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Adventure Games Thread 2019 - The Liveliest Dead Genre There Ever Was

frogmeetsdog

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@frogmeetsdog I am playing Whispers of a Machine. I'm currently on the 3rd day and enjoying it a lot. I'd say (so far) this is the first must play adventure of the year. Not counting Great Ace Attorney since it's actually a 2015 game with a recent fan translation (although that's must play as well imo). The investigation abilities steal the show. Whispers does an impressive job of delivering unique uses for them and won't hold your hand, so that -- in the game's best moments -- you feel as though you're doing real detective work. Vera is a solid lead (and only getting more interesting as the story progresses). She reminds me of Amy Wellard from Shardlight, in that Vera is remarkably even keel despite being mixed up in high stress situations. Although, I assume some of that can change with the dialogue options.

There are some moments that are brought down by muddled sign-posting, I feel. Stuff that's confusing in a way that seems unintentional, rather than a deliberate red herring. Also, there are times where the limitations for what you can or cannot interact with seem arbitrary. Thankfully those moments have been few and far between (so far at least) .

The dialogue system is both cool and limiting in ways. I really like the fact that my choices shape Vera's abilities. It's great to see the choice/consequence mechanic effect gameplay in a way it typically doesn't. But at the same time I find myself choosing dialogue options I otherwise wouldn't just to keep getting the abilities I want instead of choosing what I feel is best to say. It's a tough balancing act for a cool idea. I'm curious to see how much it really changes the game on subsequent playthroughs.
I agree with what I can agree on. As I‘m not too far in I can‘t really comment on your second paragraph but so far I‘m also VERY impressed. The game is super-immersive, the story reels you in immediatly, the extra abilities (or light RPG elements if you will) are very cool and - same as with the choices - add a very interesting layer to the game.

Very impressed with WoaM so far. I already liked Kathy Rain but this one is shaping up to be an even better experience.
 
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Finished Whispers of a Machine and liked it a lot. It's a game I feel like I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of replaying later on. Having different abilities for some of those puzzles, especially the ones in the last half, would change a lot I imagine. I wish the final 3rd of the story had been given a bit more room to breathe. The game is broken up into Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers esque "days." Each one lasting 1~2 hours or so. Whispers could probably have used another day to tease out the mystery more.
Also, possibly expanding upon the survival portion where Vera is caught in a deadly storm. They could have done a bit more with that.

There's some really neat puzzles in that latter half, though. Clifftop is establishing a track record for making cool puzzles out of detective work. There's one to do with audio editing that isn't too difficult but really clever and lends to the feeling that you're really investigating. Something that's pervasive in essentially all of WoaM's gameplay. Especially since genuinely interpreting the clues is often times very important and the game won't dog-walk you to those conclusions. It's a really varied game and does well to show just how versatile adventure games can be.

I gatta say I really love the detailed, fully proportioned, high(-er) res sprites. I just wish they moved more! This isn't a Whispers only problem so I don't count it heavily against the game itself. But a lot of the indie titles lean on character portraits to do the expressive heavy lifting. But gesture and motion are so important and a lot of these scenes could really be elevated if the sprites did some more acting. The animations you do get are well done, however.

I really enjoyed my time with Whispers of a Machine despite wishing there was a bit more of it. I'd slightly, ever so slightly, knock down my original estimation from "must play" to "strongly recommend." It's not quite, say, Technobabylon good but it's preeeeeeeetty fucking good. Cheers to Clifftop Games and Faravid Interactive for the job well done.
 
Oct 14, 2010
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New interview with Dave Gilbert from Adventure Gamers where he shares details on Technobabylon: Birthright. Dave speaks on the move to 3D, new focus on Latha and a tentative release window.

Laura: When it was announced that you were looking to make Birthright in 3D, people started throwing up the old comparisons of adventure games that moved to 3D but didn’t do as well, like Escape from Monkey Island

Dave: Yes, I was like, oh sure, bring up Escape from Monkey Island. I'll try and make my game like one of the most reviled games in existence. Thank you! (laughs) The tools are different now. You can make good games in 3D very easily now. Most adventures are in 3D and they look great. I think Escape from Monkey Island came out literally twenty years ago – we can do better now. I joke that in 2006 I made a game that looked like it came out 15 years earlier and we're technically doing the same thing now: making a game that looks like it came out in the early mid-2000s!
Dave is confirmed trolling my post history lol.

Laura: Whereabouts are you in terms of development for the game?

