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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

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Football Manager Live Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Sports Interactive recently revealed work on Football Manager Live, a new MMO for PC and Mac. The game will allow players to create and manage their own custom team in competition against up to 1,000 other players. FM Live will take advantage of Football Manager's 2D match engine and offer the usual wealth of options and tactics.

Football Manager Live is a brand new concept in football management and allows you to build a club from scratch to compete against friends and rivals online for the ultimate in Football Manager bragging rights. It’s the definitive test of football management skills, allowing you to set-up mini-leagues amongst your friends, bid in player auctions and compete in live matches 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Matches take place in real-time with a range of tactical options for managers to control as they follow all the action via the realistic 2D match engine. In addition, the in-game chat option means managers can exchange comments on the virtual touchline, whilst other aspiring managers can view their competitors and learn their tactics.

"Imagine a cross between Football Manager, fantasy sports and auctions sites - and you are part of the way to understanding Football Manager Live," said Miles Jacobson, managing director of Sports Interactive.

"It's great to be able to announce the game, and we can't wait to see the reaction to the beta when it launches next month."
The Mac version of Football Manager Live will weigh in at a modest 15MB. A beta test is planned for May, with the final version slated for release in March 2008.

Head over to the SI Games website for more information.

Football Manager Live
GamesIndustry: Football Manager Live Released

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Luxor 2
11:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of MumboJumbo's Luxor 2. Here's a clip from the review:

Luxor 2 is a sequel to Luxor, which was named the number-one casual game of 2005. It builds on its predecessor’s success with even better graphics and a superior soundtrack. However, the game continues to suffer from a bug that keeps the desktop cursor active during game play.

The game is played on a series of maps representing everything from villages to rowboats to tombs. The artwork in the maps is nearly photorealistic, with a wide variety of ancient artifacts lit with glowing torches and other lighting. Adding to the realism are the many surface textures employed, including realistically rendered liquids flow and swirl in context to their surroundings.

To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Luxor 2
Luxor 2
Buy Luxor 2

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The Sims Life Stories Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room recently reviewed The Sims Life Stories, a new story driven addition to the Sims franchise. Created by Aspyr Media, Life Stories offers both traditional and story focused play as well as a laptop computer friendly interface. The Game Room gave Life Stories a score of out of 5 mice.

From the review:

The Sims Life Stories—the first game in the franchise to be originally developed by Aspyr, rather than just ported to the Mac—is billed as being friendly to laptops and low-end machines that might not be able to run the full version of The Sims 2. Believe it or not, The Sims 2, despite its reputation as a “casual” game, has some of the most demanding system requirements of any title out there, and can easily bring even a high-end Mac to its knees, thanks to really advanced AI and sophisticated graphics features.

Aspyr’s position as this game’s original developer is also the reason why the Mac version of The Sims Life Stories only trailed its PC counterpart by a few weeks, rather than the months that Sims 2 fans have come to expect. Hopefully Aspyr will be able to close the gap even further in future installments and release new games simultaneously with their PC counterparts.

So The Sims Life Stories tailors the game engine and some functionality a bit to run better on lower-end hardware. Still, the game offers an authentic Sims 2-style interface and really impressive graphics, even if you can’t have quite as many Sims on screen as before, or quite as huge a house, or, for that matter, as big a neighborhood. You’ll hear the same styles of music and the same nonsense “Simlish” language that you’ve heard in other games.
For the full review head over to the site listed below.

Macworld Game Room: The Sims Life Stories Review
Aspyr Media
The Sims Life Stories
Buy The Sims Life Stories

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Apple Games Features iPod Ms. Pac-Man
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature showcases Ms. Pac-Man for the iPod. The game allows fifth generation iPod owners to test their pellet gobbling and ghost dodging skills. The feature includes an overview of Ms. Pac-Man's history and a few tips and tricks to give players an edge.

After trying out the concept on Missile Command, Curran and Macrae started a company called General Computer and began working on a modification of Pac-Man that they named Crazy Otto. After pitching the idea to Bally-Midway, which distributed Namco’s arcade games in the United States, the pair changed the name to Ms. Pac-Man, and over 115,000 units were sold, more than Pac-Man.

