Category Archives: Adventure

I make a terrible Arthur. It's not something I've had to put much thought into in my life, so I wasn't actually aware of that particular gap in my skillset until I played Pendragon Rising [$3.99], the latest release from prolific interactive fiction publishers Choice Of Games. This adventure sees you guiding a young Arthur (or Arta, if you'd prefer to play a woman) as he returns to Briton from a seven-year stay in Rome. Your parent, the ruler of Gwynedd, is seriously injured in a battle with the leader of the invading Saxons, and the matter of their succession will determine the fate of Gwynedd and Briton itself. There's a rightful heir to the throne, and you technically aren't it, but as is often the case with stories based on the Arthurian legend, things get complicated fairly quickly...

'A Study In Steampunk: Choice By Gaslight' Review - Holmes Plus Steampunk Equals Excellence

As much fun as they can be, at the end of the day, most pieces of interactive fiction have stories that are good for games. That's the nasty little asterisk that reminds the player not to expect too much from the story, that it has sacrificed literary merit in exchange for getting the reader's input at frequent points throughout. It makes sense, if you think about it. Writing a great story is like making a great painting. The words are the strokes on the canvas of the page, and, ideally, each one will be carefully chosen to serve a purpose. Good writing is hard, in other words. An interactive story magnifies that difficulty greatly, as you now have to create hundreds of similar but equally great works based on how the player decides. Then you have to deal with the expectations of the audience, who generally want lots of action and a brisk pace, preferably with elves or aliens. I love the genre, but mostly because of the fusion of choice and narrative. If you handed me the stories on their own, I'd probably be considerably less thrilled with many of my favorite gamebooks...




It's the holiday season and the folks at Mojang want to keep their Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] players warm for the winter by way of the just-released Holiday Skins Pack. As usual the skin pack will set you back a couple of bucks if you want access to all of them, but there's a couple of freebies tucked in there too, which include two very festive holiday sweaters. However, if you're truly hardcore, you're going to want to buy the whole shebang, as that's the only way you'll be able to play as such holiday favorites as Tomte the gnome or the Gingerbread Man Creeper...

Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] sure has come a long way in the 4 years since its initial release. Some might say there's still a long ways to go before it's up to par with its desktop counterpart, and some might also say it's taken too long to get to where we are today with the mobile version. Those are both very good points, but I still think the teams at Mojang and Microsoft should be commended for the extra attention they've been paying to Minecraft: Pocket Edition throughout 2015. The Pocket Edition team has created a brand new trailer showcasing all those nifty new editions that have made it into the game this year...

As regular readers know, I play a lot of interactive fiction games. Visual novels, gamebooks, text adventures, I enjoy them all just the same. While I'm often pleasantly surprised by the writing or structure of these games, it's quite rare for me to come across something that is different from a gameplay perspective. Veteran gamebook developer Tin Man Games has been full of surprises recently, however, so I suppose I should start expecting things like Choices: And The Sun Went Out [Free]. It's a choice-based adventure with a couple of clever twists, with chief among them being that it's not finished. Okay, that's normally a bad thing to say about a game, but in the case of Choices, it's actually its main hook. Rather than presenting a complete story that players can purchase up-front, Choices instead offers a subscription-based model where new content arrives every week, building on the story bit by bit...

It seems like 2015 is the year of long-awaited games finally releasing. This year we've had Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon [$4.99], Galactic Keep [$3.99], The Room Three [$4.99], and Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome Of Ice [$9.99], among others, and it looks like we're going to be ending the year with another game that's been stewing for awhile: the follow-up to 2010's Aralon: Sword And Shadow [$4.99], from Galoobeth Games and Crescent Moon Games. For its time, Aralon was almost unbelievable for a mobile game. Offering a big 3D world that felt considerably more detail, open, and alive than the one found in Crescent Moon's previous title, Ravensword, Aralon felt like a big step towards having a fully-featured, modern, WRPG-style game on iOS. That was in 2010, however, and I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone how the market and player expectations have shifted in the intervening half-decade. Aralon: Forge And Flame [$4.99] is stepping out into a much different world than the one that welcomed its predecessor, and it doesn't quite have the sizzle to fill the footsteps it's walking in...

