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Thursday, March 1, 2007

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Heroes of Might and Magic V Ships
7:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 19 comments

Freeverse Software today announced it has begun shipping Heroes of Might and Magic V. Developed for the PC by Nival Interactive, Heroes of Might and Magic V brings the popular and long running strategy franchise into a new era with cutting-edge technology and a breathtaking, fully 3D animated world.

The game features a deep, scalable turn-based battle system for challenging tactical combat as well as the option of a brand new Active Battle System for faster play. Players can choose from more than 200 skills, 170 creature abilities and 40 spells to build up heroes and armies. This is a new, darker, heroic fantasy universe that's more mature with six unique factions and more than 80 different creatures.

The engaging storyline features special objectives, side quests and exciting plot twists for the finest tactics, management and role-playing adventure ever brewed.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Ubisoft to bring the incredible Heroes of Might and Magic V to Mac gamers around the world," said Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse.

Heroes of Might and Magic V requires an Intel Mac and is available as a boxed or digital download through Freeverse Software. It costs $49.95.

Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Dirk Dashing: Secret Agent Released
7:38 AM | David Chochla | Comment on this story

My Game Company has released Dirk Dashing: Secret Agent, available immediately for download for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Dirk Dashing is the number-one operative in the government's top secret organization called G.O.O.D. (Government Operatives On Duty), whose mission is to protect the world from terrorists and power-mad megalomaniacs! His missions take him to many exotic locales where he must face dangerous enemies, avoid traps, and solve baffling puzzles in order to save the day!
A free trial is available now, as is a diary of the two-and-a-half year making of the game.

Dirk Dashing Homepage
My Game Company Support Page
GameTunnel Preview

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Introversion Announces Multiwinia For PC
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Introversion Software recently announced Multiwinia for the PC, a new stand alone title which will bring multiplayer action to the digital world of Darwinia for the first time. Planned for a 2008 release, the game will combine elements of the award winning original with the addition of both competitive and cooperative multiplayer battles between massive Darwinian armies. In addition to the traditional single player mode, Multiwinia will offer a series of separate game modes, each with a number of unique levels and interesting challenges.

“We’ve always known that Darwinia would naturally evolve into an incredible multiplayer game and right from day one I’d had visions of massive Darwinian armies converging for the ultimate Darwinian death-fest”, Chris Delay, creative director of Introversion Software said enthusiastically about the new project. “Multiwinia will be a great game, not only for those who knew and loved Darwinia, but also for complete newcomers.”

John Knottenbelt, takes on the role of lead designer of Multiwinia, in a tactical manoeuvre that will allow Chris Delay, creative director at Introversion to begin work on other new projects. John revealed some of the exciting new changes to the multiplayer experience: “We’ve created a new formation mode which will let you organise your Darwinians into ranks to create massive armies. In formation they’ll have greater firepower in the direction they’re facing, but virtually none from either sides or behind. It’s going to get pretty messy, requiring a whole new set of tactical skills from the gamer.”

As well as multiplayer mayhem Multiwinia will feature a few graphical updates, although the distinctive fractal art style will remain. There is no word yet on the possibility of a Mac version but Introversion's relationship with Ambrosia Software on Darwinia and other titles offers hope to eager Mac gamers.

Follow the links below for more information.

Introversion Software News
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software

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Defcon Status Update
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Recently Introversion Software posted a brief update on the current status of Defcon for Mac. Confirming that progress toward the previously announced March release is going well, the post also mentions efforts to bring interoperability between Mac and PC users. Defcon is a multiplayer strategy which sets two players against one another in a game of global thermonuclear war.

We have more good news for those waiting for confirmatory word on Defcon Mac. Teaming up with our good friends over at Ambrosia Software we're getting stuck into the beta testing phase and things are looking set for a March release. Its been a bit of an uphill struggle at times to get perfect interoperability between Mac and PC users but we're pleased to confirm that work is runnning smoothly and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Mac fans for all their patience and support.
Defcon for Mac will be compatible with both Intel and PowerPC macs and will sell for $25 from the Ambrosia Software website.

To learn more about the game click on the links below.

Ambrosia Software

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Civilization IV: Warlords Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game Apex has posted a short review of the PC version of Civilization IV: Warlords, the first expansion for the latest in the popular nation building series. The game adds a variety of content to the main game including new scenarios, new playable nations, and the new warlord units. Game Apex gave Warlords a score of 8 out of 10.

From the review:

So what changed? What was added? Several new civilizations, several new leaders (some more popular than others), new wonders, but more importantly more new preset scenerios to play. Instead of three historical battles to play, you have eight to test your mettle against. For the first time you can play as the barbarians that are perpetually a thorn in the players tush. The Warlords scenerios are tough, because they drop you in the middle of a game instead of at the beginning, which makes some decision making quite critical -- defend or attack?

