Adventure News

April 2015



To be or not to be? That will be the question answered by the Kickstarter campaign for Elsinore, a new "time-looping narrative adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet."

Elsinore casts players in the familiar role of Ophelia, with a very unfamiliar opportunity to avert tragedy. You are a "young noblewoman of Denmark, who awakes from a terrible vision: in four days, everyone in Elsinore Castle will be dead." Rather than being resigned to this fate, however, you find yourself caught in a time loop that allows you to "relive the same four days over and over again." You must use your time wisely if you're to alter the bleak future you've foreseen.

Described as "Shakespeare meets Majora's Mask/Groundhog Day", Elsinore is a hand-painted, third-person point-and-click adventure that uses its time-looping mechanic to provide a host of story branches. Player choice is paramount, as you can "lie, forgive, assassinate, befriend, or destroy", and the story will react according to your actions. There are life-and-death decisions to be made, but "even the smallest interaction has an impact on the world around you." Trial is encouraged, even if it ends in error, as you can "explore dozens of different outcomes for even minor actions, each time learning new information." The more you experiment, the more you discover about the motivations of complex characters, all of them keeping secrets.

Rather than being a conventional adventure, Elsinore tasks players with collecting information, from "gossip, rumors, stories, lies, journal entries, bloody daggers, bottles of poison, and more" and then presenting it as hearsay or evidence in an attempt to influence the actions of other characters. You'll need to make good use of your time as well. Not only are you unable to see and hear everything going on in Elsinore Castle in a single time loop, as key events play out simultaneously, but "giving the right piece of information to a character at the wrong time can have disastrous results."

Indie developer Golden Glitch Studios, working on the game in their spare time, is currently seeking $12,000 through Kickstarter by May 26th in order to fully fund production. The team's goal is to complete Elsinore by September 2016 for PC, Mac, and Linux, and a minimum $15 pledge is required to secure a DRM-free download of the game upon release. Response has been enthusiastic so far, with the target amount already in sight, but there is a wide variety of stretch goals still to reach that promise to provide a better overall experience.

To learn more about Elsinore and/or contribute to its fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for complete details, and follow its progress through the official website.



A librarian may not seem like the most adventurous of game protagonists at first, but indie Italian developer Ossocubo is out to prove that perception wrong with their upcoming point-and-click title Blue Volta.

The star of Blue Volta is not just any old librarian but the "The Last Librarian" in the Citadel of Knowledge. Zeno is comfortably encsconced in his "sleepy routine" until he embarks on a quest to find an ancient book. Now he faces a "life-changing trip" during which he will "confront ancient secrets and explore mysterious places teeming with wondrous creatures and enthralling puzzles seamlessly interlocked with the story."

While little is known about the story beyond the basic premise so far, Blue Volta promises to be a "classic point-and-click, third-person graphic adventure" filled with imaginative settings and characters. A few of these are already on display in the first screenshots released, which show off the game's distinctive hand-drawn art style.

Born of a "deep spiritual journey", the game has been in development for the past year, but still has a way to go before completion. While no firm timetable has been set, Ossocubo expects to release the game for PC, Mac, and Linux sometime in 2016. In the meantime, you can follow the game's progress through its official website.



Over time, we’ve seen embattled space-faring crews take on any number of outrageous or dangerous situations, playing the odds and usually coming out on top. But indie developer Crystal Shard has given us a different take on this archetype; instead of facing adversity from a hostile race of aliens or life-threatening conditions on distant planets, the crew in Quasar is threatening to fall apart from the inside out.

In a cramped environment, without privacy, and an around-the-clock assignment with no time to get away from it all, the ship’s crew members have had their latest in a series of disagreements, and have retreated away from each other across the ship, sulking. But with an important mission hanging in the balance, cooperation is vital for success. So it falls on the ship’s medical officer to bridge the divides and restore the crew to its former cooperative status.

