The Adventure Company had several new titles to show off this year. Three of them were sequels to recent releases, while the others are brand new tales.
Dead Reefs is a pirate's tale involving curses and chronic murders. Taking place in the 1800's, you play a private investigator who has been called to this small island in order to solve the murder of a nobleman's son. As you delve into the story, you discover that there are similar murders happening every 9 years going back to a time before a colony was formed on the island and the only inhabitants were pirates. You will be able to interact with 60 characters and view 40 minutes of cut scenes as you try to solve this century long case.
Sacred Rings is the sequel to Aura: The Fate of the Ages. In the end of the last game, your character escapes from a parallel world, or so he thinks. His ship is shot down and he lands in enemy territory. Now, not only must he find a way out of the territory with the power rings acquired in the previous game, but he also needs to find another way back home. From what I saw, Sacred Rings definitely had its fair share of unique puzzles that will more-than-likely take a good bit of time to solve even though there is a built-in help system that shows you what your goal is.
Safe Cracker throws you into a huge mansion with over 400 rooms (all of which you can go into). Scattered throughout this house are 40 different safes that all lead to solving the main safe. Inside this last container is the will of the eccentric old man who had the house built and designed all of the safes. His family has hired you to come in and retrieve the will for them. Since the game is non-linear, you typically won't have to go through the puzzles in any particular order. There are a few that can't be opened unless you have acquired a hint or code provided by a separate safe, but all-in-all you can tackle the safes in any order you choose.
Safe locks range from digital displays that require you to turn off all of the lights, to standard combination locks. With over 40 different safes, this seems to be one of those games that you sit down and play through a few locks, then leave and come back to it again later.
Evidence is a follow-up to the dark problem-solver Missing. Just like the previous game, players will have to scour the Internet looking for clues that will help them track down the deranged murder. Evidence adds a couple of new tools to your control bar. One of these tools is the ability to zoom in and examine any part of the game screen in more detail. Players can also change the color-saturation in an area, so some hints might only be visible if you zoom into the correct size and adjust the colors so that, for instance, everything in in black and white.
Tunguska follows a woman who is searching for her missing father. The game follows her on her journey as she traces his steps in exploring the mystery of Tunguska Russia. In 1908, a devastating event occurred that left a large part of Russia devastated. To this day, no one knows if it is a meteor or some other event that caused the devastation. In the game, your character's father is a researcher who has been studying the cataclysmic event. When he disappeared, you find yourself getting involved in a very deep and possibly deadly mystery.
Agatha Christie Mysteries: Murder on the Orient Express takes the classic murder mystery and puts it in a slightly different perspective. Instead of following the famed Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, you play a lady who works for the train station. It seems that Hercule has taken sick and cannot leave his cabin, so it is up to you to solve the case, with the detective's help, of course. Fortunately, your character is a serious crime buff. Poirot acts mainly as a help system in this game, and when you aren't physically in the room with him, the help system takes the form of a voice (Hercule's voice, that is) inside the main character's mind. Fans of the classic mystery should find this game enjoyable, especially since the game's ending isn't exactly how the book/movie says it ends.
An interesting note is that TAC is currently talking to David Suchet to do the voice and provide the likeness of the detective. For those of you unfamiliar with Suchet, he played Poirot in the long running A&E series named after the Agatha Christie character.
All of these titles are scheduled to hit the shelves in the fourth quarter of 2006.