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Adventure Games Thread 2022 - We CAN use these things together

Fuz

Gold Member
Why is Aubrey Plaza on the artwork?
Aubrey Plaza can be on everything.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I finished Crowns & Pawns, it's actually a rather short game. Overall I'd say it's solid, it looks good, the VA is well done (especially by indie game standards), there's good puzzle variety, and the characters are all likable enough, there's even a few moments that I found laugh out loud funny (the bus driver's reaction to Milda's home made shirt). There were two puzzles I felt were actually bad, if not conceptually bad then executed poorly. In both instances what the game wants from you is too specific for the lack of sign posting they give. It's not that the solutions don't make sense, they're just very particular. The example of this I mentioned earlier is even more bewildering because there's a very similar puzzle later in the game that actually does correctly prompt the player to give the kind of interaction the game wants.

Relatively minor gameplay complaints aside the biggest thing that keeps Crowns & Pawns shy of being a great game is that it lacks the build of intrigue from its primary inspiration, Broken Sword. That game really took its time establishing the villains and teasing out its mystery across many different locales. Crowns & Pawns has an interesting historical conspiracy plot to its own but rushes to the finish line, so you don't get as much time to speculate and let the mystery take shape in your mind. Also, the end leaves a proper resolution to two major threads untouched, and instead ends on a thematic note that didn't get enough support from the prior story IMO (That family is more important than pursuing the wealth of the Crown. If they wanted to hammer that theme home there really should have been a middle act where Milda loses her way, and acts selfishly at the expense of her family & friends while pursuing the Crown, then realizes that she lost herself finally rejecting the Crown having learned a lesson. You also probably should have explicitly uncovered the nature of the Crown's curse before the final cut-scene)

For that Crowns & Pawns is a fun game with many good moments, but falls short of its ambitions. I'd give it a 7/10.
I'm going onward very slowly and I think I've found what you refer to. I actually found a few puzzles that I already solved but I needed the main character to understand them before letting me progress, stumping me and having me looking for *wrong* solutions. I had to resort to a solution (that was also actually a bit wrong). Infuriating. I hate this design flaw.
One of them was a thing I already inspected and noted, but I had to inspect again after a certain point to make Milda mention it to another character.


I already checked the book thoroughly when I first got it, obviously, but I had to recheck it after giving the wine to the priest or she wouldn't mention it. This is bad design, plain and simple.

Oh, asking for coins and books again and again is pointless busywork, very annoying.
Apart from that, I'm really liking the game. Love Milda and her snarky remarks. She's a really great protagonist. Puzzles are much harder than I anticipated, but fair - although I hate this new trend of "losing" the selected inventory item once you try it on the wrong spot. Cheap trick.
As expected, I hated the box and switches puzzles. Not my idea of P&C content.
Again, I just rant because that's what I do, but I'm really liking the game.
 
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Wow that's weird (referring to the spoilered part of your post Fuz Fuz ). The game has an issue with gating progress behind seemingly irrelevant narrative triggers. Gabriel Knight does that as well, but at least that game prepares you to think in that way since the day to day structure understandably necessitates that you check the same areas to see if anything has changed. In Crowns & Pawns things progress logically for the vast majority of the time with random triggers thrown in awkwardly.

I think my post fell into being more negative than positive as well which might not reflect that I actually really liked the game. But I think it's easy to go there with C&P because the flaws really do feel like they're holding back a potentially great game.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
Same. Its more of a quality of life for these games than anything. I know its supposed to prevent spaming but it gets annoying as hell when you have to keep adding stuff from inventory like the 3D printer.
...and the fucking trumpet. Really happens too often and really hurts the game.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Completed Crowns and Pawns. Not much to add to your impressions. Yeah, the ending is rushed AF. The game lacks breadth and the narrative suffered, as is often the case with P&C games, due, I suppose, to lack of time and resources. The chase scene looks so static... also I can assure you, you CAN NOT do that in Siena's streets. :messenger_grinning_sweat: Puzzles were ok, and they were much harder than I expected.
Great voice acting, by the way.
I liked it, but it's a bit of a missed opportunity. I love historical/archeological settings, especially when tied to christian esoterism (Gabriel Knight 3 is my favourite of the series and one of my favourite games ever), but the game really needed more space to develop its themes.
By the way, I really like Milda's SMS with her friend. They're fun and they add so much to the game. Also cheap and easy for the devs, wish there were more.

