Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement in Review – None of the above, but a devilishly good puzzler

The adventure game genre has seen quite varied incarnations on the iDevice. From ports of the classic games like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review), to all original hardcore adventures in 1112 episode 02 or HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), to more light hearted ones such as Mystery Mania (TMA Review), a good number have found their rightful spot in our App Store’s Best Adventure list. And it is this last genre that has just been updated with a title with the very long name of Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement.

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The Telltale of Hector – Straandlooper to team up with the well-known adventure games maker

There is luck, and then again – there is hard work. The App Store has been a place where many a developer has tried to find his fortune, though quite few have really succeeded. And while not a lot of folks can boast the millions of dollars made like Doodle Jump – BE WARNED: Insanely Addictive! or Angry Birds, some get their break in a different way. We’ve seen  a number of iOS dev teams gobbled up by big-time names, with Chillingo being one of the more recent celebrated acquisitions. Others get a well-deserved deal and partner up with big-names to reach new heights in their endeavours.

And I’m happy to announce that one such deal has just been made public. Straandlooper, developer of the superb HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), have teamed up with one of the leaders in the adventure games market – Telltale Games – to bring their adventure from the iOS to PC and Mac. Even better, episodes 2 and 3 are already in production and will be released later this year along with the re-release of episode 1 for the medium screen.

I will try and secure the interview with Straandlooper soon, meanwhile, make sure you read the hilarious semi-official press-release from the guys after the gap.

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Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising in Review – To undead and back again…

Not sure how many of our readers remember the Choose Your Own Adventure-type books, but I certainly have fond memories of them. Leveraging the power of imagination back when a computer would take up about a football stadium just to match the processing power of the current iPhone, they provided hours of fun and enjoyment for kids all around the world. And the fact that this seemingly obsolete genre has found a home on the iDevice warms my heart and fills my soul with optimism. Especially with the release of fresh and original titles developed specifically for the iOS, like the latest creation by Tin Man Games – Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising.

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Escape the room 2 in Review – The only way out is… through the door

Escape the room genre is one of those casual spin-offs of full scale adventure games, born with the rise of Flash-based games. Since then it has become a beloved pastime for many office employees and after a while, found its way to the App Store as well. Unfortunately the quality of these titles on the iDevice differs wildly (remember Escape the Room: Magician’s WC (TMA Review)?) But Escape the room 2 is a whole other kettle of fish, having some serious muscle behind it from Tate Games, the dev team responsible for the excellent RPG Crimson Gem Saga (TMA Review).

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Discover the life of the genius in Secrets of Da Vinci HD

As a big fan of adventure games it warms my heart to see a tiny trickle of new new titles turn into a steady stream, both from indie developers and more well-established companies. Coladia, developers of the superb Secret of the Lost Cavern, one of the best adventure games on the platform and responsible for Destination: Treasure Island HD, along with the soon to be released iPhone version of the adventure of Jim Hawkins after the famous novel, have just released Secrets of Da Vinci HD for the iPad — a title that presents a unique opportunity for gamers to dive into the world of the famous artist, philosopher and inventor, Da Vinci. You play the part of a young apprentice to one of Da Vinci’s students, sneaking into his mansion to study the inventions that still reside there. And all that is available at the low intro price of just $1.99! Full info and screens after the gap.

Secrets of Da Vinci HD Coladia, Secrets of Da Vinci HD, 871.08MB – $1.99

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Take the future into your own hands in Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 2

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 1 (TMA Review) – the latest adventure by the Tetraedge games team, released under the watchful eye of Anuman Interactive. You play the role of Madeline, Nostradamus’ daughter, who has to unravel the enigmatic series of murders in the court of Catherine de’ Medici. Not everyone, however, has the same trust in her abilities as the great prophet and so Madeline has to disguise herself as her brother Cesar, who is out travelling.

I felt the story was off to a great start and had a nice balance of puzzles and narrative. The second part that has just been released offers even more puzzles centered around the mystic arts of Astrology, Alchemy, Pharmacy and runic symbols. Can you change the future and defeat Nostradamus’ last prophecy?

Nostradamus The Last Prophecy - Part 1 Anuman, Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 1 - $3.99
Nostradamus The Last Prophecy - Part 2 Anuman, Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 2 - $3.99
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Official walkthrough for 7th Guest released on the App Store

When I reviewed the port of The 7th Guest, the legendary PC adventure, I noted that some of the puzzles there can be quite tricky. And that even despite the built-in hint system in the game. Apparently I was not the only one thinking this and due to popular demand Trilobyte released an official walkthrough app for this excellent game – The 7th Guest: Book of Secrets.

One might argue whether it is actually fair to charge an additional $0.99 for the information, already freely available on the internet for anyone who cares to look. But then again, those web-savvy people probably won’t buy this app. For those who are stuck, however, and don’t wish to burden themselves the Book of Secrets presents a great way out of the conundrum.

The 7th Guest: Book of Secrets Trilobyte, The 7th Guest: Book of Secrets, 11.10MB – $0.99

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Hysteria Project 2 in Review – Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

When Hysteria Project (TMA Review) appeared on the App Store back in 2009, it created quite a buzz. As one of the few interactive movies on the platform and the first originally created for the iDevice, it offered a unique experience, both technically and in terms of gameplay. Putting you in the shoes of a careless victim desperately trying to escape the hooded maniac that seems to be in multiple places at the same time, it was a revelation for many thrill seekers on the iOS. The latter can get ready for their second dose as the eagerly awaited  Hysteria Project 2 has just been released.

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Riven: The Sequel to Myst in Review – I’m lost and mysty-eyed…

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.

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The 7th Guest in Review – If it were not for guests all houses would be graves… and some still are…

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.

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