As far as the solo game goes, there are now more civilizations to play than ever before, and many civilizations have two leaders to chose as your avatar. There has been some controversy about the inclusion of Joseph Stalin as one of the Russian leaders due to his excesses towards the treatment of his people. My only comment about that is: in looking back at the history of most of the included leaders, very few of them were delicate in their handling of situations. Stalin may be one of the few included that actually have people one or two generations removed from those under his rule alive and playing the game, but many of the leaders included were noteworthy in their aggressive tendancies toward either their own peoples or their neighbors. Could be why they were included in a game entitled Warlords.

Click on the link below to read the rest of the review.

GameApex: Civilization IV Warlords Review
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV: Warlords
Buy Civilization IV: Warlords

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Gametunnel Indie Game Roundup
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gametunnel's February Indie Game Review Panel recently examined ten independent and downloadable game releases, ranking the titles from one to ten. Ancient Empires Lux, Dodge That Anvil, and Armado made the list, with Lux and Anvil scoring silver awards for third and fourth place.

Unlike a certain other turn-based space strategy game on this top-ten list, Ancient Empires Lux gets the formula right. Players are always fighting for dominance in this war-based game, which contains 15 ancient scenarios across the globe. Simple visuals and effects, easy-to-learn controls and an engaging soundtrack compliment the game’s overall appeal. And basically, anyone looking for a solid challenge will be sure to find one in Ancient Empires Lux. It’s not remarkably original, but it does get the job done when it comes to being marginally entertaining, and that’s what gives it an above average score...

Dodge that Anvil! is an excellent isometric platform game. One of the marks of a good game, in my estimation, is that it is enjoyed and appreciated more the more it's played. DTA certainly gets points there. The ability to challenge myself to find the entrances to the secret levels, get the daisy to the right rabbit hole, and explore the landscape really captures the spirit of the classic Mario games. The shop items were compelling and I found it enjoyable to discover that my initial impression on which items were the most useful changed as I got further into the game. It's among the best anvil-dodging games ever made, and may just be the best.
To read the rest of the article, which also features several PC only titles, head over to the site listed below.

Gametunnel: Indie Game Review February
Tricky Software
Ancient Empires Lux
Dodge That Anvil
Buy Ancient Empires Lux
Buy Dodge That Anvil

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Civ IV, Warlords Patches Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has updated Civilization IV and its expansion Civ IV: Warlords, patching the game to version 1.61 Rev C and the expansion to 1.0 Rev B. The updates include a variety of bug fixes and changes including a fix for a sound problem introduced with the previous patch.

The updates are available for download from at the links below. Click on the other links to learn more about the game.

MGF: Civilization IV 1.61 Rev C
MGF: Civilization IV: Warlords 1.0 Rev B
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Civilization IV: Warlords
Buy Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV: Warlords

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Pirates Online Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ten Ton Hammer recently posted an interview with Disney Online's Mike Goslin about the upcoming MMORPG, Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Among other things the Q&A session covers the game's player vs player content, gambling mini-games, and unique "active" combat system.

Based on the engine for Toontown Online, Pirates will offer would-be sea rogues the chance to cross blades with enemies and enter into a variety of other pirate themed activities. The PC version is scheduled to become available in Spring 2007, with a Mac version coming sometime after that.

Ten Ton Hammer: The press event showed me that the gameplay in Pirates Online a more active "first person shooter" style game, with target reticules and all, rather than a "sit back and auto attack" game like traditional MMOs. Were there significant tech hurdles to overcome in going with a more bandwidth-intensive style of combat? Will it be possible to play Pirates Online on a dial-up connection?

Mike: "Yeah, it’s tricky to design an “active” combat system in an MMO because of latency and potential hacking. We try and simulate as much as we can on the client so that things are happening in real time, but we still need to confirm hits and misses with the server in order to keep things secure. We decided to keep offense more active, and make defense rely on 'passive' skills that don’t require button-pressing to avoid some of the more dire latency problems. Forced to choose, we figured attacking is more 'piratey' than defending.

"I don’t know for certain yet if it will be possible to play our game over dial-up because we’re assuming a broadband connection, but our actual bandwidth usage is probably low enough after the game has finished downloading."

Click on the link below to read the full interview.

Ten Ton Hammer: Pirates Online Q&A
Pirates of the Caribbean Online

Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Macgamestore: Chaniz 2 Now Available3:31 PM
Ms. Pac-Man for Video iPod Released2:30 PM
Inside Mac Games Reviews Minigolf Mania1:56 PM
Ten Maxims for FPS Creators11:55 AM
ANKH Demo Released9:46 AM
Frenzic Reviewed9:46 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 28, 2007 on one page

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