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Found 7 results

  1. If you played and enjoyed the stylish adventure title Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 then you may be wondering where the next episode is. After all, Cardboard Computers stated back in March that they were still on the path to have it released in April. Now that we've entered the month of May it's safe to say their plan didn't come to fruition. What happened? They had their share of unexpected work, as well as their trip to the Independent Games Festival. Their plan has been changed slightly, but don't worry about the game now taking months more effort to complete. Instead, the date has been moved ahead a few more weeks. This is one unfortunate aspect of episodic games, but can't be helped. So far, there are five acts planned and the final one was pegged for a January 2014 release. If more hiccups cause them to delay further episodes, we should expect a longer wait to the finale as well.
  2. Sure, games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss have done well in selling the Vita to consumers, but many gamers have been hoping for more new brands on the handheld. Games like Gravity Rush and Orgarhythm are unfortunately in short supply compared to ports, sequels, and spin-offs. Those hungry for some new titles on Vita may have another to look forward to by the name of Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery. This is an upcoming episodic adventure game with a focus on puzzles. A child named Jacob comes across Bigfoot in the forest which serves to change the young boy's plans. Strangely, Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery was developed on Unreal Engine 3 which seems a bit of overkill for the genre, but it does look pretty. Unfortunately, no release window was provided yet. Hopefully this is the start of a cute new series for Vita. Are your favorite Vita games mostly comprised of new IPs or ports?
  3. It was early January when Cardboard Computers released an intriguing and visually attractive adventure title to gamers. Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 was viewed very favorably here with a high-scoring review, and by others as well. It's been a while since Act 1 though and people were beginning to wonder when (or even if) the rest would be coming. Speaking with Joystiq, Jake Elliot and Tamas Kemenczy of Cardboard Computers discussed their plans for the rest of the episodic series. They had always planned to get new episodes out on a three month schedule. Now that we're almost at the three month mark, they are confirming that Act 2 will roll out in April. The intent is to have five acts as well which sets Act 5 for release in January of 2014. The duo also confirmed that while there are various ways to expand and "change" the story, it all comes to one conclusion. There are not multiple endings available because Cardboard Computers wishes to tell a specific story. As of right now, Kentucky Route Zero is only available on PC.
  4. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1

    Developer: Cardboard Computer Publisher: Cardboard Computer Platform: PC, Mac (Web) Release Date: January 7, 2013 ESRB: N/A (T suggested) Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 is, at its core, an adventure game. Although the genre has seen some revitalization lately with the likes of The Walking Dead, it still remains fairly niche territory. Still, this title has managed to gain a wide audience so near to its release that it is astounding. What has caused the game to be so popular? Is it really worth the time investment to play or is it just a passing fad? First off, what is Kentucky Route Zero? Upon first hearing the name, it sounded like a weird mishmash of words. The game takes place in Kentucky and features a man, his truck, and an old hound dog. The protagonist knows little of the area and simply wants to find the way to highway route “Zero” to deliver his goods. This turns out to be harder than he imagines, though, as he comes across a cast of unusual people and strange occurrences. Although the story is done in quite an interesting fashion, that“s not what players are going to notice first. No, it is the visuals which immediately steal the show. Colors are boldly dark and shapes are angular. The stylization looks so good and unlike most games before it. Certainly no other adventure games have this look going on, instead all trying to mimic the magic of LucasArts and Sierra masterpieces. Alongside the visuals, the camera pans and zooms in ways to benefit the visuals further. It may be a little hard to explain, but suffice to say, the graphics are definitely one of the many high points for this package. Now let“s return to discussion of the story. If you are someone who always needs to know exactly what is going on then you“ll hate this game. Much of what is said is veiled and mysterious. People may never say what they mean or even talk about things that make any sense (on a first playthrough). It feels at times like characters are trying to purposefully obfuscate the importance of their words. This all leads the game to feeling very otherworldly. The visuals certainly aid this but even without them, the game would still be undeniably odd. When speaking with characters, you will have to choose dialog options. However, you are never really capable of saying the wrong thing. All that will change is the knowledge received, and therefore, your perception of the game. Similarly, puzzles relating to choice are not hard. The game was not designed to be difficult like the standard