Adventure News
 


March 2013

28

Mar

Telltale Games has kept a tight lid on its upcoming adventure based on the comic book series FABLES so far, but at long last the first details about the newly-renamed The Wolf Among Us have been revealed. The better to entice us!

Bill Winningham's long-running DC comic franchise is a modern take on popular fairy tales, "imagining that characters like Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio from the world's most beloved storybooks are real -- real, and living among us, with all of their powers intact." Dan Connors, Telltale's CEO, claims that "through an evolution of our approach to choice and consequence, we can further explore the complexity of each and every iconic character in a universe rich with untold history from the darkest sides of the storybooks."

The adventure series is set prior to the start of the comics, casting players in the role of the Big Bad Wolf, now known as Bigby Wolf and working as a sheriff. Currently "exiled from the land of fairy tales, Bigby is tasked by the bureaucrat Snow White to keep order within a society of mythical creatures and characters trying to remain undetected in the world of the mundane. From a chain-smoking member of 'The Three Little Pigs,' to a car-stealing Mr. Toad itching for his next wild ride, The Wolf Among Us examines the lives of beings straight from the pages of myth and lore, now trying to survive on the meanest and most run-down streets of New York City."

There is currently no firm release date planned, but The Wolf Among Us is expected to be launched sometime this summer on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. In the meantime, keep an eye on the official website for more details.



27

Mar

Until now, only PlayStation 3 owners had been able to experience the unique allegorical tale of Papo & Yo, but that won't be the case much longer, as a PC port of the game will be launching on Steam next month. 

A unique mix of platorming and adventure that won our Best Concept Aggie Award last year, Papo & Yo tells the story of a young boy named Quico who explores a South American favela with his best friend Monster, a "mostly-friendly beast with razor-sharp teeth. Monster loves Quico but has a serious problem: an addiction to poisonous frogs, which, when eaten, drive him into a murderous rage from which no one, even Quico, is safe."

As a very personal allegorical tale of Creative Director Vander Caballero’s childhood experience of alcoholism and abuse, Papo & Yo guides players through an increasingly "mystical world, manipulating the environment to open up new paths and move forward on their quest to cure Monster of his addiction and save him from the greatest danger of all: himself."

The PC version of Papo & Yo will be arriving on Steam on April 18th, promising a number of as-yet-unspecified updates and improvements.  In the meantime, be sure to check out our review of the game for complete details.



24

Mar

What's in a name? A Double Fine Adventure by any other name would surely play as sweet, but at long last Tim Schafer and co. have decided on a title for their upcoming point-and-click adventure: Broken Age.

Broken Age tells the dual stories of a young boy and girl who lead parallel lives. The girl has been "chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster--but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but he wants to break free to lead adventures and do good in the world. Adventures ensue."

If you've been living under a rock for the last year (a really, really remote rock), Broken Age began life as a modest $400,000 Kickstarter appeal that blew past its target in mere hours on its way to more than $3 million in pledges. Since then, development has been documented exclusively for backers in a film series from 2 Player Productions. Until now, however, the game has continued to be known by its original working moniker, and then later as Reds.

Although there isn't much new information about the game, the official website has now been launched, including pre-order offers and even a better-late-than-never chance to back the game and get in on the pre-release documentary series.



24

Mar

For puzzle and solitary first-person exploration fans, you're about to feel like you've died and gone to heaven. Or at least died and gone to XING: The Land Beyond in the newly-released sandbox demo for the upcoming "contemplative journey through the afterlife."

Death really is only the beginning in XING, which sends players on a "journey across a series of mysterious islands. You will encounter perplexing puzzles, trapped souls, and the power to change the environment around you. Spiritualism, mysticism and logic come together in the land of XING, where you will traverse mountains, deserts, forests, volcanoes and more."

Although indie developers White Lotus Interactive have already surpassed their Kickstarter funding target, with a week left to reach their stretch goals they have unveiled a playable sampler that lets players explore a lush jungle island. As a "sandbox" demo, it does not have defined goals or story objectives and does not fully reflect the finished game. Rather, it serves as a tech demo to show off the game's stunning real-time 3D graphics and free-roaming controls, offering an early taste of what we can expect when XING is released later this year.

The demo weighs in at nearly 500 MB, and can be downloaded from a variety of host sites. If you like what you see, there is still time to donate to the game's Kickstarter campaign and vote for the game through Steam Greenlight.



21

Mar

It's been good month for headbanging adventure gamers. First Double Fine's Brütal Legend (not an adventure, but hey, it's Double Fine) was finally ported to PC, then The Fullbright Company announced that its 1990s-period exploration adventure Gone Home would feature the music of original Riot Grrrl bands Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile, as teased in its latest video. Last but not least, now indie developers Atrax Games have launched a crowdfunding campaign for Epic Metal Knights: War, Love and Other Nonsense.

