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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Apple Games Features iPod Mahjong
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature showcases Mahjong for Apple's iPod. One of a growing number of games for the handheld multimedia device, Mahjong delivers the familiar gameplay fans of the tile based solitaire title have come to expect. The feature offers an overview of the game's features and a brief history of the popular game.

Each layout you complete in the Emperor’s Challenge reveals a Chinese proverb that’s saved in your Scroll of Wisdom, which you can access through the Highlights menu. The Scroll of Wisdom also displays the gems you’ve received and notes your rank, which starts at peasant and goes all the way to Emperor, once you’ve completed all 72 layouts.

If you’re interrupted while playing, simply save your progress and quit the game. Mahjong also tracks a variety of statistics about your gameplay history, including the number of games played, the number of boards you’ve cleared, the percentage of tiles removed, and the number of layouts you’ve completed in the Emperor’s Challenge. You can also see which layout you’ve completed the fastest, and how long it took.
Click over to the site listed below to read the rest of the article.

Apple Games: Mahjong for iPod
Apple Store: iPod Games



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Heroes of Might and Magic V Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Applelinks recently posted a review of Heroes of Might and Magic V, the latest title in the long running turn-based strategy game series. The game offers a new story-line, new units, and the addition of 3D graphics. Applelinks gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

There are similar decisions to be made in battles, starting with where you place your troops on the battlefield. If your hero has the tactics skill, then you have more room. Even if you don't, you'll have to use the battlefield to your advantage. If you place your archers behind other troops, then you'll be able to shoot your enemy but they won't be able to shoot you. If you place a troop that can't fly behind a pile of rocks, then they will need room to maneuver to get to the enemy but will be protected from the enemy's ground troops, as well. Some of your troops can use spells just as your heroes can in addition to attacking the enemy directly, so you have to decide when it's right to use them. Fortunately, you can see how many of the enemy will die before you order any of your troops to attack so you can pick the best course of action before you make it.

By making the best decisions and having a bit of luck on your side, you'll emerge victorious and defeat all of your enemies with a hero who will make the enemies tremble. HoMMV is a combination adventure/battle/role playing/resource management game with fantastic graphics and songs. That is why I've played this series ever since HoMMIII, and why HoMMV doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for the series.
Check out the full review at the link provided below.

Applelinks: Heroes of Might and Magic V Review
Freeverse
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V


3D Gaming Shootout: MacBook Pro 2.2GHz versus 2.4GHz
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Barefeats has released a new performance comparison test, this time examining two versions of the 15" MacBook Pro "Santa Rosa" model. The test compares the 2.2GHz model with 128MB of GDDR3 video SDRAM to the the 2.4GHz model with 256MB of GDDR3 video SDRAM. The final result revealed a 9% speed advantage for the 2.4GHz model.

The MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (256MB GDDR3 video SDRAM) was at most 9% faster than the 2.2GHz MacBook Pro (128MB GDDR3 video SDRAM). If we average all the results, it was 5% faster. Suspiciously, that 9% maximum gap corresponds to the 9% difference between the 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU clock speeds. At least for graphics intensive apps like 3D accelerated games, it can be argued that the extra video memory doesn't buy you anything.

As for price difference, it's more accurate to say $425 instead of $500 if you configure both the 2.2 and 2.4GHz 15" MacBook Pro identically (with the same 160GB 5400rpm drive). So you have to ask yourself, is the 9% maximum performance advantage worth 20% more money? And how much is that 9% advantage worth in terms of your time savings over the life of the machine? And which of the two models will bring the most money when you sell it on eBay before you buy the next new ultrathin, screamer?
For more details on the test head over to the site below.

Barefeats: Santa Rosa Shootout


Doulber Gold Goes Universal
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Independent game and software developer, Phelios, has announced the release of an updated Universal Binary version of the game, Doulber Gold.

Doulber Gold takes gamers back in time to several favorite arcade games of the 80s. Phelios was inspired to build upon the best elements of retro popular games and then inject its own game play twists to work with today's gamers.

Doulber Gold features:

* 6 Worlds: Maya, Ice, Jungle, Space, Circus and Metal
* A preview page so gamer can view the entire layout of the level.
* Over a 110 Levels of Doulber Gold with more than 30 secret
levels and puzzle levels
* 30 Extra Hidden and Secret levels
* Fun visual effects, animation, music and sound effects    * Free upgrades
* Wide selection of levels and variety of game play
* Family entertainment - from kids to adult kids at heart
To learn more about the game and check out a gameplay trailer follow the links below.

Doulber Gold
Doulber Gold Trailer
Phelios


Designing For Motivation
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Gamasutra recently posted an interesting article on motivational game design. The piece offers an in-depth examination of the motivations which drive gamers to keep playing and the tools which developers can use to tap into those motivations. Games such as Diablo and StarCraft serve as examples of different types of design.

The “reward system” is the fundamental base for all motivation management. The rule is that every player’s effort must be rewarded. Even though the reward could take many forms, its role is mainly to motivate.

In action-RPG titles such as Diablo or Guild Wars, the gameplay is built on the growth of the character's strength. This is carried out by a system of experience and levels associated with a system of equipment. To reach the next level the player has to cumulate enough points of experience. By passing through a succession of challenges, he will obtain this experience as well as the equipment needed for the next challenge.

Even though this system looks ideal and scalable, it has its weaknesses. When the limit of progression is reached, the game looses its interest and the motivation disappears. If there is no limit, the system does not offer any objectives or references and thus the motivation is very weak.

In the case of Diablo, the randomness of categories and reward characteristics increases the motivation of players to replay in order to achieve the perfect item. The disadvantage is that the player has no real reference of the ratio challenge / reward since one “unique” item can be the reward for next to no challenge.
The full article is available from the link below.

Gamasutra: Designing For Motivation


Mac Games News for Monday, June 11, 2007

Tuncer's Blog: EA Returns To The Mac! But Will They Stay?4:23 PM
id's John Carmack Shows idTech 5 At WWDC3:08 PM
TransGaming Partners With EA To Bring Mac Titles2:04 PM
EA Announces Mac Titles At WWDC10:47 AM
Blades Of Exile Source Code Now Under GPL v26:00 AM
Details Emerge About Next Sim City Title6:00 AM
The Music Of Warcraft6:00 AM
Turret Wars 1.5 Released6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 11, 2007 on one page


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