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Monday, April 16, 2007

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The Sims 2: Pets Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Aspyr Media has released an update for The Sims 2: Pets, bringing the game to version 1.6.1 Rev A. The patch adds multithreaded Open GL support in addition to fixing several bugs.

Here's the list of changes in the update.

- The 1.6.1 patch fixes install issue with later expansions and or object packs in the Sims 2 series.
- The patch also fixes a setting where changes to your Sims lot or neighborhood name would not be saved and therefor would not show up upon next launch.
- Fixes color problems with several pieces of furniture.
- Improves performance by adding multithreaded Open GL support.
- Fixes an issue where user settings would reset to default upon launching game.
The patch is available for download from at the link below.

MGF: The Sims 2: Pets 1.6.1 Rev A
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2: Pets
Buy The Sims 2: Pets

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StarCraft 2 Rumors Resurface
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 14 comments

IGN recently posted an update on the latest rumors surrounding the possibility of a StarCraft 2 announcement coming from Blizzard Entertainment sometime this year. An article on a Korean website suggests the game is in production and a beta will be released at the end of 2007.

Put on your skeptical goggles because rumors are swirling that StarCraft 2 is finally a reality. The Team Liquid forums have translated an article from Korean site Fighter Forum that says StarCraft 2 is on the way and a beta will be released at the end of 2007.

According to Fighter Forum, StarCraft 2 continues the story of the original and adds a new race based on Kerrigan, making a total of four races. While that wouldn't be totally off the mark, we figured the new race would be more the super-race mix between Zerg and Protoss rather than Zerg and Terran or at least the mystically advanced Xel'Naga. The three older tribes will each be receiving around two additional units.

The report also claims that Blizzard plans to shut down its original StarCraft servers in order to ensure the success of the sequel.
Head over to IGN's site to read the rest.

IGN: StarCraft 2 Rumors
Blizzard Entertainment

Barefeats: 3D Gaming On The 8 Core Mac Pro
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Barefeats recently released a new performance review, this time examining how the latest 8 Core Mac Pro deals with 3D games in comparison to the 4 Core Mac Pro. Using a variety of games in the testing including Doom 3, Quake IV, and World of Warcraft, Barefeats revealed no significant difference between the 4 and 8 core models for 3D gaming.

1. An 8 Core Mac Pro is no faster than a 4 Core Mac Pro when it comes to 3D Gaming. That's because none of the games uses more than 165% CPU usage (or one and one half core). Unless you run multiple games or play WoW in one window while compiling Xcode in another while running Photoshop CS3 action files in a third, the 8 Core Mac Pro is hard to justify for extreme gaming. You are better off spending your money for more memory or more games.

Of course 3D Gaming and "real work" are not mutually exclusive. Even professionals who use high demand applications like Apple's Final Cut Studio and Adobe's Creative Suite can have another life as a 3D Gamer. So if you choose an 8 Core Mac Pro for serious endeavors, you'll not lack for speed when play time comes.
Check out the full article at the link below.

Barefeats: Gaming With The Octocore

Runes Of Avalon Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Anawiki Games has announced their latest Mac OS X title, Runes of Avalon. The game offers a unique combination of match-three and Tetris mechanics, over one hundred levels, three play modes, and an intriguing storyline. Runes includes high quality art and music as well as voice-acting for the storyline segments.

Lost somewhere in the mists of time, Avalon's beauty and grace is threatened. The forests and vales whisper to you of a growing evil and Merlin, your master, has disappeared leaving Avalon unguarded. It is the ambitious and evil Morganna le Fay who is spreading a darkening corruption. Use the Rune Magic that Merlin taught you to rescue your master from Morganna's Tower. Do you have what it takes to save Avalon from Morganna?

Runes of Avalon is a fun puzzle game that breaks the over-used mold of match-3 mechanics. Excellent graphics and easy to learn gameplay turns a puzzle game into an epic game. Experience over a hundred levels and enjoy probably the longest story ever seen in casual game.

