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Wednesday, November 1, 2000

MacPlay Announces Three New Titles
12:49 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a stunning announcement, the newly-revived MacPlay has revealed they will be bringing Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Sacrifice, and Starfleet Command Volume II: Empires at War to the Mac in 2001. These highly-anticipated titles add three more A-list releases to MacPlay's already stellar catalog. Combined with their plans to release the RPGs Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate II in 2001, they will have an extremely impressive lineup that seems guaranteed to restore the MacPlay name to its former glory. Without further ado,
here's the full press release from MacPlay:


DALLAS, TX -- November 1, 2000 -- MacPlay announced today three more premium
titles for the Apple Macintosh computer to be published in 2001. As part of
the original MacPlay licensing deal announced last week, MacPlay has also
secured from Interplay the rights to publish Giants: Citizen Kabuto(TM),
Sacrifice(TM), and Starfleet Command Volume II: Empires at War(TM) for the

"This is only the beginning," said MacPlay CEO Ron Dimant. "We're very
pleased to announce the first part of our 2001 lineup. These games will
look and sound great on Apple hardware, and truly original titles like
Giants and Sacrifice should be in high demand among those who 'Think

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a single and multiplayer game in realtime 3D. In
their quest for control of 30 separate islands, players choose from three
distinct and diverse races. Sea Reapers are queens of the waters, and can
command elemental forces. Meccaryns are an alien military force with
technological prowess. Kabuto is the fearsome giant, who can kick around
Meccaryns and Sea Reapers like soccer balls, or eat them for snacks.

Sacrifice is a real-time strategy game in which players become powerful
wizards who must appease one of five gods. Players command an army of 55
unique creatures in this realtime 3D magical world, and with spells and
wizardry, can rain fire upon combatants, or cause earthquakes to alter the

Starfleet Command Volume II: Empires at War is the latest space battle
simulator set in the Star Trek universe. Players can command the ships of
any of a number of races: Starfleet, Klingon, the Mirak Star League, and
others. Several modes of play allow players to forge a career as a starship
captain, or simply set up quick battles against computer or human opponents.

"Macintosh gamers will have a lot to look forward to in 2001," stated PR
Director Jason Whong. "With these great titles, as well as Baldur's Gate II
and Icewind Dale, MacPlay will provide some of 2001's best games for the

We've been tracking down info on a Mac version of Giants and Sacrifice for some
time now, and seeing the official annoucement is indeed quite a rush. Sacrifice recently went "gold" for PC just a few days ago, and Giants is expected to be complete for the PC by the end of this year. Watch IMG for more information on these titles and when we might expect to see them on our platform.

Sacrifice Web Site
Starfleet Command Volume II Web Site
Forum Topic: MacPlay Announces 3 New Titles
Giants Web Site
MacPlay Web Site
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

Guide to Emulation
2:44 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story has posted a Guide to Emulation Gaming which reveals how to enjoy the arcade hits of yesteryear on your own Mac. From console titles to arcade classics, almost any vintage game you can recall can be played on the Mac platform through the miracle of emulation. Here's an excerpt from their guide:

Thanks to emulation gaming, any game written for any platform can live on. Even the most obscure games from your past are playable with the right software and programs for your Mac. Simply put, an emulator is a program written for a computer that impersonates the hardware and software functions of another machine, much like Connectix's "Virtual PC" which impersonates PC hardware on your Mac to allow you to run Windows. With the right programs, your Macintosh can run the functions of game consoles (like older Nintendo/Sega systems, the Atari and the Coleco), making it possible to run programs written for these machines.
Be sure and check out the rest of this guide for more details. is a great place to look for emulators and their updates.
Guide to Emulation Gaming

Ron Dimant Interview
2:24 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

By fortuitous coincidence, MacCentral has posted an interview with Ron Dimant, CEO of Ritual Entertainment and founder of United Developers. Dimant and UD recently resurrected the moribund MacPlay name and already have plans to bring five A-list PC titles to the Mac OS in the coming year.

In the interview Dimant discusses the reasons behind his choice to bring back MacPlay and the reasons behind his tremendous optimism about the Mac as a gaming platform. Here is an excerpt:

MC: Frame from your own perspective what the announcement about the resurrection of MacPlay means to the Mac game industry and to Mac gamers.

RD: In my opinion, no name better signifies entertainment on the Macintosh than MacPlay. MacPlay previously played a very significant role in Macintosh gaming by making available many of the most prominent PC games to Macintosh users for the first time. Games such as "Wolfenstein 3D" and "Alone in the Dark" may never otherwise have been available on the Macintosh since the other Mac publishers such as Bungie, Parsoft and Graphic Simulations were developing original content. There are many great games in development for PCs and consoles, and MacPlay will once again bring these titles to the Macintosh.

Ah yes, that remark about console titles is sure to get the game forums buzzing. Be sure and read the rest of this interview for more details on the rebirth of MacPlay and what we might expect for the future.

