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Adventure Games Thread 2021 - The Future of Fine Leather Jackets

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Teaser trailer for The Big Hollow, a murder mystery adventure game by Krams Design (the makers of Anna's Quest). Not too much information to go on atm but I know some liked their previous game and I really dig the animation and character designs of this one.
The Big Hollow is a mystery game set in the sleepy mining town of Culditch Creek where it's up to you to solve the murder of the young and seemingly innocent Josie-May. Play as Logan, a woman with a mysterious connection to the ill-fated girl, arriving on the one year anniversary of the murder and determined to finish the investigation which has been suspiciously abandoned.

  • Follow your leads: travel to numerous shady locations throughout Culditch Creek and meet many different residents to uncover new evidence.
  • Create new leads: piece together new evidence, including audio recordings, photographs, security tapes and more! New leads means more places to explore and more people to question...



More information on the developer's website
.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I backseat played Call of the Sea this weekend. From the very first moment it was clear to us what was it about and how the story would have ended. Nice visuals, but it's basically a short walking simulator with very few easy puzzles - and an horrible one that we looked up on the web 'cause we were annoyed. We still don't get it, but fuck those murals. Anyway, it's a very bland and light take on Lovecraft mythos, feels like the author wasn't sure about going with horror or children novel. Lots of things don't make sense at all in the context of Lovecraft's work. And why the hell those portals teleport her and change her back and forth from human to fishman - and why the hell did she need a boat to get to the last part when she can literally swim like a fish.
I hated the main character and her incessant babble. Dear Norah, can you please shut the fuck up for a minute? No need to overexpose everything and drown me in tautologic statements.
What I hated the most is that you can only walk along roads, feels like you're on rails and detracts a lot from the feeling of exploration that the game COULD have had.
In the end... didn't like, didn't hate. Good to look at, not so good to play.

Now I'm playing Encodya. Mixed feelings, mostly positive though. The biggest issue is the pixel hunting. Man, fuck that pixel hunting. And worse, it's by design. The dev clearly thinks that pixel hunting is a good thing, judging by the difficulty setting and how space bar only lights up items you can pick up. Also I really, REALLY hate having only 3 save slots - WHY THE FUCK? WHY? It bothers me so much - and not being able to rebind the keys, I could have rebinded the highlight on the mouse wheel button and played with only one hand.
On the good sides, the main characters are adorable, feels like they toned down a bit (but still not enough) the references compared to what I remember of the demo, the art style is really good and the city is beautifully designed. Great cartoony Blade Runner vibes and the story so far is quite interesting. Also I really like the nanny bot voice, it's really good and consistent. I'm definitely liking it, but man, fuck pixel hunting.
EDIT: Forgot to add, I also dislike the item interface. The only redeeming quality of a simple "non-scumm" interface like this is immediacy. And instead, you have to click the item in the inventory to select it, and click it again to take it out. Which is kind of counter intuitive and makes me waste clicks. Plus, it also has the classic issue when you "lose" the selected item after you try to use it on something. Same as pixel hunting, I'm positive it's by stupid design.
 
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Good grief talk about high effort post (y) :messenger_ok:

Used to play what I had available in the 80s and 90s, which was Larry, Fate of Atlantis and Monkey Island and such.
Then I kinda sorta stopped playing adventure games.

I tried Thimbleweed Park on switch but it was very slow to me so I abandoned it.
 

GreenAlien

Member

  • Explore an illustrated mountain town to collect word charms
  • Use those words to alter the story
  • Use those words to make friends
  • Use those words to weave the fabric of fate itself
  • Open the magical book at any time to go back and change your decisions
  • Beautifully illustrated art by Ilse Harting
  • Original soundtrack by award winning musician Matt Meyer

There is a demo on steam. (~40m)

From the Kickstarter FAQ
Maturity level?
Though Beacon Pines may look like a completely innocent game, it does deal with some mature themes including: missing persons, bullying, and death. There are also a few words in the game that some might find objectionable. Notably, the words "shit" and "ass" appear in the game.

How long:
We would like the final game to have a playtime somewhere around 4-6 hours.

Might turn out good :messenger_smiling:
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Been playing through a lot of demoes for this latest Steam festival. Was checking out the indie offerings for 3D platformers (devastating save for a few gems) and of course I played some adventure games.

The coolest one I played (so far) was Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries. It's a murder mystery adventure game where you solve the death of your father with the ghost of Irish poet & playwright Oscar Wilde. There's a constant stream of sardonic dry humor in the games writing and it's actually well done, feels appropriate to the period and setting. The female protagonist & ghost detective team reminded me of The Blackwell series which is appreciated. There's also a somewhat unique comic book puzzle mechanic where you piece together your thoughts by combining pictures and ordering them in the correct sequence. This was a game that I had seen once before digging through the indie crates and completely forgotten, now after playing the demo I'm really looking forward to it.

Oh yeah, and it looks really nice too.


