Gamescom 2013: The business area (Part 2)

Whoever thinks that being shown games or playing them in the business area is relaxing fun, compared to the crowded public areas… should think again when it means running alone from one press appointment to the next, and even outside the Gamescom location… which is a completely different (Sony) story.

Quite interesting stories were told or shown in gameplay courtesy of Critical Hit PR, 11bit Studios, Deep Silver, Black Forest Games, Buschbaum PR, and CD Projekt RED, which of course entailed the presence of developers like Animation Arts or new upcoming indies like Mosaic Studios and IF Games, which all held some pleasant surprises under lock and key which were finally revealed to the press world.

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Sitting down with developers and having a hands-on approach with the games in question involving immediate face-to-face discussions is a great thing, so thanks to Critical Hit PR, two very interesting in-development titles were presented.

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The first came from very friendly and open German developer Mosaic Mask Studio.

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Heaven’s Hope
(Germany TBA, developer: Mosaic Mask Studio, platform: PC)

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A dark comic point-and-click adventure game set during the time of the Inquisition in 1850 England is a pretty good starting point with art direction not dissimilar to a Tim Burton movie. The presentation only revealed a few locations, but the atmosphere was already quite good, although the character models’s animations took a bit too long. As it is, the self-developed Moai engine showed promise despite recent Kickstarter games like the Broken Sword reboot and other 3D-adventures having the upper hand, so there’s a lot of work to be done if the game wants to compete in the graphics department.

But of course storytelling and puzzles are what makes a great point-and-clicker. The former seems to promise an interesting religious twist, while the latter wasn’t convincing yet with some solutions being too conventional for the genre. But as the game is still without a publisher and Mosaic Mask Studios has their work cut out for them, there might be some surprises ahead, as the story of an apprentice angel and the repercussions the real world has on him are an intriguing storytelling proposition.

Official Website

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Next up was Swiss developer IF Games who had an even bigger surprise up their sleeves with a potential sleeper hit for the iPad.

The Perils of Man
(Switzerland TBA, developer/publisher: IF Games, platform: iOS)

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Now this is a strange one: A point-and-click adventure game only available on iPad with an episodic structure. Maybe iOS games are a lucrative business for casual games, but this could be a small obstacle to overcome on the way to success for the developer. It’s also a weird collaboration with Bill Tiller who was responsible for the (fluffy clouds) art in Monkey Island 3 and A Vampyre’s Story in addition to Ghost Pirates of Vooju Islands, both of which had interesting gameplay concepts (and some great graphics), but failed in puzzle design and storytelling. So first impressions and expectations weren’t good or high when being shown the iPad version.

But as it turned out, this is one of the most exciting adventure games in development right now due to some very good atmosphere due to the strong lighting effects, a comic look which is reminiscent of Day of the Tentacle, and also puzzle design which plays with manipulation of time. The most innovative aspect is the use of goggles which offer the main protagonist (teenager Ana Eberling) an insight into past and future events. Even at this early stage, this might just be the most accomplished iOS title of the genre which is not a remake of an already existing classic.

Interestingly, while discussing the game with the developer, a conversion to other platforms, mainly the PC, wasn’t considered, but they’d think about it. Hopefully, this will happen, because right now, the only way to experience the game is a demo for the first episode which can be downloaded on the iTunes Store, only restricted to the iPad.

Official Website

Next up was a stop at Polish developer and publisher 11 bit studios.

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Again, the shown love for their games made meeting the PR as much a joy to meet as seeing the newest tablet game in action.

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Anomaly 2
(Poland 2013, developer/publisher: 11 bit studios, platforms: PC, iOS, Android)

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Another contender for why-play-on-PC-in-high-res-if-you-can-have-it-on-mobile-devices? The original tower-defense RTS was already great fun and looked awesome, so it was interesting to see how this translated to iOS devices. Only shown on the iPad during the presentation (but at the time of writing now also available on Android), this simply looked fantastic and played smoothly, actually wanting me to finally buy a smartphone after seeing what the devices are capable of and playing some cool games on the go.

