Moebius: Empire Rising is a contemporary adventure that merges classic point-and-click puzzle solving with Jane Jensen’s sophisticated storytelling. Travel the world using Malachi’s unique deductive powers to analyze suspects, make historical connections, and uncover the truth behind a theory of space and time the government will defend...
User reviews: Mostly Positive (83 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
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July 30

Italian Translation Now Available!

La traduzione in italiano di Moebius è ora disponibile!

All Italian subtitles and interface translations are complete and now available. Buon divertimento!

10 comments Read more

July 3

German Translation is Now Available!

Gute Nachrichten for our German fans: the German translation for Moebius is now available!

All subtitles and interface text have been completed and are available as an update to one and all.

Viel Spaß!

(Apologies for MY bad German. Thankfully, I didn't do the translating!)

5 comments Read more

About This Game

This thrilling new adventure game from master storyteller Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter) and Phoenix Online Studios (Cognition, The Silver Lining) introduces Malachi Rector, an expert in antiquities whose photographic memory and eye for detail transform people and clues into interactive puzzles.

When a secretive government agency enlists him to determine whether a murdered woman in Venice resembles any particular historical figure, Malachi is left with only questions. Why would the U.S. government hire him -- a dealer of high-end antiques -- to look into a foreign murder? Why does David Walker, a former Special Forces operative he meets in his travels, feel like someone Malachi’s known all his life? And how come every time Malachi lets his guard down, someone tries to kill him?

Moebius: Empire Rising is a contemporary adventure that merges classic point-and-click puzzle solving with Jane Jensen’s sophisticated storytelling. Travel the world using Malachi’s unique deductive powers to analyze suspects, make historical connections, and uncover the truth behind a theory of space and time the government will defend at any cost.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 512 MB RAM**
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    • OS: XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM**
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    • OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz*
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 512 MB RAM**
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: * - For Mac systems, an Intel-based processor is required., ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    • OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz*
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM**
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: * - For Mac systems, an Intel-based processor is required., ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
It's not that I didn't have fun playing Moebius, I did, it just isn't a very good overall experience. Malachi is a terrible, paper-thin character, the kind of guy Grace Nakimura (from Gabriel Knight, ostensibly this game's spiritual predecessor) would dump after a single date. The historical, Carmen Sandiego stuff was really fun, but it's been crammed, rather than woven into the story. The music is forgettable. The phone is cumbersome.

Moebius is basically a bad, sometimes pretty Gabriel Knight without Gabriel Knight.

Don't do it. Jane Jensen is gonna keep doing better things. Skip this.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
I loved this game. The characters are interesting, the puzzles fit the story, good writing. There are a couple of glitches but nothing too frustrating. Good and refreshing point and click adventure. Yes, there are a few plot points which are nonsensical - as another review mentioned, flying to NY to get a bottle of whisky, for example - but I didn't think it was gamebreaking, Some of the game mechanics are really cool, like using Malachi's attention for details to get a read on people before you talk to them: you put together their various tells and figure out how they tick.

I really wish there were more games like this, and am hoping for a sequel.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
I haven't enjoyed an adventure game this much since the first Broken Sword!
Thrilling, interesting story, that will keep you engaged until the last second.
(I especially enjoyed the personal analasys bits.)