point and click adventure. As long as you“re playing, you“ll eventually work your way through it without having to make sense of convoluted clues. Of course, beating it doesn“t mean you still won“t be confused at the end. Between talking to characters, you“ll find yourself on the road. There are a great deal of pathways to travel. Although you can simply go from point A to point B and beat the game in half an hour, the true joy comes from taking time to explore the full breadth of the game world. When you first look at your map and see the many winding roads to travel, realize that they all have something of note to find on them. Areas are simply waiting to be found to expand the story a bit, or at least offer up something new to see. It“s in this portion of the game where it bravely takes on the veil of a text adventure game. For example, some areas have no visuals. You are simply presented with descriptive text and options for where to go in the area or what to do. However, it doesn“t really feel archaic while playing at all. It was only after finishing the title that I realized that those segments were basically text adventures while the rest of the game takes on a point-and-click adventure style. Overall, it is quite a neat part of the game, although a shame that some will easily miss it in order to simply complete the storyline. However, just beating Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 does not mean you“ve seen it all. As the name implies, this is just the beginning of a five part episodic series. Only the first part is available right now, which just leaves everyone who plays it more time to scratch their collective heads in confusion. It remains to be seen if the next acts will be able to keep up this quality, but hopefully they shall. It must be worth remembering that this all began as a Kickstarter project, so seeing this high quality so far is quite promising. If there“s anything wrong with this game, it lies with the “ending”. I am unaware if this was intentional or not, but upon getting to the final scene of the game, it simply closes. There is no title card saying the episode is over or even just showing the name. Instead, after a little scene, the game window closes itself down. This behavior has led many to worry that their game crashed. While the end is sufficient, it does no good to the player to have them fussing over a possible crash instead of mulling over the story they just experienced. With such a small complaint, it“s easy to recommend this game to many. Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 oozes excellent aesthetics, both visual and narrative, and gameplay which is incredibly easy to comprehend. There is very little challenge and that leaves players to simply focus on the world. Because the game has started off so well, we can only hope that the other four acts will continue in its footsteps. Until we know how those turn out, all that can be said is that Kentucky Route Zero is off to a very good start. Pros: + Excellent visual design + Cast of unusual characters + Writing which leaves you hungry to discover more Cons: - Game closing itself leads to confusion on player“s part - Simplicity of puzzles, while necessary, may bother core adventure fans Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Excellent Kentucky Route Zero - Act 1 is an adventure game that manages to distinguish itself from the pack with a very specific and strange experience.
  5. Developer: Phoenix Online Studios Publisher: Reverb Publishing Platform: PC (GamersGate, GameStop, RainDG) Release Date: October 30, 2012 ESRB: N/A (M suggested) A download code was supplied by the publisher for this review Adventure games have seen some pretty interesting developments over the past year. Until more recently, most have drawn in only their genre audience. With the release of The Walking Dead, though, it seems many more people are realizing that adventure games are worth looking into. Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is a modern adventure game in certain respects, but still falls squarely within most genre conventions. Does it succeed at being an accessible title or is it one only adventure fans should explore? Cognition is a new episodic series which focuses around the title character FBI agent Erica Reed. The first chapter, titled The Hangman, sets up the precedent for the rest of the episodes to follow. As Erica, you begin the game during the peak of tailing a known killer who has your brother. The dramatic scenes play out and then you are fast forwarded three years to Erica who can still not forget about how she failed her brother that day. From there, a new case crops up which seems unusual and maybe even connected to her brother“s death. One of the best things about the game is its story. Although some of the secondary characters are one-dimensional, Erica herself carries the show. She is a very multifaceted character who does not fall into any stereotypical female game role. She is smart, driven, and willing to put her life on the line to save others. All the same, she still has a sense of humor and quirky interests like remember random statistics. Overall, although other characters pale in comparison, Erica stands up as a very interesting character who players will want to get to know. Some longtime fans of the genre may find this game to feel ever so slightly familiar. In a way, it seems to hearken back to Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Although it is obviously a very different game, it does help that the illustrious Jane Jensen was a story consultant for the