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A Vampyre Story
Platform: PC
Publisher: Crimson Cow Games
Developer: Autumn Moon Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Adventure
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US Q1 2008
Europe Q1 2008



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Maybe there's a needle in it.
 
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Maybe she has some answers.
 
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Maybe I'm starting to look a little pale.
 
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Maybe this is a clue.
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Neal Chandran
First Look Preview
11/05/07
Neal Chandran

Autumn Moon Entertainment may not be a graphic adventure game developer that gamers recognize, but genre fans can surely recognize the name Bill Tiller. The former LucasArts employee, who has worked on classics like The Dig and The Curse of Monkey Island, has formed his own company. One of the company's inaugural releases is titled A Vampyre Story and it has become one of the most anticipated graphic adventures in years. The game was first announced in 2004 and the wait has been terribly long, not only because of development, but also due to the search for a publisher. German publisher Crimson Cow Games was chosen to publish A Vampyre Story earlier this year.

A Vampyre Story follows the story of Mona De Lafitte: a French opera singer who was captured by the vampire Baron Shrowdy von Kiefer, turned into a vampire herself, and is currently being held captive in his castle in Draxsylvania. All she longs for is to escape, return to France, and resume her opera singing career. She is also in denial about being a vampire. On one fine (well, gloomy) night when Baron Shrowdy does not return from a night flight, Mona decides to use the opportunity to escape. She is not alone, though, as her loyal and trusty sidekick, a bat named Froderick, is there to help her every step of the way. In the spirit of LucasArts buddy adventures like Sam and Max, Froderick the bat promises to be a cool, wisecracking sidekick. The trailer promises a well told story with plenty of witty humor.

In this adventure, Mona will visit various locations in Draxsylvania, encounter a myriad of wacky characters, use her wits to find her way out of sticky situations, and learn how best to harness her vampiric powers and limitations to their greatest advantage. Because Mona is a vampire, she possesses vampiric powers but also vampiric limitations. These vampiric traits purport to play an active role in the various puzzles Mona will encounter on her journey. The game itself promises the classic point and click puzzle solving interface that genre fans love, filled with item collection, item manipulation, logic puzzles, and the like. The visuals too evoke the classic cartoonish whimsy from prior LucasArts adventures. Highly stylized 3D polygon characters adorn equally stylish settings. The characters do not push polygon counts to the limits like the more photorealistic designs in games like Mass Effect, but they look good and animate fluidly. During outdoor scenes depicted in screenshots and the trailer, the use of muted purple hues to showcase the night sky and the shadows of trees and craggy peaks is very pleasing to the eye and is a nice alternative to blacks and greys. In sum: this game has style.

The clever dialogue and whimsical characters would not be much without voice actors to bring them to life. The voice acting heard in the trailer is fun, delightful and fit the characters and setting very well. The music heard in the trailer is excellent too. The piece that plays during the dialogue scene has a playfully haunting melody and the piece capping off the trailer has a funky Halloween dance feel to it. The soundtrack in this game should be a highlight.

A Vampyre Story is the debut title of Autumn Moon Entertainment, and it is shaping up to be a worthwhile title for graphic adventure fans. It is clear that Bill Tiller and company have put a lot of love into the game and it is already garnering positive press. A Vampyre Story is projected for an early 2008 release.



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