Do yourself a favor and buy it :)
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
This is a great game.
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3 of 17 people (18%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Give me back my money :(
Was this review helpful? Yes No
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
I love this game. I'm particularly partial to discovery games, point and click games, RPG games, and puzzle games and this was all of those. I was a little apprehensive about Malachi's character but I promise he grows on you and you get really attached to him.
I'm also pretty into the idea that these characters aren't really straight, which shows a variety that most games avoid if they can. I also appreciated the supernatural aspect which was completely unexpected. I also got a bit of watson and sherlock vibe from our 2 main characters (and i don't mean the bisexual or gay part I mean their dynamic).
I would definitely reccomend this game to everyone. Have fun!! I'm hoping to god for a sequel.
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10.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
If you're into old point and click adventure games you should enjoy this.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I consider myself a big fan of Jane Jensen's and classical adventure games in general (as you can probably tell by my choice of the Steam avatar), but I cannot in good conscience recommend this game. It rehashes all the adventure game tropes and clichés (not in a good way) and much of the puzzle design is flawed or illogical. Most crucially, though,I found myself getting bored with the plot and couldn't care enough to keep playing. I never got to finish the game as much as I wanted to because it felt like a waste of time. It simply wasn't fun or engaging enough. In a genre of games that specializes in storytelling, I'd say that's a big minus. The characters (especially the main character Malachi Rector) are unlikeable, the dialogues are uninspired, and the animation is stilted. For the longest time, I seriously wondered to myself if the main character was supposed to be a hunchback by design because of his very unnatrual-looking posture. It turned out it was just bad character modeling. You'd think they would invest some time and effort in designing him to at least NOT look like a disabled person. He's only the protagonist of the game. That you have to stare at for the ENTIRE duration of the game.
In the meantime, I will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of GK 20th Anniversary Edition.

My verdict: 2/5
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
One of the worst adventure games I've played.

Terrible, terrible music. Bad sound effects. Unprofessional voice acting. Much too short. Final chapter revolves around clicking your way through 60 caves, all animated with the same 4 bad backgrounds. Did the budget run out?

Do not get this game, even if it is on sale.

Hurts to say this, considering I love Jane Jensen's work in general, and both Gabriel Knight and Gray Matter are favorites of mine.
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
Do you like good games? Then this game is not for you. Do you like demented puzzles and being annoyed out of your pants? Then this game IS for you. Ironically, though, I have no doubt whether to recommend it or not - I enjoyed it, a lot. Guess it's a question of what you're looking for.

If you're looking for Cesar Bittar, by jove you've found him. It is obviously a game developed solely by him without any involvement of that pesky Jane Jensen whatsoever. Or at least by Phoenix Online, and not by Pinkerton Road at all. Pay attention.

If you're looking for, say, cool characters, then you should marry it - Malachi and David are amazing, and everything that concerns them is done brilliantly. From the beginning of their friendship through all the shunning of Gretchen to the pointed indifference to Amble it's downright adorable, sincere and applauds-inducing. And man, I love these straight to the point dialogues where characters are saying the most logical things that suit the situation. I can't say enough just how perfectly it is done. It was a pure enjoyment and a crate of marbles in a world of pervasive bureaucracy and Leisure Suit Larry remakes.
Unlike everything else in the game.

The story? Have you heard of the world's silliness contest of '72? Where Helen Slapps was standing on one leg on a frozen turkey with a thrashing fish in her mouth and an open urn of ashes on her head, and playing a triangle? It was waaay less silly than the plot of Moebius.

The puzzles? Oh, don't even start about the puzzles. When I was flying back to Chicago from New Orleans because I forgot to pack my toothbrush, that was painful. And this game made me relieve the experience. Honestly, the only good thing about them is that they're easier than the ones in The Walking Dead.

The graphics? You know you have issues when you visit New York, Venice and Zurich, and the only pretty place is still a bar in New York.

The music? Well, there were some niceish pieces, but nothing comparable to Gray Matter.

The technical issues? I thought it's good pairing when characters are walking through one another on a regular basis.

