Adventure News
 


May 2014

24

May

If you were stranded on alien planet with just one adventure game to play, which would you choose? You might want to pick Curve Studios’ Stranded, as the newly-released retro indie adventure might just help you survive.

Stranded casts players in the role of an astronaut who awakens to find himself alone on the “sun-blasted wasteland of an alien planet,” his ship apparently wrecked while he was in cryostasis. Around him, as “shards of platinum-iridium alloy puncture the shimmering alien sand, the wind passes quietly over dead hydrocolliders.” With no immediate way home and time running out, it’s up to players to guide the astronaut in his exploration of this strange landscape.

Presented in an early ‘90s pixel art style, the game is a deliberate throwback to all things retro adventure gaming. Stranded is a point-and-click adventure, and its design stresses a slow, exploratory approach over quick reflexes or large action set-pieces. Rather than following a trail of storypoint breadcrumbs, players are allowed to uncover the mysteries of this planet on their own terms.

Stranded is now available for PC on Steam and the developer’s website.



22

May

The world's worst-spelling hero is back to save the uniwerse... I mean, the universe once again, as Cateia Games and Steve Ince have announced a partnership to create Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty. But the Kaptain will need a spaceship and some crowdfunding in order to get the sci-fi comic sequel off the ground.

This time around, Ursula Unsula, the "queen of Zennity Sping, the tiniest planet in the known universe," has her sights set on taking over Folderakkiakkiu, the second tiniest planet. And as with all megalomaniacs, "if she succeeds in doing that, who knows where it will end?" Stopping her sounds like a job for anyone but Kaptain Brawe, but alas, the most qualified person is now dead, leaving Brawe to save the day once again. The only problem is that he "currently finds himself stranded on a remote ice planet with little hope of rescue. It wouldn’t be so bad if he hadn’t just burnt the last flammable part of his damaged ship in an effort to keep warm."

A Space Travesty will feature the same stunning 2D hand-painted backgrounds as its predecessor, but the new story will be written by Steve Ince, well known to adventure fans for his work on the Broken Sword and So Blonde series, among others. The sequel promises the same classic point-and-click gameplay of the original, offering around ten hours of gameplay full of "unique 'Brawe' humor and puzzles" and another cast of wacky characters. These characters, fortunately, will be fully voiced, representing a major improvement over the first game.

The game is being designed for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, plus iOS and Android devices, with a target completion date of July 2015. In order to finance the voiceovers and other production costs, the developers have turned to Kickstarter for crowdfunding, seeking $150,000 by June 26th. A limited time minimum pledge of $15 for early backers will result in a free download of the game. Those who pledge even $3, however, will get the second episode of the original game, A Brawe New World. The first episode is available throughout the duration of the campaign completely free for PC and Mac from the sequel's official website.

In order to learn more about the Kaptain Brawe 2:  A Space Travesty and contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for complete details.



17

May

If ever there was a real-world setting just begging for its own adventure game, it's Canada's Oak Island, home to the famed "Money Pit" and its centuries-old legend of hidden treasure protected by deadly traps. Filling that void (figuratively speaking) is Visionaire Studio's upcoming The Mystery of Oak Island, currently seeking treasure of a more tangible kind on Kickstarter.

The game casts players in a "minimum" of three different roles across various time periods in the island's history. The present day story will see you "get sucked into the ominous tale of Oak Island with the support of your girlfriend, Ann, who is a student of literature at Oxford University. Together you begin to uncover the secrets of Oak Island, and in doing so, put yourselves in grave danger." While no specific details have yet been revealed about the trials that await, the developers promise that "Oak Island will not divulge its secrets without sacrifice. Several treasure hunters and other interested parties vie for its hidden secrets, besieged by horrific traps and terrifying guards."

