Apprentice review


 

Maybe the best AGS game that has been released in a while, “Apprentice” tells the story of a young apprentice working for his master magician. The game starts when his master tells him to get the ingredients for his first spell. The plot is nothing special, but works for a short game like this.

apprentice.png

The thing that impressed me the most is the graphics. They seem very DOTT-ish and really strengthen the game’s atmosphere. But there is one thing better than the graphics: the animation. I can say that this is the smoothest animation I have ever seen in an amateur game. I felt like I was playing Sam and Max again.

The sound is also very good. The tracks are digitally recorded and well-performed in a baroque-like style. The sound effects are also nice.

The downside of the game is that it is really short – most of you will finish it in less than an hour. Another drawback is the rather disappointing ending considering the promising intro. I suppose there will be a sequel, judging from that. Apart from it, go and play Apprentice – you will surely have fun!

 

Overall rating: 85%

Advertisements

“Bear guy” project preview

Dan is a butt. His wife left him taking most of his possessions with her. He is now forced to work as a carnival guy and wear a stupid bear suit in order to pay his bills for his miserly suburbian apartment. But the thing that offs the top is a kid from hell, who is doing all kinds of dirty tricks on Dan. But his no-good boss may use the excuse of poor language to relieve Dan of his wages, those same wages Dan was counting on to keep his apartment…

 bear.png

That’s the story of this really original yet-to-be-released game. The graphics are really sweet, especially the character’s shading. I also love the animation – it is really smooth and funny. Speaking of fun, when I played the short demo, I found myself laughing under the desk in the intro – the humour is really great!

The interface is also innovative. Apart from the verb coin, there is a Gargh-o-meter which monitors Dan’s stress level. I don’t know what will happen if it reaches the top, but I guess Dan will either get a heart attack or he’ll curse the kid, which will eventually leave him without wages.

The “Bear guy” project, being developed by Duzz, is yet in the early stages of development. Lets hope he gives his best and does not let us down.

Interview with Chrille Blomqvist, creator of Revenants

Ez: First, tell us a bit more about yourself – what do you like doing, what do you work etc.

Chrille: I love music and movies, right now I’m not doing anything, I may pick up studying in the fall

Ez: Do you like adventure games in general and in particular freeware ones and which of both are your favourites?

Chrille: Yes I like both of them, but I rarely have time to play them. My favourite adventure game of all time is Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. I can’t really tell what my favourite freeware/indie. Adventure is

Ez: How did you come across AGS?

Chrille: Having recently replayed most of my favourite old adventure games shortly before P:DA, I got inspired enough to start designing an adventure game, I searched the web for engines and AGS was simply the best option that popped up.

rev4.png

Ez: How did you come up with the idea of P: DA?

Chrille: Among other things, two games, Gabriel Knight and the Manhunter series.

Ez: Did you expect such positive feedback for P: DA?

Chrille: Hmmm, well, I was expecting (or hoping at least) that people would like it

Ez: And they did for sure!

Ez: What will the features of Revenants be?

Chrille: Hmm, tough question.

Ez: Like estimated playing time, resolution, characters backgrounds…

Chrille: I’m afraid I can’t list features in the form of Character, Backgrounds, Estimated Play Time etc., because I’m not fully sure myself yet.

rev5.png

Ez: So how far is Revenants?

Chrille: hmm, it’s still quite early on in development, but we’ve soon finished the basic coding and the first “chapter” of the game (which is pretty much the only linear part of it). After that things should flow on much faster.

Ez: You mentioned the first “chapter”. How many chapters will there be and how non-linear will the game be?

Chrille: For the first question, hmmm, four, the way things look right now. The chapters will however vary a great deal in size. The game will be very non-linear 😉

Ez: In the demo, which was awesome, there was a combat system. Will it remain unchanged in the final release and will revenants include many battles.

Chrille: The combat system you saw in the second version of the demo will remain unchanged,  how many battles there are will be up to the player.

Ez: Will there be an opportunity to finish the game without solving many of the puzzles like in Colonel’s bequest?

Chrille: Hehe, yes, that’s what I told you about earlier. Being able to skip some of the objectives and still manage to complete the game.