United Developers
MacCentral Interviews Ron Dimant

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New Baldur's Gate Beta
1:19 PM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Amy Scoggins at GraphSim just informed Mac Baldur that a new Baldur's Gate beta is available. This 2.9MB stuffed beta is available by e-mail only. If you would like to test it, please visit Mac Baldur for information on how to obtain the update.

There are no details on what this beta will fix or if multiplayer support (still in development) has gone into testing at this point. We'll bring you an update on this beta in the near future.

Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

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Bugdom Ships... For Windows??
9:54 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

This isn't exactly Mac gaming news, but the occurrence of a Mac-only game being ported to the PC is so rare it deserves a remark or two. Yes, you read the headline correctly: Pangea Software's charming adventure title Bugdom has been released for Windows, ported by On Deck Interactive. Gathering of Developers will be the publisher, and they note on their web site that the game should be in stores for PC users very soon.

This certainly seem to be a mixed blessing. Bugdom is a well-done game and one that deserves the widest audience possible, so this is an excellent deal for Pangea that most likely means a goodly amount of extra revenue. However, Bugdom was also one of Apple's 'showcase' titles used to demonstrate their iMac and iBook hardware; now the store salesman can no longer claim that you have to buy a Mac to play that adorable game with the bugs and ants.

For Pangea's sake, we hope the ports don't stop at mere Windows versions -- Bugdom is a natural console title, if we've ever seen one. But we have to admit we did feel a twinge of regret at seeing a Mac-exclusive title step over to the Dark Side.

If you've never played Bugdom, you've missed a dazzling, original and fun gaming experience. Be sure and grab the demo and take it for a spin.

Bugdom Review
Download Bugdom Demo (6 MB)
Pangea Software
On Deck Interactive
Pangea Software

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Sims: Livin' Large is Final
9:08 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has updated their Project Status page with the news that the expansion pack The Sims: Livin' Large has reached Final Candidate status, and the good news doesn't stop there -- Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force is FC as well. Final Candidate status simply means that the game is considered finished but has to make one last round through the testers and be approved by the publisher (in this case, Aspyr Media). If the candidate meets with their approval, it is declared "golden master" and shipped off for duplication.

The Aspyr Newsletter sent out on October 18th previously stated that these two titles were Final Candidate, but it seems that information was premature (as we later learned from Duane Johnson). Often a game may go 'final' and yet be turned back at the last moment by a newly-discovered bug or a problem with the installer. If all goes well both of these titles will be in stores within the next two weeks.

Other additions to the list include the news that Risk 2, a total overhaul of the original board game, is now in stores. Fans of TV game shows can rejoice, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune have both reached Golden Master status, and should be in stores soon. Truly a flood of games for this Fall and Winter, and all from one company -- the mind boggles.

For more information on Livin' Large and Elite Force, be sure and read our previews of these titles. Both will be published by Aspyr Media; Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will be published by MacSoft.

Voyager: Elite Force Preview
Westlake Interactive Project Status
The Sims: Livin' Large Preview
Risk II Preview
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Livin' Large

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Exile Chat, realMYST Screens
9:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

RivenGuild has posted a complete transcript of a recent IRC chat held with Mary DeMarle of Presto Studios. This is the company that has taken over development of Myst III: Exile, the third in the Myst series from Cyan. The chat hosts ask a variety of questions related to Exile, including this exchange about the role of animals in the game:

We heard in the last special chat that animals were very important to the game. Might this imply that the antagonist has a similar obsession with animals as Gehn did with the number five?

Animals are pretty important to the game. And players will learn a lot about the villain as the investigate the ages. Do these these things have something in common? Hmmm... good question.

Check out the chat for many other tidbits about the title, which should be out next year for Mac and PC.

In other Myst-related news, the Riven fan site has received a couple of exclusive new shots of Cyan's real-time 3D remix of the original Myst, known as realMYST. The key difference between the two is that realMYST will use a proprietary real-time 3D engine like Quake or Unreal, instead of static, pre-rendered scenes. Check out the site for several beautiful images. The Mac version of realMYST has lagged behind the PC version, which just recently went 'gold.' We have been assured that our version will be released within a month after the PC version hits stores.

RivenGuild Exile Chat Transcript
realMYST Screen Shots

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Stomped Previews DS9: The Fallen
8:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Our partner CGA site Stomped has received their beta copy of Deep Space Nine: The Fallen and has written up a quick preview of the game. The Fallen is based on the Unreal Tournament engine and is set in the third person, so you can watch yourself play as either Sisko, Worf or Kira. Here's a bit more from the article, which sometime's references that other Star Trek game, Elite Force:

One of the very nice things about the Unreal engine is its ability to handle outdoor areas well. In contrast to Elite Force's cramp surroundings going from space ship to space ship, there are frequent visits to other planets in The Fallen, and of course, DS9's Promenade is a pretty big place in of itself.

