Mac|Life - Games en New iOS Games This Week: August 28, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery Alien Creeps App Store AppLife Apps Back to Bed BioShock football games iOS Journey Down Madden NFL Mobile new releases Nightmare Cooperative Pinball Tiny Tower Walking Dead iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:48:16 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20547 at New iOS Games This Week: August 21, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery Ace Ferrara App Store AppLife Apps Assassin’s Creed Columns Deep Under the Sky games iOS Max Gentlemen new releases pac-man star wars Superhero Workout Swing Copters The Firm The Shakedown iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:50:22 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20511 at The 25 Best iOS Games <!--paging_filter--> Gallery Asphalt 8 bastion carcassonne Cut the Rope Device 6 Duet Game Groove Coaster Hero Academy Infinity Blade II iOS ios games jetpack joyride Kingdom Rush Letterpress Osmos peggle Plants vs. Zombies Rayman Ridiculous Fishing Super Stickman Golf 2 SuperBrothers the room The World Ends With You Threes Tiny Wings World of Goo Year Walk iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:14:51 +0000 MacLife Staff 20463 at Review: Dead Island <!--paging_filter--><p>Techland started development on Dead Island in 2005, but the zombie-themed first-person action-RPG hybrid didn’t shamble onto shelves until 2011. Three years later, publisher Deep Silver has finally deigned to grace the App Store with a Mac port, but it’s no surprise that the game’s design, writing, and structure feel a bit dated almost a decade into things.</p><p>As the name suggests, Dead Island is a zombie action game set on a sprawling tropical isle called Banoi. Players split their time between a beach resort, a small city, and a research lab, but each area has an open world sensibility that allows players to explore freely and seamlessly. Banoi shows hints of being a responsive, dynamic world — if you don’t help other survivors right away, they may die before you can reach them, for example — but it’s mostly a collection of similar-looking beaches and pool bars, peppered with characters that range from stereotypical to predictable.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/deadisland1.png" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Enemy survival increases with difficulty level, but Banoi’s zombie denizens also respawn constantly, making it impossible to clear out oft-traveled zones permanently. This design flub is exacerbated by a constant need to backtrack. While these mechanics are a staple of the role-playing genre, here they combine tediously, and few of the quests are interesting enough to support them.&nbsp;</p><p>Dead Island’s enemy scaling affects its role-playing game mechanics, too. Because every enemy gets stronger alongside you, it never feels like you’re actually getting stronger, just keeping up. This takes some of the fun out of gaining new skills and weapons. Dead Island shines brightest during combat, however. Players have access to a variety of attacks and weapon types, and the game places a particular emphasis on keen aiming. It’s a fun and engaging system, even if hit points aren’t all that balanced.</p><p>From there, zombies can be poisoned, run over in a truck, set on fire, or kicked into deep water. A nice mix of enemy types, a diverse arsenal, and useful terrain give rise to interesting situations, and Dead Island’s combat stays fresh for most of its remarkably long running time. A co-op mode only makes Dead Island’s hacking and slashing better.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> The mix of role-playing game mechanics and first-person combat doesn’t always work, but its B-movie setting and flexible combat keep things lively, even if the zombies aren’t.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Dead Island</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Deep Silver </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $21.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>OS 10.8 and newer, Intel Core i5 2.7GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 512MB</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Combat is tense and varied, with a broad set of interesting, unpredictable interactions. Exploration and online multiplayer are seamless.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Respawning enemies, fetch quests, backtracking, and mission structure make Dead Island feel tedious at times. Role-playing elements are tacked on and don’t play to the game’s strengths.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Reviews Adventure Dead Island FPS Horror Zombies Mac Games Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:35:00 +0000 Joseph Leray 20499 at New iOS Games This Week: August 14, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery App Store AppLife Apps Bik Champ Man Corpse Party games iOS new releases Pako Phoenix Wright Sentinel soccer TourStar WWE iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:40:02 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20480 at New iOS Games This Week: August 7, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery 99 Challenges Adventure Time App Store AppLife Apps Dragon Quest games Godus iOS Jacob Jones new releases Rules Touch Racing 2 Zombie Highdive iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:58:02 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20443 at 25 Must-Have RPGs for Your iOS Device <!