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Tuesday, March 28, 2006news@insidemacgames.com


Aspyr: CoD2 Alpha, Civ4 First Playable, Q4 GM
8:32 AM | Andy Largent | 13 comments

Aspyr Media has updated the project status page for a number of their in-progress game titles. Fans will be excited to know that Call of Duty 2 and Civilization IV have moved out of early development and are now in alpha and first playable stages, respectively.

Both of these titles are too early still in development to know their exact system requirements. Brad Oliver has commented some on the development of Civilization IV in his blog, concerning coding practices and middleware for the game, so give that a read if you're seeking more information.

Additionally, Quake IV and The Sims 2: Nightlife are now considered Gold Master and should be shipping soon. While Nightlife will need much the same requirements as the original Sims 2, Quake IV will tax many a gamer's system. Here are the final minimum and recommended requirements:

    System Requirements:
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
  • CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel chipset
  • CPU Speed: 1.67 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 512 MB or higher
  • Hard Disk Space: 3.0 GB free disk space
  • Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9600 or better
  • Video Card (NVidia): GeForce 6600 or better
  • Video Memory (VRam): 64 MB or higher
  • Multiplayer: Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported. Internet play requires broadband connection.
  • Media Required: DVD Drive

  • *Supported Video cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6600, 6800, 7800 ATI Radeon 9600, 9650, 9700, 9800, X600, X800, X850, X1600

    Recommended System Requirements:

  • Quake 4 runs best on a Power Mac G5 or Intel 2.0 GHz or faster
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later
  • CPU Processor: PowerPC G5 or Intel chipset
  • CPU Speed: 2.0 GHz or faster
  • Video RAM: 128 MB
For more information on all of these titles, check out the Aspyr site. And watch IMG for the latest as these games head into stores.

Aspyr Status
IMG News: Oliver of Civ IV Tech
Aspyr Media (add to watch list)
Call of Duty 2 (add to watch list)
Civilization IV (add to watch list)
Quake 4 (add to watch list)
The Sims 2: Nightlife (add to watch list)
Buy Call of Duty 2
Buy Civilization IV
Buy Quake 4
Buy The Sims 2: Nightlife


Toybox Games Releases Flip or Flop Home Edition
11:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Toybox Games has announced the release of Toybox's latest Mac game, Flip or Flop Home Edition.

Poor Granny has gotten herself in trouble again. She forgot to pay her taxes and now the Government has taken beautiful house. Now you have to help your poor Granny and start buying, renovating and selling houses. This is no easy task with over 99 houses to improve and make money selling you will have to match your way through tons of hours of gameplay to achieve your goal.

Features:

• 3 modes of Difficulty for 3X the replay ability
• Over 100 renovating levels
• 10 Different renovation pieces
• 4 Different neighborhoods to renovate and explore

Flip or Flop Home Edition is available at Macgamesotre.com for $19.99 as a digital download. A free demo version of the game is available at the web page.

Macgamestore: Flip or Flop Home Edition


Start-Up Gaming Company Seeks Feedback
9:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A small start-up game development company is preparing to pursue
investors and acquire funding for their first game, codenamed Project
Romeo
. The company is embracing a number of innovative approaches to
game development, including designing games that stimulate the mind
and emotions as well as reflexes, and also to develop all software
across all computer platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux). As part of
their market research, they are conducting a survey to gather
information about gamers' preferences for game elements as well as
opinions regarding cross-platform releases. The survey takes 5 - 7
minutes to complete and can be found at the link below.

Project Romeo Survey


Macgamestore: Luxor: Amun Rising, Tumblebugs, & More
9:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Macgamestore.com today announced the availability of three new Macintosh games to its store including The Sims Complete Collection, Luxor: Amun Rising, and Tumblebugs.

The Sims Complete Collection includes The Sims plus all the expansion packs in one convenient package and is available for $49.95

Luxor: Amun Rising is the sequel to the runaway hit action-puzzle game where you must defeat the rebellious Princes of Megiddo before they overthrow the Pharaoh and plunge the Two Lands into chaos! This game is available as a digital download for $19.95.