Another game I played was Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood and it was pretty good too. I really like the cute and colorful visuals, it quickly establishes a likable cast of characters and by the end of a fairly lengthy demo (just over an hour) I was invested in seeing the story play out. You play as an aspiring musician, Scarlet, who performs a showcase set for a big record label with her band. After the set she's offered a solo contract and can't decide whether to sign it or not. Her bandmates find out she's considering abandoning them and leave her roadside during a storm where she's swept up by a Tornado into a fantasy world where Scarlet becomes the new red witch and adventuring ensues.

From that point on you're solving a number of environmental/logic puzzles. Interpreting symbols in the world and inputting codes, etc. There is an inventory but at least in the demo it was only used for one puzzle, kind of. I found the puzzles to be a mixed bag, some were good others felt kind of half baked. It's the kind of game that's not ashamed to contrive story around its puzzle solving rather than trying to more naturally integrate them into the plot. For example there's one where you need to find hidden numbers on a wall of photos to enter a passcode to use the bathroom. That stuff didn't bother me but it's worth mentioning since it could come off as too "gamey" or forced to some.

Overall I liked it and plan to play it when the game comes out. I found the characters and story charming enough to see it through to the end.

The last demo I played wasn't actually part of the Steam festival, just available on the game's itch io page: Mindcop. I was very impressed by this game. It's got a really appealing and distinct cartoon art style. The animation has nice subtle touches (your tall assistant ducking down thru entranceways) and the writing had this simplistic yet clever quality to it that reminded me of the Mario & Luigi RPGs, oddly enough (although the subject matter in Mindcop is more adult than in those games). Like the namesake suggests you play as a cop that can enter people's minds to search for clues. Upon doing so you play a "mindsurf" puzzle/mini game that's fun enough to be a game in its own right. For the majority of the proceedings you're gathering evidence and questioning ppl but each action in your investigation has a time cost, so you have to be careful what you choose to pursue. Which made just pointing and clicking around the scene feel a lot more involved.

Unfortunately you don't complete an entire investigation in the demo so I didn't get to experience how the deductions play out, but it's shaping up very well so I'm looking forward to it.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Now I'm playing Encodya. Mixed feelings, mostly positive though. The biggest issue is the pixel hunting. Man, fuck that pixel hunting. And worse, it's by design. The dev clearly thinks that pixel hunting is a good thing, judging by the difficulty setting and how space bar only lights up items you can pick up. Also I really, REALLY hate having only 3 save slots - WHY THE FUCK? WHY? It bothers me so much - and not being able to rebind the keys, I could have rebinded the highlight on the mouse wheel button and played with only one hand.
On the good sides, the main characters are adorable, feels like they toned down a bit (but still not enough) the references compared to what I remember of the demo, the art style is really good and the city is beautifully designed. Great cartoony Blade Runner vibes and the story so far is quite interesting. Also I really like the nanny bot voice, it's really good and consistent. I'm definitely liking it, but man, fuck pixel hunting.
EDIT: Forgot to add, I also dislike the item interface. The only redeeming quality of a simple "non-scumm" interface like this is immediacy. And instead, you have to click the item in the inventory to select it, and click it again to take it out. Which is kind of counter intuitive and makes me waste clicks. Plus, it also has the classic issue when you "lose" the selected item after you try to use it on something. Same as pixel hunting, I'm positive it's by stupid design.
Glad you're enjoying it despite the egregious pixel hunting. Gonna spin the block and play through it now that I'm done with The Medium, sometime soon-ish. Might scrape Tangle Tower off my backlog first because I hear it's pretty short and I'm confident I'll absolutely love that game.

Don't know what the devs were thinking with some of those design choices but I hope it stays a mostly positive experience for you.

There is a demo on steam. (~40m)

Might turn out good :messenger_smiling:
Another one to check out, thanks for sharing.
 
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Reactions: Fuz

CitizenZ

Member
I really enjoyed the demo for Echo Generation though its not P&C. It reminds me of South Park games which is a good thing.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Been playing through a lot of demoes for this latest Steam festival. Was checking out the indie offerings for 3D platformers (devastating save for a few gems) and of course I played some adventure games.

The coolest one I played (so far) was Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries. It's a murder mystery adventure game where you solve the death of your father with the ghost of Irish poet & playwright Oscar Wilde. There's a constant stream of sardonic dry humor in the games writing and it's actually well done, feels appropriate to the period and setting. The female protagonist & ghost detective team reminded me of The Blackwell series which is appreciated. There's also a somewhat unique comic book puzzle mechanic where you piece together your thoughts by combining pictures and ordering them in the correct sequence. This was a game that I had seen once before digging through the indie crates and completely forgotten, now after playing the demo I'm really looking forward to it.

Oh yeah, and it looks really nice too.


Another game I played was Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood and it was pretty good too. I really like the cute and colorful visuals, it quickly establishes a likable cast of characters and by the end of a fairly lengthy demo (just over an hour) I was invested in seeing the story play out. You play as an aspiring musician, Scarlet, who performs a showcase set for a big record label with her band. After the set she's offered a solo contract and can't decide whether to sign it or not. Her bandmates find out she's considering abandoning them and leave her roadside during a storm where she's swept up by a Tornado into a fantasy world where Scarlet becomes the new red witch and adventuring ensues.

