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Friday, April 20, 2007

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Plasma Pong Now Available For Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Steve Taylor has released the Mac version of Plasma Pong. A variation on the classic ball and paddle gameplay of the original Pong, the game features real-time fluid dynamics which drive the game environment and allow for unexpected kinetic effects on the ball.

Players have several new abilities that add fun twists to the classic game. In the game you can inject plasma fluid into the environment, create a vacuum from your paddle, and blast shockwaves into the playing area. All these abilities have fluid-based kinetic effects on the ball, making Plasma Pong a fast-paced and exciting game.

The OS X port for Plasma Pong is finally finished! I've included both the x86 version and the PowerPC version. Since this is a new release, please post any problems you may experience in the new section of the forums and I'll do my best to get it fixed. Cheers!
Plasma Pong is donationware and requires Mac OS X. The game's website offers both Intel and PowerPC versions of the game for download.

For more information about the game head over to the site below.

Plasma Pong
Plasma Pong Forums: OS X Version

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IMG Podcast Episode 16 Released
10:20 PM | Michael Yaroshinsky | 6 comments

Welcome to the 16th edition of the 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 Mike Yaroshinsky, Mike Burgess and Stefan Langford.

This Weeks News

  • Apple postpones Leopard release till October
  • Early Test Results: Eight Core Mac Pro versus Four Core Mac
  • Game developers adapt to multicore world

    To listen to the Inside Mac Games Podcast, select your podcast flavor by clicking a button below.


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    Freeverse 3D Cards Alpha Test Info & Download
    7:01 PM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

    Freeverse has released a public alpha test version of their upcoming title Freeverse 3D Cards(temporary title).

    This is an ALPHA TEST, not a beta test, meaning there is plenty of work left to do. Keep these things in mind:

    • Only Spades and Hearts are working.
    • Graphics and UI are not finished.
    • GameSmith is not finished (puppets won’t change, no chat window).
    • Avoid joining games which are already in progress.
    • Machine speed detection is not used yet. There is a “High Detail” rendering option in the game’s Preferences which can be toggled on/off.
    • The game creates a file called “” in the directory that it is in. This is a recording of what happens in the game, and will come in handy for troubleshooting issues.

    The alpha version of the game is about 87MB and the game's developers are also requesting feedback in the forum thread.

    Freeverse 3D Cards Alpha Test

    Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals
    2:36 PM | Tuncer Deniz

    audioMIDI - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Oxygen 49 keyboard w/USB interface from M-Audio with a free copy Key Rig virtual keyboard software for only $95.63!; KORE from Native Instruments is a universal sound platform that integrates all your software instruments and effects into a single unified interface - only $279.42!; EastWest QLSO Platinum Pro Bundle (includes Platinum Edition, Platinum Pro XP and a free Pace iLok USB key!) for only $1,439.42!; Wizooverb Special Bundle true stereo room emulator from Wizoo for only $99.42!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

    MacMall - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: the 10.2-megapixel Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi SLR black body kit for only $679!; 10.2-megapixel Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi SLR silver body kit for only $649!; ScanSnap FI-5110EOXM color duplex desktop scanner from Fujitsu for only $269.99!; Canon Pixma PRO 9000 photo inkjet printer for only $475.99!; Tunewear BoomTune Mini tripod speakers for all iPods from Kagan Electronics USA for only $31.99!; GPX iLive mini stereo system that supports all dock-able iPods for only $112.99!; Quickverse Bible Study from for only $39.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

    MacZone - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: QuarkXPress 7 upgrade for only $199.98!; Planar PL1700 17-inch dual monitor w/Ergotron DS 100 w/stand for only $499.99!; Infocus Work Big IN24 SVGA projector w/free shipping for only $489.99!; LaCie 1TB Big Disk Extreme II triple interface (FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0) external hard drive for only $389.99!; StuffIt Deluxe 11.0 from Allume for only $26.97!; Acrobat 8.0 Pro from Adobe for only $448.97 w/free shipping!; Nikon Coolpix L11 6-megapixel compact digital camera for only $149.99; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

    Publishing Perfection - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: ScanMaker i900 flatbed scanner with film tray for glass-less scanning and FireWire interface from Miroteck for only $479.95!; ScatterLight Lenses pro digital lenses for scattering light from Andromeda for only $89.95!; Family Playday stock footage royalty-free video clips (NTSC/PAL) from RedHot Footage for only $599!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

    Aspyr Announces The Sims 2 Seasons
    2:34 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Aspyr Media has announced it will be publishing the fifth expansion pack for The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Seasons, with an anticipated release for the Mac in late May 2007. The Sims 2 Seasons is licensed by Electronic Arts and is being developed for Mac by Aspyr Studios.

    The Sims 2 Seasons builds on the celebrated The Sims 2 experience that allows players to create and control virtual characters throughout their lives while determining the outcome of their relationships and choosing their destiny. And because each season unfolds differently, players are guaranteed a fresh experience year after year!

