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Thursday, February 13, 2003

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Worms Blast Release Slips, Demo Tomorrow
10:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive informed Inside Mac Games today that the release of Worms Blast has slipped. Initially set to be released on February 14th, the game is now due on February 28th. Feral also let us know that a demo of Worms Blast will be released tomorrow, Friday, at 9 AM Eastern.

Here's a brief description of Worms Blast along with the system requirements:

Our favourite Worms are back, and they are ready to blast!!! Worms Blast is based on shooting a coloured bazooka at various coloured blocks. If the colours match, the block is destroyed, along with all connecting blocks of the same colour. Hurrah! If the colours don't match, then the weapon colour splats all over the block you hit and those immediately surrounding it. Oops.

Worms Blast has:

  • 8 captivating multiplayer modes to pit your wits against either another human or the computer.
  • 10 highly addictive game modes.
  • An arsenal of over 20 special weapons, utilities and gadgets.
  • A bunch of outrageous characters to choose from, each with their own quirky set of skills and weaknesses.
  • A tutorial section to train up even the most gun-shy beginner.

    Minimum specification requirement are:

  • Mac OS 9.1 and above or Mac OS X 10.1.3 and above
  • G3 233Mhz and above
  • 64 MB RAM (Virtual Memory to 300 MB under Mac OS 9)
  • 300 MB of Free hard disk space
  • The Worms Blast will be available on our sister site, The demo will also be available for IMG Pro users through their Hot Downloads page (set to debut tomorrow).

    The IMG Store is now taking pre-orders for Worms Blast for $29.

    Feral Interactive
    Worms Blast
    Buy Worms Blast

    IMG Feature: Spotlight on Freeverse Software
    12:59 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted a feature called "Spotlight on Freeverse", an in-depth look at Freeverse Software. Since its inception, Freeverse has been releasing popular card games and action games, and recently began to publish third-party software.

    Here's a clip from the feature:

    Like the poetry that lies in its namesake, Freeverse has always seemed a relatively free spirit in the Mac game industry. Many of us have found Freeverse through their innovative card-based offerings; others through their polished game delights such as Wingnuts; and still others through third-party endeavors such as Wipeout. In fact, a good chunk of the Mac community might have stumbled into their website in years past simply to download Jared or a number of other such branded "Toys" from the company. But no single item seems to capture all of Freeverse's energy. In fact, they all seem to embody a certain special spark of their own. While Burning Monkey Solitaire may be a mainstay and be the title that most prominently features their simian mascot Monty, it no more describes all of Freeverse's exploits than Mario does his game company. Those Freeverse exploits began in 1994 with a simple card game, Ian Lynch Smith's Hearts Deluxe, which quickly won a MacUser Shareware Award.
    To learn more about this up-and-coming publisher of popular Mac games, be sure to check out the entire feature.

    IMG Feature: Spotlight on Freeverse Software

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    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Beta Test Announced
    12:40 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Blizzard today announced that starting tomorrow, February 14th, the company will allow gamers to sign up to beta test Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the upcoming expansion pack for Warcraft III. Overall, 10,000 beta testers will be chosen.

    The beta signup is scheduled for a seven-day period beginning at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8.) on Friday, February 14th and ending at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8) on Friday, February 21st. Applicants must be at least thirteen (13) years of age, have the bandwidth capability to download 100 MB of data, have a valid email address, and possess a valid Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos CD-Key to be eligible to enter the beta test.

    Here's more on the Warcraft III expansion pack:

    Following in the tradition of previous Blizzard expansion sets, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne provides gamers with a vast new chapter in the epic Warcraft saga. In the single-player campaign, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the battle of Mount Hyjal, yet a new threat has arisen throughout the land...

  • One new Hero per race, each possessing powerful spells and magical abilities
  • A host of new units, each equipped with new abilities and spells, giving players the opportunity to create diverse strategic and tactical forms of combat
  • Player-built shops, unique for each race, equipped with items carefully designed to improve and aid the units of every race
  • Neutral Heroes, available for recruitment by all players, that can supplement and strengthen a player's army with all new spells and abilities
  • Expanded multiplayer options over including multiple new game types, clan and tournament support
  • After the registration period, Blizzard will randomly select 10,000 testers to participate in the initial phase of the expansion beta test. Multiple submissions will result in disqualification.

    The beta, which will be playable only over, will give selected testers a chance to play-test many of the new features that are available to each of the races in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos--Humans, Orcs, Night Elves, and Undead.