--paging_filter--> Gallery app store games AppLife Apps Final Fantasy Genesis role playing RPGs iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:07:46 +0000 Richard Moss, Andrew Dyer, and Andrew Hayward 13243 at New iOS Games This Week: July 31, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery 80 Days App Store AppLife Apps Blood Bowl Crazy Taxi Deep Loot DUET games Guardians of the Galaxy iOS Marvel Pinball Micromon new releases Rotate Zen Pinball iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:28:58 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20401 at A Mac Classic Reborn: Shadowgate Then and Now <!--paging_filter--><p>More than 25 years ago, Mac owners were introduced to Shadowgate — a medieval fantasy quest that overcame its black-and-white limitations to become one of the most immersive and enjoyable graphic-text adventures of its time. The game was a hit, jumping to multiple platforms and captivating countless fans. Now, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, Shadowgate is back courtesy of developer Zojoi, and will be coming to modern Macs (as well as PCs) on August 21.&nbsp;</p><p>More than a simple visual overhaul, the new Shadowgate is a thorough reimagining, with new challenges, redesigned environments, vastly expanded story elements, <em>Lord of the Rings</em>-esque atmosphere, and a grittier, gloomier world design. Though longtime fans will recognize the interface and much of the castle layout, they'll have to overcome enemies and solve puzzles in all-new ways, and there are brand-new parts of the castle, too. In addition, the game features three difficulty settings, numerous achievements, and an orchestrated musical score, plus some neat old-school elements, including the 8-bit soundtrack from the NES version of the game.</p><p>To find out what went into updating this legendary adventure, we're taking a look at several classic scenes from the Mac 512k version of Shadowgate and comparing them to their modern counterparts, accompanied by commentary from the person who knows the game the best: Zojoi founder Dave Marsh, who illustrated and co-designed the original game and produced and co-designed the contemporary version. Read on to learn what lurks in Shadowgate's depths.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Title Screen</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_title_old_620.png" width="620" height="415" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_title_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Ah, MacPaint — how I loved thee. While the programmers called this “dithering,” [co-creator] Karl [Roelofs] and I knew what they wanted was for us to use the presets that MacPaint provided. These black-and-white patterns would compress well and fulfill the promise I had made to [programmer] Terry [Schulenburg]: one floppy disk. As far as the title screen goes, why I drew so many swords on here is simply mind-boggling to be honest. There <em>is</em> a sword in the game but it certainly wasn’t sticking out of a pedestal. The Grim Reaper, however, was all over the place and should have been more prominent. The new image from speedpainting artist Chris Cold is more representative of the game we wanted to make. We told Chris that we didn’t want the game to feel like it came from Ikea. We wanted something rough and with a lot of energy. He obliged nicely."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Entrance</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_entrance_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_entrance_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"We never really gave players much of a backstory about why they were here or who this chap Lakmir (of the Circle of Twelve) was and why he teleported you here. So we changed that in the new version, providing a cool cutscene before you enter with a good amount of fun backstory. The only thing to do in the Mac version was to open the skull and take the key. Some folks really struggled with this so early on in the game. So we moved the skull down and created a character out of him — Yorick, your companion and, if you wish, hint provider. We added other skulls around the door and turned them into a new puzzle."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Antechamber</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_antechamber_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_antechamber_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Wow. Look at all those patterns! This room really compressed well! In the Mac version, you are basically given little information about the guy behind these rather terrifying eyes. The aforementioned cutscene tells you that he’s the wizard Talimar, one of Lakmir’s brethren. Anyway, these eyes animated and he taunts you (not unlike the Frenchman on the tower in <em>Monty Python’s The Holy Grail</em>). This room hasn’t changed a ton from the Mac version except we replaced the closet on the right with a gear mechanism and set the tone of the game appropriately. BTW, did you know that this game supposedly scared the crap out of young players? Karl and I had no clue. So when we created the new version, who were we to disappoint?"