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Friday, April 27, 2007

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Darkwind: War On Wheels On Target For May
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Psychic Software has announced that Darkwind: War on Wheels, a 3D cross platform massively multiplayer online wargame, is set to debut officially on May 4th. Set in the blasted remains of a world recovering from apocalypse, Darkwind focuses on racing and vehicle combat using a unique turn based system. Players participate in auto duels for fame and fortune.

As you may know, Darkwind: War on Wheels has been in a period of closed testing for the past few months as we have been integrating and balancing substantial new game features. In addition to our racetrack and arena based racing and combat leagues and ladders, we now also have out-of town travel, multi-player squads, and wilderness battles with NPCs and other player squads.

Three of our towns are now live, with more coming soon. With travel times running to tens of hours, on-the-road piracy and a detailed systems- dynamics based economic simulation, trade is a viable gameplay approach that we have put great effort into making possible. Resource locations, distances, and fluctuating piracy levels (which are tied to actual player activity) all contribute to the supply-and-demand calculations underpinning the economy.
Darkwind requires OS X, an internet connection, and a 32 MB graphics card.

Leading up to the May 4th unveiling subscriptions for the game are being offered at a substantial discount. A free version of the game will be available as well, but will not offer many of the more advanced features available to subscribers.

For more information about the game follow the link below.

Darkwind: War On Wheels

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Star Wars: Empire At War
3:05 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr's Star Wars: Empire At War. Here's a clip from the review:

For the uninitiated, Star Wars: Empire at War is actually the fourth attempt at the real time strategy formula in the Star Wars universe. None of the first three really were either that well received or even that fun to play. Fortunately, only the best one of the previous three, Galactic Battlegrounds, made it over to the Macintosh side of the fence. Rather than follow the exact same formula as the previous Star Wars RTS titles, Petroglyph (with porting duties handled by Aspyr) set the game’s beginning just before the original trilogy era. Sure, I’m an older guy, and I suppose my expectations of good Star Wars is colored by the first three movies produced as those were the ones I saw first, this is a good thing. Rather than follow the plots of Star Wars: A New Hope to Return of the Jedi, Empires at War is a galactic mayhem simulator, allowing you to take the mechanisms of war and construct and utilize them in any ways you see fit, given the parameters of the scenario.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Star Wars: Empire At War
Aspyr Media
Star Wars: Empire at War
Buy Star Wars: Empire at War

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SimCity 4 Rush Hour UB Beta Patch Released
1:17 PM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

Aspyr Media today released a free open Beta patch for SimCity 4 Rush Hour. To speed the release of a final version the company encourages testers to send in feedback on how well the Universal Binary 1.1 Rev A beta patch functions..

This is an open Beta Patch for SimCity 4 Rush Hour. The open beta status of this patch is intended to let the user of this patch provide us with feedback as to how well it works. For now, Simcity 4 Rush Hour is still not supported for play on Intel Macs. Feel free to provide us with feedback as to how well it is working, or what you would like fixed in the patch. Please send all feedback to
More information on SimCity 4 and SimCity 4 Rush Hour is available at
Aspyr's website. The patch is available from

MGF: SimCity 4 Rush Hour Beta Patch
Aspyr Media
SimCity 4: Rush Hour
Buy SimCity 4: Rush Hour

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The Music Of The Burning Crusade
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent interview from Music 4 Games features a conversation with Blizzard Entertainment's Russell Brower about the music of The Burning Crusade. The first expansion for the popular World of Warcraft includes approximately six hours of original music.

M4G: “Lament of the Highborne” is another standout track. Who lends lead vocals? If there’s a commercial soundtrack, might you extend the track into a more full length version?
Russell Brower: The vocalist is Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, or as I affectionately call the group, “Sylvie and the Banshees.”  As I was writing the music for the new blood elf race, I became aware that the music was taking on a lyrical quality, almost as if there should have been words. Inspired by how some of Tolkien’s poems were set to music in the Lord of the Rings films, Derek and I collaborated on setting one of the melodies to words. It was just for fun, really.... But when the vocalist brought so much emotion and context to the performance, we realized we had something special. The quest design team enhanced a new quest line to incorporate the song as a payoff moment. We’re really thrilled with the positive response from our players on this too! Content like this is why I personally love to play the game, because in World of Warcraft, along with the phat loot and epic armor sets, expanded story and music are also worthy rewards for adventurers!

M4G: Can you go into more depth regarding the lyrical message for “Lament of the Highborne”?
Russell Brower: The term “Highborne” denotes this as an ancient song, dating back over 10,000 years in Warcraft history. It was a lament to fallen night elves, and a tribute to those whose bravery remained steadfast against overwhelming odds. The melody hasn’t changed, but the words were altered about 2,800 years ago to reflect the losses the high elves sustained in the Troll Wars. Finally, during the Third War, the song was used again to illustrate the elves' grief during the Scourge invasion of Quel’Thalas. Sylvanas herself died defending Quel’Thalas from the Scourge, and in dying, she failed to protect her people. Today she grieves at this failure still, if we are to believe her claims; even in undeath she is trying to aid the blood elves.
Read the entire interview at the site listed below.

