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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Gorky 17, Knights and Merchants in Beta
9:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

We recently received a status update from e.p.i.c. Interactive in which they
note that both Gorky 17 and Knights and Merchants are in beta
testing at long last. The status of Gorky 17, an RPG with strategic elements, has been
unknown for a while, apparently due to unforeseen problems with its development.
But it has entered testing and is expected out in September. Knights and
Merchants is an empire-builder/RTS well into its testing phase now, and should be
available sometime next month. An expansion for the RTS EARTH 2140 is also in development. Here's the full rundown from e.p.i.c.'s Thomas

Cartoon adventure The Feeble Files is now shipping for the Mac. If you want
to find out more about green aliens, the Omnibrain and rebellions please
turn to the projects section of our homepage.

Empire builder Knights and Merchants is now in final beta testing. The game
is running properly with only a few bugsthat need attention. We expect this
game to be ready for release by the end of august. Watch out for the
forthcoming demo version of Knights&Merchants.

RPG/strategy mix Gorky 17 has, after many many frustrating setbacks with
this project, entered beta stages on the Mac. We expect the game to be
finished in September.

The release of Earth 2140 Mission Pack for both Mac and Amiga is scheduled
for late august. The Mission Pack brings over 80 new missions to the
original EARTH 2140 as well as 2 new buildings, 6 completely new units and
one new terrain.

As we mentioned in our previous stories on the just-released Feeble Files, that particular
cartoon adventure should be available at Mac-O-Rama in the near future. Be sure
to check out the e.p.i.c. web site if you're looking for more information on
their many projects.

e.p.i.c. Web Site
Gorky 17

Burning Monkey II Carbonized
12:42 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software has announced that their shareware solitaire title Burning Monkey Solitaire II has been "unleashed" for Mac OS X. This updated version runs on Mac OS 8.6 and beyond, and brings all the mayhem and rude sounds of the original to Apple's latest OS.

Here is the press release:

New York: The wildest, the wackiest, (and by far the hairiest), solitaire game is now available for Mac OS X. Colorful graphics, obnoxious sounds, bad jokes, and the world's most extensive cheating mode make Burning Monkey Solitaire II a "must have" for all card players.

With a full suite of classic solitaire games including Klondike, FreeCell, Pyramid, Canfield, and of course, 52 Pick-Up, Burning Monkey Solitaire II is fun for the serious solitaire addict and casual player alike. The most popular computer game of all time has been spiced up with a dash of orangutan, a touch of chimp and a sprinkling of rhesus pieces.

Burning Monkey Solitaire also includes full statistics, specific game replay, multiple decks, casino scoring, a "boss coming!" screen to hide from your employer, and lots of flaming arrows. What other solitaire game can boast essential features like that?

Be sure and grab the demo for this irreverent title and take it for a spin on OS X.

Burning Monkey Solitaire II

IMG Reviews Pong, Diablo II LoD
11:41 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In rapid succession we have posted two new game reviews for radically different titles. Yesterday Michael Phillips presented his take on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, the just-released expansion for Blizzard's realtime RPG. Early today we posted a review of Pong, another Atari classic revisited in 3D and ported/published by MacSoft.

Pong is an attempt to extend and expand the simplistic (to say the least!) gameplay of the original, with a software-based 3D engine. Here's an excerpt from the review:

Right off let me say that Pong is not intended for hardcore gamers. It is a family title. That said, Pong has received a major overhaul for this release. "Pong the Next Level" as the packaging says adds far more glitz and gameplay than its predecessor, yet the title remains true to its basic Pong concept: You have a paddle and your opponent has a paddle. You try to hit a ball past your opponent. Whoever makes it to a certain score first, wins. That's the way it works most of the time, anyway. Some levels are variations of the classic pong style, others are "Challenge Levels" that involve your paddle and ball not competing against another person directly, but rather trying to meet certain goals. Without giving too much away -- some of these levels simply have to be played to be believed -- before you are done with the game, you will visit several circuses a couple of ponds and the occasional pinball machine (among other challenges).
Read on for more details on this arcade classic reborn, and be sure to check out the LoD review if you missed it yesterday.

Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction from Blizzard Entertainment
Review: Pong from MacSoft

Bannister's Blitz
10:24 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Emulator author and porter Richard Bannister has posted a slew of updates to his many fine emulation products. The flood of releases includes both minor fixes and feature improvements for Boycott Advance v0.21, Blitter Library v0.7.0, Boycott v0.6.6, Frodo v4.2.1, Generator v0.2.2, Handy v0.8.2, Jum52 v0.5.4, MO5 v2.1.2, Modeler v0.8.3, Neopocott v0.4.1, O2Em v0.6.6, Oric v1.6.1, RockNES v1.942, SMS Plus v0.9.9, TEO v1.6.1, and TGEmu v0.1.8. Whew!

All of the updated emulators can use Bannister's Blitter Library v0.7.0, so make that your first download. This library (which can now be placed in the Extensions folder, to work with all his emus at once) allows for a huge variety of screen drawing and 2-D rendering modes from simulated arcade cabinet screens to bizarre "broken monitor" modes.

Here is a partial list of changes:

All ports - Revised some code in my generic video layer, used by all my recent ports. Print Screen and Save Screenshot now work properly across the board. Best Fit now works again, and broken auto-frameskip support in some of my ports has been fixed.

* Blitter Library - The interface for my Blitter library has been redesigned. You now only need one copy of the library, which can be placed in the Extensions folder. If you don't want to do this, you can of course keep the library in the individual emulator folder. The filtering options are also far more flexible now. As I've had to update all the emulators using the Blitter Library anyway, I've taken the opportunity to tweak the way the library talks to the individual emulators - for this reason, you will need to update to the latest emulators here to use the updated library.

* Boycott Advance - Sound support (Gameboy Color and DirectSound) has been added to Boycott Advance, as well as improved compatibility and OAM scaling/rotation. Unfortunately it has been necessary to remove the CPU underclocking for these features to work. Various optimizations have helped to reduce the speed hit a bit. Nevertheless, my G4/450MP now gets around 30fps, although that is with full sound. All those wishing to donate me faster Mac hardware please don't hesitate to get in touch :).

* Neopocott - Added support for Freeze and Defrost.

* O2Em - The speed limiter in O2Em is much more accurate now. I've also added support for Freeze and Defrost.

* RockNES - Now in sync with v1.942 for DOS. The bug in v1.930 that caused Battery Backed Games not to save has been fixed, although Freeze games are still a bit hit and miss.
MacGameFiles has all the downloads listed, so you can go directly to the ones you want. Visit Richard's web site for more details on each emulator.

Bannister's Software

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Garage Games' e-Commerce Goes Beta
9:50 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

The Garage Games website has been updated with news that the e-commerce side of the V12 engine is now being tested by the beta team. This suggests that the engine is almost ready to be released, and people could be making their own FPS games within months! Here is the update:

The GarageGames e-commerce code has been uploaded to the site and is now open to the beta team. Over the next few days the beta team, along with GG staff and associates, will be testing heavily to make sure our e-commerce solution is solid, bug-free, and ready for prime-time
The V12 engine is a stripped down version of the Tribes 2 engine, with no actual content, which will be made available to developers for a mere $100 for a non-commercial release. For more information on this company and their project (as well as the Mac version of the game) read our detailed interview.

Interview: Tim Gift of Garage Games
GarageGames Website

Mac Games News for Monday, July 30, 2001

Nanosaur-Based Comic Book Underway2:25 PM
Aspyr Releases The Sims: House Party1:49 PM
Special Offers for MacGames CD Subscribers11:33 AM
Harpoon 3 Nears OS X Native10:59 AM
Green Berets Ships9:03 AM
Pillars of Garendall at Final Candidate Status8:32 AM
Custer Throws a "House Party"6:00 AM
Red Faction Update, Preview6:00 AM
Short Civilization III Interview6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 30, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, July 27, 2001
Thursday, July 26, 2001
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Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Monday, July 23, 2001

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