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Friday, June 27, 2003

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Aspyr Ships SimCity 4
11:52 AM | Jefferson Regan | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has announced that SimCity 4 for the Macintosh is now shipping. The long-awaited 4th generation of the game SimCity, SimCity 4, features new simulation and graphics engines, new regional game play and the new ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine.

Here's more from the official press release:

The long-awaited 4th generation of the game SimCity, SimCity 4 features new simulation and graphics engines, an all new regional game play, and the new ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine, SimCity 4 is the most realistic, powerful and personal SimCity experience ever.

Right from the start, players experience new God-like powers of creation as they lay the groundwork for their cities by molding mountains, carving valleys, seeding forests and laying rivers. With these new landscape creation features, players can now construct the most realistic metropolis imaginable.

Unlike earlier games in the series, SimCity 4 cities do not live in isolation from the world, they are part of an entire region. Each city a player creates becomes part of an ever-growing tapestry of municipalities that, once connected by transportation networks, share and compete for resources. Depending upon the choices made by a player, this multi-city game play can result in a variety of outcomes within that region.

For the first time ever, players can follow a Sim as they go about their life in the city. Players can personalize their Sim and immediately move him or her into any area and watch them experience life in the city, first hand. Is he or she enjoying a happy existence in an urban utopia or enduring a futile fight for survival in the inner-city? A player’s Sim provides valuable clues to improving the city.

SimCity 4 allows players to actually touch their handiwork and feel the pulse of their creation. Whether a metropolis is booming with expansion or decaying through neglect, the new SimCity 4 simulation engine gives players immediate feedback so they can react to its every need. Individual buildings and their lots now provide feedback to the player who lives there. Bigger, better and more relevant disasters are also available along with the ability to dispatch the police or fire department to areas in the city where they are needed. Your every decision in this new SimCity has much more of an impact and gives you the ability to respond more effectively. Day and night, the movement in SimCity 4 is first-person, frenetic, palpable and unpredictable.

Here are the system requirements:

  • Mac OS X, version 10.2 or later
  • Power Mac G3/G4, iMac G4/eMac, PowerBook G4 (DVI model or better), iBook (32MB VRAM model only)
  • Processor speed 500 MHz or faster
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 1 GB of free hard disk space available
  • Hardware 3D acceleration required: ATI Radeon or NVidia GeForce card (32 MB VRAM or better)

    IMG's Eddie Park recently got a chance to take a beta of SimCity 4 for a spin. Be sure to check out his preview if you already haven't.

    The IMG Store continues to take orders for this hot new title. It's available for $48.99. If you're an IMG Pro/MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order it for just $43.99. Two-day Fed Ex delivery is available for just $6.99! Be sure to place your order today.

    IMG Preview: SimCity 4
    Aspyr Media
    SimCity 4
    Buy SimCity 4

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    IMG Reviews Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition
    2:45 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IMG has today posted a review of MacSoft's dictatorship expansion, Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition. The title includes an updated version of the original Tropico, along with the Paradise Island expansion pack, as well as a number of bonus features. Here's a clip from the review:

    Some gameplay improvements were added to Mucho Macho. Roads are now more useful than in the original Tropico and more buildings are rotatable than before. Construction is also supposed to happen faster in Mucho Macho, but it still appears that getting a job at a construction office drops a Tropican's IQ by about ten points. Now placing buildings over homeless shacks or debris works where it didn't before, although the shacks and debris in the way must still be cleared before the new construction; but there do seem to be a few structures for which this doesn't hold true. Perhaps most important are the speed improvements of Mucho Macho on older machines running OS X.
    For the full scoop on Mucho Macho, be sure to check out our full review. The system requirements for the game are:
    • G3 or G4 processor running at 350 Mhz or faster
    • 128MB RAM
    • Mac OS 9.1 or higher or OSX v 10.1.5 or higher
    • 16 MB video required if you wish to use OpenGL mode
    Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition is available now from the IMG Store for just $19.95.