Tumblebugs adds fun and exciting features to the match three puzzle genre. Lob shots over rows with "Ballistic Bugs." This game is available as a digital download for $19.95.

Macgamestore: The Sims Complete Collection
Macgamestore: Luxor: Amun Rising
Macgamestore: Tumblebugs



Click to enlarge
The Sims 2: Night Life Reviewed
8:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room recently posted a review of The Sims 2: Nightlife, an expansion for the popular Sim game. Expanding on the formula which made the original Sims and and its sequel so popular, Nightlife allows players to take their sims a new downtown area with additions such as a club and a bowling alley. In addition to the new environments sims can now own vehicles and even become one of the undead. The Game Room gave Nightlife 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

also adds vampires to the mix. You can turn your Sims into vampires by seeking out the Grand Vampire who stalks the streets at night. Like vampires in the movies, though, Sim-vampires face certain doom if exposed to sunlight. Fortunately, the Gypsy Matchmaker has potions and curatives that will restore your mortality.

Sims can now maintain a personal inventory. So instead of leaving everything back at the house, they can take stuff with them—useful when moving into new digs, or for holding on to a keepsake for a Sim-girlfriend or boyfriend. The expansion pack also adds nifty new objects for sale—everything from a DJ booth, to a poker table, to a coffin (just thing for a restive vampire).

For the full review and more information about the expansion click on the links below.

Macworld Game Room: Sims 2 Nightlife Review
The Sims 2: Nightlife (add to watch list)
Buy The Sims 2: Nightlife



Click to enlarge
WoW Patch 1.10: Weather, Armour, Gold for Exp
8:32 AM | Evan Holt | 7 comments

Blizzard took down all World of Warcraft realms early today at 3:00 AM PST in order to prepare for the huge 1.10 content patch. A few realms will remain down until 2:00 PM PST however the anticipated time that the servers will be back online is 11:00 AM PST.

This patch adds new content and exciting new features (as well as the usual smattering of bug fixes):

• New High-Level Armor Sets!

Adventurers of Azeroth can now quest to upgrade their previous Rare-quality Dungeon set to a new, higher-quality set, including epic gear! These tasks include all-new boss encounters, so prepare your finest group of dungeon-delvers and prepare for a challenge!
To see the new armour and the details of each piece, visit the mini-page that Blizzard set up using the link below.

•Weather

Weather has been introduced in the following areas around Azeroth:
- Elwynn Forest
- Tirisfal Glades
- Dun Morogh
- Darkshore
- Alterac Mountains
- Stranglethorn Vale
- Feralas
- Un'Goro Crater
- Tanaris
- Winterspring
- Silithus
We will be adding more weather to the world as time progresses; this is simply the beginning!
• High-Level Instance Changes
Along with the new Armor Sets, the high-level 5-10 man dungeons have received some changes regarding loot. Many items have been improved in quality and use. In addition, several epic items, such as Headmaster's Charge and the Runeblade of Baron Rivendare, have had their drop rates significantly increased. In order to preserve the challenge of these dungeons, they have had their instance caps lowered. Stratholme, Scholomance, and Blackrock Depths now allow a maximum of five players inside, and Blackrock Spire allows a maximum of ten.
• Quest Experience to Gold Conversion at Level 60
Previously, quest experience was wasted if one completed a quest at level 60. In this patch, any quests done at maximum level will have their experience reward converted to a healthy amount of gold, thus adding additional incentive to completing those quests in your log once you hit 60.
•New Final Destination Flight Paths!
If you're making several jumps to get to your destination, you will now be able to choose that flight path from your initial Flight Master. The costs will remain the same, but you no longer need to manually click on each path. The UI has also been improved significantly.
For the full list of changes (including class specific ones), visit the official World of Warcraft page using the link below.