I must say, it IS a Jane Jensen's game, mainly meaning that it's amazingly written and tries to tackle metaphysical issues with a healthy dose of excitement and a pinch of old fashioned naivety. It is worth your playthrough. It's good like that. It's just you'll have to put up with its ♥♥♥♥, and there're surprisingly big amounts for a game you can complete in ten hours.
So there. Scratch what I said, don't marry it. It will ruin your life.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
good point and click adventure, still some graphic bug and i got stuck at some point. so save often and enkoy this great game. wish there were more like this
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
If you're really into adventure games and enjoy pseudo-historical / metaphysical storylines, you MIGHT enjoy this game. Otherwise, and I'm sorry to say as a backer and fan of Ms. Jensen's past work, it's a train wreck. The graphics and gameplay are just atrocious. Everyone looks like a scary alien. 3D animations weren't this bad in the 90s. The puzzles are just dumb. At one point, you have to take a private jet from DC to NYC to buy a bottle of wine. Seriously, the whole thing is so badly done, they actually threw in a couple of timed action sequences AND a cave maze to top it off. The voice acting is actually fine, but the writing is sloppy, so much of the dialogue is hardly bearable. The best part is really Robert Holmes's soundtrack. Pity, this story would have made a good book, but it's been made into a failure of a game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
I received Moebius: Empire Rising for backing the Pinkerton Road Kickstarter and just finally got around to finishing it. It wasn't a terrible way to spend my time, but I wouldn't describe it as a good game and I wouldn't recommend it unless you really have nothing else you'd like to be playing. The feel of the game overall was very unpolished, and while I could forgive the aesthetics not being perfect, things like the animations were not only stiff and unrealistic, but they were very slow and you'd have to just sit watching the characters slowly and awkwardly move around while waiting for them to do what you told them too. In the instances when it was unclear exactly what you were supposed to be doing and I was having to repeat certain actions multiple times trying to get things right it got very frustrating.

They did try to do some interesting things with the point-and-click genre, for example, you couldn't just pick up everything you'd eventually need right when you first encountered it if there was no reason for you to be carrying that thing around, so you'd often have to remember where you saw something useful and go back for it, and it seemed to work out pretty well most of the time. There was also the analyzing of people to learn more about them, which mimicked the BBC TV show, Sherlock. That was clever at first, but it mostly ended up with things either being obvious or else needing to guess randomly. They also relied a lot on stereotypes, and it got kind of insulting at times, especially towards women as it seemed like half the women were vain and out to get a man, often the protagonist, Malachi Rector. Malachi thinks pretty lowly of most people, but his generally insulting attitude combined with the use of negative stereotypes about beautiful women, various tropes like women getting fridged or damseled, and the women in the game almost all being puzzles or tools to use to solve a puzzle, including sometimes in a sexualized manner, was pretty disappointing. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers wasn't exactly great in its treatment of women, but there were more interesting and diverse female characters around, even if Gabriel himself was a bit of a womanizer, and I had hoped that Jane Jenson was capable of writing protagonists who didn't objectify women so much and that this game would have been able to show better gender representation than a game from the 90s. And while I'm on representation, Malachi and David's relationship borders dangerously on queer baiting.

Overall, there were some good moments in this game, and I didn't hate it, but mostly I felt that it fell short and that there were elements that could use quite a bit of improvement in every aspect of the game. If a sequel were made I definitely wouldn't get it right away, but I would see what people have to say about it and find out if they've made enough improvements to make it worthwhile.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
Moebius: Empire Rising is a point and click adventure game by Jane Jensen and published by Phoenix Online Studios. If you aren’t familiar with the name Jane Jensen, she is one of the big names in adventure games from back when adventure games were the showcase genre of the PC who are still working primarily in that genre. I don’t want to go all auteur theory, but Jensen’s is important because Moebius is recognizably the kind of game she’s been making for the last couple decades. There’s a pulpy, melodramatic concept and story. There are some continually repeated minigames that are too simplistic but seem like they could be great with a little more work. There’s an annoying maze area that should have been cut entirely from the game. Basically, fans of Gray Matter will probably like this. For those who haven’t played Gray Matter, some more explanation is probably needed.