Official Website

A short trip to publisher Deep Silver

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where the lunch break was just as appetizing… and asked for…

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as the revealing of the newest adventure by Animation Arts

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Lost Horizon 2
(Germany TBA, developer: Animation Arts, publisher: Deep Silver, platforms: PC, iOS)

After having played the rather over-hyped predecessor, my expectations weren’t high, but what was presented was surprisingly good, at least when it came to the transition from 2.5D graphics to full 3D. While the puzzles were on the easy-difficulty-side, the emphasis on on a more cinematic approach made up for this shortcoming. The game played more like an interactive movie than a typical point-and-clicker. Of course, this direction will probably make purists bark up the wrong tree, but considering how outdated inventory-object-combination mechanics have become in more action-oriented titles like The Walking Dead, it’s understandable why Animation Arts decided against more-of-the-same.

With some impressive graphics, a pounding orchestral soundtrack, this could just be what the genre needs to be more accessible to people used to action-adventures, although some of the camera work and the stealth sections definitely require more finetuning. Unfortunately, no trailer has been released, and the developer has kept news concerning progress very secret.

Secret Files: Sam Peters
(Germany 2013, developer: Animation Arts, publisher: Deep Silver, platform: PC)

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Unlike Lost Horizon 2, this looked and played almost identically to the former point-and-click titles, which of course isn’t a bad thing, as they were entertaining enough with nice backgrounds, character models and lots of object combinations. Being a spin-off of the second Secret Files of Tunguska game, the only difference is that one can combine objects in first-person object combinations, plus of course a whole new story. Already being released for just 9,99 EUR in Germany, one can’t blame the company for making a quick cash-in due to its reasonable price, although one shouldn’t expect the same amount of playtime.

Official Website

Secret Files: Tunguska (iOS)
(Germany 2013, developer: Animation Arts, publisher: Deep Silver, platform: iOS)

This preview is a no-brainer, as it suffices to say that it’s a 1:1 conversion of the original to the iPad. Like the Broken Sword titles, the point-and-click adventure is a perfect fit with the gameplay and graphics left intact, even if this means that the discrepancies towards Revolution Software newest outing become more prominent. No extra content and features found here, but for a nostalgic trip back to the user-friendly original, one can’t go wrong with this one, either.

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After a hearty lunch (it was actually Koch Media who provided the culinary goodies), it was time to go deep into the forest of indie publishing/developing (okay, after a Sony press event, although, as it has been said before, that’s another story for another blog entry)…

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Great Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams: Rise of the Owlverlord
(Germany 2013, developer/publisher: Black Forest Games, platform: PC)

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As a DLC, one shouldn’t expect a lot of surprises from this game, as it looks and plays more or less like the original platformer. I’ve only been shown some concept art and a trailer, so first impressions weren’t that spectacular, although the original formula of colorful and enjoyable platforming with a world-shifting concept didn’t need much change anyway, although addressing the difficulty spikes would have been nice (as can already be seen by an update for its predecessor which fixed this to a certain degree).

The game is already available, but only on PC, hopefully getting a console release soon. With a small price to pay, this depends on what gamers want with their wallets. It would be too bad not to have a follow-up to this fun series.

Official Website (Steam)

Dieselstormers (formerly known as Ravensdale)
(Germany TBA, developer/publisher: Black Forest Games, platform: PC)

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Despite the rather silly new name (and the enigmatic one presented last year), this looked like a lot of bloody (read: gory) fun, especially in multiplayer. Customizable weapons are used to blast one’s way through a colorful fantasy world full of orcs and machinery which explode in tiny little bits. Again only shown as a trailer and no hands-on, it’s difficult to say if this gets tiresome after a while, but watching it in action, it should be enough for a few short rounds of carnage. After reaching their target goal on Kickstarter, it might finally find a release window in the near future.

Official Website

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As is Buschbaum Media & PR‘s way of presenting games by browsing through a catalogue without showing actual gameplay, it’s difficult to give any first impressions here. But it became obvious that the casual games genre is a very profitable one and that it caters for all kinds of people and seasons, illustrated by the Dark Tales series with Edgar Allen Poe adaptations (already reviewed here with The Golden Bug turning out to be a surprisingly good adventure game), and Christmas Stories: Nutcracker. There were numerous other titles as well, but all more or less followed the same formula of having beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds and logic puzzles or simplified gameplay.

Of course, some more interesting titles for classic point-and-click adventure fans like the complete Jack Keane collection were present as well. Simulator games like Agricultural Simulator were obviously still going strong for a certain kind of audience.

