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While we've only cast a cursory glance towards the Penny Arcade Adventures series by Hothead (the only reason we did at all was due to Ron Gilbert helping out with them), I for one thoroughly enjoyed them. Unfortunately due to flagging interest (both from its creators and the public) Episode 3 is now no more. The story will continue on the Penny Arcade website, if they actually bother to mention it at all this time.

The good news is that DeathSpank is alive and well, and with PAA Ep 3's cancellation Hothead are now focusing all their attention on making it great. Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade said:
"Hothead has DeathSpank and they have a chance to do something really cool with it, and they need to have an opportunity to make it incredible.."
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Following in the footsteps of their recent Zak McKracken retrospective, Eurogamer now have revisited another LucasArts classic: Day of the Tentacle. Read it and try and remember your favourite quote.

Try as you might Eurogamer, you still can't beat our effort. So nyeh.
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Back when it was originally announced, Ghost Pirates seemed poised as a humble comeback for the fantasy pirate adventure game, and today it drowns helplessly in an angry ocean of Monkey Island resurgence. But now the English version of Bill Tiller's all-new swashbuckling romp is available, and we're here to tell you our opinion, which is, of course, always right. Read!
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Samandmax.co.uk is at it again, and they ain't quittin' until they get their hands on every last voice actor bearing a credit on a Sam & Max episode. Their latest interview is with Brian Sommer, the voice of such characters as Brady Culture and Jurgen's monster. You may also know him from his roles in other Telltale titles, including Bone, CSI, and TMI. As always, it's well worth reading what Samandmax.co.uk was able to extract.
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On the last day of the Game Developer's Conference Sean Vanaman (Telltale games writer), Rhianna Pratchett (daughter of Terry and writer of the Overlord games), and Tim Schafer (oh, you know him and not Sean Vanaman? Shame on you) chaired a panel on Comedy In Games. 1Up has a nice sum-up, along with some nice quotes. Of course Tim gets all the best ones.
Moderator: Either within the games world or outside it, what informs your comic sensibility when you're putting together a script or a game?

Tim: [long pause] Where are we stealing our ideas from?
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The Onion A.V. Club interviewed Steve Purcell while at GDC for his thoughts on the announcements of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse and LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition, and related topics. When Purcell opens his mouth, you would do well to listen. A taste:
AVC: Has the reprint of your comics bred any new interest?

SP: I have no idea. I haven't checked with the sales figures for that, but I'd imagine there must be a saturation point for the same set of comics that that reprint has been. I'm not sure I can milk any more readers out of that one. I always tell people I have this story at home that's half-finished, and a quarter of it is inked and it's the story I feel I should sit down and finish and get it off my plate once and for all. It's a story where Max is shot in the ear and has to go to the hospital, and Sam recruits a new partner: a white-handed gibbon.
By the way, where were all you rumor mongerers when this was going on, anyway?
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Yes, Telltale has finally launched its website for Sam and Max Season 3: The Devil's Playhouse.

The site includes the recently-leaked-and-then-removed official season trailer, plus several screenshots from the first episode, whose title is, as we had already guessed, The Penal Zone. Incidentally, a couple of the new images showcase the new direct control system in action!

The website also includes the names of all five episodes in the season.
  • Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak
  • Episode 3: They Stole Max's Brain!
  • Episode 4: Beyond the Alley of the Dolls
  • Episode 5: The City That Dares Not Sleep
Also of note: The Tales of Monkey Island Collector's DVD is finally available to pre-order!

As well, there's now a boatload of new Monkey Island merchandise available, including a second set of TMI buttons, a replica of the Voodoo Lady's tarot card set, a TMI drinking mug, a TMI T-shirt, a portfolio of concept art by Telltale's Ryan Church, and best of all, a "treasure chest" of TMI swag. This last item includes, among other things, a replica Piece of Eight, a "Trial of the Century-y-y-y" souvenir button, and a copy of Reginald Van Winslow's beloved map.
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The trailer that leaked earlier for Telltale's Sam and Max Season 3 (aka The Devil's Playhouse) claimed the first part of the five-episode season would come out in April. Now IGN brings us word that the first chapter's release date is, more specifically, April 15.

Apparently, Season 3 will come with an in-game notebook designed to get new players up to speed on the events of previous seasons. Also, the article confirms that the direct control scheme which Telltale first debuted in Tales of Monkey Island will now be ported to Sam and Max. Other technical improvements, such as real-time shadows, have also been implemented.

The pre-order price will be $29.95, a five-dollar savings from the standard season price $34.95, much as with other Telltale titles. (As happened with Tales, Telltale will be selling only the season package, not individual episodes.) Plus, as with the Tales pre-orders, those who pre-order will get access to a special forum to chat with the game developers until the first episode goes out.

