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Monday, July 24, 2006

The Sims 2 Open for Business Hits Beta
8:01 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Sims 2 Open for Business for Mac has hit beta status. The expansion pack, scheduled to ship in September, is licensed from Electronic Arts and under development for Mac by Aspyr Studios.

Now your Sims can create their own businesses. They can design their own
clothing boutique, beauty salon, florist, high-end electronics shop,
bustling restaurant chain, or virtually any other type of business. Hire
your staff as the business grows and put talented Sims to work making toys,
running the register, crafting floral bouquets, giving sales pitches, or
manufacturing robots. But watch out for slacker employees and be prepared to
fire them on the spot.
More information on The Sims Open For Business can be found on Aspyr's web site.

Aspyr Media

UniSudoku 1.5 Released
7:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

UniSudoku 1.5, an application to play Sudoku on your Mac, is now available. Version 1.5 introduces symmetrical puzzle generation and the program has been localized for the French and German languages.

Enjoy the best aspects of the pencil and paper puzzle with all the advantages of playing on your computer including unlimited puzzle generation, no more messy handwriting and with full Undo/Redo support, no more erasing! Enjoy four levels of puzzle difficulty or enter your favorite puzzles from the newspaper, books and the Internet directly into UniSudoku. Every puzzle has a unique and satisfying solution. On your way to that solution highlight all instances of a specific digit to find solvable squares, easily enter "pencil marks" with an intuitive interface and rotate the board when you're stuck. UniSudoku is available on Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.


Fashion Fable Released
7:26 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Creatrix Games has released Fashion Fable, a match-3 game. Here's more from the official press release:

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a fashion designer named Asha got into terrible trouble. All the clothes she had made to sell at the market had mysteriously been transformed into lovable but pestiferous imps. They went scurrying across the four known realms, leaving poor Asha with only one choice: she would have to collect all the imps, round up her best outfits, and discover who was behind this fashion foul plot!

Join Asha in this Fashion Fable as she travels through 60 levels of puzzle gaming fun for PC and Mac. Along the way, there are clothes to be purchased that Asha can wear. Mix and match 120 types of apparel and then get creative and custom color them all for exactly the look you want. Cute, chic, punk, or formal, thereís a style for every taste waiting for those that can color coordinate in Fashion Fable.
To check out Fashion Fable, follow the link below.

Creatrix Games

AMD Buys ATI for $5.4 Billion
6:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 9 comments

Computer processor maker AMD today announced that it would acquire graphics chip maker ATI Technologies Inc. for $5.4 billion in cash and stock to expand its product mix and grow market share as it battles Intel Corp.

Under terms of the deal, AMD will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of ATI for $4.2 billion in cash and 57 million shares of AMD common stock, based on the number of shares of ATI common stock outstanding on July 21.

AMD said it would pay $20.47 for each ATI share. That marks a 24 percent premium over ATI's closing stock price of $16.56 on Nasdaq on Friday. The stock added another 7 percent to $17.68 in after-hours trading amid media reports of the expected deal.

The consideration for each outstanding share of ATI comprises $16.40 in cash and 0.2229 shares of AMD common stock, the companies said.

AMD, the No. 2 supplier of computer processors, said it expects to finance the cash portion of the transaction with a combination of cash and new debt.

AMD has obtained a $2.5 billion term loan commitment from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding which, together with combined existing cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investment balances of about $3 billion, provides full funding for deal, it said.

ATI said it has agreed to a termination fee of $162 million. The deal is subject to the approval of ATI shareholders and regulators in the United States and Canada.

Games That Need Sequels
6:36 AM | Anthony Wang | 20 comments

Firing Squad has posted an on-going feature of games that should, but never had sequels and their odds of revival. This week, they take a look at the RTS games that never had a follow-up, including StarCraft, Homeworld, Clive Barker's Undying, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, and more.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto: Developer Planet Moon Studios struck a home run with their first title in 2000 as the former Shiny team members delivered a unique gameplay experience with Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Part action game and part strategy game, the fantasy title had you controlling two races, the high powered Meccs and the mystical Reapers along with a third race that was actually just one big unit, the monster Kabuto.

The one-of-a-kind game design drew praise from game critics but the title itself wasnít a huge sales success for its publisher Interplay. Planet Moon went on to create the humor filled action game Armed and Dangerous and in 2005 released Infected, a zombie action game that was an exclusive for the PSP console.