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It’s difficult to keep rondomedia apart from astragon, as the focus again lies on casual gaming with the same sort of mystery, adventure, history, literature adaptations combined with the hidden-object genre, exemplified by titles such as Gothic Fiction, Nightmares From the Deep 2, Path of Hercules, or even Hidden Runaway. The latter one was already reviewed here… and was sort of a disappointment. However, one shouldn’t expect the same from other games, because Nightmares from the Deep 2 already appeared in an Indie Royale Bundle and was quite good.

Again, simulation games which were mostly concerned with heavy machinery could be found in Subway Simulator, Eurotruck Simulator or Citrybuilding Planner. But as is always the case, there seems to be an audience for that, at least in Germany. And if you want to learn a bit about the mundane working world or how the transportation systems work, you can do much worse than try these, especially since they usually come for a bargain price.

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Last, but not least, was a very impressive show in CD Project RED‘s booth…

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…which was not all about the sword-wielding guy with an attitude and moral dilemmas who (like the giant troll in the public area) guarded the booth.

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In addition to beer, other means of keeping the crowd busy and happy were used as well.

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Despite the relaxed atmosphere with drinks and snacks, when it finally came to take a seat in the big cinema, photographs during the presentation (or even filming) wouldn’t have been such a good idea.

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The Witcher 3
(Poland TBA, developer/publisher: CD Project RED, platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4)

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It’s difficult to describe this RPG without using superlatives like “awe-inspiring”, “breathtaking” or “stunning”, because it’s all these three graphically with its “larger than life scope” in gameplay. Maybe it also had to do with the big screen, but seeing the world of the Witcher unfold without any loading times, without any pop-ups, with so many details to make out far and far away in the distance, was a thing to behold. The presentation was also pretty brutal with a visceral opening cutscene and bloody battles against monstrosities.

What was particularly striking in addition to the awesome graphics was the way in which atmosphere was created by the weather system. One scene took place in a storm-and-rain-beaten forest which was so creepy in combination with the hunt for a evil wood spirit who took possession of a villager that it was a chilling experience. It was also interesting to see how NPCs reacted to the protagonist dealing with the situation, exemplified by the village people trying to kill a woman who’s in league with this creature. All in all, this is a contender for the best-looking and probably greatest-playing RPG of the year, and the release date can’t come soon enough.

Official Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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Gamescom 2013: The business area (Part 1)

Only one week before Gamescom 2013 begins (actually less, but this blog entry could only be published after a broadband internet company fixed a local cutting-through-telephone/i-net cable…), so it’s more than high time to see what 2013 brought with the press screenings of the business area, starting with TopWare Interactive, Daedalic Entertainment, Focus Home Interactive, and Headup Games.

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Although it seems like ages ago and one usually discusses the games and their presentations shortly after or even during the convention, due to the aforementioned (see Gamescom Public Area articles) problems, it didn’t work out as it was planned. But if medical and time-consuming problems (plus Koelnmesse) won’t get in the way, the coverage will be much more on time this year.

Obviously, some (or actually most) of the presented games have already been released and even reviewed here, so only a few words on the impressions then and the reception now plus some videos will suffice. Despite the delay, there are still many interesting things to write about, especially considering in which environments the games were shown.

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The first press screening was also one of the most comfortable viewing experiences (with the exception of CD Project Red’s The Witcher 3) due to a small cinema with a big screen and good soundtrack quality. One also has to say that TopWare Interactive has been around for a very long time, which is certainly no easy feat in the games industry. So it was only appropriate to celebrate it with an exclusive old-school 3.5” disk as a press kit plus lots of other goodies. Commemorating the company’s long history were also the glass cases with lots of games and other media they were involved with over the past decades.

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There were two games, with the second one only giving a very small showing time.

Raven’a Cry
(Poland TBA, developer: Reality Pump Studios, publisher: TopWare Interactive, platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)

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An action-adventure which looks and plays more than a little bit like Assassin’s Creed IV: Blag Flag, the setting is very much on vogue with pirate themes. Sailing with large ships, fighting on sea and land, finding treasures is all present here. The first impression was quite good, even though the graphics weren’t mind-blowing. But then again it has also been announced for next-gen consoles, while quite a bit of reworking has been done over the past months.

Fluid animations were complemented by some nice vistas like tropical islands, evoking a sense of awe and discovery. The soundtrack was also atmospheric (highlighted by the recently released pirate drinking song video). Having a free-roaming environment with optional side quests which affect the morale of your men you can hire to your heart’s content is another plus for this game, while the added violence (rating: 18+) makes for a more visceral and realistic presentation of the era. All in all, despite Assassin’s Creed IV having already been released, this might be a much more interesting game due to its new characters and no convoluted modern times sequences.

