If you think I'm writing about Crimes and Punishments just so I can link to the best Sherlock Holmes song ever written, My Dear Watson by Thee Headcoats, then you're half-right. I'm also writing about it because a massive new trailer has just released. In its 23 minutes of footage, Holmes doesn't say the word "elementary" once, but he does look a bit like a Victorian Matthew Mcconaughey, so that's something I suppose. This latest 'narrated gameplay trailer' contains commentary by the guy what did that Styx: Master of Shadows one, which makes sense as both games share a publisher.
Shadowgate was a brutally-hard Mac (and later NES) adventure game, where one failed puzzle could murder you and force you to start all over. The remake that Zojoi Studios has coming updates those visuals for the modern age, but keeps the puzzles difficult and the atmosphere dark. When I spoke to developer Karl Roelofs last month about the game's progress, the team still wasn't sure about its release date. Now that date is set, and Zojoi has exclusively revealed it to us, along with a trailer that shows off Shadowgate's commitment to its history.
File this one under: "please, please be good". The Australian-based Epiphany Games have just announced Majestic Nights, an '80s role-playing thriller about a world chock full of conspiracy and danger. The description is, in so many ways, my jam: containing phrases like "hidden intrigue", "loose cannon" and "brash 1980s". For now, though, the developers are covering up how the game will play—instead choosing to focus its announcement trailer on setting the mood.
"Is eating your friends the best way to stay alive, or just the easier?" That's one question posed in the description of this new Gods Will Be Watching launch trailer. It's a tough one to answer... that is, unless you're currently stood in a supermarket, or are within reaching distance of a snack. Gods Will Be Watching is a point 'n click puzzler based around such dilemmas, and the choices you make when faced with them.
Xing: The Land Beyond is a Myst-like adventure that hit it big on Kickstarter last year—"big" in the sense that it more than doubled its goal of $15,000. There's no doubt in my mind that one of the reasons for its success was the release of a demo in the middle of the campaign; it was clunky and unoptimized but did some interesting things with day/night transitions, and more importantly proved that the small indie team at White Lotus Interactive was actually making a game. Now an even better look at Xing has been released to the public in the form of the Oculus Rift-enabled "Rainforest" demo the studio showed off at E3.
Rather than review the finale alone, we're reviewing the entire season of The Wolf Among Us, which is sold as a package of five episodes. We've avoided major plot details, but some spoilers are unavoidable, especially for episodes one and two. Also, no, we don't know if there will be a second season, but we're calling this "season one" in the event that there is.
I don’t like hitting the ‘Q’ key very quickly to do things. In The Wolf Among Us, abusing the Star Trek antagonist—to win a fight, to transform into a wolf, to lift a car—ties the violence of sheriff Bigby Wolf to the strain on my finger. That interactive connection is a reason to include button mashing and quicktime events, but it’s not a great solution. I enjoyed all five episodes of The Wolf Among Us—a lot—but I’m disappointed that it holds onto some of the conventions established in The Walking Dead.
Double Fine boss Tim Schafer revealed last month that Grim Fandango, the cult classic LucasArts adventure, was being remastered and re-released for modern systems. Unfortunately, those systems were the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and not the PC. Schafer didn't leave us out in the cold completely, however, saying at the time that there would be "talk about other platforms soon," and today he was as good as his word.
The final episode of the first season of The Wolf Among Us is coming on July 8, and to mark the moment Telltale Games has released a brand-new "Cry Wolf" promotional trailer. But consider yourself warned—there are spoilers.
New indie studio Variable State announces Viriginia, a Twin Peaks-inspired "first-person interactive drama"
Virginia follows a pair of FBI agents investigating the disappearance of a young boy in the early 1990s. There's more to it than just that, however: Taking cues from popular TV series of the era like Twin Peaks and The X-Files, it promises a damn fine tale of the sort that's never been seen before.
Devolver Digital has announced that Deconstructeam's Gods Will Be Watching, a "point-and-click thriller" about ethical dilemmas and tough choices in a nasty, brutish world, will be coming later this month. And for those who doubt the "nasty and brutish" part, it's also released a new gameplay trailer in which a man chops off somebody's arm with an axe.
Oh sure, the '20s may sound like a time of glamour and romanticism, but there were drawbacks. The great hats and sharp suits hide a nightmare world of internet-less boredom. Why, you couldn't even pass the hours with a cosy point-'n-click adventure game. An adventure like A Golden Wake, for instance, which will be the next game published by the Blackwell series' creators Wadjet Eye Games.