There were two puzzles I felt were actually bad, if not conceptually bad then executed poorly. In both instances what the game wants from you is too specific for the lack of sign posting they give. It's not that the solutions don't make sense, they're just very particular. The example of this I mentioned earlier is even more bewildering because there's a very similar puzzle later in the game that actually does correctly prompt the player to give the kind of interaction the game wants.
What were you referring to?

Curious to how you Barbie'd your Mildas.
 
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Completed Crowns and Pawns. Not much to add to your impressions. Yeah, the ending is rushed AF. The game lacks breadth and the narrative suffered, as is often the case with P&C games, due, I suppose, to lack of time and resources. The chase scene looks so static... also I can assure you, you CAN NOT do that in Siena's streets. :messenger_grinning_sweat: Puzzles were ok, and they were much harder than I expected.
Great voice acting, by the way.
I liked it, but it's a bit of a missed opportunity. I love historical/archeological settings, especially when tied to christian esoterism (Gabriel Knight 3 is my favourite of the series and one of my favourite games ever), but the game really needed more space to develop its themes.
By the way, I really like Milda's SMS with her friend. They're fun and they add so much to the game. Also cheap and easy for the devs, wish there were more.


What were you referring to?

Curious to how you Barbie'd your Mildas.

Didnt take screenshots but I dressed her as archeologically as possible.
 
What were you referring to?

First was the 3 church location puzzle where you can actually make the connections mentally by observing the clues, and put the correct solution into the notes mechanic, but have that answer refused by the game if you didn't place the bishop magnet on the manuscript page first. IMO there's very poor indication that this is how the game wants the solution communicated to it. Especially when there's a specific mechanic for inputting that solution that you can get right and still be wrong. I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to get into the library archives at that point assuming I needed more clues.

The scooter puzzle was the other one. I actually like when adventure games flip action oriented sequences into a thinking challenge, Fate of Atlantis has a good one when you're messing with the levers on a runaway Atlantean tunneling machine. And the scooter puzzle in Crowns & Pawns was close to being a good example in that vein, but again, was let down by having a very specific solution and poor sign posting. Using the horn to startle the goon (specifically from behind him), making him drive clumsily, allowing you to catch up with broken acceleration is... I'm not gonna say it makes no sense but it's far from a self evident solution. So there should have been at least something to get the player on the same train of thought as the devs. But even if you use the right item (horn) Milda says nothing unless the lane and spacing are correct. That's already enough to make someone thing the horn is useless because there's no real way to know this is a timing specific puzzle (other than deducing the devs have a fetish for them at that point). Any other modern adventure game (and a number of the older ones) would have had Milda say something like "I don't think he can hear me from here" to let the player know "yes you're on the right track, but there are extra steps." Either that or allow for multiple solutions based on a couple things people might actually think to do.

Curious to how you Barbie'd your Mildas.

Little girls? Between my love of Life is Strange, Another Code R Journey into Lost Memories, and Perfect Tides... I'd like to think I'm at least a teenage girl.

 
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Fuz

Gold Member
First was the 3 church location puzzle where you can actually make the connections mentally by observing the clues, and put the correct solution into the notes mechanic, but have that answer refused by the game if you didn't place the bishop magnet on the manuscript page first. IMO there's very poor indication that this is how the game wants the solution communicated to it. Especially when there's a specific mechanic for inputting that solution that you can get right and still be wrong. I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to get into the library archives at that point assuming I needed more clues.

The scooter puzzle was the other one. I actually like when adventure games flip action oriented sequences into a thinking challenge, Fate of Atlantis has a good one when you're messing with the levers on a runaway Atlantean tunneling machine. And the scooter puzzle in Crowns & Pawns was close to being a good example in that vein, but again, was let down by having a very specific solution and poor sign posting. Using the horn to startle the goon (specifically from behind him), making him drive clumsily, allowing you to catch up with broken acceleration is... I'm not gonna say it makes no sense but it's far from a self evident solution. So there should have been at least something to get the player on the same train of thought as the devs. But even if you use the right item (horn) Milda says nothing unless the lane and spacing are correct. That's already enough to make someone thing the horn is useless because there's no real way to know this is a timing specific puzzle (other than deducing the devs have a fetish for them at that point). Any other modern adventure game (and a number of the older ones) would have had Milda say something like "I don't think he can hear me from here" to let the player know "yes you're on the right track, but there are extra steps." Either that or allow for multiple solutions based on a couple things people might actually think to do.
Oh, interesting. Those are two "issues" I haven't stumbled upon. I "solved" those without even trying to solve them.
 
