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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

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WALL•E Ships To Retail Stores
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

THQ has announced that WALL•E, the video game based on the Disney/Pixar film, has shipped into retail outlets throughout North America for a variety of platforms including Mac OS X.

Developed by Heavy Iron Studios, the game lets players take control of WALL •E and EVE in a fast-paced adventure based on the upcoming film. The game gives fans the chance to relive some of the movie’s memorable moments as they explore more than nine massive environments filled with action and adventure or engage in head-to-head multiplayer challenges. Players will recognize the storyline, characters and key locations from the WALL•E film as they carry out intense missions, dodge dangerous enemies and navigate their way through a futuristic world. In addition, the game contains new storylines and environments that movie-goers will not see in theaters. WALL •E also features movie voice talent, including Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Academy Award winning sound designer Ben Burtt.

THQ ’s long-running and successful relationship with Disney/Pixar has achieved shipments of more than 35 million units worldwide. The launch of WALL •E marks the second installment in the company ’s well-established and successful association with Disney/Pixar, which includes rights to create games based on four newly created Disney/Pixar film properties. Last year ’s Ratatouille video game was the first property released by THQ under this agreement and was a top performing kids title in 2007.

About the WALL•E Movie:
What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off?

After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet ’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen.

Joining WALL•E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

WALL•E will also be made available worldwide in more than 69 countries including UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia over the coming months. The game is rated E for everyone and is now available for the suggested retail price of $19.99.


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Apple Games Features WALL•E
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature enters the robotic world of WALL•E, the recently released video game adaptation of Pixar's upcoming animated movie. In the game players take control of WALL•E and EVE in a fast paced adventure based on the film. Apple's article features an overview of the game with comments from production director Kevin Pope. Also included are sidebar examinations of the game's sound, hidden surprises, and items WALL•E can find along the way.

“We came up with the design for the trash cubes and explored what could be done with them,” the production director recalls. “We ended up expanding that idea with the concept that WALL•E could make different types of cubes based on what’s in the trash he crushes. So WALL•E has the ability to create regular, magnetic, or explosive cubes and solve some fantastic puzzles. WALL•E himself is actually a physics object, and we really take advantage of that in the game.”

He notes that the game’s story “follows the broad brushstrokes of the movie and expands on areas only hinted at in the film. It also features some unique areas that our designers drew inspiration from. Our approach was to look at the characters’ main motivations in the movie and see how we could derive game mechanics from them, as well as understand how level designs would work, based on the worlds described in the movie and some of its big moments.”
Check out the entire feature at the link below.

Apple Games: WALL•E

Discussing The Success Of Phase For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent speech at the Paris Game Developers Conference, Harmonix's Chris Foster outlined the production of Phase for iPod. In the discussion Foster related the importance of understanding and embracing the constraints of the iPod, as well as designing specifically for casual game oriented iPod owners.

Key to the game's success, he said, was constant iterating and accepting the constraints of the Apple handheld.

"Embrace your platform's limitations and audience. Don't try to cram in ideas that are not suitable," he said, pointing out that much of the success of Phase's gameplay came not from its clever use of using players' music, but from designing something that took advantage of ""the pleasantly tactile" thumbwheel on the iPod.

He added: "Design is making bad decisions in pursuit of good ones. It's about making a bad decision and sticking with it until you get to the right one. It can be emotionally draining, but that's what leads you to the things that are good, unique and right."
Head over to the Develop Magazine site below to read more of his comments.

DevelopMag: iPod Phase Discussion

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Supernova 2: Spacewar Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Out of Eight recently posted a new review of Tycoon Games' Supernova 2: Spacewar. The turn-based space wargame puts players in control of a spacefaring empire and challenges them to manage resources, research new technologies, build a fleet, and engage in space combat. Out of Eight gave the game a score of 4 out of 8.

From the review:

Supernova 2: Spacewar features clear-cut resource management through a slider system. You will need to assign your population to one of six jobs: politicians, officers, soldiers, scientists, engineers, civilians. Each occupation has a primary and secondary effect; for example, politicians increase loyalty and add a tribute to your treasury each turn. The distribution of your people affects loyalty, training, maximum units, research, population growth, income, view range, hit points, speed, and production rate. You obviously can’t excel in every area, so you will need to choose the area most important for your current goals. A lot of turns are spent simply waiting for resources to accumulate, so the initial game is not very well balanced.

There are a number of technologies to choose from. These range from generic techs that increase research rates or resource collection to specific weapons, armors, and ships. There is no real reason to do anything other than the generic and ship categories, since you cannot customize your ship designs. Luckily, all of the prerequisite technologies for each ship will automatically be queued for you (which, sadly, is the best aspect of the game), but the techs used in each ship are hard-coded and cannot be changed, even if you research an upgraded version of the same technology. While you can choose your own path in dealing with the technology tree, since you should really only choose ships, this potential freedom is hindered.
Head over to the page linked below to read the rest of the review.

Out Of Eight: Supernova 2 Spacewar Review

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IMG Reviews The Movies: Stunts & Effects7:28 AM
Apple Games Features The Sims DJ For iPod6:00 AM
Dwarf Fortress Now Available For Macs6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: Modules & Languages6:00 AM
Martians Vs. Robots Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 24, 2008 on one page

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