AdventureX 2019 Roundup - Part Two

November 7, 2019
FEATURES
PC
Also on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch

So far (in part one of our AdventureX round-up) we’ve told you about a servant who must wait 400 years to wake their master, an AI exploring the alien sea, a girl on puppet strings and a woman who’s a prisoner to her own thoughts; if you thought that was pretty expansive, get ready for the second half of our round-up.

Backbone 

It's kinda noir-ish, don't you think?

You’re a raccoon private detective and you live in a beautiful pixelated world. Perfect, right? Wrong! Murder! Crime! An underworld of greed and inequality! Bam, dystopian Vancouver, it’s pretty but it’s not a nice place to be. 

Backbone stands out in first glance via its dreamy, light-filled pixel world, but what really held our attention is the quality of its writing. In this short demo we followed Howard Lotor as he investigates one of his many idiosyncratic cases. We’re on the lookout for an otter, but it’ll take stealth and some fast inquiries to find him and at the end of it all, there really isn't much left to find.

Light puzzles and some stealth mechanics elevate the game above the usual clue-fixated point-and-click mystery games, while the scenery never stops being breathtaking. 

Backbone’s prologue is available to download now for free. It will be released in full sometime in 2020.


30 Birds

Very modern art style, yes?

Playing 30 Birds feels a bit like falling head first into the incense-filled, hippy clothing stacked, weaving cobblestones of the North Lanes in Brighton. It’s as vibrant as it is possible to be vibrant, with a part-2D part-3D world map that will enchant you immediately. 

In the demo, we got a glimpse of the game’s protagonist Zig as she runs around town in search of a new phone. Sounds simple, but with such a visual delight as this even moving from place to place is an adventure. As the player moves from one side of the map to the next, the world itself rotates as if you’re running along the sides of a great rectangular world. 

In our first mission we encounter the first bird, one of 30 servants to giant bird goddess, Simurgh. It was this goddess that built the floating setting originally, but now she’s gone off for a big sleep, and things have gotten a little out of hand without her. Her servants are in danger, and our teenage protagonist might just be able to help them. 

The game is currently in pre-alpha but we want more now. Now, please.


Sumatra: Fate of Yandi

Pixellated.

Have you ever played a game set in the Sumatran jungle? Well, time to rectify that one. Sumatra: Fate of Yandi is a point-and-click adventure game that brings us right back to the origins of the genre. 

Players are Yandi, an overworked, downtrodden deforestation specialist who gets lost after one-too-many chopped down trees causes a landslide. Armed with literally nothing, Yandi must find items within his environment to solve the puzzles he comes across and eventually find the way back to his friend and his home. Fans of old-school point-and-click games will know the mechanics well, but there is still a good amount of challenge to these traditional puzzles.

Sumatra: Fate of Yandi is actually already out, but its unique narrative is certainly worth highlighting once again.

***

Once again AdventureX is over for another year, and we’re left feeling the buzz of creativity. It’s hard not to get a kick out of so many talented people hanging out in one small space, and the breadth of games available is a testament to their skill and unique perspectives. We’ve loved it, and we’ll absolutely be back. 

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Kate Fanthorpe

I’ve been gaming since I could hold a controller, had a World of Warcraft account far too young, and probably learnt about hit points before I could spell. RPGs give me the real warm and fuzzies, but I have a weakness for anything with a good narrative hook and an art style that makes your breath catch.