Music 4 Games: Burning Crusade Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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TrainPlayer Brings Model Railroading To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

TrainPlayer Software recently announced the release of Macintosh versions of its TrainPlayer and TrackLayer software products for model railroaders. Mac OS X users can now operate virtual trains on hundreds of prepared track plans, including all of "101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders," the classic layout book by Linn Westcott. With the TrackLayer module, they can also draw and operate their own plans on the computer.

TrainPlayer simulates operation of a model railroad layout. Each track plan is equipped with a layer of electronic track, a user-modifiable assortment of trains, and a control panel resembling an old-fashioned power pack. TrackLayer is an add-on module for drawing track, curves, switches, and turntables. The typical user starts with a track plan scanned from a drawing or magazine or prepared in another program, then traces over the track lines using TrackLayer tools.

The Mac version of the software has been under development for nine months. The project involved developing a new framework and user interface from scratch on the Mac's latest platform, Cocoa, then adapting the railroad logic to be shared with the Windows version. The result has a Mac-like look and feel on top of a solid railroad operation engine.

The Mac version has been in beta testing for over two months, and has received good reviews from the testers. Most found it easy to use, Mac-friendly, and fun. There is very little model railroad software for Mac users, so many have been eagerly awaiting the release. Says Dave Reichley: "I've been checking your website almost daily since January in hopes of being able to download Trainplayer for Mac." Dick Nelson calls it "a fantastic variety of layouts for less than the cost of a decent model locomotive."
Four pricing levels are available: TrainPlayer ($29.95; includes ten Westcott layouts); TrackLayer ($49.95; includesTrainPlayer and ten layouts); TrainPlayer Deluxe ($59.95; includes all 101 layouts); and TrackLayer Deluxe ($79.95; includesTrainPlayer and all 101 layouts). Products are available for purchase online via credit card, for immediate download or delivery on CD by mail. Purchase of any product comes with access to a large collection of track plans and car collections on the web.

The current Mac release requires OS X 10.4. A version for 10.3 should be released soon.

For more information, visit the company's web site at the link below.

TrainPlayer Software
TrainPlayer Mac

Custer Leads An Expedition
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our resident desktop artist brings another new creation this week. Titled "Expedition," this desktop features the upcoming title: Europa Universalis III, a strategy game that will be brought to the Mac by Virtual Programming.

Here's a clip from Brad on his latest desktop:

The press release in the beginning of April that Virtual Programming was bringing Europa Universalis III to the Mac has a lot of you strategists excited. It was made apparent to me by the sheer amount of email requesting a desktop for this title. So, we go back in time this week to honor your requests. This wallpaper was inspired by the great artwork created by Craig Mullins and made possible with the help of Paradox Interactive.
As always, those interested in downloading his creations can find them at Custer's Desktops.

Inside Mac Games: Custer's Desktops

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Apple Games Features DEFCON
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Apple Games' latest game feature showcases the explosive strategy title, DEFCON. The online, competitive, multiplayer strategy game is based around the theme of thermonuclear armageddon. Apple Games reviews the game's features and offers a variety of tips to help gamers get the most out of their nuclear arsenals.

The global map lit up with the white-hot flashes of nuclear detonations. After a time, the beehive of activity ceased, the survivors simply trying to live amid the aftermath.

This is the part of the story, such as in the movie War Games, where we learn that there are no winners in nuclear war, only losers. DEFCON, however, plays the matter tongue-in-cheek, with the tagline “everybody dies” and a scoring system that depends on the number of civilians who live and perish. The goal is not to avoid World War III, but to come out of it with as few casualties as possible.
Check out the full review by following the link below.

Apple Games: DEFCON
Ambrosia Software

iQuiz for iPod Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The iPod Observer has posted a new review of iQuiz for iPod, Apple's latest game title released for the portable multimedia device. The game offers a variety of trivia puzzles to test a player's knowledge and the ability to create and add new quizzes.

From the review:

iQuiz comes loaded with four different games -- Movie Trivia, Music Trivia, TV Show Trivia, and Music Quiz 2. Music Quiz 2 is my favorite because it quizzes me on the contents of my iPod music library (and is the only quiz I stand half a chance of winning.)

Quizzes may contain true or false questions, multiple choice questions, or both. There's a wrong answer counter -- three wrong answers and you lose. And there's a countdown timer -- take too long to answer and you get the question wrong.
The full review is available at the link below.

iPod Observer: iQuiz Review
Apple Store: iPod Games

Mac Games News for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Macgamestore: Real Deal Casino High Roller3:18 PM
Apple Posts New Hot Deals3:07 PM
Apple Shares Crack $100 Mark12:27 PM
Halo 2.0.1 Patch Released11:48 AM
Multiple Paths To Success In Eschalon: Book 16:34 AM
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars First Impressions6:20 AM
Finding An Audience For Interactive Novels6:12 AM
Dominions 3: The Awakening Reviewed6:10 AM
Postal 3 Coming To Macs? (Updated)6:05 AM
World of Warcraft's Rob Pardo Interviewed6:05 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 26, 2007 on one page

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