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October 2008


I can’t remember what, but I think it was important.

 

Let’s see, yesterday, October 30th was National Candy Corn Day.  I actually love candy corn, so I had my own elaborate celebration with that new caramel apple flavored stuff…Ok, I just ate some candy corn while watching TV, but it was very tasty!

The end of October also means the end of Squirrel Awareness Month, so if you weren’t already aware…

This is a squirrel

 

Oh wait, today’s Halloween! 

Oh thank goodness, that means it probably wasn’t just me who saw that giant bunny on the train this morning! 

 Here are some pics of my iWin co-workers who got into the spirit:

I thought he was just the VP of Finance, but it turns out Curtis here may have a secret life.

 

 

 

 

 

Sam from Game QA makes a formidible Storm Trooper.  Especially when you find out that no, this isn’t a rental.  He made this costume!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we’ve got a group shot with (from left to right) David as the dude looks like a lady, Stormtrooper Sam, Markus from Customer Care as “just Markus, mon!” Shadow from IT in tradition Indian garb and a big silly Uncle Sam hat…Yep, he’s an American Indian…and Cameron and Annabell on the end as Hercules and Cerberus the three-headed guardian of Hades.

Here’s another shot of Hercules and Cerberus

 

And another, can you guess what was my favorite costume?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody have a happy and safe Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, I’m Joe Cassavaugh and I’ve been the lead designer on all three Mah Jong Quest games here at iWin. I thought I would spend my first blog explaining a little bit about Kwazi’s origins. Since Kwazi first showed up in Mah Jong Quest, people have asked “Is Kwazi a boy or a girl?” Although we finally answered that question in “Mah Jong Quest III – Balance of Life”, I think it’s a good time to tell everyone how Kwazi became intentionally ambiguous in that area in the first place.

I originally thought of the name “Kwazi” (rhyming with Bonsai) because my family nickname is “Kazz” and that quickly morphed into “Kwazi” and I always thought of “Kwazi” as a little boy. However, creation at iWin is very much a collaborative process and David Fox wrote the story outline with “Kwazi” as a little girl. I had never specified that “Kwazi” was a boy and I was surprised when I saw the “she” pronoun for the first time in regards to “Kwazi”. I think we even had art at that point and it was ambiguous enough that David and I decided there was no reason that “Kwazi” couldn’t remain undefined in that area. I was familiar with the “It’s Pat” sketches from SNL in the mid 90’s and I joked “Is it a He? or Is it a She?…It’s Kwazi!!!”

And that is how “Kwazi” (rhyming with Bonsai) got his/her pronunciation change into “Kwazi” (pronounced like the Quazi in Quazi Moto) (which also rhymes with he/she). And did you know that the three dragons are named Qua, Nit and Um? But that’s a story for another day.

 

 

Hey, iWin is having a big 50% off Halloween sale.

Just add as many games as you like to your cart, and when you’re ready to check out, enter coupon code SPOOKY to get 50% off all download games.  (doesn’t apply to backup CDs or already discounted stuff such as iCoins purchases)

 

 

It’s suuuper secret, so be sure to tell everyone you know.

 

Yes, even her.

You all know that iWin is a game site that sells download games. What you may not know is that iWin also has a game studio that makes a lot of these games. Ever hear of Jewel Quest? Jewel Quest Mysteries? Jojo’s Fashion Show? Yep, those are ours.

Today we have a great new hidden object game to add to those illustrious titles – House of Wonders: Babies Come Home. This is, without a doubt, the best hidden object game I’ve played in a loooong time.

Spiral Search Screen

Spiral Search Screen

Until I played it, I was actually a little biased against House of Wonders: Babies Come Home. Between it and that Swiffer commercial, I’ve had Baby come back…you can blame it all. On. Me! In my head for about a week now.

Home Theater Mini Game

Home Theater Mini Game

The story is pretty simple; Larry and his wife are expecting quintuplets, and you can help them make pay for the blessed event by earning money playing each level. You can then try to increase your earnings in the casino, or purchase goodies like bottles, beds and nursery upgrades in the Delivery Prep and Baby Mart.

2 things really set this apart from the I-Spy crowd:

1) The hidden object screens are bright and colorful, and most importantly, clear. There’s a big difference between an object that’s cleverly hidden and one that’s just hard to see because the screen is so murky, or the objects are blurry.

This definitely falls in the cleverly hidden camp, especially in levels like “The River” where objects can either be static on the side of the screen, or floating by in a stylized waterscape.

House of Wonders: Babies Come Home

The River Search Screen

2) The mini games! Whether you’re matching identical people floating in outer space, playing a tri-peaks style solitaire game, or using a spotlight to find people in a darkened theater, the mini games are like nothing I’ve seen before in a hidden object game!

