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Monday, March 25, 2013

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IMG Reviews Aztaka
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a new review of Aztaka from Citeremis. The action/rpg side-scroller draws from Aztec legend to place players in the middle of a war between mankind and the gods.

Here's an excerpt:

So, with combat not being particularly exciting, what do you do in this well-drawn mystic world? You solve puzzles, of course! You'll need to traverse jumping sections, find upgrades to your gear to unlock new areas, gather containers for the spirits of the dead, and use those spirits to open/manipulate/resurrect your way through the many levels. What fighting there is in-between breaks up the monotony of traveling through the same zones over and over again trying to find the one door you missed. So long as you upgrade damage on pretty much every level, you'll never find anything that can put up a serious fight.
Check out the page below for the full review.

IMG Review: Aztaka
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Mage's Initiation Coming To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Himalaya Studios' Kickstarter campaign for Mage's Initiation has ended successfully, surpassing its funding target and the $120,000 target needed for the creation of a native Mac version of the game.

Mage's Initiation is a role playing adventure title inspired by classic Sierra Online series like Quest for Glory and King's Quest. Some of the game's features include hi-res graphics, 4 characters classes from which to choose, a full length non-episodic story, an original stats system integrating game score with XP, a unique set of spells for each mage class, and an open-field battle system.

Mac backers will get the Wineskin wrapped version when the Windows release is out, then get a free upgrade to the native version once it is ready.

The Game:

Mage's Initiation is a Role-Playing / Adventure Game hybrid, very similar in style and execution to Sierra On-Line's classic Point-&-Click Quest for Glory and King's Quest series. It maintains all the charm of classic and timeless adventure games of yesteryear while adding 21st century innovation to the mix - like multiple game interfaces, and a free-range magical combat system!

We're all very big fans of the adventure genre here at Himalaya Studios, and we feel that Sierra's games really hit their peak in the early 90s. We're working hard to provide a nostalgic experience, reminiscent of that golden era of 2D Sierra adventures circa 1993-1994.

Mage's Initiation has a medieval / fantasy setting and it features multiple playable character classes, spell-casting, and an open-field magical combat system, complete with equippable items and monster loot drops!

The Story:

In the quiet, provincial realm of Iginor, evil is stirring. Dangers abound on all sides: the forest, wastelands, and even the once-protective mountains look to the tiny town with glaring eyes. Into this, a young, would-be Mage sets forth to prove himself worthy of joining the ranks of his brethren. This is his journey. A Mage's Initiation.

You assume the role of D'arc, a sixteen-year-old Initiate who must complete a trio of tasks set by his Mage Masters. Journey through the medieval-styled realm of Iginor. Brave a goblin-infested forest. Navigate a vast lake to encounter an evil so pure, not even beauty can disguise it. Ascend to the peaks of Flyteria, a valley of winged warriors once dedicated to protection of the human town.

Succeed and D'arc shall take his place among his fellow Mages.

Fail and nobody shall remember his name

Earth, Air, Fire, Water... the choice will affect your game-play. From combat strategy to spells and puzzles, each class provides a unique set of challenges. With four ways to live (and re-live) the adventure, you're sure to discover great replay value!

  • Inspired by Sierra On-Line’s "Quest for Glory" series
  • Hi-res, Point & Click Adventure / RPG (up to 1280 x 960)
  • 4 character classes with unique quests provide multiple replay value.
  • Choice of Interface. Play with a Sierra Icon Bar or LucasArts Verb Coin.
  • Full-length, self-contained (non-episodic) story.
  • An original stats system, integrating game score with XP. No grinding!
  • A unique set of spells for each Mage class.
  • Equip an array of mystical gems to enhance your spell-casting.
  • Lay waste to a horde of monsters in an open-field battle system.
  • Loot drops of various worth, ranging from common to extremely rare.
  • Buy scrolls to identify unknown items. Sell and trade them for profit!
  • 30+ dialog portraits - fully voiced and lip-synced.
  • Over 80 beautifully illustrated screens by John Paul Selwood (Hero-U).
  • A magical musical soundtrack by Brandon Blume (King's Quest 3 Redux)
  • Decision points that will resonate across (already planned) sequels!
Head over to the page below for more information.

Mage's Initiation Kickstarter

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Developing Cross-Platform Play For Leviathan: Warships
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Paradox Interactive has released a new developer diary for the forthcoming new tactical action game, Leviathan: Warships. The diary focuses on the struggles involved with creating cross-platform multiplayer for the Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android platforms the game supports.

Leviathan, which challenges players to assemble customized fleets of warships and weaponry, will feature cross-platform gameplay across all supported platforms, allowing battles to be fought from nearly any computer, tablet, or location. The game includes a full co-op campaign and several player-vs.-player maps ready to put fleets to the test.

Building a game which properly support cross-platform play is a challenge and it is something that permeates the whole development process. We made a choice to offer the same gameplay and graphical fidelity regardless of the platform the player chose to experience the game on. We did not want to make a different version for each platform. In the end, this proved to be the right choice, but the challenges we faced to get there was pretty severe.
Turns out getting a full 3D game with physics based projectiles and ship movement running on mobile devices was… interesting. But we did it, after heavy optimizing. The results are rather impressive, because we are pushing the mobile platforms pretty hard in some of the more intense campaign missions and versus matches.

For example: Not only is each ship very detailed but each weapon is also fully modeled with its own AI for targeting. In a full versus game there is an average of 16-20 ships, each with about 6 weapons. It can get pretty intensive.

The core of the cross-platform play is our server backend. The Master Server keeps track of each player account and all games currently in progress. When a player has made their move and the results are calculated, the results are stored on the server. This is basically a cloud storage solution for all your games and your account information. The reason we store the accounts on our server as well as the games is, as you might have guessed, because of cross-platform play. For example, we do not want to use Steam logins because those accounts would be limited to PC/Mac versions of the game (and you need to run steam). You can’t use them on iOS/Android devices which makes that solution less than optimal.

Read more at the site below.

Leviathan: Warships Development Diary
Leviathan: Warships
Buy Leviathan: Warships

StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has posted a new review of Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the next chapter in the sci-fi RTS saga. The game's single player campaign revolves around Kerrigan and her plans to "take down Arcturus Mengsk once and for all," while the multiplayer aspect features a host of new units and abilities to employ.

From the review

Picking up almost immediately after the events of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – which is required to play this expansion – the story finds the former Queen of Blades in a more human-like disposition. Heart of the Swarm eases players back into the StarCraft play system flawlessly, while slowly exposing new gameplay concepts over the course of 20 missions. And lest you think stepping into the shoes of the former Zerg Queen means status quo stages from an alien viewpoint, Heart of the Swarm does an excellent job of introducing new strategies, units, and varied assignments.

Most notably, meeting up with Abathur – a grotesque Zerg genetic manipulator – on the reclaimed Leviathan ship opens up "evolution missions," which allow you to customize your various units with specific new traits. Talking with your shipmates is excellent, even if the acting consistently falls a bit flat. While there are exceptions, Heart of the Swarm's characters are at best wholly unbelievable, and at worst emotionless mannequins. It's a shame, considering the visuals are absolutely incredible, with some of the best cut-scene work seen in a Blizzard game to date.

Click on the link below for the full review.

Mac|Life: StarCraft II Heart Of The Swarm Review
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm
Buy StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm

Mac Games News for Friday, March 22, 2013

Aspyr Bringing BioShock Infinite To Macs This Summer6:00 AM
BareFeats Reviews The Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 - UPDATED6:00 AM
Scrabble Available Now From Mac Game Store6:00 AM
The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshots Unveiled6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 22, 2013 on one page

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