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Friday, April 7, 2006

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Shrapnel Games Announces Dominions 3
7:47 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 7 comments

Shrapnel Games has announced it will be shipping Dominions 3: The Awakening for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux in June. Developed by Sweden-based Illwinter Game Design, Dominions 3: The Awakening is a turn-based fantasy 4X strategy game and the sequel to Dominions 2: The Ascension Wars.

Here's more from the press release:

Officially announced in October 2004 and recently hailed in Computer Games Magazine as one of the most anticipated titles of 2006, Dominions 3: The Awakening will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and features the robust gameplay that strategy gamers around the world have craved in the Dominions series. The wizards at Illwinter Game Design have been hard at work listening to the fanbase and Dominions 3: The Awakening is poised to be the ultimate Dominions.

Gamers can expect the ability to play with up to twenty-one players in a single game, either controlled by the tough AI or other carbon-based lifeforms. Gameplay, though as feature-rich as ever, has been streamlined to make the game more accessible. There is a lot less micromanagement to worry about, allowing players to spend more time enjoying the best aspects of being a conquering nation (like taking blood slaves, and destroying your enemies) instead of the mundane world of tax assessment. A comprehensive manual written by veteran computer game scribe Bruce Geryk will also ease players into the third installment.

Dominions 3: The Awakening boasts three ages to play in and fifty different nations. Some are brand new, others have been revised from earlier games. Some of these new nations include:

Marverni: Inspired by the Gallic tribes described by Caesar, Maeverni is a semi-civilized nation consisting of several tribes sharing common traits. Vergobrets, their village magistrates serve as priests for their armies, and the Marverni druids are looked upon to show the way for the tribes.

Patala: Inspired by Indian and Hindu myths, it is a nation of apes ruled by serpent creatures called nagas. A strict hierarchical caste system governs the apes, while the nagas oversees all. The nagas are divine beings from the nether realm of Patala, where all rivers spring.

Jomon: Ancient Japan influences this nation. Enslaved by the evil bakemono, the humans of Jomon rebelled and cast off their yokes of bondage. A feudal society emerged, organized around daimyos and their band of warriors. Warfare is now a very ritualized affair.

For more on Dominions III, head over to the official web site.

Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

Macgamestore: This Week's New Mac Games
1:56 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has added half a dozen new Mac games over the past week. Here they are:

  • Quake 4
  • The Sims 2: Nightlife
  • Super PileUp!
  • Super Gem Drop
  • AGON
  • Aloha TriPeaks
  • Collapse! Crunch

    Head over to for more.

    Apple Updates Hot Deals
    1:50 PM | Tuncer Deniz

    CDW Mac Warehouse has great deals on a wide variety of Mac products including: Linksys Wireless G 802.11b/g Access Point for $74.99; QuarkXpress v6 Upgrade from version 5 for only $199.00; Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition Upgrade for only $224.99; EDGE Tech's 80GB DiskGo! external FW/USB hard drive for only $112.99; Xerox Phaser 8500N solid ink color printer for only $899.99; Nikon Coolpix L1 6.2 digital camera for only $339.99; and much more.

    MacZone has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including: the Hewlett Parkard HP 3600DN Color LaserJet printer with up to $225 in mail-in rebates; LG L1781Q 17" digital LCD monitor for only $269.99; get free shipping on the Canon SD550 7.1MP digital camera w/free camera kit for only $399.99; LaCie 500GB Big Disk Extreme Triple Interface external hard drive for only $349.99 plus free shipping; Nikon Coolpix S3 6MP digital camera w/free camera kit for only $329.99; and much more.

    Sweetwater Sound has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including: M-Audio iControl USB powered hardware controller for GarageBand for only $149.97; Zero-G World Pack world-sound loop collection for GarageBand for only $154.97; Waves Guitar Tool Rack guitar amp/cabinet modeling and effects plug-in for only $360.00; Steinberg Cubase SE audio/MIDI recording sofware with VST support for only $99.99; M-Audio Oxygen 61 61-key USB MIDI controller for only $249.97; and much more.

    Gypsy King Software Releases Blackjack Gold 1.2.1
    1:34 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Gypsy King Software released version 1.2.1 of Blackjack Gold, a full featured blackjack game. Options let you simulate virtually any casino, play with up to 7 human or computer players, set custom strategies and test them, and play variations Spanish 21, Super Sevens and Over Under 13.

    Configure the players, cards, betting options, and casino conditions. Set your own bankroll, table minimums and maximums, card shuffling options, penetration, and choose your own seat at the blackjack table. You can set the dealer hit and peek options, along with the table rules for splitting, doubling, and surrendering. Options include some of the harder to find game rules such as Double Down Rescue, Split Rescue, doubling on more than 2 cards, and surrendering at any time. Blackjack payouts are configurable, as well as allowing the dealer to win ties, and whether to allow 5-6-7 card Charlies.

    Pros can configure blackjack strategies for any player, set the game to an all computer player game and let it play by itself to test your favorite strategies. Progressive betting is supported, hard and soft hand strategies, insurance, surrender, split, double, even money, win/loss limits, the last two cards played, and other factors let you set detailed strategies for your computer players. The top 100 scores are saved and can be sorted by hands played, cumulative wins/losses, and other categories.

    Gypsy King Software

    Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space In Late Beta
    1:21 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

    Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space will soon be blasting its
    way into the Mac universe. The folks at Digital Eel are putting the finishing touches on their Mac port of the award-winning game of intergalactic space exploration, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.

    Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space has already garnered numerous accolades in the game press for its Windows version, and most recently won the Innovation in Audio award at the 2006 IGF festival in San Jose, California. Set in an universe of infinite replayability Weird Worlds serves up single player sci-fi exploration with a twist of humor that can be gulped down in ten, twenty, or thirty minute increments. A real time combat engine adds a touch of fire to an already blazing dish.

    Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is also known as being one of the easiest games to work mod magic. From simple changes to total conversions, some imagination and hard work will let any user transform and expand Weird Worlds.

    For more on Weird Worlds, head to the official site.

    Shrapnel Games

    Deliver2Mac Adds More Titles
    1:16 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Deliver2Mac, a dedicated Mac digital download hub for games and
    applications, has announced the following new titles are now
    available through their site: AGON, Airline Tycoon Deluxe, Jack's Crazy Cong, and Murmeln & More.

    For more, head over the the website.


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    WoW: Burning Crusade Screens, Zandalar Reputation
    8:03 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment has yet again announced a handful of screenshots for The Burning Crusade, the upcoming first expansion for World of Warcraft. The company also updated the vendor rewards page for the Zandalar Tribe with the Brilliant Mana Oil and Brilliant Wizard Oil enchanting formula rewards introduced in the latest patch.

    To view the five new screens and check out all the rewards available for friends of the Zandalar Tribe follow the links listed below.

    WoW: The Burning Crusade Screenshots
    WoW: Zandalar Reputation Rewards
    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
    Buy World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

    Custer Hits The Town Again
    8:02 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Destop-guru extrodinaire Brad Custer has released another of of his stylish desktops. The theme, this time around, revolves around Aspyr's The Sims 2 Nightlife expansion pack released this week.

    Custer explains his latest creation:

    With the announcement this week that The Sims 2 Nightlife from Aspyr Media has started to ship so has the renewed interest in having another desktop created for this title. I've been the fan of this series from the original game so I'm more than willing to venture into this realm once again. So, I was able to make this week's wallpaper with the help of Aspyr Media and my trusty cable modem.
    Custer's Desktops come in various sizes and flavors and are availble by clicking on the link below.

    IMG: Custer's Desktops
    The Sims 2: Nightlife
    Buy The Sims 2: Nightlife

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    HoMM V Web Minigame Available
    8:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Fans eager for the release of Heroes of Might and Magic V now have a new way to distract themselves while they wait. Ubisoft is now offering Heroes Mini, a web based mini-game based on the upcoming fantasy turn based strategy game. Once registering on the Heroes Mini site players can pick from one of the many factions, build an army from a large unit list, and then set out to wage war against other would-be conquerers.

    Welcome To War
    Two decades ago, the world of Ashan was engulfed in a terrible conflict between Light and Dark. Now that conflict has begun again. Demons and darkness stalk the land once more, and the forces of might and magic ready themselves for battle.

    Now is the time for great heroes to declare themselves. Pick your faction, marshal your armies, select your strategems, and destroy your enemies! Glory and gold await the victorious, but for the vanquished there will be only the shame of defeat and the lust for revenge.

    The good folks at Freeverse Software are hard at work on the Mac version of HoMM V.

    To learn more about this new mini-game put on your general's cap and head over to the Heroes Mini site at the link below.

    Heroes Mini
    Heroes of Might & Magic V
    Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

    More from Oliver on Boot Camp
    7:59 AM | Cord Kruse | 29 comments

    Apple's recent release of Boot Camp, beta software which allows owners of Intel based Macs to easily install Windows XP and for the first time run games at native speeds, has sent shockwaves through the computing world. Companies focusing on porting PC titles to the Mac platform are now faced with an uncertain future. Aspyr Media's Brad Oliver, commenting on his blog, has offered a few more comments on the topic.

    From The Brad Hole:

    In all honesty, I don't know what the real-world impact will be. It's not going to make us release ports any faster (the implication in some parts is that, for whatever reason, we're not already doing this). We're also not likely to start doing smaller Mac-only games; Aspyr is geared up now for revenue on many platforms including the PC and consoles. Astute observers will note there are no Mac ports planned for our current PC and console titles aside from Stubbs. Perhaps it won't affect our sales at all, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps it'll mean a huge swarm of PC users converting to the Mac. That is more likely, but it could be a while before those numbers offset Mac gamers who are dual booting right now. I would not be surprised if current PC game developers and publishers start doing Mac ports in-house again as they did in the 90's, once the Mac marketshare increases.
    To read more click on the link below.

    The Brad Hole: Booted in the junk
    Aspyr Media

    MS Buys Lionhead Studios
    7:58 AM | Cord Kruse | 15 comments

    On Thursday Microsoft's game unit announced it had acquired Lionhead Studios, the UK developer started by Peter Molyneux and known for games like Black & White, and Fable. Lionhead will now develop exclusively for the XBox 360 and Windows-based PCs.

    Video game publishers frequently acquire the external developers that are responsible for their hit franchises, not only to increase their own in-house development talent, but also to cut down on milestone and royalty payments that independent developers command as part of making a game.

    Microsoft had previously acquired high-profile developers such as Bungie Studios, maker of the "Halo" franchise, and Rare Ltd., which made some of Nintendo's most popular games of the 1990s.

    There is no word yet on the fate of Lionhead's current projects, or whether this buy-out will mean an end to Feral's Mac ports of Lionhead's games. To learn more follow the links below.

    Yahoo News: MS Buys Lionhead
    Lionhead Studios

    Mac Games News for Thursday, April 6, 2006

    Tuncer's Blog: Hands On With Boot Camp2:34 PM
    IMG Reviews Crazy Machines12:48 PM
    Macgamestore: AGON, Super Gem Drop Available11:49 AM
    Dofus Free Play Troubles7:49 AM
    More HoMM V Hero Previews7:49 AM
    Should Microsoft Just Buy Apple?7:49 AM
    WoW: 1.1 Explored, Designer Interview, Dungeon Preview7:49 AM
    Zoo Tycoon 2 Reviewed7:49 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 6, 2006 on one page

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