They’re almost more fun than the main game. Almost. Together they make for a really excellent and unique gaming experience.

Even if you think you’ve seen everything that hidden object games have to offer, give this one a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you’ve already played it, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

A few people have left requests for technical assistance in the comments.

If you’re having technical trouble with a game or any part of iWin, we have an extensive Knowledge Base that will most likely have the answer you seek.  If you don’t find a solution in the Knowledge Base, you can send a message to our brilliant and friendly iWin Customer Care team, who I will be introducing to you over the next few weeks.

I’ve also added a Get iWin Help link under Quick Access on the right side of this page, this will take you to the Knowledge Base.

If you’re having trouble playing a game, for example you’re looking for tips on how to pass a certain level, this is the perfect place to ask those kind of questions.  I may not know, but I bet a bunch of other gamers out there will have the answer!

Hello! Welcome to the iWin blog! It has been a long time in coming and man, do we have a lot to say! Hopefully, you guys will chime in whenever you have the hankering and we can get some good discussions going here.

Basically, when we were debating whether or not to launch this blog, the question always came up- do our players come here just to play games or do they also want to get to know us and each other? I have long been a proponent of giving everyone a voice… because lord knows that I am pretty darn vocal so I know that you guys must be too! So here you go! Here is your vehicle to speak out and tell us… well, anything you want really!

I wanted to tell you a little bit about what it was like to work at iWin.com, in case any of you ever thought that it must be the coolest thing in the world to work at a gaming company. Well, I have to tell you (and not to rub salt in the wound or anything) but it is actually really cool. I have been working in the casual game industry now for about 3 years (before iWin I was at one of our un-named competitors) and I can confidently say that iWin is the best company I have ever worked for. There is a real sense of unity within the office… and not just among the worker-bees. Our executives have made sure that we are a tight knit group and everyone is on board with the company mission- to bring you guys the best gaming experience ever.

Is this getting mushy? Ok- well I’ll stop with that, but I will say that even though I do occasionally get to play games in the name of the job, there is a lot of real work happening on a daily basis to give you the game site that you are looking for. If there is ever anything that you think we need to do… let us know! All ears!

Today is Get to Know Your Customers Day, how perfect for the day after we launched our iWin Blog!

Yesterday I told you who I was, now it’s your turn. 

Feel free to leave a comment and tell us something about you.

What’s your favorite game?  What did you have for breakfast?  How’s your day going?  Any weird dreams last night?  Anything you want!

Hi there!  You may have noticed there’s a section on the iWin homepage called “Terrie’s Picks”.  You also may have wondered who the heck Terrie is, and why should you listen when she suggests what games you should play?  Who is this Terrie?  She seems kinda bossy…

I am Terrie!  If you’ve seen any game reviews around iWin by UglyGerbil, that’s me too.  I have worked at iWin for over 5 years (since before iWin was iWin, we used to be called NextGame!), and I am one of the team of worker bees who make sure you have a new game to play every day.

As a special introductory offer, I’m going to give you a special, bonus Terrie’s Pick.  Here, I’ll give you a musical hint:

Oh yes it’s Peggle Nights and the feeling’s right!  Oh yes it’s Peggle Nights, oh what a night (oh what a ni-ight)

Ok, that’s not much of a hint, I pretty much told you what it is, but I’ve had that song in my head all week!

Click to Download

Click to Download

You may have guessed from my “hint” that Peggle Nights is out on iWin today, but I’ve been playing it obsessively since last week.  I’ve nearly finished the game, and right now I’m working on getting the high scores on all the boards I’ve unlocked in Quick Play mode. 

After you complete a level in Quick Play mode, there’s a leaderboard that shows all the top scores.  If you see UglyGerbil on there, it’s me.  I was doing pretty well, but that was before the game was in wide release, so we’ll have to see if I still measure up!

If you loved the original Peggle Deluxe, you’ll love Peggle Nights as well.  The concept is still the same: Shoot the ball from the top and it trickles down through the “pegs”, clearing them as they’re hit.  Your job is to clear all the orange pegs in the 10 shots you’re given.  It’s like an electronic version of Pachinko.  Once you shoot the ball, you have no control over what happens, so you have to plan your shots carefully!  My neighbors probably think I’m insane, because all week, shouts of “YES…YES…NONONONO!!!!” have been coming from my apartment.

This is my best shot ever.  I had 1 ball left and 4 orange pegs to clear.  I could not believe it, so I had to do a video capture!


So do you love Peggle?  What’s your favorite power-up?  Made any amazing shots you’d like to share?  Tell us all about it!

Click to Download

Click to Download

Click to download

Click to download