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Friday, March 26, 2010

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The Settlers 7: Paths To A Kingdom Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom for Mac was recently released. Brought to the platform by TransGaming’s Cider Portability Engine, the game puts players in the role of a ruler trying to create, build, and manage a kingdom.

“Ubisoft is excited about the simultaneous multiplatform release of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom™,” said Carrie Tice, Senior Director of Strategic Sales & Partnerships at Ubisoft. “The partnership with TransGaming to bring our titles to the Mac allows us to expand our business and serve the growing Mac gaming community with new and exciting game releases.”

“We are pleased to bring another great Ubisoft game to the Mac, and the simultaneous deployment could only be made possible through our Cider engine,” commented Vikas Gupta, President & CEO of TransGaming, Inc. “Settlers is an award winning franchise, and I’m sure the Mac community will be thrilled to have access to this great new release through both retail channels and"

The standard edition is priced at $49.99 and is available via digital download and at retailers, with the exclusive Gold/Collector edition only available via digital download for $59.99. In addition to the standard edition game play, the Gold/Collector edition provides exclusive unlockable content for consumers, including: one exclusive map, the original soundtrack of the game and additional castle forge elements – including a gate, balcony, bay, gargoyle and two windows – allowing players to customize their castles and make their cities unique.
More information about the game:
Immerse Yourself in a Captivating Story
Unravel an intriguing and unexpected story as you play. Combat enemies all across the land in a quest to conquer a formidable kingdom. Defeat ruthless kings, forbidding lords and dark knights on your quest for victory. Uncover undisclosed traitors along your path and turn enemies into allies to pave your path to victory.

Experience a Vast and Beautiful Kingdom
A beautiful, colorful world awaits you with a level of detail unseen before now! A flourishing kingdom full of bustling Settlers will enthrall you from the very first moment.

Build, Develop and Manage Your Emerging Domain
Enjoy a deep and rich building and production system as you create a kingdom of fortified towns, small villages and productive settlers. Make critical decisions as you expand your realm. Should you optimize production chains, build transport systems, construct new buildings or increase worker efficiency? Every choice you make builds a critical path to victory or defeat.

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Download Features
Expand Your Empire Your Way - Experience more freedom than ever before as you choose your own custom strategy. Build strong armies and defeat your opponents in epic battles. Be the first to develop new and attractive technologies. Or, let money rule and occupy the most lucrative trade routes. It’s completely up to you to devise your ideal strategy for beating your opponents.

Innovative Victory Point System - Every match is truly unique with the new victory point system. A new level of tension is reached as you and your opponents collect points based on victories you achieve throughout the game. Every decision counts as you engage in tactics to earn the most points by:

- Conquering Map Sectors
- Building the Biggest Army
- Occupying the Most Trade Routes
- Developing New Technologies
- Becoming the Richest Kingdom
- And More!

More Customization than Ever Before - Experience a highly customizable experience as you:

- Unlock new items that are unique to you
- Create and customize maps to your needs
- Adjust the victory point system based on your individual preferences
- Select a fast or slow mode of play
- Choose the length of your game from quick match to an extended campaign
- Select your level of difficulty
- Play against a variety of AI profiles, up to 4 players or in team mode

Build Your Own Castle - Bring even more customization to your game as you assemble your castle from a wide range of styles, designs and architectural details. You and your friends can share your creations online.

Social Networking Integration - Deep social networking integration lets you bring your gaming experience to your social circle:

- Facebook: Invite friends to compete or cooperate, upload screen shots, display your gaming status
- Twitter: Provide summaries of your achievements as you play and receive the latest product news
System Requirements:
  • Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard or higher
  • Intel Duo Core (Intel 2 Duo Core)
  • Memory: 2 GB (Recommended 4 GB)
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB free Hard Disk space
  • Video Card (graphics): 256 MB RAM (Recommended 512 MB RAM)
  • Singleplayer: 33.6kbit/s upstream (33.6kbit/s upstream)
  • Mulitplayer: 128 kbit/s upstream (128 kbit/s upstream)

The Settler 7: Paths to a Kingdom is available for $49.99. A Gold edition, which includes extra content, costs $59.99.