For a game that wasn't received with much excitement when it was released, Sanitarium [$3.99] has held up pretty well over the years. The game first released in 1998, when adventure games were just about to drop off a cliff sales-wise for the next several years. Some of the things it was criticized for at the time actually seem to have anticipated the way the genre would evolve once it became healthy again, making this game something of a pioneer. Even setting its historical value aside, however, it's a compelling psychological adventure ported to iOS in fine fashion by the good people at DotEmu. It has its weak points, but I'd honestly recommend Sanitarium ahead of most other point and click adventures of its era...

'Diabolical' Review - Ridiculously Evil

The flexibility of topics in the interactive fiction genre is one of its greatest strengths. I've said this before, but due to the relatively low production costs of putting words on a page, interactive fiction can take risks that other games dare not. Thankfully, nearly every company releasing gamebooks isn't shy about flexing that privilege. The occasional release even goes for comedy, a fairly hard topic to do well in gaming. Earlier this year, we had the absolutely delightful Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be [$5.99] from Tin Man Games, and now, from Choice Of Games and author Nick Aires, we have the madcap super-villain simulator, Diabolical [Free]. I'm feeling a little bit spoiled, to be honest...

Do you enjoy games like Out There [$4.99] or FTL [$9.99 (HD)], where you have to manage resources and survive encounters in randomized galaxies? Well, Last Horizon [$2.99] isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it exists within a very similar sphere thematically and even structurally, while being an entirely different game...

'Dark Fear' Review - Old School Horror

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November 20th, 2015 10:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

I have a love-hate relationship with horror films and games. As a rule, I'm in love with older films, which use practical effects to great success, and deliver interesting and suspenseful stories. But as time progressed, CG is often used as a crutch, and horror has become increasingly more about shock or jump scares rather than a normalized sense of fear. It's the same way for games, but Dark Fear [$2.99] manages to bring us back into the 80s in more ways than one...

Yesterday we learned that Telltale Games would be releasing the newest trailer for Episode 3 of Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99], their story-driven take on the hit sandbox game Minecraft, and true to their word the trailer has arrived today. We originally mistook their announcement that Episode 3 itself would be arriving today, rather than just the trailer, and were really excited at the brisk pace which the team had been releasing new episodes compared to their other episodic games. However, along with today's new trailer comes a release date for Episode 3 and it is in fact continuing that brisk pace with Episode 3 set to begin rolling out next week on November 24th...

So this is the way the game ends, not with a bang but with dragons. Or at least that's my guess (hope) because everything is better with dragons, isn't it? Telltale has announced today that its epic Game of Thrones [Free] series will come to an end tomorrow with the release of Episode 6. This is the first Telltale series to consist of 6 episodes, which I guess speaks to the ambition of the developers and also to the vastness of the source material. The season finale sees another Telltale first: the last episode arrives for download on all platforms on the same day, and that includes the disc version as well. Telltale has definitely grown as a company because a few years ago there's no way it could one, pull off something like this and two, actually have the audience to make such a move even worth it...

Lost Echo [$2.99] is a sci-fi mystery point-and-click adventure game that was originally released on iOS way back in September of 2013. It's possible you don't remember it because, frankly, it didn't make a huge splash when it arrived and received mixed reviews from the media. However, it had a pretty devoted following of fans, especially in our forums, and the game has been praised for its excellent story and stylish look. Lost Echo is one of those games that probably didn't get the full recognition it deserved when it released, but that hasn't deterred developer KickBack Studios from continuing to work on it. ..

In Western culture, both Friday and the number 13 are considered unlucky. So when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, it's like a double whammy of unlucky. Whether you're superstitious or not, Friday the 13th (which is today in case you didn't notice!) is a fun excuse to indulge in something frightful, and since we're a mobile gaming site let me offer up the just-released Dark Fear [$2.99]. Dark Fear is a classic-style point-and-click adventure with a heavy horror vibe. We talked about it a few weeks ago but here's the trailer again in case you missed it...

