Adventure News
 


July 2013

29

Jul

Cockroaches may be the most universally despised insect, but they make pretty good adventure game protagonists. Just ask Bad Mojo's Roger Samms. Or ask Daedalic Entertainment, who will be publishing Journey of a Roach late this year.

It's the end of the world as we know it, but naturally the indestructible roaches are still alive. Two such bugs, named Jim and Bud, have survived the apocalyptic nuclear war and are now "out and about to find their way from a deserted vault to the Earth’s surface." Helping them overcome the many puzzling obstacles in their path are their innate roach abilities, the "ability to crawl up walls and on ceilings, as well as on items."

Created by Swiss developer Koboldgames, Journey of a Roach takes players through a "sarcastic" 3D comic world entirely without words. There are "no written or spoken dialogues" anywhere in the game, as of course "the insects are using their very own, easily understandable signal language."

Journey of a Roach is currently on track for release sometime in November for PC and Mac.



26

Jul

Neil Gaiman is renowned worldwide for his books and graphic novels, but at long last the acclaimed author is applying his craft to a videogame -- and an adventure, no less! -- in the upcoming Wayward Manor.

The titular manor is a "1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate" in New England that is home to a ghost (the playable character) whose "hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders." What's worse, this "dysfunctional family of misfits and eccentrics have stifled your power and brought their own abysmal possessions into your humble abode." You'll need to think creatively in order to "uncover their deepest anxieties and drive them mad with fear using your wits and their hideous belongings."

Developed by The Odd Gentlemen, creators of the oddly charming puzzle-platformer The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, with significant input from Gaiman, Wayward Manor promises that "each level is a playground for scares where players absorb fear to take back control of the room." But as the ghost "learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing."

While production of this "puzzle/adventure game hybrid" isn't dependent on crowdfunding, the intention is for Wayward Manor to be an ongoing franchise, so to help hasten future installments, the game is now available for pre-order, along with several other Kickstarter-like higher-level rewards, directly from the official website. The PC/Mac versions are available for only $10. The game is also being made for tablets, but there is currently no way to pre-order that version.

Although there is no firm release date for Wayward Manor, we can expect the game to be launched sometime before the end of the year.



26

Jul

Nina Kalenkov and Max Gruber may have run out of secret files to expose for now, but a secondary player from Puritas Cordis is stepping into her own starring role in the upcoming spin-off adventure Secret Files: Sam Peters.

Sam Peters is a journalist chasing her next big scoop, as "scientists in Africa have discovered changes in the genetic codes of aquatic animals. Their home, Lake Bosumtwi, was formed over a million years ago through the impact of a meteor. Could it be that alien lifeforms made it to Earth that way?" But when a research expedition disappears from the rainforest without a trace, will Sam have what it takes to pursue the story to the end?

Like the previous Secret Files games, Sam Peters is being developed by Animation Arts and will be published by Deep Silver. Unlike its predecessors, however, this spin-off will be available exclusively as a download, promising "several hours" of gameplay for a cost of 9.99 euro.

Secret Files: Sam Peters will be launched on September 27th.



24

Jul

Adventure gamers are used to picking up everything they can get their hands on, but what if you had a candle for a hand? This is just one of the many challenges to overcome in Candle, a stylish new indie adventure now seeking crowdfunding through Kickstarter.

Candle casts players in the role of the "inexperienced and vulnerable Teku in his thrilling journey to save his friends and unravel the mysteries of his world." But Teku has one very special ability: "instead of a hand, he carries a candle that can be lit at certain spots, and he must do whatever he can to prevent it from being extinguished. The flame of the candle is key to solving many of the puzzles, as well as uncovering lots of secrets and clues."

As seen in the early screenshots and Kickstarter video, Candle is entirely hand-painted in watercolours and ink, and even the animations are drawn frame by frame. According to Spanish developer Teku Studios, the game "inherits the spirit of classic cinematic adventures like Out of This World or Flashback, and the gameplay mechanics of classic platformer adventures like Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus, or Heart of Darkness." But for those fearing a reflex-driven action game, worry not, as Candle promises to be "focused on calm puzzle resolution but with a modern and dynamic control over the character."

In order to finish the game for Windows, Mac, and Linux by next January, the developers are currently seeking $40,000 through Kickstarter by August 16th. Early birds can scoop a DRM-free copy of the game for as little as $10 for a limited time (after which it jumps to $15), with the usual array of both digital and physical rewards offered at upper tiers.

To learn more about Candle or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for complete details. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



21

Jul

It's been a good week for film noir fans. Even as one pulp mystery adventure is released (Face Noir), now word out of Argentina is that a new episodic indie mystery called NoseBound is currently in production. 