Following on the heels of the browser-based freeware adventure Epic Metal Knights: Breakfast Quest, the latest "comedy point and click adventure game set in a world inspired by epic metal songs" casts players in the role of a knight in Epic Metal Town, a "steampunk metropolis powered by demonic energy." Lazy and selfish, caring only about "metal, cigarettes and breakfasts", the protagonist is called before King Burger in order to marry his daughter, 42 years old and "ugly as hell". Unable to refuse the King but wishing anything but this arranged wedding, the knight soon finds himself tasked with vanquishing a demon who feeds off anger and frustration.

As seen in the game's teaser, War, Love and Other Nonsense is a hand-drawn third-person adventure with a rousing soundtrack by the "parody-fun-gay-metal band" Nanowar of Steel. From Epic Metal Town, players will travel to such unusual locations as the Forest of Minerals, Graveyard of Glory (epic metal knights "don't die, but while waiting to wake up from the long nap, they rest here"), Poop Lake, and the Dragon's Lair, a "sentient cave in which dwells an obese pigeon dragon".

In order to make this game a reality in large-scale commercial form, Atrax is seeking to raise $7,500 through Indiegogo by April 22.  A $7 contribution will get you a DRM-free download of the game for PC, while upper tiers offer additional perks like early beta access, soundtrack, and even a personal character representation in the game. To read more about the game and pledge to the campaign, visit the Indiegogo page for details. As a fixed funding campaign, the developers will only receive funds if the full amount is reached by deadline.



19

Mar

The reality for Myst lovers is that there just haven't been all that many solitary exploration games in recent years. But perhaps virtual reality will open up whole new worlds once again, this time in a way never experienced before. That's certainly the plan for The Gallery: Six Elements, which is is one of first adventures (if not THE first) to be designed for the Oculus Rift, the highly acclaimed upcoming VR device.

This first-person game, inspired by Cyan's classic series, is described as a "transcendental adventure with a heavy emphasis on environmental immersion, exploration and path-finding, physical challenges, puzzle solving, and emotional depth." Players control an "urban explorer" who must "physically journey into six painted portals, individual realities with their own rules, representing the six core elements of life: Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Love, and Death." But as you do, you must beware, because "you are not alone."

As you travel these diverse worlds in pursuit of six sacred keys, a "large portion of your explorations will occur in randomly generated environments." Fortunately, you'll have several useful tools in helping you to orient yourself and overcome the obstacles in your path, including "a notepad for dynamically charting your location, taking notes and interacting with context sensitive items, a spraycan for tagging areas of interest, a headlamp for much needed light, glowsticks for when the light fails, and a rope for traversing the untraversable."

Although The Gallery is being designed specifically for the Oculus Rift with the potential for motion controller support, for those who aren't early adopters of cutting-edge technologies, this free-roaming, real-time 3D adventure will also be playable with a standard mouse/keyboard or gamepad setup on PC.

In order to make all this happen by their target date of the first quarter of 2014, developers CloudHead Games are seeking $65,000 through Kickstarter by April 17th. The minimum contribution to include a DRM-free download of the game as a reward is $25, with a wide variety of additional perks offered at higher tiers. To learn more about the game and to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details. You can also vote for the game to be released on Steam through the Greenlight program.



19

Mar

Crowdfunding may be the way of the future, but it's also a good way to connect with the past in games such as Zotnip's retro sci-fi adventure Bik.

Bik follows the plight of a young boy who is "abducted by aliens while on a camping trip with his friends. After joining forces with two friendly alien mercenaries, Bik escapes from his abductors and must find his way home." In order to help him, players will not only need to do plenty of point-and-click adventuring, but also pilot a craft through 3D space to complete certain objectives. There will be some battle encounters as well, but indie developer Mike Pinto claims that these will be skippable for those who'd prefer to bypass them entirely.

As seen in the game's first screenshots and teaser, Bik is a blatant throwback to the classic days of Space Quest and Star Trek: 25th Anniversary with its blocky pixel art and space exploration. Largely a one-man operation, the current plan for this tribute game is to launch by the end of this year. For that to happen, however, the developer will need $12,000 by April 15th through Kickstarter to help pay for artwork and various software licenses. Pinto plans to release the game even without successful crowdfunding support, but that would impact the game's visual quality and animations and even reduce content.

Pledge tiers begin at $8 for a DRM-free download of the game on Windows, Mac, or Android devices. (An iOS version is also in the works, though at present is not covered by Kickstarter contributions). Additional rewards at higher amounts include such bonuses as a companion prequel comic, soundtrack, early beta access, and even representation in the game itself. Visit the Kickstarter page for complete details.
 



Update: There is now a short playable demo of the game available for download.



19

Mar

Pay-what-you-want bundles are smart ways to shop no matter how you slice it. But the latest special looks to be even smarter than most, as the "Cerebral Bundle" includes several different adventure games, including the exclusive Necrotic Drift Deluxe.

Necrotic Drift is described as a "survival horror text adventure… but with graphics and sound!" Set in an alternate future, this "homage to the old Magnetic Scrolls-style of interactive fiction" tells the story of 27-year-old Jarret Duffy, an assistant video game store clerk who must "use his knowledge of role-playing games to escape and allow his friends to survive when various undead creatures appear in his town." Originally released in 2004 by indie developer Robb Sherwin, the updated version for Windows, Mac, and Linux features an "all-new, much-improved interpreter, the original soundtrack and all sorts of extras and enhancements."

But there's far more than that offered in the Cerebral Bundle. Along with puzzlers Vampires! and Dédale De Luxe, a sim called Dinner Date and the retro RPG Phantasmaburbia for anyone who pays the minimum $1.99 (it's not quite a pay-as-LITTLE-as-you-want special), those who contribute more than the current average will receive the likes of Cognition: Episode 1 - The Hangman, J.U.L.I.A. (currently getting its own enhanced version through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign), and Reversion: Chapter 2 - The Meeting, the commercial sequel to an impressive freeware debut. Another sim, I Get This Call Every Day, will be offered as well, and a variety of unlockables will open if enough sales are generated, including the Aggie Award-winning Cognition soundtrack.

Coordinated by Kyttaro Games, the Cerebral Bundle offers each game DRM-free, and proceeds from each purchase will be given to the Hellenic Centre for Mental Health and Treatment of Child and Family, while $15 from every 100 bundles sold will be given to an independent developer through the Indie Dev Grant. To learn more or to make your purchase, visit the Bundle in a Box website. You'll need to act fast, however, as the deal will only be offered until April 2nd.



18

Mar

Players eager to go adventuring in Aventuria once again will get their chance soon enough, as today Daedalic Entertainment unveiled its plans to release Memoria later this year. 

In this sequel to the popular fantasy adventure The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, the young bird catcher Geron makes an agreement with a travelling merchant. In exchange for turning his fairy girlfriend Nuri from a raven back into human form, Geron will solve the five-century-old mystery of Sadja, a princess from the "faraway-land of Fasar, who once ventured into war to fight demons in the Gorian Desert" but failed in her quest and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Little does Geron know, however, that his new quest will "trigger a chain of events that will soon cast a shadow on his homeland and turn his present into a dark image of its long forgotten past…"

As seen in the game's first screenshots, Memoria will once again lovely hand-drawn artwork to beautifully illustrate the story by Keven Mentz, writer of A New Beginning and co-writer of Deponia and Chains of Satinav.

The return trip to Aventuria isn't on the immediate horizon, but nor is it too far off, as Daedalic is currently aiming for a fully localized international release sometime in the third quarter of 2013.



15

Mar

Still on the fence about whether to back Himalaya Studios' Kickstarter campaign for Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements? Not willing to take our word for it? Well now you can check the game out for yourself, as the playable demo has just been released to the public.

A retro-styled mix of adventure and RPG in the mold of Quest for Glory, Mage's Initiation tells the tale of a 16-year-old wannabe wizard name D'arc. Having spent most of his life training in the Mages' Tower, it's nearly time for D'arc to be put to the test. However, trouble is brewing in the medieval kingdom of Iginor, and to complete the three trials set before him, D'arc must "brave a goblin-infested forest; navigate a vast lake to encounter an evil so pure, not even beauty can disguise it; ascend to the peaks of Flyteria, a valley of winged warriors once dedicated to protection of the human town. Succeed and D'arc shall take his place among his fellow Mages. Fail and nobody shall remember his name."

The 33 MB demo takes place at the beginning of the game, as D'arc must equip himself with the special conductor and magical gem that will grant him the first of his elemental powers. He will also be trained in the art of combat, giving players a small taste of the roleplaying involved in the full game. Himalaya stresses that this demo is "very much a work in progress", with possible bugs and missing features at this point.

Although Mage's Initiation has already secured funding through Kickstarter, there is still a week remaining in the campaign in order to meet its various stretch goals, so there's still time to pledge if you like what you see. You can also vote for the game to be released on Steam through the Greenlight program.



9

Mar

For those of you who think the genre never evolves at all, indie adventure David Slade Mysteries: Memories of the Past has evolved all on its own from a retro, low-res 2D production to a modern 3D adventure.

Originally announced as a Police Quest-inspired retro title by the name of Case Files: Death from Above, the debut production from indie developer Steve Adamson has now been entirely overhauled. While still retaining some elements of the original storyline and character, Adamson has now completely rewritten the script and revamped the design in order to "tell a darker and more sinister story, combined with horror and suspense while using newer 3D technology".

