Thursday, August 5, 2010

AI War: Children Of Neinzul Beta Opens!

The first beta release of Children of Neinzul, the new micro-expansion for AI War, is now available for demo or for preorder (only $3.99)!  After the longest time ever between AI War releases, the new beta 3.173 version of the game is also now out with a few bugfixes aside from the new CoN micro-expansion features.  The following features have been added so far for the expansion:

* Starship Class: Neinzul Enclave Starships Mark I-IV.
* Bonus Ship Type: Neinzul Youngling Commandos Mark I-V.
* Bonus Ship Type: Neinzul Youngling Tigers Mark I-V.
* Map Types: X,Concentric Circles
* AI Plot: Hybrid Hives

The Neinzul aliens are an insectoid race of perpetual "younglings," who live for an extremely short span before dying and being superseded by fully-aware and vicious replacements. The Neinzul are organized into localized "Enclaves" that form mini-collectives with their own personalities, goals, and desires. In this second expansion to AI War, players face off against the Neinzul minor factions, against new AI types in general, and enlist the help of the friendlier members of this new alien presence.

The new Enclave Starships bring a long-awaited feature to AI War: mobile space docks, including variants that go all the way up to mark IV. Optionally, for those players who felt that the normal types of AI in the game weren't challenging enough for them already, there are new Hybrid Hives that bring an all-new-to-AI-War type of AI structure to the game. Hybrid hives are part Neinzul and part AI, consisting of loose fleets organized around the Enclave Starships. Hybrid hives have various personalities and goals, and might work together or might go it alone. They are far more aggressive than the regular AI, they gain in power over time, and they can even recapture planets. For advanced players who want to try their hand at a whole new kind of AI War experience, the Hybrid Hives provide more cut-throat opposition than ever.

Child's Play
But wait! Perhaps the best part is still yet to come. When you purchase AI War: Children Of Neinzul, you're not only getting an exciting new expansion, you're also supporting an important cause. Arcen Games has partnered with the Child's Play charity, pledging 100% of the profits from sale of Children of Neinzul (excepting any taxes and distributor fees) to helping sick kids in need.

The staff at Arcen has long admired the work done by Child's Play, and we're very excited to finally be able to contribute in a substantial manner. Our goal is to raise $14,000.00 USD for Child's Play in 2010, but even after 2010 all of the proceeds from this micro-expansion will continue to be donated to the charity. We'll post monthly updates on how we're doing towards our goal, so check back!

Want to read about all the features in extreme detail? You can of course try the demo of the expansion to make sure that you know what you're getting, but the full feature list is also now available on the AI War wiki. There's quite a bit that will be coming in this one even though it's technically a micro-expansion rather than a full expansion!

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