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Friday, June 2, 2006

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IMG Podcast Episode 25 Released
9:27 PM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Today IMG released the twenty-fifth edition of the Inside Mac Games Podcast, the official podcast of Mac gaming. Each week we'll be covering all the news in Mac gaming in one tight package. This week's show features Blake Buck, a writer for IMG, William Miller, an artist for Freeverse Software, Justin Ficarrotta, author of Kill Monty, and Tuncer Deniz, the founder of the Inside Mac Games Network.

On the show this week's show:

We've finally got the whole crew together for this week's podcast! We talk about all the mac news, Mac game controllers, silly internet videos, and losing Homeworld 2 in the mail.

Weekly News

  • Mac Call of Duty 2 Gold
  • Shadowbane Still Alive
  • Use an XBox 360 Controller On Mac
  • Macs As Lightsabers: Your Jedi Dreams Come True
  • Ambrosia Interview on Apeiron's Legacy
  • Enable Right-clicking on MacBooks
  • HoMM V Ships for PC; Mac Status

Weekly Features

  • Listener Emails
  • Contest
  • Stump Buck
To download visit the IMG Podcast Homepage for instructions and shownotes by clicking the link below.

IMG Podcast Episode 25 Homepage

Kitty Spangles Solitaire 2.1 released
4:08 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Swoop Software has released Kitty Spangles Solitaire 2.1, a free update for registered players. New features include:

• Kitty now speaks French! (Maintenant, Kitty parle le français!)
• Now with 21 games, with new games: RedBlack Spider, Double Scorpion and Baker's Dozen.
• Improved, easier game selection and help system.
• New player guide documentation.
• Some game-play and scoring bugfixes.
• Kitty is a Universal Binary and runs purrr-fectly on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.
The latest version is 8.9MB in size and can be downloaded directly from Macgamefiles.com.

MGF: Kitty Spangles Soliatire 2.1

Aspyr: Civilization IV Trailer, The Sims 2 Patches Released
3:21 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr today announced that a Mac trailer of Sid Meier's Civilization IV is now available for viewing on Apple's web site. The title is being developed for the Mac by Aspyr Studios, Aspyr’s internal development team, under license from 2K Games, and is scheduled to begin shipping later this month.

To check out the Civilization IV trailer, follow the link below. Civilization IV is currently available for pre-order at Macgamestore.com for $49.95.

In other Aspyr news, the company today released three new patches including a patch for The Sims 2 and universal binary patches for The Sims 2 expansion packs, University and Nightlife. All three updates are available as free downloads through our sister site, Macgamefiles.com.

Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Apple: Civilization IV Trailer
MGF: The Sims 2 1.0 Rev E
MGF: The Sims 2 University 1.1 Rev A
MGF: The Sims 2 Nightlife 1.2 Rev A
Buy Civilization IV

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Lost Sock Games Releases Puppy Luv Game
7:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Lost Sock Games today announced the release of their first Macintosh game, Puppy Luv: A New Breed, a virtual puppy simulation that the entire family can enjoy.

Puppy Luv “A New Breed” is your new travel and home companion. This puppy will provide unconditional love for you and the entire family and you will have hours of fun playing with your new best friend. From caring to tricks your new puppy will keep you entertained for hours and hours, but don’t forget him, he still gets hungry and is always looking to be loved.

- Real time attributes that change depending on the dogs mood, that you can keep track of and keep him happy.
- Pick from 4 different breeds Mutt or Beagle, Dalmatian and a Labrador of different colors
- Train your dog to do tricks
- Over 10 tricks (11 Tricks Total)
- Upgrade you back yard! Everything from trees to a new Dog House for your puppy.
- New features like dog being scared, interactive AI, new animations for happy, idol around the backyard, new Menu and HUD, updated storefront.
- Store where you can buy him over 25 different Toys
- 6 Competition where you can win Money
- Full Screen and windowed Mode

Puppy Luv: A New Breed is available at Macgamestore.com for $19.99 as a digital download. A free demo version of the game is available at the web page.

Macgamestore: Puppy Luv: A New Breed
MGF: Puppy Luv: A New Breed 1.0
Buy Puppy Luv: A New Breed

Gamma Bros Arcade Shooter Released
7:10 AM | IMG News | 3 comments

Pixeljam Games has released their first Macintosh game, Gamma Bros, a retro-style arcade shooter that is similar to the 80's arcade hit, Galaga.

The Gamma Brothers spend their days working in a huge space station near Jupiter. No one works harder than Buzz and Zap. What could they possibly be working on? Something very important, no doubt.

The Gamma Brothers also understand the importance of not working. Every day at quitting time they hop into their commuter vehices for the long, difficult journey back to earth. Every day on their way home, they are attacked by ships and creatures of unknown origin. Every day, to and from work, they must survive many viscious and clever alien attacks!

It is up to YOU to guide the Gamma Brothers home. Prepare yourself for the ultimate space commute battle! After all, it is dinner time on earth, and the Gamma Brothers' families will not be pleased if you don't get Buzz and Zap home safely.