    IMG Review: Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition
    Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition
    Buy Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition

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    IMG Store: Pre-Order Star Trek: Elite Force II
    12:51 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    The IMG Store is now taking pre-orders for Star Trek: Elite Force II. It's available for pre-order for $48.99. If you are a MacGames CD or IMG Pro subscriber, you can pick it up for just $42.99.

    After the triumphant return of Captain Janeway and crew to the alpha quadrant, the Hazard Team, Voyager's elite security detail, is assigned its deadliest mission yet.. duty onboard the Federation's renowned flagship, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-E.

    As the leader of Starfleet's latest rapid response force, players will encounter a relentless onslaught of enemies including Star Trek staples such as the Borg and Romulans as well as several never before seen alien species.

    Set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, Star Trek Elite Force II allows players to break out of the confines of ship bulkheads and spacestation corridors to explore all new locations including alien worlds and zero-g environments.

    New and more powerful weapons will be at the player's disposal and branching levels offer a more varied gameplay experience.

    For more information including system requirements, please visit the IMG Store.

    Ritual Entertainment
    Aspyr Media
    Star Trek Elite Force II
    Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

    Indie Developer FAQ Available
    12:36 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Those interested in entering the independent (indie) gaming market may want to check out a new guide from Dexterity Software that offers newcomers a brief look at what independent developing is all about. Topics discussed range from basic information (what an indie developer is, what an indie developer does, etc.) to more advanced subjects, such as average salary, benefits, where to find help for launch starting your own ideas, and more. Below is an excerpt from the article:

    How do indies spend their time? Is it mostly spent developing new games?
    Since every indie business is different, the answer depends on factors such as how mature the business is, what level of sales it generates, and what types of products it develops and sells... not to mention the talents and goals of the individual team members. To understand how indies spend their time, you first have to consider all the tasks of running a business in general: product development and research, accounting and financial management, customer service, marketing, and selling. All of these require attention for the business to be viable. Some indies are heavily into programming and game development, so they'll outsource as much as possible. Such indies may work with a publisher to handle their marketing, sales, customer support, and order fulfillment; this strategy permits a strong focus on product development. Other indies may spend the bulk of their time on marketing and sales, creating only a small number of products (often just one or two) and promoting them as much as possible.
    So, if you have interest in entering the world of independent game developing, be sure to read the article; it just might be what you need.

    Inde Developer FAQ

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    Simodifier Sims Utility Updated to 1.5
    12:25 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Simodifier, a utility for the popular The Sims franchise that allows users to edit the various character traits associated with their Sims, has been updated to version 1.5. Here's a full list of what changes are in store, straight from Lake Group Software's Deb Lake:

    Changes for version 1.5 include support for up to 99 neighborhoods (as opposed to the original 8), a bug fix involving creation of the back-up neighborhhood files and a new feature called "Behavior Lab" was added to the registered version. Behavior Lab allows the user to experiment with the following character behavior or orientation attributes without changing the character's physical appearance: gender, adult/child, human/pet and normal character/ghoulish character.
    You can download Simodifier 1.5 from the link below. Registration costs $10, and opens up the exclusive Behavior Lab application, explained above. Be sure to check out the Simodifier official website for more information.

    Download Simodifier 1.5 Demo
    The Sims
    Buy The Sims

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    EVONE Nova Editor 1.0pb2 Released
    12:23 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    EVONE (Escape Velocity Override Nova Editor) has been updated once again, bringing the current application version to 1.0 Public Beta 2. Here's a list of changes from our sister site, Mac Game Files:

    Public Beta 2 is the first version to include the advanced ResEdit template driver and hex editor.
    EVONE works with all games in the Escape Velocity (from Ambrosia Software) series. It features an easy to use plugin editor, graphical interface for previewing edits, a plugin converter, and more. For more information, be sure to check out the EVONE website, and if you'd like to try it out for yourself, you can download the latest version at Note that EVONE is not free, and a $10 registration fee is required to unlock some features. Links can be found at the bottom of this article.