    IMG Review: WarCraft III
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III Beta Test Sign-Up Page
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

    Apple Offers WWDC Getting Started Bundle
    11:15 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Apple is offering attendees who plan on going to the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose in May a spectacular "Getting Started Bundle". It includes a WWDC 2003 E-Ticket; ADC Select Membership; ADC Select Hardware Discount; and you will also get access to all WWDC 2002 sessions on ADC TV and last year's WWDC 2002 Conference Sessions on DVD-ROM.

    Apple is offering the bundle for $1695 (with a value of $2,195) and is available until April 18, 2003.

    For more information on this bundle, as well as information on WWDC, be sure to follow the link below.


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    The Sims Superstar Announced
    10:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Electronic Arts today announced the sixth expansion pack for the best-selling game of all time, The Sims. The Sims Superstar, set to debut on the PC in May, allows players to realize their fantasies of fame and fortune as they pursue being a Rock Star, Movie Start, or even a Supermodel along with the lifestyle of being a celebrity. The expansion pack promises new gameplay, new social interactions, as well as a new in-game destination.

    Here's more from the official press release:

    For the first time ever, players can follow their Sims to work and witness their pursuit of fame and fortune firsthand. Fledgling Sims start by signing with an agent and shuttling to Studio Town, a new and fully customizable destination that offers television and movie lots, spa locations, recording studios and fabulous fashion facilities. Once there, Sims can schmooze, network and name drop their way to stardom in the movies, music or fashion. Will your Sim be a flash in the pan or a living legend? Players can now track the sizzle of their Sims with an all new fame score.

    A new cast of comical characters are available to assist the Sims in their quest for celebrity. A fabulous fashion designer, a mega-hit record producer and a maniacal movie director are available for career critique. A capable butler, a savvy sushi chef, and a soothing masseuse will be on-call to administer to the every whim of a celebrity Sim. Life in the spotlight would not be complete without the glare of the paparazzi, the adoration of groupies, and the annoyance of an obsessed fan or two. This is all part of life in the spotlight in The Sims Superstar.

    Sims can become a celeb or just live like one. Fabulous new objects like a skydiving simulator, satellite dish, and a new art and furniture collection can turn an ordinary Sims abode into a magnificent and decadent manse. Sims in need of a day of indulgence and pampering can also enjoy the new day spa, complete with mud treatments, steam baths, Sim massages and an oxygen bar. Domestic staff is also available for hire so manicured Sims won't chap their hands with the drudgeries of household maintenance.

    The Sims and all of its expansion packs have been ported to the Mac by Westlake Interactive and been published by Aspyr Media. Although there's no official word yet, the chances of The Sims Superstar coming to the Mac is probably in the cards. We'll keep you posted on any future developments.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims
    Buy The Sims

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    Alida OS X Update
    8:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Yesterday IMG reported on a Myst-inspired adventure game for the Mac called Alida. Helpful IMG reader Ben Boffey discovered the OS X version may be closer than many expect. Here's the word from the company on the subject:

    The current version of Alida is for OS 8,9 (and OSX classic if all 5 CD-roms are copied to your hard drive). The new OSX version will be ready 25th February (next week) and is carbonised.
    Keep an eye out for more updates on Alida as the Carbonized version of the game nears release. Check out the official website for more details on the game itself.

    IMG News: Alida Released for Mac

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    Apple Returns to Hogwarts with Harry Potter
    8:40 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Apple's Games page has been updated again with a new article looking at the upcoming sequel from Aspyr Media, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In this game based on the second book by J.K. Rowlings, fans get to control Harry through his next adventure at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The title features more Quiditch, improved effects, and more areas of Hogwarts to explore.

    Here's a clip from the preview:

    There are plenty of other secrets to uncover if you want to be tenacious about finding them. For example, the challenges that accompany the learning of each new spell offer hidden bonuses, and the other students at Hogwarts may have something interesting to say if you talk to them. Simply approach a character and he or she will turn and say something to Harry. They may have items to trade, or they may offer useful information. Some simply have amusing comments to make.
    For more on this Harry Potter sequel, check out the rest of the article. Also be sure to have a read through IMG's own preview of the game if you haven't done so already.

    Aspyr notes the title is Final Candidate -- thanks to the efforts of Westlake Interactive -- and it should be shipping out soon. Stay tuned for the latest word on its status.

    Apple Games - Harry Potter 2
    Westlake Interactive
    Aspyr Media
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    Crave Looks Towards the Value Line
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Crave Entertainment, the publisher of such PC games as Global Ops and Freedom Force, announced they are looking at changing their focus to selling $19.99 value titles. Along with this announcement are plans to sell all of its frontline development teams.

