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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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EVE: Premium Graphics Beta, Boxed Version & Expansion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

CCP Games has announced that all currently subscribed Macintosh users of EVE: Online can participate in an open beta of the Premium graphics client on the test server, Singularity. The client is the result of over a year of effort on the part of development teams at both CCP and Transgaming.

More information about the Premium Graphics client:

Current Known Issues List:
1. Rainbow explosions in battle - Caused by a driver issue and resolved in OSX 10.5.6
2. Rainbow geometry in on stations and ships
3. ATI R500 Hang
4. Small geometry flicker on ships.
5. Full screen flicker just after reappearing through stargate.
6. Black screen on startup - Caused by a driver issue and resolved in OSX 10.5.6
7. "Clicking Sound" after double click
8. Flickering Bloom effect
9. Clicking yes on "Do you wish to restart the client"-questions doesn't work.
10. Ship textures randomly go black or flicker.
11. Cloaking effect does not run, ships cloaking and uncloaking just appear and disappear.

What we would like you to test:
1. Client Performance - Fly missions, go mining, shoot each other in the FFA's in FD-MLJ. Keep an eye on your fps rates and let us know about situations where the framerate drops to unacceptable levels.
2. Graphics Bugs - Flickering textures, wrong textures, broken textures. If you see one, please screenshot it and attach the picture to a bug report. Include a description of what you were doing at the time the error occurred.
3. System Hardware - Please experiment with client settings and let us know in this forum thread of the combination of resolutions and settings that result in best performance for you. We are working on a table that will provide recommended system and game settings for as many Mac hardware variations as possible and all input regarding this is welcome.

Recommended system specs:
• OS: OS X 10.5.6
• CPU: 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
• RAM: 1GB
• NETWORK: 56k modem or better Internet connection
• VIDEO: ATI Radeon X1600 128Mb
• DVD-ROM: 2 speed DVD reader or greater required.

The company, in partnership with Atari, has also announced the upcoming March 10 release of a boxed version of EVE Online, which will include the new Premium graphics client for Mac in the retail box. EVE Online: Apocrypha, the game's next free expansion, will be released at the same time. Apocrypha will feature new wormholes, the production of Tech 3 modular ships, NPC agents capable of assigning epic mission arcs, and a reworked New Player Experience for those new to EVE's universe.
“Just this past week we broke our concurrent user record with 45,186 people flying unbound in the same game world at the same time—a huge percentage of our quarter of a million current subscribers and a true testament to EVE in our sixth year of operation,” said EVE Online Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson. “Today is an unprecedented time to start playing, as you can get ahead of the curve before Apocrypha releases in stores and our hard work hits the server cluster. It’ll be easier than ever to get ‘lost in the wormhole’ that is EVE with what we have planned for the future of our expanding universe.”

The fabric of space itself will be transformed as vast, unpredictable wormholes open to connect previously unexplored regions of the universe to the stars of New Eden. The seeds of advanced new technology await inside of these cosmic anomalies for those brave enough to explore them. This infusion of technology will enable production of the most dynamic vessels ever – Tech 3 modular ships with an astounding amount of customizability that can fill any role from skirmish muscle to industrial support.

Furthermore, NPC agents in EVE Online: Apocrypha will be authorized to assign Epic Mission Arcs to the pilots of New Eden. These branching, far-reaching mission strings are full of meaningful stories and more intelligent and deadly adversaries.

In addition, we are offering an entirely reworked New Player Experience for those joining (or rejoining) the game – giving them better insight into how to thrive in a truly limitless universe. We’ve already launched EVElopedia—a great repository for information on all things EVE where our players are also building their own living history of the previous five years of Alliance warfare, political intrigue and nostalgic recollection.
Head over to the links below for more information about the Premium Graphics update and CCP Games' upcoming EVE Online related products.

Mac Premium Graphics Client Open Beta
CCP Games
EVE Online

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IMG Reviews The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
10:18 AM | Marcus Albers | 1 comment

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the hidden object game The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes from uclick Games. In the game, the player follows the famous sleuth and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, on a number of cases meant to evoke the feel of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's originals. Here's an excerpt from the review:

In addition, the appeal of the game is supposed to be the idea of solving a mystery alongside Holmes and Watson. There are many, many problems here, but I'll touch on a few. First, the Holmes stories take place in 1880s Britain. These stories (all happening close together in time) refer to events that took place between 1850 and 1900. Second, the characters are off. Watson, Holmes, and Lestrade all behave differently than in the books. Holmes, for example, is no longer a humorless misogynist and Watson is a complete buffoon. They did keep the bizarre, out of left field solutions Doyle was fond of, though.
To read the full review, click the link below.

IMG Review: The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
uclick Games
Buy The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes

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Hoyle Card Games 2009 Digital Download Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has announced the digital download release of Hoyle Card Games 2009 for the Macintosh on its web site. This year's edition of Hoyle Card Games includes Royle Suite, a free online service where you can play with players from around the world. HOYLE includes more than 150 classic games, official rules, tips and strategies.

Step up to the best deal in town and test your skills. Shuffle the cards and deal yourself in to the greatest card games of all time. HOYLE drops you right into the action with more than 150 classic games, official rules, tips and strategies. From classic games like Cribbage to new favorites like online Texas Hold'em, HOYLE Card Games 2009 has something for everyone.