From that point on you're solving a number of environmental/logic puzzles. Interpreting symbols in the world and inputting codes, etc. There is an inventory but at least in the demo it was only used for one puzzle, kind of. I found the puzzles to be a mixed bag, some were good others felt kind of half baked. It's the kind of game that's not ashamed to contrive story around its puzzle solving rather than trying to more naturally integrate them into the plot. For example there's one where you need to find hidden numbers on a wall of photos to enter a passcode to use the bathroom. That stuff didn't bother me but it's worth mentioning since it could come off as too "gamey" or forced to some.

Overall I liked it and plan to play it when the game comes out. I found the characters and story charming enough to see it through to the end.

The last demo I played wasn't actually part of the Steam festival, just available on the game's itch io page: Mindcop. I was very impressed by this game. It's got a really appealing and distinct cartoon art style. The animation has nice subtle touches (your tall assistant ducking down thru entranceways) and the writing had this simplistic yet clever quality to it that reminded me of the Mario & Luigi RPGs, oddly enough (although the subject matter in Mindcop is more adult than in those games). Like the namesake suggests you play as a cop that can enter people's minds to search for clues. Upon doing so you play a "mindsurf" puzzle/mini game that's fun enough to be a game in its own right. For the majority of the proceedings you're gathering evidence and questioning ppl but each action in your investigation has a time cost, so you have to be careful what you choose to pursue. Which made just pointing and clicking around the scene feel a lot more involved.

Unfortunately you don't complete an entire investigation in the demo so I didn't get to experience how the deductions play out, but it's shaping up very well so I'm looking forward to it.
Jennifer Wilde looks really cool. Scarlet Hood looks like she's gonna lose her clothes in the next scene.
 

GreenAlien

Member
So.. Conarium, another free epic store game.. On paper, this should be something I can enjoy, it being advertised as "a chilling lovecraftian game inspired by At the Mountains of Madness" and it was on my steam wishlist for a while.. Can a walking simulator with a few puzzles even turn out bad with this premise? Why, yes it can..

In reality it was a boring and tedious experience and I'm glad I didn't pay for it. The background/noise music was monotonous, failed at building atmosphere and wasn't comfortable to listen to and the story, what little there was, didn't catch my interest. :messenger_hushed:
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
Just completed Encodya. Almost 18 hours.
I stand with what I already said.
- Fuck pixel hunting
- Fuck limited save slots
- Fuck losing inventory items on wrong use
But alas, the game is beautiful. The visual design is fantastic, with an evocative cyberpunk city full of life and details. The Encodya forest is not as great, it's a bit repetitive, but still quite good. Another different change of scenery would have been good, though, and would have given the game a bit more lenght, since I feel it's almost right, but a little short. Good cast of characters, especially the bots (humans are kinda meh and over the top) - the robot design is great, I really like Sam, the "ent" and that Claptrap ripoff. Lacks a bit of animation on puzzle solving, but we're already used to that. Most voice acting ranges from "good enough" to "astounding" (Sam). Sound design is good, very competent, no weird volume changes or breathing sound, which are pretty common in the P&C scene. Story is good, although kinda predictable, with a satisfying and wholesome ending. Puzzles are a mixed bag - they're good but... maybe a little easy? Every time I got stuck it was because I didn't notice an item on which I could have clicked on. Even worse, sometimes space bar highlight is so barely noticeable that you won't see the object anyway, and there is a specific item that you can collect that won't even be highligted (the raspberries), but this one in itself doesn't really matter since it's very specific and very visible - it's just shows how stupid this system is even more.
Summing up, I greatly enjoyed it. Would definitely play a sequel.
It's an 8/10 for me, but avoid it if you really can't stand pixel hunting.
 
Just completed Encodya. Almost 18 hours.
I stand with what I already said.
- Fuck pixel hunting
- Fuck limited save slots
- Fuck losing inventory items on wrong use
But alas, the game is beautiful. The visual design is fantastic, with an evocative cyberpunk city full of life and details. The Encodya forest is not as great, it's a bit repetitive, but still quite good. Another different change of scenery would have been good, though, and would have given the game a bit more lenght, since I feel it's almost right, but a little short. Good cast of characters, especially the bots (humans are kinda meh and over the top) - the robot design is great, I really like Sam, the "ent" and that Claptrap ripoff. Lacks a bit of animation on puzzle solving, but we're already used to that. Most voice acting ranges from "good enough" to "astounding" (Sam). Sound design is good, very competent, no weird volume changes or breathing sound, which are pretty common in the P&C scene. Story is good, although kinda predictable, with a satisfying and wholesome ending. Puzzles are a mixed bag - they're good but... maybe a little easy? Every time I got stuck it was because I didn't notice an item on which I could have clicked on. Even worse, sometimes space bar highlight is so barely noticeable that you won't see the object anyway, and there is a specific item that you can collect that won't even be highligted (the raspberries), but this one in itself doesn't really matter since it's very specific and very visible - it's just shows how stupid this system is even more.
Summing up, I greatly enjoyed it. Would definitely play a sequel.
It's an 8/10 for me, but avoid it if you really can't stand pixel hunting.

