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Monday, May 7, 2007

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Ambrosia Announces Aquaria For OS X
12:53 PM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

Ambrosia Software. announced today an exclusive agreement with Bit Blot to release a version of Aquaria for Mac OS X.  Winner of the 2007 Independent Games Festival's Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Aquaria is a side-scrolling underwater action adventure game that uses an innovative and intuitive mouse control system.

Utilizing this control system, Naija, the main character, can deftly swim through and explore a massive, hand-crafted fantasy world that is teeming with undersea life. Along the way, players will encounter literally hundreds of different types of plants and animals and explore many in-game miles of hidden caves, lost ruins, and unexpected places.

"We're extremely excited to be bringing Aquaria to the Mac, and there's no one we'd rather work with than Ambrosia to make it happen," said Derek Yu, Chief Artistic Officer of Bit Blot.  "It's a perfect fit!"

"This continues our long history of bringing unique and original titles to the Mac," said Andrew Welch, Ambrosia Software's el Presidente. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Bit Blot to bring Aquaria to Mac OS X."
Aquaria for Mac OS X will be a Universal Binary, compatible with
PowerPC and Intel based Macs. Specific system requirements are not yet available.

For more information follow the links below.

Ambrosia Software

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Winter Wolves: New RPG In Progress, Magic Stones Updates
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

The latest Winter Wolves newsletter revealed two new additions to The Magic Stones hybrid RPG card game, as well as work on a unique new role playing game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers of the past.

The first addition to The Magic Stones is The Lands of Fire expansion pack which adds 2 new avatars, the Wild Huntress, the Giant Turtle, and the new Black Widow villain.

The King has a special assignment for you this time. You must escort a caravan with the elven allies through the dangerous Lands of Fire. It is a wild land, bandit raids are very common, so you must keep the eyes open

Escort the caravan and discover 2 new avatars, the swift and deadly Wild Huntress and the huge and tough Giant Turtle . Use those new avatars' powers in this new quest featuring formidable new opponents like the wicked witch Black Widow !
The second addition to The Magic Stones is The Magic Shop, a fan requested add-on that allows players to upgrade their druid avatars with the addition of perks, level upgrades, and an artifact shop. The Magic Shop add-on costs $5.
Druid Perks: the most important addition, perks are unique special skills that will greatly help your druid to win the most difficult battles. Some perks increase your mana regeneration, others reduce the spells casting cost, and so on.

Avatars Upgrades: beside the usual way of upgrading your avatars level by collecting the stones in Gather Artifact and Quest Mode, you'll also be able to buy complete level upgrades.

Shop for Artifacts: you can now browse and buy some artifacts directly in the Magic Shop.

As currency, you use your druid Experience Points and Prestige Points. Prestige Points are earned partecipating in the tournament and doing quests.
Finally, Winterwolves announced The Tower of Destiny. The new first person view RPG will feature a unique pool of 25 heroes from which to choose, requiring players to decide which heroes to take with them to conquer a specific challenge.
Tower Of Destiny will be a CRPG game for Mac and Pc that will be inspired from the old classics dungeon games that were very popular in the years 1980-1990.

But beside a similar setting and visual, the gameplay will be completely different and innovative. You'll be able to choose up to 25 heroes to put in the "Pool of Heroes", and you'll be able to switch the characters everytime you come back from the dungeon to the town village.

So for the first time the roleplay elements will be combined with management, you'll have to choose carefully which characters to bring with you in the dungeon every time, based on the kind of challenge you'll face in a specific dungeon level.
For more information follow the links below.

Magic Stones: The Lands of Fire
Magic Stones: The Magic Shop
Winter Wolves Blog: Tower of Destiny
Winter Wolves
Magic Stones

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5.56mm Full Metal Jacket Doom 3 Mod Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Version 0.75 of 5.56mm Full Metal Jacket was recently released. The Doom 3 mod offers a tactical gameplay experience with two teams battling for supremacy. It features a variety of weapons including the Glock 17 pistol, Benelli M3 shotgun, and the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle.

5.56mm Full Metal Jacket is a multiplayer modification which takes place in a fictive Environment where you have a West and an East team. Accordingly to your team you will get the full weapon-arsenal available supported by your side.

There are 5 classes of weapons .... Pistols, Shotguns, Sub-Machineguns, Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles. The target system will feature 2 modes ... Aiming with the cross-hair which gets more and more unprecise the further away you shoot or aiming through the weapons sights which influences the overal field of view but therefore is damn pretty precise.

The game features first- and thirdperson view though when in thirdperson the lack of a crosshair makes aiming more difficult. The levels will vary between huge outdoor scenarios and narrow office corridors.
The mod weighs in at 367 MB. For more information and download links click on the links below.

5.56mm Full Metal Jacket
Doom 3 World: 5.56mm FMJ Info
id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Steve Wozniak Discusses His Gaming Past
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

Gamasutra has posted an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak about his gaming past. The discussion spans a variety of topics including development of the classic Breakout, Steve Jobs' gaming habits, and the impact of games on the personal computer industry.

GS: How did Steve Jobs feel about video games in the 70s? Did he enjoy playing them or see their potential in the future? Or was he just there for the ride?

