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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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IMG Reviews Black & White 2
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | 3 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Black & White 2 from Feral Interactive, the sequel to the original God-sim/RTS. Take control of a God-like creature, get your subjects to follow you, and take over the island. Here's an excerpt from the review:

In addition to your direct divine influence, you also have a pet, a large creature that adds quite a bit of flavor to the game. You can train your pet to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, or command them to do specific tasks, or just let them roam and do as they please, even if their desires sometimes conflict with yours (do you REALLY want your pet to eat your villagers and destroy your houses?). The choice is yours, once again. (For the record, I encourage my pet to eat just a handful of my own villagers every now and then. They need to be a LITTLE afraid of me. Though I have finally convinced him that pooping on the villagers – and no, I’m not making this up – is a bad idea. Still trying to get him to poop on the fields instead, to fertilize the crop. It’s been a tough lesson to teach him.)
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Black & White 2
Black & White 2
Feral Interactive
Buy Black & White 2

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Soldak Entertainment Asks For Fan Input On Upcoming Game
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Soldak Entertainment, developer of Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld, is requesting fan input on the company's next game title. The game is described as a real time dungeon crawl and Soldak is asking fans to post their feedback and ideas about the genre on the company's forum.

This is mostly a post to point to all of the other dungeon crawl idea threads, but I want to reiterate that we love hearing feedback from all of you. So if you have some cool ideas (old or new) that you want to see in a dungeon crawl type game, please tell us. You can post here, on a more specific thread, email me, or even send me a tweet or post on our facebook page.
Click over to the link below for more information.

Soldak Forums: Dungeon Crawl Ideas
Soldak Entertainment
Depths of Peril
Kivi's Underworld
Buy Depths of Peril

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Return To Mysterious Island Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Coladia Games has announced the release of Return to Mysterious Island, a new adventure game title based on the writings of novelist Jules Verne. The first person survival adventure places players in the role of Mina, a courageous young woman who must survive a shipwreck and deal with the ghost of Captain Nemo.

Return to Mysterious Island The true essence of adventure is captured in this second PC game inspired by renowned author Jules Verne. In this first-person survival adventure, players will encounter recognisable locations from the famous novel, including the granite house, the volcano and the Nautilus. However, Return to Mysterious Island goes beyond Jules Verne's storytelling as players take on the role of Mina, a courageous young woman on a solo round-the-world sailing expedition.

In your quest for survival using logic, discovery, creative inventory management, and elements of the supernatural, the adventure unfolds across splendid photorealistic pre-rendered vistas. Intuitive puzzle challenges and vast exploration of the lush tropical landscapes of the island, all combine for a brilliantly executed adventure game.

Round-the-world saling expedition... Ship wrecked on a deserted island.. The ghost of Captain Nemo... The quest for survival... Caught in a tremendous storm, Mina, our heroine, becomes stranded on the shores of a wild and apparently uninhabited island. As she explores her new surrounding, she uncovers artifacts, living spaces and technologies left behind by the people who came before her to this uncharted island.

Main Features:
• Second game in the series inspired by Jules Verne's classics (Nautilus has sold over 117,000 copies worldwide).
• Mass Appeal Theme: "stranded on a desert island".
• Survival, exploration, discovery and puzzles, set in a tropical island setting.
• Original interactive inventory system allows you to combine and create new items and tools.
• Propriety engine allows for fluid and intuitive point-and-click navigation.
• Photorealistic settings and numerous recognizable locations to explore: Granit House, the volcano and the Nautilus.
• Meet and interact with the ghost of Captain Nemo.
• Intel or PowerPC G5 processor running at 1.6 Ghz
• 512 MB of memory
• 2 GB free space on your hard drive
• Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5

• Intel processor running at 2.0 Ghz
• 1 GB of memory
• 2 GB free space on your hard drive
• Video card with 64 MB of memory
• Mac OS X 10.4 ou 10.5
Return to Mysterious Island costs $29.90 for the full version. A demo is also available.

Return To Mysterious Island
Buy Return To Mysterious Island

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Spore Galactic Adventures Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Maxis and Electronic Arts have announced that Spore Galactic Adventures, the expansion to the evolution sim Spore, is now available at North American retailers and will hit store shelves internationally on June 25th. Designed to expand the Spore universe, Spore Galactic Adventures delivers new adventures to players who can now become their own space captain, beam down to strange new planets, and create customized adventures. Maxis has also announced the download release of ten all new adventures created by the writers of the Robot Chicken television show.

