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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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IMG Reviews Big Kahuna Reef 2: Chain Reaction
8:40 AM | Marcus Albers | 1 comment

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the aquatic match-three game Big Kahuna Reef 2: Chain Reaction from Reflexive Entertainment. Match seashells, starfish, and all manner of underwater items to complete boards and unlock fish and other things to display in your aquarium. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The new version has a lot more added to the basic game. First of all are the special “bomb” tiles. These tiles explode, destroying the tiles and boxes around the bomb. In the case of the boxes and chains, the bomb clears away one level, so if you need 3 matches to clear it completely, the bomb clears away one of these three. Bombs are awarded for matching five or more tiles. There are several different bomb types, ranging in area of effect from a small firecracker to a large effect-area nuclear device. The bombs are a real benefit to this game and are especially helpful for some of the more difficult boards. The bomb is ignited by swapping it with any adjacent tile. Often, I needed to to carefully make matches below the bomb to drop it down to the area where it did the most good.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Big Kahuna Reef 2: Chain Reaction
Big Kahuna Reef 2
Reflexive Entertainment
Buy Big Kahuna Reef 2

Open Fire Gold Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 13 comments

BlueGill Studios has announced the release of Open Fire Gold, a remake of its miltary shoot-'em-up arcade game released in 2006. Written from the ground up with all new code, art and music the game challenges players to blast as many enemy vehicles as possible. Open Fire Gold features two gameplay modes, new power-ups, weapons, and online high scores.

Get ready to load your weapons and open fire again! BlueGill Studios first in-house game is Open Fire Gold, an arcade-like military shoot-'em-up, that will have you uncontrollably wasting hours of precious time.
Open Fire Gold features two different game modes, seamless, integrated real-time global online scoring, an explosion meter, and an amazing realistic arcade gameplay backed by the Ageia physics engine. Open Fire Gold shoves you in the shoes of a lone operative armed to the teeth with explosive rocket rounds and a handful of land mines!
Unload your weapon and riddle your screen with pockmarked scars of battle, because it's time to play Open Fire Gold!

• Open Fire Classic:
The enemy supply line is moving through your region, you have 110 seconds to inflict as much damage as possible using your arsenal of rockets and land mines!
• Stop The Huns:
A seeming unending stream of tanks and supply vehicles are moving through this sector. You must destroy as much of the supply line as possible, each vehicle that gets past you raises the chance of you being found and terminated. The supply line is divided up into waves, our commander will send a volley of rockets to help you clear up each wave, you will receive a supply of mines a few waves in! Go out in glory operative!
• Highscores:
Show the world how much damage you inflicted! Post your scores to our online high scores list!

System Requirements:
• 1Ghz (or better) G4 or Intel Core Duo
• 512mb RAM or more
• Radeon 9200 or better
• Runs on all Intel macs
Open Fire Gold is available as either a free dashboard widget or a DRM and region free standalone version priced at $3.99.

Open Fire Gold
BlueGill Studios

Mystic Mine Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Koonsolo has announced the release of Mystic Mine, a new family friendly action title. In the game players guide a gold car through a mine to complete a variety of objectives, switching rails with a single button. Although the car only travels down, an optic illusion in the levels allows players to reach every point. Mystic Mine features over 200 levels, a variety of missions, single button gameplay, and up to six players playing on one keyboard.

Play over 200 levels with different missions and powerups. The missions include picking up coins, bring diamonds to tunnels, racing to flags, etc. By colliding into another car, you can steel diamonds and other valuables, or pass the dynamite before it explodes. Various pickups modify your behaviour: a balloon makes you go up but not down, a ghost allows you to move through everything, ... . But whatever you do, avoid the dynamite!!!

• Family friendly gameplay for all ages.
• Single-button gameplay.
• Accessible to people and children with limited mobility.
• Adapts the difficulty to your skill.
• Over 200 different levels with an impossible structure.
• No loading screens.
• Accessibility options to slow down game speed and enable one-switch mode.
• Multiplayer with up to 6 players on 1 keyboard.

Various missions:
Collect coins, Goldcutter, Blowup, Race, Drop the rocks, Collect diamonds, Collect frenzy, Goldrush, Hold the lamp

Various pickups:
Balloon, Dynamite, Key, Torch, Oiler, Ghost

Mystic Mine is available for $19.95. A trial version is available for download at the link below.

