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Matt Chat 50 - Super Episode with Al Lowe

Al Lowe, creator of Leisure Suit Larry (and Freddy Pharkas!), chats with Matt this week about comedy in games, focusing on his fabulous work with Sierra On-Line in the 80s and 90s. Note that it's broken into two parts for your inconvenience.
Part I:

Part II:

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Matt Chat 49: Nancy Drew with Jessica Chiang of Her Interactive

Here's this week's Matt Chat featuring Jessica Chiang of Her Interactive. I talk to her about the history of the company, Nancy Drew, and what kind of games appeal to women. Enjoy!

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A Review of The Void

The Void is a new game developed by a Russian team named Ice-Pick Lodge and imported by Mamba Games, a small publisher dedicated to expanding the genre with truly innovative and distinctive games. The game is set for release on October 16th, 2009, and I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy to review.

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Matt Chat on Maniac Mansion!

Here's the "Matt Chat" you've all been waiting for! Lucasfilm Games' 1987 masterpiece, Maniac Mansion!

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Review of "Still Life 2" by Matt Barton

Still Life 2Still Life 2If you're into adventures, skip over to Adventure Classic Gaming to read my review of Still Life 2, just published today. Overall, I thought it was a good but not great game, but a clever patch could change that situation. Lots of screens, too!

P.S. Please leave a comment over at ACG if you get the chance.

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Matt's Review of Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts

When I first about Rob Smith's new book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts, I knew almost instantly that it'd be a valuable book for those of us concerned with videogame history. LucasArts (known earlier as LucasFilm Games) is one of the most important and influential of all videogame developers. While many, many people fell in love with classic graphic adventures like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, and my personal favorite, The Dig, earlier aficionados will remember the equally revolutionary Koronis Rift and Ballblazer. The task Rob Smith set for himself with Rogue Leaders was to give us an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how all these games got made--and, without question, the man succeeded brilliantly. The only way you could immerse yourself more deeply in this topic would be to jump in a time machine and get a job at LucasArts Games yourself!

"When you want to publish the first announcement of a new LucasArts game, you pull out all the stops," writes the author in his introduction. One might very well apply that to "the first book about LucasArts." Smith has pulled out all the stops to create one of the best books I've seen yet on my favorite topic: videogames!

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Rogue Leaders: MUST BUY

I just got my review copy of Rogue Leaders. I intend to write a full-length review in the next week or so, but I can definitely say right now that this is a book that NO, I repeat, NO, fan of LucasArts games will want to miss. It's beautifully produced; top quality, and jam-packed with amazing images, game design plans, interviews, photos of all kinds...You'd have to basically be nuts not to order this one right away. I'm very impressed (blown away, really) and can't wait to delve more into it.

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Great Article on Adventure Game Interfaces

I wanted to share this link I found today browsing Slashdot. The article is "Searching Under the Rug: Interfaces, Puzzles, and the Evolution of Adventure Games" and appears to be one of the most comprehensive treatment of adventure game interfaces I've seen yet. The author, Mark Newheiser, introduces some technical terminology while providing plenty of examples from actual games.

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A Review of Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy

Her Interactive's Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy, is the 19th game in what is undoubtedly the longest-running adventure game series in history. The games have all been outstanding, and even the weakest were better than many a competitor. The Haunting of Castle Malloy is probably the most challenging of the entire series, with about three times as many puzzles as the previous games. Although my wife and I were able to complete the game without consulting outside hints, it took us several days and a few late-nights to get through it. Overall, I give this game a hearty recommendation, and if you haven't played any of the past games, this might be the one that gets you hooked.

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Hidden Content in Adventure Games

Jess Beebe has posted a very interesting article at ACG called Resource Quest: hidden treasures in Sierra’s adventure games. It's all about the hidden files of legendary games like King's Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. These aren't to be confused with Easter Eggs; rather, Jess has found secret stuff lurking in the program directories, such as sketches and background art. In short, this is the stuff the developer probably didn't want anyone to see! If you like Sierra's classic adventure games, check out Jess's article!

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