Thursday, May 07, 2009

Three Cards to Midnight Debuts This Evening

Big Finish Games has announced that their oft-delayed mystery adventure game, Three Cards to Midnight, will be available for download tonight, May 7th, at 7 PM ET.

Three Cards to Midnight

According to the developers, Three Cards to Midnight is a new style of game with elements of traditional adventure games and casual games built around a compelling story experience. The game is for Windows PC and will be available initially as a download.

The storyline goes like this: The last thing Jess Silloway can recall is meeting her boyfriend, Daniel, for dinner on the eve of her thirtieth birthday. The next morning, she'll fly to the Florida Keys to celebrate her birthday with her parents aboard her father's yacht. Everything in Jess's life is good ... on track.

Except ... something feels different. Maybe it's just her impending birthday – some kind of mini-midlife crisis. Or maybe it's something else...

Jess suddenly finds herself in a room with a man she's never seen before, who tells her that something has happened ... something that has caused her to block out the events of the past days or weeks since her last memory. The man is there, he says, to help Jess remember.

The man lays out a series of Tarot cards, each of which seems to trigger memories of a person or place in Jess's subconscious – some from childhood ... others from the recent past ... and some that are totally unfamiliar.

The man asks Jess to choose one card and focus on it – and so begins her chilling journey into the past ...

There are eight chapters (or levels). Each chapter features several "regressions" to different locations. These can be done in any sequence, and the memories unlocked during each regression can be done so in any order. The story experience will likely be different for almost every player. Also, the finale of the game will be dependent on how you played, making it unique for each player.

The gameplay is one part solving puzzles and one part "word play". You search locations to find objects that connect to specific "keywords". For example, the first keyword in the game is NOTE; objects you can find include a Quarter, a Foot, a Key, and a Book – all of which connect to the word Note (Quarter Note, Footnote, Keynote, Notebook). When you find all the required objects, a memory is unlocked that has something to do with the Keyword.

In context, you must figure out how to unlock memories (or flashbacks) of people and events associated with a series of specific locations. As more and more flashbacks are unlocked, they begin to fit together like a mosaic, gradually revealing the full story.

A trailer for the game can be seen on the developer website.

Three Cards to Midnight is rated T for Teen. The price of the game is $20 (though at the time of this post, some three hours before the game is scheduled to be available, information on accepted methods of payment is unavailable).

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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