July 13, 2013

Star Trek: Science Fiction meets Science Fact

musicMagpie has put together a great Star Trek navigraphic using original Paramount Star Trek footage, screen stills and archive images to compare the technology of the series to real world equivalents. You will be able to investigate the Earth Space Dock from the Next Generation to the Drydock from the Original Series or London, Earth in Alternate Reality.

Visit the Star Trek navigraphic now

musicMagpie are also running a Star Trek themed competition ‘Where would you boldly go next’ where you can win a fantastic Star Trek bundle along with a 32GB iPad, a PS3 plus loads more great prizes.

1st Prize bundle: Worth of £1000 including a limited Edition Photo Signed by 5 Enterprise Captains! The Original Star Trek Series DVD, Star Trek The Next Generation DVD, Star Trek 2009 (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray), a Classic Communicator, Original Series Phaser, William Shatner signed photo, Chris Pine signed photo, Levar Burton signed photo + Star Trek movies 1-10 & Star Trek Hand Signed Poster.

2nd Prize bundle: 32GB iPad! Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD black Headphones, Star Trek iPad Sleeve + Star Trek PADD style case

3rd Prize bundle: PlayStation 3 500GB Slimline Red, Star Trek Twin Controller PS3 Charger + Star Trek PS3 Game!

The answer that receives the most Facebook likes wins… simple! Winners will be announced following the competition closing date on Monday 5th August via musicMagpie. For more details and how to enter visit the competition page here: http://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/blog/article.asp?id=698.

March 22, 2013

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone wallpaper

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft wallpaper available at: http://eu.battle.net/hearthstone/en/media/#wallpaper

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the the upcoming release of a new free-to-play strategy card game for PC, Mac and iPad which will be called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There will be a hands-on demo at PAX East this weekend, but beta testing is coming soon. To make sure you are ready for the beta just make sure that you sign up for this in your beta profile settings on battle.net.

In the game, players build card decks baed around one of nine WoW character classes (we don’t know what the nine will be as yet out of the available classes here: warrior, paladin, hunter, rogue, priest, death knight, shaman, mage, warlock, monk or druid) and play each other for the chance to win new cards… oh, and for the win, we can’t forget about that! The game is designed so that all players, even if they have never played WoW before, will be able to pick it up and start playing straight away. You will be able to play against the computer in practice matches, pitting your wits against some of the great strategists of Azeroth, and take on your friends via your battle.net friends list. You will also be able to play in two competitive game modes:

Play Mode
A typical head-to-head with a chance to increase your ranking and earn new cards.

The Forge
Players start with a new deck of cards and use that to play other Forge challengers. Players will not only be able to win new cards but add to their collections by buying new card packs or disenchanting existing cards to craft ones that they might be missing.

There will be hundreds of different cards to choose from featuring all your favourite characters from WoW, their spells and weapons, but it will be up to you to build your deck and create winning strategies.

July 16, 2012

iOS Games Review: Pandemic

In a virtual sense of course! If the answer to the question is yes then I’ve got just what you need, that is if you’re not one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have downloaded the game already, grab your iPhone or iPad and download the iOS game Pandemic 2.5 from the App Store. This game has been developed by the team at Dark Realm Studios and was released to the Apple App Store back in May 2012 where it literally shot up the charts.

The aim of Pandemic is to create a suitably infectious disease and then manage its spread through the worlds population; the disease needs to infect every person in each of the 21 regions and then be lethal enough to kill them off, creating your very own extinction event. You create your disease by selecting from a range of symptoms, resistances (e.g., heat, cold, drug resistances) and traits which combine to hopefully increase it’s effectiveness; all the time the clock is ticking and you need to adapt to counteract government measures to control  and manage the spread of the disease, this is done by closing borders and creating vaccines. Governments on each continent will start implementing measures to reduce the spread of the disease once it becomes visible, so generally I try and keep the visibility down for the longest time while trying to infect as many people as possible e.g., choose symptoms for your disease which a person wouldn’t normally seek medical help for but would still make contact with other people. Once your disease is visible ensure it gets everywhere and is as lethal as possible. There are three levels: Casual, Normal and Madagascar (increasing in difficulty) and you can also choose to create a bacterial, viral or parasitic disease. Additionally, you do have the the ability to stop the clock while you make changes to your disease, taking advantage of the EvoPoints you accumulate as you infect the population. EvoPoints are used in the game to evolve your disease by adding new genes and traits.

I’m not sure what it says about me, but I took to this game quite quickly; I think you have to be a bit Borg-like in your approach and adapt, coming back stronger than before when you fail to achieve your main objective. Maybe the degree in biochemistry and microbiology helped a little! I would love to know what other science geeks think about Pandemic, I for one was really impressed with the science behind the game. I’m sure we could analyze each minute detail and come up with something dubious, but for a game like this I think it was amazingly thought out, you could apply real life biological principles and get a real life result – very very cool.

The strategy behind creating and deploying your disease (and of course getting to name your own disease) is definitely the best aspect of the game in my opinion. The only thing I did find was that you sometimes had to wait for long periods of time simply watching your disease propagate, or not as the case may be, especially when you know you are not going to be able to exterminate all of humanity – sometimes I wished I could just skip to the game stats to see how I did before taking another run at it.

One other point of note, in the forums there were a number of people who were a little frustrated by the games initial lack of instructional content, and I agree that I did find that I was working out a lot of the game play through trial and error; but Dark Realm Studios was not unsympathetic to this feedback and in update 1.1 they released, amongst other things, a new game tutorial which hopefully helped with starting out in the game and preventing some of the frustration of just not being able to wipe out humanity.

This is a great game, more than worth the £0.69 price tag.

February 7, 2012

Real Racing 2: a Must-Have for Racing Enthusiasts [iOS]

If you’re like me, you like bits and pieces from all sorts of different racing games. The vehicle customization and realism of Forza, the accelerometer controls of Mario Kart Wii, etc. Lucky for us, those first two examples meld beautifully together in Firemint’s Real Racing 2 for iOS.

Playable on a wide range of iOS devices, Real Racing 2 is visually gorgeous. I play on my old iPhone 3GS and, and it still looks amazing… Though it must look incredible on a retina display, or even on a TV using it’s airplay support for split screen parties with Apple TV. Should you choose to play on your integrated screen, there’s even several different view modes to choose from, most of which support a horizon tilt feature, to counteract the display tilt of accelerometer steering. They obviously wanted everyone to think this game looks fantastic, and it does. Don’t worry, though– these graphical goodies don’t come at the expense of quality content or play time.

The career mode is rather expansive, gradually going from races with little cars like a Ford Focus all the way up to 8 and 10 cylinder monsters from the likes of McLaren and BMW. Integration of achievements and social networking through the game center is a nice plus, too.

That brings me to the next point: multiplayer. I don’t care if my motives for writing this article aren’t entirely selfless or not. The truth of the matter is that this is truly on of the best iOS games ever developed for racing fans, and yet (shockingly) none of my friends have it to play with me! So people I know, and even people I don’t, get this so you can come race with me. It’s a great game that you’ll love, and I’m lonely out there on the tarmac. So I’ll be waiting for you guys! If you grab the game off of my recommendation, add me on Game Center so we can squeal some tires. My name on Game Center is TrevorDunkin (creative, right?) See you out there!

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