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A new hand-crafted adventure from Amanita Design, the Czech indie collective behind Machinarium, Creaks and more.

The story of Phonopolis tackles relatable, real-world themes and topics, focusing on manipulation and individualism, but still keeping the overall experience playful and light-hearted. Players will take on the role of Felix, a thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow citizens, faces the imminent threat of falling under the control of the city’s authoritarian Leader once and for all, effectively losing their humanity. Accidentally becoming the only person who consciously recognizes the threat, young Felix must try to stop the Leader from playing the Absolute tone...



  • Story-driven adventure game set in the dystopian city of Phonopolis
  • Explore a hand-crafted 3D world made of corrugated fiberboard
  • Traditional 12 FPS stop-motion animation reminiscent of classic animated films
  • Try and solve a wide variety of playful puzzles
  • Music by Tomáš Dvořák aka Floex (Samorost 3, Machinarium)

Teaser trailer for an upcoming Amanita Design adventure, Phonopolis. Of the last few games they've made I like this one's style the best. More inclined to play this one depending on how reviews/impressions shake out.
 
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TripleSun

Member
We finally have a new Splittown trailer. Sounds like the game is nearing completion maybe. Forgot about the game for a good amount of time before seeing this pop up. Looks great. You can tell how much inspiration they got from DotT.

 
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Fan translator "Umbrella Terms" has released yet another early 80s Japanese adventure game. This time it's Nihon Falcom's (perhaps best known for their Ys series of JRPGs) Horror House. Just from a quick glance at the screenshots it's easy to see the influence of Sierra's Mystery House, if not directly than assuredly via the MicroCabin title with the same name. The translation is availble on: Itch, Archive, GBAtemp, and RomHacking.


 
New game announced from the makers of Lacuna: Between Horizons, a mystery adventure game where the player unfolds a conspiracy plot aboard a space station called "Zephyr." Lacuna seemed to be very well received although it remains in my backlog as of right now. Although comparing my impressions from the Lacuna demo to the description of Between Horizons, this new game seems more my speed. The steam page suggests their adding more actual mystery solving to the game, with systems that allow for collecting & combining clues, and branching paths depending on how successfully you solve the case. The pixel art is also sporting a bit more detail this time around, which is appreciated.



About the game​

Between Horizons is set aboard the Zephyr, humanity's first generation ship en route to another star. You assume the role of Stella, who was born on the ship 24 years ago and recently inherited her father's post as Chief of Security. Dive into the conspiracy behind the incident that threatens to disrupt the Zephyr's social order and foil its mission.

Between Horizons is a modern 2.5D pixel art adventure that brings a branching narrative into a semi-open world. The team at DigiTales has applied numerous lessons from their first game Lacuna and proven solutions to detective game design problems to maximize player agency in the investigation process – all the while maintaining the tight pacing of a meaningful story that will ask you to reevaluate your moral compass and make increasingly tough decisions as the situation aboard the ship spirals out of control.

Features​

  • Between Horizons brings you investigation gameplay and an enthralling, branching sci-fi story in an ever-expanding Metroidvania-style space ship.
  • Failure is very much an option. If you submit wrong solutions, the story will go on and you'll have to live with the consequences. A new and improved auto-save system will make sure there is no going back. The story branches and ends based on your decisions and performance.
  • The semi-open world of the Zephyr offers a large amount of player agency in conducting investigations. Explore the ship's unique areas, get to know its inhabitants, find clues and establish connections until the full picture reveals itself – or not.
  • The flexible evidence system lets you assign clues to cases, confront people about them, and submit any case with any evidence you have found, requiring you to think hard about how everything you find on the ship is connected.
  • A modular dialog system allows for dynamic, non-repeating conversations that require you to pick your answers carefully.
  • Underneath the game's exciting and believable sci-fi plot lies a number of thought-provoking problems inviting you to, among others, weigh intergenerational responsibility against personal freedom.
  • Between Horizons is not a point and click adventure. Its controls are modern and direct, supporting both keyboard (WASD) and controller input.
  • Timeless pixel art mixed with 3D environments and state-of-the-art visual effects come together in creating a unique, beautiful art style.
  • The audio team behind Lacuna's dense soundscapes will create the ship's sonic atmosphere and a gripping electronic soundtrack.
  • Between Horizons will be available in a number of languages that have yet to be confirmed. Add it to your wish list and check back in a while!