Official Website

For some more fun shanties, see

and

Proximity Flight
(Russia 2014, developer: Gaijin Entertainment, publisher: TopWare Interactive, platforms: Xbox 360, PS3)

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Now this was a pretty short presentation, which was unfortunate, because it looked like a lot of fun and maybe even the best showcase of Microsoft’s Kinect system for the Xbox 360. The concept of just flying through the air and performing stunts in a Tony Hawk-like way to highscore might sound simplistic, but with a rocking soundtrack and some rather nice, even if not photorealistic graphics, this was another promising title. It has already been released on both Xbox 360 and PS3 as a download-only title, so it’s worth checking out.

Official Website

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The German publisher and developer which rose to fame in its native country with the revival of point-and-click adventures like Edna & Harvey or The Whispered World also seemed to make a name for itself by presenting its games to an English audience and broadening their genre concepts, making this one of the most interesting companies around which still keeps its individual quirky touch.

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Blackguards
(Germany 2014, developer/publisher: Daedalic Entertainment, platform: PC)

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After successfully translating the Dark Eye licence to the adventure game genre with Chains of Satinav and Memoria, this (already released) classic turn-based SRPG is much closer to the original pen-and-paper franchise. Despite its rather unspectacular graphics, the dark tale showed promise in terms of characterization with a less light-hearted and therefore more serious fantasy approach, while each level offered different ways to finish it. The game seemed slow-moving, but then again the adventure titles weren’t much different with their rather long dialogues. Still, the brief time spent with this showed some promise and hopefully, there will be a review coming up in the near future.

Official Website

Goodbye Deponia
(Germany 2013, developer/publisher: Daedalic Entertainment, platform: PC)

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With only a very short time available for this one (due to another appointment), the first look at the game already promised the same level of slapstick, off-the-wall humor and cartoon graphics the first two games of the series were known for. As it turned out (with a 7.5/10 score), the reviewed version delivered more or less the same with the additional help of controlling three characters simultaneously. Still one of the more divisive titles in terms of humor, even though the bestselling momentum the trilogy is still kept alive, this is a title one either anticipated very much or was happy to see concluded, hoping that Daedalic would move in a different direction with new franchises, not only in the adventure game genre.

Official Website

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The French publisher is maybe best known for its Sherlock Holmes releases, but it also showed that it doesn’t only deliver good adventure games which get better and better with each installment, but that it’s open to new indie developments with interesting concepts as well.

Contrast
(Canada 2013, developer: Compulsion Games, publisher: Focus Home Interactive, platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3)

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Being different from the third-person action-platformer-adventure crowd is difficult, but Contrast just achieved that with its interesting light-shadow mechanic and visual presentation. Not only is the mature story, set in the American 1920-40s, about family relationships told in a shadow play style (an ingenious concept), the unique gameplay is also about switching between two different planes of existence.

Even if the character models and some textures didn’t look that great on the Xbox 360 (it might be a different story on next-gen and PC, though), the cutscenes and overall art direction were as great as the fantastic jazz soundtrack. Puzzles were also quite inventive, even if the controls and camera positioning were annoying at times. Still, as first impressions go, and considering there is nothing like it on the market, this was a pleasant indie hit surprise that is already available on all formats (with a retail version for PC in Europe).

Official Website

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
(France TBA, developer: Frogwares, publisher: Focus Home Interactive, platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)

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The Sherlock Holmes games by Frogwares might not always be the most refined titles in storytelling and puzzle design, but there is always an improvement to be seen despite the technical inefficiencies. The newest game seems to become the best-looking and also best-playing entry yet. This could be seen by better facial expressions and environmental textures.

But the real highlight was the revealing snippet of information that Sherlock solves individual cases in an episodic structure with an overarching plot, making this an ambitious effort in storytelling. These investigations can be tackled in any order and in addition to this freeform progression, decisions might alter the outcome as well, a novel concept for the rather linear series. An overhauling of the deduction board also showed that the developer listened to its customer base, so it will be interesting to see how the end product turns out.

