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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

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Square Enix's Song Summoner Released For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

The latest title for Apple's iPod comes to the handheld multimedia device courtesy of Square Enix, the company responsible for the legendary Final Fantasy series. In the new Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes RPG players take the role of Ziggy, a young "Conductor" on a mission to rescue his brother from the evil Mechanical Militia. To succeed players must create "Tune Troopers" from the songs available in their library and do battle with the Militia in tactical combat.

More about the game:

The Unsung Heroes is a role-playing game that transforms the songs on your iPod into powerful "Tune Troopers" that you can control in battle! As the protagonist Ziggy, you will embark on an epic journey to rescue your brother from the clutches of the Mechanical Militia!

Intriguing characters, an epic story, and a tactics-based battle system combine for a rich role-playing game experience previously only available on home consoles. Witness the unique fusion of music and gameplay made possible on on the iPod.

• Transform the songs on your iPod into "Tune Troopers to combat the evil Mechanical Militia
• Tune Trooper types and abilities are determined by the songs used to create them.
• Create and train a multitude of Tune Troopers to form your own customized fighting force.
• Your Tune Troopers can be powered up even outside the game with Play Points, just by listening to the songs you used to create them.
• You control Ziggy, a "Conductor" that creates warriors out of music. you will guide him through his epic journey to save his brother Zero from the Mechanical Militia.
• The battle system is a turn-based tactics format, divided into player and enemy phases where each side takes turns maneuvering their forces.
• Deploy the right troopers at the right time, and use contraptions found on the map effectively to achieve victory in battle.
• Find buried treasures on the map to aid you in your adventures
• The click wheel based controls allow player to play the game as easily as selecting music.
Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes is available for download from the iTunes Store for $4.99. It is compatible with 3rd generation nanos, iPod Classics, and 5th generation iPods.

Click on the link below for more information.

Buy Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes

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IMG Reviews Heat of Fusion
9:26 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the indie shooter Heat of Fusion. Here's a clip from the review:

I wouldn't mind spending a lot of my time mashing a button if there was something to be gotten out of it. However, there isn't. The only thing that keeps you going is the high score table, and that only reflects the scores on your computer. Heat of Fusion does offer bonus and gun orbs, but they are predictably placed and there's only one of each per level. All the orbs look alike with the only difference being green for gun and blue for bonus. The green orb gives your gun one extra shot per button mash and never gives you anything interesting, like a missile battery or a raygun. The blue orbs give you exactly 2000 points and do little but entice you to lose one of your few lives.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Heat of Fusion
Heat of Fusion

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Home Sweet Home Comes To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Big Blue Bubble has announced the release of Home Sweet Home for Mac. The game allows players to "nurture their inner designers" as they design and build rooms for clients using hundreds of pieces of furniture and other accessories. The game includes 50 levels of designing challenge.

Now even more people will have a chance to experience the most creative and exciting home design game on the market: casual gaming hit, Home Sweet Home !

With over 4 million downloads to date, the long anticipated release of Home Sweet Home on the Mac is causing a stir in the casual games market. Using savvy design and quick thinking, you too will be building rooms in no time.

Home Sweet Home allows you to nurture your inner designer. Create the room of your clients’ dreams with hundreds of unique pieces of furniture and accessories across dozens of homes each with their own challenging riddle. Then, with deadlines looming, direct your build team to assemble it all in front of your eyes!

• Design and Build Phases, allowing for a limitless variety of rooms
• 50 Unique Levels
• 50 Challenging riddles
• Over 400 pieces of Furniture and Accessories
• Your very own Fully Customizable Room

Home Sweet Home now supports Mac OS X and is available for download at the website below.

Home Sweet Home
Big Blue Bubble

Freeverse Announces Plans For Over A Dozen iPhone Titles
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Freeverse has revealed plans to release more than a dozen game titles for iPhone and iPod Touch. Available immediately with the opening of the iTunes App Store will be Wingnuts Moto Racer, Big Bang Sudoku and the infamous, Jared: Butcher of Song.

In Wingnuts Moto Racer the player will chase evil cat-napping bikers through Andean mountains, desert highways and dangerous underground passages. Steer with the accelerometer and hit the "Punch!" button to fend-off the bad guys as the player races from checkpoint to checkpoint. As an original 3D racing game made specifically for the iPhone, (not a "port" from another platform), Moto Racer truly showcases the power of the iPhone. Moto Racer will be available from the iTunes App Store at launch for $9.99.

