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Friday, March 1, 2002

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Bugdom Goes Shareware
9:27 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Pangea Software today re-released their popular video game Bugdom as shareware and will donate a portion of profits to charity. After selling 30,000 units of Bugdom at retail for the last few years, the game is now available as shareware for $20. The regular boxed version of Bugdom will continue to be sold off of Pangea's web site until inventory runs out.

Here's a snippet from Pangea's press release:

After selling close to 30,000 units of Bugdom, Pangea Software has decided to re-release the videogame as shareware, and 50% of all profits from Bugdom shareware sales during the month of March will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation ( "Our inventory of Bugdom CD's is running low, but rather than build more units, we decided to convert the game to shareware so that people can download and pay for it online" said Brian Greenstone, President and CEO of Pangea Software. "This should be especially helpful for international customers who currently pay very high shipping costs and import taxes."

Pangea Software has a history of releasing software as "charityware" in which the software is free to those who want it, but it is requested that they make a charitable contribution as payment. "A few years ago, it became difficult for us to continue doing charityware since our cost of doing business was increasing dramatically," said Greenstone, "but we wanted to continue the tradition with this re-release of Bugdom, so we're going to see how much money we can raise for JDRF during March."

To download the 50 MB file, head over to our sister site, MacGameFiles. The shareware version will also be available on the next MacGames CD, due out in late March.

IMG Review: Bugdom
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
MGF: Bugdom Shareware (50 MB)

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IMG Reviews Myth II: Green Berets
11:33 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Andrew Martin of Green Berets from Take 2 Interactive, a real-time game of squad-based tactical combat powered by the Myth II engine.

Here's an excerpt:

Green Berets takes place during one of the flashpoints in the Cold War between the US and the former Soviet Union, more specifically, our police action in Viet Nam. The game is ten levels long, featuring a commando unit behind enemy lines. The cast of characters in this game from level to level for the most part remained the same. The characters included an A-Team captain, three Green Berets, a medical sergeant, and a weapons specialist.

After completing the installation, the player is required to go through boot camp. As the name indicates, this is the training level. The narrator's humor is quite similar to the dry wit of the original Myth II's training narrator. For example, in Green Berets, the opening line the narrator says, "do exactly as I say, or die horribly." In this level you learn how to control some of the more unique aspects of Green Berets.

During boot camp, you become more intimately acquainted with some of your character's special abilities. Such as grenade launchers, how to lay and detonate C4 charges, how to call for re-supply drops, and how to effectively use your medical sergeant.

For the full text of our review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Myth II: Green Berets
Myth II: Green Berets

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EV Nova Movie Available
10:02 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following up on yesterday's news regarding Escape Velocity: Nova reaching Final Candidate status, we're making it known that a movie of Ambrosia's latest spacefaring game is also available. Though the movie is short, it does manage to show off several features of this upcoming title.

The movie starts with shipyard selection, and shows off the stats of ships such as an Old Earth IDA Frigate and a Lightning Heavy Fighter. It also shows off a bar menu, which includes options such as Hire Escort, Holovid, and Gamble, which appears to be an option that lets players bet on ship races. An outfitter menu is also explored, and shows what appear to be various ship upgrades.

The movie itself is available at Ambrosia's web site, and is sized at around 900 KB. While we found the download speed from Ambrosia's site to be slow, we highly recommend this movie to EV: Nova fans waiting for the latest installment in this classic game series.

IMG News: EV: Nova Hits Final Candidate
IMG Preview: Escape Velocity: Nova
Escape Velocity: Nova
Ambrosia: EV: Nova Movie (909 KB)

OS X USB Overdrive Beta 4 Update
9:54 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Mac OS X version of USB Overdrive by Alessandro Levi Montalcini has been updated to beta 4. Known to many a Mac user, USB Overdrive is a shareware utility that provides greater mouse, trackball, gamepad, and joystick functionality than the manufacturer's drivers often allow. This is particularly useful when gaming, as the program allows for customizable button mapping.

