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Thursday, January 14, 2010

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Apple Games Features Ankh: Battle Of The Gods
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature examines the Egyptian themed adventure game, Ankh: Battle of the Gods. In the 3D graphic adventure players once again join Prince Assil and his friends who are this time thrust into the middle of a struggle for control of the Egyptian pantheon. The article includes a review of the game, a brief history of adventure games, a look at Egyptian gods Horus and Seth, and a collection of tips and tricks.

Ankh: Battle of the Gods takes Assil from Cairo to Luxor, capital of ancient Egypt, and eventually to the Hotel of the Gods — from there he travels to the Viking village where Thor lives and returns to the Hotel for the climactic contest. Against her better instincts, Thara accompanies him on his latest madcap adventure. At least Horus offers some advice along the way.

As in the previous two games in the Ankh series, you navigate conversations with NPCs (non-player characters), some of who don’t always want to give him what he wants, at least not right away. You may need to try a discussion several times and pursue different options before striking the right one. Don’t forget to switch between Thara and Assil when necessary — the pair can share inventory items with each other, even if they’re not in the same room, and each has strengths and weaknesses, such as Thara’s swimming ability and Assil’s fear of water.
Check out the full article at the page listed below.

Apple Games: Ankh Battle Of The Gods
Ankh 3: Battle of the Gods

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Haden Blackman Unleashes The Force
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Mac Observer has published a new interview with Haden Blackman, project lead for Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. In the article the developer discusses the process of creating the title, touching on topics such as the game's powerful Force abilities and George Lucas' input on the storyline.

The Force Unleashed takes place during the largely-unexplored terrain between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, which George Lucas had kept off-limits until he completed the prequel trilogy. A few novels and comic books have since stepped onto that turf, and a planned live-action TV series is supposed to dive into it too, but that didn’t stop Mr. Blackman and his team from taking a long, hard look at Darth Vader’s relationship to the Emperor and wondering “What if?”

Mr. Lucas revealed to Mr. Blackman that the Emperor viewed Vader as “broken” after the events of Revenge of the Sith, because of his defeat at Obi Wan’s hands, and that inspired the idea of a secret apprentice played by you. Vader grooms his apprentice – named Galen but also referred to by the code name “Starkiller” (many fans will know that was Luke Skywalker’s surname in an early draft of Star Wars) – as a hedge against the Emperor deciding to toss him aside. If the Emperor made such a move, he would have to contend with two opponents, not one.

“We found a way to [explore that] through Vader’s relationship with the Apprentice, and ultimately his choices relative to both the Apprentice and the Emperor,” Mr. Blackman explained. “We were also able to make PROXY (Galen’s protocol droid) serve the traditional role of ‘the Fool’: he seems disconnected, but he actually has some great insights, especially into Vader.”
Head over to the link below for more.

The Mac Observer: Force Unleashed Interview
Aspyr Media
Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
Buy Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

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Fall Of The Lich King Twitter Q&A This Friday
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has announced an upcoming Twitter chat for fans interested in talking with Lead Systems Designer Greg Street about recently released content for World of Warcraft. The question and answer session will be focused on Fall of the Lich King additions introduced in patch 3.3 and will on Blizzard's Twitter page January 15th at 5 PM PST.

Following the response to our first Developer Chat on Twitter, we will be holding the next one on Friday, January 15, at 5:00 p.m. PST with World of Warcraft’s senior game producer and lead systems designer. This chat session will focus on the recently released Fall of the Lich King content.

Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!

To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #BlizzChat hashtag between 5:00pm and 6:00pm PST on January 15. Due to the limitations of providing complete answers within Twitter, all answers will be posted on the forums in a dedicated thread.
Visit the Blizzplanet page below to read more.

Blizzplanet: Twitter Lich King Chat
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

VVVVVV Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

DIYGamer recently posted a review of Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV, a new retro action platform game for Mac and Windows computers. In the game players take the role of a spaceship captain trying to save his crew and escape a strange new world. To navigate VVVVVV's levels players make use of the captain's ability to reverse gravity.

Once upon a time, video games made you work really hard to succeed. They made you learn patterns, start over constantly, and deal with the ramifications of whether or not you wanted to pass the controller from your hand through the front of your television screen in a physical manifestation of how you feel about your character’s most recent death. In this day and age, where Nintendo now has a feature that will play its games for you so you don’t have to struggle with the “hard” parts, we luckily have the independent game world. The beautifully, aggravating platformer is alive and well in the indie gaming scene, and Terry Cavanagh’s latest title VVVVVV is a brilliant, modern manifestation of this retro feel.

The main mechanic weaving through VVVVVV is the character’s ability to flip gravity with the simple touch of a button. When you’re standing on any surface, you can simple hit your action button to flip to the ceiling, and vice versa. The switch only affects the character, not any other items or obstacles that may be in the room. The changes can’t be made mid-flip, only if you’re standing on a flat surface (or hit any number of gravity flipping triggers spread out throughout the game). If it were not for the spot-on controls and sheer simplicity of movement, this could have been disastrous. But the movement is so simple and natural, that you can actually play the game one-handed with just the arrow keys, using up and down to flip gravity. I often found myself wandering through the game world with one hand on the keyboard, the other freely scratching my chin trying to figure out which area to explore next. But when sections got more intense, I’d switch to keep my free hand on the spacebar (another option of gravity flipping) so I felt like I had a little more control.

You have a map of the game world that clears up as you explore more and more, and handy teleportation units link different areas of the world so you can quickly get to the vicinity of an area you know you need to open up. These quick jumps around the game world are quite useful to help track down your crew and the twenty Trinkets scattered around the world as well. Several sections of the game take place in dimensions outside of the main map, which are exciting additions to an otherwise (relatively) straightforward experience. Most screens in the level sections of the game are titled at the top or bottom with clever names, certain ones which will stick with you long after you stop playing the game. And as though you need to be reminded, upon completion the game tells you exactly which room you died the most in (though it will already be burned into your retinas).
For more information click over to the pages listed below.

DIYGamer: VVVVVV Review

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Diablo II Patch 1.13 Goes Back Into Development6:00 AM
EVE Online Given 2009 Game Of The Year Award6:00 AM
Machinarium Reviewed6:00 AM
Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning Discussed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 13, 2010 on one page

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