Memories of the Past now stars the titular David Slade, a rookie homicide detective with his own "dark and haunting past", who sets out to visit his grieving parents on the fifth anniversary of his sister's suspicious, unexplained death. Before he arrives, however, David injures himself in a car crash, forcing him to seek help at the nearest house. Unfortunately for David, "what happened next, he was completely unprepared for."

As seen in the new screenshots of this "trip through David's mind and twisted mentality of his captors", gone are the third-person, 2D pixel art visuals from Case Files, now replaced with realistic first-person graphics and free-roaming movement controlled by a WASD-mouse combo.

There is currently no firm timetable for the release of David Slade Mysteries, but the developer is hoping to complete the game before the end of 2013.



8

Mar

Summers in Sweden are seasonably warm, but leave it to MDNA Games and amateur detective Carol Reed to put a chill in the air with a long-unsolved murder mystery in Cold Case Summer, now available for purchase.

Carol's ninth adventure is certainly her most celebrated, as it links back to the 1986 assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister. After denying help to a mysterious man who refused to reveal his identity, Carol learns that the same man was found floating in the Norrköping River the day after. Curious about his motivation for contacting her, Carol begins to investigate, but "after discovering several connections between him and the murder of Olof Palme, she soon finds herself in deadly danger."

Cold Case Summer is now available either on disc for $18 or DRM-free download for $12 directly from the developer's website. If you'd like to try before you buy, you can do that too, as there's a demo of the game offered as well.



7

Mar

There's no shortage of Kickstarter campaigns for adventures these days, but time's running out for Nightlight Interactive's supernatural puzzler Whispering Willows.

Whispering Willows tells the story of young girl named Elena as she searches for her missing father in the mysterious Willows Mansion. In order to overcome the many obstacles in her way, Elena must "harness the powers of her heritage, utilizing astral projection and other ethereal abilities to find him before it's too late." By helping out ghosts who are "hopelessly chained to this existence" along the way, Elena gradually uncovers the mansion's past that is "so horrifying and yet so human that you'll be left not knowing what to think. The lies, deceit and inhuman violence will all bubble to the surface."

The game features hand-drawn 2D graphics with side-scrolling gameplay, as seen in the first teaser. With shades of both the 1996 PlayStation survival horror Clock Tower (which indie developer Night Light Interactive cites as an influence) and the DS puzzler Ghost Trick, players will be able to project Elena's astral spirit to "fly through the air, squeeze through cracks no mortal could fit through, manipulate time to your will, freeze objects and harness the power of light to ward off evil spirits in the mansion." Only by switching between Elena's two forms will you be able to solve the mansion's various puzzles.

The developers are hoping to release the game for Windows, Mac, Linux and OUYA (with later ports to Android and iOS) as early as July, but in order to do so, they're seeking to raise $15,000 by March 15th through Kickstarter. With only a week to go, the campaign has just passed the 2/3 mark, so meeting its goal looks to be touch-and-go at this point. According to lead designer David Logan, the team will continue production on Whispering Willows regardless of the outcome, but failing to raise the necessary funds will at the very least result in the game taking much longer to complete.

Pledge rewards begin at $10 for a downloadable copy of the game, while upper tiers offer goodies like the soundtrack, art book, early beta access, T-shirts, and plushies, among many others. To learn more about Whispering Willows and/or contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details. For a hands-on sampling, you can even check out a brief demo of the game, playable in your browser. You can also vote on Greenlight if you'd like to see the game eventually be launched on Steam.



7

Mar

What do you know about Swedish folklore? For many of us, the answer is probably "not much", but that will soon change with the upcoming release of Oknytt.

Named after an "umbrella term for all supernatural deities found in Swedish folklore", Oknytt follows the journey of an unnamed, seemingly insignificant newborn creature who must travel through a forest "during an especially dark night occurring but a few times every one-hundred years".  In search of a place to belong, this creature will encounter "long-slumbering ancient forest deities, devious lake spirits luring travelers into the dark waters, dwellers of the deepest mountains who snatch miners as they stray from the lit tunnels and many more."

As seen in the game's announcement trailer and early screenshots, this debut adventure from indie develpers Nemoria Entertainment is a hand-drawn point-and-click adventure that takes place in a "Norse medieval world" depicted in an art style heavily inspired by Swedish painter John Bauer. The point-and-click gameplay promises to be a "mix of classic puzzle solving and manipulation of parts of the environment around the creature". The latter is accomplished through the use of four elemental runes that can be "activated at any time to trigger various changes and events in the area around the protagonist."

There is currently no firm release date planned yet for Oknytt, but the developers are hoping to launch the game on PC through digital distributors sometime in the second quarter of 2013.



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