    Download EVONE 1.0b2

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    Bond, Worms, Star Trek Media Posted
    11:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A number of new game trailers have been released today for titles headed to the Mac in the coming months. First among these is a movie trailer for Aspyr's just-announced franchise title James Bond 007: Nightfire. Both large (27MB) and small (3MB) versions of the QuickTime trailer are available now for download at, so be sure to check it out if you want a glimpse of this upcoming spy thriller.

    Also new to the trailer scene is a movie of Star Trek: Elite Force II. This game, which was just released for the PC this week, is expected for the Mac sometime early this fall from Aspyr. The trailer also comes in two sizes, so be sure to grab the appropriate version for your internet connection.

    Lastly, the Worms 3D site has received a number of updates today, including a new movie trailer, desktops, and audio clips from the upcoming worm warfare sequel. A new story up at Computer and Video Games also discusses the game in-depth, with a number of screen shots available as well. For the full scoop, check out the Worms 3D news page.

    Worms3D News
    Worms3D Preview at
    Download Elite Force II Trailer
    Download 007 Nightfire Trailer
    Aspyr Media
    James Bond 007: NightFire
    Ritual Entertainment
    Star Trek Elite Force II
    Feral Interactive
    Worms 3D
    Buy James Bond 007: NightFire
    Buy Star Trek Elite Force II
    Buy Worms 3D

    Snood 3.0 Released
    9:52 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    The latest version of the classic puzzle game Snood is now available. Anyone who has played the Bust-A-Move series will feel right at home, as this game pretty much plays just like them. The object of the game is to clear the play area of snoods, which is accomplished by firing more multi-colored snoods and trying to match up at least 3 of the same color, which will then clear the whole group. Here's a more accurate description of the game:

    Snood is a fun puzzle game for Macintosh that will test your intellect rather than your reflexes. Your goal is to free all of the trapped Snoods by launching other Snoods at them. If you connect three or more Snoods, they will transport away. If that leaves any Snoods not connected to the top of the playfield, they will fall to safety. Don't take too long, though. Every Snood you launch increases the Danger Level. When the gauge fills up, the Snoods will shift downward. If the Snoods reach you, the game is over.
    Snood is quite easy on the system requirements, only needed Mac OS 8 or higher to run, and yes, it runs natively in OSX. To check out Snood yourself, follow the link below.

    Snood 3.0

    Custer Serves Up Some Fish
    7:49 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Never one to shirk his younger fans, Custer's Desktop for the week features the kid-friendly title Finding Nemo. Based directly off of the popular Pixar movie currently in theaters, Finding Nemo the game presents players with a series of mini-games that feature all the main characters from the movie, including Marlin, Bruce, and Nemo himself.

    This week I decided to honor the request of my 3 youngest and biggest fans. I happened to see the movie, Finding Nemo, with them and we all enjoyed it so much that they really wanted a cool wallpaper for their home computer. I was more than honored to meet this request. So, with the help of THQ, Disney and with some broadband access I was able to create this week's wallpaper. I simply entitled this selection, "Sharkbait", after Nemo's nickname and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
    The desktop features the 3 aforementioned characters, with Bruce's toothy smile occupying a good portion of the picture. As always, those interested in downloading will find multiple resolutions available at Custer's Desktops.

    IMG - Custer's Desktops
    Finding Nemo

    PowerLogix Posts Price Reductions, G5 Analysis
    7:49 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    CPU upgrade manufacturer PowerLogix recently posted price reductions on their line of PowerForce G4 Single and Dual CPU upgrades. The decreases are fairly significant, ranging anywhere from $50 to over $200 for various configurations.

