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Friday, December 8, 2006

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Armado 1.1 Released
8:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Tricky Software today released version 1.1 of their recently released Mac game, Armado. The new version includes a few important fixes and changes. In the game, you assume the role of Armado the armadillo and embark upon a great adventure to free the Queen.

Here's a list of fixes/changes:

First and foremost, we’ve dramatically reduced the download size of the Mac versions of Armado. We did this by writing some tools to help track our unused textures so we could clear them out. But most importantly, through the magic of compression, we were able to compress the DMG down quite a bit.

Fixed a bug with the strike key that sometimes made Armado target the wrong direction.

There was an issue that occurred in windowed mode where the game menu would toggle on/off anytime a user switched focus away from the game. This has been fixed.

We snuck some art and game play tweaks in as well

To download the demo version of Armado, follow the link below.

Macgamefiles: Aramdo 1.1

Diamond Detective Released
2:28 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story is proud to announce the availability of Diamond Detective for the Macintosh at the world's most popular Macintosh game store.

OH NO!! The precious jewels of Gemopolis have been stolen! The Commissioner requests your help to recover the stolen gems, collect clues, and solve the mysterious heists. As the Diamond Detective, you must create long chains of gems, leverage special power-up gems, and use your collected clues to deduce the identities of ten elusive jewel thieves. Enjoy a wide variety of immersive music as you spend many challenging hours recovering the precious jewels of Gemopolis.

It’s now up to you, Diamond Detective!

Unlimited play
Play 50 levels throughout the city of Gemopolis
Solve 10 mystery jewelry heists
3 varied game modes
10 exciting power-ups

System Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.2 or better
Universal (PowerPC/Intel)

Diamond Detective is available for $19.95. A free demo is available for download from It requires MacOS X 10.2 or later and is a Universal Binary.

Macgamestore: Diamond Detective

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Diner Dash - Flo on the Go
1:52 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of PlayFirst's latest Mac game, Diner Dash - Flo on the Go, the third game in the popular casual game series. Here's a clip from the review:

Diner Dash 3: Flo on the Go is the third in a series of diner games that are centered around micro management. The storyline for Flo on the Go is what you might say as, “tacked on”. The story is Flo and her friend, Darla decide to take a vacation to get away from their lives as waitresses. As they are boarding the cruise, the chefs march off the ship in a fuss. As they stampede past the girls, Flo loses her grip on her suitcase and it flies into the ocean. To repay for all her lost clothes, she gets a job on the cruise as a waitress and buys new clothes from the cruise gift shop.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Diner Dash - Flo on the Go
Diner Dash 3: Flo and Go
Buy Diner Dash 3: Flo and Go

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Dominions 3: The Awakening v3.04 Released
8:38 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Shrapnel Games has announced the release of a new patch for Dominions 3: The Awakening, Illwinter Game Design's third installment in their turn-based fantasy war game series. The patch brings the feature rich game to version 3.01, introduces a new nation, and adds a variety of bug fixes and improvements.

More about version 3.04:

- New nation
- New map by Jason Lutes 
- Cave provinces supported
- New map command #allowedplayer
- Some typos fixed
- Iron Walls didn't work
- Seduction messagefixed
- More special effects displayed in weapon info box
Follow the links below to check out the full list of changes and learn more about the game.

Dominions 3 Downloads
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

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SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Reviewed
8:38 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide has crossed over into the graph paper world with a review of Ambrosia Software's SketchFighter 4000 Alpha, an arcade shooter with a unique graphics style. The game features a variety of challenging enemies, a clever two player mode, and a level editor.

From the review:

Where complexity can be interesting, simplicity and the ability to pick up and play the game within 30 seconds helps immensely. SketchFighter 40000 Alpha is a pure arcade title incorporating only the arrow keys and the space bar to fire. A sensitive control system allows for tight control and a full reverse thrust allows the player to fall back from enemies or turrets while firing. Players can continually upgrade their weapons by defeating enemies and destroying terrain such as nearby boulders to grab upgrades as well as health power ups (a much-needed item, as your ship realistically takes damage when it bumps into walls).

