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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Burning Monkey Solitaire 4 Released
10:12 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 10 comments

Freeverse today released Burning Monkey Solitaire 4, the latest iteration of the popular Mac solitaire series. The new version features a brand new OpenGL engine, support for widescreen monitors, animated card effects and native support for both PowerPC and Intel Macs and over thrity solitaire variants.

Full of "easter eggs" and hidden animations, lousy jokes as only monkeys can tell them, and the only game on the market with a "bagel" button, Burning Monkey Solitaire is, well, unique. It also plays a mean game of solitaire with multiple undoes, casino scoring options and the World's Most Extensive Cheating Mode?.

Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse, has said; "This update will allow new MacBook and iMac owners to have the best Burning Monkey Solitaire experience yet. Harnessing the speed and graphics power of the Mac to play solitaire is what Freeverse has always been about". Mr. Smith then picked a gnat out of his eyebrow and ate it.

Burning Monkey Solitaire 4 is just $24.95. It is a free upgrade for registered owners of previous versions.

System requirements for this version include: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater, 64MB RAM, 200MB hard drive space. The previous version of Burning Monkey Solitaire is still available for users with older hardware.


Girls Inc. TeamUP Released
1:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story today announced the availability of Large Animal's Girls Inc. TeamUP for the Macintosh at the world's most popular Macintosh game store.

In TeamUp, you help a team of characters solve puzzles by working together and using their unique abilities. As you progress through the 50 levels of puzzle-adventure mode, you'll encounter ramps, elevators, chutes and more. You can even design your own levels and share them with other players! TeamUp was developed in partnership with Girls Inc., a non-profit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

- Jump through tubes, float on rafts and ride on elevators.
- Explore and solve 50 challenging levels.
- Design your own levels to share with other players.
- Complete each level in the fewest moves. Can you make it to the TeamUP Top Ten?
- Unlock the ultra-secret 'painter mode'.

Girls Inc. TeamUP is available for $19.95. A free demo is available for download from

Macgamestore: Girls Inc. TeamUP

IMG Reviews Pigllionaire
1:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Pigllionaire, the latest game by Mystery Studio. Here's a clip from the review:

Yes, it’s another crystal matching game. This one has an inexorable march of crystal rows toward your hapless piggybank. You can grab a crystal from the descending columns, and toss it back at the crystal pile and attempt to make a match of three or more crystals, thereby removing it from the board. The action does get quite frenetic as you proceed through the adventure mode, touring the world. Fortunately, there’s a host of power-ups that drop from the heavens, as well as crystals with special effects lurking in the rack above. All the standards are here for crystals in the marching pile- the bombs clearing out an area near the impact, a wild card, clearing out two matching crystals you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to clear, a rocket, clearing out an entire column of crystals, and a few others.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Pigllionaire

Click to enlarge
Dominions 3: The Awakening Reviewed
10:13 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Shrapnel Games' Dominions 3: The Awakening was recently reviewed by Hooked Gamers. The turn based strategy game offers a large number of units and spells, a customizable game setup, and both single and multiplayer excitement. Hooked Gamers gave D3: TA a score of 7 out of 10.

From the review:

As with any turn-based strategy game, the replay value is always good. Taking in consideration the enormous number of choices that can be made in creating the mythological Pretender Gods, the three different time eras and random mapping, it is almost a certainty that the game will never play the same twice. On top of a massive diversity of the single player mode, Dominions also offers multiplayer games in the way of the old fashioned "hotseat" game and the more convenient LAN game. No matter what flavor you want your Dominion experience to be, it will provide a lengthy and enjoyable gaming session.
To read the full review and learn more about the game check out the links below.

Hooked Gamers: Dominions 3 Review
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

Big Bang Brain Games Previewed
10:13 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Applelinks has posted a preview of Big Bang Brain Games, the recently announced puzzle compilation from Freeverse Software. The set features Sudoku, Remembrance, Echo, Novasweeper, Reaction, and Fallacy; and offers a variety of brain teasing old favorites and new surprises.

