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Monday, January 14, 2008

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Widget Monkey Games Announces Widget United
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Widget Monkey Games has announced work on Widget United. The unique new single player title combines elements of soccer, marbles, and crokinole. When completed the game will feature four game modes, three levels of difficulty, realistic physics, dynamic lighting, and multiple camera views.

That's Widget United! It's a family-friendly, single player game with four unique gameplay modes. The game combines the exciting gameplay of soccer, playground mechanics of marbles, and the goals of crokinole into four fun gameplay styles with three levels of difficulty each, and features all of the innovative and fun things you'd expect from a Unity-powered game. Widget United features online high scores and rankings where your best scores compete with players around the world, realistic physics, dynamic lighting, multiple camera views (including an in-air ball-following cam) cool sound effects and game soundtrack, and addictive gameplay for the family that'll keep you playing for hours. 

The goal of Widget United is to score as many goals as you can within the limits of the four different gameplay modes. Types of games include a limited amount of balls, a limited number of kicks, limited time, and a difficult passing mode. Each gameplay mode offers three levels of difficulty with different teams to play against. Widget United also features a full and unlimited practice mode to hone your soccer skills.

Widget Monkey Games is actively seeking a handful of beta testers to spend a few hours and help us polish the last bits of the game. Please send email to david at widgetmonkeygames dot com if you're interested. If you have access to both OSX and Windows, even better.

Widget Monkey Games is working to release the game in the first week of February. A demo will be available but limited to only one gameplay mode, one difficulty level, and no ability to submit your high scores online.

Widget United will retail for CDN $15.95 and will be available for both OSX and Windows. It was created with the Unity game engine. Follow the links below for more information.

Widget United
Widget Monkey Games

IMG Heads To Macworld Expo
9:36 AM | Tuncer Deniz

The time has come to head to Macworld Expo once again! IMG's Tuncer Deniz, and Jason Sims will be heading to San Francisco today. Macworld Expo will be kicking off at 9:00 AM Pacific on Tuesday with a keynote address by Steve Jobs.

We're also expecting some exciting announcements from Apple and other companies. IMG will be providing 'round the clock coverage of the show, so be sure to come back often for updates! We will be providing news, images, podcasts, and video during the entire event. Stay tuned.

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 25
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertaiment has released the 25th update to its series of answers to fan questions about the upcoming StarCraft II. The sequel to the still popular original StarCraft, SC II will introduce new multiplayer action and pick up the Zerg, Terran, and Protoss storylines a few years after the end of BroodWar.

Gameplay Blog:
With the new year, I thought everyone might enjoy a small new section to the Q&As that will happen periodically, featuring some hands-on feedback of the current builds of StarCraft II at the office. This past week Ive been able to play a few 1 versus 1 skirmish games with our new balance designer, David Kim. Even at this early stage, StarCraft II is shaping up to be an incredibly diverse game in terms of strategy. In addition to many of the original StarCraft strategies (which Ive been tending to stick with), there are several new strategies based on both the newly introduced units, as well as hybrid combinations of legacy and new units. One of the most interesting strategies in our current build is the Nomad rush. Nomads are both effective at supporting an ongoing battle with Auto Turrets (which have building armor) and defending against a raid with rapid deployment, but are surprisingly very effective at raiding as well. Im not talking about minor harassment, kill a probe or two, type of thing. Get four of these Nomads into a mineral line and you can deploy 8 Auto Turrets in no time, wreaking havoc to even a moderately defended position. Each Auto Turret is like having an instant Marine, with rapid fire, and building armor. Could this replace Siege Tank drops? Probably not, but these Auto Turrets dont cost minerals or supply.

2. How will damage against Protoss Shields be calculated with the new damage bonus system?(
Protoss shields will take up the characteristics of their normal armor type. For example, if a Protoss Zealot with light armor gets shot by a Terran Ghost with plus light armor damage, the Zealots shields will also take that light armor bonus damage. On the same note, if a Protoss Colossus were to be hit by a Protoss Stalker with bonus damage towards armored unit, the shields would also take that additional damage.

5. Will the native resolution of Starcraft 2 be widescreen or 4:3? (
The plan is to have both of those resolutions supported, along with everything between 5:4 and 16:9. Larger screens will have slightly more viewable range than a smaller screen, but from our tests, the differences will be very minor.
Head over to the links below to read the rest of the Q&A.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 25
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC 2 Questions Here
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Geneforge 4, Eschalon: Book 1 Indie RPGs Of The Year
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

GameBanshee recently released it's list of the best RPGs of 2007. Spiderweb Software's Geneforge 4 won the top spot for Independent RPG of the Year, managing to edge out the newly released Basilisk Games' Eschalon: Book 1 which took second place.

In a year when several promising newcomers are making noise on the indie market, it might be hard for our readers to forgive us for returning to that “boring old pick” of Spiderweb Software. For the first time in recent history, Spiderweb’s indie RPG throne looks threatened, but it won’t be 2007 that it's toppled. Regardless, you could say the veteran's product is not a popular favourite, even though it seemed like it would once again be the most likely - if not only - candidate earlier this year.

But despite the incessant and perhaps growing criticism of indie champion Jeff Vogel, Geneforge 4 is still the logical top pick. With few graphical or mechanical upgrades from the previous title, Geneforge 4 shines exactly where indie RPGs are supposed to shine - great storytelling, intricate branching plotlines, strong dialogue, and a deep setting.

