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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

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Jeff Vogel Talks Genforge 4
6:42 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

RPG Watch talks with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software about Geneforge 4, an upcoming RPG game. Jeff Vogel is one of the developers of the indie Mac game company and is best known for the Avernum and Geneforge classic RPG games.

RPGWatch: Weather effects and graphical improvements have been flagged – why spend resources on these items when graphics has never been a focus for your games? Wouldn’t your audience appreciate greater depth in a gameplay related area?

Jeff Vogel: I don’t have a religious opposition to decent graphics. I never have. I always put in the best graphics my limited budget and programming skills allow.
It’s all about fun, and about creating an engrossing experience for the player. And if I have a way to improve the atmosphere of the game and pull the player in more, I’ll do that. That’s why I added effects for rain and snow and magic sparklies in certain areas. It really does change the feel of the game. The swamp feels wetter. The icy mountains feel colder. It helps make a better playing experience.
I can never match the big boys, but I do what I can.

Head over to RPG Watch to check out the full interview now.

RPGWatch: Interview
Spiderweb Software
Geneforge 4

Macgamestore: Diner Dash 2 Now Available
2:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The follow-up to the popular casual game, Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue, is now available from for $19.95. A free demo is available for download from the web site.

Join Flo as she returns to help four fellow restaurant owners defeat the greedy tycoon, Mr. Big. By working as fast as ever, Flo helps each of her friends upgrade their restaurants, expand their businesses, and pay their rent, all in the hopes of escaping the wrecking ball and a disastrous Mega Multiplex Food Plaza… forever.

Seat customers, take orders, serve drinks, deliver food, and collect tips – expert scores earn you more décor upgrades! New quirky characters, challenges, powerups, and a surprise restaurant await you in this sequel to the original smash hit. Waiting at the end of the game is a surprise for all of Flo’s fans, a nice reward for a long day’s work.

To check out Diner Dash 2, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue

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Blood Elves Preview in WoW Expansion
6:42 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

The folks at Computer and Video Games have posted a World of WarCraft: The Burning Crusade preview highlighting the new Blood Elves race in the upcoming expansion pack from Blizzard. The preview is hands-on with details on the new abilities of Blood Elves, starting locations, and levelling benefits.

A small yet nice touch is a quest linked specifically to the Blood Elf racial abilities Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent, the quest acting as a simple introduction to the spells. Mana Tap (cooldown 30 seconds) drains mana from targets and additionally charges a character with Arcane Energy for ten minutes. It can be stacked up to three times. Arcane Torrent (cooldown two minutes) meanwhile, silences all enemies within eight yards of the player for two seconds and additionally - for Rogues - unleashes the stored Arcane Energy and converts it to Energy - you get ten Energy points per Mana Tap charge affecting you.
WoW: The Burning Crusade is scheduled to be released for the Mac sometime later this year. Please follow the links below to learn more information.

CVG: Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Quinn Updated
6:42 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Simon Haertel's Quinn, a freeware block puzzle game in the tradition of Tetris, was recently updated. The latest version fixes a variety of bugs and brings the game to version 3.4.2.

Here's the list of updates:

- fixed a tenacious bug which sometimes caused a crash when rows were to be inserted at the bottom of the board in network games or tournaments with multiplayer rules

- fixed two bugs which caused the piece shadow not to be displayed after a piece appeared twice in a row, and after starting a new game

- fixed a problem which caused automatic update notifications not to work in v3.4 and v3.4.1.

- various error messages which can appear after connecting to a server from the website now show the server’s name instead of its IP address.

More information about the game can be found at the link below.

Quinn Website

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Pangea Arcade Reviewed
6:42 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a review of Pangea Arcade, a compilation of three arcade action games from Pangea Software. Pangea Arcade includes Nucleus, Firefall, and Warheads. The Game Room gave the game a score of 3.5 out of 5.

From the review:

In Nucleus, you find yourself in the cockpit of a triangular spaceship floating amongst the debris of an asteroid field. You’re there to blow up the asteroids, sure, but there’s a method to your madness: You’re actually trying to assemble elements by grabbing stray electrons that appear after you’re done blowing up the space rocks. The electrons will automatically fall into your spaceship’s gravitational field and follow you around the game screen like an obedient puppy until you locate the glowing nucleus—get close enough, and the nucleus will attract the electron. Get enough electrons (one for hydrogen, two for helium, three for lithium, and so on) and the nucleus will collapse into a singularity—a black hole. Then it’s time to get out of Dodge, because the singularity sucks up everything in its wake—including your spaceship...

Warheads follows the classic Missile Command format—you have three land-based missile launchers that are protecting a series of power stations. Incoming warheads threaten both the power stations and your missile launchers. You use three different buttons to fire missiles from each individual launcher (either keys on the keyboard or buttons on your mouse, if so equipped). You have a limited supply of ammunition so you have to make each shot count—particularly when the enemy missiles begin to break off into individual warheads and take multiple trajectories towards your power stations and missile launchers...

Firefall is an homage to Centipede with a touch of Galaga thrown in for good measure. You find yourself in a ship restricted to the bottom of the screen, on a playfield filled with round barriers that look like a cross between donuts and life preservers. Worms descend from the top of the screen, while other hazards such as buzzsaws, screws, and more appear. Your goal is to shoot each individual segment of the worm before it reaches the bottom of the screen.

To read the rest of the review click on the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Pangea Arcade Review
Pangea Software
Pangea Arcade
Buy Pangea Arcade

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The Sims 2: Pets Screenshots
6:42 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Worthplaying is offering 28 new screenshots of The Sims 2: Pets, the latest expansion for the popular life simulator. Introducing animal friends to the mix, the expansion gives players the chance to purchase a pet for their Sims or create a new one using the Create-a-Pet feature.

In The Sims 2 Pets, users can create the perfect pet for their Sims to train, play with and love as their own.

The addition of a new friend is guaranteed to enrich the daily lives of your Sims! Not only will players have the opportunity to choose from a variety of existing breeds, and hot designer mixes, but they'll also be able to personally design their new friend with the Create-a-Pet feature. Choose your Sims' pet’s body shape, unique markings, even the pet’s personality! With so many different animals to choose from, there’s no telling what unpredictable experiences could occur!
Aspyr Media will be bringing The Sims 2: Pets to the Mac. To view the screenshots click on the link below.

Worthplaying: The Sims 2 Pets Screenshots
Aspyr Media
Buy The Sims 2: Pets

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 17, 2006

IMG Interviews Running With Scissors; New Game Coming7:55 AM
Behind the Scenes at Lionhead Studios7:18 AM
Red Marble Games Announces Snowy7:18 AM
World of Warcraft UI Preview7:18 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 17, 2006 on one page

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