Dave: It's hard to say because there's so much to tweak and change. We're about a third of the way through the design. There's a lot of recurring areas that we reuse. It was a big learning curve in terms of how to get everything made. At GDC Ben described it much better because he's the artist, but basically at one point he realised he'd learned so much that the way he was doing things was completely wrong – it was taking too long and looked ugly and so he re-did it all in a month!
I think this is a good sign that things seem to be in a state of heavy revision and things are subject to improve. I'm hoping that at least the major story characters end up looking sharper upon the games release.

Laura: Will this be a direct sequel to Technobablyon?

Dave: Yes. You only play as one of the three characters though; Technobablyon had three characters and you bounced between them. In the sequel you just play as Latha, who has just joined the police force, and so she's kind of finding her way. She's a cool character. And now that we're using 3D, there's a lot more we can do with The Trance as well. That's what I loved about Technobablyon – whenever I give James [Dearden, of developer Technocrat Games] feedback, it's just "more Trance!"
Sort of mixed feelings on this. Narrowing down the playable characters to focus on Latha could work. She's a great character and did the most growing in the first game. If I had to choose any one character to focus on it'd be her. Sad to lose Max and Regis, though. Hope they still play a big part in the story even if they aren't playable.

Laura: When will Technobablyon: Birthright be out?

Dave: It might be close to being done at the end of this year, but I doubt it’ll be ready. It looks really good; I'm kind of amazed! I can't wait to get the voice acting in there and see how that plays out. I don't know when that'll come out – or Nighthawks for that matter. We're hoping for next year.
New screenshots;
Good to see t.h.e return of Cheffie ;). The environments are looking better than the initial batch. It's weird to see promotional shots with aliasing but the article does note these are WIP shots. Latha's model still needs work imo. Right off the bat you can see an awkward bend at the elbow that's reminiscent of old 3D, in a bad way. The folds on her clothing don't quite look right, either. It doesn't look like folding fabric, she looks lumpy.

If they can smooth out those rough edges I'm more than down for this aesthetic. That 1st image especially is reminiscent of the hazy neon palettes from Technobabylon. Wadjet Eye rarely disappoints but they also rarely leave their comfort zone. So we'll see.
 
Oct 14, 2010
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Yo! Little Misfortune demo now available on Steam and itch:
https://killmondaygames.itch.io/little-misfortune

It's about 15 minutes long, cute and creepy :messenger_smiling:
Played the demo. It's adorable and Misfortune's VA in particular is supremely adorable. Enough to melt the icey, adult, cynicism surrounding my heart. If only briefly. The combination of a children's storybook art style with adult themes and macbre imagery remind me of a lot of "alternative comics" I read in my teens. Stuff like SQUEE by Jhonen Vasquez or Lenore by Roman Dirge. Killmonday doesn't shy away from the provocative subject matter, too, which I really appreciate.

The demo is pretty short but I enjoyed what we got. The "overall polish" has stepped up considerably from Fran Bow. The dynamic between Misfortune and the narrator is immediately compelling. I was looking forward to this game to start with, included it in the OP list, but this demo has upped my anticipation even more. The whole vibe is right up my alley.
 
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frogmeetsdog

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Finished Whispers of a Machine and liked it a lot. It's a game I feel like I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of replaying later on. Having different abilities for some of those puzzles, especially the ones in the last half, would change a lot I imagine. I wish the final 3rd of the story had been given a bit more room to breathe. The game is broken up into Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers esque "days." Each one lasting 1~2 hours or so. Whispers could probably have used another day to tease out the mystery more.
Also, possibly expanding upon the survival portion where Vera is caught in a deadly storm. They could have done a bit more with that.

There's some really neat puzzles in that latter half, though. Clifftop is establishing a track record for making cool puzzles out of detective work. There's one to do with audio editing that isn't too difficult but really clever and lends to the feeling that you're really investigating. Something that's pervasive in essentially all of WoaM's gameplay. Especially since genuinely interpreting the clues is often times very important and the game won't dog-walk you to those conclusions. It's a really varied game and does well to show just how versatile adventure games can be.

I gatta say I really love the detailed, fully proportioned, high(-er) res sprites. I just wish they moved more! This isn't a Whispers only problem so I don't count it heavily against the game itself. But a lot of the indie titles lean on character portraits to do the expressive heavy lifting. But gesture and motion are so important and a lot of these scenes could really be elevated if the sprites did some more acting. The animations you do get are well done, however.

