Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition: Coming Soon to PC, Mac, iPad and Android

Baldur's Gate enhanced

“Go for the Eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!” Does that evoke powerful memories from years ago? One of my favorite computer games ever was Baldur’s Gate. I remember many a late night fascinated with what seemed like a wide open D&D world, come to life. If you have similar memories, then hang on to your seat. Baldur’s Gate, one of the most decorated computer games ever, is making a comeback. This time you’ll be able to get your fill of the famed D&D computer RPG on your PC, Mac, iPad, or Android tablet, with some pretty cool enhancements, thanks to the upcoming Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

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5 Fresh Android Games Released in 2012

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40Tech is pleased to present a guest post from Amelia Hunter!

If you own an Android phone and love playing games on it, you’ve most likely already played all versions of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. Wanna try something new? Here are some fresh Android games released this year! They’re free, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing them.

 

1) Pocket Clothier

We’re all well aware of the type of management simulation games that Kairosoft produce and Pocket Clothier is the latest release. This game involves you running a clothing store, hiring employees, buying new stock and setting up displays. In fact, anything that is involved with running a clothing store is included here. Beware though; Pocket Clothier can take over your life.

 

2) Oscura

This game by MTV Networks in collaboration with The Chocolate Liberation Front is one of the slicks games in terms of visuals to appear on Android for some time. Evil creatures are taking over the strange land and it is your job to use your skills to restore the light – excellent 2D fun to be had for all.

 

3) Commander Pixman

Who doesn’t love a retro platform game? That’s right no one! Commander Pixman is as old-school as they come and involves the usual avoidance of traps and killing of enemies over a whopping 135 levels. One of many games recently released by Noodlcake Studios recently, but probably the best. You can play it on any phone of course, but for the best experience it would be great to try it on a new smartphone with high-end features.

 

4) Tapadoo

Brain exercise games are great fun for all the family and Tapadoo is one of these games. This puzzle games takes scribbles and turns them into puzzles that must be solved by you. These puzzles range from the very easy to the mind-boggling – a great game from Nevosoft.

 

5) Aqua Story

Fish can be great pets and they are even better when they are kept in a virtual tank on your smartphone. This game from Com2uS lets you raise different varieties of fish, playing with them and feeding them as you would in real-life. If you’re into your virtual pets, you will love this game. And the best thing is – it can run on almost any Android phone, even on those old ones.

Amelia Hunter is from Rightmobilephone.co.uk, which offers the best mobile phone deals in the UK. She’s interested in smartphones, tablets, apps and PC games, and she loves sports.

The iPhone 4S: a Revolution in Smartphone Gaming?

The iPhone 4S: a Revolution in Smartphone Gaming?  | 40Tech

40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Simon.

Although Apple’s new iPhone did not electrify either the media or the stock market quite so much as Apple might have hoped, it has certainly proved popular with their most vital audience: the consumers, who have made it the most successful iPhone launch ever, with 4 million sales already. It’s achieved worldwide success, including unprecedented penetration in the Chinese market.

Many people probably picked up the 4S for the Siri Personal Assistant, or the much-improved 8Mp camera, or just because it’s fun to have the very latest high-end phone. Hopefully they will sooner or later appreciate the true power of this new handset, which goes far beyond what we’ve come to expect in smartphones, particularly in several areas crucial to gaming: notably processor power, graphics chip, and the possibilities unlocked by the iCloud and AirPlay services.

Processor

The A5 processor in the Apple 4S is the same one used in the iPad 2. Yes, that means the latest iPhone is more powerful than the original iPad – a frankly staggering achievement, allowing game developers to create some seriously resource-intense games for the 4S.

Graphics

The graphics chip is also state-of-the-art, allowing for shading, lighting, and movement graphics that are at least as good as most gaming consoles. Infinity Blade II, the sequel to earlier the hit iPhone game, will probably be the first big release to really show off the new graphical capabilities. It won’t be the last, though – expect movie-quality graphics in a number of new 4S games next year.

Gaming in the iCloud

The iCloud has some great possibilities for gaming. Cloud computing in general has a variety of potential security issues, not yet fully explored or studied, but even if you’re wary of storing your work documents in the cloud, you can certainly save your computer games there. Cloud gaming allows you to start a game on your iPad, and continue it on your iPhone if you don’t have the iPad with you, without any hassle.