As seen in the early screenshots and Kickstarter pitch video, The Mystery of Oak Island is a classic-styled, third-person, point-and-click adventure that includes high resolution graphics and a full orchestral soundtrack. Each of the three playable characters will have "their own special abilities and unique personality traits", and dialogue, inventory puzzles, and exploration will comprise the bulk of the game's projected 10-20 hour game time (depending on the level of funding).

Best known outside of Germany for the creation of the Visionaire engine powering games like Daedalic's Deponia and Dark Eye series, the team behind The Mystery of Oak Island are no strangers to game-making themselves, having worked for years on the highly-acclaimed fan sequel Zak McKracken Between Time and Space. For now the game is available only in German, but English gamers will soon get to enjoy it as well when a "Director's Cut" is released later this year, absolutely free.

Since sales of Zak certainly won't help finance their current project, the developers have turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the game, seeking $100,000 by June 12th. The game is being designed for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS and Android devices, and could be completed as early as the end of 2015. A limited time "early bird" minimum pledge of $19 will earn backers a DRM-free downloadable copy of the game.

To learn more about The Mystery of Oak Island and to contribute to the fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



15

May

In 2011, Guy Galer released his first Bureau game on the Xbox 360. An “audacious experiment”, as he himself called it, the game went on to inspire an Xbox sequel and then a reboot on handheld devices. Now Galer is planning to bring the series to PC, Mac, and Linux in a single, definitive version of the game, incorporating all previous elements and many changes and improvements as well. To do that, he's turned to Kickstarter to help finance production.

Bureau - Season 1 is a point-and-click adventure about Agent Kendall, a rich investigator who "joined the FBI to add security credentials to her resume and make even more money as a consultant." Unexpectedly reassigned back to field work when the Bureau experienced an internal upheaval, Agent Kendall suddenly finds herself outmatched on the forefront of criminal activity, and players must investigate crime scenes, track down the bad guy, and maybe learn a little bit about cognitive psychology along the way.



A packaged deal, the PC release will include modified versions of the first two episodes (Kendall Rising and Shatter Slipper), reworked to fit together smoothly, as well as an all-new episode to round out the experience (Psychic Surprise). Along with improved visuals, additional content, and an overhauled interface, the game also boasts voice acting, sidetracks, and multiple endings based on the choices you make during the course of the adventure.

In order to fund this comprehensive version, Galer is seeking $13,500 on Kickstarter by June 1st. If he achieves his target, the completed game is slated to ship in October of this year. A DRM-free copy of the game can be reserved for $12. Check out the Kickstarter page for further info about the game. Gamers with an Xbox 360, iOS or Android devices can even sample a free demo of the game. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



11

May

What is the worst loss a person can experience? Many of us would probably answer "losing one’s child". And to take that painful notion one step further: what if that parent were the cause of such a traumatic event? This question will be answered in an uncomfortable but uniquely artistic way in Simon Karlsson’s A Song for Viggo, an indie Swedish adventure currently in production.

When you step into A Song For Viggo, the tragedy has already happened. Players are cast in the role of Steve, who has accidentally run over his son Viggo. Now he and his wife Karen have to cope with their anguish while everyday life intrudes. As Steve, you must plan Viggo’s funeral, be there for your wife and daughter, and make small-talk with your neighbour, among other demands.

The game promises to include five chapters, the first revolving around planning Viggo's funeral while the next four represent different phases of the grieving process: compulsive behavior, boredom, and increasingly self-destructive actions. Your priorities and the choices you make during this process will affect not only you but also your family and thereby the outcome of the story.

A Song for Viggo is a third-person, point-and-click 2D indie production with a distinctive presentation. The characters and environments are made out of plain white paper, folded and glued into different designs by Karlsson and then filmed entirely in stop motion. Simon has also composed the music, inspired by classical composers such as Erik Sathi.

We could see A Song for Viggo released on PC and Mac as early as June 2015, but in order to complete the game by then, the developer plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the end of May. In the meantime, for a personal insight into the mind of the main character Steve, visit his fictional blog. You can also follow the game’s production in the coming months through the official website or Facebook page.



