On February first, The Adventure Company, a branch of Dreamcatcher games is releasing a 10th anniversary collection for the PC, featuring five games from the past decade of their published titles. It has a retail price of 19.99 and can be picked up on Amazon here.
As you may guess, The Adventure Company specializes in publishing Adventure games, sometimes referred to as the “Point ‘N Click genre.” The first game published by them was called “Safecracker,” a popular little title in its day for both the PC and Mac. The game was recently reprinted in August of 2006, so you may still be able to find it at your local Target or Best Buy.
I first discovered TAC in the summer of 2000 with the release of Dracula: Resurrection. I’d never been a huge PC gamer, but I’d always enjoyed the occasional Adventure game, like Maniac Mansion or Shadowgate. Little did I know that this would start nearly a decade long long affair with this company. D:R had the most amazing graphics I had ever seen up to that point. It was just so damn beautiful. The plot was quite good for a Dracula based game, and I had a lot of fun with the puzzles.
In 2001, I ended up purchasing three other TAC games: Crazy Vampire Dracula, which was a weird little Game Boy game, Dracula: The Last Sanctuary, which was a sequel to D:R that i HATED, and finally Necronomicon, an adventure game that clung true to the writing and imagery of H.P. Lovecraft, but in the end was too slow and dull at times to be more than mediocre.
After three straight misses, I assumed that TAC had published a single flash in the pan high quality game, but thankfully I was wrong. For every bad game I reviewed like The Sacred Rings, there was a game that I would consider to be one of the best I’ve ever played such as MISSING.
It just goes to show that every company has its share of hits or misses.
Dreamcatcher had an interesting honour back in 2006 when I did my Top 30 Spooky Games list. As a publisher they showed up a whopping FOUR times, with DarkFall being their highest ranked title (#9). here’s a link to each of their games that appeared on the list:
Darkfall: The Journal (#9)
MISSING Since January (#11)
Dracula: Reurrection (#19)
Still Life (#30).
No other publisher showed up that often, so that tells you that when TAC finds a good spooky adventure game, it’s usualy worth picking up. Which is why I’m disappointed they didn’t publish The Lost Crown for US audiences, but it will be coming out via Got Game some time in March.
The 10th Anniversary Collecting from The Adventure Company five games for $19.99. These games are: Keepsake, Nibiru, Return to Mysterious Island, Dead Reefs, and Secret Files: Tunguska.
I’ve never played Nibiru, which came out in August 2005, but the game is very much in tone with the old Indiana Jones films.
Return to Mysterious Island was published in 2004, and was a decent Adventure game, certainly one worth five dollars. I enjoyed the plot of this game, which is based on the works of Jules Verne.
Dead Reefs just came out in 2007. It’s a nice little pirate based game, although I found it to be a bit buggy and the first copy I received couldn’t be read. I’m sure this won’t be the case with the boxed set.
Keepsake is a game I’m actually shocked is included. I think I ranked Keepsake as one of the worst adventure games I had ever played. Horrible puzzles, characters, story – you name it, it sucked. I would have loved for say, Post Mortem or one of the Syberia games to be included. Alas, we’re instead stuck with this. Sorry guys. At least we’re batting three out of four here so far. You can read my review of this stinker here.
Secret Files: Tunguska is up next, and my feelings towards it are the exact opposite of my feelings for Keepsake. Tunguska was in my top five games for 2006. You can read my review of why this game is so good here. The original retail price for this game was $29.99, so to get it, and four others for less than twenty dollars is an amazing bargain. You have no excuse not to play this game now that it is in this bundle.
SF:T has also been released for the DS in Europe, and is headed for the Wii in March on that side of the Atlantic as well. Secret Files 2 is scheduled for a 2008 release sometime, so familiarize yourself with that before it hits.
So there you have it – Five games, one of which is amazing, two of which are okay/decent, one I have not played, and one I wouldn’t give to someone I hated. Not a bad package for $20. I’d easily pay that JUST for Tunguska.
Happy Anniversary TAC. I can’t wait to see what all you have in store for us over the next decade as well.