Most of us weren't born early enough to witness the pioneering of American animation during the early 1900s. Classics such as Steamboat Willie, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat brightened many faces troubled by the Great Depression with a distinctive, bouncy style—a humble hand-drawn origin for the richly colored CGI of today's films. As games reflect the kind of art we enjoy in our culture, I'm glad for the extra attention given to Fleish & Cherry, a Greenlit puzzler themed after Fleischer-esque cartoons with a tale of rescue, jealousy, and obligatory slapstick humor.
Well, this is a review I never thought I’d be writing. When we last saw Tex - a would-be Philip Marlowe, born a hundred years too late into a Blade Runner world where day is night and mutants are the latest minority - it was being unceremoniously shot in the cliffhanger ending of his last case, Overseer. Endings don’t get more agonising. With Kickstarter help though, the old-school PI is back, along with 3D environments that I’m still irritated so few other games have ever tried, and full-screen FMV sequences filmed against a greenscreen that may feel more dated than Tex’s insistence on owning a fax machine in 2050, but in the most charming possible way. Besides, it wouldn't be a Tex game without them.
I swear, Ubisoft, if anything happens to that dog, I'll... er, well probably just a have a little cry about it. I bet that's exactly what they want, too, the monsters. Valiant Hearts: The Great War may be a puzzle-based adventure game, but, as you can see from the tone of this new trailer, the character-led look at World War 1 won't be afraid to play with your emotions when it releases on June 25th.
Poor Larry Laffer. Few characters have ever been so misunderstood or unfairly looked down on than Al Lowe's perpetual but loveable loser, thanks to a couple of basic misconceptions about the series—that the Leisure Suit Larry games are sex games rather than comedy games about sex, and that Larry himself is some kind of sex monster, rather than a guy who spent at least his first trilogy specifically looking for love. Really. No fewer than three times is he happy to settle down after finding Miss Right. The whole 'ultimate pervert' thing comes far more from marketing than the action in the actual games.
Indie developer Digital Eel has released the third of its roguelike space adventure Infinite Space series, Sea of Stars, to Steam Early Access. A single-player strategy game with turn-based movement but real-time combat, the move to Steam follows the developer's developer successful Kickstarter funding campaign from 2013.
Were you looking forward to Tex Murphy's grand return to the sci-fi gumshoeing circuit on April 22nd (AKA 'tomorrow')? Well I have some bad news: Tesla Effect has been delayed to May 7th, for reasons of...actually, no reason was given, but I'm assuming it has something to do with an FMV dame, or a shiny MacGuffin. It usually does.
Jane Jensen's Moebius arrived only yesterday, and already another Kickstarter funded adventure game is on the verge of completion. At this rate, we're going to have to stop throwing a party every time that it happens. The second episode of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is due out later today. It'll be delivered as a free update to the game, transforming the existing episode into a fully formed story of stolen paintings and Templar intrigue.
To celebrate/promote the fact its new game Hack 'n' Slash is headed for Steam Early Access and playable at PAX East this weekend, Double Fine has released this trailer. It's a little heavy on the Lonely Island-style skit/song stuff and light on actual gameplay, but still as charming and whimsical as you've probably come to expect from the house that Schafer built.
This review references the events of episodes one and two. I've been careful not to reveal any major plot points from episode three, but some details may be inferred.
Most game characters are vessels for the player to pour input into, but Telltale is at its finest when it reaches out and pours its characters' dilemmas back into us. In my favorite moments of its branching stories, the protagonist's conflicting motives become my conflicting motives—I don't enter the correct input to decide what happens next, I struggle to do what's right and live with the fallout. After a disappointing second episode, The Wolf Among Us nails this design in the third.
I’d cracked the puzzle: found the to-do list, cleaned the coffee machine and located the Warden’s mug. To complete the memory I just had to place it on his desk, which I did, expectantly. Bugger all happened. Somewhere in Ether One’s story I’d skipped a line, too dense to connect the clues I was given. I felt daft.
Ether One’s lateral challenges are not Myst’s. Making sense out of Myst demands the mind of a prodigy and a diet of LSD. When Ether One has you stumped, you’re missing the obvious. For an adventure puzzle game that’s the Holy Grail.
Upcoming RPG Divinity: Original Sin is now in beta, developer Larian Studios announced yesterday. And from the looks of the game's latest feature update, there have been some hefty steps taken towards its Spring 2014 release window.
Er, this is awkward. This Episode 3 trailer for The Wolf Among Us starts with a spoiler warning for previous chapters. Telltale's Fables adaptation is currently sat in my Steam library's ever-growing backlog list, and so I've decided not to watch it. I really hope it is a legitimate trailer I'm posting, and not say a specialist "adult" retelling of the Big Bad Wolf. That would be embarrassing.
Sad Update: I've been informed that Moebius' secretive organisation is no longer called F.I.S.T. It is now called F.I.T.A. I don't know how to process this information.
Jane Jensen's Moebius is out soon, and to coincide with the occasion there is now a Jane Jensen's demo to keep us Jane Jensen's occupied in the meantime. The demo gives us the opportunity to step into the sharp-suited, beanpole body of one Malachi Rector (not pictured above), who just might be the best-named game character this side of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's intemperate villain 'Hot Coldman'. Expect to click on things, talk to people, and save a handsome man from hanging in order recruit him to your globe-hopping mystery squad - it's all in a day's work at the following link.
Thanks to my eerie psychic powers, I've been able to divine a release date for The Blackwell Epiphany. According to my spooky vision - and to the Wadjet Eye blog, which I was coincidentally reading at the time - the final game of the Blackwell adventure series will be released on April 24th. The spirits are whispering something else, too. Something about the existence of the launch trailer that I am watching right now. You know, sometimes I scare myself.
Telltale have released a trailer for the second episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2. It's called A House Divided, and will be a heart-warming tale of how, despite seemingly insurmountable differences, a group of people come together in a spirit of harmony and friendship. Oh wait, no, not that. The other thing. With the pettiness and regrets and monstrous retribution in a world where societal collapse leads to bitter, terrible survival.
The Blackwell Epiphany was technically announced a year ago, when Wadjet Eye's Dave Gilbert posted about it on the Adventure Game Studio forums. One of the benefits of game design, though, is that you can mostly make up the pre-release teasers as you go. Hence now, and the game's official announcement, alongside a first trailer for the game. Both accompany the reveal that this will be the final game in the excellent adventure series.
I didn’t so much play The LEGO Movie Videogame as I did gently prod it toward a conclusion. I pushed the buttons that appeared on screen to automatically transform scattered pieces into spaceships and trampolines, performed mindless quick time events, and beat up enemies, though there was never a reason to use anything but the jump attack.
Kentucky Route Zero act three is "significantly more involved" than previous acts, has no firm release date
From the outside, the Cardboard Computer had appeared dormant. The developers of lovely episodic adventure Kentucky Route Zero have been quiet on the status of Act III, refusing to divulge the episode's release status. Now, in a recent progress update on its progress, the studio has explained their silence, noting any previously planned launch dates had always been missed. As a result, the team are following game development trick #32: if you never announce a release date, it can never be delayed.
So far in Rust, I've encountered rock-wielding bandits, malicious architects building one-room death arenas, and a cult of naked men. Poke around the community for a bit, and you'll find more good times in a game with such a sheer degree of freedom. Those flashes of spontaneity are just a small part of why Rust is really cool. Its success is, by now, not a big surprise after a pretty strong early access alpha and taking the top spot for survival RPG player activity, but today marks another notch in Rust's handcrafted leather belt: it's sold over 1 million copies, as tweeted today by Facepunch founder Garry Newman.