LOS ANGELES--There have been adventure games about everything you can imagine, so why not pirates? That's the position that The Adventure Company is taking with its upcoming PC game, Dead Reefs. We sailed through the seas of people in West Hall to take a look at the game.
Dead Reefs takes place in the 18th century on a small island off the coast of England. The story goes that a band of pirates used to inhabit the island who would lure travelers to the island and then kill them and loot their ships. One time, the pirates killed a ship full of monks, and as a result a curse befell the island. The curse claimed one person on the island every nine years, and eventually the island inhabitants accepted it as their punishment for killing the monks. However, people become alarmed when, all of a sudden, someone is killed outside of the nine-year cycle. As a result, the Baron of the island calls on you, a royal investigator from England, to solve the mystery.
The game plays out like a murder mystery. You move around the map from a third-person perspective using the standard directional control scheme. You can interact with objects in the environment by pressing a button. There will be some light puzzles to solve in Dead Reefs, but for the most part you'll be gathering clues from the more than 16 different characters living on the island. Most of those people will be suspects themselves at one point or another, and it's up to you to collect evidence and unravel the mystery.
This involves a lot of talking, which is handled by a simple system in which you approach a person and select icons on the bottom of the screen that correspond with different conversation topics. For instance, if you want to ask someone about the murder, you simply click the icon of a man lying in a pool of blood. It's not a complex system, but it seems to get the job done.
Dead Reefs is scheduled for release this November, so keep an eye on GameSpot for more updates.