Odds for Revival: Possible. Perhaps we are being overly optimistic about this but we would love to see Planet Moon return to the universe of their first game and see how those three sides are behaving now. We think that their gameplay hasnít really been done since and we would welcome a return to controlling that huge creature.

Please follow the links below to learn more information.

FiringSquad: Article
Clive Barker's Undying
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Clive Barker's Undying
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

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Legion Arena Reviewed
6:35 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Last weekend Applelinks posted a review of Legion Arena, Slitherine's strategy combat title set in the time of the Romans. Brought to the Mac by Freeverse Software, Legion Arena gives players the chance to build up a lethal fighting force using a combination of real time strategy and role playing elements. Applelinks gave Legion Arena a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

At first, I was frustrated by the limited palate of choices offered at each upgrade opportunity, but then I realized there was a tactical way to use this to your advantage. Instead of merely working to play up the strengths and weaknesses of each class of soldiers, for example by making all of my skirmishers (essentially archers) less vulnerable to attacks from ground troops, each group of men could be provided with a specific skill set to handle a certain task. So instead of beefing up two sets of skirmishers to withstand a militia attack, one could become a defensive unit that is a little stronger in hand-to-hand combat, and another could be given greater accuracy and damage, to make them a lethal killing squad that must always be protected by another group. In this way, specializing and strengthening troops for specific tasks, you can select your troops based on the specific challenge before you. This is especially useful as the game progresses and you are occasionally inexplicably made to limit the number of groups you are allowed to take into a given battle.
The full review is available at the website below.

Applelinks: Legion Arena Review
Legion Arena
Buy Legion Arena

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Burning Crusade To Offer Horde Paladins, Alliance Shamans
6:35 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment recently announced another change The Burning Crusade expansion will bring to World of Warcraft. With the introduction of the Blood Elf and Draenei races Horde and Alliance players will have the opportunity to play Paladins and Shamans, classes which were previously restricted to one faction. A new section on the Burning Crusade site reveals the lore behind the gameplay change.

As we draw closer to the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, more of the secrets shrouding the draenei and blood elves are being revealed. In the upcoming expansion, players will finally be able to play classes that were previously unavailable to their faction. The blood elves have harnessed the power of the Light for their own needs, and the Horde recognizes the value of these renegade blood elf paladins. Meanwhile, the draenei have been granted the wisdom and strength of the elements, and a number of draenei now follow the path of the shaman.
A post on the WoW forums by a Blizzard representative explains the change as a way to open up new possibilities for the Paladin and Shaman classes. The new options could only be implemented by removing the faction restriction.
So, in our desire to keep the classes distinct and open up new possibilities for development of each class, shaman and paladins shall now be a playable class for both factions. This decision comes at a time when we have an opportunity to blend this decision into future development. Namely, with the new races in the upcoming expansion. Prior to the new races, the Paladin and Shaman lent themselves easily to their own factions and not that well to the opposite faction (Tauren Paladin? Gnome Shaman?) With the advent of the two additional races, the choice was made more clear in game design and lore.

In terms of game design, one of the options it opens up is for specific classes in dungeon encounters. We already have several encounters that highlight the abilities of a single class or make use of a classes specific abilities. Shaman and Paladins in the previous design could not participate in such encounters. If killing a creature required a Shaman, the Alliance could never beat the encounter and vice versa. This change allows the two classes to bring their own abilities into a situation which may highlight their class as an integral part of the encounter.
For more information about the class changes head over to the WoW sites offered below.

WoW: Burning Crusade Class Changes
WoW Forums: Paladin And Shaman Changes Explained
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Mac Games News for Friday, July 21, 2006

Macgamestore: Subway Scramble Now Available5:29 PM
IMG Reviews Brave Dwarves: Back for Treasures7:38 AM
Darwinia Reviewed7:37 AM
Democracy Released7:37 AM
Custer Continues "You name it. I create it."7:36 AM
Freeverse To Make Games With Unity7:36 AM
WoW: Nether Drake Info7:36 AM
IMG Podcast Episode 29 Released6:00 AM
IMG Podcast Episode 30 LIVE! Today6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 21, 2006 on one page

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