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Friday, May 2, 2008

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Penny Arcade Adventures Goes Gold
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 16 comments

Hothead Games has announced that the Mac, Windows, and Linux versions of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One have reached gold master status and are planned for worldwide download via the new digital download service Greenhouse later this quarter.

In celebration, Hothead gave some infamous Penny Arcade characters a new look and let them loose on the unsuspecting websites rainslick.com, hotheadgames.com, and playgreenhouse.com for the public to enjoy.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One is an RPG-adventure game set in the comic-book-meets-pulp-horror-meets-H.P. Lovecraft deranged 1920s universe of New Arcadia, delivered to gamers via accessible episodic releases. Players join Gabe and Tycho, the crime-solving team of the Startling Developments Detective Agency, to combat savage enemies and solve mysteries hidden deep in the sinister heart of New Arcadia. The game is the result of close collaboration between Hothead Games and Penny Arcade, featuring distinct artwork and characters designed exclusively by Mike “Gabe” Krahulik, story and dialogue by Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, and both brought to life by the Hothead team.
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One is priced at $19.95, with a rating of “M” for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board for all platforms.

Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

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IMG Reviews Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
6:38 AM | Marcus Albers | 10 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the hidden object game Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate from Big Fish Games. Here's a clip from the review:

Find 3 stars, a duck, a trowel, a pair of soiled underpants, a speaker, 2 headless kittens, a microscope, a Dingman mouth gag, 3 snakes, a grand orrery, and a lightning bolt.

Ok, I admit to taking some liberties with the list to liven it up a bit. But what do 3 snakes and couple of ducks have to do with discovering the murder plot?? Oh, never mind, it's better to just go with the flow. Hmm, I wonder if anyone has thought about an adult version of this type of game? Anyway before I distract myself with the possibilities, that's the idea and it sounds pretty easy.

Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
MCF: Madame Fate
Big Fish Games
Buy MCF: Madame Fate

Mahjong For iPod Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

TheDigitalLifestyle.tv recently released a new video review of Mahjong for iPod, one of a growing number of titles available for Apple's portable multimedia device. The tile matching board game features 72 different layouts, 3 game modes, and a Next Move hint option.

More about the game:

Mahjong is based on the venerable Chinese board game that achieved worldwide popularity in the 1920s. EA Mahjong is as simple as solitaire and will appeal to new and experienced players alike. Match sets of tiles together to clear them from the board and move to the next level. Clear the levels and collect all six gems of Wisdom to achieve the coveted rank of emperor.

• Gorgeous graphics and animations that reflect the rich ambiance of Mahjong.
• Up to 72 different tile layouts regrouped in 6 themes.
• 3 game modes (Single Player, Pass n Play, Emperor's Challenge?
• Master spheres of knowledge, ascend through levels and collect gems.
• Next move hints.

Follow the link below to check out the video.

TheDigitalLifestyle.tv: iPod Mahjong Review

Custer Is Modernizing
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Brad Custer, our resident desktop guru, wanted to pass along the news that Custer's Desktops will return next week after his brief hiatus. He's been upgrading his computer system and will be back with another great wallpaper then. So, be sure to keep those requests coming in.

Until then, stop by Custer's Desktops to check out the large selection of desktops already available.

Custer's Corner

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Mother's Day At PopCap: Buy Games & Fight Breast Cancer
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

PopCap Games, a developer and publisher of casual games, announced that continuing through May 11, 2008, the company will honor Mother's Day by donating 30% of the price of each game sold on its website to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader in the fight to end breast cancer. The monetary goal of the Mother's Day fund-raising drive is $100,000 - and if that goal is met, all consumers who participated (by purchasing one or more games) will receive a free gift from PopCap.

"For more than 25 years, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been on a mission to end breast cancer forever," said Katrina McGhee, vice president of marketing at Komen for the Cure. "Partners such as PopCap are an integral part of that mission, helping us reach millions of consumers with life-saving breast health messages and raising funds that support breast cancer research and community health programs."

"For this year's Mother's Day promotion, we wanted to make a significant contribution to a cause that relates directly to mothers, and this seemed like an ideal way to do that," said Ben Rotholtz, vice president of marketing for PopCap. "Susan G. Komen for the Cure is dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer, which obviously affects many mothers and their families. If the contribution we make saves even one life down the road, it will be a success in our eyes."

In the earliest days of the company, PopCap's founders used their own mothers as "sounding boards" for games in development. "We would set our moms down in front of PCs with early-stage versions of games such as Bejeweled, and just leave them there for awhile," recalled Jason Kapalka, one of PopCap's co-founders and the company's chief creative officer. "If they were still playing when we returned, we knew we were headed in the right direction with a game that could appeal to a very wide audience." PopCap continues to use mothers and grandmothers in the testing stages with each of its games, and more than two-thirds of the company's Beta Test Group comprises adult female consumers.
The promotion is automated from the customer's standpoint; they pay the standard price of $9.95 to $19.95 per game, and thirty percent of that purchase price is directed to the charity. Even gift certificates purchased during the promotion will apply. The promotion officially ends at midnight, Pacific Daylight Time, on May 11, 2008.

Click over to the links below for more information.

Mother's Day PopCap Promotion
PopCap Games

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The State Of Indie Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gamasutra recently published an article examining the current state of the indepent game market. Specifically focusing on "casual games," the article offers an examination of the types of players who use casual games, and the struggles unique to developers trying to be noticed in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

The PC platform where independent gaming started is the platform of biggest revenue for casual games.
But casual games downloads are going through a crisis. There is a number of good studios cranking out a far higher number of good games than the audience can consume, creating a glut of good titles and reducing the shelf life of every title.
This crisis is accentuated by the fact that portals haven't turned out to an Amazon or Netflix model; instead, they pushing the same top 10 to every user, regardless of the user's tastes.
This has forced portals to look only for titles that appeal to the vast majority of people. Genres like time management, hidden object, lightweight adventure, puzzle, and simulation are well accepted by the audience, and if you can innovate in these genres then you have a good opportunity.
Just keep in mind that in order to make your money back you need to stay a good number of weeks in the top 10 of the major portals, and that means that you need to reach at least top five in most of them to have enough momentum.
Every other genre is likely to be rejected by the mainstream portals. And it's because it's a chicken and an egg situation: with their "one top 10 for everybody formula" they have only been able to convert their original audience to paying customers: 35+ females.
It's not that males aren't playing casual games; in fact, the Casual Games Association, in their last market report, showed that 48% of casual gamers are male -- but 76% of casual gamers who pay for a downloadable game are female.
To read the full article click over to the link provided below.

Gamasutra: The State Of Indie Gaming

Mac Games News for Thursday, May 1, 2008

iQuickBlock For iPhone Developed In Six Hours6:00 AM
Machines At War Updated6:00 AM
Peter Molyneux Discusses Superstar Game Designers6:00 AM
Rod Humble Ponders The Sims Franchise6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, May 1, 2008 on one page

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