We admit it. We are addicted to the two Virtual Villagers PC games, which originate from San Francisco’s LDW (Last Day of Work Games.) Executive Producer Carla Humphrey told us that there will be a third one out in beta in a month or so. This is one of those games that appears to be created for kids, for it is fairly straightforward, but we are not so sure. They wouldn’t have the patience.
Although you can speed up the scenarios, it is still played in real time, sort of. Twenty two minutes until the next crop is ready to harvest seems a dreadfully long time when your inhabitants are starving. The game can be played in Easy, Normal, and Difficult for leisure gaming or for those who like a challenge.
One of the most intriguing features is that the game can go on even when your computer is shut off unless you put it on pause. If you like RPGs, SIMs, or games that use your mind instead of just your trigger finger, read our review of the first two Villagers after the jump.
Read More | LDW Games
The Sims Online has become the new and improved EA-Land. Electronic Arts launched the site in 2002 but it seems to have gotten lost in the Second Life shuffle. Learning from their mistakes, you can now upload content, add a widget to Facebook, utilize their virtual real estate market, and blog to your hearts content. Considering Electronic Arts’ recent troubles with Take-Two Interactive Software, we suspect that EA has decided that they do not want to count all their eggs in the same basket.
Read More | gigaom
If you are old enough to remember the Commodore 64, you are old enough to remember how good those games were compared to Pong. While they are simplified compared to most of those released today, they continue to have their own following, evidenced by the fact that you can still play them online. Virtual Console is adding these games to allow Wii owners to play them as well. International Karate and Uridium will be the first two titles offered and VC will add to their line from time to time. While they will first become available on the European Wii Shop Channel, we suspect it will not be long before they move globally.
Read More | Nintendo News
Logitech has launched its Driving Force GT Racing Wheel aka the “official wheel” of Grand Turismo. It has a 24-position real-time adjustment dial for brakes, traction, and damper settings. We love the enthusiasm shown by PR person Ruben Mookerjee, “With the Logitech Driving Force GT, you’re not playing games anymore – you’re racing!”
The 11-inch wheel has an illuminated, audible horn button with GT logo and cant turn 900º. Specifically designed for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on PS3, which debuts on April 17, the wheel itself will become available in May for $149.00.
Read More | Logitech
“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. As we’ve long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry. We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.”
Well, we think it is safe to say that we will be seeing the 360 HD DVD player (along with all the others) hitting the bargain bins over the next week or so. Now we await official word of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on. It’s gotta happen.
Just can’t leave the past? Then you might want to consider the 80’s Gaming Table that comes loaded with PacMan, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and other retro games to equal a 44, count ‘em, 44 total. That’s a lot of gaming for a lot of dough, $2,800.00 to be exact. At a size of 26 x 25 x 23-inches, and in your choice of 36 colors, it can double as a table, desk, or bar. Options are available such as castors for portability or a coin mechanism so that it will earn its keep.
Read More | the cool hunter
Evergreen has come up with a mouse that also doubles as a gamepad. At the minute size of 50 × 85 × 23mm and a weight 67g, it features 1600 dpi, is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Made by the Taiwanese company Giant for 3,499 Yen (~$32.59,) plug it into your USB port and your boss will never be the wiser. If you get caught, offer to lend it to her/him. That should be worth at least a longer lunch hour.
Read More | Akihabara News
Get into those PC War Games with Saitek’s Cyborg Command Unit. Use its analog switch to change between first person shooters, strategy and role player, and sports modes with 21 buttons for up to 144 programmable commands. It will even work for flight simulated games. It also has an adjustable thumb control with two-way tilt on its back lit ergonomic keypad. The USB gamepad is compatible with USB 2.0 Windows XP, XP64 and Windows Vista (all versions.) The MSRP on this one is $39.95.
Read More | Saitek
NASA is considering creating a multiplayer online game which would simulate some of their missions. They are hoping that it might attract the next generation of astronauts and are seeking volunteer companies to invest in their idea by February 15. As they put it, “Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity.”
NASA already has an island on Second Life called Co-Lab that may someday invite avatars to come along on future space missions. Perhaps willing organizations’ avatars can meet their avatars for virtual lunch.
Read More | BBC
The statistics are in and apparently it was a Nintendo Christmas. Approximately 1.4 million of the Wii console systems found their way down chimneys in December, according to a report by the NPD Group. About 2.5 million DS also were purchased. The accomplishment allowed the entire video gaming industry to over $17.9 billion in sales, 43% higher than last year. Microsoft sold nearly 1.3 million Xbox 360s and Sony managed to sell about 800,000 PS3s. As for games statistics, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” and “Call of Duty 4” each sold over 2 million copies in December alone.
Read More | USA Today