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Friday, September 26, 2008

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Spore Patch Available For Mac
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

EA and Maxis have released a patch for the Mac version of Spore, bringing the game to version 1.1. The patch offers a variety of bugs and performance improvements as well as a cheat that turns a creature into a blocky representation of itself, a cheat allowing players to start a new creature game with a more evolved creature of their choice, and a new inspection feature for browsing part stats applied to a creature.

Here's a partial list of updates in the patch:

• New Cheat: "evoadvantage". Enter this cheat when are starting a new Creature game to choose any creature from the Sporepedia. Start a new game with one of your more evolved creatures!
• Display part statistics when you are in Build mode. Rollover any part and hold down the 'i' key.
• New Cheat: "blocksmode". Turns creatures into their blocky representations.
• More style filters. Open the cheat window and type: "stylefilter -microscope" or "stylefilter -norainbows" or "stylefilter -nextgen" to see the new styles
• Added 70 new planet scripts with a low terraform score, especially of the "hot and high atmosphere" type

• Creature phase: Improved the pacing towards the end of the game, and increased the challenge in Normal and Hard modes.
• Tribe phase: Increased the challenge in Normal and Hard difficulty modes.
• Civilization phase: Increased the challenge in Normal and Hard difficulty modes.
• Space phase: Made Empires in Easy and Normal modes demand reasonable amounts of money in exchange for peace and adjust the level of punishment if the player doesn't pay
• Space phase: Made disasters less likely to occur in Easy and Normal modes and increased the time between each attack from the enemy empire when the player is at war.
Check out the rest of the updates at the patch page listed below.

Spore Patch Info
Electronic Arts
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IMG Reviews Spore
9:46 AM | Marcus Albers | 4 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the eagerly awaited life simulation game, Spore from Electronic Arts and Transgaming Technologies. In the game, you control the evolution of a life form from single-cell beginnings all the way to its eventual evolution as a space-faring race. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The graphics of Spore are breathtaking. The trees are beautiful, the creatures are mostly well animated, every action has a corresponding effect, and no effect has been left out. The majority of the graphics are found in the space stage, but that makes sense when you consider the fact that it's easily fifty times as long as any of the other stages.

The main area of Spore's graphics, however, is the portion of Spore that no one can deny is absolutely excellent, the editors. The procedural generation of creature animations, vehicle movement, and spaceship effects are amazing. When you create a creature with no legs at all, it slithers along the ground. When you create a car with a jet attached and four wheels, it leaves a vapor trail and rolls along the ground. When you create a creature with a single leg, it hops along as you'd expect. The editors are an incredible technological marvel, and well worth the price of the game by themselves.

Follow the link below to read the full review of Spore.

IMG Review: Spore
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

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

Midnight Mansion 1.1.5, a free update to ActionSoft's action/exploration game, has been released. Version 1.1.5 adds the ability for custom mansions to be stored one level deep in subfolders within the Custom Mansions folder. In Midnight Mansion players take the role of Jack Malone as they explore for hidden treasure in eight huge mansions filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets.

More about the game:

Midnight Mansion is an action/exploration platformer with 32-bit graphics, spine-tingling sound effects, and professional quality music. As Jack Malone, you will explore eight huge mansions, each filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets, as you search for legendary treasure. Ride on conveyor belts, avoid zapper beams, and dodge monsters as you collect keys that give you access to new areas of each mansion. Non-violent gameplay allows the whole family to enjoy the game. Features include multiple user accounts, online high scores, suspend game, a level editor, and much more.

System Requirements: 
- Any Macintosh capable of running MacOS X (PowerPC or Intel)
- MacOS X 10.1.5 or higher (MacOS X 10.2 or higher recommended)
- Minimum 20 MB free RAM.

Midnight Mansion is shareware and is free to try. It costs $20 to register. This version is a free upgrade for owners of any prior version of Midnight Mansion.

Head over to the links below for more information.

Midnight Mansion

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Hordes Of Orcs Update Adds Maps, Performance Improvements
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

MrJoy and Freeverse have announced the release of a major update for its tower defense game, Hordes of Orcs. Version 1.1.4 includes two new maps and major performance improvements. The tower defense game challenges players to make use of a variety of towers and walls to fend off the attacks of the green skinned monsters gamers love to hate.

What's New in version 1.1.4:

- Two new maps for extra game options:  Orc Olympics (The portals are gone, with a finish line in its place, and a nasty surprise to those who use bait!), and Burninator (An out-of-control fire tower stands in the middle of it all).
- Major performance improvements, especially on lower-end machines.
- A Newsfeed has been integrated into the game, letting you know about the latest changes to the in-game Balance Engine.
- More in-game tips that suggest better ways to play.
Hordes of Orcs customers can update automatically the next time they launch the game. More information about the game is available from Freeverse's website at the link below.

Hordes of Orcs

PopCap's World Of Bejeweled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzplanet has published a new interview with PopCap Games producer T. Carl Kwoh about the company's free Bejeweled add-on for the popular MMO, World of Warcraft. The add-on allows gamers to play the addictive jewel matching game from within World of Warcraft. Kwoh discussed the creation of the game and the possibility of other PopCap titles making their way Azeroth.

Has Pop Cap Games talked with Blizzard prior to developing the World of Warcraft addon? If so, what was their stand?
T. Carl Kwoh: We showed the mod unofficially and "off the record" to some contacts at blizzard late in development and overall the response was pretty positive. However we have not approached them officially regarding this mod.

Are there plans to create new addons based on other Pop Cap games?
T. Carl Kwoh: At this time, we don't have any plans to do other addons based around more of our games, though we certainly thought about what else could work during development of the Bejeweled mod. If there is enough interest in the Bejeweled mod, we may consider doing stuff with some of our other games down the line.

Will there be Bejeweled matches between players? If so, how many players are supported?
T. Carl Kwoh: There are friends and guild high scores lists that players can compete on, however there are no direct multiplayer games of Bejeweled in this addon.

Are you planning to update the addon, if needed, each time there is a World of Warcraft patch and/or add new features?
T. Carl Kwoh: We will be keeping the addon current for any patches/updates to WoW. We are already compatible with the 3.0/WotlK API changes, so when those come out we'll just need to update the TOC file. We definitely want to keep the addon functioning, so we'll be keeping it up to date.
There are no new features planned at the moment, however that's not to say there won't be feature updates down the road. However that process will be very organic and depend on interest and time of everyone involved.
Visit Blizzplanet's site below to read the full interview.

Blizzplanet: PopCap Games Interview

Mac Games News for Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apple Games Features Sid Meier's Pirates!6:00 AM
Aspyr Launches GameAgent Digital Download Store6:00 AM
Depths Of Peril Beta Patch Available6:00 AM
Freeverse Releases Flick Bowling For iPhone and iPod Touch6:00 AM
Spore Reaches One Million Sold Milestone6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, September 25, 2008 on one page

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