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Thursday, June 28, 2007

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Apple Games Features Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has posted a new feature, this time turning the spotlight on the recently released Age of Empires III expansion, The WarChiefs. The game expansion introduces a variety of new elements to the game including three Native American tribes and the associated War Chief units. The feature describes the expansion's gameplay and offers a rundown of the specifics of the new nations.

“We didn’t want the Native Americans to just feel like an obstacle in the game,” lead designer Greg Street explains when asked about their presence in Age of Empires III. “Instead, we wanted the Native Americans to feel more like a potential resource over which colonists could compete.” While that’s still the case in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, the expansion pack also brings with it three tribes — the Aztecs, Iroquois, and Sioux — whose fortunes you can now control.

“There is plenty of precedence for this in history,” Street adds, referring to real-life alliances between Native Americans and the Europeans who encountered them. That idea forms the basis of the two-part single-player campaign, “Fire and Shadow,” found in The WarChiefs. Continuing the story of the Black family, which started in the original game, act one concerns Nathaniel Black and his Iroquois uncle, Kayenke, who fight Mohawk and Seneca tribes allied with the Hessians. They later side with Colonel George Washington and help him win the Revolutionary War.
Head over to the link below to check out the rest of Apple Games' new feature.

Apple Games: AoE III The WarChiefs
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
Buy Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

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

Applelinks 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. Applelinks gave Life Stories a score of 3 out of 5.

Okay, here's what happens. There are two stories built into The Sims Life Stories. In the first, you play Riley Harlowe. She's young, she's pretty, and she's starting life in a new town at her aunt's house. She meets some new people, and "generic One Tree Hill plot #14 takes place (only, the boys mostly leave their shirts on). She decides she likes dude #1, which angers chick #3, so she becomes friends with chick #2, but then dude #2 shows up, and then everyone wins the basketball tournament and the evil mayor gets his come-uppance.

Okay, there's no basketball and there's no evil mayor, but I sure wish there was. Anything to make this story worth playing through. The characters are generally annoying, which is fine, because the fun thing about any Sims game is the ability to be annoying and mess with people's lives. That works in the wide-open gameplay of The Sims 2. But in Life Stories, when you're stuck within a linear plot that you really can't control and with sims that you didn't create, the comic value of annoying people is lost.
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the review.

Applelinks: The Sims Life Stories Review
Aspyr Media
The Sims Life Stories
Buy The Sims Life Stories

TransGaming's Vikas Gupta Discusses Cider
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new interview with TransGaming CEO Vikas Gupta about the company's Cider emulation software. Gupta discussses the company's early need to prove the viability of Cider, it's current partnerships, and the future of Cider based gaming on the Mac platform.

“We’ve been steadily ramping up. We have one of the best development teams in the world,” said Gupta proudly. “Kudos to them that they’ve been able to pull together what they have in this timeframe.”

“In the game industry, unless you come from an existing studio it takes a long time to build up your reputation. We’ve been demonstrating incremental successes along the way,” said Gupta.

EA has been “very supportive” of TransGaming’s efforts, said Gupta. “They identified a number of titles that they felt were fantastic candidates for the Mac market. The message we got from them was ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right and in a big way.’”

Apple, likewise, has been a big help. “Apple and their OpenGL team have been working with us to find issues and challenges and helping us surmount them,” said Gupta. It helps that TransGaming is trying to provide users with as Mac-like an experience as possible.

“We have the flexibility to do Mac-specific things,” he said. “As an example, Mac users are used to having a drag-and-drop install, or using Apple-Q to quit.”
Follow the link below to read the rest of the interview.

Macworld's Game Room: TransGaming Interview

A Taste Of Chocolatier
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamersInfo has posted a new review of PlayFirst's Chocolatier, a casual title combining arcade action with resource management and a bit of storyline. In the game players must build a chocolate empire by trading for ingredients, maximizing factory production speed in an arcade mini-game, and selling the sweet confections for the best price. Chocolatier features both Story and Freeplay modes, over 130 quests through 14 cities, and over 60 recipes to discover.

There are 64 chocolate recipes that you need to unlock throughout your travels. Initially, you will only be working with chocolate bars. Eventually, you will uncover the mysteries of squares, infusions and truffles. There are 16 recipes of each kind. You can look in your recipe book to see all of the mouth-watering options, but you will not know how to make them. The unknown recipes have a question mark over the oh-so-realistic picture of the confection in question. After that first meeting and chocolate delivery for Evangeline, she will send you to the man that will give you your first recipe to get you started.

As you acquire new recipes, you will discover that you need to update the machinery at the factory in order to create that type of delectable new treat. If you're doing things right, money will not be a problem. Watch the market. Buy your ingredients cheap, and sell the chocolate at its peak. You'll do fine.

While ingredients will be shipped direct to the factory, you do need to personally travel to each market to buy their ingredients or to sell your chocolates. Each leg of travel will take a given amount of time (You'll see it in advance.) and will cost you a certain amount of money. You also will need to travel to an individual factory if you want to change the recipe.
To read the rest of the review click on the link below.

Gamers Info: Chocolatier Review

Aha! Coming To Apple's iPhone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

CS Odessa has announced the upcoming release of Aha! for the iPhone. Originally developed for Mac OS 9, Aha! is a challenging logic game which offers a unique experience each time it is played. CS Odessa plans to release the iPhone version next week, but is asking for the help of iPhone owners to playtest the game.

After Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC appears that iPhone will be revolutionary entertainment device without games at all! The reason - it doesn’t support java (it’s required to run almost any mobile phone game) and has no built-in games.

So we decided to make a small present to all future iPhone owners and make or Aha! game iPhone compatible!

The game will be released next week after iPhone debuts on 29 of June. But to make it happen sooner we need an assistance of anyone who will get an iPhone this week. Please help us to test a game properly!
To learn more about the game head over to the link provided below.

Aha! Coming To iPhone

Mac Games News for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IMG Podcast Episode 25 Released2:40 PM
Inside Mac Games Posts Need For Speed: Carbon First Look10:12 AM
5 Realms Of Cards Coming Soon To Macs6:00 AM
Do Copy-Cat Developers Damage The Casual Games Market?6:00 AM
Romero Unearths Original Doom Music6:00 AM
Tasty Planet Reviewed6:00 AM
THQ Ships Ratatouille6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, June 27, 2007 on one page

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