The series is scheduled to debut on three platforms--PlayStation Network, PC, and Mac--simultaneously. For those who want to experience The Devil's Playhouse on PSN, pre-orders will be available through the PlayStation Store.

Oh, and do beware: the IGN article contains a few SPOILERS for the first episode's beginning.

Edit: Updated to reflect the actual pre-order price, as opposed to IGN's speculation.
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It pales in comparison to our previous announcements, but at some point in last night's exciting press conference, LucasArts announced that the clothing of various Monkey Island characters would soon be available for your PlayStation Home avatar to wear.

This Joystiq article includes a photo. It appears that most of the costumes are taken from the Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition.

Sadly, it would seem that Stan's coat features a realistic plaid pattern! Shocking, we know.
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Adventure News

LeChuck's Worst Kept Secret Confirmed

11 Mar, 2010, 02:48 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Twitter | Comments: 99
"LeChucks Revenge: Special Edition is official! New puzzles, new enemies, new hair!"

New Puzzles? What?

And... is there an announcement Three?

Update by Jason: While clarification of the features will no doubt come in the morning in the form of a press release and an official site launch, it's been confirmed that, like with Monkey Island 1, there will be full voice acting, and the original game will be included. "Developer commentary" has bizarrely been alluded to as a bonus feature - who knows what that means, but Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert were on-site for the announcement. Also, here's the cover art.

Further Update by ATMachine: According to LucasArts' Twitter feed, MI2:SE will feature voice acting both in the high-resolution updated-graphics mode and in the low-res, original-graphics mode. Plus, Guybrush's hairstyle has been changed, so hopefully there will be fewer complaints about that this time round.

Update 3: According to LucasArts, MI2:SE will be available for PSN, XBLA, Mac, iPhone, and PC.

Update 4: This Joystiq article suggests that the game will be released "this summer." Also, there will be a new direct control scheme implemented in addition to the previously used point-and-click method.

Finally, it notes this about the extra content:

"They've also added never-before-seen art from Peter Chan and Steve Purcell and developer commentary (!) for you Monkey Island fanboys out there (that's you)."

Update 5 by Jason: Official site launched and here's the press release.
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LucasArts has revealed via its Twitter account that The Secret of Monkey Island (Special Edition) is heading to the Playstation Network and to Mac. That's "Announcement One", apparently.

Expect more details in the coming hours from the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco.

And bring on "Announcement Two"!

Update by ATMachine: Reports trickling out from the LucasArts press conference suggest that SOMI:SE will soon become available for purchase from Telltale's website. However, this has not been confirmed yet.

Update 2: In addition to the earlier Twitter report, Kotaku has now picked up the news of Telltale selling SOMI:SE in their online store, so it seems pretty official.
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Today is the shipping date for Atari's slightly belated retail release of Sam & Max Behind Beyond Time and Space for the PC and Wii. Head on over to the product's official page for a 20% off deal - both versions retail for a reasonable $19.99, by the way. So, awesome! And I wonder what the exclusive bonus content is?

Incidentally, today is the first day of GDC, and while there are still a number of upcoming conventions for epic reveals to be spaced out across, I would expect a pretty big announcement or two to be coming our way this week. The only variable when it comes to the LeChuck's Revenge special edition is the "when?" and Telltale still has to launch their The Devil's Playhouse pre-orders and maybe announce the mysterious new series they've been tantalizing about for a year now.

And there's plenty of other possible announcements for both companies to make. Handsome Halibut? More back catalogue re-releases? Those crazy Telltale iPhone rumors? Be sure to keep up with us throughout the week (with your malware software running, ideally) as we keep you on top of all the madness.
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Adventure News

The indiscretion of voice actors

06 Mar, 2010, 17:34 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 8
Turns out that following someone's twitter feed benefits more than serial killers. For example, the twitter page of Alexandra Boyd, voice of Elaine Marley, reveals the following February 21st tweet:
Alexandras ep of New Tricks on BBC1 mon 9pm. FROM PARIS WITH LOVE opens fri & new series of Monkey Island starts recording on Tuesday!!
Which would certainly gel with the existence of the all-but-announced Monkey Island 2 special edition. (She probably means "series" of recording sessions - it seems a wee early for this to be Telltale-related.)

Of course, Boyd isn't the only one sharing things best kept behind closed doors. Take David Boyll, voice of Hugh Bliss and Philo Pennyworth (not to mention D'oro the Explorer in Tales), who reveals a disquieting openness about the frequency of his bathroom visits in the latest interview snagged by samandmax.co.uk.
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Seeing that The Unofficial Sam & Max Website has fallen into disuse since the forces behind it have gone on to actually make Sam & Max games, it's nice to see that samandmax.co.uk is getting frequently updated. These new kids on the block have already got another interview with a Bay Area voice actor posted, and this time the subject is Peter Barto, the voice of Flint Paper, Agent Superball, and Peepers (RIP) in Telltale's Sam & Max seasons. Head on over and check it out.
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Adventure News

A comparatively timely Mojo review

17 Feb, 2010, 01:17 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 5
Sure, Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein's (Fate of Atlantis) latest adventure game, Mata Hari, may have been released a long time ago, but our review is still far more punctual than other examples that could be cited.

