Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made—an epic journey through a world that meshes Casablanca with Día de Muertos, as brilliantly imagined by Tim Schafer. First released in 1998, it was just about the peak of storytelling in the genre, but it always had one huge problem: the controls. But a new mod may solve those problems, changing the game's controls from keyboard-based "tank" movements to a point-and-click interface.
What if a game knew exactly how much it was stressing you out? With its biofeedback interface, indie adventure game Nevermind wants to put your own heart rate to the test. The horror project has launched a Kickstarter to move the game from academic test project to fully-developed commercial release.
Murder, prostitution, black magic and cigarettes are the four staples of '80s New York Fabletown. The Wolf Among Us is an adventure game about once-idealistic fairytale archetypes clashing with contemporary urban decay. Toad of Toad Hall, the Big Bad Wolf and their compatriots are ghettoised, poor and distanced by eons-old grudges. It's a great setting for a hardboiled detective story.
The Wolf Among Us is nicely poised. We know the main players. We know the rules of the run-down New York district that houses the ancient fables. We know that Bigby - the big bad wolf - has a violent past, and plenty of reasons to relapse. Cue the latest trailer, which layers themes of interrogation and torture on top of murder, and shows Bigby in an increasingly fractious state. The Jekyll/Hyde man/monster conundrum is a familiar one, but I love the idea of guiding such a character through that internal conflict. Can I redeem him? Do I want to? These are the questions I ask as the video moves into dark underground chambers below fabletown.
Double Fine's split-in-half and then split-in-half-again adventure Broken Age will be released next week for its Kickstarter backers - or its first act will, anyway. Tim Schafer revealed as much on twitter over the course of a couple of tweets, which also promised that the game's "public release date will be announced then too". The Steam Early Access release - which, too, contains only Act 1 - is expected to appear a couple of weeks after backers get their hands on it, while the full, two-act-long game is due sometime this Spring. It is a slightly confusing situation, yes.
Sherlock Holmes, as far as I know, has never sent the wrong man to jail, never asked Watson to shoot the wrong hellhound or, conversely, ever played any of the right notes on the violin - he is, as far as his deductive skills are concerned, infallible. That's why Crimes and Punishments, Frogwares' latest Sherlock Holmes game, is so intriguing. As the titular detective, you'll comb through the evidence, interview suspects and accuse the potential perpetrators yourself, in the seven different cases that comprise the game. Do a slap-dash job and you could send the wrong person to the gallows; even once you've determined whodunnit, you may be able to arrange a more compassionate outcome, as revealed in the following trailer.
Listen up, fans of intriguing storytelling, because I have a great game for you. Oh hang on, I should have been more specific. I’m looking for fans of intriguing storytelling who also enjoy cars that drive like shopping trolleys with a stick jammed in one wheel, intermittent game crashing, an excess of QTEs and some frankly tedious game mechanics.
I am Clementine. You are Clementine. In the second season of Telltale's The Walking Dead, we are all Clementine. But what kind of Clementine will we choose to be? The Clementine who trusts no one and does whatever it takes to survive, alone, in the unforgiving new world order of zombies, and assholes who will inevitably become zombies? Or the Clementine who wants to find a new family, who believes there are still good people walking among the dead?
"Himmler sent a load of archaeologists to try and find the Holy Grail in the castle and clearly they failed - or we assume they failed."
Broken Sword creator Charles Cecil and I are talking about the research that went into the latest instalment, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse. There is a chance we were supposed to be talking about polygons and game mechanics in the Kickstarter-funded project but the interview ended up addressing the nature of personal belief and truth as they relate to Cecil's latest adventure.
The Serpent’s Curse begins with a murder and the theft of a painting by a pizza delivery man. In attempting to unravel the mystery, series heroes George and Nico must pick through a conspiracy involving the Catholic church and Gnosticism. Take into account the art gallery murders, Catholicism, apocryphal literature and you'd be forgiven for thinking, "So, it's like the Da Vinci Code, then." But Cecil, amongst other things, worked as a consultant on the Da Vinci Code video game having researched the subject.
I've just completed The Stanley Parable for the eleventh time. I'll avoid spoilers, and instead say that in the 15 or so minutes it took to finish my last playthrough, I laughed, felt a pang of sadness, and, more than anything, was genuinely surprised. Even after ten previous attempts - more if you count those from the Half-Life 2 mod that this full release is expanded from - I was being shown something new. The Stanley Parable isn't a long game, but it is a broad one.