 

TripleSun

Member
Seems we are getting closer to Shadows on the Vatican part III. Man it’s been yearsssss. Been about 7 years since part II. Nothing too crazy about this series but it was comforting years ago. I thought the series would never continue.

 

I havent said anything cuz you guys would lynch me especially since Beautiful Desolation was voted best adventure game here but I fucking hated the gameplay so much. Visually and the soundtrack were fantastic but everything else felt like a chore. I just could not finish it. The first Stasis was nice tho, I enjoyed it. Hopefully this one is more of the same but with higher budget and hopefully no fucking find item and give to random person the game kind of thing.
 
I havent said anything cuz you guys would lynch me especially since Beautiful Desolation was voted best adventure game here but I fucking hated the gameplay so much. Visually and the soundtrack were fantastic but everything else felt like a chore. I just could not finish it. The first Stasis was nice tho, I enjoyed it. Hopefully this one is more of the same but with higher budget and hopefully no fucking find item and give to random person the game kind of thing.
Unfortunately I've just warn out my lynching arm so you're good. I'm actually not too surprised despite jumping at any opportunity to use the Pikachu reaction. I've definitely seen people bounce off BD from what they felt was a lack of direction. Having played the early demo for Bone Totem, it's a lot more of a traditional structure like the first STASIS, with DoTT style character switching thrown in where different characters can perform unique actions.
 

Super cool that this got translated, an old Famicom adventure game by Namco where you control two characters to complete your goals, with an optional Co-Op mode. It's a pretty obscure game but I guess it has some references to Shin Megami Tensei so there was enough interest for someone to fan-TL it.

Also, the Voodoo Detective is out now. I'm gonna give it shot, too much of a sucker for nice looking frame by frame animation not to.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member

Super cool that this got translated, an old Famicom adventure game by Namco where you control two characters to complete your goals, with an optional Co-Op mode. It's a pretty obscure game but I guess it has some references to Shin Megami Tensei so there was enough interest for someone to fan-TL it.

Also, the Voodoo Detective is out now. I'm gonna give it shot, too much of a sucker for nice looking frame by frame animation not to.
I fell victim of my impulses and got it.
I only played 5 minutes and I'm kinda disappointed for now. Great voice acting, fantastic music, terrific art style, interesting premise. I'm a sucker for noir and hard boiled - not so much for voodoo imagery though. No idea about the lenght, obviously. The big selling point, the animations, range from "stunning" to "flash game". And it's grating. The faces are a bit expressionless - they all look like kinda bored. There's unconvincing sprite stretching and "ice skating". I'm... not as happy as I could have been.
Again, I only played 5 minutes and wanted to give my first impression, so take my words with a grain of salt, I could be completely wrong. I'll give it another half an hour and see if I get hooked, otherwise I might get Norco instead.

Edit: I forgot the things I hated the most. The interface is the usual shit designed for tablets - one click does everything. All 3 mouse buttons do exactly the same thing, you can't even differentiate between use and examine. There's no hotspot key. No inventory hotkey. You can't save - only autosave. (minor pet peeve) Dialogue skip is only the space bar, so you can't comfortably play with just the mouse, no holding a cup of tea while playing. I hate all this shit. If it doesn't really impress me in the next 30 minutes of play, we're done.
Edit 2: Also, the stupid disclaimer at every game's start. "We respect voodoo religion yada yada." Really?
 
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Based on some steam reviews looks like its a short one, 4 hours'ish, and puzzles are very easy(meh). If the story can't keep up, the artstyle won;t be able to carry my interest.
 