NoseBound stars Ray Hammond, a "private eye with a gritty past and unorthodox methods" who finds that a simple case soon leads to big troubles that "you may solve with your wits, or your guns." The chronology of Ray's story goes "back and forth, from the end to the very beginning. Yours is the chance to find out what happened, how it happened, and to live the story by yourself." In following this tale, players will also control other characters including George Smithers, Hammond's friend who has mysteriously disappeared, and the game's femme fatale Mrs. Kovacks.

As seen in the early screenshots, NoseBound will be presented largely in black and white. According to indie developers Buenos Aires Quarantine Studio, it will be an episodic adventure that's likely to include five installments in total. Each episode will provide about three hours of gameplay and contain its own individual case to investigate, but over time the main character's story arc will develop further. Along with having puzzles to solve, sometimes by switching between characters to utilize special abilities, the game will also contain some combat, though the developers say these will be rare and are offered mainly for dramatic purposes at the ends of each episode.

There is currently no firm release date for NoseBound, but the first episode is currently on track to debut on PC and Mac as early as next February. To learn more about the game in the coming months, be sure to keep your eye on the official website.



20

Jul

There's always a new adventure waiting outside your front door, but for the star of the upcoming indie title The Beard in the Mirror, there's an even more fantastical adventure lurking right outside his bedroom door.

The Beard in the Mirror tells the tale of a typical 22-year-old who "doesn't know who he is, where he's going, or how he fits into his world." He also doesn't think he's ever traveled to worlds beyond his own, but the "beautiful girl who wakes him up in the middle of one stormy night seems to think otherwise... Inside his bedroom is the comfort and stability he's known all his life, but outside, there's an all-new fantasy world filled with magic, danger, romance—and the promise of adventure."

Co-created by Paul Franzen, designer of the Xbox indie exclusive Life in the Dorms (and self-avowed LucasArts fanboy), and his wife Lizo (a proud Sierra fangirl), The Beard in the Mirror has been in production for several years now, beginning life as a text adventure before turning into a full-blown graphic adventure complete with "challenging puzzles with wacky solutions, dialogue trees, dangerous mishaps (and even death!), and a story about how to find oneself once the world's finally figured out you're an adult."

As a small indie team, the developers are reluctant to predict when The Beard in the Mirror will be released, but with any luck they say we'll be seeing the game on PC as soon as late this year, but more likely early in 2014.



19

Jul

What does it feel like to not exist? That is the philosophical question posed by the indie developers of Lioness, but luckily the game itself won't have to find out, as the experimental adventure has already surpassed its initial crowdfunding goals with weeks left to go.

In this planned seven-part series by indie developers Zak Ayles and Phillip Lanzbom, Lioness casts players in the role of a freelance journalist named Eggert Kirby, as he "conducts research for an article about a series of seven mysteriously missing people. Of course, nothing is as it seems and he soon befriends a nicotine addicted cat and unravels a plot involving time-travel, yakuza, and interdimensional coffee."

Described as an "experimental adventure game about human connection", Lioness is anything but a traditional point-and-click experience. It does promise to offer familiar conventions like "meeting new people, solving problems, and exploring unique urban environments, all rendered in colorful, fluid rotoscope graphics" but the developers have also promised that "rather than navigating a static tree of binary decisions, we are strongly focusing on providing an organic narrative experience that feels personal and unique to everyone who plays it."

What does that mean? Well, we won't find out until the game is released for PC sometime before the end of 2014. If that sounds like a long time away, there will be plenty to keep you busy while you wait, as backers will also receive seven other indie games in the "Braingale collective", as well as another game created by the Lioness developers themselves.

Although there are "no plans for project expanding stretch goals" and the game has already met its target fundraising goal of $7,000 by August 6th, all pledges will serve to "offset living expenses and development costs" in order to make the game as good as can be. A minimum $7 will result in the a free download of each episode as soon as it's completed.

You can learn more about Lioness and contribute to the campaign by visiting the Kickstarter page.



18

Jul

The adventure genre may not usually get much widestream attention, but if indie developers Deconstructeam have their way, the Gods Will Be Watching in a new survivalist adventure now seeking funding on Indiegogo.

Gods Will Be Watching stars Sgt. Burden, who faces six distinct scenarios that confront players with "hard decisions and moral dilemmas in order to survive." The circumstances vary significantly between scenarios: in one, you face a deadly virus that threatens to kill everyone within 48 hours, while in another you must manage a hostage situation, maintaining calm among the frightened captives while also dealing with a space lab's security forces. Players will not only need to secure the necessary resources to progress, but also decide what type of leader you want to be. In the same hostage scenario, you can "choose to reduce the human casualties to the minimum, or maybe you just want to make useful sacrifices to save the situation: murdering one of the hostages can be really useful to keep everybody down."

