The final episode of Dreamfall Chapters, Book Five: Redux, will be released 17th June. A stirring teaser trailer was released that shows a montage of scenes from the game.
From 17th June, then, the full Dreamfall Chapters series will be available. This began a year-and-a-half ago with the launch of Book One: Reborn. We wrote a review for Book One: Reborn but haven't reviewed the other episodes - we preferred to wait for the series to finish and play the whole thing.
The Dreamfall Chapters Season Pass, which includes all episodes, is currently heavily discounted on GOG.com, down two thirds to $11.49. You can also unlock the game for free by spending around $30 on other stuff in the GOG.com summer sale - it's all part of some XP system. On Steam the game is £23.99. You can't buy episodes separately.
UPDATE 30TH NOVEMBER: Red Thread Games has announced that Book Four Revelations will be released this Thursday, 3rd December. The date came at the end of a new trailer, which shows this Unity 5-built episode in all its glory.
ORIGINAL STORY 26TH NOVEMBER: While we've been looking the other way, small Norwegian studio Red Thread Games has been having a rough time. It was to do with porting Dreamfall Chapters to new game engine Unity 5. All the early signs were encouraging and the logic was sound: Unity 5 is a more capable engine that will be supported for years. But the reality, to quote Red Thread leader Ragnar Tornquist, was like "a real-life survival RPG".
What should have taken a couple of people a couple of months ended up taking a handful of people four months, all working overtime to try and keep Book Four - the fourth instalment in the episodic adventure series - on track for 21st October release date at the same time. But they couldn't manage it. So in addition to fraught staff, the Unity 5 saga cost 10-person Red Thread thousands and thousands of dollars, both in terms of production costs as well as missed revenue from Book Four. "All things considered, the final price tag is probably in excess of $150,000," wrote Tornquist. "That's a painful amount of money for a small - and cash-strapped - studio like ours."
Book Three - Realms - of the Dreamfall Chapters adventure series will be released this Thursday, 25th June.
Realms is the third of five episodes, and continues the parallel adventures of ZoŽ Castillo and Kian Alvane.
Dreamfall Chapters, a Kickstarted episodic series by Red Thread Games - led by Ragnar Tornquist, creator of The Longuest Journey - can only be bought in one lump. You can't buy the episodes individually. It's currently 33 per cent off in the Steam Summer Sale, priced £16.07. That discount ends 6pm UK time.
Editor's note: We're trying a new approach to reviews of episodic game series like Dreamfall Chapters, inspired by our approach to early access releases and some online games. The debut episode will be reviewed without a score, as here, and we'll review the whole season with a score at its conclusion.
At a time when big franchises now produce at least one annual entry, if not two or more, spare a thought for fans of Funcom's graphic adventure series. With one game released in 1999, a sequel in 2006 and nothing else until now, it's fair to say that those waiting to see what happened to ZoŽ Castillo next are long overdue some closure.
That closure isn't here just yet, however. As the name suggests, Dreamfall Chapters is an episodic series, directed once again by creator Ragnar TÝrnquist, via his own Red Thread Games under license from Funcom. What we have here is the first, somewhat tentative, step back into a universe that hasn't been touched in eight years. As beginnings go, it's pretty good, but it isn't without its frustrations - both for dyed in the wool fans and those coming to the series fresh.
The first instalment of Dreamfall Chapters - Book One: Reborn - will be released 21st October on PC and Mac.
This is the first of five episodes; the second will apparently not be far behind.
Book One tells the tale of two people - Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane - and takes place across three worlds. Kian's a warrior and must escape from prison topless, and Zoe's clothed and in a futuristic world. Mind you, in reality, she's in a coma.