Official Website

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After having won the German Developer Prize for “Best Publisher”, it’s easy to see why when looking at this small startup’s lovely retail box art and goodies system in action, especially considering that it’s all about indie games which deserve more attention in the public eye than so many other shovelware and AAA games on the shelves display. It was also interesting to have it situated in a Bavarian summer terrace environment, while the direct communication with the indie developers themselves was also a refreshing take without the PR being too intrusive. It was a relaxed environment where one could actually get some decent food as well after a long day of running to and fro.

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Meridian – New World
(Germany TBA, developer: Elder Games, publisher: Headup Games, platform: PC)

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An RTS title which despite its one-man ship, took me by surprise with its amazingly detailed graphics. Even if the genre doesn’t seem to offer a lot of innovation, the sci-fi setting with its various planet locations burst with color and imagination. Voice acting and sound effects were also great, while the way missions varied in gameplay styles was also nice to see. As it is, this is a title which could actually steal the show of many current or in-development RTS games when it hits the stores online and offline. Now available in Steam Early Access and as a demo, this is worth checking out, just to see it in stunning motion.

Official Website

Talisman – Collector’s Edition
(UK 2014, developer: Nomad Games, publisher: Headup Games, platforms: PC, iOS)

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Based on a tabletop board game, this fantasy strategy card-battle game looked fun and accessible even for those not familiar with its origins. Although relying on luck as well, watching the developer enjoy talking and playing it infused a feeling of trying it oneself. Also released on iOS and Android devices, this might not have caught the world by storm, but it’s nice to play nevertheless if found for a cheap price (recently in an Indie Royale bundle actually, although getting Headup Games’ retail version provides more physical goodies).

Official Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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Gamescom 2014 GOG party

Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the weather seems to hit the summer spot really hard and people crowd in front of trailers and playable demos for hours at the Gamescom 2014. But there are also other ways to enjoy gaming and meet cool people.

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For the first time, GOG offers its community to get together, have a couple of drinks and lots of fun with gaming. It will not be at the Gamescom convention center itself, but take place in a pub in Cologne. As there are only 70 seats which can be reserved, make sure to write an email to party@gog.com (with your username, so don’t forget to sign up).

The reason to be there or be square is that there will not only be free goodies, but also some competitions and actual gaming, plus free beer (however that turns out, considering how parties can get rather wild ;)). The date will be Thursday, August 14, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. With most tickets of Gamescom already sold out, this might be the perfect chance to have some more relaxing time with meeting the GOG team and other interesting people. But don’t wait too long, because the news is already sort of old news.

See you there, as I’ll be on location to party or rather play hard after a lot of press screenings before (if Koelnmesse allows it).

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).
Using one of the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

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Kickstarter adventures: “Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse” (PC)

Kickstarter games usually promise a lot and rely on people’s nostalgic feelings, so does Revolution Software’s Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse deliver to adventure game fans?

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse (PC)
(UK 2014, developer/publisher: Revolution Software, platforms: PC, iOS, Android, PS Vita)

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After a murder in an art gallery, hunting for a biblical painting turns out to be George’s and Nico’s greatest adventure yet.

Storytelling for suspense and laughs
Despite the missing link of the Templars conspiracy, the story revolving around biblical themes mixes fact and fiction rather nicely and again showcases Charles Cecil’s awareness that history is more than just a bunch of dusty old books. There’s enough mystery here to keep the player interested, while the historical explanations seldom outstay their welcome.

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However, the plot takes a while to get going and except for some twists and turns plays it safe with inoffensive but sometimes forced humor and a few thriller elements, although the investigation and globe trotting almost hit the same soft spot the original did. Unfortunately, the ending feels rushed, and the main villain isn’t that intimidating either, which already hints at some problems with the script and characterizations.

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Familiar and new faces
Conversations between George and Nico aren’t as witty as in the first two games, but their portrayals are much better realized than in the fourth game, while there are a few interesting NPCs to talk to as well. Unfortunately, characters from the past have nothing more than camoes. In the case of Lady Piemont, the high society dame who was so memorable in the original, they even turn out to be caricatures to be laughed at. This is too bad, because the more serious characters who tell their life stories, are very well written.

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The problematic relationship between different points of views in religion is also an intriguing theme seldom highlighted in games, but at some points, the philosophical teachings stand in stark contrast to the humor of the game. Still, despite some flat characters and a story which is nothing particulary special in mystery novel terms, visiting new locations, meeting new people and unravelling more of the past is almost as much fun as in the other Broken Sword titles.