I really enjoyed my time with Whispers of a Machine despite wishing there was a bit more of it. I'd slightly, ever so slightly, knock down my original estimation from "must play" to "strongly recommend." It's not quite, say, Technobabylon good but it's preeeeeeeetty fucking good. Cheers to Clifftop Games and Faravid Interactive for the job well done.
Completely agree with this. The rushed last chapter/ending came very much out of the blue and was rather a letdown. And even though the audio puzzle was cool I also thought that the puzzles in the first 2 days were stronger and more clever than in the latter half.

Those in the first half were some very good brainteasers which you really had to pay attention for while in the second half they got much easier and weren’t as well thought out anymore. A bit similar to the rushed story. I just feel they wanted/had to get the game out of the door a little too soon.

And yes, the story completely rushed to a conclusion. Also feel at least one additionl day wouldn’t have hurt. And alas it was pretty obvious who the bad guy was after about a quarter of the game in.

Btw, not sure why you felt you had to stick to one path. I just used the dialogue choices I liked the most - If your strongest ability changes throughout the game (two different paths) you just have to solve some puzzles a bit differently. It doesn‘t impede your ability to move forward though.

Anyway, game started very good but rather left a strong first than a strong lasting impression. But I‘d also still recommend it, just not as enthusiastic as when I started the title.
 
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Free Demo/Prologue for Backbone available via steam TODAY.

As of this post the game isn't unlocked on the steam store but it will be at some point today. I'm excited to get a hands on look at Backbone. One of the better looking pixel art games imo.

Btw, not sure why you felt you had to stick to one path. I just used the dialogue choices I liked the most - If your strongest ability changes throughout the game (two different paths) you just have to solve some puzzles a bit differently. It doesn‘t impede your ability to move forward though.
That's because I was specifically interested in trying analytical abilities and that play-style. I didn't want to use the other ones. How would I be able to know from the outset how different the puzzles ultimately are? Which by the way some are pretty different. When I replayed the game with the possession ability some of the puzzles were significantly different
(and not as cool imo. although, the junkyard puzzle for the aggressive path was a good use of the bioscanner)
 
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frogmeetsdog

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That's because I was specifically interested in trying analytical abilities and that play-style.
Ok, figured as much but wasn’t sure from the wording in the first post :) I went mainly analytical with my answers as well and if you don’t intentionally try to change paths it’s pretty unlikely to happen. Iirc there aren’t all too many dialogue possibilities after all, I’d estimate about 8 - 10 in the second day.
 
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Two more games worth giving a look, one that's coming out very soon as well.

Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders is a murder mystery adventure game set upon the backdrop of tumultuous political times in ancient China. It's got a simplistic but appealing pixel art style and, if the trailer is any indication, a wonderful soundtrack as well. Detective Di is slated for release May 1st, just a week from now.

Detective Di's Steam Page said:
Amid lingering political turmoil, the first and only female empress of China, Wu Zetian rises to power. Within months of her ascension to the throne, murmurs of discontentment and revolution swell as detractors and enemies begin plotting against her. It is against this backdrop that our protagonist, newly appointed investigating magistrate Di Renjie, must solve a gruesome series of murders--which will lead him on a collision course with the Imperial Court and the empress herself.
Detective Di's Steam Page said:
Playing as the legendary detective, players will explore this unique setting and unravel its narrative twists and turns using familiar adventure gameplay mechanics such as exploration, dialogue choices, interaction with objects and clues, and puzzle-solving. Additionally, we are introducing an original mechanic where you will be able to deduct and reenact the scene of a crime and put your theories to the test.

The pixel art style of the game is also an homage to old school graphics, but we've added our own visual signature and design sensibilities. The game contains over 45 locations (many spanning multiple screen widths), each one pixel-painted with care and attention to detail.
45 locations is nothing to scoff at. The crime scene recreation mechanic also sounds interesting. Reminds me of the Twin Mirror gameplay demo.
---

Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest is about a slovenly blogger, Angelo, desperate for e-fame who is mistakenly brought to hell. Although desperate to escape, he quickly realizes he can turn his misfortune into the craziest, trending, viral video of all time.

Angelo and Deemon's Steam Page said:
What benefits you can expect:
  • Expressive and vaguely similar to someone characters
  • Helluva great looking levels (not pixel art!)
  • Addictive and mind-blowing puzzles. You’ll have to think really hard, not as you always do in games
  • Not pixel art graphics! (in case you missed the line above)
  • Funny dialogues. The cocktail of humor and philosophy, highly recommended
  • Too much cocktails are harmful, so our lines are sophisticated. Making you smile and think at the same time by using only a few words (like now)
  • You won’t forget character’s lines, even if you’ll try. Every one of them is a person and has its own problems. Who doesn’t, right?
  • WARNING!!! There is a chance you’ll like hell and won’t be scared of it anymore
According to AdventureGamers, Angelo and Deemon is expected to drop sometime this July or August.
 
