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Friday, February 22, 2002



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Updated Wolfenstein Requirements (Updated)
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has been updating the system requirements listed on its web page for the upcoming Return to Castle Wolfenstein, converted to the Mac by Westlake Interactive.

Update: Since this story was posted earlier this morning, Aspyr has updated the game's system requirements again, and the current requirements differ in important respects. The physical RAM requirement has been lowered from 192 MB to 128 MB, but the minimum OS has been raised from 9.1 to 9.2:

  • Mac OS 9.2 or later with virtual memory
  • Mac OS X 10.1 or later
  • Power Mac G3/G4/iMac (2002)/Titanium (model B)
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 3D Graphic Acceleration required (ATI Radeon, Nvidia GeForce or later)

Be sure to take note of the latest requirements listed at Aspyr's web site before ordering a copy of Return to Castle Wolfenstein for that older Mac.

IMG Preview: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Westlake Interactive
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein



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Civilization III Patched to Version 1.17f
1:23 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacSoft today posted a patch for their hit strategy game Civilization III, bringing it to version 1.17f. The new patch adds a number of features and improvements, including:

  • Stack movement for units of the same type: This means that you can set multiple go-to orders for units of the same type, in the same tile, with a single order.

  • Civilization Unique Units are now part of the upgrade path: Now you can upgrade a unique unit and they function just like the standard unit they replace with regards to upgrading.

  • Improved unit activation sequence: Units will be selected for orders more logically. There will be less jumping around the screen during your turn.

  • Possible to completely suppress cultural city acquisition with military units: Before there was always a small chance that a city would revert to another stronger culture, regardless of the number of military units you've got stationed there. Now, if you have enough, you can eliminate that chance entirely.

  • Many operations are faster now, including map scrolling.

  • Preferences will be saved in all cases.

  • All sounds and music will play consistently.

  • Native support for multiple mouse buttons and mouse wheels under OS X.

  • In addition to the command key, the option key will now also bring up the startup configuration dialog.

  • Memory footprint has been reduted [by] roughly three megs.

  • Added 1600x1024 as an option for Cinema Displays.

  • Added 1152x768 as an option for Titanium PowerBooks.

  • Changed to a more common Mac resolution.

  • Visual glitches have been fixed under OS X.

  • Uses much less CPU time when paused or hidden.

  • UI actions respond more quickly.

  • Menu no longer appends items twice under the classic Mac OS.

  • Screenshot code works more reliably with more than one screenshot.

Head over to our sister site, MacGameFiles, to download the 1.7 MB patch. For more information about this best-selling strategy game by Sid Meier, be sure to read our review at the link below.

(And remember, if you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can buy your own copy from the IMG Store for $39.)

IMG Review: Civilization III
Civilization III
MGF: Civilization III 1.17f Update (1.7 MB)
Buy Civilization III



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Captain Bumper Updated to Version 1.13
12:52 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

MacRun Games have updated their cartoon-style, side-scrolling arcade game Captain Bumper to version 1.13. Here's what's new since the game's release:

  • Correction of a bug when the game is used on a Macintosh with Mac OS X 10.1.3
  • Correction of a bug when the game is used on a Macintosh with multiple display configuration
  • Better event management when the application is switched over to the background
  • Completely compatible with Mac OS X, this version is "carbonized" for Mac OS X
  • Correction of some minor bugs with regard to the previous versions
  • Improvements on the automatic demonstrations

You can download an updater to version 1.13 at our sister site, MacGameFiles, as well as a demo.

For more information on this game, which has been well received for its beautifully detailed graphics and addictive gameplay, read our preview at the the link below. You can also find screen shots there, as well as at the Captain Bumper web page at MacRun Games, where you can order the full version of the game.

Captain Bumper is also being distributed on CD-ROM by the good people at Casady & Greene.