Big Bang Sudoku is the first game in the wildly popular "Big Bang" series to come to the iPhone. Over 10,000 puzzles, 4 levels of difficulty and crazy pyrotechnics set Big Bang Sudoku apart. Developed by people who ride the NYC subway, Big Bang Sudoku has been designed for easy one-handed play, and will be available from the iTunes App Store at launch for only $4.99.

Jared: Butcher of Song may have the distinction of being the only app to be available for Mac OS 7, 8, 9, OS X, the Apple Newton and now, the Apple iPhone! This poorly drawn smiley face sings off-key in the worst spanish ever recorded. He's an affront to the senses, to good taste, perhaps to civilization itself, but he's a Mac classic and kinda cute too. Jared: Butcher of Song will be available from the iTunes App Store at launch. And he'll be free.

Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse, has said "We are thrilled to have our titles launched together with the iTunes App Store. Wingnuts Moto Racer, Big Bang Sudoku and Jared: Butcher of Song are just the tip of the iceberg of what we have planned for the iPhone. I don't think our team has ever been this excited about a platform."

Freeverse also announced that the following games are in development for iPhone and iPod Touch and should be available by September:
Big Bang Chess - Winner of an Apple Design Award, this title will be familiar to many Mac users. Big Bang Chess has been re-imagined for iPhone with great graphics and support for Multiplayer (push) play.
Flick Sports - Flick Baseball, Soccer, Bowling, and Golf make perfect use of the multi-touch capabilities unique to the iPhone, allowing you to experience these sports in a whole new way.
3D Card Games - Bridge, Spades, Hearts, Euchre, Pitch-Setback, and Crazy 8's: These classic card games come with fun characters, beautiful graphics and support for all of the most popular rule variations. These games will make real cards obsolete.
In addition to the titles listed above, Freeverse has several other unannounced games and applications in active development. Follow the link below for more information.

Freeverse iPhone Preview Site

id's Todd Hollenshead Discusses Apple's History With Games
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent interview posted on Kikizo, id Software's Todd Hollenshead discussed Apple's level of commitment to gaming. The interview, which focuses on the upcoming Rage and the id Tech 5 engine, includes Hollenshead's perspective on Apple's gaming history and the potential for greater support from the company in the future.

Kikizo: When we last spoke to Gabe Newell, one of the interesting things we discussed was the Mac. His view is that the people in charge of games at Apple change jobs every couple years and that there's no consistency or they don't take it seriously enough. But here we see you have this running perfectly on Mac. Would you agree with his comments on Apple gaming?
Todd: It's a true comment. I think historically, Gabe is absolutely right. The Apple guys will probably frown to hear me say that, but I mean there are facts and there are facts [laughs], and the fact is, that over the years Apple has shown an interest in gaming and then not followed through on it. Certainly our hope is that they are going to follow through. I do think they have made a significant investment... Jobs had a limited amount of time [at his WWDC 07 keynote] and John Carmack isn't the kind of guy who's going to get up on stage just to try and please Steve Jobs. John has his own ideas and he's his own guy, and even the persona of Steve Jobs isn't going to work on John very well, if at all! But if Steve had games on his show; not only did he give time to id, he gave time to EA, and I do think that it demonstrates at least a commitment at a high level to sharing the platform's face, if you will, with games.

But I mean, it is about the follow up. Now Apple was great to work with us; we were in some dialogue and they asked what we thought of having it on Mac, they sent some engineers down and they made a commitment about drivers and how they were going to support this stuff in the future, and I certainly hope they follow through on it, because with the hardware now, you're not having to deal with this weird Power PC architecture; they have Intel chips and all that stuff, and it does make it a whole lot easier for us to work with it. I don't think that they're hamstrung at a performance level - they don't have to create these weird Apple-only benchmarks.
Head over to the site below to read the full interview.

Kikizo: Todd Hollenshead Interview
id Software

Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kasino 2.0 Released6:00 AM
Multiwinia Hands-On Preview6:00 AM
The iPhone's Gaming Credentials6:00 AM
Thomas Riegsecker Begins A New Chapter In Eschalon Book II6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 8, 2008 on one page

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