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Good to see t.h.e return of Cheffie ;). The environments are looking better than the initial batch. It's weird to see promotional shots with aliasing but the article does note these are WIP shots. Latha's model still needs work imo. Right off the bat you can see an awkward bend at the elbow that's reminiscent of old 3D, in a bad way. The folds on her clothing don't quite look right, either. It doesn't look like folding fabric, she looks lumpy.

If they can smooth out those rough edges I'm more than down for this aesthetic. That 1st image especially is reminiscent of the hazy neon palettes from Technobabylon. Wadjet Eye rarely disappoints but they also rarely leave their comfort zone. So we'll see.
thanks for the info - ive stated before about my opinions on 3d PnCs, and just looking at this its falling into that same hole. 3D is such a a difficult pit to climb out of for indie devs. I feel like you can only get away with it if youve got a certain style. Even the aesthetic of these "new" wip screenshots have that uber generic 3d art look to them. More than what you are pointing out which are technical tidbits ( the elbow weighting etc.) its feeling like a typical indie amateur attempt at a 3d game.
 
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Two more games worth giving a look, one that's coming out very soon as well.
the first game doesnt look like my jam, but angelo and deemon seems like a pretty unique take. I was actually really into it even though the generic tween/puppet-style anim looked rough. to be expected of course, anim always takes the most time (and therefore money) which is typically low on the priority list for pncs and indie games in general. As stills though, its looks really nicely laid out and painted.
 
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wip screenshots have that uber generic 3d art look to them. More than what you are pointing out which are technical tidbits ( the elbow weighting etc.)
lol I know dude I'm trying to stay positive because of how hard I fanboy for Technobabylon. I'm holding out hope that by repeatedly saying "work in progress," they realize there's plenty more work to be done. I know Wadjet Eye is a small dev/publisher but I'm thinking they should really bring on another 3D artist to give Ben a hand. It's kind of crazy to be learning 3D for the first time while making the sequel to Technobabylon.
 

frogmeetsdog

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3D is such a a difficult pit to climb out of for indie devs. I feel like you can only get away with it if youve got a certain style. Even the aesthetic of these "new" wip screenshots have that uber generic 3d art look to them. More than what you are pointing out which are technical tidbits ( the elbow weighting etc.) its feeling like a typical indie amateur attempt at a 3d game.
It's kind of crazy to be learning 3D for the first time while making the sequel to Technobabylon.
Lol yeah, that‘s super weird for me too. Hard to understand why they are starting to experiment with the sequel of one of their most successful games. Maybe it‘s precisely because they believe that they can dare to do more with a well-known IP but - if Gilbert felt they had to try this direction - I still think they should have started a new franchise with the 3D approach and stay with what they always did and can do best with an established title like TB(2).

I agree with what @Vampire On Titus (roughly) said before: Wadjet Eye knows their stuff and one can only hope that a 3D Technobabylon 2 turns out as well as most of their other games - But this move is such a big gamble and the first screenshots don’t look all too promising.

It feels a bit like Russian roulette to me and no matter how hard I ponder about it, I‘m having a real hard time to fathom why they felt they needed this sudden change in visuals - Unavowed sold and got received great after all and Wadjet Eye is doing better than nearly every other PnC dev out there, WITH their signature retro style. This 3D experiment just feels like change for the sake of change.

Just hoping I’m being too pessimistic and that Wadjet isn’t making a big mistake here.
 
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I'm in to Blacksad's gravelly voice it's a great fit for the characters tough but sympathetic personality. The trailer is an expanded look on some of the scenes we've seen in the previous teaser and screenshots. A couple new locations in the mix. A lot of new characters. That shadowy meeting with the walrus,eagle and two other animals (that flashes on screen for a split second) looks cool as hell. Also getting a feel for the music they're going with, mix of jazzy and folksy, I like it.

I hope we can get a gameplay trailer or ~10 minute demo sometime soon as well. September isn't that far away so sooner rather than later would be nice!
 
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The game looks interesting. However, the facial animations look quite bad. We don't see them a lot in the trailer, but the few we see are not good.
The one at 45 seconds w/ the cat lady looks fine. The facial animations for the less humanistic animals are choppy. Hopefully it's something they can smooth out before release.

Some new screens:



 

Fuz

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We still don't know if it's a "telltale" type of game, or a classic inventory based adventure, do we?

That CE statue is pretty cool.
 
