When Jonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog kindly nominated Later Levels for a Real Neat Blog Award in December, he asked bloggers to share which video game series they’d choose to revive. My pick was obvious: I’d love to see the rights to Monkey Island given back to Ron Gilbert so it can be restored to its former glory.
There’s always a high risk that a revived franchise will never live up to expectations, but this doesn’t stop me from wanting to see Guybrush Threepwood star in another point-and-click. Sure, it could be terrible and leave players disappointed – or it could be the best instalment in the series yet, and we’ll never know unless it’s made. Giving the intellectual property (IP) back to the original creators would mean that it could be developed by people who adore it as much as the fans do and who know what makes it so special.
Today’s post is a follow-on from that article back in January and is once again dedicated to Jonez as a thank you for another Real Neat Blog Award nomination last month. Let’s forget about Monkey Island for a moment (although that’s pretty difficult for me to do): which other games and series would I like to see brought back to life? I’ve concentrated on the adventure genre below to make answering the question slightly easier, plus there’s a bonus answer from my other-half which might surprise anybody who’s joined us for a Twitch stream.
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller
I love Cognition for two main reasons. First, it’s far gritter and has a darker storyline than what you’d usually expect from most point-and-clicks; and second, FBI Agent Erica Reed is one of my favourite female characters. There’s so much potential here for a sequel and it would be great to see where her potent powers take her next. Sadly though, Phoenix Online Studios haven’t released a title since 2014 and seem more interested in the publishing side of the business nowadays. Turning Cognition into a series therefore seems unlikely but a girl can dream.
Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today
I backed Fictiorama Studios’ crowdfunding campaign for Dead Synchronicity in March 2014 and really enjoyed the title when it was released in April the following year. If you enjoy stories about dystopian futures and weird illnesses (ahem) then I’d recommend checking this one out – but prepare yourself for an ending where a sequel is teased but not delivered. Although the next instalment was announced in December 2016, reports of financial problems for publisher Daedalic Entertainment could mean we’ll be waiting a while for a follow-up.
The Gabriel Knight series
Gabriel Knight is one of the most sardonic, selfish and sexist protagonists within a point-and-click but for all his faults, it’s impossible not to be fond of him – particularly when he’s voiced by Tim Curry. The fact that the character is played by another voice-actor in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition was the main reason I didn’t on with the 2014 remake. Jane Jensen has voiced hopes of reviving the series with her company Pinkerton Road Studio over the years, but the website doesn’t seem to exist any longer and she’s more focused on writing fiction nowadays.
Kathy Rain is a must-play for any adventure fans who enjoy atmospheric detective stories with a Twin Peaks vibe. Prepare yourself for a lot of questions though, because things take a turn for the weird towards the end and the hinted-at follow-up hasn’t arrived yet to give us the answers. Clifftop Games confirmed on Steam in January 2017 that it was likely they’d start working on a sequel following on from Whispers of a Machine (another point-and-click I’d recommend) but things have been quiet since it was released in April last year.
Moebius: Empire Rising
Reluctant heroes tend to be thoroughly irritating (I’m looking at you, Sadwick) but Paradigm is one character who’s far from that. He has a positive outlook despite his situation and a self-deprecating sense of humour, and I want to see him come back for another game along with Doug the beatboxing eggplant so I can laugh at their antics all over again. Unfortunately developer Jacob Janerka has said it will probably never happen though, although there’s the possibility of an animated series to look forward to. Aww yiss!
The Longest Journey series
We all have that one series we love but just can’t finish and for me it’s The Longest Journey by Red Thread Games. I might not have been able to complete Dreamfall Chapters yet because I don’t want the story to end, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing for another title. With the Kickstarter campaign for the game failing to reach a stretch goal and Ragnar Tørnquist saying ‘The Longest Journey Home will probably never happen’, it seems unlikely; but I’d love to find out what happened to April Ryan in the years between the first and second releases.
Pete’s choice: Maize
Anyone who’s ever joined us for a stream will know how much my other-half enjoys anything involving plenty of ‘pew-pew’, but he’s hiding a dark secret: he also likes an adventure occasionally (gasp!). Maize was one such release and he chose it when I asked him which title he’d like to see a follow-up to. If you’re in the mood for a bit of silliness – along with a brilliant track about top-secret experiments – I’d highly recommend giving Finish Line Games’ project a go. I’m not sure how a sequel would work based on the ending, but I wouldn’t say no.
Bonus: Beneath a Steel Sky
Always wanted a sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky? Well you won’t have to wait too much longer, because Revolution Games are due to release their new title this year. I had the opportunity to play a demo of Beyond a Steel Sky at EGX in October (back when we could attend expos in person) and it was great. The puzzles were logical yet enjoyable, the environments looked lovely, and the voice-acting and music suited them perfectly. We’ve had to wait a very long time for a follow-up but it seems as though we’re finally going to get a worthy successor.
Thank you once again to Jonez for a very kind Real Neat Blog Award, and for giving me the chance to talk about all the adventures I’d love to see make a comeback. Now over to you: which sequels do you keep hoping for?
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.