Ez: Will the GUI remain unchanged in the final version to what we saw in the demo?

Chrille: Yes, aside from a few improvements with the cursor system.

rev6.png

Ez: Will revenants include voice acting considering that there wasnt much speech in the demo?

Chrille: I havn’t decided yet,  there is alot more speech in the full version. While good voice acting can improve the feel of a game immensly, I’m afraid it’s a big difference doing voice acting for a “serious” game compared to a humorous game. It might be difficult to find people willing to spend that much time and effort on it.

Ez: When can we expect the final release?

Chrille: Can’t tell for sure, probably not this year I’m afraid

Ez: How far is P:The Asylum?

Chrille: Not far at all

Ez: Is it frozen till you finish Revenants?

Chrille: either that or Urban Joe

Ez: Anything more you would like to add?

Chrille: Hehe, not unless you have any more game specific questions 🙂

Ez: Thanks for your time

Revenants preview

One of the most eagerly awaited amateur adventure games is most certainly Gaspop’s Revenants. It is described as a survival horror game, but judging from what I have seen, it is a lot more than that, but let’s leave the genre definition for later. Lets start with the

Plot. Peter Stunch is an ordinary man.  One day he receives a letter from his grandmother asking him to go and see her because she is not feeling well. But when he gets there he senses that there is something fishy – there is no-one on the streets, and his grandma is nowhere in the house. Your objective (at least in the demo) is to find her. A nice plot for a horror game

rev1.png

Graphics. Well, I can’t say that they are the best I’ve seen, but they are quite nice and fit the game’s atmosphere perfectly. They are drawn in P: DA style, but it is obvious that Chrille has become a lot better in low-res art since then.

Music and sound. The music is one of the best I’ve heard in an amateur adventure game. It is digital and keeps you excited throughout the game (demo). The sound effects are also very good. They are realistic and I think I like the footsteps the most – depending on what you step, the sound is different. As a conclusion, Ill say that the sound and music of revenants are vital for the atmosphere.

rev2.png

Interface. This is maybe the most innovative part of the game. Because darkness is all around you, you’ll have to find your way through with light sources like a flashlight, lantern etc. The only drawback in the demo I saw was that these light sources make the area more yellowy than light. Anyway, in the game there are also combats. There are two types of them: melee ones and firearm ones. The melee combats are similar to QFG 1 VGA, except for that you choose your weapon, and there are really many weapons to choose from – from a rake to a kitchen knife. Firearm combats are easier, you just raise your gun and shoot. There are also two types of movement: walking and running. Running, of course, is faster, but it takes stamina. Another innovative thing is the system to view through notes, papers etc. When you press F1, you view all your papers, and you can compare handwritings, read through them etc. Judging from the exclusive screenshots seen in this ezine, the dialog system will be similar to “The dig” one. Another thing which can be seen only in this ezine, are the dream sequences. They are some kind of controllable dreams, in which you focus on things.

Atmosphere. Unique.  One of the very few horror games that “got” me (the others were Gabriel knights). All these things I tried to describe above mix up something really special that has to be experienced.

rev3.png

Overall. Revenants is going to be the next big AGS game (considering that it will most probably be released before FoY and QfG2VGA). Right now, there is a demo version available at www.gaspop.com, which I strongly recommend. While waiting for it to be released, read the interview with Chrille Blomqvist, the creator of revenants.

Mittens 2003 coverage

Mittens is the annual gathering of AGSers, this year held in Sweden. In this issue, Farlander writes a report about his experience and thoughts about it. Photos appear in courtesy of Chrille Blomqvist.

Day 0

My flight is delayed… I meet M0ds at 19:30 P.M. He receives me with a bluecup (Did you send yourself by mail?!? – Vel). We have nothing to do; our plane is leaving tomorrow morning… We play NASCAR and a not-very-original shooting game at the Arcade. The result of our face to face in the driving game is 1-1. We’re f*cked in the shooting game.

(P.S. the character of M0ds at the shooting game was a girl… He seems to enjoy it, uhmmm…)

We find a book called porno (It’s quite popular, by Irvin Welsh – Vel).