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We still don't know if it's a "telltale" type of game, or a classic inventory based adventure, do we?
It will have branching narrative choices but there will also be investigations and puzzle solving. It's not crystal clear what form of puzzle solving that will be. But we do have a little information from preview write-ups and Pendulo's pre-release materials:

Adventure Gamers' Gamescom 2018 roundup said:
The gameplay contains elements of both classic and modern adventure games. As a detective, players collect evidence and information, which can then be combined in inventory to draw conclusions, kind of like Ace Attorney. It is possible to interact with lots of different things in the environment, but not everything will be helpful.

As far as we can tell from the gamescom demo, the non-linear gameplay very much revolves around the story. Besides the typical detective work, it also features Quick Time Events and multiple choice dialogues. Previous decisions can affect the narrative in multiple ways: if you use the fire exit instead of going through the main door, your quest continues in a different way.
Pendulo Regarding Gameplay In Meristation Interview said:
[...] we managed to give the player a direct control over the character, which together with some original mechanics allow a richer, more complex and dynamic exploration of the scenarios [...] we continue betting very hard for the exploration and that the player is the one who has to solve the enigmas and puzzles proposed.
Blacksad Section On Microids Website said:
  • An official and all-new story for BLACKSAD, set in the comic book series’ unique world, perfectly recreated for gamers.
  • An investigative narrative game with gameplay combining investigations, puzzles, quick time events (QTE) and multiple-choice dialog.
  • Choices that directly influence the development of the character and the story’s ending.
  • More than 30 characters, including new faces and old favorites, each with their own story.
  • An immersive world with a jazz soundtrack to rival the very best of Hollywood’s film noir.
  • Fans of adventure games will love its gameplay and narration while fans of the comic book series will be thrilled to rediscover the characters and graphic style of this unique world.
  • A dark world of anthropomorphic animals

  • Developed by: Pendulo Studios
  • Release date: September 2019
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac
  • Type of game: Puzzle, Adventure
  • Languages: French, English, Italian, German, Spanish
  • Number of player: 1
That's all I've seen to go off of until they show off some gameplay. But at the very least from the AGers preview we know you collect items and there is an inventory. They mention interaction with the environment but it's not clear to what extent. There's also apparently some "original mechanics" that have been mentioned but not elaborated on. My guess is Blacksad's sense of smell will be used to investigate & track suspects somehow.
 

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Looks like Drawn Down for PC is almost here. It's scheduled to release in June. I didn't know the game already came for iOS in August but nevertheless I'm excited to play it on Steam when it's out.

 
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Draugen, Guard Duty, Detective Di, Observation and others this month. I'm probably most hyped on Guard Duty out of the bunch. It's been in development for a long time so I'm expecting a lengthy and finely tuned game. Weird that Draugen doesn't have an exact release date yet, with May just a few days away. Possible delay? Either way there's still quite a lot to look forward to.

 
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The one at 45 seconds w/ the cat lady looks fine. The facial animations for the less humanistic animals are choppy. Hopefully it's something they can smooth out before release.

Some new screens:



nice screens this 3d adventure works so much more than technobabylon: birthright. maybe TB:B will get it there by release, but this game just had developed its own sense of aesthetic and style. good jorb on them
 
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New freeware game from Deconstructeam (gods will be watching, red strings club). It's called "Dear Substance of Kin." Developed as a submission for Ludun Dare 44. The Red Strings Club also started out as a small freeware game, initially, so perhaps we'll see more of "Dear Substance" in the future. From what I can tell (havent played it yet) it looks like an interesting horror, point & click with Dteams trademark minimalist pixel style. Their games typically have some novel concept to them so I'm looking forward to that.




Also some cool updates on upcoming games. Irony Curtain From Matryoshka With Love announces that Peter McConnell composed a theme for their game. McConnell is best known for the music he's contributed to games like Monkey Island 2 and Grim Fandango. Arkadiusz Reikowsk is also contributing who worked on Layers of Fear and My Brother Rabbit. The announcement video also shows off some new gameplay snippets at the end. The OST is also available pre-release on bandcamp and soundcloud.



Lastly, we've got a new trailer for Utopia Syndrome. An, as of yet, quite unknown in development game with drop-dead gorgeous visuals. This trailer continues to show off some environments we've in a gameplay demo that I posted previously. This time the vantage point is different, demonstrating how well these assets scale to fit a more cinematic presentation. Good to see this one is still chugging along. This trailer was cut for a convention called "Games Gathering" in Ukraine.

 

frogmeetsdog

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Looks like Drawn Down for PC is almost here. I didn't know the game already came for iOS in August ...

