Adventure News

May 2015



The terms "MISSING" and "FMV" made for an impressive combination in Lexis Numérique's 2004 puzzler (also known as In Memoriam), and now indie developer Zandel Media is hoping the same proves true again with the debut of their new live-action mystery, MISSING: An Interactive Thriller.

The first episode of the series (no connection to the earlier title) stars a kidnapping victim named David Newcastle. Abducted for "no clear reason, Dave will have to find his way out and elude captivity while trying to figure out who his captor is." It seems that he is not alone in his predicament, either, as elsewhere "Detective Lambert investigates a series of mysterious disappearances in the city." Lambert will be the main focus of the remaining episodes.

Originally released on the App Store and Google Play to very little fanfare late last year, MISSING now arrives on PC promising to blend '90s-style full motion video sequences with traditional adventuring in which you must "use your brain to solve puzzles, find items and use reflexes in action sequences to help the characters progress in the story." The action will involve Quick Time Events designed to give the game a more cinematic tension to suit the story, as glimpsed in the second video released.

Available only as a single-episode purchase at this time, Episode One is available now on Steam. There are currently five episodes planned in total, but the good news is that the remaining episodes will be released all together, rather than individually. Filming is scheduled to begin this fall.



If it seems like the last adventure game from Pendulo Studios was Yesterday, that's because it was, back in 2012. And as it turns out, the next one will be too, as today Microïds revealed that its previously announced partnership with the Spanish Studio will be for Yesterday Origins, a pseudo-sequel due out next year.

Very little has been revealed about the game's story so far, but Origins will continue the tale of its predecessor's protagonist, John Yesterday. This time around, however, the modern day events will be explored simultaneously with events dating back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition.

Origins marks the first game from Pendulo to be created in 3D, but the developers are quick to assure fans that the new adventure will "keep the very identifiable cartoon graphical touch that made the studio so successful." The game will be released across a variety of platforms, including PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, iOS and Android, with "optimized visual effects and interfaces specifically designed for each type of platform, whether they require a mouse, a pad or a touch screen."

There is no firm timeline for the game's completion, but it is currently on track for release sometime in 2016.



Virtual reality has yet to fully arrive for video games, but already an impressive lineup of VR-inspired titles is in the works. One of those is The Assembly, British developer nDreams' upcoming first-person adventure that promises to give players an exploration-heavy experience in a mysterious setting where moral choices abound.

The story revolves around the titular Assembly, an organization that believes society's laws and morals are holding back scientific progress by keeping certain areas of inquiry off-limits due to their ethical implications. In order to advance research into these areas, the Assembly has built an underground bunker where it can conduct any experiment it wishes beyond prying eyes, in the hope that they might discover a universal “theory of everything.” The Assembly operates not unlike a religious cult, with members being initiated into the organization through a series of trials. Over the course of the game, players will play through the eyes of two characters who promise to color the experience with their unique perspectives on the Assembly and its goals: Joel, a disillusioned Assembly veteran who has come to question their methods, and Madeleine, who has been essentially kidnapped and brought to the underground facility to undergo her initiation tests.

The game will be divided into a number of chapters during its projected 3- 4 hour length, with each chapter devoted to one character or the other in alternating fashion. Joel and Madeleine's physical and mental differences will impact how each chapter plays. For instance, Joel is taller than Madeleine, so the tops of doorways will seem closer to the player during those chapters. Their walking paces and footstep sounds will be different as well, and as an insider Joel's commentary on the Assembly and the circumstances of his involvement promise to be of a different tone than the newcomer Madeleine's.

The Assembly’s gameplay will have plenty dialogue and conversation, with puzzles interspersed throughout. In a story written by The Talos Principle’s Tom Jubert, morality is heavily emphasized for the player to wrestle with, with questions along the lines of "Would you kill one person to save ten?" and similar dilemmas that will affect the outcome and endings depending on how the player deals with them.

There will be no fast-paced action sequences, the adventure focused instead on a strong narrative, with exploration and leisurely pacing. Although a standard monitor, mouse, keyboard, and gamepad can be used for controls, The Assembly is being tailored for VR headsets, and is planned as a launch title for both the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. In light of this, the game can be expected to arrive on PC and Playstation Network for PS4 sometime next year when the associated hardware peripherals are released.

For more information about The Assembly, you can click over to the game's official website.



Player decisions are at the heart of Plugged, a new virtual reality-enabled adventure from indie developer Endtimes Studio, and the first is whether to help support the game in its fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.

Plugged casts players in the role of a man who awakens from a "rather weird dream" with the chance to relive the most important moments of his life, all the way up to his inevitable death. In this surreal kind of memory lane, you can make new decisions that will impact your life in a variety of ways. Of course, that means experiencing the consequences of your decisions as well. The first decision, for example, is whether to attend a job interview at your wife's urging or meet your highschool sweetheart in a hotel rendezvous. Each major choice will create two parallel histories that continue to branch the non-linear story in new directions leading to different final outcomes. To see all the different branches, you'll need to replay the game multiple times to experiment with other paths not previously taken.

A first-person title described as a "look-and-click adventure", Plugged is one of the new generation of games designed to make use of virtual reality. With the Oculus Rift, players can "use their own eyes and head movement to solve puzzles", though the game can also be played conventionally on a regular monitor. Either way, you'll navigate free-roaming 3D locations using the keyboard to move and mouse to rotate the camera. Environments promise to be highly interactive, allowing you to "open [a] fridge, wardrobes, oven, drawers, doors, windows, read books, switch lights on and off, etc., all in favor of completing a certain puzzle." Each story branch has one or two larger puzzles that must be solved in order to progress, as well as optional smaller puzzles that will further flesh out the main character's life.

In order to bring their VR vision to actual reality, Endtimes is currently seeking £20,000 by May 30th through Kickstarter. A minimum £10 pledge will get you a downloadable version of the game for PC, Mac, or Linux as early as this July if the campaign reaches its target goal. To learn more about Plugged and support its development, visit the Kickstarter page and drop by the game's official website for complete details.