 

Day 1

mittens1.png

We wake up. Stanstead airport’s floor has been our beds. Mitteneers start to appear at the Ryan Air checking-in queue. The first is Dark Stalkey (Adam). I meet Chris Jones. We have a veeeeery long shake hand… It was funny. The group is formed by: M0ds, Chris Jones, Custard, Magintz, Dark Stalkey, Scotch and me.

Chris (trying to be polite) talks to me at the boarding room. I am not used to his English accent. I am also tired because of the deficient sleeping and I don’t understand him. I think he thinks I’m stupid now L(I wonder why…)

mittens2.png

The landing in Gothenburg is not the best I’ve seen. I kiss the ground as soon as I reach it. Chris laughs; I think he respects me nowJ. The airport is very small.

We join 2ma2 at Gotteburg Bus Station. Jetxl comes also.

M0ds show! He tries to find a toilet. He buys an inflatable hammer to gets some change for the toilet (You must pay two Swedish crowns for making pee: P). But he has problems with the doors and they get closed… with M0ds outside.

We meet Helm, Gouldmund and Andail at the cottage. We are shy… but after introducing ourselves all seems to flow better… The previews of the projects are promising. I’m sure tomorrow is going to be a great day.

 

Day 2

The Mittens Olympic Games! The results are not important, but they are working great for “breaking the ice”. We feel very comfortable now with the others. The games include some trials like: Nailing, badminton, ring throwing, darts… and a 4 kilometres run, wow!

The best of the day is coming… We light on a fire and we sing songs with the accompaniment of a group of splendid guitar players (Helm, Andail, Vargtass, and 2ma2…) Oh… yes! Vargtass joined us (We were happy when Vargtass was walking to us because we thought he was a girl, but we were disappointed when we saw that Captain Custer´s beard).

 

Day 3:

mittens3.png

The Olympics go on. 2ma2 is a very good athlete. He beats me in both of the running events… If I arrange a mittens gathering I’ll try to include trials with bikes. I behave as a little girl and I don’t start the swimming competition (The water was too cold for the Spanish standards), Jetxl wins.

 

Quote of the day: (Dark Stalkey and Golmund are having an incredibly long struggle in the arm wrestling event… Helm tries to encourage Goldmund…)

Helm – “Come on, use your third eye!!!”

Farlander – “The asshole???”

Helm – (laughing) “Thank you for giving a new point of view of all my beliefs!”

We fire a flaming arrow by the sunset… man, what a view.

mittens4.png

 

Day 4:

We spent most of the day in Gottemburg. The britts go to a theme park, while 2ma2, Chrille, Custard and Helm remain at the cottage (Doing nasty things? Uhmmm…).

I go with Andail and Goldmund to meet a few Swedish friends. I meet Amanda, Andail´s sister (wrong step, Andail…). He introduces her to two mitteneers with girlfriends, coincidence? Uhmmm…

We visit the Gottemburg natural and science museum. I see crocodiles, and sharks, and snakes…

At the evening we play a wonderful quiz made by M0ds… I only answer 4 questions correctly (of 23). As a reward, I earn 400 $ in spends for Mittens 2004, wow! Thank you screen 7!

 

Day 5:

mittens5.png

Brits, Jetxl, Chrille and 2ma2 are leaving L… Last group photos… I feel strange; some of the guys are now like my brothers (in arms…)… It seems that I’ve shared my life with them for years, not just days. Now remain Andail, Helm, Vargtass and me.

We row in Andail´s boat to a nearby island. We get the highest point, but the descent is difficult, especially with those guys without shoes, Andail, Helm and Goldmund. The pity is that we didn’t spot naked girls lying in the beaches during the trip.

At night we have a nice music jam with Andail and Vargtass, another unforgettable moment. We have a final discussion about old videogames with Helm, who is scary in photos and #Mirc, but he is really a very polite and intelligent guy, I really like him.

Day 6: We wake up very early because my flight is at 10:00 am. Goldmund is not happy for waking up so early, but I claim that’s my vengeance because he and Helm talked to a very nasty hour yesterday, without allowing me to sleep, he he.

 

Now I’m alone at the Bus station, sad… I really hope to see that guys again

Nacho “Farlander” Ayala

Note: I’ve tried to keep the original spelling and grammar by the author just for fun. No offence, Farl.