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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Transgaming Partners With Oberon Media
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

TransGaming has announced an agreement with Oberon Media to license TransGaming’s SwiftShader graphics rendering software for use in its Dream Day casual game titles.  TransGaming also announced an agreement with Oberon to enable a selection of game titles from I-play, a division of Oberon Media, for Mac and distribute I-play’s Mac games at GameTree Online, TransGaming’s digital distribution portal.

“We are very pleased to expand our existing relationship with Oberon Media to include a variety of TransGaming’s industry leading technology solutions,” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming Technologies.  “Casual game publishers have begun to recognize the value of TransGaming's CiderTM Engine to bring their content quickly and efficiently to the growing Mac community.”

The partnership extends TransGaming's publishing and developer network and offers both parties a   chance to share in the growing market for casual titles on the Mac platform. Through the agreement, TransGaming will provide I-play with a SwiftShader license that will enhance I-play’s successful Dream Day franchise for a wide variety of Windows-PC systems.  TransGaming will also enable I-play content for the Mac, and distribute I-play Mac games at 

“Our relationship with TransGaming helps us to continue creating industry-leading games as well as bring more of our top titles to the growing number of casual gamers embracing the Mac experience,” said Don Ryan, Chief Operating Officer, Oberon Media, I-play’s parent company. “We look forward to working more closely with them as our partnership evolves.”
Follow the links below for more information.

GameTree Online

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IMG Reviews Agatha Christie: Peril and End House
1:47 PM | Marcus Albers | 2 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the hidden-object game Agatha Christie: Peril and End House from Oberon Media. The game, based on the famous Agatha Cristie character of Hercule Poirot, finds you conducting searches for objects and solving puzzles in order to solve the mystery at End House. Here's an excerpt from the review:

In the game’s main puzzle you must locate various objects in an image of a room. The room that you are shown is related to the story line of the mystery. The rooms contain all types of items. As you find the items, they are scratched from the list, until the list is complete. Once the room is complete, you acquire some information about one of the characters in the story. You may also search for an item specific to the story line as you search the room. The room (or area) image is cluttered with a variety of objects, some related to the space and some just random objects. Since the areas are used more then once, pay attention to what you see, it might save you time in a later search.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Agatha Christie: Peril and End House
Peril at End House
Oberon Media
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Top Chef Comes To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Macgamestore has announced that the digital download version of Top Chef: The Game is now available. Published by Brighter Minds Media, Top Chef: The Game invites fans of the show and food aficionados to test their skills against fellow chefs in a virtual kitchen. The game features 30 quickfire and 15 elimination challenges.

Whether you're a gourmet know-it-all or a culinary novice, you're invited into the Top Chef kitchen - and the competition is just heating up! Take on the role of a contestant, compete against a line-up of talented chefs, and have your dishes judged by the Host Padma Lakshmi and Head Judge Tom Colicchio. Cook your way through 30 Quickfire and 15 Elimination Challenges, choose from hundreds of ingredients to get the flavor combinations just right, and stay on top of your game - if you don't have what it takes, you could be asked to pack your knives and go!

* Find out if YOU have what it takes to be the next TOP CHEF!
* Complete 45 unique challenges to be the last chef standing
* Know your flavors and pick ingredients that not only fit the challenge, but will create a culinary masterpiece
* Race the clock! Any good chef knows that multitasking is a must in the kitchen
* At the Judge's Table, flavors and execution count. See if you make the cut!
Top Chef: The Game requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and a 1.2 GHz or faster machine. A free demo is available for download from Macgamestore. The full version costs $19.95 (USD) to register.

Buy Top Chef: The Game

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gameplanet has published a new review of Hothead Games' Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two. In the latest chapter in the series players rejoin Gabe and Tycho in a quest that moves ever closer to solving the mystery in the heart of New Arcadia. Gameplanet gave Episode 2 a score of 8.5 out of 10.

From the review:

The story itself is well written and amusing, and many of the characters that appear are lifted from the web-comics. Making guest appearances are Twisp and Catsby, and Charles DuBois. All of the characters you meet are somewhat outrageous, and you will even run into a certain mime from the first title. Gabe and Tycho are still equipped with the same weapons (gun and fists) and you still have your trusty rake from Episode One, although the upgrades you can unlock are different, and the attacks have been changed to keep the combat from becoming too repetitive. Episode Two of Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a delight and does an excellent job of furthering the story. It does feel shorter than the first however, and the story itself seems not as deep.

The enemies are almost as diverse this time around, and you will combat a number of various types. Gone are the hobos from Episode One, now we have the bourgeoisie who will use characteristic attacks including the old glove across the face trick. Then there are the sanatorium patients who will attack you whilst punching themselves in the heads.

One of our favourite aspects of the Penny Arcade games are the diverse and amusing animations that bring the characters to life, particularly in combat. These do repeat themselves a lot, which helps to gauge when to use your block abilities in combat, but they never cease to amuse. The combat is the same, with attacks recharging and unlocking greater attacks the more you wait before unleashing one.
Visit the site below to read the entire review.

Gameplanet: PAA Episode 2 Review
Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

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Diablo III: Preset Attributes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has posted a new article exploring aspects of Diablo III, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. The article examines Blizzard's decision to use preset character attributes in Diablo III rather than allow players to allocate points as they level up.

One of the most controversial features yet announced for Diablo III is a big change from how characters were created in the earlier games in the series. The character attributes, which are strength, dexterity, vitality, and willpower in Diablo III, will be automatically placed when your character levels up. Attribute points still exist, and the values are displayed in the character window, but you don’t set them yourself. When your character levels up; they are automatically allocated in a mixture the D3 Team has devised. The characters at Blizzcon could only level up to level 9 or 10, so we have no idea how the points will be distributed long term, but from what we saw while playing, they were fairly-evenly distributed. A level 10 Barbarian didn’t have 80 strength and 5 willpower, for instance. It looked like each attribute gained 1 or 2 per level.

Player reaction to the auto-attributes announcement has been mixed, to put it kindly. This change was first revealed in a news item we posted from Blizzcon, immediately after hearing this news from Jay Wilson, and it spurred massive discussion there, and especially in a now 29-page thread in our main D3 forum. Much of the early discussion centered on an error; we’d reported that there would still be attribute requirements for equipment, which turned out not to be true. Jay hadn’t said there would be, but he hadn’t said there wouldn’t be either, so we just assumed that basic game feature would return from D1 and D2. The fact that there will not be any attribute requirements for items in D3 defuses a lot of the “But what if my Wizard wants to wear heavy plate?” complaints, but there were other arguments than that.

Incidentally, there will be some item requirements, they’ll just be based on Character Level, possible other unknown factors, and sometimes on class. We saw a few class-specific items in the Blizzcon build (axes that only Barbarians could use) but on the whole, characters will be able to wear or use the vast majority of items they find in Diablo III, if they so desire..
To read the rest of the article click over to the link provided below. D3 Attribute Discussion
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Mac Games News for Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dominions 3: The Awakening Updated6:00 AM
EVE Online: Quantum Rise Released6:00 AM
MacRaider Site Receives New Home6:00 AM
Wakfu: Turn-Based Combat, Death, PvP6:00 AM
World Of Goo Developers Interviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, November 11, 2008 on one page

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