IMG Review: Captain Bumper
Captain Bumper
Casady & Greene
MGF: Captain Bumper 1.13 Demo and Update


IMG Reviews the ATI Radeon 7000
11:03 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Andy Largent of the Radeon 7000 Mac Edition PCI video card from ATI Technologies. Here's an excerpt:

The Radeon 7000 differs in interesting ways from the 2001 Radeon. While it boasts a faster clock speed and dual-head capabilities, the card has been pared down with one less rendering pipeline and no Charisma Engine to perform Transform, Clipping, and Lighting (TCL) instructions. While these features are used in relatively few games on the Mac (or even the PC), those who like running their titles in 1600x1200 will want to read through the rest of the review closely to see how the FPS scores pan out. The Radeon 7000 isn't necessarily targeted at hardcore gamers though, and — excluding a few nagging issues — the $50 price drop from the 2001 Radeon will certainly increase its appeal across the board.
For the full text of our review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Radeon 7000
Radeon 7000


GameSpy Interviews MOO3 Developers
9:20 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

The staff at GameSpy recently held a Q&A session with Bill Fisher, Cory Nelson, Alan Emrich, and Rantz Hoseley, Quicksilver Software's "Fearsome Foursome" and developers of the upcoming turn-based strategy title Master of Orion III. In the interview, the developers discuss their inspiration behind this monumental title, the process that brought them all together, and the importance of graphics to the title, an area that is often understated in strategy games.

They also address the concept of the "Fifth X," which they say will differentiate MOO3 from previous titles in the genre. Most turn-based strategy games are given the label "4X," which stands for "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate." MOO3 adds an additional X for "eXperience," which is indicative of its focus on the actual task of running a galactic empire rather than micromanaging hundreds of colonies at once. MOO3 will actually allow the player to delegate most of the mundane tasks of management to underlings, allowing the player to focus more intently on the larger picture.

MOO3 is the third in a series of extremely popular strategy games of galactic conquest, the first of which was published back in 1993. MOO3 will be published for the Mac by MacSoft and is expected sometime in the spring of this year.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

GameSpy: What is the player's objective here? Are there scenarios/campaigns to complete? Is there an open-ended storyline, a combination thereof or something else entirely?

Alan Emrich: Master of Orion III is pure space opera. You begin at the opening of a carefully crafted story. The chaos in the Orion Sector of space is expanding, and you must find the dominant place in it before someone else does.

There are four victory conditions in Master of Orion III, each of which can be turned on or off separately (when they're all off, it's a "sole survivor" game). These include the traditional Lone Superpower (i.e., military dominance) and Galactic Presidential Elections from the previous MOO games. In addition, MOO3 adds the Legitimate Heir victory condition (every civilization proffers their own heir as "legitimate"; if you can wrangle enough others to abandon theirs and support yours, you win).

Finally, there is solving the Antaran Mystery, or "discovering the 5th X," that gives you their power of dominion and allows you to win the game. You'll have to send a lot of ships off for a long time on risky expeditions, but every piece of the puzzle they bring back offers immediate practical rewards in terms of gameplay, as well as propelling the player closer to victory.

The full interview contains many more interesting bits of information. Follow the link below to read the entire interview.

GameSpy: Master of Orion III Developer Chat
Master of Orion III
Quicksilver Software
Buy Master of Orion III



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Blizzard Strikes Back at Hackers
8:32 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

In what will certainly come as welcome news to online players of Diablo II and Lord of Destruction, Blizzard Entertainment announced late last night in their Battle.net Status forum that they have begun deleting accounts of individuals whom they detect using hacks in the game:

In keeping with our aggressive stance against hacks and cheats, we have deleted accounts that were caught using hacks (including but not limited to duping hacks and server-crashing or game-terminating hacks).

We will continue to monitor the Battle.net Realms for malicious players. Be aware that if you are caught using a hack, your accounts will be deleted. We regret having to employ these extreme measures, however, certain unscrupulous players impair the gameplay of the Diablo II community as a whole, and severe action is now both warranted and required. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

If you would like to report additional instances of hacking and duplication, please contact us at hacks@blizzard.com.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Although hacking is far more prevalent in the PC community than on the Mac, it strongly affects all players on Battle.net, including Mac gamers. Although Blizzard's talk on this issue has been tough in the past, this marks the first time that they have deleted offending accounts en masse.

What impact this will have on the game and the community remains to be seen, but we hope that this will restore some order to the Battle.net Realms, which were set up to provide a haven safe from cheats. (For online players who enjoy using hacks, it remains possible to choose Open Battle.net games rather than play on the Realms.)

Popular fan site DiabloII.Net has a thread in their discussion forum responding to the news at the link below.

