It's been nearly 30 years since we last saw Laura Bow, but she looks like she hasn't aged a day. In fact, the classic Sierra heroine has been given a serious makeover for an all-new adventure by indie developer NineZyme Entertainment, who have just pulled back the curtain on Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex.
While story details are sparse, the game will once again star the eponymous heroine first designed by Roberta Williams back in 1989 for The Colonel's Bequest. The intrepid reporter for the New York Daily News Tribune finds herself swept up in another unexpected mystery when a "mysterious package" arrives at the office. Now "an unlikely chain of events sends Laura Bow off on the biggest story that the little newspaper has ever seen," an adventure that will include "a long journey, an elaborate event, a life changing invention, and many dangerous motives for murder."
Perhaps surprisingly for a return to a classic series, The Mechanical Codex will forsake the pixel art of the first two games and opt instead for full 3D. According to the developers, at heart the game is "still a classic point and click" but will blend in more modern features as well, such as camera transitions that "focus on the important aspects of interaction at any given time," including the reactions of people Laura is speaking to during conversation.
As always with resurrected classics, the elephant in the room is the matter of IP rights. In this case, NineZyme has approached Activision about the game, who for now has neither refused nor committed to licensing the property without seeing more concrete details. To that end, the indie developer is currently working on a self-financed demo that they hope to have finished by next spring or summer. If the response to that is favourable, we could be seeing Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex on Windows, Mac and iOS devices within another two years, perhaps followed by Android and console ports further down the line.
A lot still needs to go right for this project to come to fruition, but if you'd like to follow its progress, be sure to drop by the developer's website to learn more.