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Friday, November 15, 2002

More Details on MacExpo Games Arcade
8:29 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Macworld UK has recently published an article that reveals more details about the Mac OS X Games Arcade, an event taking place at the next MacExpo UK. The event, set up specifically to show off the gaming power of OS X, will boast an impressive lineup of top-flight Macs that will be available to all:

At the Mac OS X Games Arcade – at Stand 20 – gamers can use the 24 dual-processor 1.25 GHz networked G4 Power Macs. The machines are equipped with state of the art gamers kit, including 22-inch Cinema Displays, LogiTech optical mice, Harman Kardon speaker systems and state of the art graphics processors from NVIDIA and ATI.
In addition, network gaming sessions will be held twice a day, and MacGames UK will be on hand to sell games and give out T-shirts. A chance to win £100 of games is also being offered.

As for the games, upcoming titles such as Freedom Force, Creature Isle, and Aliens vs Predator 2 will be on hand for enthusiasts to try out.

More information on the upcoming MacExpo, which takes place Nov 21-23 at Islington's Business Design Center in London, can be found at the official site.

Macworld UK - MacExpo shows games focus

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IMG Previews Mutant Storm
10:39 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

PomPom, creators of the award-winning Space Tripper, are about to release the Mac version of their Robotron-inspired Mutant Storm, and IMG was lucky enough to get a peek at the game. Mutant Storm packs all the excitement and adrenaline of the arcade classic while incorporating Tron-inspired visuals and state-of-the-art OpenGL special effects.  

Here's a snippet from the preview:

ike its arcade game predecessor, Mutant Storm places the camera well above the action, giving players a top-down view of the action. Starting alone in the screen, players are quickly surrounded by alien mutants that either rise to the surface of the planet or fall from the sky. Players can move and shoot independently in four different directions, allowing complete freedom to obliterate all evil mutants. Red box-shaped walls, placed judiciously throughout the arena provide strategic obstacles to the mutants, allowing players a little reprieve to the onslaught of the alien horde. Scoring is based on the number of enemies destroyed; the longer it takes to destroy the mutants, the nastier they become, and the greater number of points they’re worth. You are limited to the amount of time you spend on each level – if the level countdown comes to an end before destroying all Mutants, large indestructible alien mutants materialise on the planet surface, swarming around you and increasing in number until you’re inevitably overrun.
Be sure to check out the rest of IMG's preview.

IMG Preview: Mutant Storm
Mutant Storm
Buy Mutant Storm

Custer's Desktop: Ghost Recon
10:23 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG's Brad Custer has once again updated his section with a brand new desktop. This week's desktop features Aspyr's recently released third-person shooter, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon.

Here's a clip from Brad's update:

This recent release from Aspyr Media arrived today in my mailbox. I was so inspired by this package I felt the urge to revisit the battleground of Ghost Recon. This time I wanted focus on the expansion pack, Desert Siege. With the help of the art CDs from Aspyr Media, the internet and even the Pentagon I was able to create this desktop. I simply entitled it "Conflict" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
Head over to Brad's desktops to check out his latest creation.

Custer's Desktops: Ghost Recon
Aspyr Media
Red Storm

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GameRanger Adds Heroes of Might and Magic IV
10:10 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

GameRanger today announced that is has added support for 3DO's recently released fantasy-strategy game, Heroes of Might and Magic IV.

Here's more from the official press release:

Heroes of Might and Magic IV, the highly anticipated next chapter in the award-winning Heroes of Might and Magic series, combines the proven award winning gameplay of the Heroes line with an all-new game engine. Like its predecessors, Heroes IV showcases highly detailed fantasy worlds in a battle for territory and resources. Players will command armies comprised of skillful adventurers and fantastic creatures that fight enemies, capture towns and collect vital resources and artifacts. Strategic planning and tactical cunning are instrumental in your goal to be undisputed ruler of the new world

GameRanger provides hours of entertainment for interactive game players around the world, supporting online multiplayer gameplay for over 100 game titles, with highlights including Black & White, Ghost Recon, Jedi Knight II, Links CE 2002, Risk II, Scrabble, Soldier of Fortune II, Stronghold, and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds.

GameRanger is the first and largest internet multiplayer game matchmaking service for the Macintosh.

IMG First Look: Heroes of Might & Magic IV
Contraband Entertainment
Heroes of Might & Magic IV
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic IV

MacGamer Reviews the X-Arcade
9:57 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Our friends at MacGamer have posted a review of the X-Arcade, an all-in-one gaming joystick from XGaming.

Here's a clip from the review:

The X-Arcade was designed with cross-platform compatibility in mind, and it shows - after purchasing the main X-Arcade game unit you can adapt it for the Mac (via USB), PC, XBox, GameCube, PS1/2, and the Dreamcast. Also, the X-Arcade doesn't need any fancy InputSprocket or HID drivers - the stick and buttons all emulate keyboard keys, so it'll work with pretty much any game out there. The default settings are the same defaults as MAME, and they're hard-coded into the stick so you don't have to waste time configuring and re-configuring MAME to work with it. You can also save alternate keyboard configurations in the X-Arcade's internal memory, but I've found it to be generally easier to configure the game's controls to the X-Arcade's defaults instead of reprogramming the X-Arcade. This can get mildly annoying sometimes, especially when playing with someone else, as when both players are mashing out of a throw or something you can get several accidental command-keystrokes out.
Be sure to check out the rest of the preview. And if you already haven't done so, don't forget to check out IMG's very own review as well.

