Phoenix Online Have More Than Silver Lining

I bet there are so many things in this scene that I can't use right now

More adventure gaming news now, following John’s tearful account of the beautiful To The Moon. Sunday sees the release of the fourth episode of Pheonix Online’s unofficial King’s Quest game, The Silver Lining. As with the others, it’s absolutely free but they are after money for something else. While working away on The Silver Lining, they’ve announced a new project, Cognition, in collaboration with Gabriel Knight designer Jane Jensen. It looks like a darker affair than King’s Quest, which admittedly isn’t a stretch, and there’s a short promotional video for that as well. Two videos in one post – it’s like a multiplex down there!

I haven’t played any of The Silver Lining episodes so none of that made any sense to me. I recognise Graham because he wore that hat when he was no more than a few pixels high, back when we were pals, but the rest of it is beyond me, I’m afraid. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, it might be quite exciting though, I suppose. Or maybe the bit where a giant face swallows Graham is somehow anticlimactic? I’m tempted to play all four episodes since I followed their development for centuries.

The video for the Jensen collaboration is evidence of the early stage the project’s at. There’s currently a Kickstarter page for the game and donations are halfway toward the target. It’s full title is Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, and along with adventuring and puzzling it will contain psychic powers and outlandish serial killers with names like ‘The Wise Monkey’, ‘The Terrible Face’ and ‘The Cain Killer’. Except I just made one of those up. The video reveals which one.

I didn’t play Gray Matter, which I should rectify at some point, but the Gabriel Knight games are among my favourites. I suspect the third has aged quite badly and the second used far too much live action not to look decades old five minutes after it was released, but the first one? A classic and still a mighty attractive game.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I would like to capture ludicrous murderers by clicking on small objects and pretending to be a woman called Erica Reed. There’s a case file’s worth of information about Cognition here, including details on what you can receive in return for pledging money in advance. If you pay $10,000 the team will fly to your home town for dinner, which is terrifying, and will also mail cookies straight to your door.

If they were in Cognition, they’d be called ‘The Cookie Monsters’. Do not give them your address.


  1. StingingVelvet says:

    I was a big KQ fan but the first Silver Lining episode was terrible, I thought. No offense to the dev team intended, just not my bag for several reasons (the top one at the time being endless poorly written dialogue after every click).

    • phlebas says:

      Did you try any of the other episodes? I got the impression they’d responded well to criticisms of the first.

    • epoxy putty says:

      TSL 1 was indeed terrible (and it seems the other episodes are no better). I just hope that by ditching a well-known franchise (which is only limiting and overly exposed to criticism by fans of the series) they get to create something good. We’ll see.

    • qinsanshiyi says:

      Welcome to: link to

      Yes, I have been deeply in love with it, I believe you too!

  2. Dreamhacker says:

    I though all of John’s accounts were tearful :P

    • Wulf says:

      That’s only because everyone pokes fun at what a terrible healer John is.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Looks like King Graham has taken to wearing a cat hair moustache.

  4. chabuhi says:

    If only I were a capable programmer (and artist, and gameplay designer) I would endeavor to recreate the majesty that (to me) was The Legend of Kyrandia. That’s the old school adventure I’d like to see make a comebacik.

    • phlebas says:

      I’d settle for a rerelease of the originals – never got to play them the first time round, and they’d be an obvious fit for GOG.

    • chabuhi says:

      Well, by all means then jog on over here and add your vote if you haven’t already!

      link to (search for Kyrandia)

      The series has woefully few votes.

    • phlebas says:

      Done. It probably doesn’t help that people have kept adding the games under slightly different versions of the names rather than searching and voting for what was already there, but they do have disappointingly few votes.

  5. zhchqq says:

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  6. Garret says:

    It’s like a multiplex down there!

    That’s what she said.


  7. Emeraude says:

    Hmmm… Cognition looks interesting, though I suspect that – as with Gray Matter – it’s a game whose existence I’ll enjoy more than its experience.

  8. lowprices says:

    Damn. I would’ve guessed that ‘Wise Monkey’ was the made up name.