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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

PopCap Releases Plants Vs. Zombies
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 18 comments

Casual games developer PopCap Games has announced the release of Plants vs. Zombies, a new tower defense style action strategy title. In the game players must use a variety of plants to defend their home from a horde of undead intent on eating brains. Plants vs. Zombies features five game modes, 50 levels in adventure mode, 26 types of zombies to defeat, and 49 combative plants to use.

Get ready to soil your plants in an all-new action-strategy game from PopCap! A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home, and your only defense is an arsenal of 49 zombie-zapping plants. Use peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more to mulchify 26 types of zombies before they can reach your front door. Each zombie has its own special skills, so you’ll need to think fast and plant faster to combat them all. But be careful how you use your limited supply of greens and seeds… as you battle the fun-dead, obstacles like a setting sun, creeping fog and a swimming pool add to the challenge. And with five game modes to dig into, the fun never dies!

• Play five game modes: Adventure, Mini-Games, Puzzle, Survival, plus the stress-free Zen Garden
• Conquer all 50 levels of Adventure mode -- through day, night and fog, in a swimming pool and on the rooftop
• Battle 26 types of zombies including pole-vaulters, snorkelers and “Zomboni” drivers
• Earn 49 powerful perennials and collect coins to buy a pet snail, power-ups and more!

System Requirements:
OS*: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.66+GHz
Memory (RAM): 512+MB
Free Hard Drive Space: 50+MB
Video: 64+MB
Colors: Thousands or Millions (256 colors may not work)
Controls: Keyboard and mouse
Internet: Internet connection is required to register/unlock game trials — including those delivered via CD-ROM
Multiple Users: In all supported operating systems, if you are using a Mac with multiple user accounts, it is advised that the administrator of your system install this game into the Applications folder. If the administrator has not enabled any user specific restrictions, this will enable all users of the system to access the game when logged into their respective accounts. If permitted, non-administrator users may install the game; however, this does not guarantee proper function for all other users. The game is limited to one copy per machine.

*This game has been tested with the most current system updates of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard) — system updates are available from Apple (NOTE: OS X Server and case-sensitive formatting are not supported)
Plants vs. Zombies is available for $19.95. For more information follow the links below.

Plants vs. Zombies
PopCap Games

Luxor 3 Now Available
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story has announced the release of Luxor 3 for the Mac through its web site and digital download service, Mac Games Arcade. The game was created and published by MumboJumbo. Since first launching in 2005, the ancient Egyptian franchise has been downloaded over 65 million times worldwide and has sold over 500,000 units at retailers nationwide.

Winner of numerous awards, including the #1 casual game of 2005, the franchise truly reaches new heights in design quality and gameplay mechanics with LUXOR 3. The game introduces powerful new features including reflectors that help players make nearly impossible matches plus seven game modes including five never before seen. The title also includes dynamic branching paths and up-gradable power-ups in its more than 140 nail-biting levels.

* Original music, enhanced animation and even more spectacular effects
* Severn unique game modes, including five never before seen
* Over 140 nail-biting levels of gameplay
* Challenging and dynamic play with branching and merging pathways
* Utilize reflectors to make matches that were otherwise impossible
* Upgradable power-ups plus exciting ball sets and shooters to unloxk
* New bonus level gameplay introduced

System Requirements:
* Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Luxor 3 is available immediately as a digital download purchase through and Mac Games Arcade. A free demo is available for download. The full version costs $19.95 (USD).

Buy Luxor 3
Mac Games Arcade

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

SC2Pod is the latest fansite to have StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty questions answers by Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The questions cover a range of topics related to the game's units, interface, and graphics. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

1. How will StarCraft II handle widescreen monitors? If the screen isn’t going to be stretched, either widescreen or traditional format will have the advantage of seeing more of the battlefield, have you decided which one?
[Dustin Browder] Widescreen monitors will be able to see slightly more of the battlefield, but the extra visual real estate players will be getting will be quite small. Nonetheless, for competitive gaming, there will be a small visual advantage to having a widescreen.

2. When cloaked units move you see a graphics effect hinting their presence. Can you see some trace of the Infestor when it is moving underground?
[Dustin Browder] The Infestor while burrowed will be like any other burrowed unit, and will not be seen unless there is a detector nearby. On the other hand when the Infestor moves above ground, there is a (visual) slime trail the unit leaves in its wake, which disappears over time. We are also discussing the possibility of having some type of visual that may imply an Infestor is moving while burrowed nearby, similar to how cloaked/stealth units currently move above ground.

11. What have been some of the hardest choices you have had to make during the development of StarCraft II?
[Dustin Browder] There have been many tough choices in designing StarCraft II – Amongst the most difficult would be what parts of the original StarCraft should be in StarCraft II. Next would be what new mechanics are worthy of introduction to the StarCraft universe. Balancing visual appeal with the serious game play that StarCraft has always offered has always been challenging as well. Overall, we hope that the choices we have made will give our players the best possible StarCraft II experience.
Click over to the page linked below to read the full Q&A.

SC2Pod: StarCraft II Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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EVE Online: Apocrypha Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gaming Nexus has posted a new review of Apocrypha, the latest expansion for CCP Games' sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The latest addition to the game features wormholes, Tech 3 modular ships, NPC agents capable of assigning epic mission arcs, and the arrival of Premium Graphics for Mac users. Gaming Nexus gave the expansion a letter grade of A-.

From the review:

One of Apocrypha’s finest contributions appears in the form of the Training Queue -- but first a little context as to how EVE’s skill training works. Players do not advance by levels and there is no level cap, per se. They advance by skill training, and selected skills grow whether the player is online or off. For example, I can train the Spatial Awareness skill which grants a one-point bonus to my Perception attribute. This skill, like every skill, can be trained up to level five, thus potentially granting me five bonus points to my Perception. Training from level four to level five will take me 3 days, 9 hours, and 52 minutes. I click train, and my point in Perception will go up at the end of that time.

Now, before Apocrypha -- before the Training Queue was introduced -- I would have to login and be ready to “inject” my next skill to train at the end of those 3 days, 9 hours, and 52 minutes. If that training ended at 3 a.m. and I was snug in bed, then I would effectively lose any training time between 3 a.m. and when I could next feasibly login. And while it’s was not beyond me to set an alarm for 3 a.m. to inject my next skill, it was providing an unnecessary strain on my otherwise blissful marriage. But the Training Queue gives me a 24-hour leeway in setting up the next skill(s). On that third and last day of training, I can now tack my next skill seamlessly onto the end of the currently-training skill. No more alarms kicking me out of bed at 3 a.m., and not a single second is lost as one skill completes training, and the next one begins.

That may seem like entirely too much exposition on a singular trait of the EVE universe, but that’s because it’s major. It’s a feature that’s been debated on EVE forums and (doubtlessly) in CCP’s boardrooms for years. But, since its realization, it has immediately rendered itself so crucial as to be impossible to renege without CCP having a virtual riot on their hands.
Visit the site below to read the full article.

Gaming Nexus: EVE Online Apocrypha Review
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BOH Released For Macs6:00 AM
Eschalon Book I Reviewed6:00 AM
Quake Live Mac Still A "Top Priority" For id Software6:00 AM
Shadowbane Servers To Remain Up Until July 1st6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 5, 2009 on one page

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