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Standard Edition
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Gold Edition
Buy The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Gold Edition Announces March Madness Sale
2:13 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story today announced its annual March Madness sale.

The following games are half off until the end of March. Save 50 percent on the following Mac game titles:

- Heroes of Might & Magic V - $24.95 (50% Off)
- World War 2: Time of Wrath - $14.95 (50% Off)
- The Rise of Atlantis - $9.95 (50% Off)
- The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes - $9.95 (50% Off)
- The Princess Bridge Game - $9.95
- Still Life 2 - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Shutter Island - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Return to Dark Castle - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Rally Shift - $12.50 (50% Off)
- Poker Superstars II - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Prince of Persia The Two Thrones - $14.95 (50% Off)
- Monster Trucks Nitro - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Lugaru - $9.95 (50% Off)
- Wheel of Fortune Super Deluxe - $9.95 (50% Off)

Sale ends April 1st, 2010. 

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Return To Mysterious Island 2 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Paris based adventure game publisher Coladia and Anuman Interactive have announced the release of Return to Mysterious Island 2 for Macs. The game challenges players to continue their quest for survival and escape from the island. Along the way they will discover Captain Nemo's old base, the ruins of an unknown civilization, and a deadly disease threatening to destroy the ecosystem of the island.

In this sequel, Mina and her monkey Jep, who you can also play, still find themselves trapped on the same beautiful island, after Mina's rescue helicopter has crashed. While searching formerly unknown parts of the island for a new way of escaping, Mina finds that an unknown disease suddenly begins to afflict the plants, then the animal life on the island. She finds Captain Nemo's old base and stumbles upon the ruins of an unknown civilization, in search for clues. Will she find the cure to the disease that is threatening the entire eco-system on the island?

Return to Mysterious Island 2 begins with the crash of the helicopter that came to rescue Mina. She survived but is once again trapped on the island. All of a sudden, under her very eyes, an unknown disease afflicts the plants first, then the animal life. Mina explores the island to locate the infection source. She searches Captain Nemo's base in vain, then the ruins of an unknown civilization, and finally understands that it is outside pollution that threatens the island. The only way to save this natural wonder is to turn the shield back on. But if Mina makes this decision, she gives up -as Captain Nemo did before her- the idea of returning to civilization...

Two-character play: in the first installment, the player embodied Mina, a young and carefree navigator taking part in the Jules Verne competition, and used Jep, a cute, little monkey, as a simple tool. In Return to Mysterious Island 2 Jep becomes a character in his own right. The player switches from one character to another and maximizes the use of each other's talents depending on the circumstances: only Mina can use complex tools, combine objects and, of course, read the documents found in the course of the game; whereas Jep can climb places inaccessible to Mina, communicate with other monkeys and find numerous objects thanks to his sense of smell.

Key features:

  • "The Mysterious Island" is one of Jules Verne's most famous novels and one of the most often adapted for the big screen. "The Mysterious Island" is a work rich of extraordinary creativity - it lends itself perfectly for a new video game adaptation.
  • Highly popular themes: survival, exploration, discovery, ecology, science and mystery all in a fabulous tropical setting.
  • Two-character play: Mina adopts a cute, little monkey, Jep, with whom the player can also play in order to reach places inaccessible to Mina, or simply to communicate with other monkeys.
  • An interactive inventory system lets one combine various collected items in order to create new objects and tools...
  • Excellent proprietary engine for a fluid and excellent point and click navigation.
System Requirements:
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
  • Intel or PowerPC G5 processor
  • 1.6 Ghz or better
  • 512 MB of memory
  • 5 GB free space on your hard drive

Return to Mysterious Island 2 costs $29.95. Follow the links below for more information.