Blizzard Entertainment (add to watch list)
WoW: High Level Armour Sets 1 and 2
World of Warcraft (add to watch list)
Buy World of Warcraft



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Playing Dress Up In Azeroth
8:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment is currently offering a new feature for users of their popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Now players interested in seeing how their characters might look in various sets of high level armors have the chance to experiment with the new High Level Armor Sets page. After selecting race, gender, and class the page will display an image of the character in that armor and a list of statistics for each piece of the set.

Ever wondered what your character will look like once you've completed your class armor set? Now you can check it out, thanks to the new High Level Armor Sets page! You can select any viable combination of race/gender/class, and the page will show you detailed images of your character as well as the complete item statistics for each piece of equipment, including all set bonuses. You can currently preview Dungeon Armor Set 1 and Dungeon Armor Set 2, which will be introduced in patch 1.10; check back often, as we will be adding additional armor sets in the future.
To try it yourself follow the link below.

WoW: High Level Armor Page
Blizzard Entertainment (add to watch list)
World of Warcraft (add to watch list)
Buy World of Warcraft



Click to enlarge
Bugdom 2 Updated to 3.0.2
8:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Pangea released a small patch to fix an issue with playing Bugdom 2 on Macs with less than 32MB of VRAM.

Bugdom 2 is a 3D action-adventure game suitable for all ages.

Bugdom 2 is a Universal Binary and requires:


  • iMac/iBook G3 400mhz or PowerMac G3/266mhz, or any Intel-based Mac.
  • 128MB RAM
  • ATI Rage 128 or Nvida GeForce 2 video accelerator with at least 8MB of VRAM.
  • Mac OS 9.2, Mac OS 10.1, or higher.

You can download the update from Pangea's web site using the link below.

Pangea: Bugdom 2 Updates
Bugdom 2 (add to watch list)
Pangea Software (add to watch list)
Buy Bugdom 2


Ultratron Updated for Intel Macs
8:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Puppy Games has updated Ultratron to version 1.7. This release fixes numerous bugs and is now a Universal Binary.

This arcade game places you in the roll of a humanoid battle droid to avenge the human race and features the following:

• 70+ different robots to destroy
• 40+ levels of frantic shooter action
• 4 giant boss robots
• 10 powerups
• Bonus stages
• Online hiscore table
This shareware game requires OS X and you can download the 4.3MB demo from MacGameFiles using the link below. Ultratron costs $9.95 U.S. to register.

Puppy Games: Ultratron
MGF: Ultratron 1.7
puppygames (add to watch list)


Credit Card Benefit Possibility: Virtual Gold
8:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

According to a blog in Make Magazine, it shouldn't be too much longer until credit card companies start offering virtual incentives to use their cards. Currency such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft gold and Second Life's Linden dollars could be given instead of current point systems from other brick-and-motor stores that are currently offered.

A quick tour of the different MMORPG's reveals millions of players spending hours and hours each day, leveling their characters, as well as earning and spending some type of virtual currency (World of Warcraft currently has over 6 million players). While World of Warcraft doesn't allow their players to build gold with real dollars, there is of course an "underground" market that buys and sells WoW gold. Linden Lab's Second Life has a virtual currency, called Linden Dollars which unlike World of Warcraft "residents" can buy, sell and earn a living from Lindens - there's a growing population of residents who make their living in the real world entirely from the revenue they procure in Second Life.

As the time of this writing, there are 166,922 residents, spending over 135,984.00 in 24 hours and $6.5 million USD in transactions took place is about 20 days. In 2006, there's a good chance $100 million USD dollars worth of transactions will flow through the virtual world of Second Life. Linden recently rolled out their own exchange, Lindex, meaning - they're almost a bank now.

Read the full article about bridging the real and virtual currencies following the link below.

Makezine: The Future of Credit Cards


Mac Games News for Monday, March 27, 2006

IMG Previews SketchFighter 4000 Alpha12:25 PM
IMG Podcast Episode 18 Released11:00 AM
A Post-mortem For Stubbs8:49 AM
Jungle Heart Reviewed8:49 AM
Redline Development Update8:49 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 27, 2006 on one page


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Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
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Monday, March 20, 2006


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