With emphasis placed on storytelling rather than puzzle-solving, Quasar spends its time exploring the different characters – each crew member has unique talents according to his or her role on board, and responds to the environment in their own way, according to their personality. Though not meant to be overly difficult or lengthy, Quasar features several puzzles embedded within its gameplay, some of them solvable only by certain characters.

If the game sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because Quasar was originally launched as a freeware adventure in December 2011. Now, however, the team has enhanced the graphics and added full voice acting in a commercial “Deluxe Edition” re-release. You can learn more about the upgraded version of the game at the official website, and purchase the game for PC at the Adventure Gamers Store..



Being the titular “guest” in an adventure game tends not to be a good thing for its protagonist, but it’s a very good thing for gamers. Indie Spanish developer Team Gotham hopes to continue that trend this June with The Guest.

Conceived as a first-person exploration game in the vein of Gone Home, the game sees you, in the role of Russian scientist Dr. Leonov, locked in a hotel room – by whom and for what reason is up to you to discover. The gameplay promises to include a mix of familiar adventure puzzle-solving combined with thorough investigation of the various locations within your hotel room. Picking up and closely examining objects around you will offer vital clues to solving some of the puzzles you’ll encounter.

Puzzles and a claustrophobic atmosphere aren’t all you’ll have to contend with however. The doctor suffers from some as-yet-undisclosed mental problems, which will add an additional wrinkle to the gameplay. If the first trailer is any indication, we can expect flashbacks or hallucinatory visions to play a part, with some religious imagery thrown in for good measure.

Coming to both PC and Mac users at a price point of $9.99, we will soon be able to find out for ourselves what sinister motives have caused the good doctor to be imprisoned. And with Oculus Rift DK2 support, virtual reality players can expect total immersion into The Guest’s gloomy world come June. Until then, you can follow the game’s progress on the official website.



Outside of prison, few human beings know what it's like to be truly caged up. But we could soon, courtesy of indie developer Big Loop Studios, as the surreal adventure DreamCage 28 is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.

The titular cage is literal, not figurative, as its inhabitants are locked away in an actual birdcage. Once a "thriving little realm of explorers and scientists, busy with their fishing and marine biology", the residents have fallen on hard times ever since the disappearance of the Cage Master. Left to their own devices, decay and corruption took root, and the cage is now "ruled by fear and social inequality." But hope is not lost: if they can learn to live together cooperatively in the Cage Master's absence, they can finally become self-sufficient.

While there have been few story details revealed so far, some of the characters encountered in the game will include the surprisingly knowledgeable fisherman's children, the "most sarcastic robot ever built", and an old gentleman who lives in the basement of the realm's crumbling central tower, drinking and waiting for a hero to appear. As seen in the early screenshots and teaser, DreamCage 28 uses the unusual (for adventures) isometric perspective to view the action, giving it a distinctive look that matches its unique setting. Best of all for puzzle lovers, as you explore you'll uncover "endless puzzles and minigames, some hard, others even harder."

If the premise sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the developers previously released a similar freeware game back in 2013 called Escape from 26. In order to help promote the new spiritual sequel, the developers have revamped and re-released the original game as a free browser-based version and a download for Android devices.

If you like what you see of the first game, you can help support DreamCage 28 through Kickstarter, as the game needs $10,000 by May 12th in order to be completed by next January for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android platforms. A minimum $5 pledge is all that's required to secure a free download of the game, and if enough money is raised, the developers have promised entire new cages as stretch goals. To learn more and/or back the game, visit the crowdfunding page for complete details.



Mystery fans waiting for their next spy thriller fix don't have to wait any longer, as The Paris Dossier, a new film noir-inspired adventure game, is now available on mobile devices.

Set in Occupied France at the height of World War II, The Paris Dossier puts players in the shoes of Artemis, a British spy tasked with tracking down one of his own countrymen, a traitor now working for the Nazi regime. The first order of business was to meet with a member of the famed French Resistance, but the mysterious contact was forced to flee before the rendezvous, leaving you to follow the clues he left scattered throughout the war-torn city streets. This new mission proves to be a dangerous affair, however, plunging you headfirst into a cat-and-mouse game with the very traitor you were sent to find.

