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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Status
10:12 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Lars Gafvert continues his progress on SketchFighter 4000 Alpha, indicated by a recent update to his progress log at Ambrosia's site. The latest updates center around the networking of the game as well as some work on the site, webtracker, and high score list.

The listed updates:

  • Network coop games now submit scores to the worldwide highscores list.
  • Extended 2P levels with some new areas.
  • Various fixes to keep network games in sync.
  • A few changes in the menu interface.
SketchFighter 4000 is a shooter reminiscent of Asteroids that features sketchy (literally) graphics and a graph-paper background. More information on this upcoming title can be found in a preview done by IMG.

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Progress Log
IMG - SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Preview
Ambrosia Software
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

Macgamestore: The Time Portal
3:56 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Time Portal is now available from for $19.95. A free demo is available for download on the web site.

In the darkest corner of your attic you find a letter from your long lost uncle. He explains to you that he has been kidnapped by a jealous scientist because he succeeded in inventing a time-machine.

Your uncle has left you photos with hidden clues that show you the way to the time-machine. It is your task to reveal the clues, find the machine and rescue your uncle.

The photos he gave you have mistakes. Find the mistakes in the photos to see which letters on their back are leading to the code. Complete the code to find the next place to go to. Help your uncle!

The Time Portal is a game that can be played by you alone or your whole family together. Just sit down and relax. Concentrate on the pictures. Everyone can play and enjoy the quest for the hidden clues. And if you're stuck, just click on the hint-button to get help.

Macgamestore: The Time Portal

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IMG Reviews Civilization IV
11:33 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Aspyr's Civilization IV. Here's a clip from the review:

When you're talking turn-based strategy games, you're probably talking Sid Meier's Civilization. The Civilization series is a big name in the turn-based strategy genre, and the first Civilization game was one of the early turn-based strategy genre-defining games. Like the Civilization games before it, Civ IV puts you in charge of a historic civilization (usually in a not-so-historic auto-generated map) with the goal of creating an empire that dominates the world in one of six ways. Although the computer will manage details to a certain extent, you make virtually all the decisions necessary for your civilization to advance, from what buildings and units to create in any given city to whether or not you should trade with a rival or attack them.
To check out the complete review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Civilization IV
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

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Burning Crusade Q&A
10:12 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamepro is offering a short interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Jeff Kaplan about the much anticipated World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade. Among other things the interview discusses the reason Blood Elves and Draenei were chosen as playable races.

GP: Were there other playable races considered for the expansion?

JK: Yes, we considered a slew of playable races.

GP: Wisps?

JK: Wisps were just a joke. [Choosing the races] was actually one of the biggest debates on the team, and something that we were really passionately encouraging was debate on what races we should do. We felt like that would lead to the best, most obvious races making it into the game. We had a lot of fun doing that. We did a lot of concepting. I actually don't want to talk about some of the ones we didn't pick because you're probably going to see them surface at some later date.

GP: What made you decide to do the Blood Elves and the Draenei?

JK: Ultimately, they were at a slam dunk. We're going to Outland, and we'd already decided that. Outland is this awesome, epic place in the WarCraft universe. And we knew that was the setting for our first expansion. Blood Elves and Draenei had natural ties to Outland. Outland used to be Draenor, which was the home planet of the Draenei. And in WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne the Blood Elves were obsessed with getting to Outland and for Kael'thas Sunstrider, [Outland] was the center of arcane energy closest to the nether and that's where he wanted to be. The whole race was defined by "Let's get to Outland." They were easy choices ultimately.

For the entire interview click on the link provided below.

Gamepro: WoW BC Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Nearly Ten Years Later Fallout Still Entertains
10:12 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

The Armchair Empire recently reviewed Fallout, the classic sci-fi RPG set in a post-apocalyptic future. Although the game is beginning to show its age in some respects, the review reveals the power of an immersive setting in drawing players into the story.