Originally created by Deconstructeam as a single-scene survival simulator (which can still be played at the developer's website) for Ludum Dare 26, the new version will be expanded substantially into "a big game about despair, commitment and self-justified sacrifices, in which the player set the rules of behaviour." Offering "ten-plus hours of gameplay for the true survivors (hundreds in the likely case you keep dying)", the enhanced version promises to include new cinematics, an original soundtrack, and an empathy system in which "player actions affect the whole group's attitude."

In order to complete the game by next February on a variety of platforms, the developers are seeking 8,000€ by August 15th on Indiegogo. A minimum 8€ is required for a DRM-free download on Windows, Mac, or Linux, while a 15€ minimum is required to get the game for iOS and Android devices. The campaign is already nearing its initial goal, but any contributions over and above will go towards a range of stretch goals, the highest being the inclusion of voice acting for Burden.

To learn more about Gods Will Be Watching and to contribute to the campaign, visit the Indiegogo page for full details.



17

Jul

Parlez-vous français?

If you've ever wanted to visit scenic Paris but just didn't have the money or mastery over the language, now you can kill two birds with one stone with a Kickstarter contribution to the French-teaching edutainment mystery The Abettor’s Letters.

The Abettor’s Letters casts players in the role of secret agent Carsen Brooks, an "American spy hired by a mysterious party to investigate a criminal conspiracy taking place in France." Once in Paris, Brooks must contend with "both the cabal of criminals led by vengeful villain Didier Diamante, and the attentions of the French authorities, on high alert for suspicious foreigners. He even finds himself tracked by a resourceful counterintelligence agent, Shima Abdel, and her canine partner, Watteau. Things are difficult, but Brooks isn't alone. His anonymous contact promises to aid and abet him with financing, intel, and French language lessons, and if Brooks studies hard and avoids suspicion, he can continue on his quest to discover the truth, and save the day!"

As seen in the first screenshots, The Abettor’s Letters is a stylish (or is that chic?) point-and-click adventure set in a re-imagined turn-of-the-twentieth-century France that's been hand-painted with watercolours. With a "brand new twist on the classic dialogue tree mechanic" in between the puzzles and minigames, as you explore the streets of Paris you will "enter shops and cafés to practice buying and ordering; listen to sections of French audio as a character rehashes his past; (and) read French text in a love letter found tucked away inside an old book at the library," among other tasks. Players will need to "successfully navigate dialogue interactions with French-speaking characters to progress the game and gather the information they need. Different sections of gameplay challenge the player's abilities in vocabulary, verb conjugation, sentence construction, and reading and listening comprehension."

Created by indie team Beach Alt Ed and designed exclusively for iPad, The Abettor’s Letters is a planned seven-part adventure series (as if you could learn French in only one!), each installment providing a "complete, self-contained story and lesson" that eventually "connect in an overarching storyline and lesson structure". The first episode will be offered completely free, but in order to fund this pilot installment, the developers are seeking $25,000 through Kickstarter by August 10th. Any money above and beyond the initial target will go "directly into funding production of the full, multi-episode game." While there is no minimum pledge required to play the first game, a $75 donation will result in a free download of all subsequent episodes as they become available.

To learn more about The Abettor's Letters, watch the crowdfunding pitch video, or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for further information, along with the game's official website.



16

Jul

The former Sierra revival has taken another significant step forward today with the long-rumoured announcement of a Kickstarter campaign for Precinct, the "spiritual successor" to Police Quest by Jim Walls.

More than 25 years after the launch of Sierra's beloved cop series, Walls is returning to the genre with his own company and a game that promises to "deliver a classic Sierra-style experience to adventure game fans that's been updated with real-time 3D environments, a new first-person perspective and a gripping crime story based on real police cases." Assuming the role of rookie Officer Maxwell Jones on patrol, as players "clean up the crime ridden streets, the plot thickens with corrupt cops, greedy public officials, and a deadly struggle for control of Fraser Canyon's criminal underground."

Like Police Quest, Precinct promises to have players "conduct real police procedures while solving crimes and arresting perpetrators".  This time, however, along with "staple elements such as adventure and puzzles, players also encounter intense fast action gameplay sequences that include shootouts, high speed car chases, investigations, foot pursuits, hand-to-hand combat, and more."

The ultimate goal is to create a five-game series (each game a full-fledged standalone adventure) covering the five distinct city precincts. To help get the new franchise off the ground, Walls and co. have turned to Kickstarter in order to raise $500,000 by August 16th, with an eye to releasing the first game for PC and Mac by next June. A minimum $30 pledge is required to earn a digital copy of the game upon completion, with a variety of other perks available at other tiers. (Update: A new limited-time $19 tier has been added, offering players a free download of the game as a reward.)

To learn more about Precinct or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.



11

Jul

The English version of Face Noir has been kept largely under wraps so far, but with just a week left before release, you can now catch an early playable glimpse of the upcoming dark mystery adventure. 

