If you ever wondered how adventure games were born, there's a brand new one currently being hatched in an incubator in Spain. The game is Realm of the Turtle King, an episodic series set to debut early next year.
Realm of the Turtle King casts players in the role of Hero Neustadt, a "wannabe adventurer" whose truly adventurous grandfather disappeared 13 years earlier during an expedition in search of the "elusive Turtle King, a mythical land turtle." Legend has it that the "centuries-old animal, or Tu’i Malila in Tongan, carries a map leading to infinite wealth on its shield", and Hero's grandfather became obsessed with finding the treasure before mysteriously vanishing. Now 1930, Hero has graduated as an anthropologist from the university of Zürich, and he "rallies the remaining four members of the expedition, who are of age and communicate with homing pigeons", to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. This pursuit promises to take players "along several islands within the kingdom of Tonga and the Cook Islands, ultimately ending at the Valley of the Giants."
Early work-in-progress teaser trailer
With stylish graphics already on the display in the early screenshots, the game is described as a classic-styled, third-person adventure set in an "immersive, comic book-like world reminiscent of TinTin, with the light-heartedness of Monkey Island and the Indiana Jones games." Player choice will be a factor, as "certain decisions will determine how the story and character develop", and there will be more than one solution to many of the puzzles. The game is being developed using a point-and-click interface with both cursor control and touch in mind, as initial platforms will include PC, Android, and iOS devices.
Indie Dutch studio Mindbreaker Games are currently producing the game in Barcelona after being chosen to participate in an entrepreneurial videogame incubator program called GameBCN. As the only international developers involved in the initiative, the two-person team are able to work on the game full time and aim to complete the first of a planned five episodes by March (though the final number may be subject to change). The first episode will be released free of charge, likely concurrent with the second commercial episode. The game will be a "true serial with interconnected episodes" according to Mindbreaker, so the goal is to limit the wait between subsequent episodes to 3-5 months each.
For some background insight into Realm of the Turtle King and its unique production opportunity, check out the developer's blog to learn more.