Not just a player; an AirPlayer

AirPlay lets you use your iPhone as a controller, moving the visible action from your phone’s 4.3 inch screen to your (suitably compatible) TV screen, and the audio to your surround sound system. Combine this with the iCloud possibilities, whereby you can seamlessly move the action from one device to another since your saved games are stored in the cloud, and some intriguing options open up for game developers. Fancy developing a game character in solo play on the iPhone and then bringing it along to a group gaming session via AirPlay? With the right game – not yet developed – it should be a possibility. Group games via AirPlay, using your iPhone as a controller and your TV screen to show off the action, are already available.

Cheap as chips (potato, not digital)

The very cheap price of most iOS games is a huge boon, too – look out for Diddly next year (free download) for a fiendishly competitive trivia game you can play on your AirPlay compatible TV. Hundreds of one-man indie developers and small teams are working on new titles, often inspired by classic 80s and 90s games, with prices from nothing to just £1-2.

Simon writes on behalf of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website.

Games in Google+ are Here – Once Again, Google Seems to Get It

Games in Google Plus are Here – Once Again, Google Seems to Get It | 40Tech

One of the biggest bitches for me when it comes to Facebook is the way it handles social gaming. Yes, social gaming can be fun, and the quest to get the most points, coin, trophies, et al has its satisfying moments — but the constant invitations, notifications, and culling of said items from my Facebook stream is annoying as hell. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment, either. Google+ is jumping in to the games space today, and I’m happy to report that they, once again, appear to have gotten it right.

If you need a Google+ Invite, get it here.

The Facebook method of social gaming is actually very effective if your goal is to use social pressure and addiction propensity to keep people on your social network. Those things, in many ways, are the basis of how Facebook and its attached products work, and many people are tired of it. Google+ broke that model right from the start by removing any mention of “friends” and letting you decide how to label people in your social circles. Google+ games, which is rolling out today, keeps the low-pressure approach by keeping the crap out of your stream. As they say right in their blog post: ” Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.”

Rejoice!

First of all, Games will have their own page that is accessible from the top of your stream. If you don’t see it yet, don’t fret, you know how Google loves a staggered rollout — just give it time. Once you’re on the page, you can see all of the latest updates from your circles, run through the invites you have (or ignore them entirely), and take a look at the games that other people you’re connected with have been playing. If you are the type that loves to broadcast your score and rub your awesomeness in the face of the masses, you can still do that — but the masses will be your circles, and they will only see your bragging and/or challenges when they feel like gaming themselves and can respond accordingly.

Better for everyone that way…

Google+ Games Homepage Screenshot

There are several games available already, such as Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, and Diamond Dash for the Columns/Tetris style games lovers; Zynga makes an appearance with Zynga Poker, and there are also Sudoku, Dragons of Atlantis, Crime City, Zombie Lane, Dragon Age Legends (hell yeah!), and more. Angry Birds is in there too — but I don’t think I want to have to kill them again. The first time was difficult enough! I nearly had to call Mike Tyson to help me out…

Google+ Games at Launch

So far, the Google+ Games implementation doesn’t disappoint. Remember, though, as with everything else about Google’s new social network, it’s still only a preview. If you run into some problems, try not to hold it against them. Yet.

Let us know about your Google+ Games experience!

Image credits: The Official Google Blog

A 40Tech Gaming Night – Are You Interested?

gaming poll

I don’t know about you, but my gaming time is pretty limited nowadays. When I do game with others online, I don’t want to join in with a bunch of griefers, cheaters, and immature players. Where then can I look for some like-minded players? Well, here at 40Tech, we’ve got a great community, with many mature commenters and friends. Perhaps some of you would like to do some gaming, in the right environment, and with the right game and platform? If so, let’s set up a time that we can game together.

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Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition

Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition | 40Tech

Welcome to another long-weekend edition of 40Tech (Canada Day today and the 4th of July on, well… the 4th). To commemorate this joyous occasion, we present you with yet another 40Tech Random Tech Video(s)! We hope you enjoy it (them), enjoy your day, and enjoy the hell out of you long weekend. Cheers! :D

This set of random tech videos are all about the 4th of July. Why? Because the 40Tech audience is still mostly US-based, and because we Canadians apparently have better things to do than spend time making silly safety PSAs with lego stop-motion and/or video game machinima. Or maybe we just don’t party as hard as you Americans do… Either way, these two videos show us all why playing with fireworks while drinking is, at best, a bad idea.

4th of July Lego Safety

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Halo Machinima Red vs Blue’s 4th of July PSA by Rooster Teeth

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Have a fun and safe holiday!