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A game and story of two pieces and minds
It also has to be said that the game is best played and discussed as a whole, because the two-part structure only works to a certain degree. The first one ends on an unsatisfying more-questions-than-answers note, while the second one emphasizes the globe trotting and adventuring aspect more than the investigation and interrogation parts of the first one.

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Going through the puzzle motions
The Broken Sword series always had its up and downs in puzzle design. Whereas the first one had too few and easy conundrums, the second one had too many and became more like Monkey Island, the third one did too much Sokoban-like block-pushing, and the fourth one was simply too obscure and bugged with hacker mini-games.

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So it’s refreshing to see that the newest title almost hits the perfect balance between object-combinations, environmental interactions and logic puzzles. The game is at its best when one has to decipher manuscripts and does a fair bit of research. The mix of investigation and puzzle solving is on par with the first game, although there are a few exceptions which are extremely annoying.

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One involves a weird music puzzle to convince a character to find spiritual peace with herself and another object-based puzzle where a police officer has to be moved from his post with the exploitation of his bladder problem. Using a rat to overcome a electrical circuit problem is also a ludicrous example. The difficulty of sometimes obscure, often logical, but also more elaborate puzzles can be adjusted to the player’s familiarity with the genre, as a very good step-by-step hint system helps to overcome each obstacle.

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Old age looking good for the new age
Not only the gameplay and storytelling are true to the roots of the series, the graphics, voice acting and soundtrack also live up to the high standards of the original 2D adventures. Backgrounds are drawn with an attention to colorful detail, while the cutscenes are done extremely well with fluid animations. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the character animations, illustrated by 3D models which move slowly with few gestures and don’t fit very well into the 2D locations.

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However, the voice actors do a tremendously good job (especially in the German version). Only the soundtrack is a bit disappointing. It’s not that it doesn’t offer memorable tunes, but most of these are taken directly from the first two games, and despite a few isolated instances, the score is sorely lacking in variety.

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Kickstarter done right
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse is a perfect example how a developer listened to their backers and delivers enough fan service to justify the money put into the Kickstarter project. The game succeeds in evoking nostalgic feelings about the series in a good way by presenting a mystery story mixed with a historical and religious touch on the surface and often genuinely fun and engaging puzzles underneath.

Unfortunately, storytelling suffers from the lack of genuine inventiveness and could have used some more suspense, while the characters remain flat as well with only a few instances when genuine emotion is shown. As it is, it remains a fun adventure game which stays true to the series’ mix of history and mystery and the genre in which it sits comfortably without being experimental.

Rating: 8/10

Buy the PC game on
GOG
Steam
Amazon Germany (Retail box)
Amazon UK (Retail box)
Amazon USA (Retail box import)

Buy the iOS game on
the ITunes Store

Buy the Android game on
Google Play

Official Website

Promotional trailer for the second episode:

Trailer for the iOS version of Episode 1:

Trailer for the Android version:

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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Indie Royale Shoe Bundle

It’s over a week since the last posting, but this was due to some technical difficulties, concerning my PC which finally broke down, writing from a borrowed laptop right now. So sorry about the scarce news. With other additional time-consuming stuff to do, there wasn’t even much of a chance to try out Indie Royale‘s latest Shoe Bundle, which is a shame, as it’s a rather excellent one.

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With only a few hours to go, I’ll keep it short and give you some trailers and links to find out for yourself if this is to your taste. If platformers are your thing, then this bundle is definitely worth the purchase, with some wonderful pixel art and fun gameplay in all the titles. The music album also sounds extremely cool in an 80ies-kind of disco sense.

So don’t wait any longer and get it before the offer expires in a few hours.

Stealth Bastard Deluxe
(UK 2012, developer/publisher: Curve Studios, platforms: PC. Android)

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Official Website

Savant: Ascent
(Norway 2014, developer/publisher: D-Pad Studio, platforms: PC, iOS, Android)

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Official Website

Mr. Bree+
(Brazil 2013, developer/publisher: TawStudio Entertainment, platform: PC)

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Official Website

Jack Lumber
(USA 2014, developer/publisher: Owlchemy Labs, platforms: PC, iOS, Android)

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Official Website

Fly’n
(France 2013, developer/publisher: Ankama, platform: PC)

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Official Website

Oozi: Earth Adventure
(Poland 2012, developer/publisher: Awesome Game Studio, platforms: PC, Xbox 360)

