Castles and Castles II – Siege and Conquest

I just remembered spending a lot of time playing Castles and Castles II – Siege and Conquest on my Macintosh back in 1992. This is the intro animation, setting the mood for the game… The gameplay looked like this:

Notes on Sim City for Mac

I was really looking forward to SIM CITY for Mac. Especially, since I really don’t care much about bootcamp or any virtualization of Windows. In fact, I don’t care much about Windows in general.

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Source: “Sim City”

Unfortunately, the Mac Version of the game was delayed and delayed again. So in the end, I had to try it on Windows since it was available as a dual platform purchase.

And well, it was pretty disappointing. After just a few hours the game has lost its grip. So, by the time the Mac version finally became available just a few days ago, I lost interest.

Too bad.

My new boardgames… today: Carcassonne Mayflower

Today I am trying Carcassonne Mayflower, a spinoff of the Carcassonne franchise. I especially liked the original Carcassonne board game as well as the  iOS App for both iPhone and iPad developed by The Coding Monkeys. I spent many hours on both. So the Mayflower edition adds some desired variety to the game.

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It is a standalone game, so no other version of Carcassonne is required. The game is set during the colonization of the Americas, the New World. From the eastern coast one moves west, building roads, cities and farms. With the surveyor, a new element to the game, securing points quickly is important. The surveyor is following the explorers and removes eastern tiles from being available for scoring.

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It is quick game, 45 minutes max. A fact I like especially because I rarely have the time for games that last for hours. So take a look for yourself and if you get hooked, I can highly recommend the entire Carcassonne franchise.

Walking Class Heroes on the Wall

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It’s done. “Walking Class Heroes” on the wall… Remember my new boardgame? Well, I won’t be playing it any time soon.

My new boardgames… today: Walking Class Heroes

Take a look at my latest acquisition of boardgames:

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For anyone having girls in the house, I especially recommend Walking Class Heroes with the world’s most famous shoes… pretty scary…. They also have an iOS version of the game. See for yourself:

Further information about the game can be found at bitte-bitte.com. I also want to point out their contact mail adress, hallo-hallo@bitte-bitte.com. Love it.

Testing Assassin’s Creed III Multiplayer on PS3

abstergo entertainment

Testing Assassin’s Creed III Multiplayer on PS3 – Abstergo Entertainment Animus

Sid Meier’s Pirates! for iPad… what a day!

While I was traveling to the wilds of Germany yesterday, 2K Games released one of my childhood’s favorite games for iPad: Sid Meier’s Pirates!. First I hoped it might actually be an adaption of the first version of the game, which was released in 1987 and I liked best. Sadly it isn’t, but anyway…

Sid Meier’s Pirates is an adaptation of a PC game that came out in 2004, an homage to a much earlier game originally developed for Commodore 64 in 1987. The game puts you in the role of an enterprising young pirate captain as you collect treasure maps, go on missions and rescues, and fight other pirates on the high seas.

Source: “Sid Meier’s Pirates! comes to iPad” The Loop

The game includes Game Center functionality and promises some iPad specific features, such as improved graphics, additional visual effects and piratizing one’s picture with the iPad 2 camera. The gameplay seems to be as usual, beginning with the game’s setup. All experience levels and more importantly al statt dates seem to be included. With just a few clicks the adventure can begin. On first glance the controls seem to be fitting to the iPad. So nothing stands between me and some exciting naval battles. I certainly know, what I will do this weekend… For those of you who want to join me, take at look at the Sid Meier’s Pirates! microsite.

Some Unreal numbers – $1.64M in 5 days

Some days ago, I told you about the first iOS game powered by the Unreal Engine 3, called Infinity Blade. It seems to be quite a hit as I just stumbled upon this:

The first Unreal Engine-powered game for iOS, Infinity Blade, has sold at least 274,000 copies in its first five days on sale, according to recent player counts on Game Center. At $6 a copy that’s a $1.64 net for the publisher, and a new record, according to Gamesindustry.biz.

