Adventure News
 


February 2014

13

Feb

Developer Sunlight Games is bringing to light a remake of one of Sierra On-Line’s lesser-known titles, Gold Rush!. For those unfamiliar, Gold Rush! was originally released back in 1988, towards the end of Sierra’s own metaphorical gold rush of games based on their AGI engine (think King’s Quest I – III).

Gold Rush! put players in the persona of mild-mannered Brooklynite Jerrod Wilson, circa 1848, who receives a letter from his long-lost brother imploring him to join him in Sacramento and confirming rumors of the eponymous California gold rush. Being one of the very few Sierra adventures not ending in “Quest”, Gold Rush! was a bit of a unconventional game at the time, essentially being Sierra’s take on Oregon Trail. It featured a branching campaign that allowed players a choice of three routes to California (overland pioneer-style, sailing to Central America and crossing the Isthmus of Panama, or sailing around Cape Horn), with each route consisting of its own set of unique puzzles and challenges.

For their remake, Sunlight has promised the expected enhancements, including high-resolution (pre-rendered) graphics and voiceovers. In keeping with the game’s central conceit, they’ve also promised a choice of three different input options: parser, point-and-click, and “modern” point-and-click (though no details on the distinction between the latter two have been offered). Although the developers are committed to preserving the story and branching paths of the original, there is no word yet on whether they also plan to maintain the dead-ends found in its predecessor.

Full details about the Gold Rush! remake can be found on the official website. The game is slated for a PC release in late 2014, with Mac and mobile versions (iOS and Android) to follow. In the meantime, for those who can’t quite wait that long to die of cholera, Sunlight is also planning to re-release a port of the original]http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/17835]original version[/url] for PC and iOS sometime this spring.



11

Feb

As hordes of satisfied fans can attest, KING Art's The Book of Unwritten Tales was one of 2011’s very best adventures. A shorter-length, stand-alone prequel arrived the following year, but now the German developer is ready to announce a proper sequel in the world of Aventasia. Appropriately titled The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, the game is already fully funded thanks to Austrian publisher Nordic Games, but KING Art has taken to Kickstarter in hopes that community support can make the final release even better.

While story details are scant at the moment, gamers can already expect around twenty hours of point-and-click puzzle-solving, more homage-laden humor, and the return of familiar characters such as the dwarf Wilbur Weathervane and elf Princess Ivo. The base crowdfunding level of $65,000 would allow the inclusion of “projection-mapping,” a rendering technique that enhances the 3D graphics and allows more dynamic use of the game’s camera, while leaving the system requirements unchanged. Higher stretch goals allow for a variety of enhancements not usually seen in point-and-click adventures, including RPG-style elements such as optional “sidequest” puzzles, custom outfits for your characters to wear, and the opportunity for the soundtrack to be recorded using a live orchestra. The Kickstarter also provides gamers the opportunity to snag an exclusive boxed copy of the game.

Regardless of how much public support icing ends up on this much-anticipated cake, the final game is slated to arrive in January 2015, with DRM-free release on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms. Gamers who pledge $25 will receive the final game, plus be eligible for Steam Early Access, which will see each of BoUT’s chapters delivered separately to backers as they are finished, starting in fall 2014.

Interested gamers can find more information at The Book of Unwritten Tales 2’s Kickstarter page and the series’ official website.



9

Feb

It’s been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Each new age and civilization, no matter the amount of technological progress available to them, seems to suffer from the same set of challenges. That cycle certainly holds true for the inhabitants of Wax Lyrical Games’ upcoming cyberpunk dramedy, Mega Bad Code, in which advanced technology, classism, and crime set the stage for a futuristic, darkly funny murder mystery.

The story takes place in the year 2095, in a Western-Europe city-state known as BlueBan (short for Blue Banana) Metropolis, ruled by a megacorporation known as the Tribunal. The city has been overrun with crime ever since the Cybernetics Revolution twenty years ago, when hordes of its citizens were made redundant by the lucky few able to afford cybernetic improvements for their bodies. In typical fashion the “cultural and business elites” are able to escape from the chaos via the Tribunal’s own Mind-Uploading technology, sending them permanently into the digital reality known as Cyberspace. This leaves the lower orders of BlueBan to fend for themselves, quickly grouping into “criminal fraternities” in the city’s Anarchy Zone, the southernmost tip of the metropolis. The middle classes are left to inhabit the remainder of the city, hoping that one day they will be able to afford their transfer into Cyberspace.

Players will explore the bizarre world of Mega Bad Code as Lucas McCreebie, a Tribunal Cyberspace programmer and consummate nerd, right down to his very stylish red suspenders and crisp black bow tie. Recently, a serial killer has been terrorizing the streets of the city, claiming 31 lives so far, including one of Lucas’ friends. When no motive can be uncovered for these brutal crimes, Lucas quits his job to lend his skills to the confused and overwhelmed BlueBan police department, befriending a couple of officers—a slacker named Pendragon, and cyborg Vega Carlson—in the course of his investigation. Soon he discovers a heavily-encrypted clue left behind by the killer, and he realizes that the murders are part of something larger, something that threatens “the future for everybody in BlueBan.”

Players will assist Lucas in his quest to unravel the mystery, and the developers promise “varied locations, challenging puzzles, bizarre characters, sinister goings-on and touches of weirdness throughout,” but say the game will also feature “comic-style surrealism,” lending a humorous touch to the proceedings. Several control options will be available, including the classic point-and-click mouse setup, a keyboard, or touch-screen, depending on the platform. Mega Bad Code will feature hand-drawn, high-definition 2.5D graphics, voice-acting, and a full soundtrack.

You can expect to get your hands on Mega Bad Code sometime in late 2014, with release planned for a multitude of platforms and devices, including PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. In the meantime, more information can be found on the game’s official website.