Adventure News

September 2016



Francisco "Grundislav" Gonzalez has been collaborating with Wadjet Eye Games recently (A Golden Wake, Shardlight), but that hasn't stopped him from doing a little moonlighting on the side – or perhaps "lamplighting" is a better word for it.

Lamplight City is the name of Grundislav's next game, described as a "detective adventure set in an alternate steampunk-ish 'Victorian' past." The titular "thriving port city of New Bretagne is a beacon of progress and industrial advancement in the New World", but like all paragons of utopian modernity, "beneath the promises of a shining 19th-century future, the city rests upon foundations of poverty, class struggle, and crime." Within these "shadowy corners" of Lamplight City is Miles Fordham, once a police detective and now a private eye. But Fordham has an even bigger problem, as he's haunted by the voice of his dead former partner and is slowly being driven insane. For Miles, the question is whether he can "find justice for his clients and track down his partner’s killer before his entire world comes apart."

As you'd expect from a Grundislav game, Lamplight City features a pixel art design topping out at a whopping 640x400 resolution. But there will be a lot to see and do throughout an "entire fictional city with four boroughs to explore, each with their own unique flavor." Heavily inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, the game will feature five distinct cases to solve, "each with multiple potential suspects, false leads, and lasting consequences." There will be no traditional inventory, but you will need to collect clues for your casebook instead.

Though we'd imagine Wadjet Eye might end up being involved at some point, for now Lamplight City is Grundislav's own project, with a correspondingly unspecified release target sometime in 2017.



There's nothing like the autumn Equinox to bring news of new horror games in production. The latest to add to the nail-biting list is Oldmoustache Gameworks' No70: Eye of Basir, which is due for release early next year.

The game takes place in the titular "No70" house, childhood home of brothers Aras and Erhan, who lived there with their grandmother until her death. Although now in their mid-30s, twenty years earlier the boys experienced some horrifying events in that place that still cause Erhan nightmares. An archeologist who believes his troubles can only be resolved by uncovering its dark mysteries, Erhan returns to the house alone, and disappears without a trace. Fortunately, he first dispatched a letter to his brother revealing his plan. A month later, as Aras, it is now your turn to revisit No70 to find your missing brother and hopefully avoid sharing his fate.

As seen in its gameplay trailer, No70 is a free-roaming 3D exploration of the creepy old long-abandoned house and nearby surroundings. Though the Turkish developers claim there will be some encounters with "creatures" dwelling in the dark, the main focus of the game is its haunting atmosphere as you scour the environment searching for clues, including descriptive notes left behind by Erhan before he disappeared. Crucial to this search is an enchanted glass piece inherited from your grandmother called "Basir", which allows you to see things not normally visible to the human eye.

Currently in production for Windows and Mac with VR support in mind, it'll be closer to spring Equinox than fall before the game is completed, as No70: Eye of Basir is targeting a February 2017 release. PlayStation and Xbox versions are also possibilities further down the line. To learn more about this upcoming horror adventure in the meantime, check out the official website for additional details.



Interstellar delivery guys, strange locals and radioactive cereal... no, it's not a new episode of Futurama, it's Space Geekz: The Crunchy Flakes Conspiracy, by lone German developer Marcel R. Klapshus. Aimed squarely at the quirky end of the spectrum, this darkly comic tale of galactic kidnap and conspiracy is about as lo-fi and indie as it gets, just barely managing to reach its modest crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter.

Adrian and Till are humble delivery drivers for the Space Geekz Corporation, satisfying the apparently insatiable demand for game consoles and arcade machines. Their clunky old space freighter might not be much, but it's home and life's pretty good. At least, until Adrian wakes up one day with an epic headache to find Till gone and their trusty ship run aground on an abandoned planet. And that's only the start of their problems, as events spiral out of control and they find themselves caught up in a larger plot. Among other perils, they'll have to contend with stock trading cannibals, radioactive crunchy flakes, talking vegetables and the local Honkyfants (whatever they are).

Inspired by titles such as Normality and Toonstruck, Marcel is hoping to keep us up all night stumped by fiendish point-and-click puzzles, 1990s-style. The first-person graphics are simple and blocky pre-rendered 3D, with limited textures, chunky pixels and 256 colours. Spread over more than 80 locations, we're promised entertaining characters, tasteless videogame homage and memes as art. There will also be German voice acting, with English subtitles.

Space Geekz: The Crunchy Flakes Conspiracy is tentatively due for delivery on Windows sometime around May 2017. If you'd like to investigate further, head over to the recently completed Kickstarter campaign for additional details.