Moebius is traditional in design, to the point of being predictable. You pick up objects, and use them on other objects in a, hopefully, logical way to advance the plot. The only change to the standard gameplay is that Moebius only lets you pick things up when the puzzle requiring them has been reached. So you can’t just pick up a boat pole and carry it around for no reason, unlike the kleptomaniacs who starred in the adventure games of old. Occasionally you need to guess passwords, but this is usually done by selecting the password from a drop-down menu, there is one that you enter manually, so the passwords aren’t fundamentally different from finding and using items. The passwords also provided the best example of how the game is too eager to keep thing moving for the puzzles to be really engaging, Late in the game there is a password that involves using cryptography to decode the password hint. You’re provided with various keys and three methods of encryption and decryption to figure out the password. It could have been an interesting exercise in figuring out how to use the different methods. Instead you’re brought to an interface that applies the encryption for you. All that the player is left to do is apply the cipher and copying down the decrypted message. A shorter way to put it, this is one of maybe three that I’ve managed to complete without a walkthrough.

The game isn’t all item puzzles and passwords, though. There are two minigames intended to emulate the classic “Sherlock scan” and the comparison of modern and historical people respectively. In the Sherlock Holmes minigame you’re given different qualities of a person, like “shifty eyes,” and then select one of three options for what it tells you about that person. This isn’t inherently a bad idea, but these options always break down the same way. One is an obvious joke option, one is relevant but doesn’t actually relate to a character trait, and one just flat-out tells you some character trait of the person you’re analyzing. Comparing people to historical figures is probably the biggest disappointment of the game. You are given a list of traits and next to each of these traits are the historical figures who had those traits, then you need to figure out which of the historical figures shares the most traits. So if someone has seven traits in common with Eli Whitney and one in common with Chuang Zi, you need to sigh deeply and imagine what could have been. It really should have been an exercise in comparing and contrasting information is instead a test of whether you can count.

The story is very much in line with the goofy-but-sincere gothic melodrama that Jane Jensen usually does. Malachi Rector (keep in mind that Jensen’s Gray Matter featured a character who wore a literal Phantom of the Opera mask without a trace of irony) is asked by a mysterious quasi-governmental organization named FITA (which was sadly changed from the far more appropriate FIST) to determine if the life of a recently murdered woman resembles any historical figures. After carrying out his mission, he is attacked by ninjas, who photograph his passport, and finds out that he is the center of various conspiracies and so it goes. I don’t want to expand on the plot too much, because people hate spoilers. I will say that if you’re a fan of Jorge Louis-Borges, you might be disappointed, as it’s nothing as clever as that. It is a very entertaining pulp sci-fi story that has a lot of genuinely well done moments, and runs with its central conceit fairly well. I really thought the story was a strong point of the game, except for one problem.

The problem with the story is Malachi Rector. He is a whiny, entitled, self-righteous, narcissistic, judgmental ♥♥♥♥♥. They were obviously trying to emulate the BBC Sherlock, with Malachi as the insufferable genius who everyone needs despite his grating personality. They even tried to emulate the look of the BBC Sherlock in many of the cutscenes, with floating text to represent Malachi’s analysis of the situation. The BBC Sherlock has a couple of advantages, however. First, that has Watson around to look at the camera and sympathize with the viewer, and, second, Sherlock is not the viewpoint character and you get an occasional break from him. The Watson in Moebius is so bland I’ve entirely forgotten his name and Malachi is the viewpoint character for most of the game, which means almost everything the game tells you is passed along by him; this is a problem when most people will want to punch Malachi in the face every time he speaks. I don’t think it kills the story completely. If you keep in mind that he’s supposed to be unlikeable, it’s actually hilarious what a ♥♥♥♥♥ he is.

Graphically, it’s exactly what you see on the screenshots and video above. It’s got a nice stylized design intended to conceal the low quality of the models, the animation is a little off at times. Overall, I think it works well, when it works. The engine for Moebius, like Cognition, the previous game from this Phoenix Online, has a tendency to suddenly pitch a fit every so often and the character models starts flopping around, an absent character remains a hot spot in the level, or the game just locks up. I don’t want to exaggerate this too much, I had four or five noticeable issues in the nine hours I spent playing the game. Three were cosmetic and only one, when the game locked up, required me to restart the game from an earlier save. I’d advise you to save often, though, in case the game does suddenly freeze on you.

