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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deep Blue Sea 2 Coming In March
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Game Equation has announced that development is underway on a new match-3 puzzle game titled Deep Blue Sea 2. The next edition in the Deep Blue series delivers more match-3 puzzles and hidden object gameplay set in exotic locales and a fantastical underwater city. Deep Blue Sea 2 is set to release in March 2010.

In Deep Blue Sea 2, players combine whimsical sea creatures and sunken treasures into matching groups of three in order to release the buried artifacts. Unique puzzle components, including board rotation and advanced maneuvers, keep gameplay fresh and challenging. Offering more interaction than found in a typical casual game, divers uncover an original storyline as they complete challenges and level up through over 200 match-3 levels and more than 60 hidden object levels in three unique locations. With easy-to-learn controls and intuitive gameplay, divers can earn upgrades, purchase new equipment for difficult missions and, over time, assemble a crew of delightful fellow divers, each with unique abilities.

Brian Meidell, founder of The Game Equation, said, “Casual games shouldn’t sacrifice quality, innovation or complexity. The superior graphics and level of engagement are unprecedented in Deep Blue Sea 2 and will appeal to first-time players and experienced casual gamers alike.” The puzzles and adventures are built within multiple underwater graphical worlds, so there is much to explore and uncover.

The demo will soon be available so players can get a first look at the stunningly detailed nautical-themed worlds and get a taste of the engaging puzzles that offer many hours of entertainment when the full version is released.
For more information click over to the website listed below.

The Game Equation
Deep Blue Sea 2
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Simplz: Zoo Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamertell has posted a new review of Reflexive Entertainment's recently released Simplz: Zoo. The hybrid casual title combines Match-3 puzzle challenges with a zoo building simulation. Gamertell gave Simplz: Zoo a score of "One thumb up, one sideways; 89/100; B+; * * * 1/2 out of 5."

From the review:

After a few minutes playing Simplz: Zoo, it’s easy to see that the whole concept was very well thoughout out. It isn’t like some match-3 games, where the simulation part is simply meeting criteria to make a few new buildings or items appear on a main screen, or some simulation games where the match-3 part would just be a mini-game distraction with no real effect on the story. Both parts are equally essential and important when it comes to making your zoo the best.

The Simplz: Zoo match-3 puzzles are all very fun and seem to move quite quickly, if you want to rush through them. You can obtain new pathway pieces and decorations by clearing them off of the match-3 board while matching, which allows you to make your park look more professional and fulfill wishes of park attendees who want more garbage cans or a place to sit and rest. You also earn essential items to keep your zoo running, like food, personnel, building materials and money. Once you’ve played a match, you immediately head back to the zoo to make use of your new materials.

One you get back to the zoo, you’ll first see an update showing what effect playing the match-3 game had. You’ll get all your new necessities and items, and see how far you are from your dream of becoming the number one zoo. Then, you’ll be taken back to the park. Mainly, when you’re here, you’ll be placing buildings, animals or decorations and watching visitors walk around your park. Visitors will offer opinions on the park, facts about the animals and tell you what they want as they walk around. After placing a new building or animal pen, you’ll likely be out of resources and need to play more match-3 games. Maybe its just me, but most of the time I felt like the focus was on the match-3 part, and not the simulation aspect. I spent more time playing match-3 puzzles than I did organizing and managing my zoo.
Read the full review at the page below.

Gamertell: Simplz Zoo Review
Reflexive Entertainment
Simplz: Zoo

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Apple Games Features Dragon Age Origins
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 23 comments

Apple Games has published a new article showcasing Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins. The fantasy role playing epic challenges players to take on the role of a Grey Warden and defend the land of Fereldin from the monstrous Darkspawn. Apple's article includes commentary from lead designer Mike Laidlaw, a description of the game's mechanics, and a brief history of the game world.

“It’s hard to make any element of the fantasy genre without at least giving a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien,” Laidlaw says as we make our way to the western side of Ostagar, beyond which lie the Korcari Wilds. “But we also wanted to look at more modern, political fantasy literature as well, like George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. The central theme to Origins is that, even in the face of overwhelming evil, people are still people: they have their own motivations, goals, and drives, and much of the time those goals override the greater good.”

Your desires play a role in the storyline too: the decisions you make, even during the opening quests, determine how other characters react to you and set up one of many different endings. However, don’t expect to find a binary good/evil alignment system. “One of the main themes in the world of Dragon Age is that there is no absolute right or absolute wrong,” Laidlaw explains. “Instead, we focused on a system that felt more real to us: How do your companions react to the decisions you’re making?”

He adds: “Their reactions range from horror to determined support, and the gameplay shifts as a result of their approval and disapproval. Watching the party dynamic grow and change according to how you play is immensely satisfying.”
Visit the page below to read the full article.

Apple Games: Dragon Age Origins
Dragon Age: Origins

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World Of Warcraft Retrospective
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment CEO Paul Sams and Executive Producer Rob Pardo about the company's successful MMO franchise, World of Warcraft. The two Blizzard veterans discussed a variety of topics related to the game including initial development, the unexpected level of success, and fond memories of the game.

"So we were excited to see how quick it was going, but we were also pretty freaked out because it was moving so quickly. The good news is that we'd bought, built and installed enough capacity for what we thought was unlikely, but could happen - and that was basically hardware for what we thought we'd do in the first year, but we doubled it.

"That was the learning from the Diablo II lesson, and thank God we did, because we had to light the second year hardware in just a small number of weeks from launch. Had we not planned for the worst, we'd have been in the same circumstance as Diablo II - maybe not with the stability challenges, but certainly with the capacity challenges.

"Within a couple of days I placed more orders for hardware and set up more data centres together with our IT team, to accommodate what was becoming a runaway hit. We started dropping millions of dollars more within launch to start pulling in more hardware, in anticipation of what we felt was going to happen. It was mind-blowing to be honest."

In fact, the game surpassed all expectations from anybody internally - while 1 million users was the ambitious target for peak subscriptions that's been mentioned before, company president was even more optimistic. Mike Morhaime confidently predicted that 4 million people would one day be playing World of Warcraft, says Sams. "Mike was far and away the most optimistic, which is why he gets paid the big bucks and is the founder of the company, because he knew it was going to be bigger that all of us did.

"But it was even bigger than he expected - it's been quite an experience, and one that's very humbling to all of us, that we've been able to create something that would have the kind of appeal, following and impact that it's ultimately had. It's been incredible for us."
Check out the full interview at the page linked below. Paul Sams, Rob Pardo WoW Retrospective
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BOH Updated6:00 AM
City Of Heroes Hosts More Mission Architect Guest Authors6:00 AM
Telltale Games Confirmed For Macworld Expo 20106:00 AM
Valve Looking For Mac And Linux Engineers6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 27, 2010 on one page

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