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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Electronic Arts’s and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have announced that the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince game will be released later this year to coincide with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book.

In the game players will return to Hogwarts to help Harry survive a fraught sixth year. They will also have a chance to engage in wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. Players may even get sidetracked by Ron’s romantic entanglements as they journey towards the story's climax and discover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince.

“We believe that the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game represents a milestone in the movie tie-in genre,” said Harvey Elliott, Head of EA Bright Light studio in the UK where the Harry Potter franchise has its home. “Building on the technological advancements of previous games in the series the team here is working closely with the filmmakers to create an immersive interactive experience that captures the story, the action, the excitement and, above all, the fun of the film. ”

“Working with EA, we look forward to offering fans a compelling Harry Potter video game, one which captures the thrilling storyline and high visual quality of the movie,” said Scott Johnson, Vice President, Business Development for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The adherence to the rich fiction is a trademark of this franchise and with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince fans will experience the most authentic and enjoyable game in the series to date.”

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simmering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is scheduled for release in time for the movie launch this fall for a variety of platforms including the Macintosh.

Electronic Arts

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Casual Games Are Effective Stress Relievers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent study from East Carolina University supports the idea that casual games have positive health benefits for players. The 6-month randomized, controlled study revealed that games such as Peggle and Bejeweled can reduce stress and depression in those who play them.

ECU's study yielded significant findings and identified potential therapeutic applications of casual games as a means of addressing serious mental and physical disorders. The study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and full results will be presented at the Games For Health Conference by Dr. Caremen Russoniello, associate professor and director of the Psychophysiology and Biofeedback Center at ECU.

He says: "I've conducted many clinical studies in the area of recreational therapy in the past, but this was the first one seeking to determine the potential therapeutic value of video games. The results of this study are impressive and intriguing, given the extent of the effects of the games on subjects' stress levels and overall mood. When coupled with the very high degree of confidence we have in those results based on the methodology and technologies used, I believe there is a wide range of therapeutic applications of casual games in mood-related disorders such as depression and in stress-related disorders including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Granted, this study was a first step and much more needs to be done before video games can be prescribed to treat medical conditions. However, these exciting results confirm anecdotal evidence that people are playing casual video games to improve their mood and decrease their stress, and herald casual games' potential in health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of stress- and mood-related disorders."
Head over to the Worthplaying page at the link below to read more.

Worthplaying: Casual Games Scientifically Proven to Relieve Stress
Buy Bejeweled 2

Spiderweb Unveils New Online Store
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software has unveiled a new secure online store for selling its many RPG game offerings. The shareware developer is responsible for a variety of titles, including the Avernum and Geneforge series. The store is still in beta testing and Spiderweb is asking for feedback from those who try it.

Our new, secure online store has just entered beta testing. If you are about to order one of our products and would like to help us out, please enter the store and purchase it here. If you have any comments or problems with the store, please let us know.
Click over to the links below for more information.

Spiderweb Software Online Store
Spiderweb Software

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Apple Games Features Ankh Heart Of Osiris
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Apple Games' latest feature travels the desert sands in the Egyptian themed adventure game, Ankh: Heart of Osiris. The 3D graphic adventure gives players the task of once again aiding young prince Assil, this time in recovering his stolen Ankh. The article includes an overview of the game's features and a collection of tips and tricks.

From Cairo’s bazaar, with its assortment of odd merchants, to the city’s Wild Mummy bar, Assil has been the talk of the town. The impetuous youth turned a death curse into a brush with fame when he traveled to the underworld, thwarted Osiris’ fiendish plans, and had the curse removed. He turned down a grateful Pharaoh’s offer of half of Egypt and his daughter’s hand, preferring instead to try his luck with Thara, the Arabian ambassador’s daughter. He even managed to keep ownership of the Ankh, which originally cursed him when an awakened mummy hung it around his neck.

When we caught up with Assil, however, his luck had taken a turn for the worse: He had woken up in a dingy alley with a hangover, the Ankh gone. Scruffy-faced and out of sorts, he nevertheless agreed to let us accompany him for a while as he tried to figure out who stole his treasure. If there’s one thing we know about this son of a pyramid architect, it’s his penchant for getting into trouble and undertaking a few madcap adventures to pull himself out of the mess.
Read the full article at the link below.

Apple Games: Ankh Heart Of Osiris
Ankh: Heart Of Osiris

Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blackjack Gold Adds Leopard Support6:00 AM
Examining CrossOver Games6:00 AM
Hordes Of Orcs Reviewed6:00 AM
New Wakfu Screenshots Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 29, 2008 on one page

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