</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Hallway</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_alcove_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_alcove_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Many people remember this room because it was the first place you really could kill yourself. There are even comics out on the web about how when you take the book, the floor opens up and you fall to your death. We didn’t intentionally try and make this a random puzzle — it was our nod to <em>Raiders of the Lost Ark</em>. The new version still has this iconic room and death may still greet you here (sickle in hand), but we give you clues that perhaps taking the book isn’t the wisest idea. We also included the corpse of our first dead wizard. How did he die? What was he reaching for? A mystery indeed!"</p><p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Grotto</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_grotto_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_grotto_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Just because we were re-imagining the game didn’t mean that we just got rid of rooms that fans remembered. Most of the time we redesigned the puzzle completely, tied it to another room, and, basically, gave them a purpose for surviving the cut. The grotto is a good example of that. On the Mac you found an arrow conveniently waiting for you on the wall (!), pulled a torch and found a hidden exit. Don’t try to go up to that doorway or it will send you crashing down. For the new version we added an entire sub-story about goblins (the henchmen of Talimar) and had them up in the the opening, guarding something important. You want an arrow? You’ll have to earn it."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Chasm</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_chasm_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_chasm_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"On the list of iconic rooms, this one is in the top five. Two bridges — one solidly built and one rickety as all get-out. Which one should you take? Well, both, of course, but you know the one on the right won’t support your weight (too many trips to the Green Gryphon Inn perhaps). For the new version we added new objects that will help you on your quest as well as a different way to cross the rickety bridge — one that revolves around an entirely new sub-story: the introduction of the wizard’s pet elementals. Super fun stuff all around. Oh, and with the lava particle effects, it’s just gorgeous."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Wraith</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_wraith_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_wraith_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"In the Mac version, the wraith is simply guarding the room. While other rooms got a complete overhaul, we left him pretty much alone in this version — another nod to long-time fans. However, we asked ourselves, why is he guarding a cloak when he himself seems to be wearing a cloak? What if you had to destroy him, take a part of him that is evil and use it for good? Now <em>that</em> would be something. Oh and it’s great to see him fully animate now - something we never properly got to do in the past because we had to&nbsp;FIT THE GAME ON ONE DISK! Deep breath...moving on...."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Sewer</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_sewer_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_sewer_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Ah, the sewer room, or as fans called it, the Epor room. Why Epor? Because it’s 'rope' spelled backwards of course! Get it? In the Mac version, you spoke to the rope and it allowed you to go up into the hole in the ceiling. There was also a hidden door at the end of this room. As I previously mentioned, we didn’t jettison rooms in this new version for the heck of it. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to make it work better and, if possible, tie it to other rooms in the castle. Here we removed the rope thing altogether and filled it with water, challenging the player to find a way to drain the room before moving on. If you look closely at the new image, you can see that the word 'epor' is still scrawled on the wall as an homage to the original puzzle."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Wizard’s Den</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_wizardsden_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_wizardsden_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"So you had these gems and you put them into slots and cool stuff happened. This was one of those rooms that utilized that puzzle. Want to get some more relevant info from Lakmir? Perhaps find out why he really sent you on this quest? In the Mac version you were out of luck. The old wizard didn’t tell you much and only appeared this one time. Worse yet, he was seemingly behind a concrete wall. In the new version, there are various obelisks throughout the game and the spectral form of the old wizard will appear when summoned, moving you along and providing valuable clues for your quest. But why can’t he help me further? And if this is his spectral form, where is his physical one? Another grand mystery!"