I'm sorry, but what does losing inventory items on wrong use and limited save slots mean?
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I'm sorry, but what does losing inventory items on wrong use and limited save slots mean?
Don't be sorry! *patpat*
Losing inventory items means, for example, you click on the item in the inventory then click on something wrong on the screen (or misclick) and you have to go back to the inventory and select it again instead of it staying on your pointer. Limited save slots is just what it means... there's 1 autosave slot and only 3 manual save slots.
 
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Since the giveaway thingamajig does not work and everyone I'm friends with played the game or with me, unrelated to the topic so sorry for the off, but most of the people browsing here are nice so I just want to give someone Green Hell if you're interested. Accidentally got it off cdkeys instead along with something else I bought and got nothing else to do with the key. It's on steam. Preferably only if you really REALLY want to play that game. I gave it a 7.3 if you're wondering what I thought about it.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Played another fantastic adventure game demo during this Steam festival. It's called Cats and the Other Lives. The story is about a recently deceased man and the multi-generational drama/mystery left in his wake. His literal wake. Where guests gossip and relatives struggle to maintain appearances while their strained relationships result in myriad personality clashes. You play as a cat who wonders around causing mischief and generally doing various cat-like things while the situation unfolds. It's a really clever framing device and it's used to great effect in how the game shows you all aspects of it's various characters. As well as effortlessly switching between dramatic and comedic situations like the hide and seek poop puzzle. Overall the game is extremely well written, believably human, and I found the family drama completely engrossing.

The gameplay is simplistic. There's a mix of puzzles and simple cat interactions that you do to progress in addition to the usual eavesdropping. But simply by having actions be cat-based rather than standard verb commands does make them require a bit of thought. There's also a moment or two where you use some cat-sense like elevated hearing or smell but, at least for how they're implemented early on, there wasn't much to it.

Overall I was really impressed with the game, it's very unique. Definitely looking forward playing the full game and I'd recommend people check the demo. It's my favorite adventure game of the festival so far.

 

Fuz

Gold Member
Played another fantastic adventure game demo during this Steam festival. It's called Cats and the Other Lives. The story is about a recently deceased man and the multi-generational drama/mystery left in his wake. His literal wake. Where guests gossip and relatives struggle to maintain appearances while their strained relationships result in myriad personality clashes. You play as a cat who wonders around causing mischief and generally doing various cat-like things while the situation unfolds. It's a really clever framing device and it's used to great effect in how the game shows you all aspects of it's various characters. As well as effortlessly switching between dramatic and comedic situations like the hide and seek poop puzzle. Overall the game is extremely well written, believably human, and I found the family drama completely engrossing.

The gameplay is simplistic. There's a mix of puzzles and simple cat interactions that you do to progress in addition to the usual eavesdropping. But simply by having actions be cat-based rather than standard verb commands does make them require a bit of thought. There's also a moment or two where you use some cat-sense like elevated hearing or smell but, at least for how they're implemented early on, there wasn't much to it.

Overall I was really impressed with the game, it's very unique. Definitely looking forward playing the full game and I'd recommend people check the demo. It's my favorite adventure game of the festival so far.

Aaaaaaand it's not on GOG. :pie_crying:
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders for free! (requires an account)






Playing this one.
Just started, a few quick remarks.
NO launcher and NO installations? I didn't knew about Indiegala but I think I've found a gold mine. EDIT: Nevermind, just browsing the store and noticed most games are steam keys. Shame. Also, the store itself leaves a lot to be desired, just a small window of info on the game and a single useless screenshot. I browsed some games and I have no idea what the fuck are they about.

About the game itself:
- It looks really good, great background and excellent models, but the animations are really... bad. They're kinda weird and stiff. I quite like the art style, anyway.
- Pixel hunting since the very first screen and no higlight. Seriously, fuck off. EDIT: And sometimes (quite often tbh - opening the bottom right menu seems to fix it) the cursor bugs out and doesn't change shape on hotspots. So... you have pixel hunting without any way to tell you're on the right pixel.
- Only autosave. God. Fucking. Dammit.

I'll keep on playing because I like the setting, the whole style and I love murder mysteries. But I'm getting really annoyed.
 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

Fantastic news from the recent Nintendo Direct, they're localizing the remakes of two classic Japanese adventure games: Famicom Detective Club. The 2nd game for SNES has been something on my back burner for a long time. I remember getting excited for the Japanese announcement but thinking there was basically no chance after Miyamoto said this in 2019 when asked about FDC:

Q7 - Thirty years have passed since Famicom Tantei Club (Famicom Detective Club; direct translation of the Japanese title) was released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System, and its excellent production and script still resonate with people today. I would like Nintendo to be constantly creating long-form games like this. Is the current Nintendo still capable of creating games in this sort of "adventure game" genre? Please tell us about the development framework for each game genre, and about your communication with international developers.