Have any tech-related Canada Day, 4th of July, or other funny holiday videos to share? Drop a link in the comments!

Relive Your Childhood, and Play the King’s Quest Series, For Free [Windows, Mac]

kings quest

If you grew up in the 80’s, do you remember games like Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and perhaps the best of them all, King’s Quest? They were games from the legendary, and now defunct, Sierra Entertainment. If you long for the fun of yesteryear, then you’re in luck. You can now play the first three King’s Quest Games if you own a Mac or PC. The best part? They’re free.

AGD Interactive is a non-profit fan company that was given a fan license to remake the King’s Quest series. King’s Quest I was released back in 2001, and has seen a few revamps since then, mostly recently in September 2010. King’s Quest II followed in 2002.

The games aren’t just conversions of the originals to support modern operating systems, but rather are complete overhauls of the games. Compare the type of graphics, below, from the original (left) and the remake (right), and you’ll see what I mean. Also, the remakes include additions to the storyline, deeper plots, enhanced puzzles, and fleshed out characters.

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In February 2011, the King’s Quest III remake was completed. This one included a digital music score, as well as voice acting. I’ve only just started playing the King’s Quest I remake, but I was very tempted to jump to the third in the series, as it looks to be the most refined. Of course, half the charm of these older games is that they feel unrefined and retro.

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Have you gotten through all three? Do you know of any other retro adventure games that are available for true geeks at heart?

 

King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown

King’s Quest 2: Romancing the Stones

King’s Quest 3: To Heir Is Human

Original King’s Quest screenshot from Wikipedia.

Thanks to OS X Daily for helping me find these games.

Why I Killed Angry Birds for Chrome [App of the Week]

Angry Birds for Google Chrome | 40Tech

I hated this app. Not because it wasn’t fun, and not because there was something wrong with it — no, no, none of that. It was because it called to me in the middle of the night, squawking at me softly, compellingly; demanding that I play it over and over again until the wee hours before the dawn. Even now, as I write this, the little red bird that promotes the game’s evil is peeking at me with his sinister cartoony eyes, poking his head around the left-most edge of my Evernote window.

I couldn’t allow it. Angry Birds for Chrome messed with my productivity mojo — and this is why the Birds had to die.

I had been avoiding the game for months. I’ve got an iPhone — and an iPad too. I follow these things. I pay attention. I know exactly how addictive Angry Birds has been for people, so I avoided it like the productivity plague that it was (and is!). But all of that ended on one fateful day when I was trolling the Chrome Web Store for new and exciting apps.

It was late, you see, and I was tired. I had been working my butt off on some freelance projects — a website redesign plan, a proposal for social media marketing, some blog posts for a new productivity blog I’m working on (ironic, I know) — and I needed to blow off some steam. That’s how they get you, see? There’s that moment of weakness, and you see their ad — and suddenly you’re installing, clicking, and watching those poor little birds get their eggs stolen by those bastard green (but cute!) pig heads. Don’t question the logic of it — it’s freaking mesmerizing!

So I tried the first level. It was easy. Too easy, like all gateway drugs are. Just a little taste, you know? A taste for free.

Free? Ha! I spent the next few hours of my life firing bird after crazy, utterly enraged bird into green-pig-head strongholds. Dozens and dozens died for the cause — it was a bleeding massacre! But I took those little piggies down, man. I got ‘em one after the other, after the other. I giggled maniacally as I toppled their houses around their green little piggy ears. I shook my fist and roared after them as they ran away again and again with the eggs of my allies — and I followed them determinedly into battle after glorious battle. Who cared that I had to get up in an hour? I was rocking this game! Physics was my bitch! I — damn, was that my wife’s alarm clock? WTF time was it anyway??

So you see… It wasn’t my fault! I had to do it. I had to go back to my Google Chrome start page. I had to open the Apps section — and I had to kill that app with a single brutal blow to the head. No mercy. Damned thing was f*#^ing up my schedule.

Have you killed any angry birds lately? Tell us your story in the comments.

Gamers: Pick Who You Play With on PlayerMatching.com [Get Beta Codes Here]

playermatching

For most of us, our time is valuable. For the gamers among us, it can be frustrating to get online and end up in a game with griefers, idiots, or worse. Wouldn’t it be great if you could join or even set up games with like-minded players? PlayerMatching, an online video game matchmaking site, allows you to do just that. We’ve got some beta codes, below, to put you at the top of the invite list for the PlayerMatching beta.

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