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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ticket to Ride on OS X
8:27 AM | Andy Largent | 7 comments

Successful board game maker Days of Wonder recently announced their award-winning game, Ticket to Ride, is now available in the form of a computer game for Mac OS X and Windows. Ticket to Ride is a game of train building, in which you build your line between cities to score the most points.

Owners of the board game receive a $10 discount on the CD-ROM version. While there is no demo available, players can sign up on the Days of Wonder website to play Ticket to Ride as a guest for free, as well as go through tutorials.

The full Mac OS X version contains enhanced graphics, exclusive new maps, automated bots to play against in singleplayer modes, or the ability to go online and play against friends. For more information, or to purchase Ticket to Ride, head over to the official website.

Ticket to Ride

Macgamestore: Crazy Machines, BreakQuest Now Available
1:55 PM | Tuncer Deniz

Macgamestore has two new Mac games available including Crazy Machines and BreakQuest.

Turn the crank, rotate the gears, push the levers, use the catapult, explode it, or fly it... From grilling sausages with a pulley, gears, rubberbands and a candle to firing a cannon with a basketball, these wacky brainteasers will light up your imagination with creative and addictive fun!! Crazy Machines is available for $24.95.

Quite possibly the best breakout game ever created, over 100 levels and awesome physics. Balls of different sizes bounce off springs, dampers, and bumpers of every shape and size. Bricks hang, fall, grow, shrink, appear, vanish, interact with other bricks, and even shoot back at you! BreakQuest is available as a digital download for $19.99.

MGS: Crazy Machines
MGS: BreakQuest

IMG Interviews David Rosen
1:39 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

David Rosen is best known for his uDevGame award-winning casual Mac games, GLFighters, Black Shades, and Lightning's Shadow made before he founded Wolfire Software in 2003. In that same year, David and Wolfire Software began working on what would become Lugaru: The Rabbit's Foot. Recently, Inside Mac Games had a chance to interview David to learn more about Wolfire Software, his games, Lugaru 2, and future plans. To check out the interview, please follow the link below.

IMG Interviews David Rosen

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Three UT2004 Mod Postmortems
11:26 AM | Evan Holt | 2 comments

Unreal Tournament website Beyond Unreal has posted postmortems on three popular Unreal Tournament 2004 modifications. The author of the article has gone back to the mod developers to get their feelings about what went right and what went wrong during the project, and to offer any advice they thought would be useful to other mod makers, and to the general public as well. The article is also useful to UT2K4 fans looking for variation in their gameplay.

Visit the link below to read the postmortems on the Red Orchestra: Combined Arms v3.3, Damnation: Hell Breaks Loose and Metaball modifications.

Beyond Unreal: Three Postmortems
Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

Caravel Games Releases DROD: Perfection
9:13 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Caravel Games has released a new expansion for their hit series Deadly Rooms of Death (DROD). DROD: Perfection is an expansion for Journey to Rooted Hold, which recently won the 2005 Player's Choice Award from Game Tunnel. Perfection is available only through the CaravelNet membership, an online service that not only provides access to Perfection, but also over 7,000 user-created rooms and dungeons, online high scores, the hint and solution system, and other special member-only benefits. Perfection, like all Caravel Games products, is available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

DROD is a series of adventure and puzzle games about a dungeon exterminator named Beethro. His adventure begins in DROD: King Dugan’s Dungeon when the stingy and questionably ethical King Dugan hires him to take care of a “small” roach infestation. Perfection begins right where the second game, Journey to Rooted Hold, leaves off. Beethro will encounter a mysterious mathematical cult who take perfectionism to the extreme. You’ll have to be a bit of a perfectionist yourself if you want to make it through what could be the most difficult and challenging expansion ever released in the DROD series.

Caravel Games

USB Overdrive For Intel Macs Released
9:08 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 1 comment

The latest version of USB Overdrive for Mac OS X, 10.4.4, is now available. The update adds support for the new Intel Macs.

USB Overdrive X is a device driver for Mac OS X that handles any USB mouse, trackball, joystick and gamepad from any manufacturer and lets you configure them either globally or on a per-application basis.

Changes include:

- universal binary for Intel-based macs
- better support for left-handed Mighty Mouse configurations
- added specific support for Logitech MX-518 and G5 mice

To grab USB Overdirve, head over to the official web site.

USB Overdrive X

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New HoMM V Screenshot
8:27 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

The official website for Heroes of Might and Magic V has released a new screenshot of its game showcasing the battle system. Heroes of Might and Magic is a turn based strategy game developed by Nival Interactive and being ported to the Mac by Freeverse Software.