The first effort by British father-and-son development team Lexica Games, The Paris Dossier promises players an atmospheric first-person adventure presented entirely in black-and-white and featuring music that will "transport players back to 1940s Paris." Along the way, you will encounter a number of challenging puzzles, one of which is teased in the game’s launch trailer. A hint system will be available, however, should any puzzle prove to be too daunting to overcome.

Designed for tablets and phones, The Paris Dossier is available now exclusively on iOS and Android devices. The first level is free to download from both the App Store and Google Play, with an in-app purchase option to unlock the full game.



It should come as no surprise that a game called CAIN would be about one brother charged with killing another, but the upcoming adventure by indie Spanish developer Gazpacho Games is no biblical morality tale, but a first-person noir-tinged thriller.

Taking place entirely within a single sprawling house, CAIN stars math specialist Jeff Joyce, a man from Louisiana accused of killing his brother Julius. Jeff awakes in a room with no apparent means of escape and no idea why he has been taken captive. As you help him seek a way out of his imprisonment, the plot thickens as he comes across evidence of many "weird things" happening there.

The first gameplay trailer shows off CAIN's basic mechanics, tasking players with roaming the house in realtime 3D, investigating clues, interacting with the environment, and solving a variety of puzzles in order to progress. As a game about exploration and discovery, very little has been revealed about the story so far, but the developers describe the narrative as a combination of "thriller elements mixed with features from traditional graphic novels."

There is no firm timeline set for CAIN, but the developers are currently targeting a PC release sometime in 2016.



Saving the world is old hat for adventure gamers. Now, destroying the world? That's something else entirely. But that just happens to be the central premise behind MechaNika, a new mobile adventure making its debut on Android devices.

As unusual as the game's concept is, its choice of (anti-)hero is even more so. Nika is a seven-year-old girl with very peculiar tastes. Not surprisingly for a girl whose "favourite things are the transfer of energy, magnetic fields and electrical engineering", Nika is an outcast. But rather than try to fit into the world around her, Nika "doesn’t care that her parents don’t understand her, that her teachers ignore her or that her friends are completely nuts. She has a plan to solve everything. A really… odd plan." That plan is to "destroy the world in order to have a clean slate for a new one, to be built according her own interests."

Created by the two-person Spanish team Mango Protocol, MechaNika's destructive subject matter is anything but traditional, but the rest of its design will feel far more familiar to point-and-click adventure fans. The screenshots and trailer show off its hand-drawn cartoon aesthetic, and the game promises to be filled with "puzzles that can be solved in different ways through classical object interactions and some crazy dialogs."

MechaNika is available now for Android devices on Google Play, and an iOS version is also in the works, expected to be released some time next month.



The Cold War may be over, but the Russians could still have a few tricks up their sleeves – or at least hidden away in underground bunkers. We'll soon get to find out for themselves, as indie developer Nightly Studios has just announced its upcoming comic adventure, Bunker: The Underground Game.

Bunker stars Otto Thompson, a young hipster seeking a date through an online ad. Unfortunately for Otto, the "beautiful girl he chatted with turns out to be a hairy Russian dude." Before long, Otto finds himself kidnapped and waking up in "what just might be the oddest Soviet era bunker he has ever been unwillingly dragged to." In order to escape his predicament, preferably without starting a nuclear World War 3, Otto must "struggle with old Russian technology and ponder cultural differences" in solving puzzles as "things take [one] ridiculous turn after another, until the inevitable epic confrontation with the final boss."

Given its political sensibilities, it should come as no surprise that Bunker is itself a retro point-and-click adventure, inspired by the great LucasArts classics and promising a mix of "old school puzzles with new school twists". Jokingly referred to as "episodic" yet really just a single standalone adventure, Bunker will nevertheless be fairly short, providing an expected 2-4 hours of play time.

There is currently no firm release date scheduled, but look for Bunker: The Underground Game to be completed sometime this year for PC, with Mac and Linux versions to follow.