Sunday, March 31, 2013

Play As Tim Schafer Again In Host Master Deux

Host Master Deux: Quest for Identity is the free flash sequel to 2009's free flash classic Host Master and the Conquest of Humor. Like the original game, you control Double Fine studio head Tim Schafer himself, as he solves puzzles backstage at the Game Developers Conference in order to get on stage so he can host. This time, the game ditches the classic LucasArts inspired interface of the original for a platform adventure interface inspired by Double Fine's own The Cave. Like the original game, this game features multiple endings (and their humor is among the best part of the adventure).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Telltale's Fables Is Now Called The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us, Telltale's game based on Bill Willingham's Fables comics has been revealed. It is a prequel to the comics, and will be in canon with them. It follows Fables' Big Bad Wolf, Bigby Wolf, who is sheriff of a secret hidden community in New York City that protects characters who have been exiled from fairy tales. Bigby Wolf must protect those fairy tale characters, including a chain smoking member of the Three Little Pigs and a car stealing Mr. Toad. It will be released for Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this summer.

Also, The Key Party is a teaser website for Telltale's upcoming Poker Night 2, which like the original will feature characters crossing over from different franchises in order to play a game of poker together. The keys revealed have been DeSoto keys for Sam from Sam & Max, the big knife for Brock Samson from Venture Bros., the Necronomicon for Ash from Evil Dead, Claptrap's eye from Borderlands 2, and a companion cube for GLaDOS from Portal (the latter two being in the game instead of Handsome Jack and Chell as previously assumed).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Double Fine Adventure Is Now Called Broken Age

Broken Age is the final name for Double Fine Adventure, Tim Schafer's Kickstarter funded adventure game that started the whole adventure game crowd funding craze.

It's a story of a boy and a girl living parallel lives. The girl has been chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster--but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but he wants to break free to lead adventures and do good in the world.

If you missed the kickstarter, the game can be pre-ordered from its website. You can either preorder the game (DRM free) for $15 for Windows, Mac, and Linux and get access to the beta once it's . Or pre-order for $30 to become a backer. Backer status includes the game, private backer-only discussion forums on Double Fine's message boards, all past and ongoing episodes of 2 Player Productions' documentary series following the development of the game, a wealth of development materials from the Double Fine team, a digital soundtrack, and beta access once available.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bundle In A Box: Cerebral Bundle

Bundle In A Box once again is offering a bundle with adventure games (although this time the bundle includes non-adventures as well), with the Cerebral Bundle.

For a minimum of $1.99 USD, you'll get the RPG adventure Phantasmaburbia and the graphical text adventure Necrotic Drift Deluxe, as well as the puzzle games Dédale De Luxe and Vampires!, and the romantic life simulation game Dinner Date.

If you pay more than the average (currently just under $6 USD), you also get the adventure games J.U.L.I.A, I Get This Call Every Day, Cognition Episode 1: The Hangman, and Reversion: Episode 2: The Meeting.

If you also want to pick up Cognition episode 2 as part of a bundle, you can do so at The Indie Royale Thoughtful Bundle.  There aren't any other adventure games in that bundle, but it does have the physics based driving game Snuggle Truck by Curse of Monkey Island artist Bill Tiller, as well as the platformer Snapshot, the free-falling game Aaaaa! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, and the tower defense game Fieldrunners. The Thoughtful Bundle is available for a current minimum of just under $5.50 USD (or $8 if you also want the music album Night Animals by Bright Primate).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dominique Pamplemousse Gets a Release Date

Dominique Pamplemousse, the film noir inspired musical adventure game by Deirdra Kiai, will be released on April 1 for Windows, Mac, and iPad.

However, those who backed the game on Indiegogo (at a tier high enough to get the game) can get the game two weeks early, as it's available to Indiegogo backers right now.  Check your e-mail, you should have already received a message with a link to the game.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mage's Initiation On Kickstarter

The Mage's Initiation Kickstarter is underway by Himalaya Studios, the company behind the Al Emmo games (and the commercial branch of AGDInteractive, who was responsible for the King's Quest I-III and Quest for Glory II fan remakes).

Mage's Initiation will be a combination adventure game and RPG, inspired by the Quest for Glory series from Sierra.  A demo is available for the game for those curious about how the game will play (but keep in mind that the demo is a work in progress, and does not necessarily reflect the final project).

If you wish to support the crowdfunding campaign, go to the The Mage's Initiation Kickstarter, pick a tier and make your pledge today.  There's still 5 days left in the campaign as of this writing, so there's still time left (you can also pledge through Paypal as well).

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Walking Dead Season Two, Fables Release Dates

Telltale's The Walking Dead Season Two and Fables have received release dates in an Eurogamer interview with Telltale CEO Dan Connors.

