Adventure games have had a bit of a comeback as of late. Recent titles such as Telltale's The Walking Dead and HD re-releases of the Monkey Island series have reignited interest in a genre that once dominated PC gaming in the late '90s.
Jane Jensen's (Gabriel Knight, Grey Matter) successfully Kickstarted project Moebiuslooks to tap into that renewed base by introducing the eccentric antiquities dealer Malachi Rector as he investigates the life of the recently murdered socialite Bianca Cardolo in Venice. Malachi's photographic memory and extensive knowledge of history makes him the perfect candidate when a shadowy government organization hires him not to investigate Bianca's death, but into how she lived, and if there were any other connections between her life and those of other historical women.
Much like her previous work, Gabriel Knight, Jensen's Moebius has its own paranormal twists to it. Malachi's ability to read people goes beyond just a Sherlockian wit and has more than its fair share of paranormal intuition. His ability to just "feel out" the background of an item or a person along with his strange hallucinations hint at a far more mystical story than just the adventures of a withdrawn academic researching a murder victim.
Malachi has his own share of figurative demons to battle as well. Borderline paranoid and prone to panic attacks, Malachi loves to pop Xanax like it's Halloween candy. This combined with his strange visions led to one scene in which Malachi falls screaming to the floor in the middle of the night with his bodyguard and companion, David Walker, rushing in to care for the crazed man.
The interactions between Malachi and David seem to hint beyond being just friends, but nothing explicitly stated was ever shown. Given all the issues with games and the LGBT community lately, it will be interesting to see how far Jensen is willing to push this relationship past the two just being business partners.
Moebius plays a lot like other traditional point-and-click adventure games. It sticks to the basics: find the object, solve the puzzle, watch the story unfold. My short time with Moebius didn't let me see if it falls into the "collect everything" trap that I feel plagues a lot of these games, nor did I see any Rube Goldberg-like puzzle solutions where I had to use fishing wire to lure a cat to eat the rat and puke up a key, but until I can get a more complete hands-on experience, I can't promise they won't be in here.
While looking a tad unpolished, lets face it, people don't play these games for cutting edge graphics or tight controls. What I DID see, however, was an interesting story that will lure in both history buffs and those who like a bit of the paranormal thrown in with their mysteries. Add in a dash of a Dan Brown novel and you have what could be a great, compelling entry to Jensen's already excellent portfolio.
Jane Jenson's Moebius is looking to release in 2014 for PC, iOS, and Android devices.
Capitalistpig (Steven Brown) is just a random guy who lucks out into seeing games before they come out from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to hear him ranting about more or less anything in general.