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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

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DropTeam Update, Expansion Announced
9:07 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has announced the release of DropTeam 1.1, a major update to the recently released Sci-Fi themed real-time armored vehicle combat simulation that adds infantry squads to the game. The company also announced plans on a expansion pack.

Here's more on the patch:

Presently, there are three new squad types modeled (with many more on the way) and represent lightly armored troops, with medium range jump packs and equipped with an assortment of beam, rifled and heavy weapons.
Battlefront also announced plans for a WW2 expansion for the game
The developers announced that work has begun on a WW2 expansion for DropTeam!

DropTeam - WW2 (working title) is an exciting extension of the DropTeam game system set in WWII. Players command realistically detailed WWII tanks, infantry, and guns in a detailed environment populated by up to 16 players on one of two sides.

As with the original DropTeam, each player commands a single unit at a time and coordinates his actions with teammates to achieve various victory conditions, or can play from a more strategic perspective by using the commander's interface on the overall tactical map to issue orders to units much like a traditional RTS game.

Steve Grammont, co-founder of said: "Teams that know how to use complimentary units in combination with each other will likely crush those who don't. For example, one player may command an armored half track while another rides inside with an infantry team, while a third sticks close by with a heavily armored tank for protection.

DT-WW2 will evolve over time, covering different theaters of combat at different points in the war. The initial setting will be the hectic battles in Normandy during the summer of 1944. As with the previous DT, it can be experienced using Windows, Mac, and LINUX operating systems. More details to come later this summer!

And finally, the base game of DropTeam (together with many other of Battlefront's classic wargames) has been reduced in price to only $35 for the digital delivery or mail delivery version. That's a $10 savings over the original release price.

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Macgamestore: Jewel Quest Digitial Download
1:52 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

iWin's classic gem-swapping game, Jewel Quest, is now available as a digital download from for $19.95. A free demo is available for download on the site.

Explore the ancient ruins of Mayan civilization while discovering hidden treasures and priceless artifacts. In this unique new take on the classic-style matching game, you must rearrange valuable relics to turn sand tiles into gold. As you venture deeper into the jungle, you will encounter increasingly difficult puzzles containing secret twists, cursed items, and buried artifacts.

Earn the respect of your fellow archaeologists and collect oodles of treasures and jewels. Your quest is complete when you have solved every puzzle, uncovered all the gold statues, and proven yourself a Chief Explorer.

To check out Jewel Quest, please follow the link below.

Jewel Quest
Buy Jewel Quest

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IMG Previews Dominions 3
12:45 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a brief hands-on preview of Dominions 3: The Awakening. 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.

To check out the preview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Dominions 3
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

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Burning Crusade: Class List For New Races
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has updated its Burning Crusade preview pages for the Draenei and Blood Elves to reflect the classes available to the two new races. The controversial Blood Elf Paladin possibility is one of the six potential choices for each race. The Burning Crusade will be the first expansion for Blizzard's popular World of Warcraft.

Here's the list of classes available to each race:

Blood Elf:
- Paladin
- Hunter
- Rogue
- Priest
- Mage
- Warlock

- Warrior
- Paladin
- Hunter
- Priest
- Shaman
- Mage

Check out more information about The Burning Crusade at the links below.

WoW: Draenei Information
WoW: Blood Elf Information
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Blizzard Art Contest
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment is offering another contest for artistic fans of the company's popular games. Blizzard is looking for 3D computer graphic art or 2D concept art based on Diablo, Starcraft, or World of Warcraft. Four grand prize winners will receive a package including a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet the Blizzard team, and an Alienware Area-51 7500 PC. Fourteen secondary winners will also receive prizes.

Contest submissions will be accepted on this website until 11:59 PM PST September 17, 2006! Whether you are low- or high-poly, 2D or 3D, amateur or professional, this will be your chance to pour your creativity into the Blizzard universes: Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft.

We will be looking for 3D work and as you can see, there is a large emphasis on low-poly 3D art too! 2D rocks and can be faster to make, but don’t forget about all of the prizes that you can win for your 3D environments and characters, AND in all 3 of our universes – Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Warcraft®!

To learn more about the contest click on the link below.

First Ever Annual Blizzard Art Contest
Blizzard Entertainment

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StarCraft Receives Another Update
9:10 AM | Eddie Park | 8 comments

Showing a dogged commitment to what is undoubtedly one of their most successful products, Blizzard has once again released an update to its venerable RTS StarCraft. Now sitting at version 1.14, the version largely addresses various bugs and exploit fixes in a continuing effort to keep things running smoothly.

Some of the features changes are as follows:

  • European ladder now affiliated with WGTour (
    See ( for additional information about the new European ladder.
  • Ladder games disabled for all other regions.
  • For Top vs. Bottom games, the default chat filter is now 'Chat To Allies'.
  • In-game chat messages now show the speaker's name in his/her team color.
  • Users can now use the mouse wheel to scroll chat and selection boxes in Windows 98 (or later) and Macintosh OS X.
  • Screen shots now use a time/date stamp; they are no longer limited to 100.
  • Improved version numbering system.
  • The high-color application icon from the Macintosh version is now used on PC.
  • Small corrections to the Lost Temple and Dire Straits maps.
Direct downloads to the latest patches can be found at Blizzard's site.

Starcraft Patch Information
Blizzard Entertainment

Sony To Bring Playstation Games To Home Computers?
9:09 AM | Cord Kruse | 17 comments

According to Macsimum News, Sony has applied to patent a new compiler capable of rendering Playstation games playable on both Intel and Motorola processors. Whether or not the patent indicates a chance for the new technology to benefit Mac users remains to be seen.