“Spore Galactic Adventures enhances the Spore experience by blasting players off into space, turning ordinary creatures into legendary Space Captains,” stated Lucy Bradshaw, VP and General Manager at Maxis. “For the first time, players can beam their creatures down to planets to experience all-new adventures or create custom-made missions of their own and share them with the world. With more than 105 million creations available in the Sporepedia, the Spore library of user-generated content for use in players’ missions, the only limit is their imaginations!”

Expanding on the original Spore game, Spore Galactic Adventures adds variety and fun by allowing players to get out of their spaceship and explore colorful, wacky new planets. Players will turn their creatures into space captains, battle epic monsters in intergalactic arenas and fight intense planet-side races. In each mission, players earn experience to rank up their captain and earn game-changing items such as the Plasma Pulser and Swarm Magnet. In the box, the game includes 16 off-the-wall missions as well as an “Adventure Creator” tool that players can use to design their own missions. These personally-created missions can be shared with friends online and can be classed in leaderboards that track accomplishments, rank and medals earned.

In addition to the adventures in the box, players can download ten all-new adventures created by the writers of the outrageously funny, pop-culture parody TV show, Robot Chicken. Available for free to all Spore Galactic Adventures owners, the Robot Chicken adventures take players through such wacky quests as a mission to obtain a library card by finding a ruler-yielding librarian her true love, and an adventure to save a princess by battling demonic snowmen in a snowglobe. Conceptualized by Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich, the Robot Chicken Adventures were imagined by the show’s writing team including Matt Beans, Doug Goldstein, Mike Fasolo, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, Tom Root, Kevin Shinick, Hugh Sterbakov and Zeb Wells. With such a unique cast of imaginative characters, players can expect to experience missions with exploding poo, angry yetis, and banana wars.

To support Spore’s dedicated fan community, will feature a bevy of fun content including additional downloadable adventures, contests and news.
• Requires a Mac with an Intel processor
• Requires the SPORE game to play.
• Mac OS X v10.5.6 Leopard or higher
• CPU: Intel Core Duo Processor
• 1024MB RAM
• Video card: ATI X1600/NVIDIA 7300 GT/Intel Integrated GMA X3100 graphics chip with 128 MB of Video RAM (Intel GMA950 not supported)
• Keyboard and mouse
• Hard Drive: At least 2.0GB of hard drive space with at least 1GB additional space for creations
Spore Galactic Adventures costs $29.95 and requires the original Spore to play. Visit the links below for more information.

Spore Galactic Adventures
Buy Spore Galactic Adventures

Discussing The Sims 3
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Fidget has posted a new interview with The Sims 3 producer MJ Chun. The interview covers a variety of topics related to the game including inspirations for some of the game's features, the impact of choosing negative traits for characters, and Chun's favorite moodlets.

TC: A sim can only have five traits. How did you come to the magic number of five traits? Was there a discussion about having fewer or more than five?
MC: You never want to make it so the player doesn't understand why something happened. Whatever happens in the game, the player should be able to deconstruct why their sim all of a sudden cackled or wants to steal candy from a baby or go outside. Too many traits seemed to be giving lots of mixed messages. Too few traits seemed like having a really 2D personality, without a lot of depth. We felt like five is a good number.

b>TC: One of the things I've noticed, and I blame this on RPGs where you can minimize and maximize your characters, is that there doesn't seem to be any incentive to take some of the negative traits, such as unlucky or clumsy. Now I realize that's not a problem for most people, but did you guys anticipate that some gamers like me might sulk about the fact that there's no reason to take those?
MC: We wanted to make sure that different types of players would get something cool out of it. There's a great blog about Kev and Alice. Have you seen it? It's a storytelling-driven game experience where a character happens to be unlucky and clumsy. And we wanted people to be able to tell stories about their friends, or their family, or themselves. Sometimes people consider themselves clumsy. It's one of those things where not all the stats have to benefit you, but they have to impact your game. Even if you choose to be a vegetarian and you force your sim to eat meat, they'll be sick. There are consequences to your decisions. But in terms of min/maxxing, there are still a lot of great traits to choose from.

TC: You mention wanting everything to be very clear to the player. One of the great new things that drives that point home for me are the moodlets. The moodlet system has pushed the needs system from center stage. Almost literally. The moodlets now occupy that spot in the interface, front and center. How did the moodlets system come about?
MC: The team is made of a lot of gamers and we loved the moodlet system because it gives you an understanding of what impacts your sim without focusing on the micro-needs. When I play, I don't have my needs panel open at all.
Read the full interview at the page listed below.

Fidget: The Sims 3 Q&A
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 23, 2009

25 Free Cross-Platform Games6:00 AM
Constellation 1.2 Released6:00 AM
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince New Screens6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Third Battle Report Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 23, 2009 on one page

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