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Thursday, January 4, 2007

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Prey Goes Gold
9:19 AM | Eddie Park | 21 comments

Aspyr has officially announced that the Mac version of Prey has reached Gold Master status and is currently in production. A first-person shooter licensed from 2K/Take-Two Interactive, Prey introduces new elements into the genre, including wall-walking, spirit-walking, and gravity-flipping.

Some of the key features of Prey include:

  • Gravity Flipping: ­ Manipulate gravity by shooting special targets
    located throughout the sphere. There are also zones in the world where gravity is automatically flipped in various directions.
  • Wall Walking: ­ Wall walk surfaces allow Tommy to traverse the sphere¹s walls and explore otherwise unreachable areas.
  • Death Walking: ­ Death isn¹t the end. After losing all his health, Tommy enters the Death Realm. He must battle the wraiths of fallen spirits to regain both health and spirit energy before returning to his living body.
  • Spirit Mode: ­ Tommy can use the power of his ancient ancestors to leave his body and enter a spirit form. Spirit mode allows Tommy to sneak up on enemies, as well as overcome the sphere¹s many obstacles.
  • Portals: ­ Portal technology adds a new dimension to gameplay, allowing enemies to appear out of thin air, creating new and completely original puzzles and employing advanced gameplay techniques.
  • Multiplayer: ­ Multiplayer games take complete advantage of the unique gameplay styles of Prey, as players walk on the ceilings and walls while the map¹s gravity flips from side to side.
Prey is currently slated for a January 16, 2007 release date, with the retail price set at $49.99. More information can be found at both Aspyr's site and the official Prey site.

Prey Official Site
Buy Prey

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Apple Games Features Imperial Glory
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The latest feature from Apple Games examines Imperial Glory, Feral Interactive's recent Mac port of Pyro Games' strategy title set in the Napoleonic Wars. The game allows players to pursue diplomacy and resource management in turn based mode before switcing to real time for resolution of military conflicts. As well as offering a review of the game the article includes a brief run down of the five playable nations featured in Imperial Glory.

Imperial Glory puts you in control of one of five major Old European powers: France, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, or Prussia. Many other computer-controlled nations — including Spain, the Ottoman Empire, and Poland — also exist in the game, and you can also make peace or war with any of them.

The main action takes place on the management map in turn-based fashion, allowing you to thoroughly consider your decisions as you recruit military units, order the construction of buildings, and examine your empire’s relationships with other nations. You must carefully balance the production of gold, raw materials, food, and population against the strain you place on those resources as you expand your military and economy.

A fifth resource, research points, allows you to develop new technologies, which take many turns to implement, depending on their complexity. Those advances in turn open up new areas of research, some of which activate quests, such as deciphering the Rosetta Stone or implementing a continental blockade. Successfully complete a quest and your empire will gain new buildings or units, sympathy points from other nations, or other rewards.
Click on the link below to read the full article.

Apple Games: Imperial Glory
Feral Interactive
Imperial Glory
Buy Imperial Glory

Norbyte Releases Universal Binary Game Updates
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Over the past couple of weeks Norbyte has released several Universal Binary updates for its collection of arcade block puzzle games, all of which feature gameplay reminiscent of classics in the genre. Downfall, Petal Palace, Spinnn, and Bloxter are now Intel Mac friendly.

Here's a description of the recently updated titles:

Downfall consists of over 30 different boards to play, with smooth 3D animations and endless replayability. All the boards have special blocks like indestructibles, dynamite sticks, snow shovels, wrecking balls etc. Keep in mind that each board requires its own tactics and skills to master!

Petal Palace takes you to an enchanted palace, surrounded by beautiful scenery where flowers grow in great abundance. Unfortunately, there isn't nearly enough space in the garden, so there's only one thing to do. You will have to pick the flowers by arranging them in lines, to keep the palace from being overgrown. Use any tools you may find to overcome obstacles. If you're good at picking the flowers, you will achieve bonuses and rewards that will help you in your task.

