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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

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Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Announced
6:00 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story picked up on an as-yet unreleased announcement from Blizzard regarding an expansion for their hit real-time game Warcraft III, dubbed Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Set in the icy mountains of Northrend in the lands of Azeroth, the saga continues from where Warcraft III left off:

In the single-player campaign, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the battle of Mount Hyjal, yet a new threat has arisen throughout the land. The evil Lich King Ner'zhul has been imprisoned inside the Icecrown glacier, deep within the arctic continent of Northrend. Although the former Orc Shaman lacks physical form, his soul lives on, forever seeking a means to escape his icy prison. As the saga continues, it is revealed that both the Night Elf renegade, llidan, and the traitorous Death Knight, Arthas, seek he Icecrown glacier and the mysterious powers found inside. While it is uncertain as to what is being sought inside the icy tomb, players must traverse uncharted lands and battle treacherous new enemies to uncover the schemes of these nefarious beings, and save all of Azeroth from the forces of darkness.
Of course, what would a Blizzard expansion pack be without a pack of new units, maps, and features to compliment the new storyline?
Key features include:

  • One new Hero per race, each possessing powerful spells and magical abilities specifically designed to enhance each race
  • A host of new units, each equipped with new abilities and spells, giving players the opportunity to create diverse strategic and
    tactical forms of combat
  • 3 new tilesets featuring extraordinary new lands to explore, complete with numerous creeps and critters to wage war upon
  • Player-built shops, unique for each race, equipped with items carefully designed to improve and aid the units of every race
  • Neutral buildings, which will provide players with numerous new upgrades, items and abilities
  • Neutral Heroes, available for recruitment by all players, that can supplement and strengthen a player's army with all new spells and
  • An advanced world editor that allows players to create their own custom campaigns, complete with cut-scenes and voiceovers
  • Many new multiplayer maps
  • Expanded multiplayer options over® including multiple new game types, clan and tournament support
  • While a Mac version is not mentioned in the announcement, keep in mind Warcraft III itself was a simultaneous release, so we're hoping to see the same from Blizzard this summer for the expansion pack. The title is expected to be priced at $35.

    [Update] Blizzard has made the announcement official, with a press release on their site and a new section dedicated to the expansion. Check it out for more information, screenshots, and a FAQ.

    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Site
    Blizzard Press Report at
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

    Ask Aspyr Returns
    11:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted Ask Aspyr - Volume 2. A few weeks ago we asked IMG readers to send in questions for Aspyr Media for a feature called Ask Aspyr. Michael Rogers, the President of Aspyr Media, took the time to answer the numerous questions.

    Here's a clip from the feature:

    Question: Are you planning to move to OS X-only ports in the near future? - Jensen Gelfond

    Answer: Yes. It's really more a matter of doing the games as quickly as possible, and that Apple is doing a great job adding technologies to OS X, and continuing to add technology to OS X. So, it's inevitable that we'll do OS X only titles.

    Since we've received these questions, we've announced Nascar 2002, and it is OS X only.

    Other reasons for doing OS X are time to market (if doing OS X only makes a big difference in when the title is released), technology (something is present is OS X that's not in OS 9), and in general that machines have been shipping with OS X for some time now, and some games will basically require newer hardware, and OS X is included on all the new systems, so we know it's at least there.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the article by following the link below.

    Ask Aspyr - Volume 2
    Aspyr Media

    IMG Store: The Sims: Unleashed Now Available
    10:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    The Sims: Unleashed expansion pack for Aspyr's The Sims is now available from the IMG Store for just $29.

    As fans of The Sims know, there has always been something missing from their virtual neighborhoods... pets! In The Sims Unleashed, players can now add furry friends to their Sims' families. Teach Fido some cool tricks or hire an efficient Pet Trainer to do all of the work. Let your kitties and canines strut their stuff in the local Pet Show.

