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IMG Holiday Buying Guide Part II
December 7, 2007 | Michael Phillips

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The following is Part II of our IMG Holiday Buying Guide 2007. Be sure to also check out Part I of our buying guide.

Online Worlds continued...

Myst Online: Uru Live
To call Myst Online a unique MMOG is kind of an understatement. It isn't about character building. It isn't about leveling up. It isn't about training skills. There are no monsters to kill, no loot to be had. Myst Online, like every other game in the Myst series, is about exploration, solving puzzles and a story.

Developed by Cyan Worlds and published by GameTap, Myst Online: Uru Live is a sprawling game in which players travel to beautiful and surreal worlds piecing together clues and cracking puzzles. Myst online takes place in the present day, as if the events from previous Myst games were entirely true. A group of archeologists discover actual D'ni ruins buried deep in the Arizona desert. The D'ni, of course, were people who wrote books which open gateways to the worlds described within. The game contains an overall story, acted out and moved ahead by Cyan employees, not pre-scripted NPCs. This content is delivered in monthly episodes that push the story of the D'ni Research Council forward. Of course, players can also simply visit the game's many worlds, called Ages, solving puzzles and unlocking mysteries without closely following world events.
Myst Online: Uru Live requires an Intel-based Mac and is free to play through December, so download it here.

World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade
Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft (WoW) is one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) ever created. On November 23rd, 2004, I was part of a small group of lunatics out at Wal-Mart after midnight dying to get our hands on a copy of WoW after its release. Roughly 3 years later, World of Warcraft boasts over 9 million subscribers world-wide. As Tiny Elvis would say, "Whoa, that game is huuuuge..." Unlike any other MMORPG, WoW has pervaded mass pop-culture, the biggest example being an Emmy Award winning episode of South Park entitled, Make Love, Not Warcraft. Honestly, anyone who hasn't seen that episode should go and download it from iTunes... now.

Since its original release, World of Warcraft has received countless content additions, including its first full-blown expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (BC). BC raised the the character level-cap from 60 to 70, added new profession options, 2 new races and an entirely new dominion to explore known as Outland. This game has come a long way, baby, but we're far from over. World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade are Universal Binary and will run on any decent Mac. For more information and a free trial account, click here.


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