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Friday, September 15, 2006

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SketchFighter 4000 Alpha at FC2
7:01 AM | Evan Holt | 3 comments

Shortly after Ambrosia announced that SketchFighter 4000 Alpha reached final candidate 1, it has already reached final candidate 2. SketchFighter 4000 Alpha is a shooter that is reminiscent of Asteroids but uses graph-paper and sketches for animation.

Fixes in this version include:

* More nag dialogs at startup and quit. (Sorry, I guess you'll have to register the game afterall)

* Net highscores now get saved correctly to the local list too. In the process fixing and very strange bug that would cause problems with seemingly harmless code at what seemed completely random. Nice to have that down.

* Fixed rare crash where net game disconnect would infinitely recurse.

* Better locking so that you can't invite a player at the refuse dialog.

* Fixed Restrictive NAT warnings on high latency connections.

* Added option to mute music in the menus.

* Improved containment for the gray fighters in the End Zone.

* Fixed double "freeze" sound effect for the ice gun.

To follow up on SketchFighter 4000 Alpha's progress, follow the link below to the progress log on Ambrosia's web site. You can also read Inside Mac Games' preview of this upcoming game.

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha at FC2
IMG: SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Preview
Ambrosia Software
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

Macgamestore: Democracy, Tournament Poker Now Available
4:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz

Democracy, a new political strategy game by Positech Games, is now available from as a digital download purchase for $22.95. A free demo of the game is available for download.

In Democracy, you've just been elected, and now you've got to implement policies that will improve your country's economy and well-being while keeping enough voters satisfied to win the next election. The game's deep simulation models hundreds of variables, and lets you adjust everything from import tariffs to marriage laws. A built-in tutorial gets you started, but the depth of the simulation will keep you engaged for hours of governing!

In related news, Tournament Poker by BeachWare is now available at as a digital download purchase for $19.95. A free demo of the game is also available for download.

In Tournament Poker you can play 21 different Poker games in the same tournament, against 12 different opponents. Games include Texas Hold 'em, Omaha High, No-Blind Hold'em, No-Flop Hold'em, Super Hold'em, Ultra Hold'em Poker, Near Cincinnati, No-Blind/Flop Super Hold'em, No-Blind Near Cincinnati, 5 Card Draw-Jacks or Better, Five Card Stud, Seven Card Stud, English Stud Poker, and Spanish Draw Poker.

Macgamestore: Democracy
Macgamestore: Tournament Poker

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IMG Reviews Creatures: Exodus
2:02 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Creatures: Exodus. Here's a clip from the review:

Creatures: Exodus is an artificial life simulator that takes place aboard a spacestation (originally shipped as Creatures 3) and a colony ship (shipped as Docking Station). It has a complex AI and downloadable content within an accessible virtual pet program.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Creatures: Exodus
Creatures: Exodus
Buy Creatures: Exodus

Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals
1:39 PM | Tuncer Deniz

ClubMac has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: back it up and carry it with you - 250GB Edge DiskGo 3.5" portable hard drive for only $144.99!; Kensington USB 2.0 Bluetooth adapter for only $34.99!; extend your range with the Belkin Wireless G Universal range extender for only $39.99!; Specktone Retro Speaker w/built-in iPod dock for only $152.99!; Planar PQ1710M 17" LCD dual input display for only $239.99!; Extensis Suitcase Fusion/Portfolio 8 Bundle for only $148.99!; Epson Stylus Photo 1280 - make prints up to 13"x44" for only $296.00 after $100 mail-in rebate!; sync your PDA to your Mac with the Datapilot Universal Pro Kit from Susteen for only $71.99; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

MacMall has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on a number of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: a better way to work with core apps like Adobe's Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2 and InDesign CS2 - NuLooq Professional Series navigation device from Logitech for only $78.99!; organize your business cards with the IRISCard Mini business card reader from I.R.I.S for only $137.99!; Konica Minolta Magicolor 2430DL network color laser printer for only $299.00 after $50.00 mail-in rebate!; The Sims 2: Open for Business expansion pack from Aspyr for only $35.99!; learn to fly without leaving the ground with X-Plane 8 Deluxe flight simulator from GraphSim Entertainment for only $57.89!; create breathtaking 3D w/Maya Complete 8.0 from AutoDesk for only $1999.00!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

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Virtual Programming Releases Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
1:33 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Virtual Programming today announced that it has released Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday, a stand-alone expansion pack for Hearts of Iron 2.

Here's more from the press release:

As the German war machine falls, two great nations rise to claim power. In the West, there is the United States, leader of the allied nations, and in the East lies the Soviet Union under communist rule. As both nations attempt to claim superiority, a new war is waiting around the corner; this time, the conflict will decide who will be the remaining superpower.
Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday is available as a digital download through Deliver2Mac for $24.95.

Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
Virtual Programming
Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday
Buy Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday

MacWorld Benchmarks 2.33GHz iMac Core 2 Duo
7:04 AM | Evan Holt | 4 comments

MacWorld has posted a review of the new 2.33GHz iMac Core 2 Duo.

You would expect an iMac powered by the fastest Core 2 Duo chip available to outperform iMacs with lesser clock speeds. And that was certainly the case when we ran our benchmark testing on Apple’s build-to-order iMac Core 2 Duo with a 2.33GHz processor—it easily beat its fellow Core 2 Duo models as well as an older Intel-based iMac running on a 2GHz Core Duo chip.

But what you might not expect is for that high-end consumer machine to beat out a professional tower powered by two dual-core chips in Macworld Lab tests. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened—the 2.33GHz iMac Core 2 Duo edged past the 2GHz Mac Pro. Granted, that’s not the standard Mac Pro configuration—that model comes with two 2.66GHz processors—but it’s still impressive to see a dual-core consumer machine outperform a quad-core desktop aimed at professionals.

The benchmarks include two 24" iMacs in build-to-order configurations with a 2.16GHz and 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. These two iMacs also have a NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT and NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT graphics card.

Of the numerous tests, Unreal Tournament 2004 is used for game benchmarking. At a resolution of 1024 x768, the top of the line iMac has a average framerate of 83.6 and at a resolution of 1680 x1050 it has an average framerate of 77.7.

To see the full benchmark and commentary from James Galbraith of MacWorld, follow the link below.

MacWorld: 2.33GHz iMac Core 2 Duo comes out ahead

Custer Goes For Another Ride
7:04 AM | Brad Custer | 1 comment

After taking last week off, our desktop guru Brad Custer returns with a kid-friendly desktop. Based directly off of the popular Pixar movie released early this summer, Cars Radiator Springs Adventures, the game from THQ, presents players with a series of mini-games that allows you to gear up for the big race.

We're returning this week to the realm of Cars Radiator Springs Adventures from THQ. After our recent review of this game, I received the nicest email from a young female viewer of our site. I enjoy working with any artwork from the Pixar movies so it was a treat to honor this request. I was able to make this week's feature with the help of THQ.As always, those interested in downloading will find multiple resolutions available at Custer's Desktops.

Custer's Desktops

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WoW: Interactive Outland Map, Priest Preview
7:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In recent days Blizzard Entertainment has released more information about The Burning Crusade, the upcoming first expansion for the wildly successful World of Warcraft. First up is an interactive atlas of the new Outland continent which allows users to click on certain key areas and learn more about the challenges they'll face there.

Beyond the Dark Portal lies the shattered realm of Outland, the broken remains of the orcs' homeworld, Draenor. Among the ruins of this world, the survivors of the cataclysm are trying to rebuild, and in other parts of Outland, life continues to thrive. Those brave enough to make the journey through the Dark Portal will find new allies, new enemies, and limitless adventure beyond an untamed horizon.

Click on any region in the map to learn more about that zone's faction bases, dungeons, and neutral cities waiting to be discovered in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

Blizzard has also offered a new Burning Crusade class preview of talents and spells, this time focusing on the Priest class. The preview reveals new abilities available to priest characters rising beyond level 60.

Finally, a new collection of screenshots is available for the viewing pleasure of eager WoW fans.

To learn more follow the links below.

WoW: Burning Crusade Interactive Atlas
WoW: Burning Crusade Talent & Spells Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Pile & Pop Available For Macs
7:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Bitbliss Studios has announced the release of their newest game, Pile & Pop, for both the Mac and PC. The game involves matching colored pieces on a gameboard and features two different modes of play: Arcade and Strategy.

Pile & Pop is a game of quick and clever thinking for all ages and involves a unique design of picking up and dropping colored bricks around a gameboard. Form sets of colors to “pop” the bricks and create huge combos to score big points. Sounds simple? You’re in for a surprise! The strategic depth is amazing and time is always against you. Download the free demo to see if you have what it takes.

Join Tisylee and experience two different modes of play in Pile & Pop. Arcade Mode is a test of quick thinking and fast reflexes as the pile of bricks grows ever faster. In Strategy Mode each move you make adds more bricks to the pile, so efficiency becomes the keyword of this high-thinking game. To help you on your way, there are many power-ups which can be earned through smart moves, ranging from stopping time to destroying entire rows of bricks in a fell swoop. Each mode of play has three difficulty levels, making Pile & Pop accessible for all age levels.
To learn more about the game, and download a free demo, click over to the Bitbliss website at the links provided below.

Pile & Pop
Bitbliss Studios

Mac Games News for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apple Posts New Hot Deals2:44 PM
dim3 v2.1 Open-Source Game Engine Released1:51 PM
NWN Premium Module Released, 1.6.8 Patch1:38 PM
Apple Games Features Cold War12:01 PM
iPod Games Reviewed12:01 PM
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha at FC112:01 PM
Havok Finally Comes To Mac11:59 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, September 14, 2006 on one page

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