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Monday, February 4, 2008

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Return To Dark Castle Gameplay Video Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

A new gameplay video is now available for Return to Dark Castle, the long awaited third installment in the classic Dark Castle series. Developed by Z Sculpt Entertainment and published by Super Happy Fun Fun, the game is nearing release. Recent updates to the official websites reveal that the game is "done" and will be available "very soon."

Return to Dark Castle once again sends players, this time in the form of a new hero, into the Dark Castle to vanquish the Black Knight and his evil minions. The game will feature over 50 levels - including 30 remastered levels from Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle, both familiar and all new foes, new weapons, new powerups, random labyrinths and mazes, a level editor, and customizable costumes.

In a time of magic and mythical beasts, the ominous Dark Castle glows eerily under the full moon.
For centuries, the evil Black Knight has dwelled within these walls, spreading fear over the once peaceful countryside.
All seemed hopeless until one day, a traveler from a faraway land wandered into the peasant village.
He called himself Prince Duncan, and told the townspeople he had come on a quest to vanquish the Black Knight.
Overjoyed that peace might finally be restored to their land, they cheered as Duncan set off toward the castle.
But alas, their hero never returned from his valiant quest.
Tales of his bravery were all that were spoken of Dark Castle for many years.... Until now.
A new hero has arrived, ready to face the perils of the castle and destroy the cruel Black Knight once and for all.
Follow the links below to check out the new video and learn more about the game.

SHFF: Return To Dark Castle
Return to Dark Castle
Dark Castle Forum
Z Sculpt
Buy Return to Dark Castle

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Pondering Peggle: PopCap Games Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has published a new interview with PopCap Games' co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Jason Kapalka. The Q&A covers a variety of topics about the casual games developer including the success of Peggle, developing casual games, and the company's future projects.

RPS - To more avid gamers, you’re most known as the Peggle company. Does that bother you at all? Are there others games in your stable you feel deserve a similar profile?
JK - We would argue that most consumers, even hardcore gamers, continue to recognize PopCap more for Bejeweled – and to some extent, even Zuma – than for Peggle, given that Peggle’s only been on the market for 11 months. The fact is, hardcore gamers are just more devoted gamers; they WILL play casual games if given the opportunity. We hear from hardcore gamers all the time who say that they play Bejeweled or Chuzzle or others of our games between sessions of Halo or WoW or etc. As far as ‘twitch-type’ games, Heavy Weapon and Hammer Heads are both fun, fast gaming experiences that anyone, hardcore gamers included, can enjoy. Beyond those, it’s largely about personal preference; someone who finds Peggle boring may well fall in love with Zuma or Bookworm, and vice versa.

RPS - What can we expect from Peggle Nights? Is it primarily more Peggle levels and powers, or will there be significant changes to the game itself?
JK - Peggle Nights will be a pretty straightforward ‘sequel’ to the original Peggle, with the primary points of appeal being dozens and dozens of new levels, one additional power-up/Peggle master, and some new kinds of challenges. Beyond that, Peggle Nights will appeal to existing Peggle fans because it will expand on the personalities of the Peggle Masters… each Master will ‘host’ 5 new levels that reflect that Master’s personality – in a dream-like context.
Click over to the site below to the rest of the interview.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: PopCap Games Interview
PopCap Games
Buy Peggle

Pole Position Remix Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of Pole Position: Remix, one of several new titles recently released for Apple's iPod. The game gives players the chance to experience the arcade racing action of the original. The Game Room gave Pole Position a score of 2 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

But what ultimately kills Pole Position is the same thing that worked against Sega’s recent release of Sonic the Hedgehog for iPod: the control scheme.

Using the iPod’s Click Wheel seems like, on the surface, a perfect input scheme for a driving game. Just like a steering wheel, you move your thumb clockwise to steer right and counter clockwise to steer left. Unfortunately, there’s no gas pedal or brake available on the iPod. Pole Position counts on you removing your thumb from the Click Wheel when you want to decelerate and keeping it on the Click Wheel to accelerate. If you’re operating a manual transmission, you tap the Center Button to toggle between gears (helpful to control the car through hairpin turns, by the way).

This makes the game very sensitive to finger movement, and it also means you have to remove your thumb from the control surface whenever you want to modulate your speed. That action makes it really, really difficult, if not impossible, to effectively control the vehicle, especially in heavy traffic or in situations where you have to respond quickly to hazards like water on the track—which come up quickly, especially at 200 miles per hour. And trying to use two thumbs to do it is even worse.
Head over to the link provided below to read the rest of the review.

Macworld's Game Room: Pole Position Remix Review

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Apple Games Features Game Franchise Histories
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games recently added a history section to the site, giving readers a chance to review the beginnings of some of the most popular game franchises currently available. Some of the game series featured include Blizzard's popular offerings, The Sims series, and Sid Meier's Civilization empire.

“You are challenged to build an empire that stands the test of time,” says the manual for the first entry in the Civilization series of games, which debuted in 1991. Legendary developer Sid Meier created the game for MicroProse, the company he co-founded in 1982. As in its sequels, a Civilization session begins with each player in control of a single settler but gradually grows more complex as the participants acquire more territory, develop their technology, and eventually bump into the neighbors. Players do not have to engage in warfare to win the game.

That basic template has served the series well, through Civilization III and its Conquests and Play the World expansion packs, as well as Civilization IV and its Warlords expansion pack. However, each edition features tweaks to the gameplay, such as Civilization III’s bargaining table for crafting diplomatic agreements and Civilization IV’s Great People, who confer a variety of powerful bonuses. Civilization IV also guided the series into the realm of 3D graphics.

Civilization the turn-based computer strategy game bears some resemblance to Civilization the board game, which Avalon Hill published in 1981, although Meier has said that he had only passing familiarity with it. While both games emphasized building an empire from nothing and advancing through a technology tree along the way, the board version didn’t progress into the modern age (one way to win the videogame is to build a spaceship and blast off for Alpha Centauri, which is a nod to another Meier game) and featured more linear gameplay.
To read more follow the link provided below.

Apple Games: Game Histories

Mac Games News for Friday, February 1, 2008

IMG: Unreal Tournament 3 First Look, Fairy Treasure Review7:56 AM Launches6:00 AM
Bomberman For iPod Reviewed6:00 AM
Mark Rein Discusses Unreal Tournament 36:00 AM
The Broken Hourglass Q&A6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 1, 2008 on one page

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