A7 - Miyamoto: Thank you for such an encouraging question. We, too, want to create titles we can still be proud of after 10 years. We're sometimes accused of working only within established series, but many of those series have been going for 30 years and are now part of our brand. We also want to create new titles that will become the first of a new series, and we are always working hard toward that. As for adventure games, I’ve made a lot of them, starting back with Famicom Mukashibanashi: Shin Onigashima (Famicom Tales: New Demon Island; direct translation of the Japanese title), but the environment for production is more demanding these days. Games today are localized in 10 or more languages, so the cost of localizing the voicing and script for an adventure game (which generally has a great deal of text) is enormous. Plus, compared to an older gamer like me, I feel that younger gamers tend to have less of an interest in that genre. That said, adventure game mechanics are still fun, and Capcom's Ace Attorney series and Level-5's Professor Layton series make good use of them. So, I don’t give up hope yet, but please understand that it's challenging to actively make them for the mainstream market. Our collaboration outside of Japan is 30 years strong, and we have staff who specialize in communicating with developers in other countries. I too often work with companies in other countries. The new Luigi's Mansion 3 was also developed with a company outside of Japan (Next Level Games Inc.). Over the years, we have built a global software development framework. I have felt Nintendo becoming more global in recent years. The number of people from outside of Japan working at Nintendo's headquarters has increased considerably, and we get to know each other over lunch and so on.

To go from this to actually getting the game same date, worldwide release, is awesome. Glad Nintendo is stepping up to fully support the series and I hope it's a success for them so we can get more games like this in the future.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
To go from this to actually getting the game same date, worldwide release, is awesome. Glad Nintendo is stepping up to fully support the series and I hope it's a success for them so we can get more games like this in the future.
Man, I wish more games like this were made. Market is already full of weaboo loli crap, finally we get an adventure game that takes its characters seriously.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Man, I wish more games like this were made. Market is already full of weaboo loli crap, finally we get an adventure game that takes its characters seriously.

Have you heard of the Spirit Hunter games? It's a series of two Japanese adventure games (with a third coming this year but idk if it's getting localized) Death Mark and NG. I played through them fairly recently and enjoyed both a lot. They're legitimately well done horror/paranormal ghost stories. The vibe is very Shin Megami Tensei and, as a horror story, it 100% doesn't shy away from intense and gruesome subject matter. In each game the protagonist is afflicted with a curse they need to overcome by solving various other ghost mysteries and urban legends, slowly piecing together the larger mystery behind their curse. Each case culminates in a spirit confrontation. Which plays out sort of like an Ace Attorney courtroom battle, where you need to present a certain inventory item at the right time to pacify the spirit. I prefer the 2nd game, NG, because it has a more memorable cast of characters, the first one has better puzzles, but overall they're both really good and worth checking out imo.



 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Thanks, Vampire On Titus Vampire On Titus .

I've never heard of these games before, they look interesting.
Though in one screenshot I see there's character stats, so does it plays more like a CYOA/RPG than an adventure game?
 

TripleSun

Member
I never thought they would release stuff like 428 or Detective Club in English, but here we are. If they don’t release Kamaitachi no Yoru eventually, the west will miss out. Now that’s a sound/visual novel that’s incredibly memorable for me.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Thanks, Vampire On Titus Vampire On Titus .

I've never heard of these games before, they look interesting.
Though in one screenshot I see there's character stats, so does it plays more like a CYOA/RPG than an adventure game?

Nah those stats are irrelevant. Sometimes you need to swap a character to solve a puzzle but it comes down to narrative context like "this guy is the strong one" or "this ghost hates men."

There is some branching path stuff. Certain characters can die if you fail to perform the exorcism correctly. I dont know how deeply that effects the overall plot because every time that happened to me I just reloaded the ghost confrontation and did it again.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

Mutropolis is out and some of the reviews seem encouraging. Unfortunately, for me, the art style is a real turn off. It looks like the dollar store version of Broken Age imo. If anyone plays it I'd be curious to see their impressions, though.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
"Let us now try and get our gren cels to work"

I've completed The ABC Murders.
My astounding powers of deduction now found out why there's only an autosave: they want you to replay all of it to see different outcomes because the game is quite short. And you aren't allowed to quicksave/quickload to see what changes with different choices. So they fake a bigger lenght with this stupid trick.
I'm not opposed to short games, but I bloody hate those sort of tricks that go and remove basic QOL features from a game.
Said so, different outcomes for different choices are always a good thing, and they're done quite well here.
Pixel hunting, as I said, is another big flaw of the game. It's very annoying and the bugged cursor makes it even worse. This is yet another trick to slow you down.

Setting flaws apart, the game is excellent. I'm a sucker for good old style detective stories, and ABC is very competent. I didn't read the book it is taken from but the game has an interesting plot, good writing, characters and dialogues, mostly excellent, very competent voice over (and no mic noise!) and great overall atmosphere. Suffers a little bit from having very few and small locations (budget constraint, I guess), but it's not a big deal at all.
As I said in my first impression, the art style is excellent. Really like the art direction they took, great backgrounds, nice use of color and excellent character models... but the animation is often quite awkward. Need to mention textures: they're mostly excellent, but very rarely you notice a downgrade in terms of clarity and crispness:
Puzzles are ok, no classic P&C inventory based puzzles - but, even if they're my favourite, they would have felt out of place in a detective story: there are some manipulative ones where you interact with objects (I swear every goddamn person in England must have some weird combination puzzle lock somewhere) and some logic ones where you combine concepts and ideas. They're not particularly hard, but they're well designed. Except for a small segment where the game "changes the rules" and don't allow you to do something until later without giving a real hint about it. Got me stuck for a little while for the wrong reason: examining an object the game showed me an indicator of it having two hotspots to examine, but the second one only became active after I went on with the game, got an hint and came back. This is the only time that happens in the whole game, I spent some time hunting "that pixel" back and forth on the screen, brushing the cursor everywhere and at some point I actually thought the cursor was bugged again.

