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Monday, November 20, 2006

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Apple Games Features Civ IV: Warlords
12:05 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Civilization IV: Warlords is the subject of Apple Games' latest feature article. The first expansion for the popular turn based strategy game offers more scenarios, more playable civilizations, and the new warlord units. The article reviews the expansion and offers a rundown of the new civilizations, civics, and buildings.

Just when you think youíve mastered all the ins and outs of Sid Meierís Civilization IV, along comes the Warlords expansion pack to throw a wrench or two in your carefully-laid-out strategies. Six new empires ó Carthage, the Celts, Korea, the Ottomans, the Vikings, and the Zulu ó lead a stack of content that includes new leaders for four of the 18 civilizations that come with the game, as well as new buildings, units, Wonders, and three new leader traits. Each of the 24 civilizations in the game also now has a unique building, in addition to a unique unit.

The Great General is another change in the game. He is a new type of person who can join a city as a military instructor, giving two extra experience points to new units created there, or build a military academy for a city, enabling the production of military units 25% faster. You can also designate him to become a Warlord leading troops into battle, giving those units free upgrades as well as access to special promotions, such as Combat VI and Medic III.

A new diplomatic option, vassalage, puts one civilization in sworn allegiance to another. This gives the vassal state the protection of its master, although at the cost of more unhappiness for its citizens. The master empire can freely travel through the vassalís territory, demand the use of its resources, and take advantage of its fortifications, although at the price of higher maintenance costs for its own cities. If the master state goes to war, the vassal is automatically dragged into the conflict.
Check out the entire review at the link listed below.

Apple Games: Civilization IV: Warlords
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV: Warlords
Buy Civilization IV: Warlords

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IMG Interviews Greg Street
3:14 PM | IMG News | 4 comments

Hot on the heels of the news that Age of Empires III has reached Gold Master status, we have an interview with Greg Street, Lead Designer at Ensemble Studios, creators of the entire Age of Empires series. In this interview, our own Michael Phillips questions Greg on various topics, including his role at Ensemble, what gamers can expect from this latest generation of the Age of Empires series and more.

Here's a clip:

MP: You've heard the axiom, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."† Could you discuss some of the challenges involved in creating a new incarnation of Age of Empires without losing the essence of what makes Age of Empires so successful?

GTS: Thatís just it: we are fundamentally making a sequel here, and like any sequel, you have to offer something new without losing the essence of what players like about your game. I think our time period helped us here, because starting on an unknown map with just a few people totally makes sense in a game about colonization. It would be harder to portray say France in 1900 the same way. ďHereís Paris. You have a Town Center and 3 Villagers.Ē It just doesnít make sense.

Our visual look also plays into this. We like to say that the sun is always shining in Age of Empires. We didnít change the visual style of the game even as we evolved the features and even the looks quite a bit.

For the rest of the interview, simply hit the link below.

Age of Empires III
Ensemble Studios
IMG Interview: Greg Street
Buy Age of Empires III

Pangea and MacGameStore Announce Stocking Stuffer Promotion
2:55 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Pangea Software and, today announced that they are giving away free boxed CD copies of the Pangea puzzle game Enigmo with the purchase of any other Pangea title from

Customers who go to the site, and buy any game created by Pangea Software (Bugdom 2, Nanosaur 2, Otto Matic, Cro-Mag Rally, Pangea Arcade, etc.) can receive a free copy of Enigmo until supplies run out. Customers only need to pay the cost of shipping. In order to take advantage of this offer customers must add any Pangea game to their cart, then add Enigmo (boxed version) to the cart, and then use coupon code "enigmo" to get Enigmo (boxed version) for free.

Enigmo is a 3D puzzle game where the player manipulates streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets can reach their destination. Liquids (water, oil, and lava) fall from droppers, and will bounce off walls in a visually stunning cascade. By moving various types of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges, the player diverts the flow of the falling droplets. Additional information about Enigmo can be found on the Pangea Software web site at enigmo .

Enigmo (boxed version)

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Episode One Of New IMG Podcast released
12:06 PM | Michael Yaroshinsky | 2 comments

Today IMG released the first episode of the NEW Inside Mac Games Podcast, the official podcast of Mac gaming. Each week we'll be covering all the news in Mac gaming in one tight package. This week features Michael Yaroshinsky, Jarrod Nettles, Stefan Langford, and a very special guest, Bryan Clodfelter, senior hardware editor for IMG.

For more information on the IMG Podcast, click the link below.

Episode 1 Feature
Discuss in the forums

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Discussing Halo's Fifth Birthday
12:06 PM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Halo's original release Gamespot recently posted an interview with several Bungie employees about the Halo phenomena. The interview covers the original game, its sequel, and the possibilities for the future.

GS: Why do you think it was so successful?

JG: Timing. Everything was ripe for Halo to be a hit. If we had slipped six months or come out on a different platform, it never would have got the traction that it did. And accessibility. People knock Halo as "just another shooter" sometimes, but that's only true if you take a very narrow view of what makes a game unique. Most shooters are about attrition, slowly running out of ammo, health, time, whatever resource, and trying to play efficiently enough so that you kill all the enemies before you run out. Halo has a completely different rhythm. All your resources are local, there are weapons all over the ground, your health recharges if you can take cover, the AI is constantly resetting. So you can take risks and try different tactics and experiment, without being punished. You can even die without losing anything or being punished. And you don't have to be obsessively efficient because if you survive at all, then you are back up to your full potency in a few seconds. So the game never frustrates you; it never gives you a good stopping point--even when it is really hard, and you end up playing on legendary difficulty until two in the morning without realizing it. Some games, every time you die, they send you back 20 minutes and then ask you if you want to quit! Of course you want to quit; you just got punished. So, that accessibility and smooth experience is why Halo works.

Well, that and the excellent art direction. Oh, and multiplayer map design. And really fun vehicles. And great music and sound and...actually, I guess there were lots of reasons.
The full interview is available at the the Gamespot site linked below.

Gamespot: Five Years Of Halo
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

Mac Games News for Friday, November 17, 2006

Macgamestore: Metal Angel Now Available5:36 PM
IMG Posts Age of Empires III Preview12:59 PM
Cold War Digital Download Released12:44 PM
Bilizzard Offers 10 Day WoW Demo8:29 AM
Burning Crusade Previewed8:29 AM
Freeverse Gives Away Wingnuts 18:29 AM
Unity Game Engine Reviewed8:29 AM
Episode One Of The New IMG Podcast Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 17, 2006 on one page

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