    Last year, MacPlay announced an agreement with Crave to bring a number of their titles to the Mac, and it's unknown at this point how the news might affect this budding relationship.

    Here's the full announcement, care of VoodooExtreme:

    Crave Entertainment Group announced today that it has revised the strategy of its publishing unit, Crave Entertainment, to focus exclusively on the acquisition of value and mass market products. This new strategy is designed to capitalize on the anticipated growth of the $19.99 and under segments of the next generation console platforms.

    This new product strategy will fully capitalize on the strength of the company's SVG Distribution operation and give the company a single focus and positioning in the marketplace. As a result, Crave Entertainment has entered into, or is finalizing, a number of transactions with other publishers to sell components of its entire frontline development project portfolio. The proceeds from the sale of these assets will be reinvested in value product acquisition, as well as, distribution based opportunities.

    What will happen to groups developing full price games under them is unknown. One notable group are the team led by Ed Del Castillo who are currently working on a sequel to their critically acclaimed RTS, Battle Realms.

    For more information on Crave, and this announcement, follow the appropriate links below.

    Crave Looking to go Value?
    Crave Games

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    FreeCraft for OS X
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A recent note from iDevGames announced a new forum thread at their site revealing an early OS X version of FreeCraft. This open source project is attempting to mimic the gameplay of Blizzard's classic real-time strategy series, WarCraft. Developer Mark Pazolli notes he has the Mac OS X installer working now and encourages those curious to try out the title to grab the latest snapshot.

    FreeCraft has the ability to use its own, user-made graphics as well as import the artwork and sounds from WarCraft II. Here's more from Pazolli on the status of the project:

    Because this version is one of the first to be released to the public, it may well have bugs and there is a small chance that it may not work at all (but we have tried to minimize that chance). If it does work for you, we want to hear from you and request that you fill in the above poll. If it does not work for you, we also would appreciate it if you could fill in the above poll and would be extremely grateful if you could post the last few lines of /Applications/Utilities/ to this thread along with any additional insight in to the problem. Additional feedback, comments and questions from both parties are also warmly welcomed.
    If you're not deterred by very early software, consider giving the Mac OS X FreeCraft build a try. Users are recommended to read Pazolli's comments in the thread before installing the game.

    Artists and programmers are also encouraged to join the ranks of the FreeCraft project members to help move it along. Check out the Sourceforge page or the iDevGames forum thread for details.

    FreeCraft Forum Thread at iDevGames
    Download FreeCraft OS X Installer

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    Focus on Shadowbane Cities
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    The official Shadowbane site recently featured another of their articles looking at the gameworld of this Massively Multiplayer Online RPG. For those who have yet to hear about Shadowbane, it has many interesting features such as player-built cities and player controlled governments.

    The latest article on the game focuses on the city-building aspect of Shadowbane, looking at the history and residents of one of the player-built cities, Avarice.

    Here's a snippet:

    Avarice was founded by the Deathhead Legion , and it is ruled by Gobar Doa'bos . Longtime readers may recognize the Deathhead Legion from the Shadows Of An Empire I-IV series that I chronicled during my last assignment as a Herald of War. The Deathhead Legion was a major component of an alliance that conquered a large part of Tyrranth before a great cleansing of the world occurred. In the aftermath of the cleansing, the Deathhead Legion founded their new city but Gobar decided to pursue a different policy than the one he enforced in the previous age.

    Instead of a closed city, Avarice became a city that opened its doors to the public. Gobar built Avarice a short distance from the freehold of King's Cross, and this created an immediate market of potential customers for the open city. Seasoned adventurers would need the equipment and services that only independent nations with an advanced city could provide, and past experiments with open cities had never been able to fully develop due to the city leaders political ambitions. Gobar decided not to repeat the past mistakes that had doomed open cities, and so he declared Avarice an open city with no political or military alliances.

    Shadowbane is currently in late beta stages, and is due to be published by Ubi Soft for both Mac and PC. For more information, or to read the full article, follow the links provided below.

    Shadowbane looks at player controlled cities
    Wolfpack Studios

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 12, 2003

    IMG Reviews Logitech's Internet Navigator Keyboard11:52 AM
    Combat Mission: Berlin to Barbarossa 1.0.2 Released9:00 AM
    Alida Released For Mac7:55 AM
    Mac Game Programming Book Review Posted7:55 AM
    New WarCraft III Expansion Units7:55 AM
    RTCW: Enemy Territory Cancelled7:55 AM
    Warren Spector Talks Game Design7:55 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 12, 2003 on one page

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