In Spinn you can move and spin falling game pieces and try to create horizontal lines, in any of the over 30 included games. These games are divided into four sets, each with its own style and special rules.

Bloxter is a fun arcade/puzzle game, that uses the latest technology to produce stunning 3D graphics. The logic and rules are similar to other "falling blocks" games like Tetris® and Columns™. Even if you've never played any of those games, Bloxter is very easy to learn. Drop colored blocks and try to form lines that will react and disappear!

The minimum requirement to play the games is Mac OS X 10.2. Follow the links below to learn more.

Petal Palace
Norbyte Website

Applelinks Reviews Professor Fizzwizzle
8:08 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Applelinks has posted a review of Professor Fizzwizzle, an award winning arcade game developed by Grubby Games and published by Big Fish Games. In the game, you must solve a series of puzzles and obstacles to get Professor Fizzwizzle back into his lab and control the renegade robots.

One of the best features of Professor Fizzwizzle are the three skill levels: regular to get you started, advanced if you need more of a challenge, and kid-friendly for those younger gamers. I've played other games in this genre, and usually I'd get stuck on level 10 or so because the difficulty would suddenly change from easy to impossible. I never had this problem in Professor Fizzwizzle where the difficulty was always a steady increase. However, if you get really stuck, you can ask for the solution and see the level played out from start to finish.
Professor Fizzwizzle is available as a digital download for $19.99 at our sister site, MacGameStore. There is also a demo available. Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Applelinks: Professor Fizzwizzle Review
Professor Fizzwizzle

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Unreal Tournament 2004 Reviewed
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

A new Slacker's Guide fires off a review of Unreal Tournament 2004, the popular Epic Games first person shooter title brought to the Mac by MacSoft. The game features a variety of interesting weaponry and vehicles for the purpose of annihilating the competition.

From the review:

The Unreal Tournament series, possibly beating out the Quake series, demonstrated what imagination in terms of character and weapon design, level design and vehicle conclusion could do. If you ever dreamed of something or wanted it in a cool first person shooter video game such as monsters, aliens, robots, battle mechs, space ships, hovercrafts, all-terrain vehicles with retractable razor blades to behead enemies with, portable nuclear weaponry and targeting system to paint an air strike target with, odds are Epic had already included it or it was en route for the next version.

Even if games sometimes get the cold shoulder on the Mac, this wasn't the case with Unreal Tournament. Programming guru Ryan Gordon never skimped on anything in terms of fixes and updates; what made its way to the mainstream PC market also found its way to the Mac and Linux versions if he had anything to say about it, even if the patches wound up being a few hundred megabytes. Additional care of the franchise was also administered by MacSoft, which made sure the releases were as close to simultaneous as possible between the Mac and PC versions.

The full review is available at the link provided below.

The Slacker's Guide: UT 2004 Review
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

What Keeps Gamers Playing?
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester and virtual environment think tank Immersyve may offer insight into the deeper reasons players keep playing their favorite games. Through pre- and post-game questionnaires of 1,000 participants the study aimed to evaluate players' motives for playing rather than dissect the game mechanics. The researchers found that opportunities for achievement, freedom, and connection with other players were more important than the general sense of "fun" created by the game itself.

"We think there's a deeper theory than the fun of playing," says Richard M. Ryan, a motivational psychologist at the University and lead investigator in the four new studies about gaming. Players reported feeling best when the games produced positive experiences and challenges that connected to what they know in the real world.

"It's our contention that the psychological 'pull' of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness," adds Ryan. The researchers believe that some video games not only motivate further play but "also can be experienced as enhancing psychological wellness, at least short-term," he says.
Read more at the Gamasutra site offered below.

Gamasutra: Deeper Emotions Keep Gamers Playing

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Age Of Empires III Reviewed7:51 AM
Arctic Quest Available For OS X7:51 AM
Dodge That Anvil Released7:51 AM
How Lawyers Changed Gaming7:51 AM
TacOps: Crossfire 1.5 Released7:51 AM
TrueCombat: Elite Updated7:51 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 3, 2007 on one page

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