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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pole Position Remix Available For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Apple has released Pole Position Remix, another new game title available for owners of iPod multimedia devices. Compatible with 3rd generation nanos, iPod classics, and 5th generation iPods, the game features the classic arcade racing action of the original along with four race types, the ability to use your own music as the game's soundtrack, and a variety of unlockable content.

Prepare to qualify! Race to the finish line in Namco's classic arcade racer, Pole Position, remixed for the iPod. Avoid hitting cars, billboards, and other obstacles and downshift to make hairpin turns without careening off the tracks. Points are awarded for the distance you travel and for each enemy car you pass. Race well to unlock additional tracks, cards, billboards, and more.

• High-speed arcade racing with speeds in excess of 200 mph
• Race on five unique, 3-D tracks
• Navigate through road hazards such as oil slicks, puddles, and enemy cars
• Choose from four race types: Practice, Single Race, Grand Prix, and Sudden Death
• Listen to game music or your own music as you race
• Race past billboards based on your personal music collection
• Race well to unlock additional content, such as themed graphics, player cars, and mirrored and reversed versions of tracks
• Experience fireball wipeouts complete with flying debris

Pole Position Remix costs $4.99 and is available from the iTunes store. Click the link below for more information.

Pole Position Remix

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Eschalon: Book 1 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamebanshee recently posted an in depth review of Basilisk Games RPG, Eschalon: Book I. Inspired by classics of the RPG genre, Book I challenges players to uncover the mysterious past of their character while exploring dangerous outdoor environments and treacherous dungeon depths. Gamebanshee gave the game a score of 7.6 out of 10.

From the review:

Combat in Eschalon: Book I is simple, straightforward, and effective. There are no GURPS-style attacks on individual body parts, or scaled attacks that bring with them various chances of accuracy, damage, and possible defense. You use a weapon (one of two you can keep ready and switch between with a click), and you’re told if your attack succeeded, or failed. If it did damage, you find out how much. I don’t have any problem with this simplicity, which was the standard back in the days of third person, turn-based RPGs (always allowing for a few exceptions, like Origin Systems’ clumsy but fascinating Knights of Legend). Especially as Basilisk has placed some sneakily effective strategic elements that can influence battle—such as the occasional portcullis that can be sent crashing down on the bodies of your enemies, or powerful, friendly NPCs that you can lure attackers back to. Too bad there aren’t more, because each outside battle area and every dungeon eventually becomes monotonous. Too many attacks are simple, direct combat situations with one type of enemy, in very similar surroundings. You end up killing two, three or four of that creature, sleeping to regain lost health and mana, killing again, and sleeping again, with few physical puzzles and none that require thought.

Enemies are well chosen and varied throughout the game, but exhibit only moderately effective AI. Some will move back and forth one square on the other side of a fence while you fill them full of arrows, until they die. Archers don’t scamper away when you approach them with a melee weapon drawn. There are no signs of enemies supporting one another with spells, as happened to such striking effect in Wizardry 8. Each dungeon is logically and cleverly designed according to a specific purpose, with various areas that make sense in context: so you won’t expect to find a library in an ordinary mine. All dungeons are also single level, but the fixed rewards you find (as opposed to the randomized ones) are not out of keeping with what you might figure on acquiring, given the level of difficulty.

To read the rest of the review head over to the site at the link below.

Gamebanshee: Eschalon Book I Review
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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UFO: Alien Invasion Released For Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

The team behind the open source UFO: Alien Invasion recently released the Mac edition of version 2.2 of the game. Alien Invasion is a squad-based tactical strategy game in the tradition of the X-COM series. It gives players the chance combat an alien invasion through skillful resource management and tactical combat with the otherworldly invaders.

UFO: ALIEN INVASION combines military realism with hard science-fiction and the weirdness of an alien invasion. The carefully constructed turn-based system gives you pin-point control of your squad while maintaining a sense of pace and danger.

Over the long term you will need to conduct research into the alien threat to figure out their mysterious goals and use their powerful weapons for your own ends. You will produce unique items and use them in combat against your enemies. If you like, you can even use them against your friends with our multiplayer functionality.

The game takes a lot of inspiration from the X-COM series by Mythos and Microprose. However, it's neither a sequel nor a remake of any X-COM or other commercial title. What we as a team wanted to make is a brand new experience that tries to surpass the quality of games from 1992, rather than simply recreate them with flashier graphics.

We also believe that open-source projects don't need to be disorganised or badly-managed. We work together in a friendly and professional way, with a clear vision for a game that we know is worth playing.
UFO: Alien Invasion is free to download and play. Follow the links below for more information.

UFO Alien Invasion

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Will Wright Discusses The Sims
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently had the chance to interview legendary game designer Will Wright about The Sims, the popular simulation of digital people. The interview covers a variety of topics including discussion of the game's origin, development process, difficulties encountered, and its overwhelming success.

As the future best selling PC game ever, it was immediately embraced by the corporate culture and… actually, no. In fact, the Sims almost died at birth. “We had a focus group back in 1993. And it tested very badly,” Will remembers, “No-one liked it at all, and was the worst idea out of the four we presented that night.” Will Wright went over to Sim City 2000 to work on that, and the Sims were forgotten until around 96, where Will managed to secure a small team. “I got one programmer and one behavioural modeller, and did a couple other things like SimCopter,” he says, “I didn’t really get back to the Sims until 96 or 97. We had a few guys on it, working on the behaviour.”

“It was a battle, the first few years, inside Maxis,” Will mentions, “It was referred to as “The Toilet game”. It was the game where you clean the toilet. We had a product review meeting at Maxis where we had to decide whether we’d publish this thing or not… and the executive said “No, let’s do that”.” So the Sims was over… except Will Wright secured the services of a tools programmer who wasn’t doing anything and worked secretly on the game. “No-body was using his tools, and they were thinking of axing him,” says Will, “I trundled him into my Black Box – so to speak – and did a little Skunk-works.”
Check out the rest of the article at the link provided below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: The Sims Interview
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

Mac Games News for Monday, January 21, 2008

Encore Ships Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune Mac1:24 PM
Inside Mac Games Reviews Galder12:54 PM
Kill Monty Goes Universal6:00 AM
Leopard Update For BOOM6:00 AM
Macworld.Ars: The Death and Life of Apple Gaming6:00 AM
Mystery In London Available For Macs6:00 AM
Win A Multi-License CD For Eschalon: Book I6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 21, 2008 on one page

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