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Friday, May 22, 2009

First Avernum 6 Details Emerge, Christmas Release Planned
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel has, in a recent post on the official forums, offered the first details about Avernum 6. The final installment in the long running Avernum/Exile fantasy RPG series will bring the games to an apocalyptic ending, wrapping up storylines for the land and its popular characters.

Avernum 6 is in full development, and the demo section is almost done. I still hope to have the Mac version out for Christmas. It will be the last Avernum game.

(OK, I think it'd be really neat to do a game about the first days of Avernum, like Avernum: Origins, but not until the far future.)

The storyline is the most detailed and twisty of any Avernum game. I think it's really cool. It's definitely very apocalyptic. Much of Avernum is going to be trashed. (Or trashed again.)

Many characters will return, and some of them will get the dramatic ends to their stories they deserve. Much of the future of Avernum and its place in the world will be settled. (And, of course, the player will make a real difference in this.)

Other things of note:

* Every graphic has been redone. All of the icons will be anti-aliased and have shadows, which makes the game look much nicer. It's the prettiest game we've ever done.

* I will use and expand upon all interface improvements from Geneforge 5. Being able to play in a window, play at any resolution, etc.

* The buffing system will be very similar to Geneforge 5. Haste is weaker now, and you can have fewer buffs overall. Haste potions will be full double actions, though, the sort from the older games.

* A bunch of game and system improvements. Dual-wielding weapons is back. The world map will be much more useful, as will quest destination marks on your map. You can see full information about items by mousing over them. (Finally!)

Head over to the page linked below to read more.

Spiderweb Forums: Avernum 6 Details
Spiderweb Software

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IMG Reviews Boggle
8:27 AM | Marcus Albers | 5 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a rather exhaustive review of the classic Hasbro word-search game Boggle from iWin. Play alone or against an opponent to find as many words from the random set of letters as you can in three minutes. Warning: Page 3 of the article contains language that may not be suitable for all readers. Please use your discretion.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

One variant from real-life Boggle is that you can't waste time entering invalid words. In the 'real' game, you check whether words are valid (if you're not sure) after the game is over; on the computer, they're disallowed if they're invalid when you try to enter them. That's actually quite a significant difference, and something that I feel the game ought to cater for, at least as a user preference. The point is that if you're not sure whether an obscure word is valid or not, in the 'real' game you'd write it down and hope for the best, perhaps wasting a bit of time. In the computer version you get instant feedback to tell you it isn't valid, which may have a subtle effect on the way you play.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Boggle
Buy Boggle

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Bionic Heart Visual Novel Enters Closed Beta
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Tycoon Games has announced that its upcoming visual novel title, Bionic Heart, has now entered closed beta stage. The game is a combination of visual novel and classic adventure game set in a sci-fi future. It will feature multiple locations, a variety of items to interact with in the environment, people to meet and talk with, and multiple possible endings to discover.

“With Bionic Heart I wanted to create a product for young adults that would immerse them in the world of classic science fiction. The game is much like a sci-fi comic book, with a fun story and plenty of drama, not unlike real-life events,” said Riva Celso, programmer/designer of Tycoon Games.

The game takes place in London in the year 2099 in a world where Earth's climate is so ravaged by pollution and global warming that most of the world is covered in an unending rain. You take the role of Luke Black, an informatic engineeer working for Nanotech, one of the leading nanotechnology companies of the day.

The game follows the classic gameplay of visual novels, allowing the player to make choices that will determine Luke's fate. It also includes interactive sequences in which the player will be able to freely move through several locations and interact with the environment, object, and people around him. With twenty-four unique endings, some more difficult to unlock than others, the game has a high replay value.
Bionic Heart is currently in early beta testing and should be available this Summer for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. System requirements will be "very low."

Check out the links below for more information.

Bionic Heart Video
Tycoon Games

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Depths Of Peril Version 1.014 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Soldak Entertainment has released patch 1.014 for the action RPG, Depths of Peril. The update includes a variety of changes and bug fixes.