GAMMA BROS. is a large and beautiful space shooter in the vein of classic arcade games like galaga, gradius and robotron, but with a modern twist. It has a full soundtrack, amazing sound FX, lots of powerups, enemies and bosses. Best of all it's completely FREE.

Gamma Bros is available for free and can be downloaded from Macgamefiles.com

MGF: Gamma Bros 1.0
Pixeljam Games

Wingnuts 2, Legion Arena Nearing Gold Master
7:03 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent developer blog post, Freeverse Software offered an update on the eagerly awaited Wingnuts 2 and Legion Arena. Both titles are said to be nearing Gold Master status. Wingnuts 2 will expand on the exciting arcade action of the original, with tougher enemies and all new challenges. Legion Arena will give Mac users the chance to play Slitherine's unique Roman Era strategy game which puts players in charge of creating and controlling a victorious army.

These games are shaping up great! We are very close to GM on both Legion Arena and WingNuts 2! It's an exciting time in the office, lots of bug hunting, spot checking and being chained to a desk.

We've got other projects which are also shaping up nicely, they will of course be announced soon-ish™.

Keep watching the skis!

That's Skies!


To read the blog, and catch a glimpse of the box art for the two games, follow the link below.

Freeverse Dev Blog: Game Update

Glenda Adams Discusses Mac Gaming
7:02 AM | Cord Kruse | 93 comments

A recent Business Week article examines the past and present of Mac gaming and suggests Apple should consider creating games of its own to reinvigorate the market. A large portion of the article is devoted to comments from Aspyr Media's Glenda Adams, discussing everything from Apple's level of focus on gaming to the impact of Boot Camp.

How many Mac developers does Aspyr have? Five who work full time. That's it. Why so small a team? Because, as Aspyr's Director of Development Glenda Adams told me, a successful Mac game might sell 50,000 units. It physically hurt my head to hear so low a number. My first question after hearing it was, "How do you do this profitably?" Her reply: "It's always been a razor-thin kind of thing."

Turns out, Mac users aren't really into games. That, or they just don't think of Macs as the machine they turn to for gaming. It's strange, since Macs have always been generally better at graphics, producing animation, editing sound, and so on. It would seem the Mac would be an ideal gaming environment. And yet the market indicates otherwise.

Maybe Apple's user base just isn't fully aware of great games that are now available for the Mac? Sure, there are games to be found at the Apple store, prominently displayed in the software section. But does Apple market the Mac as a gaming machine? Adams says it should. "The biggest thing that Apple could do is educate its users," she says. "Apple's message is so closely tied to iTunes and iLife and the iPod and these are all great selling points. We have a great relationship with Apple and they help us get the games ready. But we really need the users to meet us halfway, and only Apple can make that happen."

The rest of the article can be read at the Business Week site listed below.

Business Week: Apple Needs To Get Its Game On
Aspyr Media

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The Burning Crusade Previewed
7:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Another preview has hit the web for The Burning Crusade, Blizzard Entertainment's first expansion for the overwhelmingly popular World of Warcraft. Gaming Excellence examines what is known about the expansion so far, including the increase in level cap, two new playable races, and the chance to explore Outland.

So what is offered to devoted players in The Burning Crusade? First and foremost on anyone's list would be the hundreds of hours of new gameplay in a completely new area for high-level characters. This begins with the opening of the Dark Portal from Azeroth to Outland, which will be similar to a world-event, but will not require that all players be in the same area to experience it. Although the details were sketchy at this point, Blizzard has stated that regardless of where you may happen to be on the world map when this occurs on your server, and regardless of your level, you will experience something akin to hell freezing over. Or the gates to hell opening up and unleashing monsters like you have never seen before. Or the announcement of Starcraft 2 followed by a server crash. Okay, so the last one was a stretch, but I assure you that whatever does happen, you will want to be online for it, even if your character is still only level 25 or so...

If all of this sounds exciting but you have not currently attained an ultra-elite status in the original game, don't despair. I have been assured that Blizzard will continue to release content patches for the Azeroth area of the game even after the expansion is released. Current players will also be able to take advantage of the new socketable items even though the Jewelcrafting profession will not be available to them. The trade off for these is that gems can be replaced once socketed, but the old ones will be destroyed.

To read the rest of the preview and check out some screenshots head over to Gaming Excellence at the link below.

Gaming Excellence: Burning Crusade Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Ultima V: Lazarus Reviewed
7:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

RPGDot has posted a review of Ultima V: Lazarus, a fan created remake of the original Ultima V using the Dungeon Siege game engine. Lazarus gives modern gamers the chance to revisit an old favorite or discover an old school gem. RPGDot gave the fan remake an impressive score of 10 out of 10.