The first installment in the two-part Face Noir chronicle thrusts players into the gumshoes of Jack Del Nero, a down-on-his-luck ex-cop with an alcohol problem in 1930s New York, who unwittingly becomes the chief suspect in the "murder of a man who, just before his death, left a little girl in Jack’s protection. As Jack tries to find out who the child is, he learns the extremes to which human nature can go when trying to bribe something no one has ever tried to bribe: destiny."

Originally released in Italian and German, Face Noir has been localized into English with help from Phoenix Online Studios (Cognition). The demo offers a sampling of the "moody tale that combines the intrigue and atmosphere of a Raymond Chandler novel or Humphrey Bogart film with classic point-and-click adventure gameplay" as it introduces Del Nero and "lets players jump in on his first case – the mystery of a missing dame named Susan Webber."

You can download the 562 MB sampler directly from the official website, where you can also pre-order the game for just $15.99, which is 20% off the regular $19.99 price and comes with a free MP3 soundtrack. Face Noir will be released on PC next week on July 18th.

To learn more about Face Noir, check out our recent preview based on the German version, but note that several features have been revamped since that time for the English release.



11

Jul

So you want to be a game designer. But your art and programming skills are so limited that your dreams will only come true when pigs fly? Well, you just happen to be in luck on the soaring swine front, as Brazilian developer Pigasus has just launched a game engine/playable adventure combo called Adventurezator: When Pigs Fly on Kickstarter.

Adventurezator promises to include a playable game that lets you control "Edmund, the human-turned-pigman while he tries to become a human again, and his sidekick Zookwinkle the Gnome. In this tale of courage, intrigue, betrayal (and dumbness) – you and our pseudo-heroes will face many challenges and re-write history", meeting such diverse personalites as Sir Isaac Newton, the Seven Dwarfs, and Weeping Angels along the way.

What really separates Adventurezator from other games, however, is that it's built with its own adventure game engine that comes as part of the package. Players will have the opportunity to create their own adventures "without all that boring programming, or math" with the user-friendly creation tools provided, including one that designs cutscenes. Much like with LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3, you will be able to upload your creations for others to play, even as you download theirs, along with other new content directly from Pigasus.

That's the goal, anyway, but the first challenge is raising enough funds to make it possible. To that end, the designers have taken to Kickstarter with an appeal for $20,000 by August 9th. A minimum $12 pledge for "early birds" will result in a DRM-free download of the game, with a variety of other perks available at different tiers.

To learn more about Adventurezator: When Pigs Fly, including a number of tutorial-like videos, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.



10

Jul

It's been 15 years since the last Tex Murphy adventure, and over a year since we found out a new one was on its way, but at long last there's a first live glimpse of the newly-rebranded Tesla Effect.

Successfully funded through Kickstarter last June under the working title "Project Fedora", there's been little information publicly disclosed to non-backers about the game until now, though the team at Big Finish Games has been hard at work all year. But now we all get to finally see the first substantial evidence of its progress with today's release of a handful of new screenshots and the first live-action trailer for the game.

Details about the plot of Tesla Effect are still sketchy at this point, but the video poses a promising scenario: "What if Lucifer had not been defeated, but lay in wait... preparing for his chance to overthrow heaven? Look at the world around you. Did heaven win the battle? Your role, whether for good or evil, has yet to be determined."

The finished game is still a fair way off, but stay tuned for more about Tesla Effect in the coming months, including an in-depth interview here at Adventure Gamers with director Adrian Carr.



10

Jul

The Inquisition certainly deserves its brutal reputation, but would it look any different though the eyes of an Inquisitor himself? Adventure gamers can now find out for themselves with the release of The Inquisitor: Book 1 - The Plague.

Set in the 14th century, the game stars Nicolas Eymerich, an Inquisitor "famous for his rigidity and efficient methods" who is sent to a small village in southern France to investigate a case of heresy. His probe soon reveals that the townsfolk aren't telling him everyhing, and that the "sickening smell of Satan and its demons is in the air!" It'll be up to players to help answer important questions like: "Is Nicolas Eymerich really grappling with diabolical entities? Or is his fanaticism making him see them where it is only unfortunate but natural events?"

While The Inquisitor is a classic point-and-click adventure at heart, it offers a number of unique features, including the option to type commands directly like in the earliest graphic adventures. There is also an "audiogame" option available for the seeing-impaired. For those who see fine but would like to hear something a little different, the game includes a fully-dubbed Latin translation to go with English subtitles (though a fully-voiced English version is also included). A hint system and quick travel map round out the list of user-friendly features offered.

The Inquisitor: Book 1 - The Plague is available today exclusively for PC at participating digital distributors such as The Adventure Shop and GamersGate. The Mac, iOS and Android versions aren't far behind, however, as they're expected to be released on July 16th.

To learn more about the game, check out the official website.



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