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Monday, October 18, 2004

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8th Wonder of the World Discovered on the Mac
8:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new announcement from e.p.i.c. Interactive this morning tells of the release of their latest partnership with German game-maker Funatics, the strategy title 8th Wonder of the World. The latest in the "Cultures" series from Funatics, 8th Wonder of the World takes place years after the previous title Northland.

Like in Northland, you're again controlling a Viking community as you fight a mysterious evil in the world. The game boasts an easy ramp-up for strategy beginners and multiple levels of difficulty to choose from. According to the press release, here are the following system requirements:

  • G3 400Mhz
  • 192MB RAM
  • Mac OS X or 9.x
  • 8MB VRAM
  • CD drive
The game also features both English and German translations. Head over to e.p.i.c.'s site now for more information, or if you'd like to try out a demo of the previous game Northland, you can do so at our sister-site Macgamefiles. There's no word yet on a possible demo of 8th Wonder of the World, though stay tuned to IMG for any new information.

8th Wonder of the World
Download Northland Demo
Buy 8th Wonder of the World

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SwitchXS 1.6: Game Savvy Assistive Technology Released
12:19 PM | Michael Phillips | Comment on this story

In a very unique twist, developer AssistiveWare has released SwitchXS 1.6, assistive technology with gamers in mind. SwitchXS is software that allows disabled Mac users to access Mac OS X via software and a switch, rather than a traditional keyboard and mouse.

Here's a clip from the release:

Amsterdam - 18 October 2004 - AssistiveWare today announced the release of SwitchXS(R) 1.6. SwitchXS provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who can only use one or more switches. It offers full mouse and keyboard emulation by means of a so-called scanning mode. With each click on the switch the user selects an action, such as "move the cursor up" or "type B", from a "scanning" menu. SwitchXS is typically used by people who are, for example, quadriplegic due to an accident, or suffering from neuromotor diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) or Cerebral Palsy (CP) with very limited limb movement.

Version 1.6 represents a major update with the following main new features:

- Improved scanning rhythm accuracy and higher maximum scan speed

- Enhanced game compatibility and a new special Games scan panel

- Includes the first public beta of LayoutKitchen(TM), a scan panel editor. With LayoutKitchen the user can edit built-in scan panels and create his/her own scan panels for use with SwitchXS 1.6 and later. It currently allows users to make scan panels with buttons that speak, that type text, that open documents or applications, that generate keyboard shortcuts and much more. LayoutKitchen opens many new doors for switch users.

SwitchXS provides a number of predefined scanning panels that the user can choose to move the cursor, click, and type into all standard Mac applications. It also allows the user to configure scanning speed and cycling, mouse speed, and SmartTransparency(TM), which makes the scanning panel partially or fully transparent when no scan is taking place to enjoy optimum use of screen real-estate. SwitchXS works with any HID compliant USB gamepad, joystick and keyboard, and starting with Mac OS X 10.3 also with any HID compliant USB mouse or trackball. SwitchXS also works with USB switch interfaces emulating any of the above devices.

SwitchXS is currently available in English, French and Japanese but works fine with most other languages. The suggested retail price is US$ 249 or Euro 199 (excl. VAT). Version 1.6 is a free update for current users.

SwitchXS requires Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) or higher. Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) is recommended.SwitchXS 1.6 is particularly suited for games like Unreal Tournament 2004 and Myst IV. For more information on SwitchXS, including the free demo, saunter on down to the links below.

AssistiveWare, Inc.
SwitchXS 1.6
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
Myst IV Revelation
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Myst IV Revelation

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Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons To Ship October 25th
10:17 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has announced that Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of World War II, the latest expansion pack for Battlelfield 1942, will begin shipping Monday, October 25.

Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII introduces all new weapons, vehicles and tough, new battle maps. Players can now defeat their enemies with a variety of experimental firepower and vehicles. These powerful new weapons and vehicles are rooted in World War II history, but never saw actual combat – until now.

The IMG Store is currently taking pre-orders for the game. To place your pre-order, please follow the link below.