IMG Review: Diablo II
IMG Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Blizzard: The World of Diablo
DiabloII.Net: Blizzard Smacks Back
Buy Diablo II



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WWII Online Mac Update
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As IMG noted last week, the Mac client for the massively multiplayer battle sim World War II Online is still under development by Cornered Rat. Helpful reader Justin Barham sent in confirmation today in the form of a quick news snippet at World War II Online HQ.

Here's what Cornered Rat's "Killer" had to say:

Well we've made a few changes. We have decided to go OS X only, and were preparing for adding a sizeable hunk of Mac guys to beta, followed sometime afterward with a much more sizeable hunk of Mac players.

We've recently met with some folks at Apple and we are working out what we can do cooperatively for release.

It's great that Apple is helping to push massively multiplayer online titles out the door, and we will keep you posted as the Mac client gets closer to release. For much more information on the game, have a look at the World War II HQ site.

IMG News: WWII Online OS X Client Lives
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
World War II Online HQ: News on the Mac release



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Return to Dark Castle Beta 8 Adds OS X Support
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Z Sculpt has released another public beta version of Return to Dark Castle, adding support for Mac OS X to this classic title. Delta Tao will now publish Return to Dark Castle; the third game in the very popular series which stretches back to some of the first Macs.

While version 1.0b8 brings with it OS X support, there are a few caveats. It seems the game's older 8-bit technology might not be jiving well with OS X:

  • 8-bit color in Mac OS X is a BEAST. There are a lot of ugly color palette issues right now when the menubar or dialog boxes are shown. Although this may not be entirely fixable, we're working to make it look as good as possible for the final product. Please bear with us.
  • There is an occasional crash while going between levels.
  • Mac OS X 10.1.3 has a problem with showing the menubar.

For those wanting to beta test in Mac OS X, head over to MacGameFiles and grab the 6.6 MB download.

Delta Tao
Return to Dark Castle
MGF: Return to Dark Castle 1.0b8 (6.6 MB)
Buy Return to Dark Castle


Trade Wars RPG Q&A
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

RPG Vault recently chatted with David Adams of Realm Interactive about the company's upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Trade Wars: Dark Millennium. Old-school gamers will recognize the Trade Wars as a very popular BBS title from the days before the World Wide Web. The interview focuses on the shift in Trade Wars from strategy to more of a role-playing title.

Many topics are discussed, including specific RPG elements, server issues, and Realm's plans to get the title out before the end of the year. While Realm Interactive won't ship a Mac version initially, they do plan on providing a client after the Windows release.

Here's a clip from the interview which gives a good overview of their goals for the game:

Jonric: As an introduction to Trade Wars: Dark Millennium, please give our readers a summary of how you see it. How would you categorize it in terms of its genre or mix of genres?

David Adams: Dark Millennium is a massive online science-fantasy role-playing game. It combines Diablo-like gameplay with the persistence of Everquest and a dash of StarCraft. The player assumes the role of hero extraordinaire in a dark futuristic world where technology and mysticism intertwine. The hero's adventures will take them to alien planets, uncharted sectors of space, deep into the bowels of ancient catacombs and through the ruins of derelict space hulks.

Primarily, Dark Millennium is a role-playing game. This means that the player experiences the world through the eyes of their avatar, which grows and improves through the course of play. In addition to standard RPG play, Dark Millennium also has elements of an RTS, which are experienced through the game's robust quest system.

The rest of the interview is very interesting, so be sure to head over and read it for more details. Also check out the new screen shots for a good idea of how Trade Wars will look.

RPG Vault: Trade Wars: Dark Millenium Interview
Trade Wars: Dark Millenium


Mac Games News for Thursday, February 21, 2002

IMG Store Offers Sims Super Bundle, Harry Potter1:05 PM
Harry Potter Officially Ships12:41 PM
Update on Links Championship Edition10:46 AM
Simon the Sorcerer II Carbonized9:41 AM
Pangea Needs Your Help with CompUSA9:13 AM
Early Galactic Battlegrounds System Reqs8:45 AM
MacMAME 0.58 Released6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights Status Update6:00 AM
Price Changes, New Updates for WarBirds III6:00 AM
Warcraft III Undead in Depth6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 21, 2002 on one page


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Wednesday, February 20, 2002
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