The big question that can’t be answered by this patent is perhaps the most important. That is, being that the system is described in such a manner that a PowerPC system will be able to run CD’s written for an Intel based system and vice versa, will their “dynamic compiler” be restricted to Sony based Systems? Meaning – is their new emulation scheme simply designed to allow Sony desktop and notebooks to run Playstation games and Intel productivity software to run on the PlayStation – or – will Sony be opening up their PlayStation games to be run on any PC systems such as Intel Macs?

Being that Apple joined the Blu-ray Disc Association board on March 10, 2005; you have to wonder if Apple and Sony could come to some sort of an agreement on video games that would benefit both parties. Back in March I posted a report which included a photo of Steve Jobs with a Sony Bravia HDTV being prominently displayed in one of his slides. Again in March, I posted another report that touched on Intel’s truly amazing Conroe gaming demo that reached speeds of 111 frames per second (fps). By combining Conroe with Sony’s advanced emulator and a top line Nvidia graphics card – Apple’s Intel Mac would be one stunning gaming platform in time for this Christmas. Sony on the other hand would like nothing more than to be able to penetrate the PC market with PlayStation games in order to strike back at Microsoft in their own back yard.

For the rest of the story, which includes a more detailed description of the compiler concept, follow the link below.

Macsimum News: Sony Patent

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A Look Into the Upcoming Quake 4 Update
9:08 AM | Anthony Wang | 4 comments

With Quake 4 version 1.3 point release just days away from PC release, with a Mac patch coming along as well, Planet Quake 4 looks at the latest update for the Sci-fi action shooter.

To design the game's new content, id Software contracted Ritual Entertainment, a company whose history with QUAKE goes all the way back to the first Quake 1 mission pack. Ritual is responsible for both new gametype and many of the new maps. The patch is much more than anyone could ask for in a free game update. During our visit to id Software's headquarters in early July, had the opportunity to play a test build of the 1.3 Point Release.

Instead of including an adaptation of a previously known game type such as CTF, Quake 4 1.3 includes an original gametype named Deadzone. The Deadzone gametype isn't a mod such as Quake III Arena's mission pack "Team Arena" was, but rather an additional gametype built into Quake4's executable. Ten maps include this gametype as an option, three of which are adaptations of already included CTF and DM maps. Level designers will have no problems adapting their maps to include the features needed to play a Deadzone game...

Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Planet Quake 4: Article
Aspyr Media
Quake 4
Buy Quake 4

Second Life Updated
9:08 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Linden Labs has updated their popular mmorpg, Second Life to version with a slew of additional features. A few of the new additions include zoomable UI, screenshot tool, tear off menus, and parcel banning limit.

Zoomable UI
The entire UI can be scaled (including in-world text, manipulators, etc) by a user-supplied scale value (Preferences > Graphics > UI Size). When running full-screen you can use the option "Use resolution independent scale" to ensure that the UI looks the same. No more itty-bitty, hard to read controls.
For a full list of changes and to learn more information, please follow the links below.

Linden Lab
Second Life

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Legion Arena Reviewed
9:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Surfbits has posted a review of Legion Arena, Slitherine's Roman Era strategy title recently brought to the Mac by Freeverse Software. Legion Arena combines elements of both real time strategy and role playing, allowing players to improve their units between hectic battles. Surfbits recommended the game to those interested in a quick battle rather than an extended play session.

From the review:

Getting to grips with the game was pretty easy, mainly thanks to an excellent introductory tutorial, but mastering it was a lot more difficult - not that I would claim to be an expert at all. You have a number of options as to which side you fight on, and you can “pick and mix” your armies strengths depending on the type of battle that you are going to be involved in. The history element to the game was pretty interesting but the actual action was disappointing - not very realistic. It reminded me of a two year period in my life when I was 12-14 when I messed around with “war games” at school - all the effort goes into the planning rather than the execution in these type of games.
The entire review is availabe at the site listed below.

Surfbits: Legion Arena Review
Legion Arena
Buy Legion Arena

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WoW: The Burning Crusade Previewed
9:07 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Hooked on Gamers has previewed Blizzard's upcoming World of WarCraft: The Burning Crusade expansion pack for none other than the popular original World of WarCraft. In this preview, learn more about the two new races, skills, and new additions to a level 70 cap.

Other additions to the expansion include hundreds of new Quests that will greatly expand single player content as well as hundreds of new monsters to fight in four new and strange lands. The new level cap will offer high-level players a new level of achievement as they progress their way to level 70 in preparation for the newest raid instances and boss fight encounters. The addition of the new 5 player dungeon called “Hellfire Citadel”, promises to test the players skills, and push them to the limit. Other instances included in the expansion include Coilfang Reservoir, which will cater to players level 60-70, and partly takes place underwater, Auchindoun for levels 65-70, and Black Temple which will be the hardest instance and requires a 40 man level 70 raid to complete it.
Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Hooked on Gamers: Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Mac Games News for Monday, July 31, 2006

IMG Podcast Episode 30 Released12:58 PM
Virtual Villagers For Mac Released8:40 AM
Apple Games Offers Burning Crusade Trailer7:41 AM
Burning Questions: Discussing WoW's First Expansion7:41 AM
Firaxis Civ IV Podcast7:41 AM
Stray Bullet Aims To Create Another MMORPG7:41 AM
WoW: Outdoor PvP Info7:41 AM
Civilization IV Reviewed7:40 AM
Aspyr Updates Civilization IV and Tiger Woods7:39 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 31, 2006 on one page

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