</p><p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Mirror Room</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_mirrors_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_mirrors_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"Another room in the top-five most-beloved rooms. Three mirrors in the Mac version. One breaks, one leads to another room, and one sends you out into deep space. Suffice it to say we made big updates here, increased the number of mirrors and used them to help you access places that not only help you on your quest but make it easier to traverse the castle. There is also a hidden death there. There are nine hidden deaths (plus a couple of other special deaths) in the game and the player that enjoys uncovering everything possible can, with persistence, find them. Unlocking all special deaths is one of 50 achievements available in the game. Along with the different difficulty levels, achievements add a great level of replayability to our adventure title."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Tomb</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_tomb_old_620.png" width="620" height="412" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_tomb_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"The tomb room changed a bit from the original (primarily the puzzle for the exit out) but has otherwise remained intact. It has always provided two key things. First, the tombs were a great place to give players objects they needed to complete their quest (although we did change many of the objects to fit the new story). We also kept them because many cultures buried such objects within the tombs of the dead and who were we to argue with such grand historical traditions!? Second, we liked the idea of adding a few 'time-based' puzzles in the game. In this case, you are cursed by a banshee and had a certain number of moves to find the antidote before succumbing to the curse and shedding the mortal coil. Also, the curse allowed us to show off some of our cool screen effects."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Dragon's Den</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_dragon_old_620.png" width="620" height="417" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_dragon_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"From a design perspective, very little changed from this room because, well, it’s just a lot of fun. In the original, you need to grab a shield and simply add it to your inventory. Since we now have an ‘equipping’ feature, you must equip the shield on ‘Thyself’ before the dragon lets loose some hellfire. Showing the shield come up made it even more fun and something we plan on doing more of in the sequel. Oh, and in this screenshot, you will see that you can play the game with little to no UI on screen. Just use keybinds or roll over the UI with your mouse to make it appear."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Cellar</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_cellar_old_620.png" width="620" height="417" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_cellar_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"One of the reasons that there are so many different types of rooms in Shadowgate is that we were big AD&amp;D players and loved the idea of moving from one puzzle room to the next. The Cellar is a good example of this. It’s a freezing room — complete with icy fog — right outside the Dragon Den — a random design right out of our role-playing days. We liked this room but didn’t like the puzzle in here so we removed it, added an ice elemental (hence it being cold in here) and threw a red-herring spider in there as a nod to the second room we created on the Mac that didn’t survive the cut. Also, you will note that the new room feels much bigger. It’s more than just the perspective (16:9 vs 4:3). In the original, we tried to keep the rooms tighter and objects larger — something we didn’t need to really worry about in the re-imagining."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Game Over</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_gameover_old_620.png" width="620" height="417" /></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/shadowgate_gameover_new_620.png" width="620" height="348" /></p><p>"I would be remiss not to mention the Grim Reaper. In this game, he was always right around the corner. Looking back, it’s not that we think he came up too often — he just came up without enough reason. Sure, if you wanted to use a sword on yourself, you were guaranteed a death screen but there were plenty of deaths that we’re a bit too random. They didn’t have even a single clue to let you know that death was waiting to usher you into the next world. In the new game, you do die but we made sure that there was a hint or you knew what you were about to do might have dire consequences. When it really comes down to it, unlike other adventure games, the command system in ours allows you to do most anything you want and that means occasionally running into the Grim Reaper. That’s about it for now. We’d hate to give too much away and hope you would check out the new version at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>!"</p> 512 Adventure Classic fantasy first-person Mac 512k point and click Remake Shadowgate Zojoi Features Mac Games Coming Soon Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:01:23 +0000 Chris Hoffman 20395 at New iOS Games This Week: July 24, 2014 <!--paging_filter--> Gallery Astro Duel Colorbars Columns Gallery Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft iOS iPad iphone iPod Modern Combat 5: Blackout Soccer Physics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Great Prank War Traps n' Gemstones iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:53:39 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20369 at