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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

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Open Fire! Released
8:20 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 8 comments

BlueTorch Studios and BlueGill Flame Game Studios have announced the release of a top-down military shoot'em up game called Open Fire! Created with the help of the Unity engine, Open Fire! is available for mac OS X and Windows and will soon be available as a Mac OS X Widget and a cross platform web game.

Featuring seamless, integrated real-time global online scoring, a holy-crap-that-was-a-big-explosion-o-meter, and awesome arcade gameplay backed by the incredibly realistic Ageia physics engine, Open Fire shoves you in the shoes of a lone operative armed to the teeth with explosive rocket rounds.

Get ready to unload your weapon and riddle your screen with pockmarked scars of battle, because it's time to Open Fire!

"Open Fire was a wonderful game originally entered into The Unity Dashboard Widget Challenge, and now that the final version is out, I am proud to say that it is an extremely beautiful and entertaining display of exactly what an amateur team using Unity can really do." -- David Helgason, CEO of OverTheEdge, creators of Unity.

Open Fire! is being released a freeware and is available for download from

MGF: Open Fire 1.0
BlueTorch Studios

Macgamestore: Brave Dwarves: Back for Treasures Available
11:02 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Brave Dwarves: Back For Treasures is now available as a digital download through for $19.95. A free downloadable demo of the game is available on the site.

Join the brave dwarves, a Wizard and a Warrior, as they collect treasure and vanquish enemies in their quest to restore peace to their land! You'll travel through 100 fantastic levels as you explore the subterranean world that has been taken over by evil. Play as the Wizard or the Warrior, each with his own special skills and weapons. Make your choice and start your journey. Remember, the fate of many worlds depends on you... This is a non violent game for all ages.

The full version features 100 levels, all available game bonuses and enemies. The trial version offers 10 levels or up to 1 hour of play.

Macgamestore: Brave Dwarves: Back For Treasures

Gamespot: Apple Entering Gaming Market?
11:01 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

According to Gamespot, there have been hints at a possibility that Apple may enter the games market through its popular iTunes Online Store. Gamespot speculates that the company may be readying games that will be playable on your iPod and available through iTunes. Here's the full post:

Of all the products on the market, few engender as much fanatical loyalty as the iPod. Sony was clearly hoping for something similar when it introduced the sleek PlayStation Portable in March of last year, touting that it played games and video, while the iPod didn't.

Last October, Apple removed one of those advantages when it launched the fifth-generation video iPods. Since then, speculation has swirled that the Silicon Valley company is readying an iPod that could play things other than Brick and Parachute, two of the rudimentary games that come with the ubiquitous handhelds.

This week, GameSpot learned that there may be more to the Apple-game rumors than mere Mac-mad daydreams. A tech-sector recruiter contacted the GS NewsDesk with an interesting story of a prospective hire that got away. Recently, when the recruiter made an offer to a software engineer, the engineer turned the offer down--saying he was being "heavily recruited by Apple."

According to the engineer, an Apple hiring manager named Mike Lampell is heading up a group inside Apple's storied iTunes division. The group is specifically hiring for "C/C++ coders with a 'gaming background.'" The engineer says the project in question was described to him as "super secret," and Apple would not even tell him the exact nature of it until he had been hired and signed a non-disclosure agreement.

So how credible is this story? The recruiter's credentials are beyond reproach, leaving the engineer as the wild card. Currently, Apple is only publicly listing one position with "game" in the job title, a "Consumer & Games Partnership Manager" in its Santa Clara, California offices. Strangely though, when one searches for a position with "game" in its description on Apple's job-listing database, no results come up--even though the Consumer & Games Partnership Manager position has the word "game" in the text. A fairly exhaustive review of the software engineer positions found none looking for game experience.

However, the mention of Lampell gives the story some credibility. Lampell is a known developer who used to work at LucasArts, where he was a technical director on several major projects, including Star Wars Republic Commando. Lampell was laid off in August 2004 when LucasArts culled its development department in the first of a series of cost-cutting measures. However, GameSpot could not confirm his current employment at Apple, since attempts to elicit comment from the company had gone unanswered as of press time.

