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Friday, December 9, 2005

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Apple Games Features Battleground Europe
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games is featuring World War II Online: Battleground Europe, Playnet and Cornered Rat Software's multiplayer online first person shooter. An improved version of the original WWII Online, Battleground Europe features air, sea, and ground units engaged in massive real time battles in an environment which contains over 600 cities.

From Apple Games:

Overhead, three German Stukas dueled with a pair of British Spitfires, their guns blazing red trails through the clear blue sky. Anti-aircraft fire spat from the guns defending Eersel, trying in vain to keep the enemy planes from coming in low to rake the town with a deadly hail of bullets. Finally, one of them lost a wing and spiraled out of control, smashing into a nearby hill. A column of smoke belched from the wreck and we congratulated the gunner.

Then the news arrived: we had captured the town of Eindhoven. It would give us not only a base from which to bring out reinforcements but also a way to supplement our production of tanks, planes, ships and weapons. An important victory for our side, to be sure, but merely one small battle in a much larger war.

For the full feature, which includes a description of gameplay in story format as well as tips for playing the game, follow the link below.

Apple Games: Battleground Europe Feature
Battleground Europe
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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IMG Reviews Gates of Troy
10:50 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Gates of Troy, a turn-based strategy game set in the Hellenic world before Alexander the Great. Combat is tactical, with the user able to arrange and form units to their desire. Gates of Troy is nearly identical to its predecessor, Spartan. The player develops their cities (up to a point), recruits military units, and sends out ambassadors all in the name of conquering your neighbors.

To check out the review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Gates of Troy
Virtual Programming
Gates of Troy

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Macgamestore: Zoo Tycoon 2 Now Shipping
10:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has begun shipping MacSoft's Zoo Tycoon 2. It is available for $39.95.

Zoo Tycoon 2 cranks up the excitement, challenge and fun of building the ultimate zoo with 30 animals in incredible detail. Players enjoy fun animations, a dazzling array of building tools and objects, including themed-buildings, moats, photo mode options, easy terrain altering options and rivers. Gameplay has been enhanced from the original title, with a new zoom mode and 3D graphics that allow players to keep an even closer eye on the action and craft more creative zoos.

For more information, follow the shopping cart link below.

Zoo Tycoon 2
Buy Zoo Tycoon 2

Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals
10:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

ClubMac has great deals on essential Mac products, including Sony CyberShot DSC-S90 Digital Camera with $40 mail-in rebate, Belkin TuneCast Mobile FM Transmitter, SanDisk 1GB Cruzer Profile Biometric USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Hewlett Packard DeskJet S650 Color Inkjet Printer, Altec Lansing inMotion Portable iPod Speakers, Kensington WiFi Finder, and much more.

MacMall has fantastic prices on essential Mac products, including Canon PowerShot A520 Digital Camera, LaCie 250GB Porsche External FireWire Hard Drive, Intuit Quicken 2006 for Mac, MacCase 17" PowerBook Messenger Bag with FREE Stealth Black Sleeve, Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium Full Version, Adobe Photoshop CS2 Upgrade Version, and much more.

PowerMax has fantastic prices of superb products for your Mac, including Dr. Bodelin iPod Boom Box with Built-in Dock and Remote Control, Griffin iTalk Voice Recorder for iPod, UbiSoft Myst IV: Revelation, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 for Mac, MacSoft Dora the Explorer: Animal Adventures, ATI Radeon 9200 128MB Mac Edition PCI Video Card, and much more.

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Rune Sequel A Possibility?
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

In a post on the RuneGame forums, Tim Gerritsen of Human Head Studios discussed the possibility of a sequel to Rune. The Viking themed action title still has a loyal following years after its release, which is one of the reasons Gerritsen says he and his fellows want to create a Rune 2 someday. The success of Human Head Studios' current project for 3DRealms, the sci-fi FPS Prey, will play a large role in their ability to take on any future projects, but he said fan pressure on publishers can play a part as well.

If you really want a Rune 2, though, you need to tell it to the publishers. We want a Rune 2 some day. We've always said that. It is the pubs you need to convince. They see a game with a so so meta critic score and a devoted, but smallish audience and sales that were good but not great. Of course you and we know different. Rune was a major labor of love, and I believe firmly that anyone who actually plays the game for more than an hour can see that (after the water level and all those crabs in caves, of course...)