The first episode of Fables will be releasing in "the next couple of months".  While, the first episode of The Walking Dead Season Two will be releasing this Autumn (Autumn in the US, the third quarter of 2013).

Those who can't wait for more of Telltale's The Walking Dead won't have to wait until the end of this year though, since writer Gary Whitta has revealed in an interview on IGN's Up At Noon that there will be more The Walking Dead playable content from Telltale before Season Two is released.

In additional Telltale Games news, the iOS version of Back to the Future: The Game was updated last week to a universal app with support for iPhone and iPod Touch in addition to the iPad.

Also, there's a rumor that Poker Night 2 is coming soon, since Team Fortress 2 items have shown up in the latest update with a PN2 prefix, and a Poker Night 2 entry has appeared in The Steam Database and as a related Steam group. The items that appeared in the update are Sam's hat from Sam & Max, Handsome Jack's mask from Borderlands 2, Ash's crown from Evil Dead, Chell's boots from Portal, and Brock Samson's knife from Venture Bros.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fester Mudd: The Curse of the Gold Episode 1 Review

Paavo Härkönen of Prank, together with Josh Mandel of Replay Games (and formerly Sierra fame), have released the first episode of a three episode comedy adventure series set in the American Old West. The game is self-described as a tribute to classic adventure games. Does it live up to the predecessors it emulates?

This episode opens up with Fester Mudd receiving a letter from his brother claiming that he found gold and asking Fester to come to see him in the town of Loamsmouth. When he gets there, he discovers that finding his brother is not as easy as he thought it would be, and that many of the townsfolk stand in the way of his discovery. The game is similar to game series such as Monkey Island, in that it doesn't accurately represent the time period that it's set in. The game contains many anachronistic items that are used as visual jokes, such as electrical lights and bottle machines. The first puzzle you encounter is an anachronistic one on it's own, which is familiar to our time but not the 1800's in which the game is set. This is all done for comedy value, and like The Secret of Monkey Island before it, works quite nicely.

The humor is done well. There aren't any laugh out loud moments, but there are times that will make you smile. Like Josh Mandel's classics, a lot of the jokes come from the description of objects in the game. There are also a lot of funny references to the classics that inspired the game, such as the aforementioned Monkey Island series as well as the Josh Mandel (and Al Lowe) Sierra western adventure Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. The story itself is interesting, but it's more of a set-up for what's to come as not much is revealed yet.

The game is definitely classic in its aesthetics. The interface contains a verb bar and inventory at the bottom of the screen in the style of the classic LucasArts adventures from the early 1990's. The graphic style is also reminiscent of those games, drawn in a low-resolution pixelized style that is reminiscent of that time period. Like those games, the characters themselves aren't very detailed, but the backgrounds are. The background art manages to be pleasing, showing just enough detail without being over crowded. The game does feature the occasional close-up, which allows for a more detailed view of the characters (mostly the main character, Fester Mudd). The character portraits are done in a cartoon style which fit the backgrounds and the general tone of the game just fine.

The puzzles in this game also more closely resemble the classics than games of today. The puzzles aren't quite as hard as the games of the past, but they aren't easy either. The game does have some puzzles that can only be opened up after an event is triggered and you re-enter the area later. This is all done logically, and fit well within the game's story. There aren't any dead ends, and thankfully there are no small inventory items that require pixel hunting. There aren't any deaths either, so you are free to experiment at your leisure. This was nice, as there were a few puzzles that I left for a while, explored the other areas of the game, and came back later to solve with a fresh mind.

The game's music is done well, also in a classic style. There aren't any pieces of music that stuck in my mind after playing, but they fit the atmosphere of the game nicely. The game doesn't have any voice acting, however. The dialog is all displayed as pure text. There are some moments where some of the game's dialog is presented as sound effects though, such as dogs barking. I never found myself missing the lack of voice however, since it went with the classic theme the game was presenting. The humor more than made up for the lack of voice in my opinion.

The first episode of Fester Mudd is a great start to what is shaping up to be a very entertaining adventure game series. The art style is in a well-done classic pixelized style, the game is funny, and the puzzles are fun and challenging (without being too much so). There's not much revealed of the story yet in this episode, as it's all a set up for future episodes, but what is there is well done and interesting. The game's music fits the atmosphere well. The lack of voice work may put off some, but the humor makes up for the lack of voice in my opinion. I recommend this game to any one who is a fan of the classic adventure games from the early 1990's.  

Final Verdict:

4 out of 5

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold Episode 1 Is Out Now

The first episode of the three part western adventure game by Prank ltd. and published by Replay (the company that is also publishing the upcoming Leisure Suit Larry 1 remake) is out now for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can get Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode 1: A Fistful of Pocket Lint at Replay's store for $9.99 USD.