In the game players take the role of a faction leader engaged in defending the barbarian city of Jorvik. Along the way players venture forth to complete quests and fight monsters while at the same time preparing to defeat rival factions in the race to rule the city.

Here are a few of the changes in the latest patch:

• decreased lightningExplosion spawn count
• fixed Close not localized on character screen
• added OS X 10.3.9 OpenAL installer requirement to requirements & troubleshooting sections of manual
• fixed mouse on 2nd monitor in dual monitor setup
• updated copyright
• skills ready icons no longer flash at beginning
• thief can no longer steal from kidnapped, petrified, or dead vendors
• now Crystals is localized in trade screen
Click over to the link below for more information.

Depths Of Peril Patches
Soldak Entertainment
Depths of Peril
Buy Depths of Peril

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

MyMac Magazine has posted a review of LEGO Batman: The Videogame. In the game players can explore an interactive LEGO Gotham City as Batman and Robin, capturing infamous villains, and even taking control of the villains themselves. MyMac gave the game a perfect score of 5 out of 5.

From the review:

Both the Hero and Villains get three different stories, or campaigns, and in each campaign there are six levels. That's 36 levels altogether, and while that alone may not sound like very much, it is a ton. And here's why.

After you play through a level in Story mode, you can go back on "Free Play" to unlock and explore many parts of each level you were not able to access in the Story mode. For instance, because neither Batman nor Robin can walk in the deadly green goo without dying, you missed out on entire parts of the level unless you go back and play the same level with a character that can go in the green goo. (Poison Ivy, for instance.)

The key to what make LEGO Batman a success, and why my wife is still hooked on the game even after playing it for months, is the collectables. On each level, there are ten hidden "Mini Kits" that you need to find. Also, even more hidden, are special "Red Bricks" that unlock special abilities that you can buy between levels. It is finding and unlocking items that has my wife so enamored with the game. She will spend an hour or more simply trying to figure out how to reach a Mini Kit or a Red Brick using various characters. And trust me, it's not always easy or simple. To reach many of these items, you have to figure out how to solve a puzzle. It may sound daunting, and it is, but that is also the hook to the game which will keep you coming back time and again to revisit older levels.
Visit the site below to read the full review.

MyMac Magazine: LEGO Batman Review
Feral Interactive
LEGO Batman
Buy LEGO Batman

iGame Radio Logo Contest Deadline Today
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The iGame Radio Logo Contest has less than one day left before the submission deadline, after which public voting on all submissions begins. The contest now has seven sponsors, eight logo submissions, and a prize package worth $770. Launched in February, the logo contest asks entrants to design a new logo for the iGame Radio podcast. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm, Pacific Time, May 22, 2009.

All logo submissions are currently located on the iGame Radio Flickr site, where those interested can view and comment on each one. Access to the Flickr site can be reached from the iGame Radio site. At midnight, May 23, voting will commence for all submissions by the public and continue for one week.

“We wanted a voting process that was simple and straightforward,” said Omaha Sternberg, host and producer for iGame Radio. “We’ll have a link from the front page of iGame Radio directly to the voting page, which will include images of each submission, so no one has to bounce back and forth from the voting page and the Flickr site.”

Contest information, including rules for format and submission, are located at the iGame Radio Logo Contest page. The prize package currently valued at $770 will be offered to the grand prize winner, but all entrants will gain a free t-shirt of their choice from the iGame Radio Cafι Press store. The prize package features donations from sponsors MusicSkins, PopCap Games, Howling Moon Software, Creaceed, Griffin Technology, Codeweavers, and Omni Group.
Learn more about the contest and the iGame Radio podcast at the links listed below.

iGame Radio Logo Contest Rules
iGame Radio

Mac Games News for Thursday, May 21, 2009

Braid Released For Macs6:00 AM
Defending The Cartoon Network In FusionFall6:00 AM
Jeff Vogel Considers The Potential Demise Of Spiderweb6:00 AM
Plants Vs. Zombies Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, May 21, 2009 on one page

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