June 2007 Archives
Reviewed on Xbox360
Maal is a unique bug. That's remarkable, considering that Maal is already surrounded by sentient bugs replete with weapon-toting warriors, shamen, spellcasters and prosthetic limbs. But then, Maal never got that dose of jelly that his friends all received at birth – the jelly that turns an impressionable egg into a career bug (of a specific type). Of course, not all bugs are quite so bright. Distant groups of bugs weren't transformed by the remarkable event that made Maal's society sentient, leaving them unthinking monsters.
Sentience, however, may be overrated. It seems that conscious thought leads to war, and that's what happens in Band of Bugs. Bugs of varied tribes, abilities and armaments battle in this turn-based tactical game that takes warfare closer to the ground than any other game (save that franchise about annelids).
Official Site legouniverse.com
There is no single toy line with a richer history and more individual pieces than Legos. Next year, The Lego Group and NetDevil plan to release a massively multiplayer online game called Lego Universe that will bring Legos to life in a child-friendly persistent world with activities for Lego fans of all ages.
Projected Release: Fourth Quarter of 2008
Official Site: netdevil.com/games/warmonger.php
Every Miss America contender may want world peace, but when oil stands between major military conglomerates, global war is all that can result. Competition between the largest military contractors, PolyChem Oil and General Energy finally came to a head when both companies sought to secure access to a cache of Iranian oil fields in the late 2020's. When negotiations failed, covert operatives destroyed the PolyChem Oil headquarters in New York. Armed retaliation was inevitable.
By 2029, the Global Corporate Wars have subsumed society, and the biggest battlegrounds are major cities on US soil. Groups of mercenaries battle for control over the few tactically significant sites that still stand among the rubble. And by doing so, reduce the remaining rubble to mere dust.
Projected Release: Third Quarter, 2007
Official Site jumpgate-evolution.com
Jumpgate first appeared on the massively multiplayer online game scene in 2001, offering the opportunity to battle and trade in space to online gamers previously engaged largely in exterminating the online rodent population for experience and glory. With the emergence of Jumpgate, joystick jockeys could pilot starfighters, run interstellar trade routes or manage their own space stations. Jumpgate has maintained a small, dedicated following, but has aged well past the point when new players could easily join the long-running game.
Jumpgate: Evolution is an update and overhaul of the original Jumpgate that brings this flavor of futuristic space combat, trade and exploration back into the modern era of computing.
Projected Release: "When It's Done"
Developer: PopCap Games
Platforms: PC and Mac
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: 700 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 8.0, Windows 98 or more recent operating system
Bounce balls through fields of pegs with the aid of magical powers to rack up the kind of scores that will qualify you as a Peggle Master!
Developer: 1st Playable Productions and Infinite Interactive
A young adventurer from the kingdom of Bartonia is destined to lead the battle against the evil that increasingly plagues the world of Etheria. Starting as a mere novice, players build citadels, conquer nations, battle mythical beasts and dominate all opposition – all by playing symbol-matching puzzle games!
Platforms: Wii, GameCube
Reviewed on Wii
One day, Link shall lead the village of Ordon, but for now he is merely a boy who herds goats and practices the craft of war with a wooden sword. Just when Link is about to venture out of his village to bring Ordon's tribute gift to Hyrule castle, the world is suddenly plagued by foul magics. While the villagers are terrified by the onset of shadowy monsters, Link is transformed and begins his journey as the latest incarnation of the Hero that periodically manifests to save Hyrule from the horrors of power-hungry madmen.
But first, he must regain his true shape.
Developer: Digital Leisure
Reviewed on PlayStation 3
Valiant knight Dirk the Daring braves the torturous traps and malevolent monsters in a dark wizard's castle while questing to save Princess Daphne from the clutches of Singe the Dragon, where Daphne is held in a magical prison. Can Dirk live long enough to save the damsel?