The interface is... decent. It doesn't need anything special, but you can tell is designed for tablets and it has some annoyances and lack of mouse QOL you can expect from it. Also, this drives me mad:
Yes, you have to quit the game to go check those extras, bonuses and your investigation progress. There's no real need to do it, mind you, but it still very stupid and cumbersome. Aggravated by... only autosave. So if you want to use those features, you might need to exit the game, look at what you need to look, load the game again and redo small part of it. /facepalm

Another small thing worth of note that happened to me: trying to get from one side of a screen to the other and back, I must have clicked on a big building (that exceeds its borders) and heard the same unskippable description from Poirot a dozen times or so. This is due to badly constructed hotspots, lack of highlights and bugged cursor [edit for clarity: the cursor was bugged as in not indicating the hotspot while was over it, thus tricking me in triggering the description]. Also, some lines of dialogue are skippable, while others are not for no apparent reason.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed it and would definitely play a sequel. It's a good, solid mistery game.

Ah yes, the opening quote. It drove me mad how Poirot does not say "grey cells".
 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Been playing a lot of detective/murder mystery adventure games lately (which, by the way, thanks for those impressions on the ABC Murders Fuz Fuz . Looks pretty cool and I may check it out soon since I got it free on indiegala as well.) and there's no end in sight for the foreseeable future.

First off I played through The Raven Remastered: Legacy of a Master Thief. Felt good to be playing a KingArts game again after being a big fan of their Book of Unwritten Tales series. It's a very Agatha Christie esque classic detective mystery story (to the point of having an Agatha homage character in the game) and it does a good job of making everyone suspicious in their own right. The puzzles are well balanced while retaining some challenge but they lose a bit of steam by the end. Overall I really liked the classic cinematic vibe to the presentation, writing and score. There are a couple of questionable moves the devs made, plot wise, to pull off their late game twists. So it's not perfect but still a fun game.



After that I went the retro route and played through The Colonel's Bequest. This was actually the first time I've completed a parser based adventure game and it was a really good experience tbh. Bequest is a unique game for its era in that it focuses primarily on eavesdropping, gathering clues and questioning suspects around an open ended mansion setting. There is some conventional puzzle solving as well but it's not the main focus. I gatta say there was a special sense of discovery and accomplishment when I figured out stuff like how to spy on people through the secret tunnels, for instance. You're forced to use your own wits in a way you aren't with a P&C interface.

The first Laura Bow mystery seems like a great introduction to this style of adventure imo since most of the puzzles are optional. So you'll always be able to make progress even if you can't figure everything out. The story itself is serviceable, if a bit light. Although that's understandable for the era. The characters certainly have personality and the entire game is dripping with retro charm. The setting and atmosphere really stole the show for me as the Misty Acres plantation genuinely feels like a real location you're exploring rather than a set of adventure game screens.

I actually got super engrossed in this one and stayed up way too late playing it one night. At this point I've done two full playthroughs and intend to do another to see if I can get the highest sleuth rating. Although I think I've already (mostly) seen the best ending. Very awesome game, a genuine classic imo.



Keeping the train going I played the sequel to Colonel's Bequest, The Dagger of Amon Ra. This was much more of a conventional Sierra adventure game, in the style of their other mid-late 90's titles. It does retain some of the elements of eavesdropping and nonlinearity from the first game, although in a diminished capacity. Which made it feel like a less special game than the first Laura Bow mystery but not a bad one by any means. This time around the plot & Laura's personality are more fleshed out and I found Laura to be a very likable character. She's tough and self reliant without being a jerk to everyone and has a fairly sharp tongue at her disposal, given the right occasion.

I've seen that Dagger of Amon Ra gets tagged as being goofier than the first one. I think that's mostly due to the spotty (to put it mildly) voice acting, which features some of the most inauthentic accents I've heard in games. The plot is really no more silly than Bequest, which itself delved in eccentricities. I think that overall, it ends up being the weaker entry because the Leyendecker Museum isn't as well realized a setting as Misty Acres and the gameplay is competent but far less unique.



Next up, inspired by the the upcoming remakes, I played through the Super Famicom version of Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind. In the vein of Yuji Hori's earlier detective adventures, it's uses menu based + P&C hybrid controls. It's a more linear experience than something like Portopia, though. Difficulty is casual with occasional puzzles consisting of light environmental interactions, presenting evidence and making logical deductions via quiz segments. The bulk of the game consists of gathering testimony by asking each person you come across the correct series of questions. There is some thinking involved since choosing the wrong topic will dead end the convo and certain topics in your arsenal only become relevant after new information is brought up. It's satisfying when you ask all the correct follow ups and get a steady stream of info. Sometimes it can be unclear how to progress, which leads to brute forcing every option, but for the most part it's logical.

