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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

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Basilisk Games: Forum Upgrade, New Game Announcement Soon
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Basilisk Games, developer of the Eschalon: Book I role playing game, recently announced the successful upgrade of its official forums. The announcement also revealed that the company will be unveiling information about its next game in "just a few weeks."

This quick email is just to let everyone know we've updated Basilisk Games' forums last week. The upgrade was successful and we want to encourage all registered users to stop in and make sure your account transfered smoothly from the old forums to the new...and yes, we'll have an announcement regarding our next game in just a few weeks!
Head over to the website below to learn more about Basilisk Games and visit the new forums.

Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

Inside Mac Games Reviews the Wolf King Warrior XXtreme
1:06 PM | Bryan Clodfelter | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games is pleased to announce that our official review of Wolf King Warrior XXtreme gaming keyboard is up and ready for your reading enjoyment. Here's a clip from the review:

Although its circular key arrangement may have been originally intended to help gamers compete more effectively, the Warrior XXtreme's rounded layout and the mercurial key dimensions clearly set it apart from the pack of would-be "gaming keyboards." With a 49-key gaming cluster on the left and a 40-key QWERTY array on the right, this design can technically supplant a full-sized keyboard when you fire up your favorite game--an ability that few gamepads offer. Thanks to its svelte measurements, users are afforded a greater measure of freedom to move and rotate the device however they see fit. Once it's in place, Wolf King's clever material choices impress. For starters, the top of the unit is covered by a hard, glossy coating that picks up fingerprints as deftly as it allows your fingers to fly between the keys. While is clearly reminiscent of the glossy black iPods of yore, it does not share their propensity for picking up scratches.
To check out the rest of the review, follow the link below. Once you're done, don't forget to sound off in the forums.

IMG Reviews the Warrior XXtreme
Warrior XXtreme
Wolf King

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IMG Reviews 5 Realms of Cards
7:54 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the casual solitaire game 5 Realms of Cards from Sugar Games. Here's a clip from the review:

This gameplay is fairly unique, easy to learn, and easy enough to play that most adults won’t find too much of a challenge here. Personally, I thought the mechanics were decent for a quick casual game, but I wasn’t blown away by any innovations. Even with the level variations, I frequently got bored having to do the same action round after round after round. The different cards just weren’t that different enough to make a significant impact, though clearly without them the game would have been insufferable after just a few rounds.
Click the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: 5 Realms of Cards
5 Realms of Cards
Sugar Games
Buy 5 Realms of Cards

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Return To Dark Castle Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Mac|Life has published a new review of Return to Dark Castle, the third installment of the classic action series. The game sends players into the Dark Castle to vanquish the Black Knight and his evil minions. Mac|Life gave Return to Dark Castle a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

As in the originals, gamers run, jump, and toss rocks through dozens of levels. And the controls are as responsive—and the levels as unforgiving—as ever. We died dozens of times trying to make it through certain rooms, finally mastering each step to survive. Despite the challenge, Return to Dark Castle’s levels usually seem fair, where we felt responsible for winning or losing. That balance shows how well the game’s almost-unchanged controls have held up.

Other aspects of the game haven’t aged as well. The sound effects seem lifted straight from the first games; the fidelity is great, but we wanted more additions. At least the musical score matches the pacing of different levels. The graphics resemble a colorized version of the originals. We like that approach, but the 640-by-480-pixel resolution looks slightly blurry in full-screen view and wastes the sides of wider displays.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Mac|Life: Return To Dark Castle Review
Z Sculpt
Return to Dark Castle
Buy Return to Dark Castle

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Wrath Of The Lich King Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Eurogamer has posted a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Jeff Kaplan, J. Allen Brack, and Tom Chilton about the Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion for the successful World of Warcraft. The Q&A explores WoW's current top spot in the MMO market, how players and designers feel about "grinding", and the possibility of overhauling the game's graphics engine.

Eurogamer: Do you think WOW is ever going to need a complete overhaul of the engine?
J. Allen Brack: That's actually something we talk about every expansion. It's interesting, two games have really tried that before, Ultima Online tried it and EverQuest tried it as well, and in each case it was only somewhat successful. In each case a lot of people continued to play with the original client, because it was faster, or they preferred it, or were just used to it or whatever. And so for me as a game developer, the idea that we would spend so much time and energy on something and have people go, "meh, that's not really for me," that's not very exciting.

So I don't think there's really a clear model as to how to do that successfully. The model we have with Wrath of the Lich King allows people with high-end machines some additional graphical effects, and then we'll have some kind of fallback for the people who don't. Will we need a graphical update from the ground up at some point? Yep, probably. And I'm positive we'll talk about it next expansion.
To read the full interview click on the link provided below.

Eurogamer: Wrath of the Lich King Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

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Lucy Bradshaw Discusses Spore
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamersGlobal has posted an interview with Executive Producer Lucy Bradshaw about Maxis and EA's upcoming god sim, Spore. The lengthy Q&A covers a variety of topics including specifics about gameplay and the importance of user generated content.

Spore will allow players to build single celled organisms and guide them from the primordial ooze to the expansive reaches of outer space. At each stage of evolution the game will open up new options for play, eventually leading from simple survival to city building and galactic conquest.

GamersGlobal: How many planets are there in your simulated galaxy?
Lucy Bradshaw: There’s a couple million stars in any one galaxy, and any star can have four or five planets. So you can imagine just how much territory you can discover. The planets are all generated by the program. The ecosystems are generated from collocated content. You can terraform planets and give them your own expressions. We really want Spore to be a game where you can find new things even if you’ve played it for a long time.

GamersGlobal: With millions of worlds, and maybe having only a couple of hours to play every weekend, won’t many players feel terrible small and insignificant?
Lucy Bradshaw: It’s tractable in terms of you being able to play and achieve. It’s wonderful to continue to explore. You can let the simulation kind of drift and find those other races that you saw at just their creature phase and see how they have evolved [because they are from other players who continued with them through the game stages. –Editor] into space faring civilizations. So it depends on you as the player what territory you want to explore: Do you want to beat the game by following the quest? It’s much like The Sims, where you can try to get into level 10 as fast as possible, and get the biggest house on the hill, with all of the possible stuff in it. And in Spore, you can spend your time exploring the galaxy, terraforming worlds, contact other races -- or drive right to the goal of the game. Which you do not need to try to reach at all to have fun with the game!

Read the rest of the interview at the link below.

GamersGlobal: Spore Q&A
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

Mac Games News for Monday, May 19, 2008

Empyrean Age Website Revealed6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Q&A Round 386:00 AM
The Emotional Impact Of RPGs6:00 AM
Wild West Online: Gunfighter Updated To Version 1.1.56:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, May 19, 2008 on one page

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