3

May

Identifying a dearth of Western games hybridizing the adventure and visual novel genres, the developers of Exogenesis: Perils of Rebirth hope their new game will fill that gap and are using Kickstarter to do so.

Set in the near future of 2069, Japan has been reduced to post-nuclear ruins. Roving this future wasteland is Yudai Sayashi (Yu), who leads the Durchhalten, a ragtag group of “treasure hunters” or looters (depends on who you ask). The group is shattered after the death of Yu’s sister, and drift into separate lives. Two years after this event the game picks up when Yu hears rumour of real treasure: the mythical Noah’s Ark, containing pre-war technology. Formerly a mere tale of those dreaming of the Old World restored, Yu now has real information of its existence. More important is its reported contents, the Lazarus Protocol, able to restore anything from the past. The Durchhalten must be reunited and the hunt is on; Yu has a dead sister to save.

Exogenesis promises to place a heavy emphasis on storytelling using the techniques of a visual novel. At the same time, however, it will combine puzzles and point-and-click elements to make a more rewarding gameplay experience. Combining six chapters, thematic puzzles, branching gameplay, and multiple endings, the development studio Kwan promises the game will not be a short-lived experience, taking 20-plus hours to complete. Neither will this be a straightforward adventure, as important moral choices are forced upon Yu; characters have their own agendas and self-interests, and nothing is ever quite what it seems. There will be twists and turns in plenty before this tale comes to a conclusion.

Inspired by the likes of the Ace Attorney and Zero Escape series, Exogenesis uses a similar hand-drawn art style as its predecessors. Those familiar with Tokyo will pick up on many real-world locations recreated within the game, but the city has been carefully rendered into a post-war context. Along with the early screenshots and trailer, you can see the game in action for yourself in a playable demo, which offers 3-4 hours of play time and covers 80% of chapter 1.

Kwan plan to have the game in players’ hands by December provided they obtain $32,000 in crowdfunding by May 23rd. A limited number of $21 downloadable copies of the game are still available to celebrate getting Greenlit on Steam, after which $25 will reward backers with a copy of the game for PC, Mac, and Linux. After release, Kwan plan to port the game to various handheld platforms.

To learn more about Exogenesis: Perils of Rebirth and to support the game, visit the Kickstarter page or the official website.



2

May

While most first-person adventures place a priority on puzzles, PostMod Softworks' upcoming The Old City promises to emphasize story, exploration, and the philosophical nature of knowledge if reaches its fundraising goal on Kickstarter.

The Old City casts players in the role of "sewer dwelling isolationist" called a Minotaur, who ascends to the world above to find the "shattered remnants of a civilization long past and the echoes of the few who remain." Since an integral part of the game is discovery, very few details about the story have been revealed, but the environment has been designed to be a living particant of its own that will "literally respond to the character in various ways. Whether subtly rearranging itself to open or close pathways, hinting at some larger meta-narrative, or actually communicating with the character using written words, the environment is a responsive entity that acts as the second half of the conversation. Your task is to act as an observer to this conversation and to pick up on the flow of communication between the two parties."

As seen in the game's early trailers, The Old City is a free-roaming, first-person 3D adventure that lets you choose how to explore – or even whether to explore. The developers estimate that about 75% of the game world will be completely optional, offering different experiences to those who make different choices along the way. In order to understand the game fully, therefore, it will be necessary to play the game multiple times to see everything it has to offer. The gameplay itself will be kept to a minimum, with interactivity serving to " further the story along. You can walk, jump, climb ladders, open doors, and move around key objects that communicate something about the world. There is absolutely no UI other than a main menu, and there are no objectives, death screens, or enemies to combat."

In order to complete the game within two years, the developers are seeking $40,000 by May 28 through Kickstarter. A minumum pledge of $15 will reward players with a PC download of the game upon completion, complete with Oculus Rift support. To learn more about The Old City and to contribute to the campagin, visit the game's Kickstarter page for complete details. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.