Adventure News
 


January 2014

22

Jan

Following up on the 2013 release of ASA: A Space Adventure, indie developer Simon Mesnard is working on a follow-up called Catyph: The Kunci Experiment.

While not an actual sequel to ASA, the game will once again be a first-person, point-and-click affair, requiring the player to sort out some strange goings-on in the universe:

“You play in 2062 as an astronaut sent by Terra to explore the solar system in search for signs of intelligent life. After going through strange events, you finally land on Tytaah, a moon of planet Catyph. You quickly realise that a mechanism called the Kunci is the reason for your presence here, and a man of unknown identity asks you to make it work for him. You'll have to explore the moon and other places to gather more informations and understand the situation.”

For his sophomore effort, Simon promises a similar gameplay experience while addressing some of the issues from his first game, including improved (HD) visuals and multiple difficulty levels: “I think I can say that Catyph is to ASA what Riven was to Myst.”

Additional details can be found at the official website. Catyph: The Kunchi Experiment is currently scheduled for release on PCs sometime this summer.



20

Jan

Berlin-based indie developer Sebastian Till is looking to leave his mark on old-school point-and-click adventures with his crowdfunding campaign for the upcoming Humanity’s Silence.

Billed as a “minimalistic” adventure, the game tells the story of the crew of a spaceship which has just crash-landed on an unfamiliar planet. By interacting with the crew members and making choices guided by dialogue, it is up to the player to survive in the alien environment and discover what led to the crash.

Inspired by fellow minimalist adventure Gods Will Be Watching, Humanity’s Silence features a single scrolling screen comprising the sole location in which the entire narrative plays out. A playable demo available through the game’s Indiegogo page offers a glimpse at how dialogue works within the context of gameplay; clicking a crew member on-screen brings up a large character cut-out, along with any dialog choices currently available for that character.



Till isn’t giving away much about the game’s plot at the moment; similarly, no solid release date has been announced. At the moment, the game is being developed exclusively for PCs, with possible ports to Linux and Mac included as stretch goals. Supporters of the crowdfunding campaign can pick up a DRM-free copy for as little as €1, though retail versions are set to run for €5 upon release.

Check out Humanity’s Silence’s Indiegogo page for the full list of rewards and additional details about the game.



19

Jan

If there’s one thing Carol Reed fans have come to expect, it’s Swedish developer MDNA Games’ clockwork release schedule. In keeping with this tradition, the next installment in the prolific point-and-click adventure series, Bosch’s Damnation, is on track to appear this March.

Bosch’s Damnation centers on the disappearance of entrepreneur Malte Stierngranat and his family. Carol is called to investigate by George, a man employed by Malte’s son, Erik. Her investigation initially seems to grow cold, but then the boyfriend of Malte’s granddaughter is found dead in a barn owned by the Stierngranats. The subsequent police investigation determines that his body has been there since the family vanished, and this discovery brings Carol back to unravel the mystery.

Like all Carol Reed games, this one will take place in Sweden, but is written in English, and is played from a slideshow, first-person perspective. In a first for the series, however, Bosch’s Damnation will feature both summer and winter locales for players to explore.

Releasing exclusively on PC, Bosch’s Damnation will be available on disc and as a digital download. Interested sleuths can find more information at the game’s official website.



16

Jan

Some preliminary news has emerged about an upcoming point-and-click thriller called A Poison Green, as the newly-christened Faraway Industries has released a few details concerning the story and gameplay we can expect once the game is completed.

The year is 2070, and the conditions of Earth’s air have deteriorated to the point that protective gas masks are a must to keep from inhaling hazardous environmental diseases. In the face of an ineffective government, ordinary citizens must resort to extraordinary measures, even violence, to make a difference in the world. In Washington D.C., three people’s paths are about to cross in this story of espionage and eco-terrorism.

Alternately controlling William, an investigative journalist, Mia, an unemployed and impressionable woman, and Elijah, an idealistic history professor, players will control both the hunter and the hunted. As a terrorist attack looms close, some characters will join in the anti-government movement while others will actively try to uncover their plans and warn authorities. Switching control from one character to another at pre-set points during the narrative, players will have to help one side evade capture while helping the other to foil their plans.

A sample from A Poison Green’s soundtrack


Each character will have a distinct inventory to use for solving traditional adventure puzzles. But the developers are quick to point out that the gameplay isn’t so much focused on puzzle solving, instead offering players opportunities to make choices via conversation or actions that directly affect the story and character behaviors. The six-person studio is promising that potentially everything you say or do can have consequences for your character and the world around you.

The game’s city setting of “perpetual rain, sickness and misunderstanding” is hand-drawn, and its characters will be fully voiced. An exact release date has not been announced for this third-person game, though the developers have called a 2014 release “unlikely”.



7

Jan

Live-action “interactive movies” have a spotty history in the minds of many gamers, with frequently-hammy acting and a lack of actual gameplay being a few of the more common complaints. True to its name, Contradiction, a recently announced point-and-click adventure currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, hopes to change all that, incorporating mystery-solving gameplay with a full motion video presentation.

In development by Tim Follin, a cinematographer and visual effects artist known in the gaming world for pioneering the “chiptune” electronic music genre, the game is being billed as a murder mystery with a horror influence, in which the player is cast in the role of Inspector Jenks. A female student of Atlas, a controversial “business training course” with possible ties to a secretive religious cult, has been found dead in a lake near the location where the seminars take place. In the past, the shady organization has been accused of using techniques that border on mind control, and although initially ruled an accident, Jenks is assigned to investigate any possible role that Atlas might have played in the woman’s death.

The real intrigue, however (at least from a gameplay perspective), is that along with a few interface items such as a notebook and dialogue choices, the game will use on-location, full motion film for all of its scenes. Puzzles will revolve around interviewing suspects and trying to detect when they are lying, then confronting them about their contradictory statements in order to force them into telling the truth.

To bring Contradiction to life, Follin has taken to Kickstarter to rustle up a modest £3,000 budget. This is, in fact, a second attempt at funding after missing its original goal of £10,000. Interested gamers have until January 17 to contribute to this second campaign. A digital copy of the game can be had for £10.

The game is currently set for release in spring 2014, on PC and iPad. A release on Android is also planned, but not yet confirmed. More information about the project and the crowdfunding campaign can be found on Contradiction’s Kickstarter page.



6

Jan

Ferris Bueller may have desperately wanted a day off almost 30 years ago, but iOS and Android owners may also soon find themselves looking for one to play the parody Ferris Mueller's Day Off when it releases later this month.

Unlike in the classic 1986 movie, Ferris Mueller is – quite appropriately – a mule. But he's a slacker mule who's already taken his ninth sick day of the year, and it's your job to "find him and get him back to work. There’s a problem though, Ferris really doesn’t like work – he finds it ‘a little childish and stupid’ – so he’s blocked your path with a series of puzzles of ever increasing weirdness, and intricate locking systems."

A first-person, point-and-tap adventure, Ferris Mueller is from Glitch Games, creator of the two Forever Lost episodes. Unlike its darker, grittier predecessors, however, the new game features bright, hand-drawn cartoon artwork, along with a host of "designed-when-drunk puzzles, and characters that are just begging to get us sued."

Helping out with these puzzles is a camera that lets you take photos of clues and anything else you wish to store in an in-game photo album, where you can write notes on them for further use. There's also an in-game hint system if you need a little more assistance in tracking Mueller down.

Ferris Mueller's Day Off is currently nearing completion and is on track for release on the App Store and Google Play later this month.