The latest update includes several new features as well as fixes:

  • Added AutoScroll support.

  • Added Accelerated Scrolling support.

  • Added Use Global Settings support.

  • Added a shortcut to the USB Overdrive in the System Preferences.

  • Fixed problems with keystrokes or mouse clicks not being released when switching from one application to another.

  • Improved the list of connected devices and the device information window.

  • Fixed problems with multiple login items or multiple copies of the USBOverdriveHelper running at the same time.

The USB Overdrive web site also notes that some bugs from the beta 3 version have been addressed, including user settings not holding and the options menu listing too many mouse devices.

Beta 4 for Mac OS X supports only mice; support for other game controllers will be added in a future release. (The Mac OS 9 version has mature support for all game controllers.)

For more information as well as links for downloading this utility, check out the USB Overdrive web site.

USB Overdrive

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Blizzard's Roper Talks Diablo II Dups
9:27 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

Frustrated by item duplication and other forms of cheating in Diablo II online multiplayer games? Blizzard Entertainment has implemented many different strategies and policies in order to reduce the possibilities for cheating on the Realms and ensure the best of all possible gaming environments.

PlanetDiablo recently posted excerpts from an interview on this subject with Blizzard Senior Producer Bill Roper, along with their own running commentary. A sample:

PlanetDiablo: Are any actions being taken to remove duplicates of items from earlier versions of the game?

Bill Roper: In reviewing all of the currently known duplicated items we are determining what will be the most fair course of action to take that maintains an enjoyable and balanced play experience for every user. We will remove any and all duplicate items as we deem appropriate after our analysis of which items exist. This may mean some, none or all of the current duplicate items will be removed from the world.

Afterthoughts: For those of you who didn't catch it, that was the huge alarm signaling aversion of the question. Items from versions of Diablo II before 1.08 are not susceptible to the current duplicate scans, and as far as we can tell, Blizzard doesn't know what course to take (if any) to deal with this case. As always, the community is proverbially screaming (in other words, in dire need) for a policy on item duplication, to be enforced with punishments for those players who participate in this form of cheating.

For more of the interview, click on the PlanetDiablo link below.

IMG Review: Diablo II
IMG Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Diablo II
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
PlanetDiablo: Bill Roper Interview
Buy Diablo II

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Tropico II Unveiled
9:27 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gaming site Voodoo Extreme has noted that a sequel to the popular island management simulation Tropico is in the works. Detailed in the latest issue of Computer Games Magazine, this sequel has been passed from PopTop, developers of the first game, to Frog City Software.

Forum posts by a PopTop employee at Cafe Tropico confirm the sequel and note that the main theme will center around pirates, with pirate-like activities that include maintaining a Pirate Hideout and sailing ships:

PopTop's roll has been very much at the high level. We discussed the design and features at the beginning of the development and let Frog City go from there. They are not new to strategy games so they tended to kill off sub par ideas before they even got to us. They are keeping much of the tone of Tropico but with a twisted look at Pirates. Since you're all about setting up the Pirate Hideout, it's not a traditional pirate game... at least 'till others decide to do one like this too. It's really got some great stuff.
Other posts in the same thread show what appear to be various pictures of the game, including one titled "Cove, Sweet Cove" that shows off several buildings. Be sure to check out both the forum thread and the article at Voodoo Extreme for more information.

Frog City Software
PopTop Software
Voodoo Extreme: Tropico 2
Cafe Tropico: Tropico 2
Buy Tropico

Mac Games News for Thursday, February 28, 2002

EV: Nova Hits Final Candidate3:08 PM
Today Only: Radeon 8500 for $2072:49 PM
NY Times on First Computer Game: Spacewar! (Updated)11:21 AM
Big Time Talks Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin11:20 AM
F/A-18 Korea 1.2b1 Released6:00 AM
GameSpot Examines Abandonware6:00 AM
Second Civilization III Patch Coming Soon6:00 AM
UT X Progress Report6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 28, 2002 on one page

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