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Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Apple Games Features Jeopardy! & Wheel Of Fortune
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature article enters the puzzle action with Jeopardy! Deluxe and Wheel of Fortune Deluxe. The games give players the chance to participate in the challenges from the popular television game shows and features different game modes and difficulty levels. Apple Game's article includes an overview of both titles as well as a history of both game shows.

Both recreate those classic game shows on your Mac, complete with realistic gameplay, authentic sound effects, and true-to-life versions of their sets, including Wheel of Fortune’s ability to play in venues across the United States. And with three levels of difficulty for computer-controlled opponents, you’re sure to meet your match whether you enjoy answering trivia statements with a question, solving word puzzles, or both.

Create your avatar and get ready for solo or multi-player competition; the latter lets you compete against computer-controlled adversaries or friends who join you at the keyboard. You can create up to 10 identities, each with a variety of historical statistics, such as percentage correct and Daily Doubles solved in Jeopardy! and total cash and jackpots won in Wheel of Fortune. Each game also features many trophies to collect, including the Final Fanatic! for winning the Final Jeopardy! round 20 times and the Wheel Wizard for the 150th Wheel of Fortune game completed.
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Apple Games: Jeopardy! Deluxe & Wheel Of Fortune Deluxe

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iPhone Sudoku Shootout
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted another review article examining some of the many new titles available for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. This time the Game Room offers an overview of three sudoku titles: Hudson Entertainment's Sudoku Volume 1, Freeverse's Big Bang Sudoku, and EA's Sudoku. The puzzle titles received scores of 4, 3.5, and 4 mice, respectively.

If you’re a fan of Sudoku, which do you buy? Unfortunately, the current state of the App Store doesn’t allow for demo versions of software, leaving you to take a wild guess based on a short description and a few screenshots. But Macworld is here to help: I tested every iPhone Sudoku app and picked out those worthy of your iPhone’s screen. (It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.)

Each of the three versions that made it through my screening process, and are covered here, satisfy the following requirements:

• Uses a standard 9-by-9-cell grid of numbers with nine square (3-by-3-cell) regions. (Some Sudoku variants break the standard 9-by-9 grid into non-square geometric areas, or use colors or images instead of numbers.)
• Includes puzzles with only a single solution.
• Provides a way to note (or “pencil in”) the possible values for each square as you solve a puzzle. (These markings are often called notations .)
• Offers good usability: easy-to-use input methods, clear controls, and readable graphics. (For example, a couple Sudoku apps that didn’t make the cut satisfied most criteria, but their methods for making notations obscured other parts of the puzzle.)
• Includes puzzles for multiple skill levels.

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Macworld's Game Room: Sudoku iPhone Review

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First Look At Star Wars: The Force Unleashed For iPhone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gizmodo has posted a short preview of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, in development at THQ and scheduled to be released for Apple's iPhone in September. The action game features 2D graphics and Force power controls tailored to the iPhone's touch sensitive control system.

Force Unleashed really is a pretty game. Crystal clear 2D backdrops give the levels a lot of pizzazz despite that they are, you know, 2D. And lightsabers glow properly on the screen.

But where we'd hoped to run around and slice our foes with laser swords, the mechanics never gave us a chance. Much like the classic PC series Rebel Assault, you don't actually move your character through rooms. Instead, you reflect your foes' laser shots with properly timed/angled swipes of the finger and activating force powers (like throwing baddies or electrocuting them) by drawing out symbols on the screen.

As lame as this may sound on paper, the battles can grow enjoyably hectic as you block fire and toss your enemies aside. And it's all promised to be backed by the same soundtrack we'll hear in the Xbox/PS3 versions of the Force Unleashed (we just heard placeholder music during our hands-on).

To read more head over to the page linked below.

Gizmodo: iPhone, Meet The Force Unleashed

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 41
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The 41st StarCraft II Q&A batch is now available on Blizzard Entertainment's official forums. This time the Q&A includes an in-depth look at changes to Vespene Gas gathering as well as the usual set of answers to fan questions. StarCraft II will continue the storyline of the popular franchise and give multiplayer fans new challenges to enjoy.

5. In many cases, the micromanagement of units in StarCraft revolved around gameplay mechanics (Dragoon dance, Mutalisk stacking, Reaver/Shuttle micro, etc.), rather than special abilities with cooldown/charges (Stalker's Blink, Phoenix's Overload, etc.).
Is the amount of this kind of special abilities in SC2 a concern of Blizzard, and how would this affect the overall gameplay?

Players will still have dependence on both gameplay mechanics as well as special abilities. For instance, Stalkers will have the basic dancing mechanic as Dragoons had in the original StarCraft. Marauders are another unit highly dependent on micromanagement to get the most effectiveness out of the unit, making sure you use their attacks slowing effect at opportune times.
Though for StarCraft II, we are introducing much more positional micromanagement, which will amplify units damage significantly. A Colossus will fire in a line and lining up that radius with the enemy units will be crucial in battles. Flanking Jackals from multiple angles will surely add to its potency as well.
Overall, we definitely want to balance the game with both plenty of gameplay mechanics as well as special abilities that create opportunities for the players to initiate clever strategies as well as innovative maneuvers on the battlefield.

6. Terrans currently appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of troop mobility, (as compared to 'Warp-in' and 'Nydus Worm') are there any plans to bring back the, 'drop-pod' or other new transport mechanic?
Actually, we consider the Terran side to be quite mobile. Let us first look at the Reapers. This unit is the fastest ground unit in the game which traverses terrain without even having a spotter. In addition, the Medivac Dropships, allow added mobility to all Terran ground units. With the addition of the Dropship being able to heal, it has become even more of a staple in Terran strategies, giving even more increased incentive for players to build Dropships than the original StarCraft. On top of this, Vikings providing both ground and air support at a click of a button, gives that added support of mobility and options when moving a Terran army around.
The method in which Terran will be mobile is indeed different than Warp-in and Nydus Worm, though they are not considered less mobile than the other races.

Read the rest by click on the link listed below.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 41
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC 2 Questions Here
StarCraft Forums: Q&A Archive
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Europa Universalis Coming To The iPhone2:46 PM
IMG Reviews Real Estate Empire9:38 AM
Bioware Celebrates 4 Million Registered Members6:00 AM
EA To Publish id's Rage6:00 AM
Super Monkey Ball Developer Opens iPhone Division6:00 AM
Venture Arctic Released For Mac OS X6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 16, 2008 on one page

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