Game features:
- 105 challenging levels in quest
- Three modes of play - Quest, Endless and Time Attack
- Boss levels enhancing gameplay
- 6 spells (power-ups)
- Two bonus games
- 14 enchanting images to reveal
- Wallpapers as rewards for completing stages
- Excellent mystic music & sfx
- Intriguing storyline
- Wonderful particle effects
- and more...
Runes of Avalon is a Universal Binary application which requires a Mac running OS X 10.3 or higher, a G4 400Mhz processor, and 128 MB RAM.

Follow the link below for more information.

Runes of Avalon
Anawiki Games

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The Broken Hourglass: Level Paths
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

This week's Broken Hourglass game update from Planewalker Games, explores the concept of level paths in the upcoming RPG. Because point-buy systems can be intimidating, Planewalker has implemented a hybrid point-buy and class template system, allowing players to have the bulk of their experience points automatically spent along sensible class or occupationally-focused lines, while still leaving a reserve pool to preserve the flexibility of a point-buy system.

Advancement is managed with level "paths." These paths represent a template of study, behavior, or personal focus roughly analogous to a character "class." Paths include the Scout, the Diplomat, the Marauder, and the Soldier. Paths automatically buy traits and points in primarily attributes and secondary skills to reflect the priorities expressed by the path--for instance, characters following a Diplomat path invest heavily in social skills. The player character may employ any path the player wishes to follow (or no path at all--see below for more details).

Joinable NPCs, on the other hand, have certain preferences and opinions about the way they should manage their personal development. Halima, who has devoted most of her young life to the study and advancement of her magical talents, will not consent to follow the Soldier path--it is simply too far from her interests. Meanwhile, Nekos the gladiator has little interest in becoming a spellcaster. Some NPCs can be convinced to explore different paths as you get to know them and they see new opportunities for themselves, however.
Head over to the link below to read the rest.

The Broken Hourglass: Rules and Mechanics, Level Paths
The Broken Hourglass

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The Late Call Teaser
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

An early April update to the website for The Late Call, a 3rd person stealth game from ByDesign Games, reveals a teaser of story elements from the game. The update also features some promotional artwork shown at last month's GDC in San Franciso.

Currently in pre-alpha phase, The Late Call is a 3rd person stealth game in a fresh 'noir' style, where your character is tasked to disable bombs in unknown locations, with various obstacles environmental and dynamic to challenge you along the way. The Late Call makes unique use of your system's microphone to aid your character's plight, and as you progress, morsels of the twisted story are revealed, increasing tension with dramatic surprises. The result is an enjoyable play experience with a fresh take on the 3D stealth game genre, but with casual gameplay appeal. And with all ByDesign games, you don't need to quit your day job to enjoy playing...
The Late Call is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2007. ByDesign Games is currently looking for a publisher for the game.

To see the story teaser and artwork follow the link below.

ByDesign Game Blog
The Late Call

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Discussing Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Apolyton Civilization Site recently released a new podcast focusing on the upcoming Beyond The Sword expansion for the PC version of Civilization IV. The expansion is designed to increase the play value of the late game in Civ IV's turn based strategy.

There is no word yet on the possibility of a Mac version. Keep an eye on IMG for any updates.

The Apolyton discussion is available for download in MP3 format and runs just under an hour in length. Click on the link below for more information.

Apolyton: Civ IV Beyond The Sword Discussion
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

Mac Games News for Friday, April 13, 2007

Blizzard Announces Second BlizzCon6:00 AM
Custer's Celestial Reunion6:00 AM
DanLab: UB For Scruffy Gems, Wacky Mini Golf Nears Release6:00 AM
DEFCON Reaches Final Candidate6:00 AM
Dofus Update Introduces New Area6:00 AM
Magic: The Gathering Online Finally Coming To Macs?6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, April 13, 2007 on one page

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