While the old indie argument of “you have to get past the graphics to enjoy it” still applies, there’s a true gem to be found in Geneforge 4 – the result of Jeff Vogel’s experience as a crafter of worlds. Perhaps the independent RPG market is changing and maturing and this is the swan song of Vogel’s generation of independent RPGs, but nevertheless the crown still belongs to him.
To read the rest of the awards head over to the site linked below.

GameBanshee: Game Of The Year
Spiderweb Software
Geneforge 4
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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DeathSpank Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has released a new interview with Ron Gilbert about his new position as Creative Director at Hothead Games and his work on the upcoming DeathSpank. The RPG Adventure game is described as "Monkey Island meets Diablo" and will feature Gilbert's signature humor and storytelling.

RPS: You say you’re planning to combine adventure gaming with the RPG in DeathSpank. I’ve often wondered if the RPG hasn’t simply replaced the area adventures once occupied in our lives. What properties of each are you aiming to bring to the mix?
RG: Adventure games are all about telling a good story with interesting and sexy puzzles. One aspect of the DeathSpank design I am very happy with are the puzzles and the puzzle flow. It’s very “Monkey Island”. For an adventure game, telling the story should be flawlessly woven into the puzzles, if it’s not, then the puzzles seem out of place and are just progress blockers. I like the way the two ended up complementing each other so well.

As for the RPG, let’s face it, there is something fun about whacking stuff with a sword and collecting items that make you stronger and more powerful, or just look cool. The real trick is going to make sure that those two aspects of the game complement, rather than fight with each other. Getting that right is going to be a fun challenge. Oh… there will be no grinding. That is one part of RPG/MMO that I do not like, and from a design standpoint, it can be replaced with the adventure play.

RPS: Do you think one of the reasons publishers may have refused your gaming pitch was because it was called “DeathSpank”?
RG: One publisher did specifically mention that. But what can I do? The big lug is who he is. He’s a force not to be toyed with or understood. While some people are taken aback by the name, he is a satire and parody of games and game heroes. That’s what he started out being in the comics, and will continue to be in the games. Clayton and I like to make fun of the game industry.
Click over to the link below to read the rest of the Q&A.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: DeathSpank Q&A
Hothead Games

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Neon Tango To Be Released February 5th
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Freeverse has announced that Neon Tango will be released February 5th. The game is an action shooter which gives players a chance to pilot a cybership against the forces of chaos. The game will feature 50 stages, state-of-the-art OpenGL graphics, and a soundtrack from Digital Droo.

Cinch up your britches and loosen your collar, because you're about to go for a ride!  Freeverse is announcing that Neon Tango, an original game for the Mac will be released on February 5th.  Attendees of MacWorld Expo will be granted the first chance to to get their hands on this highly anticipated new game.  For those interested in sampling this neon-flavored delicacy, a fully playable version of the game will be available all week at Freeverse's booth (Booth #1243, South Hall) as well as the MacWorld Game Arena.  Come by and give it a whirl!

Neon Tango is a psychedelic arcade shooter with thrilling action, eye-popping visuals, and a spoonful of retro sprinkled on top. Conceived with a gorgeous minimalism, Neon Tango licks the shoot-em-up genre down to its chewy abstract center.

Launch your cybership into battle against the forces of chaos across 50 stages of bitmapped treachery, overflowing with glowing enemies and pulsating bosses. State of the art OpenGL graphics and a killer soundtrack from Digital Droo dazzle the senses, while the built-in online scoring lets you mock your friends as you beat their hi-scores like a Bulgarian circus monkey. Each arcade-packed wave offers a brand new way to play, thanks to unique enemies and clever levels. Get tricky by bouncing your shots off of walls and enemies as you charge up your cannon to deliver massive energy blasts. Dodge the forces of entropy by stopping time or activating your hyper thrusters.

Ian Lynch Smith, president of Freeverse, said "I get so excited playing this game that my fingers twitch for hours afterwards.  If that isn't a sign of how great a game it is, I don't know what is."
Neon Tango will be available for $24.95. Screenshots and more are available from Freeverse's website at the link below.

Neon Tango

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Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare Available For Mac
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story and Gogii Games are proud to announce the release of Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare for the Macintosh. The best-selling Windows game is now available for Mac users. Players must help Flora Dale recover her memory in this mind/puzzle game.

Attempted murder victim Flora Dale wakes up briefly as she is rushed into the ER. Uncertain of how she got there, and unable to gather enough strength, she is unable to tell the doctors anything and quickly falls into a deep coma. As she lies trapped in her mind she begins a incredible adventure piecing together the puzzles and mystery that reveal clues about her life, her day, and what led up to the events which put her here. Will she solve the mystery? Will she wake up in time to name her attacker?

- 30 complex mind/puzzle games to solve
- 20 stunning puzzle scenes to find and complete
- Beautiful sound track and dialogue to engage you
- Hours and hours of game play to keep you entertained
Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare for the Mac is available for $19.95 through The game requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. A free 60 minute trial Universal Binary demo version of the game is available for download.

Mac Games News for Friday, January 11, 2008

Inside Mac Games Reviews Babysitting Mania4:09 PM
Apple: Video Card Compatibility List For Mac Pro2:27 PM
Apple Adds GeForce 8800 GT To Online Store6:00 AM
Barefeats: Mac Pro Buying Advice - 2600 XT VS. 8800 GT6:00 AM
Bomberman For iPod Reviewed6:00 AM
Custer Rocks On6:00 AM
First BlizzCast Released6:00 AM
Imagine Poker 3 Now Available6:00 AM
Sudoku: Latin Squares Released For Mac6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 11, 2008 on one page

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