title. She of course crafted stories for Gabriel Knight as well as other adventure games. With her on board, it makes sense that the two games feel like cousins. Visually, the game has 3D character models which is a bit more modern than cartoony adventure games, but it does not help or hinder this game. Strangely, the game takes a bit longer than expected to load up parts, which may be related to the visual style. If so then it would have probably been better to go with less ambitious visuals but it“s not a huge issue. During certain cutscenes the game switches to moody drawings, some of which look better than others. Overall, it is an acceptable visual aesthetic but nothing noteworthy. When it comes to gameplay, it also manages to stand up well enough, with a few truly exceptional evolutions of genre conventions. It is in a few puzzles that the game shows that there are still new ways puzzles can delight players. For the most part, the game is standard with puzzles where you put objects together or find the right one for the circumstances. However, there are additions done to make it an easier process. When you wish to combine objects, they will specifically light up letting you know they can work together. Where does this supposed evolution in puzzle design come in? It is found in the form of Erica“s “cognition” abilities. She unlocks various parts of this ability through the game which allows her to solve puzzles that would otherwise be impossible. Basically, Erica has had a strange ability for her entire life where she is able to see the past. However, as she faces these new trials, she is able to see even more, such as the future and regress into someone else“s memories. It is an incredibly handy skill which makes for the most creative and entertaining puzzles in the game. The last big one in the game was a personal favorite that made me recall why I adore adventure games so much. Unfortunately, there are many more typical puzzles than innovative ones. Still, you won“t find yourself getting stuck for long thanks to a neat hint mechanic. Whenever you don“t know what to do, Erica can simply text her father for ideas (aka hints). Sometimes it seems a bit implausible, but it is still a neat way to keep players from getting too stuck. If they don“t want to ever receive help then they can simply avoid using the text feature all together. Although this is only the first episode, The Hangman is still a meaty chapter. It sets the scene for everything we need to know and what will be the thread tying through to the next episode. Overall, it is crammed full of puzzles (maybe too many, actually) and takes around 4-6 hours to complete. It offers a very competent story and an interesting protagonist with supernatural abilities. The game also manages to inject some new life into stale puzzles and comes out with some really fun mechanics. Adventure fans new and old will both find something to like with this first episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. Pros: + Fantastic lead character + Some truly creative puzzles + Moody story which reaches an interesting conclusion Cons: - 3D visuals feel a week tradeoff for the game“s loading issues - Characters other than Erica aren“t nearly as lively Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great The first episode for Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller has set a high bar that the rest of the series will hopefully be able to follow.
  6. Just last month Telltale unveiled that they were bringing a release of The Walking Dead: The Game season one to store shelves. It will contain the first five episodes of the game and was announced to cost $30. Now there's word that there will also be a special edition available at retail as well. The Walking Dead Collector's Edition is a GameStop exclusive. It will cost a much heftier $70 and comes with the game, The Walking Dead Compendium One (containing the first 48 chapters of the comic), and a special box housing the contents. The Compendium itself has a price of $60, although you can tend to find it for much less online. Regardless, it's a nice deal for those who wish to get started into The Walking Dead's world. It was said that the Collector's Edition is extremely limited and that it will only be purchasable if you pre-order. It may or may not be truly limited but if you're interested then err on the side of caution! Both the Collector's and standard edition of the game will be out on December 4th. They will also be available for PS3 and 360 with no mention of PC.
  7. Telltale's take on The Walking Dead comic started with Episode One back in April. Since then, they've been chugging along bringing out new episodes every two months. In timing with that, Episode Four is right around the corner as October marks two months since Episode Three. Although Telltale aren't giving a specific release date they did share a new trailer. The Walking Dead Episode Four: Around Every Corner is said to further intensify the game and make the wait for the next episode even harder. Considering that Episode Five will be the season finale it makes sense that this one is going to have to be something special. Episode Four takes place once the group of survivors have reached Savannah, Georgia. Although The Walking Dead fans will probably pick this up immediately, it's worth remembering that a compilation of the games will be available soon too. The Walking Dead will be coming as a physical disc for 360 and PS3 in December. The Walking Dead Episode 4 trailer is worth a look for fans:
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