Please click the links below to view the screenshot and to learn more information.

New HoMM IV Screenshot
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Bannister Seeks Intel Testers
8:27 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Richard Bannister, maker of various Mac software including emulators and audio software, has recently asked for Intel testers for Audio Overload. It currently will work using Rosetta, however the performance is said to be 'abysmal'.

If you have spare time to dedicate to help this developer with their Universal Binary, please post a message in their forums.

Bannister Forums:Sign-up for Intel tester

Are Cinematics Ruining Games?
8:27 AM | Cord Kruse | 25 comments

In an interview with David Rodriguez, Lead Designer at High Voltage, GameDaily Biz explores the possibility that the current focus on slick cinematics in games may be ruining the final product. Rodriguez asserts that the time and money wasted on the creation of cinematic eye candy would be better spent improving the core gameplay of the title.

Rodriguez says that he, like other gamers, is completely taken out of the experience of a title when it forces one cut-scene after another down our throats. "Apparently, I didn't buy a game about playing a game. I bought a game about walking from one contrived cinematic to another," he writes. "You know, I can buy a really good movie for like twenty bucks. That twenty bucks even gets me extra discs, with director and actor commentary, and maybe even a good plot. Instead, I just gave these asses FIFTY dollars to watch a really bad movie!"

"[Critics] were giving the game high points for its 'MTV like cut-scenes and presentation'... I let this sink in for a moment. As I sat there, with all this marinating in my head, I tried very hard to pinpoint exactly when games started getting patted on the back for this. Just when did we get to a point when THIS passed as quality entertainment? You don't ever see a movie review that reads, 'Well the plot of the movie was pretty crappy, but it had a slick video game presentation.' (Or if they do, they don't mean it in a complimentary manner.)"

Are cinematics ruining games? Read the entire interview at the link below and decide for yourself.

GameDailybiz: The Impact of Cinematics

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Heroes Of Might And Magic V Previews
8:27 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Two new previews have surfaced for Ubisoft's upcoming Heroes of Might and Magic V. HoMMV is the latest in the popular fantasy themed turn based strategy series. The first preview, from Celestial Heavens, looks specifically at content in the PC Beta version of the game. The second preview, from Eurogamer, explores the game through an interview with some of the game's designers at Nival.

From Celestial Heavens:

Combat . Expect some major changes, from a different turn-based system to a rather small battlefield, which is still the subject of a large debate. The camera close-up effect during an attack loses its novelty after a while, but it definitely adds some atmosphere to a battle. On more than one occasion I found myself swinging an imaginary sword in the air while my creature performed a killing move. I looked a little silly, but I loved it.
Spells and Skills . Again, some drastic changes. I cannot provide any specific detail yet, but I think Nival and Ubisoft realized how critical to the game those components are.
Multiplayer . This is one of the parts of the game that is still under construction. However, what little we could see of the new multiplayer modes was very intriguing. The ghost mode is different from anything you have experienced until now, both with Heroes and other computer games. Ubisoft and Nival are really serious about creating a game that will be popular online.
From Eurogamer:
Nival has also made number of important changes to the game. Many of these are designed to make it more accessible, as producer Fabrice Cambounet explains.

"The objective we decided on very early on was to stay true to the series, to keep the gameplay system, but also to make the game faster to play and easier to access. So that means a whole lot of changes in terms of interface, game balance, tutorials and so on."

But that doesn't mean the game has lost any of its depth, Cambounet argues. "The complexity of the game - the number of creatures and skills, and tactics you can use on the battlefield - are still present. But you don't spend as much time reading text, opening and closing pop-ups, moving around the battlefield... We don't want to make the game simpler, but easier to access."

Recently Freeverse Software announced it will be publishing the Mac version of HoMMV sometime after the release of the PC version. To read both previews in their entirety follow the links below.

Celestial Heavens: HoMMV PC Beta Examined
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

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The Sims 3 In Development For PC
8:27 AM | Anthony Wang | 5 comments

Over the last few days, the first details about a third game of the popular people simulator has emerged. Two company websites, Gamma Ray Studios and Feng Zhu Design list Electronic Art's The Sims 3 as one of its clients, all but confirming a third chapter of the world's best-selling game to date.

Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Gamma Ray Studios: The Sims 3
Feng Zhu Design: The Sims 3
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
Buy The Sims 2

Mac Games News for Monday, January 23, 2006

Aspyr Bringing The Sims 2: Nightlife to OS X8:05 AM
Bricks Of Camelot Reviewed8:05 AM
Diablo 2 Music Player Released8:05 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 23, 2006 on one page

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