I love the sprite work and style of the game. The mystery itself is pretty standard, but features a likable cast and has a decent trick & twist up its sleeve on occasion. I can't say I was on the edge of my seat dying to know what happens next but it was a very "comfortable" game. It doesn't waste your time either at just 6~7 hours long.



After playing FDC I decided to finally satisfy my curiosity to experience the granddaddy Japanese adventure game. A game that's as influential for Japanese adventures as King's Quest or Maniac Mansion were for western adventures: The Portopia Serial Murder case. Which, after playing it for myself, I can confidently say isn't overstated one bit. You can plainly see the influence of Portopia on games like Ace Attorney, Famicom Detective Club, Snatcher and so many others. Even down to individual puzzles. I'd always wondered why older Japanese adventures would make you repeatedly choose the same command to do something at times. Now I'm convinced they're (poorly) imitating a clever moment from the end of Portopia.

But is it still fun to play despite looking, sounding, (and for the most part) reading so primitively? Actually, yeah, it is. I found it to be a more enjoyable experience than Famicom Detective Club. The puzzles were far better, much more involved, and almost all of them were genuinely clever. It's very open ended and you can actually solve a fair amount of the mystery in a non-linear fashion. There is some old-school bullshit design to contend with, though. The worst of it being 3 literally invisible items. Legit requiring you to place your cursor over empty space to pick up.

But a few BS walkthrough-bait moments aside, It's really cool. There's also a genuinely surprising twist that you wouldn't expect such a simplistically written game to pull, much less pull off.

 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
The detective adventure train has been derailed momentarily while I played through The Uncertain: Light At The End. And it's... not very good! I held off on playing this one for a while, despite following its development, because I had the strong sense it shipped in an unfinished state. Figured I'd wait for some patches, which did come, but despite holding off... the game is still blatantly not done. Although, even if they did "finish" it there's deeper issues here than polish and performance.



The only positive aspects I could really list would be that it looks good (great for an indie game made with Unity) and the dialogue is sometimes competent. Well, there's some decent puzzles here & there, too. The game's biggest problem is that its plot is totally unoriginal and lacks urgency. Light At The End's post apocalyptic world calls forth memories of everything from The Walking Dead to The Last of Us or Terminator but has nothing to call its own. Worse still, the threat of killer robot cops (who serve as the primary antagonist) seems more like a mild inconvenience at best. For the most part The Uncertain's survivors leisurely stroll through large expanses of abandoned city without much issue. The few times they do encounter a robot they're very easily dealt with and seem stupid, frankly.

All the characters are one dimensional tropes. They have got their single personality trait assigned to them that they robotically express ad nauseum with little to no deviation. Some of them are inoffensively bland, others are embarrassing. In particular, the older asshole character who's name already escapes me is such a forced tension machine that his dialogue seemed like unfinished lines from a rough draft. The only thing worse than him are the near constant, cringe worthy, video game & sci-fi references.

Plot wise it goes nowhere. This is supposed to be a full stand alone game but Light At The End began as The Uncertain's 2nd episodic installment and it shows. It's barely longer than an episode would have been clocking in at ~5 hours. By the end of it you know exactly as much as you did from the first game in terms of new information about any of the game's core mysteries. Mind you, The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day came out in 2016. I guess everyone's supposed to wait another 5 year dev cycle for the broken, unfinished conclusion? Provided it even gets made, which seems unlikely.



Technically speaking the game's a mess. There's flickering graphical glitches, characters disappearing during cutscenes, stiff or missing facial animation, dialogue cuts off before its done sometimes, missing audio or sfx, etc, etc. The idea that it was even worse when it shipped is ridiculous, the game is just blatantly unfinished.

There's a few genuinely good environmental and independent logic puzzles in the game. Unfortunately, all the inventory puzzles are basically solved for you via the game's streamlined interface. Yes, the very same interface that claimed Truberbrook's unfortunate life before it ever had a chance. You can only use items on relevant hotspots and the verb coin pre selects which of a few options you pick. So basically any inventory interaction that could have been a puzzle becomes a brain dead fetch quest instead. It's inexcusable considering how much of the game is padded out by running around collecting random crap.

Ultimately everything about The Uncertain: Light At The End, aside from the graphics, is an exercise in either mediocrity or abject failure. With a stronger script and more polish the game had a shot at being decent, not great, but good enough to waste a few hours on. As it stands now the game is real fucking bad and I've got little faith for what this studio can produce going forward.

5/10
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I've started to play Mutropolis.



Quick first impressions.