Mentioned the iOS release in September (in your 2018 PnC adventure thread) already.

Drawn Down is pretty cool. Rather short and not too hard but still a worthwhile experience. There isn‘t a lot of info to find about the game, so if anybody is interested, here is the main thread of the iOS version with some posts from the dev too.



On another subject, did anybody play Guard Duty yet? I read it’s rather enjoyable but very easy. Little torn because of this - Was looking forward to the game but I don‘t mind a Point‘n‘Click Adventure - especially one that is trying to emulate the classics so much like Guard Duty - to be more of a challenge.
 
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This game looks pretty interesting, Bone Voyage by Team Cobblestone. I couldn't find the steam trailer on YouTube (only a bad WIP one that's clearly older) but it's worth a pop over to their page to check it out.


The game is claimed to be inspired by the classics with a modern twist. I can definitely feel some Grim Fandango and Monkey Island ish vibes from what's presented. Apparently, you character has some unique skeleton abilities. You see some of that in the trailer but not too much. Bone Voyage will be released in chapters, the first of which comes out in 3 days.

On another subject, did anybody play Guard Duty yet? I read it’s rather enjoyable but very easy. Little torn because of this - Was looking forward to the game but I don‘t mind a Point‘n‘Click Adventure - especially one that is trying to emulate the classics so much like Guard Duty - to be more of a challenge.
I haven't played it yet. Currently making my way through Broken Sword 5 and I might do Detective Di or Toonstruck, afterwards, before I swing around to Guard Duty. I've also seen some impressions of the difficulty. Apparently it starts out fairly puzzle heavy then there's a narrative shift in the second half and the puzzles drop off. Of course I can't personally speak to how well it's handled.
 

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Oh sorry must have forgotten about that post @frogmeetsdog

In other news, Cloak & Dagger Games make some nice indie PnCs (e.g. A Football Game, A Date in the Park, Mudlarks etc) and seem to be coming out with their newest one in about 4 days called Sumatra: Fate of Yandi


3-5 hours of gameplay and based on The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. Really liking the jungle atmosphere. Nice bite-sized adventure for a good weekend.
 
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For anyone who liked A Vampyre Story, looks like the dev got his rights back to the IP and can move forward with the sequel! He's had a lot of downturns in recent years so this is good news.
 
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For anyone who liked A Vampyre Story, looks like the dev got his rights back to the IP and can move forward with the sequel! He's had a lot of downturns in recent years so this is good news.
Do you have a link or somewhere we can follow to keep posted on this?
 

Fuz

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So many interesting games and so little time...


Speaking of which, anyone tried Guard Duty yet? I had a really good feeling from it, reminds me of Simon the Sorcerer and Discworld.
 
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So many interesting games and so little time...


Speaking of which, anyone tried Guard Duty yet? I had a really good feeling from it, reminds me of Simon the Sorcerer and Discworld.
I picked it up recently and I'm going to play through it soon. I've heard some good impressions and some mixed. I'm fairly positive I'll enjoy myself from what I've seen.

Also Irony Curtain was released today along with a new trailer:

That was a lot quicker than I expected. I like the designs and environment art. Some of the animation lacks polish but it looks to be a pretty well done comedy adventure.
 
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Didn't realize Artifex Mundi were the devs for the russian game. I love their HOGs

I am really diggin' the art style in Irony Curtain. Wishlisted
 

Fuz

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So, Whispers of a Machine.

I had a very bad first impression of it.

"Let's start it"
(LOADING)
"This game uses autosaves..."
"FUCK. YOU."

Now, I think I already said somewhere (Truberbrook. Probably somewhere else too, you guys know how much I like to rant) how much I detest autosaves in P&C adventure games. Actually, in pretty much *any* game (the only exception I can think of it's the Souls games - but I make my own savepoints anyway). I should be the one to decide WHEN and IF I want to save. And how many times I want. I'm used to keep "chapters" of my favourite adventures ready to be replayed, and if I want to change a decision I don't have to be forced to replay all the game for it. Taking away this freedom from me is something I cannot tolerate.

So, yeah, very bad start.

But ok, let's play it a bit. Played for a bit more than one hour, "save & quit" (again, FUCK YOU) and went to sleep. The day after I load the game... and the savegame is none to be seen. I had to restart again, but I was so pissed off that I immediately alt+F4 and didn't touch the game for two days.

Did I already said that it was a really bad start?