If you've played that mod, I can save you some time. TSP is broader, denser, smarter, funnier, darker. It's a wonderfully twisted maze of consequence, packed with jokes and surreal flourishes. 90%
For everyone else, let's begin again.
The premise of Brothers – communicated entirely through theatrical gestures and conversations in an untranslated fantasy language – is as affecting and uncomplicated as the journey that follows. A dying father sends his two sons to the other end of the world to search for a cure for his mystery illness. You must guide the brothers through a beautiful but monstrous fantasy world full of dark creatures and contrived puzzles.
Night in the Woods burst onto Kickstarter just recently to swift Twitter applause, and has received $35,000 of its $50k target already. Watch the video, and you'll quickly understand why. It's a new exploration game starring a cat called Mae who returns to her hometown to discover that things have gone a bit Mulder and Scully. There's something dark in the woods, and Mae gains access to an astral plane that offers new angles on a town she thought she knew well.
The Kickstarter trailer does a great job of striking the mood they're going for, has some terrific music, and brings youthful nihilism and flying magic fish together in one adventure game. FINALLY.
Amanita Design's stunning adventure games have become inseparable from their beautifully jazzy, experimental soundtracks, provided by one of the very best in the business, Tomas Dvorak (AKA Floex). Now, a few details of the long-awaited Samorost 3 have come to light, courtesy of an Igloo Mag interview with the man himself. The full-length sequel will feature three different planets, each with their own "needs" - needs that Dvorak is meeting with a multi-part soundtrack that may be his most ambitious yet.
Remember that Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse kickstarter? Would a link refresh your memory? Like a lot of things these days - even some kid's Bah Mitzvah, I heard - Broken Sword 5 has a Gamescom trailer, and it's...well, it isn't quite Broken Sword as I remember it.
Gods Will Be Watching, a product of April's Ludum Dare 26 game jam, has achieved full funding through Indiegogo for the development of a "bigger, but deeper" version of the point and click, pixel-art adventure game. Spanish game studio Deconstructeam had set a goal of €8,000 for the project, but has seen nearly double that amount roll in with nine days left in the funding period.
Bonnie. Russell. Shel. Wyatt. Vince. Five survivors, five stories set in a zombie apocalypse. And, I suspect, a bit of a trap; a clever title so that if I say "400 Days isn't very long," Telltale's writers can instantly snap back "Are you kidding? It's a year and a bit!" and dance the winner dance all the way back to San Rafael.
Luckily, while it only works out as an hour or so of The Walking Dead goodness, it feels longer - five fifteen-ish minute vignettes that hit the ground running and waste little time from there. The disadvantage of this is exactly what you'd expect, that dipping so briefly into these lives doesn't allow for the same connection as hanging out with the same survivors for several months. By cutting right to the point though, Telltale gets to explore a much wider range of stories - and more importantly, characters - than Lee and friends, whose dilemmas had to be designed to last and ripple over a whole series.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, we explore the eerily deserted, ethereal landscape of Myst.
With six million copies sold, making it the best-selling game of all time until The Sims came along, there’s absolutely no arguing Myst’s place in PC gaming history. It set a new benchmark for multimedia and 3D rendering. It inspired many people who would never have touched a game to give it a try, sucking them into our world. It gave printer manufacturers something to bundle with their products.
Myst, in a word, is a legend.
I hate it. I hate it so much.
The second episode of Cardboard Computer's sorta-adventure-game has finally released, only a month or so after it was originally supposed to. The devs marked the occasion by shouting from the rooftops and releasing a series of fireworks - oh, they issued a quiet tweet instead. If you own the game on Steam, you should find that it's automatically been updated to include its second act; if you bought it via other means, you've likely just been handed a download link. Either way, the subterranean Kentucky Route Zero has just been excavated a little more, though it's probably just as opaque as ever.
We've been here before. Or have we? A troubled writer and his family travel to an isolated coastal residence so he can get some work done. But the summer home has a secret, namely a spectral being that has the power to change the lives of its houseguests. That's the set-piece for The Novelist, a recently announced indie game from designer Kent Hudson (hat tip, joystiq).
The Wolf Among Us is Telltale's episodic adaptation of the Fables comic book, starring none other than The Big Bad Wolf (here known as the slightly less conspicuous Bigby Wolf), a chain-smoking detective keeping the peace in New York's secret fairytale community. We already knew that it was a prequel to the comic, launching this summer, but now we have a few more tasty morsels of information, accompanied by a handful of rather striking screenshots.