Counting down to SimCity

Electronics Arts is about to release one of its most anticipated games – the new SimCity. As a self confessed SimCity addict, I think I am about to retreat into a city of my own.

Peak climbs into social gaming’s top tier, eyes Asia

The Turkish social gaming company Peak says it now has more daily active users than EA or Wooga, and it hopes that expansion plans for south-east Asia could give Zynga and King.com a run for their money too.

Nintendo will lead innovation again; just not with the 3DS

Is the 3DS the device to lead Nintendo into another decade of growth and profitability? Probably not. With the gaming industry focusing more and more on tablets, smartphones and touchscreens, the company will almost certainly have to rethink its slightly antiquated business model to remain relevant.

Rumor Has It: Foxconn Receives Order for Next-Gen iPhone

The inevitable iPhone update is looming ever closer in the distance, and accordingly, the iPhone rumor mill is heating up. Today, news came that frequent Apple (s aapl) manufacturing partner Foxconn, a Taiwanese hardware company, received an order to build the new iPhone, which still won’t arrive in consumer hands until mid-2010.

News of the iPhone order comes via Mobile Review’s editor in chief, Eldar Murtazin, who tweeted simply, “Foxconn received order for next generation iphone” early Thursday morning. Murtazin is known to have good connections in the mobile phone industry, so there’s a good chance that there’s something solid behind the report. Engadget went so far as to call him “the ultimate insider when it come to all things mobile,” which is no small praise. Read More about Rumor Has It: Foxconn Receives Order for Next-Gen iPhone

Quick Look: Warhammer Online Mac Edition

Over the years, I’ve been forced to redefine my definition of “native” game clients for OS X. At first, I was a die-hard, nothing but true native code for me, thanks. Then, as the harsh reality of understanding that true native code is about as likely as Congress putting aside their differences and acting on what’s best for the common man, in a moment of true despair I opined that maybe running games in Crossover wasn’t such a bad idea.

Now, the trend seems to be to use TransGaming’s Cider, which in non-technical terms a wrapper game developers can use to bridge their Windows code over to OS X. It’s not a “true” native client, but, since it doesn’t require a virtual machine or the ritual sacrifices that seem to go along with getting games to run on Crossover, I can handle that. Warhammer Online, from EAMythic is the latest game to get ported. After a few months of beta, it was released October 26. Full disclosure: this isn’t a full review. I’ve only got about 15 hours or so of game play to base these observations on.
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I’ve had decent luck with Cider ports, although my sample set of Sims 3 and Spore is a little small. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) is definitely the most resource-intensive of the ports I’ve tried. For the most part, it worked fairly well. I have a brand-new MacBook Pro, but with only 2GB of RAM. I had enough stutters and jerks to prove to me that jumping to 4GB would be optimal, but it wasn’t unplayable with 2GB, either. Read More about Quick Look: Warhammer Online Mac Edition

Today’s Game Parade

ipod_touch_gamesNow that the iPod touch is a tried and true gaming platform, not an Apple (s aapl) event goes by that we don’t see a smattering of developers paraded up on stage to show off their shiny baubles. Today was no exception, with reps from Ubisoft, Tapulous, Gameloft and EA (s erts) all making a brief appearance.

Each studio showed off one of its new titles. While not particularly enthralling when you’re watching mostly for the thrilling possibility of revolutionary software/hardware announcements by Apple itself, considered after the fact, there were some impressive showings from third party guests at today’s presentation. Read More about Today’s Game Parade

The Sims 3 for iPhone: Bring the Franchise to Your Pocket

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It arrived shortly after midnight on Tuesday, the same day as the release of the desktop version, and I was all over it. “Pumped” would probably be the best way to describe me at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning as my iPhone was syncing with my Mac mini and the Sims 3 ($9.99, iTunes link) was being installed.

I only briefly tested the game last night, but today, I spent many an hour becoming well acquainted with EA’s (s erts) latest offering for Apple’s (s aapl) mobile platform. So much so that I was tempted to run out and buy The Sims 3 right away. In some circles, they call that a “starter drug.”

But does The Sims 3 for iPhone hold up as a game in its own right? After playing for several hours, and looking at all aspects of the stripped-down portable version, I think I can finally answer that question. Read More about The Sims 3 for iPhone: Bring the Franchise to Your Pocket

Need for Speed Undercover Infiltrates the iPhone

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As a general rule, racing games tend to leave me cold. My brother is the car buff and racing fan. I’ve enjoyed a few, like Gran Turismo, but I tend to give them a pass. Need for Speed Underground for the PS2 was another exception to the rule, mostly because of the RPG-type elements of customizing and upgrading your car, rather than the racing elements themselves. Oh, and I loved Mario Kart, but that doesn’t really apply here (Nintendo will probably never allow that dream to come true).

Need for Speed: Undercover, one of EA’s (s erts) big iPhone (s aapl) releases for 2009, recently went live in the App Store, and I spent this past weekend being a hot shot street-racer. Well, a pretend hot shot, anyway. Those familiar with 2001’s The Fast and The Furious will recognize the plot basics in Need for Speed: Undercover. You’re an undercover (surprise!) cop, who’s trying to infiltrate the street racing world to recover some important stolen cars and/or arrest people. The story wasn’t exactly gripping enough for me to pay close attention to. Read More about Need for Speed Undercover Infiltrates the iPhone