Mystic Mine

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Aquaria Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld recently posted a new review of Aquaria, Bit Blot's 2D sidescrolling underwater adventure game. Brought to the Mac by Ambrosia Software, the game allows player to take the role of Naija and work to unlock the secrets of her past while defeating or outwitting the various creatures encountered along the way. Macworld gave the game a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

Naija’s powers become darker and more potent throughout the game. Initially, she can only swim, summon a speed burst, and sing. The “sing” interface is a clever design conceit that allows Naija to interact with certain environmental factors and cast magic. Eventually, Naiji will learn to transform into different forms that vary from a close-combat style beast form to an evil-looking energy form that grants Naija the ability to blast enemies with bolts of magic. Not only can you obliterate the alien-looking armored foes you encounter, but helpless schools of fish as well. You’ll also gain access to different costumes, pets that will aid you in battle, and other allies.

The level design favors labyrinths and discovery over linear stages. Each successive level carries new dangers and different challenges, and for a game based purely underwater, the environments are remarkably varied. You’ll get to explore abandoned cities, kelp forests, and a corrupted cathedral that resembles a Castlevania stage crossed with the stomach of a whale. Pretty spooky.

There are many moments in the game where you truly appreciate how well it is crafted. The soundtrack alone is one of the catchiest I've heard in a while. Some of the later areas are shrouded in darkness and Naija must use her body like a flashlight to see the way—a clever way to spice up gameplay. The bosses resemble old school monsters and boss battles require you to use a variety of the skills you’ve learned. The sea creatures are diversified and numerous throughout the stages, and there are some cute details too: when you journey towards the surface, you can hop out of the water and knock monkeys out of their trees... and then watch them drown.
Head over to the link below to read the full review.

Macworld: Aquaria Review
Ambrosia Software

SlotZ Racer For iPhone Update Adds Custom Track Sharing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Freeverse has announced that SlotZ Racer, its lot car racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch, has been updated. Among other improvements, this update allows players to share their custom designed race tracks with friends, via email or directly over wifi.

SlotZ Racer puts players in control of 3D slot cars and allows them to race against the computer or friends. The game features 4 player play on a single iPhone, a variety of challenges, unlockable content, and a track editor.

What's New in version 1.1:

- New Track Manager page. Email custom designed tracks to friends, as well as send tracks directly over wifi.
- Scenery editing: Spruce up your track designs with grandstands, hills, bridges, tunnels, gravel traps; Grass and Dirt baseboard textures added.
- 5 new camera modes: plan view, helicopter view, 2 new moving views and driver view.
- Shake feature. In any menu, shake to return to the main menu. In the main menu, shake to start a quick race. In the editor, shake to undo.
- CPU Oops factor added. Adjust how often the computer players make mistakes and fall off the track.
- 4 New cars: CitruZ, TypeZ Drift, Mulsane and the Vontara XT.
- New "Strict" championship option. When set, doesn't allow players to restart individual races during a championship. Trophies won in strict mode unlock new car types.
- 4 bridge heights for serious multi-story fun.

- Lines in the editor show the size limits of the spare room and club house.
- You can now name user created tracks and you can now store 32 tracks (previously 16).
- New "none" room style for when you just want to focus on the track.
- Editor now has extra navigation functionality so you can hop straight to a track piece.
- Double tap to zoom in/out of the track in the editor.
- In single player mode the whole screen now works as the button.
- In single races, you can change tracks and cars from the pause menu.
- Added fuel warning and last lap flashes to in-game display, along with race position next to button in single player.
- Race intro sequence can be skipped by tapping the screen.
- Screen flips over 180 degrees so you can play with iPhone upside down.
SlotZ Racer is available for $2.99 from the Apple App Store link listed below.

iPhone App Store: SlotZ Racer
SlotZ Racer

Mac Games News for Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blizzard's Leonard Boyarsky Discusses Diablo III6:00 AM
The Future Of EVE Online6:00 AM
ToCA Race Driver 3 Reviewed6:00 AM
Vendetta Online Updated To Version 1.8.566:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, February 3, 2009 on one page

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