SW: I never saw Steve Jobs really as a game player. Yeah, ever. Not even before Atari.

GS: So he didn't have any favorite games that he'd play there or anything like that?

SW: Oh, well not that I saw, but I wasn't there every day. He could have. I think he enjoyed some of the games that he helped finalize and add finishing touches to, like the "Simon" game...

GS: But he never talked about playing them on his own time, like brag about a cool new game or maybe talk about...

SW: No, I didn't see him as a game playing person. Like myself: I was a game player. I grew up, I played lots of sports, I played lots of card games, I played lots of board games, I played games on timeshare computer systems like the Star Trek-- the text based games -- and Wumpus and I loved video games when they first came out. I played them a lot; put a lot of money into it, whereas I never saw Steve Jobs really doing that. Like being in a situation like at a bowling alley and wanting to go play games.

Click on the link below to read the entire interview

Gamasutra: The Woz On Gaming

Blizzard Working On Mobile Games?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzplanet recently posted about Blizzard Entertainment's formation of a new Mobile Wireless Development Department. The post speculates on the types of game related software the company might be developing and the types of mobile devices they might support.

Blizzard is hiring personnel for a new Mobile Wireless Development Department to work on wireless-related projects. It is unknown whether these positions will work on a new feature for the World of Warcraft MMORPG, or if the department is aimed to new mobile games for Apple iPhone, and other mobile devices. The potential of a Blizzard Mobile Department is unlimited. Just take a look at the features of Apple iPhone.

- Imagine checking your in-game mailbox from your iPhone, browsing the Auction House to place or buy items, transmuting or creating Primal Mooncloth remotely from your wireless device.

- Few years ago, Blizzard released the Gameboy Advance games: Lost Vikings, Blackthorne and Rock'n Roll Racing during the 10th Anniversary of their Arcade Games. It would make sense to create new and former IPs for the new Mobile Wireless devices.

- If Blizzard considered E-Sport support for Starcraft 2, Starcraft: Ghost and Diablo 3, or MMORPGs -- imagine watching E-Sport tournament matches directly into your iPhone. Browsing Ladder stats.

Head over to the website below to read the rest.

Blizzplanet: Blizzard Developing Mobile Games
Blizzard Entertainment

'Speare Brings Shakespeare To Gamers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

'Speare, a flash based game developed by instructors at the University of Guelph in Ontario, combines arcade gameplay with the works of Shakespeare. 'Speare sends players into outer space on a mission to collect stolen knowledge based on the Bard's plays.

In the style of classic arcade games, 'Speare launches the player into outer space on a mission to reclaim stolen knowledge (story traces) based on Shakespeare's plays. By collecting words, phrases, and facts through game play, 'Speare challenges its players to use information to become successful knowledge gatherers. Only through knowledge gathering can a player successfully complete the game.

'Speare's arcade-style format uses quotes from Romeo and Juliet as the content for a puzzle game that coaches players to differentiate quickly between words and in order to develop the ties among Shakespearean vocabulary, homonyms, synonyms, and other facets of basic literacy.  This language is decoded for players using audio clips of narrated Shakespearean text (transmissions), as well as word definitions and explanations embedded throughout the game. In addition to kinetic and visual cues, the game uses proprietary technology for transforming game objects into text objects and does so with an advanced audio cue system. What this means is that players who successfully perform a knowledge gathering operation will get both visual and audio cues to confirm their success, thus reinforcing the links between the sound and the sight of the game text in play.
A demo of 'Speare is available from the website listed below. For more information about the game's development check out the Reuters article.

'Speare: The Literacy Arcade Game
'Speare Demo
Reuters: Video Game Hooks Children On Shakespeare

25 New Ratatouille Screenshots Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Worthplaying recently posted 25 new screenshots from Ratatouille, THQ's upcoming game based on the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. The platform action game will feature a wide variety of missions, environmental hazards and puzzles, numerous enemies to fight, multiplayer mode, and licensed voice over talent from the movie.

In the game, players will assume the role of Remy, a young rat whose love for great food puts him at odds with the needs of his family. Fans will be able to relive some of the film's most thrilling moments and experience the sights, sounds and most importantly, the smells, of Paris a la Remy across a multitude of gaming systems. Players will instantly recognize the storyline, characters and key locations of Ratatouille, as they engage in a series of unique mini-games, cooking challenges and head-to-head multiplayer. Ratatouille will allow players to create culinary masterpieces, evade detection from dangerous and often hungry enemies, and brave the perils of the dinner-rush in this senses-shattering journey to fulfill Remy's life-long dream of becoming a great chef.
THQ plans a global simultaneous release of the game for 11 different platforms including Mac OS X. Follow the links below for more information.

Worthplaying: Ratatouille Screens

Mac Games News for Friday, May 4, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Travelogue 360 Paris1:25 PM
Alex Seropian Interviewed6:00 AM
Cave Days Reviewed6:00 AM
Custer Heads Out6:00 AM
DEFCON Updated6:00 AM
Dominions 3: The Awakening v3.08 Released6:00 AM
Europa Universalis III PC Expansion Announced6:00 AM
KarjaSoft Releases Sheeplings For OS X6:00 AM
Maggie The Gardener 2 Comes To Macs6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 4, 2007 on one page

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