Return To Mysterious Island 2
Return to Mysterious Island 2
Buy Return To Mysterious Island 2

BlizzCon 2010 Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment has announced plans for its fifth BlizzCon gaming convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23, 2010. BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes.

“BlizzCon offers us a great opportunity to meet with our players and share our enthusiasm for gaming with one of the most passionate communities in the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to providing another great show filled with entertainment, competition, and the latest information about Blizzard Entertainment games.”

In addition to serving as a gathering place for Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will offer attendees a chance to enjoy:
  • Hands-on play time with upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
  • More exciting activities and attractions to be announced
The previous BlizzCon was held in Anaheim in August 2009. Tickets to the event sold out in minutes, and some of the highlights included the announcement of World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™, the unveiling of a new playable class in Diablo® III, the first public hands-on with the single-player campaign of StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™, and a closing concert featuring rock legend Ozzy Osbourne.
Further details about BlizzCon 2010, including ticket availability and pricing, will be announced on the official BlizzCon website at the link below as the event draws closer.

BlizzCon 2010
Blizzard Entertainment

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Amnesia: Dark Descent - Graphics vs Sound
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Frictional Games recently published a new blog post examining gamer reactions to graphics and sound in games. Focusing on reactions to a recently released trailer for the upcoming Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the developer post questions why players seem more concerned with graphics than sound.

Now four years later, the same pattern (slightly less to be fair) repeats for the teasers that we have released of our upcoming game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We have upped our graphics game, not only in technical fidelity, but also tremendous efforts has been made with the design and creation of the graphics, far above any of the Penumbra games. Sure, the game industry has taken the graphical technology and fidelity even further during this period, so our efforts are minimized by this. But even so, we have at least tried.

During the same period we have also enjoyed comments such as "the voices are great", "best music evah!", "the ambient noises scared me shi*beep*less"... again, repeated in reviews only with more elegance. For the Amnesia teasers so far this continues, with an almost 100% successful comment ratio for the audio. This is great! But it also puts a core problem out in the bright light, how different the audio is judged compared to the graphics.

I am not going to try and come up with any ideas as to why. That would be going beyond the introduction I make in this blog post. However, as the person in charge of the audio for our games, I feel compelled to give some details about the creation and technology behind it all. How the audio is made, who makes it, what resources we have to spend and what sort of technology that is used. As an independent developer, the resources are very limited, for graphics and even more so for audio.
Visit the page below to read more

Frictional Blog: Graphics vs Sound
Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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IMG Reviews Osmos
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Inside Mac Games has posted a new review of Osmos. The game features unique, physics-based gameplay, and challenges players to grow their "mote" by absorbing smaller motes. Osmos includes 47 levels, unlockable content, the ability to play random versions of any level, and a soundtrack featuring the music of Loscil, Gas/High Skies, Julien Neto, and Biosphere.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

Osmos is hard. The early levels, where it's just you and other motionless entities, are nothing more than a warmup. In the later levels, you have to chase down entities that also move themselves and eat things, you have to navigate around a gravity anomaly without getting sucked in, you have to deal with antimatter, and you have to conserve every last chunk of yourself. If you make a single mistake, you'll have to start the level again from scratch. It's unforgiving, but insanely addictive.

The only real disappointment on the gameplay side is that it's over too quickly. The levels number in the dozens, but the easier levels can be beaten in a minute or two. Once you get into the groove and spend the hours required to beat the tougher levels, the rest of Osmos goes without a hitch. Thankfully, the levels you've beaten already retain their addiction even after you've beaten them. You won't spend that much time to beat the game the first time, but you might find yourself playing again for half an hour or so occasionally.
Click over to the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Osmos
Mac Game Store
Buy Osmos

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 25, 2010

Avernum 6 Reviewed6:00 AM
New Space Exploration Preview Version Available6:00 AM
Portal 2's New Look6:00 AM
Telltale Games' Dan Connors Discusses Mac Gaming6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 25, 2010 on one page

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