Anyway, Mata Hari. Was that dame a handful or what?
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Aside from a no longer available port of Out from Boneville by Vanbrio Entertainment, Telltale's catalog has never been naively available for Macintosh despite a sizable amount of requests over the years. Based on this rumor, however, Mac users may not have to rely on Boot Camp for their Telltale fixes much longer:
We have it from a very reliable, confidential source that Telltale Games may be planning to release its entire lineup of games to Macintosh very soon, possibly next month (February 2010).

The timing is perfect to coincide with the upcoming MacWord 2010, taking place February 9 through 13, 2010, at the Moscone Center in in San Francisco, CA (USA). An official announcement likely won’t be made until then.
I reckon we'll know for certain in the coming months, but it's sure looking like Telltale's long running claim of wanting to expand to as many platforms as possible wasn't just a lot of talk!

Update by Kroms: Crazy Telltale forum user natlinxz has found this little thing, although it's still not completely up yet. In their own words, "Whoah, looks like my years of making up URLs paid off!" Click on the words little thing to see what they're talking about.

Update 2 by Gabez: The Telltale Police have since pulled that Mac site, but it did confirm that Tales of Monkey Island, as well as the Sam & Max series, was coming to Mac, and that there would be some special deals in which you can buy bundles of games for a good price for a limited time only. Presumably the site will be announced officially soon.

Update 3 by Remster: Aaaaand it's official!

Update 4 by Kroms: Tales of Monkey Island is already available; vote for the next Mac port from that last link.

Update 5 by ATMachine: According to Telltale, if you purchase (or have already bought) the PC version of one of their games, you will automatically be able to play the Mac version of that game for free!

Which means that Monkey Island fans who bought Tales on a PC but really want to play it on a Mac can do so RIGHT NOW. For FREE. Isn't it great?

(And if you want the same deal for your other favorite Telltale series, do be sure and vote on which one should be ported next.)
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I don't know what it is about Razor from Maniac Mansion that makes her such a magnet for fan artists, but the leather-clad singer's latest unofficial interpretation comes today from Tony Andruss:



She just seems to really have an effect on people.
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Adventure News

Autumn Moon Interview

06 Feb, 2010, 00:26 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 25
Like many of you, we at Mojo have been wondering about what's going on at Autumn Moon Entertainment, who have been rather quiet recently despite putting out their second game, Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, in Germany this past fall, with the English release coming in only a month.

So we asked.

Join us in an epic interview with CEO Bill Tiller as we discuss Ghost Pirates, A Vampyre Story, and the studio in general. You'll also find the first word on A Bat's Tale's status since the game was announced at the beginning of last year before seemingly falling off the map. Read the interview for a ship's hold worth of quality tidbits, production tales, and almost inevitable musings on the adventure game market.

Thanks are owed, of course, to the always gracious Bill Tiller and the rest of the Autumn Moon team.

Update: Because you can never get enough Ghost Pirates coverage, a brief new preview for the game has been posted by MCV, claiming a February 19th release date for the English release, although Mamba's site itself still purports March 26th. The preview also states that "Ghost Pirates will be marketed with ads and competitions in key gaming magazines and specialist adventure games websites." Evidently, they're on to something there.
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Adventure News

Heather Logas Strikes Back

25 Jan, 2010, 09:13 | Posted by: Gabez | Source: Poem of the Week | Comments: 6
No doubt you'll remember Heather Logas, a story writer and games designer on both series of Sam & Max (see our interview) and who recently left Telltale Games to work on her own projects.

Well, this is her own project. It's a new kind of concept that involves people pledging some money to support a game, a bit like patronising a playwright in Elizabethan times. If you pledge some money, you get free gifts, and the knowledge that you have supported creativity and artistic freedom.

The game itself? It is based on a choose your own adventure dynamic, like those books that told you to make decisions and then either go to page 42 or page 205. It is also about dreams.

For more information, and to watch a video of Ms Logas talking about her game, click here.
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Okay, the Escape from Monkey Island Secret History article has fallen way behind. But all that means is that you've had all kinds of extra time to submit a reader opinion on the game. Yet you still haven't! So, really, it's you that dropped the ball here.

But we're giving you one last chance. The EMI article is in its final few years of production, which means that we need all second opinions received by the end of this week in order to lock them into the article before we hand it off to ImageMovers to commence all that CGI work. So send them in, ye swabs!

Also, as my way of saying thank you for not keelhauling me over the article's slight postponement, enjoy this trailer Jake probably put together back in The Day:

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