If there's one thing we've come to learn about frequent horror-adventure collaborators Jonathan Boakes and Matt Clark over the years, it's to expect the unexpected (and conversely, to NOT expect the expected). This has proven true once again, as instead of news about the long-awaited Bracken Tor comes the surprise announcement of Barrow Hill: The Dark Path, coming to Steam in "a few days".

With the original Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle celebrating its 10th year anniversary, the new game will a "dedicated sequel" that takes players back to the same setting in time for this year's Autumn Equinox. Like its predecessor, The Dark Path brings Celtic myth to the modern era, this time as "an ancient Bronze Age deity is let loose upon the Cornish landscape." When the tomb of a "shamanic, mythical creature" called Baiban is disturbed by archeologists, the angered Baiban "won't rest until she finds what is rightfully hers, no matter what the cost. Lives are at stake, including your own, during an endless night of Pagan ritual and Celtic ceremony."

Returning players will find a decade has passed in the game world as well, so the "Service Station and Motel have been slowly dragged back into the woods, as nature reclaims the old site." The locals have been afraid to visit Barrow Hill since the terrifying events of the first game, but lately there have been rumours of "rituals and ceremonies at the derelict motor garage." So it's up to you to discover the truth, with help once again from "kooky amateur late-night DJ Emma Harry", who is worried about her teen friend Mia. Mia's brother Ben was among those who disappeared ten years earlier, and now she herself is acting strangely, causing Emma to worry that history may be repeating itself.

The obvious question for many longsuffering series fans will be "how long will we have to wait for THIS game?!" The good news is that it's not long at all, as both the original Barrow Hill and The Dark Path are due for Steam release on September 22nd. At least, that's what we're being told to expect.

To learn more about the game, visit the official website for additional details.



It's never a good thing when an acclaimed developer like Cing closes down, as happened back in 2010 when the popular Japanese studio was forced into bankruptcy. But the hidden upside is that you'll never keep good people down for long. Sure enough, several former Cing staff, including Hotel Dusk: Room 215 director Taisuke Kanasaki, are teaming up with Arc System Works to create Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories, which is due for release on Nintendo 3DS next month.

Chase stars "two gritty detectives whose sense of justice and raw instinct drive them to seek the truth." This dedication is put to the test when they receive an anonymous phone call about an explosion five years earlier. Initially declared an accident although "the circumstances surrounding the case were never fully explained", the caller claims the staged event was really premeditated murder, so the two detectives decide to reopen the case and investigate further. Naturally, this is only the start of a "complex narrative of mystery and intrigue as the Cold Case Unit searches for the truth."

One look at the game's early screenshots will surely seem familiar to any Cing fan, with its slightly stylized hand-painted graphics and text-heavy presentation. In order to succeed, you must "find leads by diving head first into old investigation notes, crime scene photos and eye witness reports as you put together all the pieces." You will also need to "interrogate persons of interest to see what they do (or don't) know", but you can't be reckless in your approach, as an "Interrogation Gauge" will deplete if you ask too many wrong questions, ending both the interview and the game. 

Created exclusively for the 3DS, Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories will be released for download in North America and Europe on the Nintendo eShop on October 13th. 



Text adventures may not be the big draw they once were, but their legacy is still alive and well in games like Event[0], a newly-released sci-fi adventure that involves using "natural language" with an artificial intelligence to succeed.

Event[0] casts players in the role of an astronaut stranded aboard a desolate spaceship called Nautilus. The only other crewmate is an "insecure and unstable AI entity named Kaizen." Rather than being just another rogue-AI-goes-nuts story, however, this game is all about building a personal relationship with Kaizen, with whom you "interact by typing messages using antiquated computer terminals." Only by utilizing the text-based interface to navigate Kaizen's fears will you "ultimately find the way back to Earth—while unraveling the cryptic history of the ship and the 1980s society from which it emerged."

At first glance, Event[0] may look like any other free-roaming 3D adventure, and indeed you will explore the ship, gathering clues and information and solving a variety of hacking puzzles along the way. But the heart of the game is your communication with Kaizen. An emotional being, Kaizen "reacts differently depending on its mood and the situation at hand. The ship, Nautilus, is essentially the AI computer’s body, and reacts to Kaizen’s mood by making different sounds, which gives the player subtle yet valuable clues." Each player can expect a unique experience, as Kaizen is programmed to procedurally generate "over two million lines of dialog and demonstrates a variety of different personalities, and communication responses, influenced by human input."