    Visit a pet store and bring home a variety of creatures, from dogs to lizards, your choices are endless. To make room for these furry additions, the Sims community will be equipped with bigger neighborhoods. Forty all-new residential and community lots featuring new homes, lush parks, a hip new caf?, cool shops and a farmer's market are available for Sims to explore. Visit the local garden store and grow a variety of vegetables in their own garden plots.

    Time for a career change? Send your Sims down five new career tracks with 50 new jobs. Enter the world of fashion, take care of the neighborhood's pets, or run away and join the circus. With 125 new objects, redecorate your Sims' home for the new pet's arrival. Are you ready?

    System Requirements

  • MacOS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X version 10.1 or later
  • G3 processor at 233 MHz or faster (450 MHz recommended)
  • 192 MB of built-in RAM (additional 128M recommended if running OSX)
  • 2 MB VRAM (8 MB recommended)
  • 750 MB of additional hard drive space
  • Quicktime 4.1.2 or later

    To place your order, head over to the IMG Store.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims: Unleashed
    Buy The Sims: Unleashed

    MacGamer Reviews Spaceward Ho! 5.0
    10:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Our friends at MacGamer have posted a preview of Delta Tao's Spaceward Ho! 5.0. Overall MacGamer gives the game good marks giving it a score of 83 percent out of 100.

    Here's a clip from the review:

    At first glance, Spaceward HoŐs look is jarring, even a bit simplistic. This isnŐt what one might expect from a space trading/combat game and it takes about 20 minutes for the new user to become accustomed to the graphics and interface. Oddly enough, this is where Spaceware Ho succeeds, even if it chose a simpler look than one might expect from the overall genre. The old standbys of the series remain (colonized planets continue to wear the familiar cowboy hats while opposing playersŐ planets are covered with differently colored cowboy hats and ŇbanditoÓ masks), but Delta Tao Software has pushed the interface a bit, nearly everything appearing as an adjustable menu from the main play screen. If spending towards overall technology needs to be increased, just drag the appropriate bar to the right and the game balances out the spending for the other categories, thereby reducing the number of sub-menus needed to make appropriate changes.
    Be sure to check out the rest of the review.

    Delta Tao
    MacGamer Review: Spaceward Ho! 5.0

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    Fool's Errand Sequel Announced
    6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Sixteen years after the release of the original, puzzle creator and game designer Cliff Johnson has announced a sequel to The Fool's Errand, one of the most memorable puzzle games in computing history.

    The sequel, entitled The Fool And His Money, picks up where the original left off, with the player helping The Fool navigate and solve puzzles, riddles, word games, and various other mind games as he experiences the magic of a stack of tarot cards he picked up in a card game with the Hermit:

    In the sequel, all new mind-ticklers await you (to unravel with discovery, wit, and aplomb!) and storytelling twists and turns reward you, for the Fool, counseled by the Moon, unwisely delays his return of the restored fourteen treasures to their rightful owners, and moreover, he dares to wield ancient Tarot magic to amass the true fortune he craves.

    During The Fool's Errand, when the Fool finally beats the Hermit in a card game of Thoth, why is the Hermit so happy?

    Having lost, the Hermit is set free from the ancient spell that bound him to the magical deck of cards. Having won, the Fool inadvertently gains possession of the cards. The enchantment and mystery of these cards is revealed in The Fool and his Money.

    More to come.

    Gameplay for this new title wil be similar in style to the previous version of the game, but with possibly much more elaborate puzzles, and a much deeper and richer environment:
    Like Errand, you can read the story, play a puzzle, or, look at the map - this time it is the Moon who offers the Fool counsel and a new map to guide him. Unlike Errand, I've planned the whole thing in advance, though I only had 15 years to do so. I leap back and forth between creating the new art and programming the new puzzles. ... In Errand, the Hermit's game of Thoth used the 22 Major Arcana cards of the Tarot, and after the Fool won the game, he won the Tarot cards as well.