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Official Website

Akane the Kunoichi
(Italy 2014, developer/publisher: Haruneko Entertainment, platform: PC)

akanethekunoichi

Official Website

Doomed’n Damned
(Finland 2014, developer/publisher: Arc-Gen, platform: PC)

doomedndamned

Official Website

Daily Espada
(Brazil 2014, developer/publisher: Pidroh, platform: PC)

dailyespada

Official Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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Indie Royale Apollo Bundle

The sun seems to take a holiday and lets the rain reign supreme, but even if the greek dude in the logo of Indie Royale‘s latest Apollo Bundle hasn’t got the proper attire (just notice where the logo is actually placed within the logo), it’s a bundle dressed to play.

indieroyaleapollobundle

Included are RPG rogue-lite customizable-weapons FPS Rogue Shooter, strange experimental pixel-art adventure in nature Echo of the Wilds, fantasy board card strategy Talisman Digital Edition, 3D co-op tower-defense with balls (seriously) Terrorhedron, arcade-jumper in mine carts Swipecart, and frenetic multiplayer ice puck shucking (again seriously with fun) ClusterPuck 99.

In addition to the soundtrack of Rogue Shooter, paying 5 Euros or more unlocks the extremely easy-going-and-listening chiptune album Showtime by Popskyy.

Even if the titles don’t bear very well-known developer names, the amount of fun and originality here can’t be dismissed. Be it the Into the Wild inspired Echo of the Wilds, the tongue-in-cheek Rogue Shooter: The FPS Roguelike or the awesome 8-player-action ClusterPuck 99, it’s difficult NOT to love this bundle. I would even go so far to say that the chiptune album is one of the best of the countless Indie Royale Bundles I’ve reviewed so far.

So don’t wait and get it before the offer expires tomorrow.

Rogue Shooter: The FPS Roguelike
(USA 2014, developer/publisher: Hippomancer, platform: PC)

rogueshooter

Official Website

Echo of the Wilds
(Netherlands 2014, developer/publisher: caiysware, platform: PC)

echoofthewilds

Official Website

Talisman Digital Edition
(UK 2014, developer/publisher: Nomad Games, platforms: PC, iOS)

talismandigitaledition

Official Website

Terrorhedron
(UK 2014, developer/publisher: Micro Macro Games, platform: PC)

terrorhedron

Official Website

Swipecart
(Canada 2014, developer/publisher: Micro Factory Games, platforms: PC, iOS, Android)

swipecart

Official Website

ClusterPuck 99
(USA 2014, developer/publisher: PHL Collective, platform: PC)

clusterpuck99

Official Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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GOG Weekend Promo: Nordic Nobility

With some unexpected computer problems (spending most of the weekend trying to fix them), there was a short break of reviewing, but now’s the perfect time for highlighting GOG‘s Nordic Nobility weekend promo.

gogweekendpromo

With courtesy of Austrian publisher Nordic Games, there’s a whole bunch of classic games on offer in GOG’s Weekend Promo. It’s a pretty long list of discounted titles, so going into detail with each one isn’t the best way to handle this, especially since the offer ends tomorrow, Tuesday, July 22, at 3:59AM GMT.

Gothic 2 Gold Edition
Gothic 3
Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition
Painkiller Black Edition
Spellforce Platinum
Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars
Spellforce 2: Dragon Wars
Spellforce 2: Demons of the Past
Red Faction
Red Faction 2
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive
Desperados 2: Cooper’s Revenge
The Book of Unwritten Tales
The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles
The Guild Gold Edition
The Guild 2
The Guild 2: Pirates of the European Seas
Summoner
The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief
Full Spectrum Warrior
Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers
Silver
Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within
Aquanox
Aquanox 2: Revelation
Dark Fall: The Journal
Dark Fall 2: Lights Out
Chaser
Alien Nations
The Nations Gold Edition
Panzer Elite Special Edition
Neighbours From Hell Compilation

Still, what can be said is that the weekend promo includes some of the finest games in their respective genres, some must-have titles like RPG Gothic 2, strategy-RPG Spellforce, wild-west strategy Desperados, point-and-click adventures The Book of Unwritten Tales, The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief, Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within, medieval simulation The Guild, and underwater-shooter-simulation Aqanox. As you can see, these are only a few of the titles which offer long playability and an awesome great time for everyone’s favorite genres.

So don’t wait and head over to GOG before the offer expires.

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).
Using one of the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

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