One cool thing that The Fallen has is the tricorder. It's not just there for decoration; it can be used for tracking objects or people, and it can even help with combat. In the first Sisko mission, for example, he deals with the Grigari for the first time. The new aliens have shields that keep phasers from working on them . . . that is, unless you scan them with the tricorder to find out their shield modulations. Your hand phaser then auto-modulates to slip past the Grigari's shields. Nifty, and very much in line with Star Trek.

With both DS9: The Fallen and Elite Force coming to the Mac, the Trek fans among us must think that Christmas came early this year. Simon and Schuster are working with The Collective to get The Fallen ready by the end of November/ early December.

Stomped Preview of The Fallen
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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Diablo 2 Expansion Teaser Trailer
8:30 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released a trailer for the upcoming Diablo 2 Expansion Set, which was shown at this years European Computer Trade Show. The trailer contains a monologue from Baal and features the dazzling, high quality pre-rendered CGI that we have come to expect from Blizzard's talented artists.

The trailer is available in high resolution (29.2 MB) and low resolution (11 MB) format. In order to play the video on your Macintosh, you must download the Blink video player. Do not let the ".exe" end on the file scare you; just open the file after launching the Bink player as you would any document. If this is your first experience of the Bink format, prepare to be impressed!

The Diablo 2 Expansion set, known as Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, is scheduled for release in the first half of 2001 for Macintosh and PC.

Download Low Quality Trailer (11 MB)
Download High Quality Trailer (29.2 MB)
Download Blink Video Player (194 K)
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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New Return to Dark Castle Screens
8:26 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

Delta Tao, producer of such games as Spaceward Ho!, Eric's Ultimate Solitaire and Clan Lord, has released new screen shots of the final chapter in the Dark Castle series. Return to Dark Castle has been in development for over four years now, and some had given up hope it would ever appear. But lo and behold, work is still being done!

This full-color makeover of the original Mac game has certainly been a long time coming, but will be worth the wait. A deft mix of platform-style gaming, realtime puzzles and hilarious graphics and sounds, Dark Castle was a big hit in its time and is truly a member of the pantheon of Classic Mac games.

From developer Zack Black:

It's coming... The long awaited sequel to the classic games, Dark Castle & Beyond Dark Castle, has been in the works for about 4 years now. I know, I know... "What's taking so long!?" Rest assured, the wait will be worth it. I'm doing my best to make sure die hard DC fans will not be dissapointed. The giant DC3 will have all levels from the original 2 games, remastered to full color glory, plus dozens upon dozens of new areas to explore. So while I slave away, check out these cool screenshots
So head to Delta Tao and see the wonderful new pictures. If you are old enough to remember the black-and-white original, these color pictures should bring back fond memories of one of the most addictive -- heck, one of the first! -- games on the Mac platform.

Dark Castle 3 Progress
Delta Tao
Delta Tao
Z Sculpt
Return to Dark Castle
Buy Return to Dark Castle

UT Assault Bonus Pack Released
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

If you've been complaining about the lack of Assault maps in Unreal Tournament, then complain no longer. The Assault Bonus Pack has finally been released. This add-on for Unreal Tournament contains a slew of new Assault maps, adds new gameplay options and other goodies. Although this is not an "official" add-on, it is endorsed by several Epic employees. The download weighs in at 18.7 MB.

Assault is a game type in Unreal Tournament where one team is given specific objectives to complete, while the other team attempts to stop them. Here are more details on the add-on pack:

The main goal with the bonus pack is to enhance Assault. Consider it a much-needed update for Assault. That game type has great potential, but some problems have harmed it severely, so I kind of adopted it with Epic's blessings to unlock its full potential. Upgrading using the bonus pack will fix Assault and make it really playable for all kinds of players. It doesn't matter if you're a rookie, veteran, or experienced in other game types, with the bonuspack, you can play Assault the way you want. Another shortcoming of Assault was the limited map selection, only seven maps, and even those have serious flaws that could ruin the game quickly. Not only does the bonus pack fix all of the known map bugs in the original Epic maps, it also includes seven custom maps, stressing quality over quantity. Assault maps are very hard to make, so to ensure highest possible quality, I only accepted levels by critically acclaimed designers for the initial release of the bonus pack.
For a preview of all of the new levels, as well as screen shots and descriptions, head to the web site; it may help you decide if you want to commit to what might be a long download for some.

Download Assault Bonus Pack (18.7 MB)
Assault Bonus Pack Website

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Neverwinter Nights Interview3:30 PM
Kawasaki JetSki PowerSports Announced11:20 AM
Mac Rune Update, Demo Details10:19 AM
Unreal Tournament Mod Updates10:04 AM
Meggs on Mac FAKK2 Demo9:57 AM
DOOM 3 Engine Details9:46 AM
Marathon: Resurrection Moves, Updates9:45 AM
3dfx Voodoo4 4500 PCI Ships9:09 AM
Diablo II Expansion Preview8:47 AM
ToSC and Baldur Multiplayer Status8:42 AM
Saitek Announces Action Pad8:38 AM
3dfx Interview8:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 31, 2000 on one page

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Monday, October 30, 2000
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