    In Money, the Fool journeys once again to each of the four Kingdoms and ultimately wins all 78 cards, gaining 14 from each. Earning all the cards permits you to do Tarot readings to predict the Fool's future. This is particularly useful in auctions and other bartering opportunities, that is, if you can interpret the cards correctly.

    Readers who may not remember the original game or who would like to revisit the classic old game can download the first version of the game for free, along with Cliff's other Macintosh titles, At The Carnival and 3 In Three for free from his website. The titles are OS 9 native, and run well under Classic. Click on the links below to download these games.

    The Fool And His Money, which can be pre-ordered from Cliff's website for $25 US, is expected to be released on Halloween of this year. Both Mac and Windows versions are in the works. Stay tuned to IMG as further news on this new title evolves.

    The Fool And His Money
    Download The Fool's Errand, At The Carnival, 3 In Three
    Cliff Johnson's Fool's Errand Website

    XGaming Revamps Site, Offers Free Shipping
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    XGaming, maker of the popular X-Arcade controllers, has recently updated its site with an easier-to-read format, making it easier for folks looking for information on their products to find it. In addition, they've also added a section devoted to their recently introduced Arcade Center, which basically mimics a real arcade cabinet, complete with a two-player X-Arcade and adapters for consoles and computers.

    XGaming is also current offering the two-player X-Arcade unit with free shipping for those that order it through their online store. Those interested in more information on the promotion or other related products can find all at the new site.


    Simon Extreme Released
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Lumacode, developer of several shareware cocoa applications, recently released a remake of the classic Milton Bradley game Simon for OSX, called Simon Extreme. The game features an aqua style interface, Internet scoring, and multiple sound sets.

    Here's a description of the games intuitive interface:

    You'll love Simon Extreme's Mac OS X Aqua-inspired interface. You've never imagined how wonderful a few colored buttons can look. Or, maybe you have. Anyway, it's really great and we're pretty happy with it. The simple elegance of Aqua meshes with the elegant simplicity of Simon, in a way that might make one say, "Bleep bleep bleep bleep, bleep bleep bleep bleep!"
    The only thing you'll need to run Simon Extreme is a Mac capable of running Mac OS X. For more info, or to download the game, follow the link below. The game is free to download, and the source code is even available from the website.

    Simon Extreme Released

    ThinkTanks Running on OS X
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    David Chait, Mac programming guru at GarageGames, recently made a post to the company's website noting that he had the Torque engine tank game, ThinkTanks, working under OS X. Chait also posted a screenshot of the game running under OS X, along with a detailed description on the steps he took getting it running.

    Here's Chait's update:

    Shot of BraveTree´s ThinkTanks running on OSX (Carbonized app).

    Was really quick and easy to bring up, though admittedly both those points are due to my being the guy doing most of the Mac coding and most of the Mac ports. ;)

    Just to give you an idea:

    I started grabbing the code down at 2pm, and was driving a tank by 5. Probably took about 20mins to get the checkout done. 10 mins to get organized to start my work. 30-45 minutes in merging in fixes that only exist on my machine (well, or in Orbz). Another 30-45 dealing with compiler issues. Another 10-15 finding and adding missing code files to the project. Another 30-45 debugging the one memory issue I had keeping me from getting into the mission. Playable immediately once that was resolved.

    Chait also posted some details for Torque developers wanting to port their titles to the Mac. He is currently working on ThinkTanks as well as Orbz and a number of other Torque-based projects, so stay tuned for more info.

    ThinkTanks Running on OS X

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, January 21, 2003

    IMG Interview: Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin11:41 AM
    IMG Store: Black & White Platinum Pack In Stock11:23 AM
    Liquid Destiny Games Update11:19 AM
    Become an Official Inside Mac Games Sponsor10:03 AM
    Revisions to Shadowbane Siege System9:14 AM
    Tranquility Special Pricing, Sequel Announced9:14 AM
    MoH: Spearhead Headed to Mac9:13 AM
    NASCAR 2003 Preview9:13 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, January 21, 2003 on one page

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