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I fell victim of my impulses and got it.
I only played 5 minutes and I'm kinda disappointed for now. Great voice acting, fantastic music, terrific art style, interesting premise. I'm a sucker for noir and hard boiled - not so much for voodoo imagery though. No idea about the lenght, obviously. The big selling point, the animations, range from "stunning" to "flash game". And it's grating. The faces are a bit expressionless - they all look like kinda bored. There's unconvincing sprite stretching and "ice skating". I'm... not as happy as I could have been.
Again, I only played 5 minutes and wanted to give my first impression, so take my words with a grain of salt, I could be completely wrong. I'll give it another half an hour and see if I get hooked, otherwise I might get Norco instead.

Edit: I forgot the things I hated the most. The interface is the usual shit designed for tablets - one click does everything. All 3 mouse buttons do exactly the same thing, you can't even differentiate between use and examine. There's no hotspot key. No inventory hotkey. You can't save - only autosave. (minor pet peeve) Dialogue skip is only the space bar, so you can't comfortably play with just the mouse, no holding a cup of tea while playing. I hate all this shit. If it doesn't really impress me in the next 30 minutes of play, we're done.
Edit 2: Also, the stupid disclaimer at every game's start. "We respect voodoo religion yada yada." Really?

I actually haven't had time to play that far into it, I've still only explored the first area. But just to let you know you can actually skip dialogue by double clicking, which is weird but its there.
 
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I began playing Voodoo Detective and so far I'm enjoying it. The writing sharply balances dry wit & absurdist sight gags, and I think they pull it off. I like how deadpan Voodoo Detective is, even when he's smashing a chair over his brother's head. I agree with Fuz that the mystery is interesting and I was naturally coming up with my own theories as the plot developed, which is a good sign for a detective game.

It feels like I'm pretty early so far, I didn't have too much time before I had to go somewhere, I got up to the part where you make the first Voodoo Spell. So far the comments about puzzle difficulty have held true, the puzzle difficulty reminds me of some of the easier Wadjet Eye games. I'm having fun with the overall package though so we'll see how things keep going.

I also recently made (the first part) of a thread going fairly deep into Japanese adventure games. I'm biased ofc but I think it's worth reading lol. At the very least there's a lot of cool looking games to catch a glimpse of.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I began playing Voodoo Detective and so far I'm enjoying it. The writing sharply balances dry wit & absurdist sight gags, and I think they pull it off. I like how deadpan Voodoo Detective is, even when he's smashing a chair over his brother's head. I agree with Fuz that the mystery is interesting and I was naturally coming up with my own theories as the plot developed, which is a good sign for a detective game.

It feels like I'm pretty early so far, I didn't have too much time before I had to go somewhere, I got up to the part where you make the first Voodoo Spell. So far the comments about puzzle difficulty have held true, the puzzle difficulty reminds me of some of the easier Wadjet Eye games. I'm having fun with the overall package though so we'll see how things keep going.

I also recently made (the first part) of a thread going fairly deep into Japanese adventure games. I'm biased ofc but I think it's worth reading lol. At the very least there's a lot of cool looking games to catch a glimpse of.
I completed it.
I can't even begin to state how much I detest the interface and how designing for tablets and phones is hurting gaming BAD. It's both semplicistic and annoying at the same time. And how much I hate the only autosave system. But I'll spare you the rant.
In the end, it was longer than expected (still kinda short, mind you), funny enough (with a double joke that feels right out of a Larry game and I felt it was kinda out of place - to me). The story is good, but I personally (personally) believe that the game would have gained a lot in atmosphere if it were grittier and darker. Think Discworld Noir: it's fun, but it's also a proper hard boilied story. Everything is bright and colorful in Voodoo detective, it's hard to take seriously the voodoo. Very cool main character too, although I find needlessly stupid that "Voodoo Detective" is his name.
Anyway, graphically is very good. Yeah, there's ice skating and abused stretching, the characters are a bit flat (*cough* flash *cough*) and stiff, but the unique animations are REALLY well done. Music and voice acting are also excellent. Too bad there's so few hotspots, guess the acting costed too much.
Puzzles... not as much as good. It's insultingly easy, except for a - kinda silly - puzzle in the spirit realm that had me stumped for a little bit. Some puzzles solve themselves, you just need to talk to a character and if you have collected the correct item BAM, solved. It only happened a few times, but considering how short and easy the game is...
All in all, it is enjoyable but also disappointing. A 7/10 for me. Would like to see a sequel.
 
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