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Friday, March 29, 2002

Aspyr: Medal of Honor, Star Wars Updates
8:12 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The March edition of the Aspyr Media Newsletter came out today and offers some great tidbits and updates on some of Aspyr's new titles, including Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and more. Aspyr also offers hints of some new announcements that may be coming soon.

The newsletter kicks off with an update from Aspyr's Amy Torres on the recently announced first-person shooter, Medal of Honor:

It's true. In a live interview, on Your Mac Life, with Peter Cohen I sort of spilled the beans that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was coming to the Mac. This awesome first-person-shooter, developed by 2015 and from Electronic Arts, is already causing quite a stir in the PC community. Duane Johnson, of Westlake Interactive, is handling conversion and is pretty close to Beta.
The other bit of good news is that Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds is in beta and should be out in May:
Brad Oliver, of Westlake Interactive, is picking up speed converting Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds for the Mac. The game is currently in Beta and is on schedule for a May release. Who knows, it may even make it onto shelves before Episode II hits the screen.
And last, but not least, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is still in the Final Candidate stage, but Amy offers some hope that it will be released shortly:
Yes, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is nearing completion. Duane Johnson, of Westlake Interactive, is putting the final touches on the game and we're sure that everyone will get hooked on this first-person-shooter game.
The newsletter also mentions that Clive Barker's Undying hit Alpha this week and that the game is currently scheduled to a late May release. The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack, meanwhile, is closely approaching beta.

In closing, Amy Torres offered some juicy news that Aspyr might be announcing some more titles soon, possibly at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in May:

E3 is right around the corner, which means more games. However, don't think we don't have a few Mac games under wraps, just waiting to be announced. Keep checking in to see what we're up to.
Check out Aspyr's March Newsletter for all the details. If you're not a subscriber, you can find it on their web site at the link below.

Aspyr Media
Aspyr Newsletter

Rival Ball for Mac Released
12:53 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Longbow Digital Arts has released Rival Ball for the Mac. It's a breakout style brick and block breaker type game where the objective is to clear each level of bricks and advance. Scoring is based on difficulty and shot for shot. You can also set timers, optional random board order, and repeat board sets for endurance matches.

Rival Ball also includes four difficulty levels, hotseat multiplayer, and split screen network play. This freeware version has 32 boards and full game functionality with no limitations.

Rival Ball weighs in at 3 MB and is available for download from

Rival Ball
MGF: Rival Ball 2.0 (3 MB)

Click to enlarge
IMG Reviews Harry Potter
12:49 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Christopher Paretti of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, published by Aspyr Media and converted to the Mac by Westlake Interactive:

Harry Potter is everywhere. What began in literature has spawned action figures, cinema, jellybeans, and bed sheets. People have found that being drawn into J.K Rowling's magical world is really quite entertaining. Continuing the merchandise progression, Aspyr has pixilated our favorite little wizard for his first adventure game. So, let's take control of Mr. Potter, and find out if we have the cobbles to battle "You-Know-Who"?
For the rest of our review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter
Westlake Interactive
Buy Harry Potter

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Details on The Sims Online & The Sims 2
12:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The phenomenon that is The Sims was recently catapulted to legendary status when EA announced earlier this week that it had become the best-selling game of all time. In all, The Sims and its four add-on packs have sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

So it's no surprise that Maxis is working on some new Sims games. has posted interesting news on two upcoming Sims games, The Sims Online and The Sims 2.

Here's a snippet from the CNN article talking about The Sims online:

Up next for the series is its first step into the online world. "The Sims Online" will let thousands of simultaneous players build and visit virtual homes, make new friends and explore the microcosm of Sim life . Gameplay will be open-ended, with no "winner" or "loser." Instead, you'll have the option of working toward various short-term goals or just soaking up the environment.

In terms of attracting a sizable audience, that's not a bad plan. Online gamers currently are the hardest of the hardcore crowd. They're fiercely loyal to the games they play and get indignant when any criticism is raised. Wright said he's specifically not trying to attract those players.

The CNN article also brings to light the sequel to The Sims, naturally called The Sims 2:
Also in the works is a stand-alone single-player sequel to "The Sims," which EA indicated will be announced later this year. Wright's involvement in the game is limited at this time, but he promises a new player interface, new graphics and a new artificial intelligence powering the Sims.

"They'll be more expressive, more interesting and more lifelike, but they'll still have that funny, open-ended, chaotic atmosphere like you see in the first game," Wright said.

For more on The Sims Online and The Sims 2, check out the rest of the article.

