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Monday, January 8, 2007

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Close Combat Universal Binary Released
10:20 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 10 comments

MacSoft today released an update to Close Combat: First To Fight, which brings Universal Binary support to the tactical squad-based shooter. Now Intel Mac users can play the game at full native speeds under those types of Macs. The download, which brings the game to version 1.0.3, can be downloaded from

PowerPC users should not download the 1.0.3 update as it is intended for Intel Mac users only.

To download the update, please follow the link below.

Macgamefiles: Close Combat 1.0.3
Buy Close Combat: First to Fight

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IMG Reviews Scrabble
1:15 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of GameHouse's Scrabble, a new version of the classic board game now available for the Macintosh. Here's a clip from the review:

You can play the game in three different modes: in solitaire mode, with a computer player, or with another human player. However, unlike the original board game and most other computerized Scrabble games, it isn’t possible to play against more than one opponent. The original Scrabble rules allow you to play against one to three opponents. Presumably, Gamehouse intended their game to resemble tournament-style play, which is limited to pairs. Nevertheless, Gamehouse’s promotional material for the game doesn’t say anything about this limitation, so some people may be disappointed.
To check out the full review, follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Scrabble
Buy Scrabble

Virtual Programming Seeks Beta Testers For New Games
1:09 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Virtual Programming today emailed to let us know that the company is looking for a few dedicated beta testers for some of their upcoming Mac titles and patches.

Here's the announcement:

We are opening up testing for the latest universal binary versions of the Paradox games Europa Universalis 2 and Crusader Kings. We will be adding Victoria and Hearts of Iron 2 to this list in the coming weeks.

Ideally testers will already be familiar with these games, and we need both Intel and PPC users to take part.

We would also like to hear from people interested in testing two new Casino games from the number 1 slot and card game video publisher, Phantom EFX.

The first two games are the latest releases, Real Deal Casino High
and Real Deal Slots Mystic Forest. Further information on these games can be viewed at

Testers of both Paradox and Phantom EFX games should also be willing to participate in online network gaming and be able to dedicate a reasonable amount of time over the next few weeks.

If you're interested in beta testing for Virtual Programming, send them an email with your full name, address, and system specs to

Virtual Programming

Midnight Mansion Updated to 1.0.7
10:21 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

ActionSoft recently released version 1.0.7 of their action/exploration game Midnight Mansion. The platform adventure follows the exploits of Jack Malone, an explorer searching eight levels of a mansion for legendary treasure. Along the way Jack must foil the many traps, puzzles, and monsters which seek to prevent him from finding riches.

Here's a list of changes in the latest update:

- Fixed a bug where Jack would fall right through moving/falling platforms if they were close to the top of the screen, at just the right height.
- Fixed a rare zapper-beam problem, where on rare occasion a zapper beam you had previously turned off would suddenly be on when you re-entered the room.
- Changed editor's "Reset ObjectIDs dialog box" to not say that it resets them when quitting, because it doesn't.
- Changed Falcon Manor Easy so that you don't need to complete both "The Red Section" and "The Blue Section" in order to beat it. Now you can do either one if you want.
- Fixed Spider Palace Normal, room 17695, so you can now get the purple key without dying.
Head over to the site below to learn more about the game.

Midnight Mansion

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3D Game Shootout: MacBook Pro - Core Duo vs Core 2 Duo
10:21 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Barefeats recently released another gaming comparison test, this one pitting the 17" MacBook Pro Core Duo against the 17" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo. The Core 2 Duo bested its sibling with speed improvements ranging from 5% to as much as 48%.

The MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo's advantage over the Core Duo version ranged from 5% to 48% depending on what 3D Game and what resolution. The faster core clock speed should provide an 8% advantage, so everything beyond that is "gravy." Of the 3D Games we tested, the one that benefited the most from the Core 2 Duo was Doom 3 -- especially at the native 1680x1050 setting.

Neither CPU clock speed nor larger L2 cache explains the gain. However, 3D games tend to become GPU bound as the resolution goes up. Doom 3's advantage on the MBP C2D increased from 10% to 48% when we increased the resolution from 1280x800 to 1680x1050. If, indeed, Doom 3 was becoming GPU bound, the next paragraph explains the C2D's advantage.

The Mobility Radeon X1600 in both units "idles" at 311MHz core clock speed and 297MHz memory clock speed when non-OpenGL apps are running or nothing is active. But when you launch a 3D Game like Doom 3 and run a live game sequence or timed demo, the core clock and memory clock speeds ramp up in both models of 17" MacBook Pro. We used Graphiccelerator to measure the core frequencies before, during, and after running Doom 3.
The full run down of the test results are available at the site listed below.

Barefeats: Core Duo vs Core 2 Duo

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Dominions 3: The Awakening Reviewed
10:21 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Frictionless Insight has posted a new review of Dominions 3: The Awakening, the latest in the turn-based fantasy war game series from Illwinter Game Design and Shrapnel Games. D3 offers would-be conquerers a choice of over fifty nations and a wide array of spells and units. FI gave the game a score of 4 out of 5 stars.

The incredible variety in gambits is the game's strength, and what makes it so fascinating as a multiplayer experience. But with such complexity, a lot of balance issues remained in Dominions II. The greatest strength of Dominions 3 lies in its many tweaks to make game strategies and effects more even-handed. Some strategies that were simply overpowered have been brought into balance, and even more counters have been added into the mix. For example, there are lots of new ways to deal with demons and blood magic, mages now need more skill to farm pearls, and it's harder to emerge victorious using only a few powerful beings dressed to the nines in magic items.

These improvements are really the key point. While they have little impact on single-player games – the AI still isn't impressive enough for these changes to be significant – these changes transform the multiplayer game. As intended, basic national troops are a lot more important and lone supercombatants are more vulnerable. But what's good for a multiplayer game may be bad for your friends' pocketbooks. Convincing everyone in your community to upgrade to the latest version of Dominions will improve your multiplayer games.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Frictionless Insight: Dominions 3 Review
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

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The Broken Hourglass: First Gameplay Screenshots
10:21 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Planewalker Games' monday update for The Broken Hourglass features the first full gameplay screenshots from the upcoming RPG. The Broken Hourglass will offer a new CRPG engine developed by Planewalker Games, a 2D isometric viewpoint reminiscent of classics in the genre, and a mod friendly design.

Click over to the site below to check out the three new screenshots.

The Broken Hourglass: New Screenshots
The Broken Hourglass

Mac Games News for Friday, January 5, 2007

Macgamestore: Rainbow Mystery Now Available7:57 AM
Anti-Piracy SafeDisc Coming to the Mac7:13 AM
IMG Podcast LIVE Macworld Coverage!7:13 AM
CRPGs, A History Of The Early Years7:12 AM
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Reviewed7:12 AM
The Movies Demo Now Available7:12 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 5, 2007 on one page

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