From the preview:

As I mentioned, you'll be familiar with most of the games in this package. A couple, however, deserve a closer look. Although Echo is simply Simon (four lights flash and beep in a randomly increasing number, and you must repeat their pattern), Freeverse puts a literal spin on it. Every now and again, the lights (or planets, in this case) will shift position, forcing you to rely on color and sound to remember the sequence, rather than just position. Echo uses other tricks, as well, to knock you off balance. Luckily, it starts out simple, with the sequences not running very high before you advance to the next round. Eventually, you're released to just play until you blow it.

In Reaction, you're presented with grid and a number of molecules that grow each time you click on them. Eventually, they explode, sending pieces across the grid to the other molecules, which then grow each time they're hit with molecular shrapnel. The goal is to clear the grid of the molecules in as few moves as possible by strategically planning the explosions. Of course, the initial positioning of the molecules and the various obstacles in the way will greatly alter your strategies.

And in Fallacy, well, I can only say that it's not your typical quiz show. A good mind for trivia won't help you, here. What will help you is your ability to pay attention, as many of the logical fallacy questions will try to swerve you towards the wrong answer, and some don't even seem like questions at all. You could never have these questions on Jeopardy; the contestants wouldn't have time to get through round one.
Head over to Freeverse to learn more about Big Bang Brain Games, which is scheduled to ship in December. The full preview is available at the link below.

Applelinks: Big Bang Brain Games Preview

Click to enlarge
Battle for Wesnoth Update
10:13 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The strategy title Battle for Wesnoth has recently been updated to version 1.1.12. The second 1.2 release candidate, this update brings more fixes and adjustments to the game, including the following:

  • user interface
    • move chat line slider bottom (Multiplayer options)
    • display started game with vacant slot with yellow font
    • fix allow to move other player's (bug #6451)

  • sound
    • add sample_rate option (read only) to solve cracking sound
      on some sound card (Intel HDA, cmipci, ...) (bug #7507)

  • graphics
    • new portraits: Human Bowman
    • unit animations: Elven Hero's melee attack, Dragonguard, Saurian mages,
      Young Ogres, Troll Warrior, Troll Rocklobber
    • team color: Trolls, Woses, Orcish Assassin, Thief, Rogue and other
    • new/modified attack icons: dark magic, drake, javelins, ...
    • other: new sceptre
A full list of updates can be found at the official changelog.

A freeware effort, Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy title that allows for the creation of custom units and maps. As always, the developers ask that interested players test out the latest update and report any bugs or suggestions to them.

Battle for Wesnoth - Changelog
MGF - Battle for Wesnoth
Battle For Wesnoth

CNET Outfits Mac Pro with 8-Core Processors
10:13 AM | Eddie Park | 2 comments

Joining in on what seems to be a point of curiosity with several journalistic sites, CNET is among the latest to try swapping the current processors of a Mac Pro with Intel's latest offering, the quad-core Xeon 5355 processors. Pin-compatible with the Mac Pro's current architecture, swapping processors is reportedly a painless process, though actually getting to them seems to be more of a challenge.

A host of benchmarks are listed in CNET's article, including comparisons with XP running on Boot Camp and the standard 4 core processors. CNET also notes the usual caveats, including non-optimized software:

Our iTunes and Quake 4 tests are more representative, however, of what you are likely to see with most mainstream applications in a nonmultitasking scenario. The results for both of these tests (as well as with other apps, not shown here, such as Photoshop CS2) indicate that what influences the speed of these tasks is primarily CPU speed. Four cores running at 3.0GHz consistently outperform eight cores running at 2.66GHz.
Those interested in the full battery of results can peruse them at CNET's article.

CNET - The unofficial eight-core Apple Mac Pro

Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals1:55 PM
Macgamestore: FizzBall Now Available1:55 PM
Freeverse Announces Big Bang Brain Games11:24 AM
Arindal MMO Beta Release9:03 AM
Firmware Update Fixes Intel X1900 Startup?9:03 AM
Quinn Updated9:03 AM
The Sims 2: Pets Reviewed9:03 AM
World of WarCraft Anniversary Contest9:03 AM
WoW "Before the Storm" Patch Details9:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 15, 2006 on one page

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