In the middle of February, Christon from Gaming Detour kindly nominated Later Levels for a Sunshine Blogger Award. This gaming enthusiast from Australia, who also looks after Coding Detour, has a great range of posts on his site all the way from retro gaming up to today’s releases. Get over there right now and give him a follow if you’re not already doing so!
This award has given me an excuse to write about one of my preferred subjects because I can answer more than half of this blogger’s 11 questions with responses which refer to the adventure genre. For example, it was The Secret of Monkey Island that properly introduced me to gaming as a kid (you fight like a cow); my favourite developers include Red Thread Games (even though there’s a release I can’t finish); and one of the most memorable releases I’ve ever played was To The Moon (I cried my heart out).
Christon asked about the games in my backlog I’m most looking forward to playing. As LightningEllen from Livid Lightning and I collaborated on #LoveYourBacklog Week last month, I therefore thought I’d focus this post not on the titles which already make up my library but on those I’m looking forward to adding to it in three near future! This post is dedicated to Gaming Detour, and what follows is a look at some adventure games I’m really excited about in 2019.
3 Minutes to Midnight
When I was originally recommended 3 Minutes to Midnight by nufafitc from Emotional Multimedia Ride, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it. But after sitting down with a demo at EGX in September it earned its place on my wishlist thanks to its light-hearted humour and detailed cartoon visuals. A quick Google search revealed that Scarecrow Studio’s point-and-click is currently due to be released at the end of April so we hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to get our hands on it.
I was a Kickstarter backer for The Brotherhood’s first campaign in November 2013 and really enjoyed isometric science-fiction adventure STASIS when it was eventually released in August 2015. It’s therefore no surprise that I backed their next project when it was announced two years ago. Beautiful Desolation is set in a post-apocalyptic future where mankind has hurtled forward on an alternative trajectory, and it looks gorgeous thanks to its use of photogrammetry to take hundreds of pictures before generating 3D-models.
Unlike the other titles included in this post, Eastshade has already been released and is now available on Steam. And unlike many other video games, you’re not cast in the role of a hero trying to save the world or mighty warrior with super powers. Instead, players step into the overalls of a travelling painter whose mission is to capture the world on canvas using their artist’s easel. This open-world exploration-adventure by Eastshade Studios sounds like a peaceful experience and truly delightful.
In the Valley of Gods
I had a huge fascination with the history of Egypt when I was young – not so much about the mummies themselves but the gods and mysticism. So when I heard that Campo Santo’s next release would be set in that location I added In the Valley of Gods straight onto my wishlist. Players step into the role of an explorer and filmmaker who, along with their old partner, has travelled to the middle of the desert in the hopes of making a seemingly-impossible discovery and an incredible film.
Stories Untold turned out to be one of my favourite games of 2017 thanks to a recommendation from Bradley from Cheap Boss Attack so, as is the case for many of the games on my wishlist, I’ve got my eye on the developer’s next release. The idea of uncovering what happened to Dr Emma Fisher and her crew through the lens of the space station’s artificial intelligence (AI) in Observation sounds intriguing – and there are bound to be a few surprises if No Code’s previous title is anything to go by.
Someday You’ll Return
I had the opportunity to finally finish J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars recently (you can watch my playthrough on Twitch), after receiving a fix for a game-breaking bug from the developer recently. It was so enjoyable: the combination of point-and-click, science-fiction and female protagonist was perfect for me. I’m now looking forward to CBE Software’s upcoming release even more: psychological horror Someday You’ll Return looks as creepy a- )s hell and it has already been added to my wishlist.
The Bradwell Conspiracy
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try The Bradwell Conspiracy at last year’s EGX event because the seats were always taken – but what we managed to glimpse over other attendees’ shoulders looked amazing. What triggered that explosion? Has the mystery of Stonehenge finally been solved? And is Bradwell Electronics actually the kind and compassionate company it likes to make itself out to be? We’ll be able to find out in A Brave Plan’s release very soon.
I had the opportunity to try White Paper Games’ The Occupation at Rezzed back in April 2017 and it wasn’t only me who ended up enjoying this politically-driven narrative title. My stepson first asked if he could have the headphones so he could hear the sound; then decided to sit on my lap so he could see better; and eventually ended up taking over the keyboard completely. Who knows, when the full title is released this year I might actually get the chance to play it for myself.
Trüberbrook is bound to be one of the most unique-looking releases you’ll have the pleasure of seeing in 2019. All scenery is built by hand and real lighting is used to simulate different times of day and weather conditions. These are then digitised using photogrammetry – the same process being used by The Brotherhood for Beautiful Desolation above – before being blended with characters and visual effects. If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Stranger Things, I’d recommend checking out btf’s project.
Whispers of a Machine
I played The Samaritan Paradox by Faravid Interactive a while back and really enjoyed it; and I played Kathy Rain by Clifftop Games and enjoyed that too. So when I heard that the two developer were coming together to make a new adventure, it was added to my wishlist straight away. Whispers of a Machine tells the tale of Vera, a cybernetically-augmented special agent tasked with investigating a string of murders which obscure a sinister truth: will her unique blend of skills and intuition be enough to solve the case?
I heard about ZED after backing the Kickstarter campaign for the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection, as it’s the vision of part of the time behind the original Myst and is being published by Cyan Ventures. In a bittersweet story coming to both virtual reality (VR) and PC only, players must reassemble an artist’s fragmented memories inside the dreamscape of a creative mind come undone. Take a look at the screenshots on the official website and you’ll be adding it to your wishlist straight away too.
Thanks once again to Christon for the Sunshine Blogger Award and for giving me an excuse to write about my favourite video game genre! Now over to you: what’s your favourite genre and which releases are you most looking forward to this year?
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.