    Doubtless, given the recent announcement of the G5, many Mac owners may wonder why anyone would bother with a G4 upgrade at this point. In answer to that, PowerLogix has also posted some commentary on the G5 itself, pointing out that not everyone actually needs G5 performance for day to day work:

    However, it must be said that the majority of computer users (PCs as well as Macs) do not truly 'need' to pay top dollar for the ultimate performance. (Need and want are two different things...if you want ultimate performance and can pay for it, then this discussion doesn't apply.) For this largest group of users, especially in this struggling economy, it's a matter of getting the most bang for the buck. If a user can upgrade a machine for a few hundred dollars and get the lion's share of the performance of a new Mac (which otherwise would cost several thousand dollars) then that is often the best business decision.
    Included in the analysis are some interesting speculation on G5 performance as well as instances in the past where earlier models outperformed later ones with higher processor speeds. Those interested can find the commentary linked below.

    Other World Computing carries a full line of PowerLogix accelerators. If you're in the market for one, be sure to check them out.

    PowerLogix - Reduces Prices on Fastest CPU Upgrades
    PowerLogix - Commentary on G5

    Apple Features SpyHunter
    7:49 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story has posted yet another gaming profile article, this time featuring Aspyr's very first PC-Mac hybrid release, SpyHunter. The article gives readers a look at the title's gameplay, including vehicle information, multiplayer and more. The featurette even includes an in-depth history of SpyHunter's roots and a complete guide of enemies. Here's a sneak peak of what's inside:

    When the car takes too much damage and/or the weapons supply runs low, a weapons van (or boat) will show up; simply steer into its open doors and receive a quick fix, as in the arcade game. If the G-6155 takes too much damage, it turns into a motorcycle (or one-man watercraft) that has less weapons at its disposal but is harder for enemies to hit, which buys you some time until the weapons van shows up. Take enough blasts, though, and the G-6155 explodes and you have to start the mission over.
    Check out the full article for more. If you would like to order a copy of SpyHunter for yourself or a loved one, you can do so at our own IMG Store at the price of $29.95, with a $2 discount for IMG Pro or Mac Games CD subscribers.

    Apple Features SpyHunter

    New Blizzard Insider
    7:49 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    A new Blizzard Insider, Blizzard Entertainment's exclusive newsletter for die-hard fans, has been released to the public, and is now available on their website. In this issue of the Insider: Blizzard announces a WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne, Rock 'N Roll Racing Online Demo, an excerpt from the Warcraft Role-Playing Game, and the Blizzard Mailbag. Here's a sneak peak:

    Blizzard Mail Bag
    I was wondering if extremely high-level characters in World of Warcraft would be able to control more powerful mounts - like a dragon or a wyvern?

    Since announcing the availability of mounts in the game, players have been sharing their excitement with us about all the possibilities that exist in the Warcraft universe. We do allow players to ride Gryphons, but only between set points in the world that they are trained to seek out. We have no plans to allow players to fly around the world of Azeroth without some such constraint, but we will also have much more than mere horses for players to ride. You didn't think we would have orc riders without giant wolves did you?

    For full coverage, check out this month's Blizzard Insider. If you would like to set up your email to automatically recieve the Blizzard Insider when a new issue is available, you can subscribe to it from the link below.

    Blizzard Insider: June 26, 2003
    Subscribe to the Blizzard Insider
    Blizzard Entertainment

    Mac Games News for Thursday, June 26, 2003

    IMG Previews Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer1:14 PM
    iDevGames Posts Solace Postmortem1:13 PM
    Look Back at uDevGame 2002 Contest1:06 PM
    Group Attempting Neverwinter Nights Mac Toolset12:12 PM
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Beta Ends Monday11:47 AM
    MacPlay Ships Another War11:29 AM
    Postal Court Case Dismissed9:21 AM
    Realm Wars WWDC Build Available9:21 AM
    Shadowbane Releases Mac Client Update9:21 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 26, 2003 on one page

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    Wednesday, June 25, 2003
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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