The Sims
Westlake Interactive
Buy The Sims

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The Mill Going Offline Monday
12:20 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The Mill, the foremost archive of add-ons for the Myth series of real-time strategy games, will be going offline this Monday. In a brief post at The Mill this morning, "The Incredible Hat" announced:

This coming Monday, this site will be going offline for an unknown temporary timeframe. When it will come back, will be based off various factors. It will come back, the matter of 'when' is just unknown right now. Good day.
Head over to The Mill now to stock up on maps, mods, and other add-ons to tide you over until The Mill returns.

The Mill
Myth: The Total Codex

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Dark Side of the Sword Coast Expansion Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As recently noted in the IMG forums, Dark Side of the Sword Coast, an unofficial expansion to Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, has recently been made available for Mac users. This particular release coincides with the 103b PC version and contains the following features:

  • Eight New NPCs to join your group.
  • 80 new weapons, armor, and other items.
  • 100 new spells.
  • Over 70 new critters.
  • Five major quests.
  • Enhanced original BG quests and encounters.

This expansion is a free download and is sized at around 20 MB. It requires full installed versions of both Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast in order to function properly. Gamers interested in downloading Dark Side can find it at MacGameFiles.

For more information, be sure to visit the Dark Side of the Sword Coast web site.

Baldur's Gate
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
Dark Side of the Sword Coast
IMG Forum: ToSC expansion released!
MGF: Dark Side of the Sword Coast (20 MB)

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Civ 3 Editor Makes Progress
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While MacSoft's turn-based Civilization III has swept up many a Mac gamer, there is still more to come for the strategy fan. Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver, who worked on the original port, is now getting the game's editor in shape.

As noted in the past, the program will be released for Mac OS X only, but it seems Oliver has been hard at work the past few weeks getting it up to speed, according to a post in the IMG Forums. Here's the scoop:

The editor is just about all I've been working on this past month. Soon.
Later in the thread, Oliver also notes any bugs still in the application will have to wait until the next PC patch for a corresponding Mac fix.

IMG Review: Civilization III
Civilization III
IMG Forum: Any chance of seeing the Civ3 editor?
Buy Civilization III

Click to enlarge
Cro-Mag Rally Updated
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Pangea Software recently updated their popular 3D prehistoric racer Cro-Mag Rally. The update brings the game to version 2.0.3 and should be downloaded by anyone playing the title under Mac OS X:

Fixed some crash bugs relating to OS X.
An update to version 2.0.3 of the full game as well as a new version of the Cro-Mag Rally demo are available at our sister site, MacGameFiles. If you haven't tried out the big-head racer yet, be sure to grab the demo and check out our review via the links below.

IMG Review: Cro-Mag Rally
Cro-Mag Rally
MGF: Cro-Mag Rally 2.0.3 Demo (40 MB)
MGF: Cro-Mag Rally 2.0.3 Update (237 KB)

Click to enlarge
Realm Wars ATI Tweaks Available
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

David Chait was nice enough to bundle together some tweaks for the Realm Wars demo available from GarageGames. This application demonstrates the power of their Torque engine (used in Tribes 2), and the tweaks enable special features for owners of ATI's just-released video card, the Radeon 8500.

The very small download (16 KB) includes simple instructions for new 8500 owners to enable both Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) and Truform support. Here's a clip from the ReadMe:

F9 key now toggles an FPS counter in the top-right of the display.

- and = keys (normal keys) decrease and increase FSAA respectively.
When FSAA is on, a 'SMOOTHVISION' badge appears bottom-right.
Note that FSAA=1 is no AA. FSAA 2 is 2 samples, 4 is 4 samples.
Should work on any Radeon-or-later ATI board, with latest drivers.

\ key toggles on and off master NPatch/Truform support.
[ and ] keys decrease and increase NPatch level.
when Truform is on, a 'TRUFORM' badge appears bottom-right.
note NPatchLevel==0 is effectively off, default is 2, max is 7.
Should work on any R200/Radeon8500 chipset board, Mac or Win.

Be sure to read through the rest of the ReadMe for details on how to install in the patch. Thanks to Chait for his extra work on these goodies for Radeon owners.

Radeon 8500
MGF: Realm Wars 0.0.1 (5.3 MB)
Download Realm Wars Tweaks (21 KB)

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 28, 2002

In Other News: TA2, iBeach, & More11:07 AM
Freeverse Updates Two Classics9:55 AM
2002 Moofie Awards Voting Now Open6:00 AM
Diablo II OS X Patches Released6:00 AM
SimCity 4 Revealed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 28, 2002 on one page

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