Lost Minds and Ambrosia have embraced the best elements of arcade gameplay by making the game simple, the bosses incredibly fun (as well as surprising to see each new one) and the two-player mode an absolute cinch, both locally and over the Internet. Just click into the online two player mode, find a partner in the chat/browser area, accept an invitation to play or send an invitation and the network code handles the rest. Two-player mode is essentially a joint effort in which one player is actually physically "tethered" to the other player, providing every reason in the world to stay close to your partner and provide covering fire while the other person leads the team through the level. A cool idea and this makes for fun game play.
Check out the full review at the link below.

The Slacker's Guide: SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Review
Ambrosia Software
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

iPod Cheat Codes For Vortex & Texas Hold'em
8:38 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

iLounge recently posted a collection of cheat codes released by Apple for two of the company's iPod games, Vortex and Texas Hold'em. The codes unlock hidden levels and power ups for the two games.

Here's a partial list of the codes:

In Vortex, you need to bring up the Main Menu without a game in progress. You’ll see an option called Personal Info. Select Rename, and enter one of the following new player names using the letter selection tool. Hold down the iPod’s center Action button until the code activates.

- ME_PAZ activates the laser power-up, which burns through bricks in a straight line.
- I_GUNZ activates the gun power-up, which destroys bricks one at a time.

In Texas Hold’em, go to the Options menu, and select New Player. Enter the cheat code as a new player name using the letter selection tool. Once the cheat code is entered, the iPod will jump to the checkmark (done) character. At this point, you must hold down the center button until the code activates, and you’ll see the word Secret appear on screen.

- By entering YOUCHEAT, you’ll activate a secret menu that gives you five options: unlock all tournaments, start with $100,000 in cash, show tells and/or down cards, and adjust the AI to fold normally, often, or never. Other cheats are below.
- See secret characters:  ALLCHARS
- Play the iTunes Bar tournament:  BARTUNES
For the full list of cheats head over to the site listed below.

iLounge: iPod Cheat Codes
Apple: iPod Games

Is Taxation Of Virtual Assets Inevitable?
8:38 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

A recent CNET News article examined the possibility that virtual assets collected by players in online games may one day be subject to taxes in the US. Dan Miller, a senior economist on Congress' Joint Economic Committee, said the growth of online worlds and the monetary value of virtual goods makes taxation an inevitability.

"Given growth rates of 10 to 15 percent a month, the question is when, not if, Congress and IRS start paying attention to these issues," said Dan Miller, a senior economist with the Congress' Joint Economic Committee, who is also a fan of virtual worlds. "So it is incumbent on us to set the terms and the debate so we have a shaped tax policy toward virtual worlds and virtual economies in a favorable way."

Miller's comments came during a Saturday panel called "Tax and Finance" at the State of Play/Terra Nova symposium, the fourth annual gathering at New York Law School of academics, lawyers and other scholars to talk about the legal, social and economic issues surrounding virtual worlds.

The panel was formed in the context of recent questions--first raised by author Julian Dibbel in his book Play Money and in an article he wrote earlier in Legal Affairs magazine--about whether the transfer of virtual assets, or players' acquisition of virtual loot by, for example, killing monsters, creates taxable events.

"If you haven't misspent hours battling an Arctic Ogre Lord near an Ice Dungeon or been equally profligate spending time reading the published works of the Internal Revenue Service," Dibbell's article began, "you probably haven't wondered whether the United States government will someday tax your virtual winnings from games played over the Internet. The real question is: Why hasn't it happened already?"
The full article can be found at the link below.

CNET News: Taxation of Virtual Assets Inevitable

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 7, 2006

Ancient Empires Lux 1.0 Released12:40 PM
Macworld Reviews the Logitech MX Revolution Mouse12:30 PM
The Movies Goes Golden Master8:23 AM
Apple Gunning for the Games Market?6:53 AM
Mac Gaming In 20076:53 AM
Original Homeworld Mac Update6:53 AM
Rainbow Mystery Released6:53 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 7, 2006 on one page

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