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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

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Civilization IV at GM, Shipping Monday
8:11 AM | Andy Largent | 3 comments

Fans of the Sid Meier strategy game series will be happy to hear the Mac version of Civilization IV is now at Gold Master status, according to Aspyr Media. This means the game is finalized and should be shipping out to retailers next Monday, June 26.

Civilization IV brings a brand-new 3D engine to the series, allowing players to see the changes to their world like never before. Other new features include faster-paced gameplay and the addition of researchable religions.

Here's more on the game from Aspyr:

* Greater Accessibility and Ease of Play - An easy-to-use interface will be immediately familiar to RTS and action game players, and newcomers to the series will be able to jump in and play.
* Tech Tree - Flexible Tech tree allows players more strategic choices for developing their civilizations along unique paths.
* Grow Bigger Empires - More Civilizations, Units, and Improvements to enhance and grow your empire.
* Multiplayer - LAN, Internet, and Play-By-Email offer players all-new strategies and ways to play when competing or cooperating with live opponents.
For much more information on the game, check out IMG's new hands-on preview.

IMG Preview: Civilization IV
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
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World of Warcraft 1.11 Patch Released
1:12 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Blizzard today released the World of Warcraft 1.11 patch. The patch includes a few additions and changes including a new hardcore 40 man instance called Naxxramas, Scourge Invasion event, major Mage class changes, some new solo quests and reputation items for the Argent Dawn, new flight paths, and other bug fixes and changes.

One interesting addition is the following comment in the release notes: Conditional support for future OpenGL performance enhancements in OS X.

To apply this new patch to your copy of World of Warcraft, simply run the game and follow the instructions to apply the patch.

A full downloadable patch will be released on Macgamefiles.com shortly after the mirrors get updated.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Mah-Jomino For Mac Released
12:28 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Mah-Jomino, developed by Game Café, Inc, and published for the Mac by Big Fish Games, has been released. The initial release is currently available only at Macgamestore.com and can be purchase for $19.95. A free demo of the game is available for download on the web site.

Think you know all there is to know about Mahjong? Think Again! Mah-Jomino blends the challenge of Mahjong & Dominoes into a unique two-sided mahjong game.

For the past decade, archeologist William McEndri has dedicated his life to uncovering the secret whereabouts of twelve ancient artifacts that could prove the existence of the lost city of Atlantis. The time has come for his daughter Helen to carry on his adventure. Journey with Helen into the unknown in this truly exciting Mahjong experience.

To check out Mah-Jomino or to download the demo, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Mah-Jomino

Free Bridge Construction Set ATI Contest
11:57 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Recently, Chronic Logic announced a new contest for their popular bridge-building game, Bridge Construciton Set. The contest challanges builders to build a bridge over a world cup stadium and avoid boats falling from the sky to crush their bridge. Not only is there a free contest version of the game available for download, but two winners will recieve a Radeon® X1300 Pro 256MB PCIe. From the Chronic Logic website:

This contest is a special for Soccer Word Cup 2006 in Germany. As the world watches TV you are invited to build some magnificent and mind-blowing bridges in BCS again. The setting gives YOU the task of building a roof over the huge stadium. But in order to take care of the grass, it's also your job to let the sun [or shall I say ships ;-) ] in ...

You might ask if boats are supposed to fall out of the sky and crush your bridge ... hmm, yes! Use hydraulics to prevent that!

First place (cheapest working bridge) in the 'NORMAL' category wins a Radeon® X1600 Pro 256MB PCIe. First place in the 'HARD' category wins a Radeon® X1300 Pro 256MB PCIe. In addition, three other chosen bridges in any category will each win a Chronic Logic game of their choice. All you have to do to take part in the lottery is to send in a working bridge for the level, no matter which category!

The contest deadline is July 9th. For those interested in participating, head over to the Chronic Logic website by clicking the links below.

BCS Contest 30 Homepage
Chronic Logic Homepage

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New WoW Realms & Forums
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Recently Blizzard Entertainment introduced two new realms, Aerie Peak (PvE) and Lethon (PvP), to offer World of Warcraft players a chance to begin fresh new adventures in the lands of Azeroth. The company has also announced work on revamping their official forums. A beta version of the forums is available for those interested.

We're in the final stages of development for our new World of Warcraft forums, and we need your help to make sure everything is bolted on tight. The new forums will offer the same great place for World of Warcraft players to congregate and discuss the game, but with a new look and some new features. Go check them out, and while you're there, please provide us with bug reports and any other comments you have. Please note that all of our current forums will remain live while we beta test these new forums.
More information about all things WoW can be found at the links below.

WoW: Beta Forums
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Commandos Battle Pack Reviewed
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Tea Leaves blog has posted a review of the Commandos Battle Pack, a strategy title set against the backdrop of World War II. Brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, CBP includes both Commandos 2: Men of Courage and Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. Players must make effective use of the diverse skill sets of their team to complete each mission. Tea Leaves recommended the Battle Pack to anyone fond of stealth/puzzle titles.

From the review:

The interesting thing about Commandos — I'm going to use the collective to refer to both games here — is that if you're not careful you might think it is a war game. But it isn't. At its heart, it is a puzzle game, in some ways not unlike Sokoban or Chromatron. Each mission is basically asking you to figure out a way to apply your skills to reach your goal without getting caught. The game isn't turn-based, but the enemies move in patterns that are rigid enough that you can treat it like it is. While you can occasionally survive a firefight, your men are fragile enough that if they are detected, they're often dead. It is an odd sort of vibe. If you took away the World War II window dressing, what you end up with is something that feels like a cross between Metal Gear and Lemmings.

The first training level provides a good example of what I mean. One way to win would be to throw some cigarettes near a sentry. When he comes over to check them out, you knock him on the head, tie him up, and drag him out of sight. After taking out several other sentries in a similar manner, you have the thief shimmy up a telephone pole and shimmy on the wire over a minefield, on the other side of which he'll grab some wire cutters. Returning back to the first side, he'll give the wire cutters to the Sapper, who will cut the barbed wire around the minefield and then find and retrieve some buried mines. The Sapper can then place those mines near the entrance to the officers' bunker, whistle at the officers, who then run out and blow themselves up.

See what I mean? It's Lemmings.

The rest of the review can be found at the link below.

Tea Leaves: Commandos Battle Pack Review
Feral Interactive
Commandos Battle Pack
Buy Commandos Battle Pack

Mac Games News for Monday, June 19, 2006

Macgamestore: Laser Dolphin, Goldfish Aquarium Now Available2:16 PM
IMG Posts Hands-On Civilization IV Preview1:28 PM
Unity 1.5 Released10:48 AM
Big Bang Brain Games in Development10:44 AM
Mac Battlefield 1942 Server Goes Live7:58 AM
Piracy's Toll On Mac Gaming7:58 AM
WoW: Trolls Revealed7:58 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 19, 2006 on one page

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