• All games are based on the official rules from HOYLE , the authority for more than 200 years
• Create your own character with Face Creator, customizing everything from facial features to clothes
• Interactive computer opponents with multiple skill levels to challenge everybody
• Play together on the same computer and challenge your friends and family for bragging rights
• FREE membership: join the ROYLE SUITE, where you will be able to play and socialize with other Hoyle fans online!
• More than 75 card games including: Texas Hold'em, Hearts, Bridge, Crazy Eights, Gin Rummy, Omaha Hold'em, Pinochle, Rummy 500, and much more!
Hoyle Card Games requires an Intel Macintosh with Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later, 1.5 GHz or higher processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 64 MB of VRAM (Intel GMA chipsets supported). A 33.6 Kbps modem or faster and internet service provider account are required for internet access. Broadband internet service is recommended.

Hoyle Card Games 2009 is available at as a digital download for $19.95 (USD) from the link below.

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Shivering Kittens On The iPhone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

GiantCrayon Games has announced the release of Shivering Kittens, a new block matchng game for Apple's iPhone. In the game players must arrange falling blocks in the correct order to rescue trapped kittens in ice blocks that formed around them in a tough Minnesota winter.

"As a cat lover, I'm excited to play a game that captures the cuteness of kittens," said Anne McElvain, GiantCrayon Games's VP. "It's my way of bringing the charm of kittens with me wherever I go."

Players free the kittens by arranging falling blocks in the right order. The more ice blocks players connect, the more kittens they rescue and the more points they earn. With each kitten that players rescue, the satisfying ice crunch and plaintive meows of the freed kittens reward players for their efforts. For those players who want to amp up the challenge, ShiveringKittens comes in 10 increasingly difficult levels.
ShiveringKittens is available now on the iTunes App Store for $2.99. Click over to the links below for more information.

Shivering Kittens
Shivering Kittens Preview Video

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Eschalon Book II: Optional Difficulty, Challenge Objectives
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

RPG Vault has posted a new article from Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker about the upcomig Eschalon: Book II. The first in a series of "peeks" at the RPG covers optional difficulty rules like food and water requirements as well as challenges players can choose to complete to gain a higher score and unique character title at the end of the game.

Gamers who have played pen and paper RPGs might recall that every Game Master seems to enforce his or her own set of sub-rules, for example whether or not to require that characters must eat during the adventure and therefore must carry a suitable supply of rations with them. With Book II, we've implemented a similar system of allowing a customizable set of rules that can be chosen before the start of each game. Each rule imposes a unique set of restrictions, allowing the players to make the adventure as challenging as they prefer. The tradeoff is that the more demanding they make it, the more the system will reward them with bonuses to the quality of random loot, additional experience points, and a higher rank at the end.

The purpose of these rules is to offer dedicated players an additional level of realism (such as requiring that their characters eat and drink), or to help those who suffer from "Loot Farming Obsession" (randomize item drops can be based on a preset seed so it's not feasible to reload for new loot), or even just to add a challenge for the hardcore (loading and saving games are governed by certain conditions).

The key factor to all these new rules is that they are optional, and any or all can be disabled, resulting in a game that plays essentially identical to its predecessor. This was a fundamental design requirement for the Book II development team: allow players to ignore the rules that they feel would cripple their enjoyment of the game.
To read the full article click over to the link provided below.

RPG Vault: Eschalon Book II Peek 1
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

Cartoon Networks' FusionFall Launches Today
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

The Cartoon Network is scheduled to launch its new MMO, FusionFall, today. Produced in collaboration with Grigon Entertainment, Fusion Fall is set in a re-imagined Cartoon Network universe. As a kid in this world, players will team up with other players and Cartoon Network characters to defend it from an alien invasion.

An unstoppable force has travelled the galaxy for millennia, consuming countless planets and civilizations. Its next target is Earth -- and YOU ARE THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE!

Dive Into The Cartoon Network Universe
From futuristic skyscrapers to mystical ruins, enter an enormous, action-packed universe unlike anything you've seen. Mix it up with stars of Cartoon Network like Ben 10 and BIlly and Mandy -- but expect a surprise when you do.
Show Off Your Inner Hero
Planet Fusion is invading the Cartoon Network Universe, but we won't go down without a fight. Create your avatar. Grab your gear. Then get your friends and kick some Fusion butt! The universe is counting on you -- no pressure.
Experience Nonstop MMORG Action
Only here will you find tons of console game action smack-dab inside a massive online world. You and your friends can jump, slide, bounce, and fight your way through dynamic environments that'll keep you on your toes. Think you can keep up?
• Mac OS X 10.4 or later
• Intel Mac running at 2.0GHz
• 512MB RAM
• Nvidia or ATI-based graphics
• 1024 x 768 display
FusionFall is priced at $5.95 per month, with a $19.99 boxed version available that includes four months of play.

Macworld: Fusion Fall Launches

Mac Games News for Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baldur's Gate Retrospective Part 26:00 AM
New Kivi's Underworld Demo Released6:00 AM
Spore Galactic Adventures Confirmed6:00 AM
Vote For Your Favorite Dark Templar6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, January 13, 2009 on one page

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