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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spore Origins Released For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Spore Origins, the iPod incarnation of Will Wright's latest sim franchise, is now available for download from Apple's iTunes store. Developed by Tricky Software, Origins players guide their spore creature through the primordial ooze on a quest to evolve and survive. The game features four game modes, 18 levels, six unique worlds, and a one-finger control scheme.

Eat or be eaten when you play SPORE Origins on your iPod. Guide your spore through its evolution and shape its destiny. Devour smaller creatures, explore primordial worlds filled with bizarre organisms, and avoid larger, lethal life forms. Grow from single-cell to complex predator as you rise through levels. Customize your spore, and watch it move to tunes in your iPod. Battle friends by importing their spore into your iPod form the Sporepedia website. Based on the new game from the creator of the Sims!

From the creator of the Sims! An original action-puzzle game based on the highly anticipated SPORE PC Game
Create and control the evolution of your spore in four game modes
Guide the action with a simple, one-finger control scheme
Immerse yourself in a vibrant, primordial world as you play to survive
Explore and enjoy a vast universe, spanning 18 levels and six unique worlds
Battle your friends' spores by importing them into your iPod via the SPorepedia website
Watch the action unfold in the two-hour story mode, with replay-ability, stats, and secrets
Unique Aquarium mode integrates your iTunes Store purchases

Spore Origins costs $4.99 and is compatible with 3rd generation iPod nanos, iPod classics, and 5th generation iPods. For more information head over to the iTunes page at the link below.

iTunes Store: SPORE Origins
Tricky Software

Star Trigon Now Available For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Namco Networks America has released Star Trigon for Apple's iPod multimedia device. Now available for download from the iTunes store, the game gives players the task of rescuing Uchujin's from the depths of outer space. It features 79 stages, three unique playable characters, and a variety of power-ups.

It's an intergalactic emergency! Help the Star Trigon Team rescue the traveling Uchujin from drifting aimlessly in space. With their special rescue technique, members of the Star Trigon team hop from planet to planet to form Trigons. Save all of the Uchujins before your air supply runs out! With three unique rescue team members to choose from, four difficulty levels, and 79 different stages, your outer space adventure never ends.

Intuitive and addictive game play that is simple to learn, but tough to master
79 different stages spread across four difficulty levels: beginner, easy, normal, and maniac.
Three unique character to master, each with their own different set of attributes
A whole new world of fun and vibrant intergalactic graphics
Enjoy the upbeat soundtrack or listen to your own iTunes library during game play
Navigate the dangers of outer space and watch out for flares and black holes; interact with various types of planets, such as Toxic, Ice, and Sand
Collect different power-up items to make your Trigons stronger or longer lasting, increase your speed, and replenish your air supply
Unlockable content includes never-before-seen levels and the classic hero, Dig Dug.
Star Trigon costs $4.99 and is compatible with 3rd generation iPod nanos, iPod classics, and 5th generation iPods. Follow the link below for more information.

iTunes Store: Star Trigon

Click to enlarge
Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameSpot and IGN have posted new previews of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two. Based on the characters from the Penny Arcade comic strip, the latest chapter in the episodic adventure game allows players to continue the adventure with Tycho and Gabe.

From GameSpot:

From a content standpoint, Episode Two follows the same basic model as the original game. You'll venture to different locations and interact with characters, solve puzzles, collect items, fight a bunch of eccentric foes, earn experience, and level up. However, this time out Hothead has tweaked a few things based on feedback on the original game. The first big tweak is the addition of selectable difficulty levels and an even more challenging, unlockable "insane" mode. Combat has been tweaked, with the various minigames for character special attacks being changed up some. There have also been some changes to weapons: Tycho now rolls with a shotgun, while your character has lost the lowly rake and gained a hoe. While Gabriel still hits things with his fists, there are new upgrades to be gained as your characters level. The game will also feature some subtle additions to the mix in the form of more cues to help players. For instance, the flashes during combat that alerted you to block will now also flash the word "block" on your opponent's life bar. You'll also hear audio chimes when your support character's special attacks are ready.

In terms of visuals, Episode Two is on par with the previous installment in the series. The character editor for your custom character has gained new parts for you to trick out different elements of your virtual self. The new parts can be used on preexisting characters that you import off the save date from the previous game or if you start a new game. The 3D models based on the Penny Arcade artwork look sharp and have the same whimsical design sense. The new rich folk that you beat up look suitably snooty, and the spider enemies look menacing in the right ways.
From IGN:
All three characters have new special attack mini-games. These are very similar to the originals, but have been updated slightly to offer more challenge. Your character's special attack sets two green zones on opposite ends of a meter. A dial swings left and right like a metronome. Hit the proper button when the dial is in a green zone to speed it up and add more damage to the attack. Simple, but more challenging as you upgrade the power, which decreases the green zone and bumps up the speed. Tycho's attack has you pressing correct buttons when fruit f***ers pop up on screen. Just be careful not to hit a button when a non-robot appears or you get dinged. Gabe's is a bit of a rhythm challenge, as a pair of button combos (Left Bumper and Right Bumper on Xbox 360) float up the screen and into a small box. Hit the right button as the icon passes by. Easy, sure, but much tougher with the upgraded versions of this attack.

Episode Two promises more puzzle elements than Ep. One. This promise is delivered fairly early on when your character goes crazy. The battle with your sanity takes place in a brand new mini-game. The Brain Game is a three-tier puzzle game, where you must electroshock the insanity from your gray matter. Your brain stem sends out pulses that heal your noggin. But it's up to you to turn the hexagonal pieces of your brain to create a path for this electrical flow to reach various parts of your brain. Shock a section once and it turns red, meaning it's a battleground for your sanity. Leave it red for too long and the neighboring crazy sections of your brain will corrupt it again. Shock an area a few times and it turns white, meaning it's healed for good.
Visit the sites below to read the rest of the previews.

GameSpot: Penny Arcade Adventures Preview
IGN: Penny Arcade Adventures Preview
Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

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Ford Racing 2 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Applelinks has posted a new review of Ford Racing 2 version 1.1. The game, brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, allows players to race using a variety of Ford vehicles from the 40's to modern times. Applelinks recommended the game to anyone with an interest in Ford vehicles and racing action.

From the review:

I'm really impressed with the in depth and variety of what's available in Ford Racing 2. Notwithstanding my PowerBook's hardware mediocrity that today's standards, I didn't notice any hiccups in the animation playback even at the full-screen 1440 x 900 resolution (lower resolutions are optional), although I did manage to hard crash the program once on my first outing.

The graphics are impressive with dust, reflections on the cars, sparks when your vehicle scrapes a guardrail (a feature I "tested" regularly! - although the cars don't register damage - mine would have looked as if they were emerging from a demolition derby, especially early on) and other realism-enhancing effects. The crisply and vividly rendered, fill-3D scenery in the various themes themselves is always very good and often spectacular. The authenticity of vehicle details is excellent as well.
Read the entire review at the link below.

Applelinks: Ford Racing 2
Feral Interactive
Ford Racing 2
Buy Ford Racing 2

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blizzard Offers Game Themed Ringtones, Wallpapers6:00 AM
Dominions 3: The Awakening Updated6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: More On Gender Differences6:00 AM
EVE Online Expansion Details Revealed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 2, 2008 on one page

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