Red Johnson’s Chronicles: Episode One
Developer: Lexis Numerique
Publisher: Lexis Numerique
Release Date: 4/19/2011 (Playstation Plus), 05/03/2011 (Everyone Else)
Most console gamers are probably unfamiliar with Lexis Numerique. That’s because, until recently, they’ve primarily made games for the PC. Although this French developer-slash-publisher mainly made kid games for companies like Ubisoft, in 2003/4, they created one of the most memorable and unique PC games ever - In Memorandum aka MISSING Since November. Again, if you aren’t a PC gamer, you’ve probably never heard of it, but this game was one of the first “alternate reality” games. The game would use your internet browser, your email account and various other things to really immerse you in the adventure to the point where the line between where the game ended and real life began blurred immensely. From there, Lexis Numerique had a brief run as an adventure game company with a reputation for excellent stories and outside the box ideas. Whether it was The Experiement or MISSING Since November, Lexis Numerique developed a nice cult following amongst adventure fans on both sides of the Atlantic.
In recent years, Lexis Numerique went back to making children’s titles, notably for the Wii instead of PCs. However, with a vocal fanbase clamoring for more adventure games, Lexis Numerique decided to give it another try, but sticking with their newfound focus of making games for consoles. Enter Red Johnson’s Chronicles. This adventure game was designed specifically for the PS3 and was to be the first of three adventure games for consoles. Red Johnson is the detective game, AMY is going to be a post apocalyptic game, and The 7th Seal will be their first game for the Xbox 360 (Little is known about it, save that it is actually being developed by their sister studio VectorCell.). As a big fan of their PC adventure games, being able to pick up Red Johnson’s Chronicles two weeks before its official release date AND for 50% off via Playstation Plus was an offer I couldn’t pass up. So has LN made a successful switch from the PC to the PS3, or was their adventure game era best left in the past?