    Whether your Sims are ice skating on a crisp winter day or jumping into leaf piles during a warm autumn afternoon, the variety of seasonal activities is guaranteed to add a fresh, new layer of fun into your Sims life. Winter, spring, summer or fall, the enhanced visual experience and seasonal activities will affect the entire The Sims 2 world! From snowstorms and thundershowers to lightning bolts and more, not only will your Sims neighborhood be affected by these seasonal changes, but so will your Sims, as weather events and changes can impact your Sims relationships, moods, skills, wants and fears. Are your Sims happiest while fishing and playing Marco Polo in the summertime? Beat those wintertime blues by building snowmen, creating snow angels, and more!

    For more, follow the link below to Aspyr's web site.

    The Sims 2: Seasons

    AquaPark For Mac Released
    7:12 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story today announced the availability of Real Arcade's AquaPark for the Macintosh on its web site.

    Fill the AquaPark with colorful and exotic fish in this exciting and original challenge. Click on the swimming fish and they'll become trapped in a bubble and float to the surface where they'll be collected and sent off to the AquaPark. AquaPark includes two thrilling game modes plus a relaxing aquarium mode. The more fish you collect, the more exciting your aquarium will be. Featuring incredible graphics, addictive gameplay, and loads of levels, add AquaPark to your collection today!

    AquaPark is available for $19.95 through A free demo version of the game is available for download on the web page.

    Macgamestore: AquaPark

    Danger From The Deep Comes To OS X
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

    Danger from the Deep, a free open source World War II German submarine simulator, was recently ported to OS X. DftD focuses on realism and strategy rather than arcade action. The game is currently in a playable alpha state with the final version intended to offer network play and wolfpack or destroyer vs. submarine matches.

    DftD is realistic and interesting to play, has good graphics and sounds but with more emphasis on strategy and realism. The game's purpose is not to glorify war, but to understand strategy and tactics.

    Credits go to Fl0r!an and -Nuke- from the Community for bringing us the Mac port. Interestingly enough, Danger from the Deep is the only Submarine simulator of its kind to appear on Mac OS X.

    DftD is planned as tactical simulation and will be as realistic as time and knowledge of physics allows. It's current state is ALPHA, but it is still highly playable.

    The hope is that the final version will include network play and wolf-pack or destroyer versus submarine matches. The program and source code is available under the GPL license and most of the artwork/data is released under a Creative Commons license (Attribution/NonCommercial/Non-Derivative works).
    Danger from the Deep requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and ATI or Nvidia graphics (Intel GMA 950 is not supported).

    Head over to Macologist for more information. DftD can be downloaded from at the link below.

    Macologist: Danger From The Deep For OS X
    MGF: Danger From The Deep 0.2

    Combat Mission: Shock Force Coming To PCs In June
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Yesterday Paradox Interactive announced the shipping date for their next big PC strategy release, Combat Mission: Shock Force. Developed by Battlefront, Shock Force is a modern style military simulation set to challenge the standard of current wargames on the market. It is scheduled to ship to stores in North America on June 11, 2007 and will ship to stores in Europe on June 15, 2007. The game will retail for $39.99/€39.99.

    The computer games series Combat Mission has received much acclaim from the gaming community for its simulations of tactical battles. Its fans span the globe and Combat Mission: Shock Force is described as the pinnacle of the series where the developers have poured years of experience into the game and its entirely new engine.

    This tactical military simulation depicts a hypothetical near future conflict between NATO and Syrian forces in Syria. A highly story driven semi-dynamic Campaign, from the US perspective, offers a completely new experience for Combat Mission fans. Each battle include a detailed Mission Briefing outlining specific Objectives, which can range from taking a particular spot on the map to retaining force cohesion. The Objectives for each side can be different, allowing each side to fight according to its own goals rather than a single set common to both.
    Although a Mac version of the game is not yet confirmed, a developer post on the official forums reveals that Battlefront hopes to eventually release a Universal Binary version of Combat Mission: Shock Force.
    The current plan is that after a few months post CM:SF release he'll start experimenting with movnig the code over to OSX. The post release demands on us are always huge, which means effectively nothing else gets done for a period of time (probably 1-2 months). He wants to program on the Mac as his primary machine, like the old days, so it's worth investigating at least. If it seems to be too much of a hassle, we'll probably try to find someone to do the port for us. That's an iffy thing for many reasons, but theoretically viable.

    If everything goes right there should be a native MacOS X (universal binary) within 4 months of CM:SF's release. So for those of you who G5s or Intel Macs without Windows will likely (not assured) eventually have a universal binary CM:SF. Lower end machines, almost certainly G4s and absolutely G3s, are going to be out of luck no matter what.
    Check out a recent preview of the game at the IGN site listed below, or head over to the official website for more information.

