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by Juri Munkki & Andrew Welch

[Avara screenshot1]

Avara is the brainchild of Juri Munkki, whom you may remember by his classic "Arashi" game from a few years ago. Well Juri is back with a vengeance: Avara is a 3D networkable action game that's sure to leave a smile on your face while you blow your friends to smithereens.

[Avara screenshot2]

Avara features an extensible level system that allows players to easily create their own virtual battlefields of glory. Of course we'll be providing some of the most devious scenarios you can imagine with Avara -- enough to keep you busy well through the wee hours of the morning.

[Avara screenshot3]

Avara enables you to romp with up to 6 players on network games, allowing you to choose to work together as teammates, or go for the throat in a free for all battle. Communication during battle is possible as well -- so you can send off a little "ha ha!" after destroying your opponent's walker in a heated battle.

[Avara screenshot4]

The above picture shows the flexibility that Avara offers as a gaming environment: it runs in any color depth, and the game window is resizable anywhere from a tiny window to glorious full screen. Due to Avara's advanced engine, you can expect to be able to run it smoothly at full screen size if you bought your Mac within the last 3 years or so.

[Avara screenshot5]

Your craft in this virtual battle arena is a Finnish-designed walker. Note the sleek lines. Note the graceful legs that suspend your pod. Note the twin turrets of destruction conveniently mounted on either side of your pod. These are just one of the offensive weapons at your disposal while you are on the hunt.

[Avara screenshot6]

The Avara walker is an extremely flexible, battle-worthy craft which allows you to wield it with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. The pod swivels independently of the legs, allowing you to pull off drive by shootings that would make even an LA gang member envious. The fleet legs that carry your craft are just the thing when you walk into a deviously plotted ambush, even allowing you to climb over structures in the game as you vault to safety.

[Avara screenshot7]

Each walker carries with it a scout that can be launched to provide an overview of the battle. You can choose to view from your walker, or from the scout, which is a great aid on particularly complex levels. Just make sure no one shoots your scout down, because its relatively defenseless.

Got a friend of yours that has been irritating you lately? Fire up Avara and settle the score -- but you may want to practice a bit on the solo levels first, just to make it "fair".

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