For the fans: The best news, is that almost nothing has been changed from the original and a few additional characters and quests have been added. There are a couple of disappointments based on the limitations of the DS engine; no flying carpet no moving the moonstones and no turn based combat, but everything else follows the original as closely as possible. Spells still need reagents and everyone has to eat and sleep. The virtues are vital and your Karma rating seriously affects gameplay. As a bonus, the team behind the game has added some mini-dungeons and plenty of Easter eggs so even if you recently replayed the original, as I did, you'll still find plenty to delight and surprise you.

Now, for those who have never adventured in the land of Britannia, prepare for something different. This is no Diablo clone. While there's plenty of fast, strategic combat which will certainly challenge you and your party, it is not the raison d'etre for the game. You are the Avatar, summoned from Earth to help the people of Britannia when their King, Lord British, disappears during a visit to the Underworld. You can choose to adventure alone, or gather up to five more companions along the way as you follow either the path of virtue or the path of evil. Your choices will affect the world, your companions and the ending of the game. Be warned, stealing a loaf of bread can have potentially dire consequences. Anyway, why steal a loaf when you can bake your own.

The full review can be found at the link below.

RPGDot: Ultima V Lazarus Review
Westlake Interactive
Dungeon Siege
Buy Dungeon Siege

Will Wright In The Wall Street Journal
7:01 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Legendary game developer Will Wright, creator of the many popular Sims games, recently earned the honor of becoming the first game designer to ever land on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ's article covers Wright's life, experiences in the game industry, and his latest "Sim Everything" project: Spore.

Mr. Braun visited Mr. Wright at his home, where he saw an early version of a game Mr. Wright created on a Commodore 64 PC, which simulated the buildings and landscape of a city like San Francisco. The idea evolved out of a conventional combat game he designed called "Raid on Bungeling Bay." Mr. Wright pursued the design project because he preferred creating the landscapes for Bungeling Bay over destroying them with an attack helicopter.

The new game gave users the tools to design buildings and cityscapes. There was only one problem: Mr. Wright couldn't find a publisher to sell what was essentially an urban-planning tool.

Mr. Wright complained at the time: "No one else likes it -- you can't win. The definition of a game is you have to win," recalls Mr. Braun. That's not a problem, Mr. Braun says he replied.

Messrs. Braun and Wright founded Maxis Software in Walnut Creek, Calif., and put finishing touches on Mr. Wright's game, which they called "SimCity." After securing a publisher, Broderbund Software, Maxis began selling it in 1989.

To read the rest of the in-depth article click on the link below.

Kotaku: Will Wright In WSJ

Double Top Deluxe Darts Game Released
7:01 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Double Top Deluxe, a dart game from Idigicon was recently released and there is a demo available for download.

Double Top Deluxe features:

• Tournament: Compete against 31 computerised players of varying ability
• Pub Game: Play a single match consisting of a number of selected rounds. Select from 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 rounds
• Round the Clock: Do you have the skill to hit numbers 1 to 20 in sequence
• 1-2 player option
• Several variations of male & female hands
• Realistic graphics and sound effects
• 10 different sets of darts
Double Top Deluxe is available for purchase for $19.95 U.S. from the Mac Game Store as well as a downloadable demo. It requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.

MGS: Double Top Deluxe

Apple Launches Recycling Program
7:00 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

Apple debuted its computer recycling program this past Wednesday to the public. The recycling program offers customers who purcahse a new Mac a free way to get rid of their old computer. Not only will this program help the environment but also encourage Mac sales.

Apple began its first take-back service for retailers and distributors in Germany in 1996. Since then, our take-back programs have expanded throughout Europe and into the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Taiwan. In 2001, we began a take-back service for consumers through the Apple Recycles program. This program has recycled over 90% by weight of all equipment collected to date.
Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Apple: Recycling

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Battlefront Ships DropTeam
7:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Battlefront.com today announced is has released it's sci-fi tactical combat game, Drop Team, for Mac, PC, and Linux platforms. The game is available as a digital download or boxed version. A free multiplayer "public test" demo for all three platforms is also available.

Experience the unique multiplayer team action in the SpaceVikings universe, or fight through an intriguing solo campaign while trying to secure resources for your LiveShip clan! No hit points, no medi packs... DropTeam features "believable combat" simulating real-world physics, ballistics, damage and much more! Featuring HUGE maps (over 1000 sqkm) and a totally new top-notch graphics engine supporting HDR, advanced shading technology, cross-platform multiplayer capability and extensive XML-based modding support... you just cannot afford to miss this game!
Battlefront has also announced that a new "gold" demo will be available shortly. For more, follow the link below to check out the game.

MGF: Drop Team 1.0b1

Mac Games News for Thursday, June 1, 2006

IMG Reviews Lumox 23:08 PM
Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals1:39 PM
MacWorld: Put gaming focus on Macs, not iPods1:01 PM
Another Ambrosia Apeiron Interview12:02 PM
Animamundi Comes To Macs7:48 AM
Atari Explains End Of Support For NWN7:48 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic V Examined7:48 AM
Legion Arena Reviewed7:48 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 1, 2006 on one page

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