One of the games I've been looking forward to is Wizards and Wagons [$4.99] from Touch Dimensions, so I was worried when it didn't show up in time for our weekly Out Now post. Turns out it was just running late! As the story goes, you're the hero who vanquishes the Demon Lord and returns peace to your land. You're a bonafide hero, and you enjoy all the spoils that go along with that. But, your fame and fortune don't last forever, and before you know it you're penniless and living on the streets. That's no way for a hero to live! So you snag yourself a wagon and try to reinvent your career as a traveling salesman...

I don't know about you, friends, but when I play games that give me moral choices, I tend to stick to the good side. When it's time to play the evil side, I really have to push myself into doing the bad thing, even knowing full well that it doesn't actually hurt anyone. I guess all those Saturday morning cartoons and superhero comic books worked. In games, as in cartoons and comics, it's usually pretty easy to sort out the good side from the bad side. Rescuing kittens from trees is good! Lighting a tree full of kittens on fire is bad! It's pretty rare for a game to present genuinely difficult choices that have no clearly just answers. The latest interactive fiction release from Choice Of Games, Deathless: The City's Thirst [$3.99], had me second-guessing myself all the way through. It's ultimately the best quality in a story that otherwise feels a bit episodic and unfocused...

Correction: The premise of this entire article is incorrect. Telltale's warning about previously purchased episodes not transferring to the new Universal app was actually from when the game first went Universal back in 2013, and from what I understand they actually DID have a mechanism in place to honor previous purchases of the separate app episodes. With recent removal drama I took a reader's tip at face value without properly looking into the situation. I regret the error and would like to apologzie to our readers and to Telltale Games for giving the wrong impression...

'The Room Three' Review - My, How You've Grown

'The Room Three' Review - My, How You've Grown

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November 5th, 2015 12:28 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 5 stars, Adventure, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
$4.99 Buy Now

Perhaps it's appropriate, but The Room [Free / $0.99 (HD)], the original one, is one of those games where it's hard to take it apart piece by piece and find what exactly makes it so great. Like a real puzzle box, it's almost impossible not to sit there fiddling around with the box, pulling at its many bits and pieces. Its limited scope, with just a big box sitting on a table, means that it isn't too hard to make progress as long as you kept trying things, and if you do manage to get stuck, the game has a really well-designed hint system. You keep moving forward, and feeling pretty clever most of the time. The story sits firmly in the background for most of the game, with little details you can pay attention to or ignore as you like. Whether or not you pay attention to the narrative, the atmosphere is hard to resist. As you keep whittling down the puzzles, it's hard not to wonder what kind of person makes a device like this...

Mi Clos Studios' survival roguelike Out There [$4.99] launched on iOS back in February of last year, and we thought it was simply wonderful. It was also extremely difficult and unforgiving, which turned a lot of people off. Later that year, a major update was announced dubbed "Omega Edition" which landed on iOS this past June and added lots of new content and revamped visuals. It was a glorious treat for current fans, but many still found the game too brutal to enjoy. Welp, in early September, Mi Clos announced a series of updates they had planned for Out There which they called Multiverse Updates. The first of these updates, subtitled Cemetery Gates, adds a massive new feature that people had been requesting but the developers had been resisting since the beginning: an Easy mode. After arriving on Steam a few weeks back, Multiverse Update 1: Cemetery Gates has just landed on iOS...

I never like it when a game's ending manages to affect the opinion of the rest of the experience. Agent A [$2.99], up until its ending, is an uber-stylish, gorgeous, and fun point-and-click adventure game that does a lot to avoid the clunkiness and frustration that many games in the genre have. But when it turns out that this is an incomplete story, it takes a legitimately great game and makes it a frustrating experience that leaves you wanting more, like a tasty meal that wasn't filling...

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