself. The great detective’s strange behaviour has caused even his trusting friend Doctor Watson to question his methods, and now needs to continue his investigation alone. Meanwhile, Doctor Watson tries to find his former friend and answer the many questions brought up by Holmes's actions.

This latest in a growing line of Testament of Sherlock Holmes teasers may be the bleakest yet, showing new scenes and dialogue centering around a controversial hero with obscure motives.

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes will be released this spring by Focus Home Interactive on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.



Double Fine's unique stacking doll puzzler now available on Steam

Before Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions sent shockwaves through the adventure community with an announcement of a new point-and-click adventure, the Californian studio released a brilliantly quirky little puzzler called Stacking. Many missed the opportunity to play this console-only exclusive originally, but now there's a second chance, as at last the game is available on PC.

The winner of our 2011 Aggie Award for Best Concept, Stacking tells the tale of little Charlie Blackmore, the smallest member of a family of Russian stacking dolls in the 1930s. When a wealthy industrialist kidnaps his family and puts them to work as slaves, Charlie must seek them out and save the day. With no particular ability of his own, however, Charlie must "stack" into other dolls he meets along the way, each of whom has a particular skill that may (or may not) help him overcome the various obstacles in his path.

Launched for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over a year ago, the PC port of Stacking is available for download now exclusively at Steam, with a launch sale price of $9.99 until March 13th ($14.99 after that). The PC port also includes The Lost Hobo King DLC expansion at no extra cost.

For full details about this unique and wonderful game, be sure to check out our Stacking review.