    Combat Mission: Shock Force
    Battlefront Forums: CMSF OS X Discussion
    IGN: CM Shock Force Preview

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    Blizzard Offers Burning Crusade 10 Day Free Trial
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment recently announced a ten-day free trial edition of The Burning Crusade, the popular first expansion for the world conquering MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Former or current players can give the expansion a spin before deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

    There's never been a better time to come back: discover new starting zones and dungeons, two new races, a new profession, brand new PvP arenas and even flying mounts! Pass through the Dark Portal for FREE now.
    Gamers who don't already own a copy of World of Warcraft can take advantage of Blizzard's ten-day trial offer for the original game. Head over to the website below for more information.

    Blizzard: 10-Day Burning Crusade Trial
    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
    Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

    Making Cider Out Of Windows
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

    Macworld's Peter Cohen recently posted a Game Room blog examining TransGaming's Cider emulation technology. By "wrapping" a Windows title in an emulation layer Cider is intended to allow quick ports of popular games to Intel Macs. The article takes a look at what the technology currently offers and its potential future impact on Mac gaming.

    The Cider process works a lot faster than emulation does, and it’s not just theoretical. It’s already been used to bring a few games to the Mac. Freeverse introduced the technology earlier this year with its release of Heroes of Might and Magic V, and more recently GameTap released its very first Mac offering, Myst Online: Uru Live. CCP games is using Cider to create a Macintosh version of EVE Online, a massively multiplayer role playing game set in outer space (think of a giant, 3-D multiplayer version of Escape Velocity).

    What’s more, TransGaming is making inroads to present more graphically intensive PC games on the Mac using Cider. The company struck a deal with Nvidia to enable Cider to use high-level shaders developed using Nvidia’s CgFX framework. CgFX provides in-roads to graphically intensive games that might not otherwise run at all in Mac OS X.
    For the full article head over to Macworld's site at the link below.

    Macworld Game Room: Cider offers another way to Windows

    Amju Super Cool Pool Reviewed
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    Out of Eight recently posted a review of the PC version ofAmju Super Cool Pool, a colorful arcade simulation of the classic billiards game. The game features 3D physics, 32 games, and a full soundtrack. Out of Eight gave the game a score of 6 out of 8.

    From the review:

    Amju Super Cool Pool makes some additions to the basic pool formula that makes it unique in terms of gameplay. The controls are fairly conventional: you aim, add spin, and determine power with the mouse. The game features six-ball, nine-ball, U.S. eight-ball, and UK eight-ball (red and yellow balls instead of stripes and solids). The only addition I’d like to see is more conventional game types, but Amju Super Cool Pool makes up for this in alternative modes of play. Crazy pool adds timed exploding balls, you can play with big or small pockets, on tables with different shapes (a “T,” for instance), or try a set of trick shots. These features are definitely one-of-a-kind, and they make Amju Super Cool Pool more than just another pool game. You can play any of the modes in a one-player practice mode (that shows the shot path), single player against the adept AI opponent, or against another human player at the same computer (no online play). The gameplay itself is solid and the physics are believable. The AI opponent seems to adjust her skill level according to how well you are doing, always providing a good challenge for the player. Overall, Amju Super Cool Pool is more than a typical, run-of-the mill pool game, and its exclusive gameplay additions make it a cut above the rest.
    Check out the full review at the link below.

    Out Of Eight: Amju Super Cool Pool
    Amju Super Cool Pool
    Amju Games

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    Midnight Mansion 1.0.8 Released
    6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

    ActionSoft today announced the release of Midnight Mansion 1.0.8, a free update to its popular action/exploration game. Version 1.0.8 contains main improvements to the Mansion Level Builder that make it easier to design mansions. There are also some fixes to the game itself.

    As Jack Malone, players will explore eight huge mansions, each filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets, as you search for legendary treasure. Features include multiple user accounts, online high scores, suspend game, a level editor, and much more.

    Here's a list of some of the changes in the latest version:

    Game fixes:
    - Changed respawn after death so that if Jack climbs down into a room below that has very little space at the top, Jack still respawns after dying in that room, not the room above, if he died after walking on solid ground.
    - Added screen to promote the Midnight Mansion Level Design Contest when you quit.
    - Fixed a problem in Knight Mansion Hard where you could get stuck if you used the keys in the wrong order.

    Mansion Level Builder improvements:
    - Improved size of tile and sprite areas in the Mansion Builder, so it's easier to see what's in them.
    - Made Command-0 through Command-6 set the current layer in the Mansion Builder.
    - Fixed dialog box for lantern in Mansion Builder, so it doesn't have an "Is Falling" checkbox anymore.

    Head over to the site below to download the update.

    Midnight Mansion

    Mac Games News for Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Inside Mac Games Reviews The Sims Life Stories2:17 PM
    Ambrosia Launches DEFCON1:25 PM
    Apple Games Features LEGO Star Wars II6:00 AM
    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Q&A6:00 AM
    Eschalon: Book 1 Purchase Options6:00 AM
    Nostromo SpeedPad Software Now Universal6:00 AM
    NWVault Announces 2006 NWN Module Of The Year6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 19, 2007 on one page

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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