Probably the important element that keeps "Fallout" together is the sense of style. It is a humorous, satirical, and thoroughly cohesive sense of time and place. The playfulness and fears of the 1950s are easily moved forward a century without feeling cheesy or mentally insulting. You see it in the conversation screens with the vacuum tubes and speaker cones, the armor and prosthetics on the major NPCs, the cut scenes showing off American life before the bombs fell, even the simple and smiley line art in the character sheet and in the manual. The style ties the game together into a tightly knit whole. Without it, Fallout probably would not be nearly as enjoyable.

The Cold War is long gone and we don't have our children going through bomb drills or watching safety films full of smiling folks who tell them what to do in the event that somebody decides to drop a nuke somewhere in the U.S. Fallout takes us to a time and place where that sort of thing might well happen. Almost a decade later, it remains an excellent example of how to make an RPG with character and soul. Mind the radscorpions.
Check out the rest of the review at the link below.

Armchair Empire: Fallout Review
Omni Group
Buy Fallout

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Prairie Games Gets A New Partner
10:12 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game industry veteran Randal Reiss has acquired a major stake in Prairie Games, developer of the popular Minions of Mirth. As his first act as the company's new chairman Reiss announced that the one-time fee payment structure for MoM would be made permanent. Originally conceived as a promotional device to attract customers, the single fee has helped the game nearly quadruple its number of subscribers in a matter of weeks.

According to Mr. Reiss, “I loved the idea of the one-pay approach the first time I heard it. It gives the players more control over their own game and their own finances. While this may be viewed as heresy by some of the other game companies, I see making this a permanent feature as my own personal contribution to the evolution of the MMORPG.”

As far as upsetting other game companies that may see one-pay as cutting into their profit margins, Mr. Reiss is not concerned. He sees the evolution of the MMORPG model as inevitable.

“I’m sure that Blockbuster was rattled when Net Flix came out with no-late-fees,” says Prairie Games Vice President Lara Engebretson. “Blockbuster made a ton of free money off of those late fees. The fact is nobody can stop progress and if Net Flix hadn’t done it someone else would have. Given the choice, I would rather be the company introducing the new way of doing business, rather than the company fighting it.”

To learn more about Prairie Games and Minions of Mirth follow the links below.

Prairie Games
Minions of Mirth

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Valor: Myth II Team Tournament
10:12 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The tenth anniversary of the Myth series approaches, and PlayMyth continues to prove that the series is far from dead with new of yet another upcoming tournament. Titled Valor, this upcoming tourney focuses on Myth II will be team-based, with both Team Free-For-Alls and 3 versus 3 (2 teams) games being played.

Featuring both Team FFA & 3v3 (2 Teams) games as well as a newly designed points/elimination system that will offer a new challenge to both seasoned veterans and newcomers alike- the Valor Tournament will be the first team tournament of its kind introduced to the Myth community. Teams will also have the opportunity to earn bonus points to further increase their chances of staying alive in the tournament to join the top six overall teams in the final round.
Current rules allow for up to 36 teams to enter, and points scored will determine who advances in the brackets. A registration deadline has yet to be set, though the Valor team is currently considering it in order to speed up the process. Interested players are encouraged to check out the official Valor tournament site, which explains the rules, lists the maps to be used, and has registration info.

Valor: A Myth II Team Tournament
PlayMyth - Valor
Bungie Studios
Myth II: Soulblighter

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Barefeats: MacPro Game Benchmarks11:34 AM
Barefeats: MacPro Memory Upgrades11:34 AM
Second Mindware Studios Q&A on Cold War11:34 AM
Taparo Releases Impulse Logic Puzzle Game11:34 AM
Tuning in Lugaru 211:34 AM
Games Industry is Failing Women, Says EA11:33 AM
MMOs - Social Pasttimes or Harmful Addiction?11:33 AM
WoW: New Realms, Battlegroup Updates, Paid Transfer Options11:33 AM
Blizzard Releases World of Warcraft 1.1211:31 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 22, 2006 on one page

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