Anyway, yada yada yada, I managed to finish the game. Not bad, but not great. The story doesn't deliver, it could have been so much more but felt "underwritten". The ending is a bit rushed and unsatisfactory. Puzzles are mostly good and logical, but quite easy. No big deal for me, though. The only exception being the few password puzzles that were annoying as fuck and, since I was already out of patience, I immediately googled with zero regret or shame.
Now, the big thing about the game is the investigation sequences. The scanner and "emotion detector" are fantastic ideas but they're severely underused and underdesigned. Shame, could have been much more with a better fleshed out investigative sequences.
Cool pixel art, good animations and nice backgrounds, although there aren't many locations. But they're enough since it's supposed to be a small city anyway - which makes it kinda weird that people don't know each other even when they live literally in front of each other. Anyway, good pixel art. I also liked the voice acting, but those P&C devs really need to buy some better recording equipment or find better studios - they all always sound a bit muffled compared to big productions.
I also found it to be super short, I think I solved everything in about 3 hours, only two sittings, but maybe it's just because of how easy it is.
All in all, I enjoyed it but not as much as I thought. it's a decent adventure, but definitely not that memorable.

For me, it's a 6/10.







P.S.

Fuck autosaves.
 
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@Fuz The autosave thing seems to be an increasing trend among adventure games with branching narrative choices. Indies avoided it for a while (afaik) but The Red Strings Club did the same thing. I'm surprised that Unavowed didn't succumb to the trend as well. I also really like to periodically save and replay my favorite moments so this trend blows for sure. I get they're trying to have the choices be more impactful by locking the player into one save but what you gain isn't worth the trade-off.

I enjoyed the story and world-building more than you but I do agree there are under-written aspects. As I said before, the ending is the biggest one but I also found Vera's husband to be pretty bland. Their relationship served its purpose, conceptually, for the plot but I was really wanting some more chemistry to their moments.

It's also a shame that there's some good puzzles hidden away on the various character paths. Overall the analytical path had the best gameplay, imo. But the other two also had some neat ideas.

---

So I've just finished playing through the Broken Sword series (mostly).

BS 1 - I played last year and gave my impressions. It's great.
BS 2 - Awesome game, had a blast playing it. Great pace, great puzzles and fantastic visuals. Playable Nico is a good addition. Overall plot is weaker than BS1 but still a fantastic adventure.
BS 3 - Better than I figured considering its reputation. Decent transition to 3D gameplay wise. Biggest problem is all the recycled plot elements (Templars again!) and too many box puzzles.
BS 4 - Worst entry in the series imo. I didn't even bother to finish it. Nothing clicked with me. Plot, puzzles, characters, etc. I even felt the UI and interface was super sloppy.
BS 5 - Cool return to form. Good to see the characters actually resemble the OG designs. There are some dodgy puzzles and there's not enough globe-trotting for the "proper" BS feel but it was way better than 4.

Overall I enjoyed my time with the series. The first two games are the ones I see myself going back to but 3 and 5 were also worth playing.
 
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Finished chapter one of Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka With Love and so far it's fantastic. I'm enjoying it way more than I ever expected to. Likable protagonist with a TON of personality, clever puzzles that integrate well into the story (organizing a presentation really sells his scrappy, lovable loser/underdog vibe) phenomenal VA and, despite some caveats, great visuals.

Unfortunately the quality of Irony Curtain's animated cut-scenes varies quite a bit. From competently done limited animation you might see on a Adult Swim show to little more than still frames with crude mouth movement. The "in-game animation" however it universally well done, with quite a bit of impressive frame by frame animation. The player character is 3D whereas everyone else are 2D drawings. It's slightly goofy looking but his model is appropriately stylized to pull it off.

Loving the game so far. I'm hoping it's at least 6 to 8 hours long and manages to keep up this quality. They went for the classic LucasArts, tonally, and actually pulled it off. They've also pulled off the herculean task of political satire that's not preachy or lame. Going to play the rest of the game as soon as I get the chance. Fingers crossed that it stays awesome.
 
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Completed Irony Curtain. Really good game. Not all of the writing is consistently as sharp as the introductory chapter. The point in the game directly after you leave the hotel and talk to the citizens of Matryoshka has a lot of "on the nose" dialogue. There's a string of characters who all almost literally say "COMMUNISM IS BAD YO." Without anything especially clever of funny about it. Which is a shame because up to that point, and not long afterward, the game manages to produce clever satire. It also dips its toe into some unfortunate meming. Particularly dated memes too, like "Leroy Jenkins" and "All your base." Irony Curtain hits more than it misses but the misses do detract, especially since many of them are lumped together in a single chapter.

