3rd January 2009

Call Of Duty: World At War

Call of Duty: World at War

Format: Wii (also available for Nintendo DS, Mobile, PS2, PS3, PC, X360)
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Official Website: http://www.callofduty.com
ESRB Rating: M – Mature 17+

Introduction

Call of Duty (COD): World at War (WAW) is a very intense, brutal and addicting gameCall of Duty World At War that can be played with two players or with friends and strangers via Wi-Fi connection. Although the game is rated M for Mature, WAW does a very good job of not exaggerating the blood, violence, and language; however, I would recommend waiting for the kids to go to bed before playing this one.

Beginning

Picking up the campaign section of the game (if you haven’t played the other COD games) was very simple. The game gives you hints as you go along on how to master the skills needed for the mission you are playing. I used the Wii zapper for this game, which did make it much easier to aim and shoot. The down side of the zapper was it made it harder to quickly throw back grenades and to drop mounted weapons in order to run away from grenades. I took off the zapper for a period of time, and found myself doing much worse – I decided to stick with the zapper for this one.

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2nd January 2009

Puzzlegeddon

Official Website: Puzzlegeddon
Format: PC
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: Pieces Interactive
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating: E – Everyone

Puzzlegeddon

Puzzlegeddon features an inventive mix of puzzle, action and strategy. Select your island of choice and puzzle for resources to defend yourself and to defeat opponents throughout the many galaxies, game modes and challenges which await you in Puzzlegeddon.

When I was asked to review this game I had never heard of it or even seen any screenshots; I wasn’t sure what to expect. So when I read how the game functions, I was quite impressed. The main goal of the game is to defeat your opponents by solving a puzzle of different colors. As you solve the puzzle you will earn different resources to use against your opponents and decrease their health. Along with those resources that do damage to your opponent, there are also resources you can collect to protect yourself.

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10th December 2008

Puzzlegeddon Review

Official Website: Puzzlegeddon
Format: PC
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: Pieces Interactive
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating: E – Everyone

Puzzle games are not really my thing, I get bored easily matching shapes or colours or putting numbers in some sequence; so when I was asked to review Puzzlegeddon I was kind of dubious to try it. After setting up my profile I decided to run through the tutorial, usually I regret doing this but not with Puzzlegeddon; the tutorial was informative, concise and you didn’t have to wait forever while some character told you what to do. A quick look at the puzzle board reveals squares of four colours, and placing five or more of them together and right clicking causes them to clear. On top of the puzzle are four meters of matching colours that fill up as you clear tiles from the board.
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28th September 2008

Belief & Betrayal Review

Format: PC
Publisher: Lighthouse Interactive – North America, UK, Benelux, Scandinavia
Publisher: dtp entertainment AG
Developer: Artematica
Genre: Conspiracy Adventure
SRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

OS: Windows® 2000 / XP / Vista™
CPU: 1 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor or AMD® Athlon™ processor
RAM: 512 MB (1 GB recommended for Windows® Vista™)
Video: 64 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible or better video card
PC CD-ROM: 4x (or PC DVD-ROM drive)
Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
Available Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
DirectX®: 9.0c
Other: Mouse, Keyboard and Speakers

Belief & Betrayal is a point and click third person adventure puzzle game. While outside of my usual gaming comfort zone, I was intrigued by the premise of the title. As anyone who knows me is aware, I am a research addict, and historic mysteries are one of my favourite research topics.

The storyline opens with our main character, journalist Jonathan Danter preparing for a trip to Florida, where he will be interviewing Cardinal Gregorio, a seemingly questionable representative of the Vatican. While preparing for the trip, Jonathan receives a disturbing call from Scotland Yard. The caller, an Inspector Twining, tells Jonathan that his uncle has been murdered and that he is afraid Jonathan’s life may be in danger. Jonathan argues with the officer, stating that his uncle had died ten years previous, but the Inspector insists that Jonathan come immediately to London. Almost as soon as he arrives in England our young hero is thrust into the secret world of ancient societies and intrigue.

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21st September 2008

Spore

Spore is the first of its kind for the simulation genre of video games. Playing this game takes you through the journey of being a small little cell fighting for survival slowly evolving into an actual creature that will allow you to create a tribe, civilization, and even as far as outreaching to space. I guess the sky isn’t the limit with this game.

The interface for Spore is very easy to use. A simple drag and drop interface is used for creating creatures and objects of all types. The possibilities are endless! When in a 3D world, normal WASD keys can be used to navigate as well as the mouse. The true test was to see if I could use WASD, Click-Navigation, and Mouse-Navigation — this game passes that test! You can use all 3 traditional navigation methods.

A big part of this game is the artificial intelligence. Your own creature has AI as well as your enemies and allies. One of the cool concepts I love about this game is your ability to make friends or foe. You can approach another creature that knows nothing about you. If you sing to it, you can make friends. If you bite it, it’s going to bite back and be a foe. So what if there’s a creature that you approach that already doesn’t like you? Simple! You can either be mean to it and kill it off or you could be the better creature and make friends with it. How cool is that?