Source: “Infinity Blade iPhone game nets $1.6M in five days” – The Loop

Not so shaby at all. I suppose there is real money to be made in the app store. The full story can be read at gamesindutry.biz but you need to register for free to read the whole article. Meanwhile I will keep on playing the game.

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The Unreal Engine on the iPad – Infinity Blade

It’s finally happening. As announced in September 2010, Epic Games brings the Unreal Engine 3 to the iOS platform. Until today, there only was a Unreal showcase application called Epic Citadel. In this app nothing is happening at all. One can just explore a castle realm. It looks nice with lots of animation amazing visuals and textures. It sure has the best graphics on the iOS platform. Since today one can buy the first full game Infinity Blade for just 4,99 €.

Infinity Blade is the all-new action RPG sword-fighting game for iPhone®, iPad™ and iPod touch® developed by Epic Games’ award-winning studio, ChAIR Entertainment. The first mobile game powered by Epic’s cutting-edge Unreal Engine 3 technology, Infinity Blade takes handheld gaming to new heights with gorgeous visuals, adrenaline-fueled battles and advanced character progression in a fully 3D castle realm.

(Source: “Infinity Blade” Epic Games)

TouchArcade reviewed the app quite intensively and describes it as a “must have”. I am not into this particular kind of game, but I needed to see this graphics in action. The game has a decent game center integration and promises to bring a multiplayer mode soon. I really like the concept of game center and hope to see interesting competing modes to arise from it. Infinity Blade really looks amazing and runs quite smoothly on my iPhone and my iPad. Remembering the poor graphics on a desktop machine in the 1990ies, playing games like Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and Counterstrike, I never imagined to see even that kind of performance on a mobile device. So from this perspective I agree that Infinity Blade is a must see. I can’t wait to see more games with high end graphics on the iOS platform.

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Playing Sid Meier’s Civilization V on the Mac

Sid Meier is probably the most influential game designer to me and maybe even my generation. Among many other games I most enjoyed watching my father play Silent Service and Railroad Tycoon when I was a little child and of course playing the Pirates! and Civilization series for myself.

Since the 80’ies many years have passed and after deviating to the PC world for a short time I am quite happy with the recent development in games for the Mac. Most major game titles are coming to the Mac now. In the Sid Meier corner I already spent many hours on Civilization IV and Pirates!. Especially Pirates! brought back many memories and actually made me read the favorite books from my childhood again (The Hornblower Series by C. S. Forester, if you are wondering).

I enjoyed playing all versions of Civilization and while I am waiting for a remake of Sid Meier’s Colonization, the new version Civilization V comes in handy. It hast been introduced just recently and was advertised with a 30% discount on the Aspyr Website on Black Friday according to Macrumors. As it turned out, the discount was not valid for Civilization V, so I decided to buy it as a direct download within the Steam Application which is required to run the game anyway. For just 49,99 € the fun was mine for the taking.

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I suppose this is just a port of the Windows game and it comes with several bugs as one would expect. The game crashed the first 3 times I tried to launch it and even after that there were serious display errors during video playback. This bug is already recognized, but there is no patch yet. It still kept crashing in play for a few more times but it seems to run smoothly now.

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The game has rather high system requirements. The main issue is the video graphic card. I am using a 13 inch Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini at home, each with a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. Officially this setup seems not to be supported but it works anyway. I am not sure how to improve in this perspective. The current Macbook Pros and Mac Minis do not seem to have real superior power in this matter. They are using the NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M chip in the highest configuration. They score higher in benchmarks but surely wouldn’t warrant the investment. Only the current iMacs and Mac Pros seem to have real graphic power. This seems obvious but does not fit into my setup.

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I like the gameplay and the new look of the game. I don’t really mind the change from square to hexagonal tiles. Also, I think city states are a nice alternation from already established nations.

The biggest change to it’s predecessor is found in the combat area. There is only 1 unit per tile allowed in Civilization V. This really makes it interesting and requires a more tactical approach to defeat the enemy.

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In my opinion, the complexity of the game has been reduced massively. This leads to an easier and faster gameplay but it also gets boring pretty fast. Still I think Civilization V is one of the best titles for the Mac if your are into strategy games.