IMG Review: X-Arcade
MacGamer Review: X-Arcade

Solitaire Till Dawn For Mac OS X Released
8:29 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Semicolin Software, makers of a number of different shareware games, has released an update to their popular Solitaire Till Dawn card game. The update is actually a complete re-write from the ground up for OS X. For those unfamiliar with the game, Solitaire Till Dawn is a collection of many different Solitaire games packed into one compact application. The new OS X version comes with 50, but Semicolin promises even more are coming.
Here's a list of its features:

  • 50 different solitaire games.
  • Fully resizable window and cards.
  • Choice of card faces, card backs, and window backgrounds.
  • Unlimited Undo and Redo.
  • Snapshots for quickly undoing back to a previous position.
  • "Smart cards" fly to their destination with a click.
  • Automatically saves your game when you quit.
  • Tells you when you're stuck.
  • Tells you when you have a guaranteed win.
  • Auto Play option automatically moves cards to the goals.
  • Find any visible card easily with a keystroke or two.
  • Unique "Status Bar" shows score, statistics, and game progress at a
  • Tool bar offers easy access to features, games, and help.
  • Full online rules for all games, with hypertext glossary links.
  • Full online help
  • The only requirement to run the OS X version is that you have 10.1.4 or higher. To download Solitaire Till Dawn X, or for more info follow the provided links below.

    Download Solitaire Till Dawn X
    Solitaire Till Dawn
    Semicolon Software

    IMG's Matt Diamond Releases Black Cube
    8:29 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    On a more personal note, IMG contributor and man-about-town Matt Diamond has released Black Cube, his entry into the uDevGame contest.

    Black Cube is a logic and deduction game for Mac OS X. Matt's version puts a twist on the classic "Black Box" logic game by extracting the playing field into three dimensions. Black Cube also offers the original 2D version of the game for players wanting to try the title in its original form.

    Similar to the old computer classic Minesweeper, the object of the game is to find hidden pockets of dark matter within the playing board. You find the pockets by firing rays into the board, watching where they come out again, and deducting the positioning of the pockets through the game's refraction rules. Once you've guessed the position of the dark matter, you submit your guesses to the computer which then scores your performance.

    Black Cube, currently at version 1.0.1, is Matt's submission for uDevGame 2002, the yearly game programming competition run by Macintosh game developer web site iDevGames. From their web site:

    We hope that uDevGame will stimulate the creation of games on the Macintosh by encouraging people to develop new and original games for the platform. The need for qualified Macintosh programmers is greater now than ever thanks to Apple's exciting new operating system, MacOS X. Participants in uDevGame will actively help in the education of the Macintosh developers, as well as encourage and enhance the interest of those new to the platform. uDevGame draws attention to those that develop unique and exciting games for the Macintosh, as well as help introduce the best and brightest Macintosh game development talent to development houses and publishers alike.
    This year's contest, with fifty eight games already entered, will be coming to a close November 17. Players interested in checking out the entries should visit the uDevGame 2002 website by clicking on the links below.

    Matt's Diamond's Black Cube
    uDevGame 2002 Contest
    iDevGames Mac Game Programming Resource Center

    Click to enlarge
    Belkin's Nostromo n50 SpeedPad Mac Drivers Available
    8:29 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Reknown hardware peripherals manufacturer Belkin Corporation annouced on Thursday the release of native Mac drivers for their computer gaming accessory, the Nostromo n50 SpeedPad.

    The n50, previously only available to Mac users through the use of USB Overdrive, combines ten keyboard-like programmable buttons, an eight-way directional pad and a throttle wheel. The pad is adjustable to fit different hand sizes, however the device is used for the left-hand only. Belkin recommends using the SpeedPad in conjunction with a multi-button mouse or joystick, making the device ideal for keyboard-and-mouse games like first person shooters or flight simulators.

    Drivers for the accessory, currently available at the Belkin website, come in OS 9 and OS X versions. Minimum OS requirements are OS 9.0.4 or OS 10.1.2.

    Belkin will not be packaging the pad in special Mac-labelled packaging, favoring instead the use of a sticker on newly manufactured boxes. The packaged CD-ROM won't contain the Mac drivers - users are instructed instead to download the Mac version of the Nostromo Array Programming Software from Belkin's website. The SpeedPad has an estimated retail price of $29.99 U$.

    Nostromo n50 SpeedPad Drivers for OS 9
    Nostromo n50 SpeedPad Drivers for OS X
    Nostromo n50 SpeedPad

    Mac Games News for Thursday, November 14, 2002

    Freeverse to Distribute Payback In North America6:00 AM
    Heroes of Might and Magic IV Shipping6:00 AM
    The Third Reich Download Issues Fixed6:00 AM
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Goes Beta6:00 AM
    World War II Online Mac Now Shipping6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 14, 2002 on one page

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