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27th June 2008

Alexey’s Dwice

Developer: WildSnake™ Software
Demo: 60 Levels Only + Arcade Mode
Platform: PC
Genre: Casual Match Puzzle
Official Game Site: WildSnake™ Software
Price: $19.95 USD

System Requirements:
OS: Microsoft® Windows® 98/NT/Me/XP/Vista/2000
CPU: 733 MHz
RAM: 128 MB
Hard Drive: 30 MB
Graphics: DirectX 7 or later

Alexey\'s Dwice Screenshot

WARNING: Do not play this game when scheduled to work the next day! You’re never going to leave this game alone once you start. From the developer of Tetris®, Alexy Pajitnov has teamed up with WildSnake™ Software to bring you Alexy’s Dwice. With this action puzzle game, you’ll find a whole new level of casual gaming.

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17th June 2008

Ancient Quest of Saqqarah

Final Verdict: Addictive

Developer: Codeminion
Demo: 60 minute trial
Platform: PC
Genre: Casual Match 3 Puzzle
Official Game Site: Saqqarah – note, parts are still under development
Price: $19.95 USD instant download 26mb

System Requirements:

OS: Windows Vista/XP/2000/ME/98
CPU: 800 Mhz
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Drive: 45 MB
Graphics: DirectX 8
Sound Card

All Screenshots in this review are the property of and copyright to Codeminion.

Saqqarah Menu

Saqqarah is a truly beautiful game – the amount of detail the designers have put into the UI and levels for this game is incredible. Everything about Saqqarah is pleasing to the senses – the soundtrack is very fitting for the setting of the game, and is actually something I could listen to all on its own. The puzzles are challenging without being impossible, and the methodology used to solve them is easy to learn. The characters in the game are helpful and amusing – I love how the little scarab rests against a pillar in between levels. You can even learn little bits about Egypt’s past throughout the game.

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8th May 2008

Puzzle Quest Challenge of the Warlords

Review By: Tami Quiring

Puzzle Quest

Okay now that I have beat Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords from Infinite, here are my thoughts on it.

The controls work well – it’s about 99% stylus controlled. The music is annoying – but it’s one of the few games I can play without the sound turned on, so that’s good.

For a DS game, the map is quite large with lots of cities to get quests from and to lay siege to. The more cities you “own” the faster you can easily get a lot of money, as the residents have to pay a tithe each month. Of course they can also stage a rebellion so you have to go back and siege the city again. Battles are waged against opponents following the Bejeweled model – drop down gems which increase your mana when you match three, four or five sets. You can also get wildcards, which multiply the mana you gain. You attack your opponents by matching skulls. Some skulls have higher power and do more damage. You can also use spells to heal, protect and do damage.

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7th May 2008

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii (US Edition)Grab your steering wheel and put your foot on the gas! Nintendo has come a long way with Mario Kart which first appeared on the SNES in 1992. Mario Kart Wii brings the classic Mario Kart games and gives them a huge facelift with a gigantic array of new game-play features. One of the biggest features Nintendo has incorporated into Mario Kart Wii is the ability to compete with other players globally, regionally, or with your Wii Friends via internet connection. While Nintendo has brought a great deal of new features you will still feel at ease with the very similar game-play as previous versions.

The first hour I was playing, I felt very at home with it. I was rapidly getting used to the steering wheel which my Wii-mote fit right into. With this, I can actually guide my go-kart along the race track! Just using this steering wheel you all ready feel like you’re having fun. Of course, those of us who have played all the previous versions of Mario Kart will immediately want to jump right into the race track that we all know from previous games. Nintendo was gracious enough to include some previous popular tracks in this latest version. How cool is that?! Alongside the old tracks are new tracks that are catered around other Nintendo games and previous Mario games. (e.g. Super Mario Sunshine.)

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6th May 2008

StoneLoops – One Great Game

Written By: Tami Quiring

This game is maddeningly addictive. I opened it up expecting to just take a quick tour, try a few levels to check out the game play, and here I am two hours later writing my review. I finally found the strength to end the game, even though I really wanted to unlock that last volcano level in Survival Mode.

StoneLoops, a game from Polish indie game developer Codeminion is a refreshingly new twist on the “match three or more” puzzle genre occupied by other casual games such as Luxor and Zuma. I found everything about the game to be pleasing – except the failing to clear a level part, that is. The graphics are very well done, with attention paid to detail, depth and colour. The audio soundtrack is a very nice tribal, monastic style combining orchestration with haunting vocals, matching the game atmosphere very well. The entire theme of the game has been carefully thought through, with bits of humour mixed in if you take the time to check trophy descriptions and other subtle graphics.

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