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Monday, March 17, 2008

Could Apple Improve MacBook Game Performance?
6:00 AM | Anthony Wang | 12 comments

One of the significant gripes about Apple computers are its ability to run games, especially Apple's entry-level systems such as the MacBook. In a recent article, MacWorld's Peter Cohen examines Apple's approach towards graphics in the MacBook.

A modest upgrade would be terrific. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with Mac game developers—ever since the MacBook was first introduced in 2006—where they’ve moaned and groaned about the system’s inability to run the games they’ve developed or have in the works. Even a low-end discrete graphics chip from ATI or Nvidia would be a welcome change—it would represent a huge upsurge in the number of Mac systems on the market that could be qualified for new games.
To continue reading the article, please follow the links below.

MacWorld: Article

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Return To Dark Castle Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Z Sculpt Entertainment and Super Happy Fun Fun have released Return to Dark Castle, the long awaited third installment in the classic Dark Castle series.

Return to Dark Castle once again sends players, this time in the form of a new hero, into the Dark Castle to vanquish the Black Knight and his evil minions. The game features over 50 levels - including 30 remastered levels from Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle, both familiar and all new foes, new weapons, new powerups, random labyrinths and mazes, and customizable costumes.

In a time of magic and mythical beasts, the ominous Dark Castle glows eerily under the full moon.
For centuries, the evil Black Knight has dwelled within these walls, spreading fear over the once peaceful countryside.
All seemed hopeless until one day, a traveler from a faraway land wandered into the peasant village.
He called himself Prince Duncan, and told the townspeople he had come on a quest to vanquish the Black Knight.
Overjoyed that peace might finally be restored to their land, they cheered as Duncan set off toward the castle.
But alas, their hero never returned from his valiant quest.
Tales of his bravery were all that were spoken of Dark Castle for many years.... Until now.
A new hero has arrived, ready to face the perils of the castle and destroy the cruel Black Knight once and for all.
Minimum Specs:
- Mac OS 10.3.9
- G3 processor
- 500 mhz
- 128MB of RAM
- 106MB of free hard drive space
- Turn all special effects off to run at 15 frames per second

Recommended Specs
- G4 processor
- 1.0 ghz
- 256MB of RAM
- 100MB of free hard drive space
Return To Dark Castle costs $29.95 and is available for purchase and download from the SHFF site listed below. A demo of the game is also available.

SHFF: Return To Dark Castle
Z Sculpt
Return to Dark Castle
Buy Return to Dark Castle

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Hordes Of Orcs Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Applelinks' latest review charges toward the orc armies with a review of Hordes of Orcs. The tower defense game challenges players to fend off the rampaging monsters using a variety of towers and walls. Applelinks gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

It works like this. You start each level with some money and some defense units. Mostly, you need to worry about placing walls, as the orcs can't run through or over them. You use the walls to direct their movement, slowing them down and forcing them within range of the towers you erect, at which point they automatically launch the attacks against the orcs. Killing orcs gives you money, which you then spend on more walls and more towers. Make sense? Good.

Now, some towers are more effective than others against the various types of orcs. The fire tower is ineffective against red orcs, arrow towers are pretty much ineffective against everyone (but they're very cheap, so you can compensate for that in numbers), and so on. And if a tower is seemingly ineffective, you can choose to sell them and construct a different tower, or spend your money upgrading them to increase their range and attack power. You can click on orcs to get their vital stats and special properties, which will help you determine what towers to build where. Ineffective planning will quickly domino into a loss; if you can't kill the orcs with the towers you've built, you can't get enough money to build the towers you need. It's the orcish version of needing a job to make the money to buy the car you need to drive to your job.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Applelinks: Hordes Of Orcs
Hordes of Orcs

Apple Games Features iPod Scrabble
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has posted a new feature article showcasing Scrabble, one of many new titles for Apple's iPod. The iPod incarnation of the popular board game offers varying difficulty levels, multiple styles of play, stat tracking, and the ability for up to four players to compete. The article includes a review of the game as well its history.

Never mind a board, a bag full of tiles, a dictionary, and a pad of paper; now you can carry all of that on your iPod with Scrabble. Pull a quick game out of your pocket any time, anywhere and match wits against up to three other players or the computer, with three levels of difficulty available. The game tracks your historical statistical achievements, including your highest-scoring game, your best word and best turn, your wins, losses, and ties, and your career number of bingoes (using all seven tiles in one turn).

Scrabble on the iPod also features a built-in dictionary, so it can automatically decide the validity of any word placed on the board without an argument ensuing between human opponents. Four times per game, you can ask the computer to figure out your best word combination, based on your tiles and the board’s layout, and then decide whether or not to accept it. As in real world Scrabble, you can exchange some of your letters for new ones (earning zero points for that turn) and shuffle your tiles to see if they spark a new combination.
For the full article click over to the link provided below.

Apple Games: Scrabble for iPod

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Exploring The Dragonblight In Wrath Of The Lich King
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has once again updated its Wrath of the Lich King website. The latest informational offering for the next World of Warcraft expansion gives a glimpse of the Dragonblight, a vast new arctic wasteland for players to explore.

For millennia the Great Dragonblight has served as the enduring heart of Northrend. Here dense forests surround a vast arctic wasteland littered with the massive, gleaming bones of perished dragons. In the center of this frozen expanse lies Wyrmrest Keep, a structure believed to be built by the world-shaping titans shortly after Azeroth's creation. Many legends hold that the five great Dragon Aspects were blessed within this fortress and given their charge to watch over the budding world. Perhaps it is for this reason that dragons nearing the end of their lives come to the Dragonblight to enrich the land with their passing.

Surrounding Wyrmrest Keep are five majestic dragon shrines: red, bronze, green, blue, and black, each blessed with the powers of its respective flight. In recent times the undead Scourge has laid siege to these shrines in an effort to further its attempts at raising terrifying new variations of undead dragons to serve the Lich King.

In an attempt to arrest these invasions, the red Dragon Aspect, Alexstrasza, has begun recruiting heroes to aid in the fight against the Scourge, even as the taunka and tuskarr wage their own desperate battles against the undead. The one-time Scarlet Crusade, now the Scarlet Onslaught, has arrived as well in the hopes of claiming victory in their ongoing campaign against the Lich King and his minions.
Head over to the link below to check out the new lore, screenshots, and video.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Mac Games News for Friday, March 14, 2008

Macgamestore: Pre-Order Fable: The Lost Chapters3:18 PM
Inside Mac Games Reviews Europa Universalis III3:15 PM
Reflexive Announces Airport Mania: First Flight1:45 PM
Scenario Poker 2.9 Released1:31 PM
Andrew Welch Discusses iPhone Gaming, 15 Years Of Ambrosia6:00 AM
Gameloft CEO On iPhone Games6:00 AM
Space Pig Available For Macs6:00 AM
The Future Of Indie RPGs6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 14, 2008 on one page

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