I really wanted to fight wizards as an eight-year-old. I watched my older brother play Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, but I was far too young to join them as they adventured through castles and battled dragons. So when my brother sat me down in front of the NES version of Shadowgate, it felt like I was finally getting an adventure of my own. A terrifying, difficult adventure, where one wrong click meant instant death.
Twenty-five years later, the original developers are bringing Shadowgate back, this time to Steam. Developer Zojoi has reimagined what standing in front of the living castle should feel like, adding a (slightly) modern interface to the same punishing adventure gameplay of the original. Ahead of its summer release, I spoke to design director Karl Roelefs about what makes a modern Shadowgate, and why the team used illustrations instead of 3D models.
Tale of Tales is a two-person development team known for making some very unusual games—interactive screensavers about magical forest animals with human faces to peppy, or abstract arcade sex adventures. Calling the work "experimental" is putting it mildly, but it's also oddly compelling if you're into that sort of thing. I am, so I'm pretty excited about Sunset, a narrative-driven game set during a violent revolution in 1970s South America that hit Kickstarter today.
Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is on display at E3 2014, and features editor Wes Fenlon got a first look at the Walking Dead developer's newest game. Here, Wes talks to Telltale president Kevin Bruner about how the studio started collaborating with Borderlands creator Gearbox Software, and how the team switches up the mood from zombie survival to sci-fi comedy.
Adventure game fans rejoice! Tim Schafer has confirmed that Grim Fandango, the beloved LucasArts classic, is getting remastered and re-released for a whole new generation of gamers. Unfortunately, this news was announced at Sony's E3 2014 press event, along with the, erm, grim news that the remastered edition is, for now, exclusive to Sony's systems.
When you're a respected detective like Sherlock Holmes, your opinion carries a certain degree of weight. If you're going to accuse someone of foul play, you'd better be right. Because if you're not, somebody is probably going to suffer for it. Crimes and Punishments, Focus Home Interactive's new Sherlock Holmes games, promises rather more serious consequences for getting it wrong, as its new E3 trailer shows.
Detective games have always been difficult to pull off. Mysteries are about fluidity of meaning—intuition, third options, non-binary solutions to binary-seeming problems. Most games are binary by their nature; you're right or wrong, you win or you lose. In this regard, Murdered: Soul Suspect sets a high bar for itself. It's an adventure game about a detective, Ronan O'Connor, who is killed in the game's opening moments. As a ghost, he uses spectral powers to investigate crime scenes in the hopes of solving his own murder. The challenge of creating an interactive mystery is augmented by a protagonist who can possess people and listen to their thoughts, walk through walls, and touch objects to see their history.
Being a baby is weird. My mom keeps jamming her nose in my face to tell me things I can’t possibly understand, and the most I can do in response is bobble my head around and paw at the space in front of me. When I’m freed from her totalitarian affection, my bowed little legs toddle alongside the shadow of an oversized head, awkwardly navigating a world designed for people who are much bigger than I am. And then an ugly little teddy bear starts talking to me. Maybe this is why we don’t remember early childhood.
We're careful to avoid details, but this review contains minor spoilers for The Wolf Among Us episode four and the episodes preceding it. If you love to be surprised, play before reading.
The Wolf Among Us’ penultimate episode is the tenderest, loneliest, and most gruesome so far. It moves fast, opening with gory button-mashing (not for the squeamish), then sprinting through the judgment of Fabletown’s downtrodden before getting to the heart of the series’ big bad problem. It only pauses briefly to light a Huff n' Puff, and closes without resolution or cliffhanger, but with another drag of poison before everything that’s been set in motion collides. It’s more like the first half of a TV two-parter than a standalone episode, but the shrinking wait time between episodes excuses that—if the feast is on its way soon, I'm happy to set the table.
I've still not played The Wolf Among Us, because, as with everything episodic, I prefer to gorge on it in a single, sickening display of lavish overindulgence. By which I mean I'm waiting for the series to end. As a result, I'm not exactly sure what's happening in Telltale's latest batch of screenshots, released in preparation for the as-yet-undated fourth episode. Is Bigby angry at the meat—perhaps as part of some shock vegetarian subplot—or is that facial expression reserved for some unseen meat-adjacent character?