The gameplay is consistently good with rare missteps. There's one part where you have to time initiating conversation with an NPC in a way that's not intuitive, in order to get the correct response. One awkward dialogue puzzle where you tell a story with no real sign-posting. I also ran into a few bugs but nothing game breaking. Most of the puzzles are in that good spot of challenging but fair. A rare instance where I feel veterans and newcomers could be simultaneously satisfied. There's a lot of variety as well.

The characters are all likable. I do think they could have had some more recurring ones. Maybe flesh out the resistance a bit more? There's one cut-scene where they're all talking to one another but you never get that Grim Fandango moment where they all team up to execute the "big plan." But the game's story is carried more by its premise and jokes rather than the plot itself so in that sense they all serve their function.

Really glad that I took a chance with this one because I was genuinely surprised by it. I had a great time playing and I'll be keeping an eye on stuff from this dev from here on out.
 
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Fuz

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So... I've started Guard Duty and I'm really, really enjoying it. It's a little amateurish in some regards, but it's clearly a work of love. Very old style. Love the pixel art, clearly hand drawn - possibly pixel by pixel. Biggest problem for me is how slow the main character is animated. It's just painful to wait for him to go from one point to another.
The main character and most of the other characters I met so far are quite likable (love the gentle woodlands troll!) and voice acting is a bit of hit and miss - really like the main character, but some other sounds like the actor is trying - without much luck - to mask his voice to sound different. Funny, well written dialogues that don't overstay their welcome [the game is not pointlessly verbose] and the puzzles are pretty easy so far but enjoyable.

Hope it keeps this level of quality.

Also, it's dirt cheap.

EDIT: Oh wow, I wasn't expectig that twitst. Good job, Sick Chicken.

So, I'm now done with it and I quite liked it. It's easy, it's short, it's kind of amateurish and unpolished (but bug free), but it's really enjoyable. Recommended.
 
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Started playing Guard Duty and it's good. There's a couple stumbling blocks right out of the gate, though. The first big gag changes the main characters voice in a way that was really annoying to me. He gets stung by bees and can barely speak through his swollen face. It can last like 15+ minutes depending on how you play. I was really eager to be done with that. Afterwards things start coming together. Pleasant dialogue exchanges, some decent puzzling and a TON of references/easter eggs for genre fans. The pixel art really is gorgeous. People have pointed it out in this thread already, but the comparison to Simon The Sorcerer is apt. Similar distinctly British sensibility for the humor as well.

I'll also mirror @Fuz 's critique regarding the VA. I'd actually go a bit further and say it's very hit or miss for me. The clerk at the castle register, in particular, was bad to the point where I skipped his dialogue. It's this really lousy fake old man voice that just didn't work for me at all. Thankfully, no one else has been that bad so far. The main character is also good which is key since you're hearing the most from him.

I really do love the look of the game. It's probably my favorite part at the moment. The environments are all great, the characters are expressive and there's some knockout pixel art cuts-scenes. The main plot is just starting to take off where I'm at so looking forward to more of the gags and this big twist that's apparently coming.
 
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Fuz

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The clerk at the castle register
I was thinking *exactly* of him when I wrote that criticism in my post.

I actually liked the bees, but yeah, it can overstay its welcome. Maybe it shouldn't have been the very first part of the game, it would have helped the player "digest" it better
and this big twist that's apparently coming.
It's not a "big" twist, it's just something I wasn't expecting and took me completely by surprise - something you don't see often in those light-hearted games
 
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Fuz

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So, looks like Draugen is out. The critic reception on Metacritic isn't bad buuuuuuut...

well, the highest score review says:
Draugen didn’t make me a fan of walking simulators
is it a walking simulator and not a full fledged P&C adventure?
 
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So, looks like Draugen is out. The critic reception on Metacritic isn't bad buuuuuuut...

well, the highest score review says:

is it a walking simulator and not a full fledged P&C adventure?
Yes. Ragnar Tornquist has said as much since his AGX 2018 talk about the game. It's an exploration game/walking sim. In an interview for he mentioned there are some light puzzles but I assume he meant having read stuff occasionally to find your way around. I'm assuming there's not any legit puzzle mechanics.

I'm gonna be playing it soon. Haven't played many "walking simulators" before so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it. I hope this isn't the permanent direction for Red Thread Games but I'll still give this a look since I loved Dreamfall Chapters.
 
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Cyan Ventures, the publishing arm of Cyan Inc., the legendary indie studio that created best-selling classics, Myst and Riven, today announced that ZED will be released on June 4th, 2019 for PC, Rift and VIVE. Mac and Linux versions will be released later in June.
 
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