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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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No Episode 3 For Penny Arcade Adventures
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

In a recent interview with Joystiq, Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik revealed that Hothead Games will not be making a third episode in the Penny Arcade Adventures series. Citing Hothead's current focus on DeathSpank, Krahulik said the storyline of the game episodes will be concluded on Penny Arcade's site in the form of episodic fiction.

"There won't be an Episode 3," Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik told Joystiq this morning. "We're actually not making a third episode of the game." Penny Arcade Adventures was originally unveiled at PAX 2007 in Seattle as a four-part episodic series, marking the webcomic duo's first foray into video game creation, as opposed to video game critique. With the first two episodes following in fairly rapid succession – Episode 1 was released in May 2008 with Episode 2 following just five months later in October 2008 – the prolonged absence of Episode 3 has been notable. Coupled with the news that Episode 2 only earned "one-third the sales of Episode 1," things didn't look promising for the series.

"[The game's developer] Hothead has DeathSpank and they have a chance to do something really cool with it," Jerry Holkins, the other half of the duo, said. "And they need to have an opportunity to make it incredible." With a recently announced EA Partners ... uh, partnership, DeathSpank certainly has some weight behind it. But why not create both titles? Holkins says, "They definitely could've done both games. I think they could've made DeathSpank and Episode 3 but I think Episode 3 would've suffered. I mean, I know it would have suffered. So we'd rather not do it than do it half-assed and so we're going to finish that story but it's going to be on our website."

"Right now my focus is on trying to create an episodic story-based version of the remaining games. It's going to be like a book that comes out," Holkins explained, comparing it to Dickens' illustrated episodic classic, The Pickwick Papers. "According to the traditional model of episodic fiction." Asked if the first two Episodes that did make it into video game form would be included in this episodic story, Holkins said, "I'd like to write them out, that'd be great. I hadn't considered that ... I fully intend for these episodes to include flashbacks and things of that nature."
Visit the page below to read more.

Joystiq: Penny Arcade Adventures Discontinued
Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

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Tales Of Monkey Island Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Macworld has published a new review of Tales of Monkey Island from Telltale Games. In the adventure game players must help Guybrush Threepwood as he confronts a variety of amusing puzzles in his quest to defeat his arch-nemesis LeChuck. Macworld gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

In case you’re not familiar with the Monkey Island series, here’s a quick primer: In a world distinctly reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, not the Johnny Depp swashbuckling adventures), you’re cast as Guybrush Threepwood, a well-meaning if often flustered pirate. His nemesis is a zombie pirate named LeChuck, and the woman for whom he pines is Elaine Marley. In Tales of Monkey Island, Threepwood unintentionally spreads LeChuck’s “voodoo pox”—essentially, the virus that causes zombieism.

If that sounds ridiculous, it’s meant to. Monkey Island is characterized by a few ever-present traits, and one of them is a delightful sense of humor. The game is a beautifully drawn graphic adventure, but it plays more like an interactive movie; the dialogue, challenges, and storyline are all comedic and as important to your enjoyment as the gameplay itself.

The cut-scenes (and there are many of them) and the gameplay itself feature a lush, 3D look, and my MacBook Pro was able to handle it all without stuttering. You can control Threepwood using either your mouse—by clicking and dragging in the direction you want him to go—or the keyboard. I found the mouse controls unsatisfying overall, instead I relied on the keyboard with occasional clicks on the specific object I wanted Threepwood to focus on.
Read the full review at the link below.

Macworld: Tales Of Monkey Island Review
Telltale Games
Tales of Monkey Island

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Apple Games Features The Settlers 7: Paths To A Kingdom
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has posted a new feature article focusing on the recently released The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom. The game puts players in the role of a ruler trying to create, build, and manage a kingdom. Apple's article includes an overview of the game, an examination of prestige points, and a history of the Settlers series.

Once you establish an economy, you’ll want to decide which of the three roads to success — military, trade, or technology — best suits your style of gameplay. Military might depends on your ability to amass the goods required to train five types of units — pikemen, musketeers, cavalry, cannons, and standard bearers — as well as your skill at dictating your generals’ combat strategies.

A powerful trading empire depends on training three kinds of traders — hawkers, salesmen, and merchants — and shrewdly developing trade routes; you can take control of neutral areas, thus expanding your commercial empire, by sending bribes with traders. And if technological prowess is your forte, you’ll want to train three types of clerics — novices, brothers, and fathers — who will research technologies at monasteries scattered around the map; players can interrupt each other’s research and take it over, albeit at a higher cost than if they had initiated the process.

No matter which route you take, you’ll earn Victory Points for achieving certain goals, such as building the largest army, amassing the most money, or researching a specific high-level technology. The player who reaches a pre-determined Victory Point total and holds onto their points until the timer reaches zero is declared the winner. (Sure, you can also win by simply wiping out everyone else on the map, but where’s the fun in that?)

While some Victory Points are permanent, many of them can be taken away and reassigned to another player. Thought you had the largest army? Nope, someone just trained a few troops that put them over the top. So if you find yourself in the catbird seat, watch out: everyone will know about it, and they’ll start looking for ways to knock a few Victory Points out of your grasp.
Check out the full article at the page linked below.

Apple Games: The Settlers 7
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Gold Edition
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Standard Edition
Buy The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Gold Edition

Max & The Magic Marker Coming To Retail
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Legacy Interactive and Press Play have announced that Max & The Magic Marker will be released to retail stores as a boxed product this April. The game puts players in the role of Max who must use his newly acquired Magic Marker to put a stop to the monsters rampaging through his drawings.

The PC/Mac game, developed by Play Press and slated to launch in April, 2010, gives players total control as they draw out solutions to overcome challenging obstacles. Limited only by the imagination of the player, every obstacle has an endless number of solutions. Max and the Magic Marker has been widely acclaimed, with its development team winning the Independent Games Festival 2010 D2D Vision Award, EIGA 2009 Innovative Game Design Award, Best Overall 2009 Unity Award, and DGA 2010 Talent of the Year.

"Legacy Interactive is thrilled to be offering this creative, award-winning game to our customers," said Ariella Lehrer, President and CEO of Legacy Interactive. "Max and the Magic Marker appeals to the same audience as innovative games such as World of Goo and Scribblenauts, and its puzzle platformer style of play translates wonderfully into an interactive gaming experience."

Featuring three lovingly designed game worlds based on children's drawings, tricky puzzles, and innumerable traps and surprises, adults and children of all ages will be immediately drawn into the 2D world of Max and the Magic Marker!
Max and the Magic Marker will be available for PC/Mac at retail stores for $19.95. It is already available as a digital download at the link below.

Max & The Magic Marker
Buy Max & The Magic Marker

Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Avernum 6 Reviewed6:00 AM
Heroes Of Newerth Open Beta Coming March 316:00 AM
Valve Looking For Mac Beta Testers6:00 AM
WoW Story Forum Opens6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 30, 2010 on one page

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