Seriously, though. Make your voices known to the publishers. If we say, 'Rune has a truly fantastic following, even now, five years on' they just look at us like "Sure, five people, right?" If we show them forums, they just shrug. If this wonderful group of hard core, dedicated fans were to all shout at the publishers, however, that speaks volumes. If they know that people are stoked, that Rune really was an overlooked gem, and, most importantly, wallets would open at the sound of Rune II on a shelf, then they would listen.
To read the full post, which includes a history of the developer, click on the link below.

RuneGame Forums: So, If We Did Do Rune 2...
Human Head Studios

Crystal Cave Christmas Treasure Released
7:56 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

300AD has released Crystal Cave Christmas Treasure, a special holiday edition of Crystal Cave for free. Crystal Cave Christmass Treasure is a puzzle game for anyone in the family with a holiday touch. This game includes 26 levels and 10 train levels from the original Crystal Cave.

Search long-lost treasures in pitch black caves, pyramids and dark tombs of ancient temples in this wonderfull puzzle game! Huge gemstones were sheltered from the sunshine for eons of time waiting for those who are brave. You as an intrepid tomb seeker must resolve puzzles of pharaohs, aztecs, fight kings and show courage in many adventures to get them all. Crystal Cave is a supreme family-fun puzzle game. Collect all crystals from ancient lost tombs. Challenge your brain!
Crystal Cave Christmas Treasure is available as a free download from MacGameFiles and requires Mac OS X 10.2 and 128Mb of memory.

Crystal Cave Christmas Treasure
MGF-Download Crystal Cave Christmas Treasure

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World of Warcraft Factions
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments recently posted an editorial about the impact of factions on Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Factions can allow players to receive special rewards, but the accumulation of enough faction points to allow for the rewards involves repetitive "grinding" through the same missions. The editorial explores whether or not the grind is worth it and examines ways in which Blizzard might add more variety to the process.

There is something to be said for learning to beat major bosses in a raid dungeon, but once you have learned is there really a need to go back and do those bosses again twenty more times? The biggest problem is Blizzard only allows players to raise their faction by fighting mobs inside the instance. Certain drops can raise your faction, but those too have to be found inside the instance. To complete the Zul’Gurub quests you not only need to collect the items required to turn in the quest (some of which are purple) but also raise your faction. This seems like an awful lot of work to do simply to get some rewards. Zul’ Gurub was said to have been the casual answer to raid dungeons. Instead it has become a grind for players to finally get the rewards which are dangled in front of them when they sign up to take the quests.
The full editorial can be found at the site listed below. WoW Faction Editorial
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Creatures: Exodus and Village Reviewed
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Games First recently posted a review of two Creatures titles, Exodus and Village. Published by Kutoka, both games are artificial life sims allowing players to dabble with the creation of creatures called Norns. Each Norn has a unique bio chemistry, brain, and digital DNA. As the Norns grow and learn from the player's instruction they eventually become adults and pass on their genetic code to their offspring. Games First gave the games 2 out of 5 stars, citing dated graphics and uninteresting gameplay.

The kids we surveyed were not interested in Creatures and unanimously said they'd prefer the new Tamagotchi or that it was not as good as several other pet-raising or animal-oriented games. Kids do love the whole idea of raising creatures, training and interacting with them. The problem here is partly that the Creatures are so ugly and the game is not pretty either. The other part of the problem was the mind-numbingly dull interactions. Creatures is a game that you "watch" more than "play," and what's there to look at is not all that pleasant.
To read the full review, follow the links below.

Games First: Creatures Exodus, Village Review
Kutoka Interactive

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 8, 2005

MacSoft Ships Zoo Tycoon 29:05 AM
Macologist Hosts Battlefield Night8:47 AM
*DAMN Battle League Adds Co-Op Ladder8:06 AM
Ashalii Released8:06 AM
Myth II Rocket Dorf Fest 5.1 Released8:06 AM
Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga for Mac8:06 AM
Stubbs Reviewed8:06 AM
WoW: First Look At New Reindeer Mounts8:06 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 8, 2005 on one page

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