So does this mean that Apple will be selling commercial games such as Call of Duty 2 through iTunes. According to IMG sources, the subject was once brought up at Apple but shot down. Instead Apple will likely concentrate on making games for the iPod which would be much smaller to download and less of a technical challenge to support. But then again, this is Apple, who is notorious for their secrets and surprises. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Care to speculate what Apple might be up to? Head over to our forum to discuss an already ongoing forum thread on the subject.

Gamespot: Apple (finally) getting its game on?
IMG Forum: Apple & Games

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Bang! Howdy Preview
10:20 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

GamersInfo has posted a preview of Three Rings Wild West themed game, Bang! Howdy. The preview gets right into the spirit of the Wild West with cowboy jargon and discusses the three game types offered in Bang! Howdy, in addition to a few screenshots. There is currently an open beta in progress of the game for PC, Mac(Intel Mac not supported yet), and Linux platforms.

Now there’s three game types currently as well. You’ve got Gold Rush, where ya try to pick up the nuggets of gold before your opponents, Cattle Rustling, where only yer bigshot can brand the cattle and claim ‘em as your own, and my personal favorite, Claim Jumpin’ where ya not only are collecting the gold nuggets but also stealing from your opponents.
Please click on the links below to read the preview and to learn more information.

GamersInfo: Bang! Howdy Preview
Bang! Howdy
Bang! Howdy Free Open Beta

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Lux Memorial Fundraiser
10:19 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

To celebrate and honor Memorial Day holiday, Sillysoft is donating all of the proceeds from its American History Lux game to a charity. The goodwill fundraiser will go on until June 2, 2006.

It's easy to gloss over the harsh reality of conflict when playing a computer war game. Sillysoft feels a responsibility to give something back in honor of the men and women who have fought and died to bring us the liberties that we take for granted every day.
Please click on the link below to learn more information.

Sillysoft: American History Lux Memorial Day Charity Fundraiser

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IMG Posts Quake 4 Review (with video review)
10:05 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 7 comments

IMG has posted a review along with a video review of Aspyr's Quake 4 for the Macintosh. Here's a clip from the review:

Playing Quake 4 reminded me of two things: first, how many games I've played, and second, how distinctive Raven games really are. If you recall, Raven Software is known for developing such enjoyable titles as Soldier of Fortune, Star Wars Jedi Knight II, and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (with their respective sequels). If you've ever had the opportunity to play several of those games, you have probably already noticed that they all have a similar feel (which is a good thing). As I progressed through Quake 4, I was constantly being reminded of other games, drawing certain parallels that were too strong to be tossed aside.
To check out the review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Quake 4
Aspyr Media
Quake 4
Buy Quake 4

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Heroes of Might and Magic V Reviewed
8:20 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

With the Heroes of Might and Magic V PC release just a few days ago comes three reviews from Gamespy, Gamesradar, and Rewiredmind. GameSpy gave HOMM V 3.5 of 5 stars with excellant gameplay and new features, but bugs still exist. Similarly, GamesRadar rated the latest Heroes game an 8 of 10 thanks to superb gameplay, music and the new fully 3D world. Rewiredmind gave the game 8 of 10 stars as well noting it as a huge improvment from the previous Heroes incarnation.

Please click on the links below to read the reviews.

GameSpy Review
GamesRadar Review
ReWired Mind: Review
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

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Burning Crusade Preview
8:20 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

GameDaily has posted a preview of Blizzard's upcoming World of WarCraft: The Burning Crusade, sequel to the ever popular WoW mmorpg. The preview discusses the new alliance and horde races, in addition to other features.

The new races will add powerful new options for players either on the side of the vicious Horde or the noble Alliance. The Horde's new members have been known for a while, the dark and beautiful Blood Elves. These elves are mortal enemies of the Night Elves, and are considered evil by the Alliance races primarily due to their reliance on dark magic. Very recently announced, however, is the Alliance addition: Draenei. These dragon-like creatures are very cool bipedal blue-ish gray humanoids from the same planet as the Orcs. They have a very deep and interesting back story involving fleeing from the dreaded Orcs and surviving in small numbers within the Outland.
Please click on the links below to learn more information.

GameDaily: Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Neverwinter Nights Support Pulled by Atari
8:20 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

It appears Atari may have dropped support for Neverwinter Nights and the premium module program that releases new content for the game. This unexpected development was first reported in a chatlog at NWN Vault and followed by other reports that Atari is in a financial crisis and the pending release of NWN 2 as some of the reasons for dropping support for NWN.

