Under development adventure games that are worth a mention

Sometimes, under development games manage to raise my expectations to the point that I start following their path towards their release. There is no guarantee that they will actually meet my expectations, but it’s nonetheless fun and interesting to observe their design and development.

So, if you are keeping an eye on an under development adventure game, feel free to share it here. I’ll start with the one that intrigues me the most at the moment:


A description of the game from the website:

A Case of Distrust is a narrative mystery from 1924 San Francisco. Play as private investigator Phyllis Cadence Malone in this historical 2D adventure game. Explore underground speakeasies, smoke-filled billiard halls, classic barber shops, and more.

Catch suspects in lies by using evidence, statements, and your wits. Intrinsic challenges face our heroine, as she struggles against a pushback on emancipation, leading to many doubts, both internal and external. Uncover the truth in a mystery full of deception!

I like about everything about this game: the fact that it’s set in San Francisco (which is a city that I love), the fact that it’s set in a period that has always interested me a lot (the twenties and the US Prohibition) and its simple graphic style.

I have also played a demo of the game (which is no more available) and the gameplay was quite good. The protagonist has to investigate some crimes, so there is a lot of observation and deduction involved.

A video trailer:


The official website also provides a few desktop wallpapers for anyone to download, like the following one:

Here are a few links:

Official website of “A Case of Distrust” (with wallpapers)
Development blog of “A Case of Distrust”
An article/preview of the game

Is there an under development adventure game that you are keeping an eye on?

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I am so looking forward to this: Don’t Escape

It seems to be based on teamwork. to escape from the desert. Very appealing.

There’s also a mystery western, similar to Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, but I don’t recall the name and they have just begun development.

And of course there’s “indiana jones and the fountain of youth”, but we all know we won’t live to see it.

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The Curious Case (by the developers of “The Curious Expedition”):



That sounds fantastic!

I’m very intrigued to see how good is the generative algorithm that will be used to create the cases to investigate. It’s a very interesting idea. The “roaring twenties” are also one of my favorite periods in recent history.

When you cited “The Curious Expedition” I hoped that Octavi was involved in the project but it doesn’t seem so.

BTW I haven´t managed to this day to activate all pillars AND get back from the final mission. I was so close once. Loved the artic update, though.

Same here. :slight_smile: You might want to try “Noir Syndrome” - it uses a similar concept:

AFAIK Johannes Kristmann (one of the two developers) did the whole artwork.

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Thanks, I know that game but I didn’t try it because of its negative reviews.

Developing a system that generates stories must be quite difficult, in particular the generated stories could feel very similar to each other or too simplistic. I hope that “The Curious Case” will be different from the games that already tried this route.

Man, how I´d love to be able to play Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures again!


It’s was originally for windows 3.1, but it works on windows XP and 7. Not sure for windows 10, but in compatibility mode or via a virtual machine, you can play it again.

If you prefer Linux, I know there is a way to play Indy with Ubuntu.

This site may be helpful

Disclaimer: I’ve bought it, but I haven’t played it yet.

Yes, I hope that too. But I fear there aren’t any other possibilities to implement a “story generator”. You have to use small story parts, tailored together (in random order) by the game. And I would assume that they use a system similar to that in “The Curious Expedition”. Even the expeditions were repetitive (but fun :slight_smile: ).

Thanks, I don´t even need to download it as I still have it on the 10 Adventures CD Rom(which worked on Windows 95). I´ve already tried everything actually that is written on that very page you linked to, but nothing worked unfortunatly(on Windows 7).

Looking around the internet, I found a website where someone says that the issue is related to the SETUP file.

From that site, you can download a patched SETUP.EXE file, in order to complete the installation of a regular copy of Indy Desktop Adventures, on modern operating systems.

Excerpt from this site:

This patch contains a new SETUP.EXE file for Indy’s Desktop Adventures that
will fix problems encountered during the installation process. This new
setup file will only fix installation related problems, otherwise it is
not needed. You will need to copy this file onto the Desktop Adventures disk,
and choose to overwrite the existing SETUP.EXE file that is currently there.

I can’t guarantee that it’s working, though.

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Still says the exact same thing, I´m opening it in compability mode for windows 95 and the setup file still won´t open.

I have always snubbed that game (IJ desktop adventure) but now I would so much like to try it… it looks just like the mix of adventure and RPG I dream of :slight_smile:

It´s close to 20 years that I last played it, but I remember it being good fun. A casual experience (I believe it was between 30 minutes and 1 hour per session) you can relive again and again for as long as you feel like(i.e. until you finally get bored with it, take a break and pick it up again later on).
I´m sure I would still enjoy it to kill some time.

cite: “Game is 16-bit so can’t run natively on 64-bit versions of Windows.”

The easiest way would be to use a VM. If you are using Linux, you can try this:

More infos about the game internals: http://www.zachtronics.com/yoda-stories/

Yeah the error message doesn´t even include the possibility of a 16-bit version.

For those of you who like to follow the development of games, I think that a mention of the upcoming and extremely peculiar game of Lucas Pope (the developer of “Papers Please”) is well deserved.

Return of the Obra Dinn


In 1802, the merchant ship “Obra Dinn” set out from London for the Orient with over 200 tons of trade goods. Six months later it hadn’t met its rendezvous point at the Cape of Good Hope and was declared lost at sea.

Early this morning of October 14th, 1807, the Obra Dinn drifted into port with sails damaged and no visible crew. As insurance adjustor for the East India Company’s London Office, find means to board the ship and recover the Crew Muster Roll book for assessment.


The 1-bit graphics used in the game are for sure an uncommon artistic choice and it has been a pleasure to follow the development posts written by Pope. He had to find a good dithering algorithm, he had to design a realistic 3D ambient sound system to create the right atmosphere, and of course he had to design also the whole gameplay, which involves investigation and a way to witness past events (maybe a bit similar to “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on Steam”).

He had also to face serious issues related to the “marketing” of the game; for example using YouTube to publish a video of the game implies that the video service by default will compress the graphics in a very bad way, resulting in a very blurry mess. 1-bit dithered graphics is a b**ch!

If you enjoyed reading the more technical posts of the Thimbleweed Park development blog, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy reading Pope comments as well. You can also download a demo of the game.


Official website and demos
Development logs

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By the way, both Lucas Pope, the developer of “Return of the Obra Dinn” and Ben Wander, the developer of “A Case of Distrust” will be in Seattle at PAX West 2017, just a few meters from the developers of “Thimbleweed Park”. :slight_smile: