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Thursday, March 8, 2007

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World of Warcraft Reaches 8.5 Million Players
8:32 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment's overwhelmingly successful World of Warcraft has reached a new milestone. The introduction of The Burning Crusade expansion pack has helped to push the number of active subscribers to more than 8.5 million users across the globe. Crusade sold through approximately 3.5 million copies worldwide within one month following its mid-January launch.

"We're thrilled about the overwhelming response that we've received for The Burning Crusade," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "We have worked hard to build upon nearly every aspect of World of Warcraft with this expansion, and it's gratifying to see that players and reviewers are enjoying the new content."® reported that it received more preorders for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade than for any other PC or console game ever, and Wal-Mart® also recorded similar record-breaking numbers for The Burning Crusade. According to Gary Severson, senior vice president and general manager at Wal-Mart, "Not only was The Burning Crusade the top-selling item in our electronics department the day it released; it had the best day-one sales of any PC-game launch in our company's history."

Head over to the links below for more information about the game.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery Released
2:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has announced the availability of Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery on its web site.

The original game of colored blocks and fast clicks is now the ultimate break for your brain. This stunning celebration of Collapse puzzles features more than 300 all-new puzzle challenges. Can you remove all the blocks from the screen in the fewest possible moves? A new hint power-up is on hand to help, but only those with strategic sense and careful clicks will be labeled a Puzzle Genius. Inspired by one of the most popular puzzlers of all time, Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery is a unique and colorful exercise for your mental muscle. Start your new addiction today!

Unlimited Play
Choose From Over 300 Puzzles
Clever Puzzle Patterns
Special Hint Feature
Classic Collapse Power-Ups

Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery is available at for $19.95 as a digital download. A free Universal Binary demo version of the game is available on the web page.

Macgamestore: Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery

Macworld: Intel's GMA965 Graphics To Improve Speeds
2:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 22 comments

One of the biggest complaints about the Intel-based MacBooks and Mac Mini are the integrated graphics found on those machines. The current GMA950 graphics processors found in the MacBooks and Mac Minis lack hardware transform and lighting capabilities (also known as T&L). As a result, many 3D games simply either don't run or run very slowly on those Macs. But according to a report by Macworld's Peter Cohen, Intel's GMA965 will have hardware T&L technology.

Here's a clip from Cohen's report:

Intel’s 965 chip solves that problem by supporting hardware T&L technology. That’s not a feature that’s yet been exposed on Windows PCs that use the 965, however. Intel reps at this week’s Game Developers Conference said that a beta version of drivers that support hardware T&L are expected to be released on Intel’s Web site imminently.

A demo of the hardware using development drivers showed that Call of Duty 2 — a game that’s been ported to the Macintosh by Aspyr Media — scored between 50 and 80 frames per second in a time demo. That game was unplayable on older GMA950-based hardware. Half-Life 2 running at 1024 x 768 with some details turned up turned in an average of 34.25 running on a PC equipped with Vista.

According to Macworld, the GMA965 has been available to vendors including Apple since June 2006 but so far has not made its way to the MacBook and Mac Mini. For more, be sure to check out the full article.

Macworld: Intel solves speed problems with integrated graphics

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GDC: ByDesigns Shows Off The Last Call
2:20 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A pre-alpha playable version of The Last Call is being presented at GDC San Francisco. Hosted at the OTEE Unity booth, the game is being developed by ByDesign Games, which was started by industry veteran Joe Schultz in 2004.

Here's a brief description of the game:

The Late Call is a fun 3rd-person stealth adventure game targeting a general audience with fresh & entertaining gameplay (via creative use of the microphone) all in an attractive & stylized environment. Offering a fun and relatively straight-forward challenge to reach out to the mass market, players can pick up The Late Call anytime and get a good fun play experience immediately.
The Late Call is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2007. ByDesign Games is currently looking for a publisher for the game.

More information on The Late Call will be available shortly on the OTEE web site.

The Late Call

PlayFirst Announces Cross-Platform Dev Kit
1:44 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 6 comments

PlayFirst, the developer of popular casual games such as Diner Dash, has announced the release of Playground SDK, a software development kit aimed at helping casual game makers create their own games. Playground has been used in more than a dozen games.

Previous available to PlayFirst publishing partners only, Playground SDK is now available to any developer who wants to use. it. The SDK is a C++ programming package that supports 2D and 3D hardware accelerated graphics. In addition to supporting Windows and Web games, the Mac OS X version supports Universal Binaries and OpenGL.

Developers who use the SDK are required to credit the Playground in the game, and are required to advise PlayFirst when the title becomes available.

PlayFirst also announced the “Developer Dash Program,” an incentive for casual game makers to create titles using the software, with up to $100,000 in awards.

For more on the SDK, follow the link below.

Playground SDK

Ms. Pac-Man For iPod Reviewed
8:32 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Pocket Gamer recently reviewed Ms Pac-Man, the latest game release for Apple's iPod multimedia device. Featuring the old school pellet gobbling action of the original, this version also includes updated enemy AI, new maze designs, and a new Easy mode. Pocket Gamer gave the game a score of 7 out of 10.

It's the very same Ms. Pac-Man you'll find on your iPod, with her original visuals, sound effects, and 256 colour visuals of dot-chomping action. In fact, the game features an 'Original' mode that gives you exacting old-skool Ms. Pac-Man in all her glory.

But there are also gameplay differences, including smarter enemies, wandering fruit, four different maze designs, and warp tunnels at the sides of the screen for you to scoot down at will. The gameplay differences are subtle, but if you're a Pac-head, considerable.

Meanwhile, if your retro game skillz aren't quite up to scratch, there's an 'Easy' mode to play, too. You big wuss. There's also a handy tutorial to teach you how to play the game, particularly getting to grips with the controls.
The full review is available at the link below.

iTunes Store: iPod Games

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals4:43 PM
Apple Features Heroes Of Might And Magic V9:22 AM
Latest iTunes Release Hints At Apple TV Gaming Future?9:22 AM
New Waterstorm Screenshots9:22 AM
NoteNiks: Respect Our Earth Games CD Goes Gold9:22 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 7, 2007 on one page

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