To sum up, I may have accentuated the negative a little too much here. Moebius is a nicely traditional, if overly easy, point and click adventure game with an interesting plot that is partly kneecapped by unlikeable characters, oversimplified puzzles, and the occasional bugs. That sounds bad when you put them all together like that, but I really do recommend it if you like the genre. If you’re not a fan of point and click adventure games, this probably isn’t the best place to start. Maybe try the Blackwell games or Gemini Rue or something first.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Initially enjoyed it. It was interesting and my kind of setup to a story, then it got uninteresting halfway through with unlikable characters and mixed plot points. The story was really going nowhere. I didn't mind seeing the ending really, but I am sure that wouldn't have given me closure. Of course, I don't just choose not to see the ending but an adventure game curse fell on me. Yes, I call it that because they only exist in point and click adventure game. Rant Over. Regret my purchase.

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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
The good:
- Good story
- Solid voice acting
- Beautiful backgrounds
- Great music
- Original twist on classic adventure gameplay.

The bad
- Character animations.
- Low res cut scenes
- Maybe a bit too easy
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
After playing the demo and catching up through reviews I decided to wait until the price of the game dropped and it just did that a few days ago.

Everything you can read about the game in negative reviews is true, but unless you have a very limited and narrowminded view, it will likely not be as true for you. The 'strained' relationship between the two main characters can easily be explained with a bit of human insight.

This game really starts off on the wrong foot. Everything, but the characters, looks nice and it takes quite awhile to get used to the poor lip syncing, wandering eyes, animations and pauses, but once you are past that it's quite entertaining and chuckle worthy on occassion. The puzzles are generally pretty straightforward and even though you can't pick up anything before you actually need it, which is a really bad design choice imo, it isn't really that interruptive to gameplay, which can also be alleviated by using the location travel from the toolbar and movement in areas by the double-clicking teleportation.

I had to turn off music (volume down) after 10 minutes, because it was giving me a headache. I recommend using space a lot to highlight points of interest - I didn't do that in the beginning and I missed an item and was stuck for an hour. The hint system is pretty useless, completely unlike the spectacularly userfriendly one from Broken Sword: The Serpents Curse. I only got one analysis wrong (Caroline Aflfonse) and had to check online for mismatches, because I was dead sure about some mismatches, which wasn't shared by game logic.

I spend around 25 hours on this game due to some mistakes, that "interrupted the pattern" followed by clicking on the wrong button (I clicked on Load and realized that the game had made no autosaves, no progress saves and that I generally had forgotten to save any games beyond the intermissions) and the game also crashed on me once. "Retry" is the key to use and saving in general is a good idea, unless you like repetitious gaming.

I would rate this game 7/10, because of bad design choices, poor lip syncing, wandering eyes, weird movements, annoying pauses, jittery animations and a general lack of polish. Had those things been fixed I would have rated it about 8.5/10, because despite the glaring faults it's actually a pretty good game with some interesting new points of Adventure and story-telling.
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
The animations are terrible.
The ending is lacking. Loose ends don't feel tied up sufficiently.
The puzzles were good, except for the last extended puzzle of the game... which just felt unnecessarily long.

Could this game be better? Absolutely. Is it terrible? No. Was it fun? Most the time.
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4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
I really enjoyed Moebius: Empire Rising and it's certainly one of the best adventures I've recently played. It's got a very interesting story with two sympathetic protagonists. The puzzles aren't really that hard, but not too simple either. The only negative point are the animations which are really awful - thanks to the story and overall atmosphere you can ignore this though.
If you're looking for an adventure focusing on the narrative and the plot this one's for you!
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