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Monday, November 13, 2006

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Legion Arena Expansion Pack Released
7:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

As part of Freeverse's "Big Week" that promises a new Freeverse announcement every day of this week, the company today announced it has released Cult of Mithras, an expansion pack for Legion Arena.

Cult of Mithras continues where the Roman Campaign of Legion Arena leaves off, adding a fun new supernatural element to the historically inspired wargame. Terrifying armies of Fire Demons and Shadow Warriors will challenge your battle-tested legions, pitting the fires of hell against cold, hard steel.

Cult of Mithras features:

35 new battles across 7 campaigns
7 new unit types including Fire Demons, Shadow Warriors and Ghost Legions!
Enhanced storyline
Linked battles that prevent healing up between and add a whole new layer of strategy
Intense new graphical effects
New and powerful special equipment

Cult of Mithras is just $14.95 and is available as an electronic download from Freeverse. It requires Legion Arena to play. For more, visit the official Freeverse web site.

Legion Arena
Buy Legion Arena

ATI Opens DirectX-to-OpenGL to Devs
7:31 AM | David Chochla | 11 comments

Macworld reports that ATI has released HLSL2GLSL. The open-source program is designed to help developers convert graphics code Window's DirectX 9 to Mac-friendly Open-GL.

Many Mac OS X programmers already working on Mac games or cross-platform conversions already have home-rolled tools in their own libraries that provide them with the ability to convert DirectX code into OpenGL code. Commercial products exist that do the same. But ATI is offering this software released earlier this month as version 0.9 to further assist programmers who want some help.
Binaries for Mac and Windows, help documentation and libraries are available for download.

Macworld Article
Download From Soureforge

Vortex & Zuma For iPod Reviewed
7:31 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The iPod Observer recently released a review of Vortex and Zuma, two games available for Apple's fifth generation iPod. Vortex challenges players to clear the screen of bricks using a paddle and ball, while Zuma asks players to make matches by firing marbles into a chain of the colored orbs. The iPod Observer found the games to be worth the price of admission.

From the review:

As in Tempest 2000, the view of Vortex is as if you are looking down a well, but in this well, the walls are lined with blocks a la Break-out. At the rim of the well is your paddle. You launch your ball at the bricks in break-out style and rotate the paddle around the rim to keep the ball in play. Now add some power-ups, which can turn your paddle into a shooter, and suddenly things start to get real busy.

Vortex is a hoot to play and the control of the paddle is ideally suited for the scroll-wheel of the iPod. Lots of sounds, explosions, power-ups, and energetic fun keeps this little jewel on the top of your stuff-to-do-on-my-iPod-when-I'm-not-doing-anything list...

Zuma is a lot like Bubble Trouble; you shoot colored marbles at a field of other colored marbles, match 3 or more of the same color and those marbles disappear. All the time, more marbles appear, making it harder to match and win. In Zuma, however, the field of marbles is in a sinewy line, the marbles slide forward towards a "golden skull," if they reach it you lose the round.

The line of marbles adds a nice twist to a decent game, but the power-ups add a whole new dimension; certain marbles advance or delay the progression of the marbles in the line, others explode, one lets you pinpoint where your marble will go, and still others reverse the direction of the marbles altogether. It's addictive to say the least.
Check out the full review at the link below.

The iPod Observer: Vortex and Zuma Review
Apple: iPod Games

Hop For Your Life In Dork
7:31 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide has released another review, this one focusing on the unusually named Dork. Similar to the classic game Frogger, Dork puts you in the role of an insect attempting to collect items and avoid enemies while hopping his way across the map. The Guide recommended the game, noting Dork's well conceived level design and enjoyable gameplay.

Albeit simply designed, Dork is well crafted with regard to level design as well as graphics and sound. The levels themselves, though not adorned with 3D graphics and particle explosions, become more interesting as the game progresses. Where just a few moving ramps and platforms greet the player in the initial stages of the game, later stages will embody moving ramps, rotating platforms, obstacles such as fire pits, additional wandering enemies and a network of rubberized walls for the player to bounce off of as they attempt to reach new areas of the map.

The graphics are understated, easy to understand and practical, while top-notch audio work makes the game fun (noises like "Hep!" as the player jumps, cool scarfing sounds and brief yelps when the player is eaten add to the feel of the game). What's present may not be on the marquee level, but it blends together well and makes for a fun game to kill some time with.

Follow the link below to check out the review.

The Slacker's Guide: Dork Review
Moo Job

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New Eschalon: Book 1 Screenshots
7:31 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games has released three new screenshots of their upcoming turn based RPG, Eschalon: Book 1. The first in a planned trilogy, Eschalon will offer massive outdoor environments, dozens of sprawling dungeons, and a variety of creatures to defeat. The screenshots showcase recent improvements to the game's interface.

The company also provided an update on the game's progress, suggesting that a 2006 release for the PC version is unlikely.

After a significant amount of prodding by our visitors, we've posted 3 new screenshots of Eschalon: Book I. For this round of screenshots, we've focused on the game's updated interface.

The state of the game continues to be: looking good and coming along nicely! We've still got a bit of content to create, lots of play balancing to be done, and polish to be applied. At this point it's unlikely that we'll make a 2006 release, but we're getting so much closer!
Follow the link below to learn more about the game.

Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

Barefeats Benchmarks G5 Radeon X1900
7:31 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

ATI recently announced a Radeon X1900 for G5 Macs with PCI-E. This filled a void for Mac users who have a recent generation PowerMac but no upgrade path to a powerful video card for today's power hungry applications and games.

This card is for G5s with PCI Express (PCIe) slots. It comes with 256MB of GDDR3 video memory and two DVI ports, both of which support displays up to 2560x1600 (like the 30" Apple Cinema). We compared it to the other "consumer" graphics cards compatible with the dual-core G5 Power Mac as well as to two of the cards available for the Mac Pro. (We measured the core clock speed at 507MHz and core memory speed at 1206MHz.)
Using Quake 4, Doom 3, Halo and Unreal Tournament 2004 as benchmarks, Barefeats pits the Quad G5 X1900 against the Mac Pro X1900. The nVidia 6600, 7300 and 7800 were also used as comparisons.

To see the benchmarks and to see just how powerful the new card is in comparison to other video cards, click on the link below.

Barefeats: Review ATI Radeon X1900

Mac Games News for Friday, November 10, 2006

Gogii Games Releases Brain Boosters1:38 PM
Championship Manager 2006 Released1:29 PM
Freeverse "Big Week" Starts Monday12:24 PM
Arcadrome Reviewed8:25 AM
Custer At War8:25 AM
New Geneforge 4: Rebellion Shots8:25 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 10, 2006 on one page

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