There hasn't been any official word on all this yet but some of the most credible factors, that have been thrown around, include; the financial stability of Atari, and that they didn't want horses for NWN1 to come out officially before NWN2. This also appears to have affected other premium modules that were in production with other teams and there is probably no chance that Witches Wake 2 will ever get produced...

Atari is in a financial crisis and appears to be unable to meet all of its liabilities as they become due. Their principal line of credit has been cancelled and their secured lenders are turning hostile...

Please click on the links below to learn more information.

NWN Vault: Atari ends support
Joystiq: Atari halts NWN1 support, financial ruin
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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MWC 2006 Begins
8:20 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

The organizers over at Myth World Cup 2006 would like to remind all the remaining Myth II: Soulblighter gamers that the tournament begins this weekend. Registration has closed, but they are still looking for one more team to even it up. Furthermore, anyone can still join existing teams.

The registration is closed today with the swell amount of 31 teams. We are however open for one more registration if it comes before Friday. If we'd get one more team then there would be no 3 team bracket and the team that gets first seed after QR would also get to play at DE1. All the teams advance to the Double elimination rounds.

The QR brackets should be going up shortly. All the brackets, with the exception of one will have four teams in them. I hope all of you selected your timezone for the proper fallback times. The tournament starts next weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

Please click on the links below to learn more information.

Myth World Cup 2006
Bungie Studios
Myth II: Soulblighter

Kickin' Soccer Reviewed
8:20 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a review of Kickin' Soccer from Phelios. The game gives players the chance to play soccer on their Macs, choosing from 16 different international squads including England, Brazil, and Germany. Kickin' Soccer managed to score 3.5 out of 5 mice from The Game Room.

Play balancing seems to be a bit off. The computer-controlled players can be absurdly tough, even if you’re playing a ridiculously mismatched game. The game also gives you no way of controlling which player you’re playing as—it will always default to the player closest to the ball. This makes it near impossible to switch to a defenseman, for example, if you’ve lost control of the ball and you’re chasing the opposing team’s forward as he kicks the ball down the pitch.

Sound effects are good—the game is chock full of stadium noise: The sounds of crowds cheering and chanting as their teams score or stage an active offense. The game is available as a Universal Binary that runs natively on PowerPC and Intel-based Macs alike.

Graphics are simple and to the point—chunky players throw up their hands in the air and jump up and down when they score a goal; their arms and legs move as they run up and down the pitch, and they’ll kick their legs outward as they try to steal the ball. Like I said, it’s very reminiscent of the games of another era that I loved so much.

Kickin' Soccer is available for Macs using OS 10.2 and up. The rest of the review can be found at the Macworld site listed below.

Macworld Game Room: Kickin' Soccer Review
Kickin' Soccer

Jeremy Soule Interviewed
8:20 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent interview, Gamespy spoke with composer Jeremy Soule about his award winning musical compositions for games such as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Icewind Dale, and Total Annihilation. The interview covers his most recent projects as well as his education and early work in the game industry.

GameSpy: Was there one game that really put you on the map?
Soule: Yeah, for sure: Total Annihilation. At the time, there were thirty-five real-time strategy games slated to come out that year, and I went to Chris Taylor and said, "I really don't think we can use Command & Conquer-style music with this game." I actually proposed having an orchestral score. I even told him, "If you're not happy with it, you can dock my pay for a year." So he knew I really believed in what I wanted do with that game. And I was a little bit nervous about it, but I had a really great team to work with on it. I actually ended up using the same team all the way up through the most recent Harry Potter game.
To read the rest of the interview and learn more about Jeremy Soule follow the links listed below.

Gamespy: Jeremy Soule Interview
Jeremy Soule Website

Mac Games News for Friday, May 26, 2006

Macgamestore: Mahjong Towers Eternity, Toybox Games Sale3:19 PM
Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals3:17 PM
Aspyr: Call of Duty 2 Ships3:04 PM
IMG Interview: Bullet Candy's Charlie Knight1:35 PM
Aspyr Sets Civilization IV Requirements8:48 AM
A Tale In the Desert III Review7:29 AM
Custer is Stroggified7:29 AM
John Carmack Interviewed7:29 AM
Lugaru 2 Development Update7:29 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 26, 2006 on one page

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