For a game that takes place 628,300,000 km from home, Event[0] managed to sneak up on us suddenly. The benefit to that is there's no need to wait any longer, as the game is available now for Windows and Mac through most major online distributors. To learn more about the game, pop on over to its official website.



If you, like us, managed to miss out on The Mystery of Haunted Hollow when it first released back in 2014, you not only have a second chance to get caught up but a good incentive to do so, as the sequel has just been released for iOS and Android platforms.

The original game dropped players into the town of Hollow with only vague memories of the past, determined to uncover any buried secrets and find your missing family while ignoring the warnings of a ghost. The Mystery of Haunted Hollow 2 picks up where its predecessor left off, with you arriving in the dreary village of Nightfall. The weather is ominous, the town "drenched in rain [as] thunder and lightning clap in the distance, making you feel more cautious as you trek down the long path." But you have no choice but to proceed if you are to finally discover the truth, beginning an investigation full of apparitions, "some of whom are friendly, others who have more sinister plans in mind."

Like its predecessor, The Mystery of Haunted Hollow 2 is a first-person slideshow-style adventure with photorealistic graphics. This time around, accompaned by all-new weather effects, you'll be exploring such eerie locations as a "haunted shack, an old barn, the massive secret library, a new chapel, a thrilling and dark asylum, an abandoned hotel, and the Old Manor, which has a surprise waiting in store." Along the way you'll need to scour carefully for clues and journey entries that will help piece together your lost memories, all the while solving any puzzles and riddles that stand in your way.

The Mystery of Haunted Hollow 2 represents the second and final installment in the series, and can be downloaded from the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play and Amazon for Android. The first game is available at all three retailers as well, including a complete free version for iOS for a very limited time. Both games have free "lite" demo versions available if you'd like to try before you buy.



Remember Dark City? The cult favourite sci-fi movie featured a place called Shell Beach that everyone wanted to visit but no one actually seemed able to reach. Well, Isoland may not quite be Shell Beach, but it's certainly inspired by it, and now anyone with an iOS device can book passage there.

Isoland, as its title suggests, is set on an isolated island whose inhabitants can't actually remember "how they got there or why they stay." Players assume the role of a researcher responding to a request for help from a friend. Upon your arrival, however, you "realize all too late that you, too, are now trapped." Although beautiful and seemingly peaceful from afar, the island conceals many secrets it doesn't want exposed. To piece together the truth behind the island, you will need to keep your wits about you and solve the many complex obstacles you encounter in your investigation.

Although described by indie Chinese developer RedFish Game Studio as being "in the vein of the original Myst", Isoland's aesthetic is anything but Myst-like, with hand-drawn graphics "made of crooked lines, off-kilter perspectives, and a muted color palette." The similarity comes in the form of its first-person perspective and varied puzzles that promise to be "often quite difficult" – so potentially difficult, in fact, that while hints will be "free after watching a short ad", actual puzzle solutions will be offered as in-app purchases.

All this brain teasing goodness is available only to iOS platform owners for now, as Isoland releases today exclusively on the App Store.



Like the red-shirt security officers on Star Trek, being a pioneer colonist on an alien planet in an adventure game is pretty much a death sentence. Whether that is true once again in Pulsetense Games' newly-released De-Void remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: something has gone seriously wrong on the distant planet Ancyra, and it'll be up to you to find out what.

As Elizabeth Woolgather, a Human Resources specialist for the company financing the outpost on Ancyra, you are sent to determine what caused the station to suddenly cease all communication. Once there, you discover that the crew has disappeared under mysterious circumstances – but not entirely, as "the station and its surroundings still echo with their thoughts and emotions." As you investigate the colony through the eyes of an A.I. cyborg named Wilco, you must interpret these memory fragments to piece together what happened. But expect "no easy answers", as the more you delve into the mystery, the more a "confrontation with a presence both ancient and impossibly vast becomes inevitable and unavoidable."

Described as a "story-driven meditative journey of exploration, investigation and discovery", De-Void will send players through a variety of crisp 3D locations, including "highly detailed space stations, alien forests, deserts, colony settlements and military installations." At each stop, you will encounter left-behind crew videos, audio and text logs that will gradually reveal a tale that "on the surface [...] is a tale of humanity lost in the depths of space, but beneath the surface lies a complex psychological story of conspiracy, betrayal, and madness."

If you're interested in boldly going where bad things have happened before, there's no need to wait, as De-Void is available now for Windows download on Steam and the Humble Store.