Aspyr Media
Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
Buy Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII

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A Tale in the Desert II Q&A
9:34 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Further to last Friday's news report that the non-violent, co-operative MMORPG A Tale In The Desert II has officially been released for the Mac in time for the start of the game's second chapter, the folks over at have posted a lengthy interview with Andrew Tepper, one of the game's designers.

In the interview, Tepper lays out the game's player hierarchy, explains in greater detail some of the game's primary objectives, and illustrates how the game's co-operative nature encourages a self-regulated, anti-cheat system:

Andrew Tepper: ...the Oracles knew who'd cheated their way up to Monument Construction and they'd kept track of their scoring and when the End Game came those people weren't allowed to participate. I was really proud that the players took it seriously and didn't allow those people who cheated their way up to participate. It was true highlight for me.

The players actually organized tournaments and made sure there was no cheating going on. It was wonderful.

A $13.95 USD monthly registration is required to play the online game, however new players interested in trying out the title get a total of 24 free hours over multiple sittings. The Mac version of the game requires a G4 processor running OS X 10.3 or later, 384 MB of RAM, and a GeForce 4 MX video card or better.

Click on the links below to check out the article, or grab the game's 246 MB installation file -

A Tale in the Desert
A Tale In The Desert II Q&A

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World of Warcraft Halloween Contests Underway
8:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blizzard has officially kicked off two contests in celebration of Halloween. Both contests use World of Warcraft as their themes, and challenge players to either create a work of WoW art via pumpkin carving, or become a work of art by dressing up as a WoW character.

Between 3:00 PM PDT on October 15 and 11:59 A.M PDT on October 27, the RPSA will be accepting submissions for the World of Warcraft Costume Contest and World of Warcraft Pumpkin Contest. People who submit the most outstanding photos of their work will have their pictures proudly displayed on and on In addition, these skilled artisans will each receive a World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition!
Official rules for each event are available at the official WoW Community Site as well as photographs of last year's winners. Good luck to all who choose to enter.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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New Return to Dark Castle Beta Available
8:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Z Sculpt has recently released an updated beta of Return to Dark Castle. The current version is now listed at 0.9b11, and includes some minor changes, including preparation for a level editor:

  • Internal changes in preperation for new Level Editor
  • Misc. bug fixes
Return to Dark Castle is a full-color remake of the original black-and-white action title bearing the same name. Those interested in trying out the latest beta can download it directly from MGF.

Return to Dark Castle Demo 0.9b11
Delta Tao
Z Sculpt
Return to Dark Castle
Buy Return to Dark Castle

Gamesome Mac Talks with Indie Games Con Devs
8:24 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and David Finley talk with several developers who showed games at this year's Indie Games Con (IGC), held this month in Eugene, Oregon.

The Indie Games Con, an annual gathering of independent game developers from around the world organized by GarageGames, is establishing itself as a showcase for some of the most innovative and exciting computer game development happening today.

Hosts Sean and David will talk with developers from BlitWise Productions, Chronic Logic, Laughing Dragon Games, Pinoli Software, and Sillysoft, several of whom won IGC Players' Choice Awards this year.

Sean and David will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, and commentary, and together with their guests will take questions live from listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room and give away several games.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on MacRadio from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0300 UTC), and on demand thereafter. You can tune in at The Gamesome Mac's web page at the link below, where you'll also find archives of past broadcasts. QuickTime 6 and a 56K or faster Internet connection are required.

The Gamesome Mac
BlitWise Productions
Laughing Dragon Games
Pinoli Software

Mac Games News for Friday, October 15, 2004

MTX: Mototrax Giveaway Continues1:56 PM
MacCentral: ATI Show Off Radeon X8001:51 PM
IMG Reviews Gish12:59 PM
Feral Friday: Bionicle Movie and Chess Shots11:12 AM
IMG Store: Men of Valor, Rise of Nations Pre-Order8:39 AM
Custer Commutes To A New Desktop7:58 AM
A Tale In The Desert 2 Mac Client Released7:55 AM
Canadians Require Photo ID To Buy Video Games7:55 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 15, 2004 on one page

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