On the iPod, Ms. Pac-Man offers the same features as her counterpart: three game modes (Original, Normal, and Easy); the ability to start a new game at any level you previously reached; the option to continue at the level where you lost your last life up to three times per session; and the ability to save your progress and exit the game. In addition, Ms. Pac-Man includes a tutorial that helps acclimate you to controlling the character by tapping the click wheel in the direction she should turn (an on-screen joystick indicates what you selected).
Check out the full feature at the site listed below.

Apple Games: iPod Ms. Pac-Man
Apple Store: iPod Games

MacBrickout OS X Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Leapfrog Software has released MacBrickout OS X.  The addictive brick bashing game offers familiar ball and paddle gameplay with the addition of a variety of interesting powerups, bonus levels, and hidden secrets to discover.

MacBrickout OS X features bomb balls which will take out virtually anything in their path once you set off the explosion, radiation balls, an "Umphee" that walks in the sand whose hard shell will bounce the ball back into play, hidden fruits and vegetables, musical bricks and lots more!
Here's a list of the game's features:
* Three sets of levels to choose from
* Bonus Levels
* 10 different types of balls, each offering a special capability
* Numerous capsules including the Laser Capsule, Warp Capsule, Bonus
Capsule, Fruit Capsule and the dreaded Red X Capsule
* Hidden fruits and vegetables scattered throughout the levels.  If
you find them, you get to keep them forever!
* Special achievement awards granted for doing clever, sneaky or
tricky maneuvers.
* Level Editor so you can make your own levels and share them with
Head over to the website below to learn more about the game.

MacBrickout OS X
Leapfrog Software

An Open Letter to Apple from a Lifelong Gamer
6:00 AM | Evan Holt | 15 comments

A PC blogger (and hardcore gamer) on the popular PC file downloading site FilePlanet has posted as open letter to Apple. In the letter the writer asks Apple to "take some of that big money you're making from iTunes and shovel it into gaming".

I know it's humiliating, but for once you've got to look at what Microsoft is doing and copy it. Those guys are scared of you -- and they know that games are the one and only thing that has prevented you from hitting the Tipping Point years ago. The "Games for Windows" team is making noise at every game convention I go to. A whole division at Microsoft is devoted to developing game technology -- like DirectX or the Microsoft XNA developer's toolkit. Microsoft buys up development studios and publishes triple-A games with regularity. Microsoft knows that games are the key to getting people to adopt hardware: how is Microsoft attacking the American living room? Through a game console. How did they make sure that game console was a household name? They bought Bungie and brought Halo on board. Man, Halo was supposed to be a Mac game. They shanked you.
Follow the link below to read the entire blog posting.

Fargo's Fileblog

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The Broken Hourglass: More About Level Paths
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Last week's informational update for Planewalker Games' upcoming RPG, The Broken Hourglass, focused on how the game deals with character classes and level advancement. This week the discussion continues with a peek inside Hourglass' inner workings and a quick tutorial demonstrating how to create a new level path with just a few lines of scripting.

There are a number of engine functions which govern the spending of experience points on character abilities. _attribute_upgrade causes a character to spend XP to purchase points in a valid skill or attribute, while _toggle_trait adds a trait to that character. Supporting functions like _can_toggle_trait (to ensure that there are no unmet prerequisites for the trait) and _attribute_upgrade_cost can help us determine whether the purchases we want to make are possible.

But rather than reinvent the wheel and apply this logic every single time a character levels up, we have a function which performs the skill buying and experience bookkeeping automatically. This makes the creation of a new level path extremely easy by following just a few simple rules.
The full article is available at the link below.

The Broken Hourglass: Creating Level Paths
The Broken Hourglass

Mac Games News for Monday, April 23, 2007

Avernum 4 Updated to 1.1.16:00 AM
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Mac Version Confirmed?6:00 AM
Jeff Vogel Continues To Explain His Hate For RPGs6:00 AM
Pokie Magic Releases Pirates Plunder For Macs6:00 AM
The Broken Hourglass Dev Diary6:00 AM
Wacky Mini-Golf Now Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 23, 2007 on one page

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