iTête à iTête – Interview with Charlie McHenry from Trilobyte Games – Like a phoenix, rising again from the flames of the AppStore
The App Store model has certainly revolutionized software development as a whole and games development in particular. Thanks to the extremely low entry cost and a centralized distribution system, it has become a launch pad for many new indie developers both successful and not so much. But that isn’t much of a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the market. What’s more interesting is that this new platform actually allowed some veteran companies many thought long gone to get back together as well.
And of such phoenixes, born again from the flames of App Store, is Trilobyte Games – the company behind the legendary PC adventure – The 7th Guest (TMA Review), recently re-released for the iOS. Today I’m joined by Charlie McHenry, the current COO of Trilobyte, to talk about their resurrection, work on The 7th Guest, future plans, and more.
I still remember the awe I felt on first booting up Myst (TMA Review) for the iPhone. This legendary game, one of the first in the genre to promote the sales of CD-ROMs all those years ago, as well opening up a whole new age in PC adventure gaming, was surprisingly well suited for the modern iDevices. And when I was offered a chance to review Riven: The Sequel to Myst, naturally I jumped at the chance.
In the 90′s adventure games came to a crossroad. On one hand there were the golden age point-and-click adventure games that defined the genre. But a new subgenre, born with the arrival of CDs, was gaining more and more traction. I’m talking, of course, about the first person Myst-like games with heavy usage of FMV cutscenes to convey the story. And of the most well-known, as well as having the distinction of being the first game that came exclusively on CDs, was The 7th Guest.
It seems I’m on a roll this week! It’s time for yet another review of a new adventure game. Following the superb Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered (TMA Review) and frustrating but promising The Train episode 01 (TMA Review) I’m going to examine another recent entry to the genre on the App Store, which also happens to be an iDevice exclusive as well – Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen. Will this one prove to be worthy of our The App Store’s Best Adventure?
Even with such adventures as HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), 1112 episode 01, episode 02 (TMA Review) having great success on the App Store and earning a well-deserved place in iTunes’ featured section, one originally designed for the iDevice is still a rare guest on my iPhone. Of course there are many reasons for this, both financial and not, but it still pains my heart to see this happen. Nevertheless as the platform matures, we are starting to see more and more developers stepping up to fill the void and who knows, maybe some will earn the right to join our The App Store’s Best Adventure. Tonight’s contender is The Train episode 01, so let’s see if it stands up to the challenge.
In my interview with Charles Cecil (creator of Broken Sword: Director’s Cut) I asked him about the chance of other BS games coming to the iDevice. At that point he was still uncertain, but with the success and acclaim for his superb ports, it’s no wonder he followed through. And while Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror does not boast the additional content of the first, the sequel has enough neat tricks, tweaks and updates to make it shine anew on the iDevice platform.
Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 1 in Review – Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here. I shall be… on iOS!
Tetraedge Games are currently one of the more prominent players on the App Store’s adventure gaming scene. Porting various PC adventure titles, they are responsible for such great games as Jules Verne’s Return To Mysterious Island, Jules Verne’s Secrets Of The Mysterious Island, Dracula: The Path Of The Dragon and the most recent Egypt The Prophecy. This time they have graced us with an adventure centered around the famous prophet, Nostradamus, with the release of their latest title – Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 1.
Hi folks! You all remember me, TMA’s adventure games addict, right? Well, have I got a treat for you! Charles Cecil, creator of some of the best adventure games ever, has just contacted me to inform that Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered is going to be released shortly. And by shortly I mean tomorrow or even today, depending on where you are at. For example it has already hit the store in New Zealand!
If you spotted the Remastered label attached to the famous adventure – good on you. Broken Sword 2 will not see such a massive content update as the the Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review), but the amount of various types of bonuses, features and tweaks is enough to satisfy anyone.
Update: It’s already available in the US store as well.
Revolution, Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered, 697.15MB – $6.99
We’ve seen quite a few games pop-up on the App Store claiming to be a Survival Horror. Unfortunately none of them delivered, even those from top franchises like SILENT HILL The Escape (US) or Resident Evil 4: PLATINUM and Resident Evil: Degeneration, which turned out to be quite mediocre third-person shooters. Most importantly – none of them delivered the experience of playing a Survival Horror, where you feel like you’re fighting for your life in the dark and afraid to look around the corner. And finally about a year ago, a surprise entry took the genre by storm, swiping the crown of Survival Horror games in our AppStore’s Best Adventure Games list. I’m talking, of course, about the first and only scary game for the iPhone – Fallen EP-1 (TMA Review).
In a subsequent interview the developers promised that a new episode would be due soon and I was very enthusiastic about seeing the story continue. Unfortunately due to economic reasons the company dispersed and the release never materialized. But all good things come to those who wait and Vincenzo has contacted me to relay some good news.
Fallen EP-1 is going to make one year now. I’m going to put it for free from now on. I think that past its time, and will be free from now on. We’ll see if and when a new game will rise out of it But now I think I just want it to be in the hands of as many people as possible.
But wait, there’s more after the gap!
All of you who follow TMA know I’m a sucker for a good point-and-click adventure game and have a special place in my heart for any dev team that creates an original title for the iDevice. Well, my heart just got a little more crowded thanks to the Italian indie team Footprint, who recently released Dispersio: Start ENG and Dispersio Alone Lite ENG. Dispersio is a dark graphical novel/ adventure made in an original comic style. Your aunt is dying and you travel to visit her in the hospital. Once there, however, you are dragged into a mysterious event and wake almost 20 years later, only to find the world around you barren of life.