I really like the art style (reminds me a lot of Broken Age), but - surprisingly! - I detest those fucking flash game animations. They're also super stiff in this game, and there aren't many. You know, the generic empty hand movement when you use an item? Yeah, there's a lot of that.
Good voice acting, very convincing. Puzzles are quite good so far, with puzzle chains and more puzzles available at the same time so you can switch at your leisure. Although... some are memory-related and force you to go back to locations to check stuff again if you forgot a step (no, the main character doesn't take notes), I encountered another one that I solved by chance because the item wasn't collectable the first time I found it and it changed its significance later on the folder with the paycheck, and I'm finding that the game is actually really hard. But here's the thing... PIXEL HUNTING. Yeah, there's no highlight key. I don't want to comment this issue further, I don't want to be rude and offensive. fuck you
Decent interface, but here's another thing I bloody hate - it's designed for tablets. Right mouse click do absolutely nothing, but at least you can use the mouse wheel or "I" to bring down the inventory. Oh, and no key rebinding OF COURSE. fuck you
The story is intriguing so far, good setting, and pushes me to progress.
So far I'd give it a 8/10, but considering the pixel hunting and the other pet peeves let's skim it down to 6/10.
 
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CitizenZ

Member
So this falls in line with more puzzle/ escape room than p/c story but its pretty awesome. It was on the Apple store 2019 but released last week on Steam and is a must play. Beautiful art and puzzles are very clever. Story is you play as a Detective going from location to location and while im still very early in the game(chapter 4) its been perfect every step of the way.

Also thank you to everyone on this thread. Easily the best thing on this site.

 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
I've started to play Mutropolis.



Quick first impressions.

I really like the art style (reminds me a lot of Broken Age), but - surprisingly! - I detest those fucking flash game animations. They're also super stiff in this game, and there aren't many. You know, the generic empty hand movement when you use an item? Yeah, there's a lot of that.
Good voice acting, very convincing. Puzzles are quite good so far, with puzzle chains and more puzzles available at the same time so you can switch at your leisure. Although... some are memory-related and force you to go back to locations to check stuff again if you forgot a step (no, the main character doesn't take notes), I encountered another one that I solved by chance because the item wasn't collectable the first time I found it and it changed its significance later on the folder with the paycheck, and I'm finding that the game is actually really hard. But here's the thing... PIXEL HUNTING. Yeah, there's no highlight key. I don't want to comment this issue further, I don't want to be rude and offensive. fuck you
Decent interface, but here's another thing I bloody hate - it's designed for tablets. Right mouse click do absolutely nothing, but at least you can use the mouse wheel or "I" to bring down the inventory. Oh, and no key rebinding OF COURSE. fuck you
The story is intriguing so far, good setting, and pushes me to progress.
So far I'd give it a 8/10, but considering the pixel hunting and the other pet peeves let's skim it down to 6/10.
Nice impressions. I'm kinda curious to know more about the actual plot to this game. Does it hook you? Are the lead characters interesting? Personally I'm not feeling the discount Broken Age vibes from the art in the game and it turned me off from following it. But that's not such a big deal if the story is engrossing enough.

Also thank you to everyone on this thread. Easily the best thing on this site.

I'd like to thank everyone in the thread, too. It's a lot of fun talking about adventure games with all of you.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Nice impressions. I'm kinda curious to know more about the actual plot to this game. Does it hook you? Are the lead characters interesting? Personally I'm not feeling the discount Broken Age vibes from the art in the game and it turned me off from following it. But that's not such a big deal if the story is engrossing enough.



I'd like to thank everyone in the thread, too. It's a lot of fun talking about adventure games with all of you.
I haven't played much so take this with a grain of salt, but yeah, the story is keeping me hooked. It's nothing special, mind you, but it's interesting enough to make me want to know more and go back to the game.
The main character is decent, kind of bland tbh. The others are charming enough.
Also thank you to everyone on this thread. Easily the best thing on this site.
Absolutely.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
if only there was a fan project, that would attempt to bring back the LucasArts era of the 90's..but I haven't heard of anything..
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Three different adventures that I felt looked pretty interesting. The first is NAIRI: Rising Tide, it's got a really charming and colorful art style, fun characters and some funny dialogue if the trailer is any indication. It's the 2nd part in a series I wasn't aware of until now, this installment has a prologue/demo that I'll likely check out soon.
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Second is called COLUMNAE: Past Under Construction. This game has a great trailer that explains the lore and mechanics very well, so I recommend checking it out. The silhouette art style is pretty unique and it seems like they're going for a pretty ambitious degree of non-linearity, especially for an indie title. This one has been in development for a while but according to the developer's itch.io page it's supposed to come out this year.

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Lastly is a totally wild looking game called Critters For Sale. It's a psychedelic 2-bit adventure where you play as a guy receives an invite to the mysterious Limelight Club. Which, apparently, sends you on a journey involving black magic, time travel and immortality. The style of this game is bizarre, creepy and totally memorizing and it also has a prologue/demo that I'll be trying out as soon as possible.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

New Life is Strange game details to be announced next week at Square Enix's Nintendo Direct-esque livestream event. Rumors are that Deck Nine will be developing it (evidently DontNod and Square Enix are no longer working with one another) and that the new protagonists powers are that they see people's emotions represented as various colors.

The concept doesn't immediately jump out to me as particularly interesting but It couldn't possibly be worse than Life is Strange 2.
 
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