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Friday, March 13, 2009

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Feral's Family Fun Pack 3 Ships
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive has announced that the Family Fun Pack 3 for Mac will begin shipping today. The game compilation features LEGO Star Wars II, Ford Racing 2, Bionicle, and ChessMaster 9000.

“Family Fun Pack 3 is a must-have collection of first-rate family games that should appeal to all ages and interests," said Feral Interactiveʼs David Stephen.

Family Fun Pack 3 comprises four top Mac titles:
Lego Star Wars II, one of the best-selling Mac games of 2008-9, lets players battle their way through the original Star Wars trilogy in a galaxy that combines the creative joy of LEGO with the epic story from Star Wars.

Ford Racing 2 features the best Ford cars since 1949, from legends like the 1956 F-100 pickup and the 1968 Mustang GT to future classics like the super car slaying Ford GT.

Bionicle is based on LEGO's best-selling toy of the same name and combines action, adventure, elemental powers, enemies and heroes as players live out the legend of the Toa in the imaginary and magical island of Mata Nui.

ChessMaster 9000 is the world's most popular chess program and is ideally suited to players of all levels as teacher, mentor and ultimate opponent.

System Requirements:
• 1.6GHz PowerPC or Intel-based Mac
• 512MB RAM, 64MB graphics card
• DVD drive
• 3GB of hard disk space
• Mac OS X v10.4 or later.
• All four games will run on Intel-based MacBooks and Intel-based Mac minis.
Family Fun Pack 3 will retail in North America for US $49.95, £39.99 (inc VAT) in the UK and €49.95 (inc VAT) throughout Europe. Check out the links below for more information.

Family Fun Pack 3
Feral Interactive

Mac Games Arcade Updated
3:44 PM | IMG News | 4 comments

A new update for Mac Games Arcade, the new digital download application for Mac games, today received a significant update bringing it to version 1.0.5. Among the new features are the ability to add your own games to Mac Games Arcade and enhanced downloading.

Mac Games Arcade's Tuncer Deniz explains, "One of the more requested features we got from users is they wanted to add their own existing games to Mac Games Arcade and then use Mac Games Arcade as a launching pad for 'all' their games. Now users can go to 'My Games' and simply drag and drop their own games into the My Games window and it'll magicially show up."

Mac Games Arcade has also been enhanced with a number of updates to its download manager. Users can now quit the app and resume downloads when they re-open the app. More importantly, if the user has download problems such as time outs, drop outs, lost connections, Mac Games Arcade will now automatically fetch your download when your internet connection resumes.

And finally, as it approaches nearly 1/2 million downloads of its app since the launch in late December 2008, Mac Games Arcade has announced it will begin working on version 2.0 in the coming weeks. "We've had just a great response to the app, but we want to make it even better. In 2.0 we plan on adding a buddy list, live chatting, achievements, gifts, news, specials, live notifications, and much more.
Mac Games Arcade is available as a free download from the Mac Games Arcade web site. The application is a 2 MB download. Mac Games Arcade requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.

For more information, visit the Mac Games Arcade web site at the link below.

Mac Games Arcade

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IMG Reviews the Razer Destructor
6:07 AM | Bryan Clodfelter | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted its official review of the Razer Destructor, a high-end mousing surface that purportedly offers excellent speed and control characteristics for hardcore gamers looking to get the very best out of their current hardware. The product, released in the middle of last year, retails for approximately $40 (US). Here's an excerpt from the review:

For those of you who aren't looking to carpet your desks, but still want a catalyst for your mouse of choice, the Razer Destructor "precision gaming surface" is a great place to start your search. With a form-factor measuring 350 mm x 280 mm x 2.3 mm (roughly 14" x 11," and three credit cards thick), the Destructor covers just a tad more surface area than Apple's 15.4" MacBook Pro. While these dimensions place the Destructor on the smaller side of things when it comes to size, they do make the pad inherently portable--great for users that are constantly on the move.

To learn more about the Destructor, follow the link to the full article below.

IMG Reviews the Razer Destructor

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Kivi's Underworld Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Bytten has published a new review of Soldak Entertainment's casual action RPG, Kivi's Underworld. Set in the same world as Depths of Peril, Kivi's Underworld allows players to adventure as one of 20 unlockable character classes against a variety of dangerous foes. Bytten gave the game a score of 92%.

From the review:

I could tell from first glance that this was a game with a lot of polish. The graphics are high quality stuff - though the isometric viewpoint cannot be shifted, walls between your character and the "camera" turn translucent to prevent things being blocked. Items are "tagged" to aid recognition and selection (you can click on the object OR the tag) and are highlighted when you hover the mouse cursor over them. There are several styles of "dungeon" on the various missions, from icy caves to desert sands, and enemies are diverse and easily recognized.

There is limited music, which works in Kivi's favour. Soft background music accompanies the title and selection screens but the missions themselves are largely sans music - the exceptions being when an event occurs, such as being attacked. Sound effects, however, are plentiful. Barrels smash, weapons slice and chop, magic spells whoosh and bang, monsters growl, doors rattle open and more besides. There's even a voiceover reading for the quest texts! All these aspects can be individually adjusted.

The simple controls, gentle learning curve and always being able to try again make this an ideal game for the more casual player. There are even incentives to replay - earn all the trophies, for instance; find all the secrets; unlock all the monsters in the bestiary. If you unlock a new character and want to try them out, you can replay an earlier mission rather than go straight into the latest. Each replay is a little different - pickups, attacks and so on are all a little random. Playing well in the earlier missions will help you - trophies are awarded for completed missions, and the better the trophy, the more points you have to spend on your characters' abilities.
Head over to the website below to read the full review.

Bytten: Kivi's Underworld
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld

The Sims 3 Video Preview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld has posted a new video preview of The Sims 3, the upcoming continuation of the popular life sim series created by Will Wright. The latest game will add new twists to the popular life sim formula with customizable personalities, goal oriented gameplay, movie creation and editing, and an online community.

About The Sims 3:
Get inspired by the endless creative possibilities and unexpected moments of surprise and mischief in The Sims 3! Customize your Sims’ appearances and choose up to five traits to create individual personalities. From the “Romantic” trait or “kleptomaniac” trait to “evil” trait, create millions of unique Sims from the vast amount of personalities. New goal-oriented game play enables you to choose which short or long-term objectives you want your Sims to pursue and even determine your Sims’ destinies in life. Create and edit your own movies by capturing your gameplay moments or select from a library of clips. Then join The Sims 3 online community where you can show off all of your creations, get free bonus content, hear the latest news, and more! Download exclusive content and hear the latest news of The Sims 3 at the official website
View the video at the Macworld page linked below.

Macworld: The Sims 3 Sneak Peek
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

Jeff Vogel: Shareware Is Dead, Long Live Shareware
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel, the man behind the Geneforge and Avernum RPG series has launched his new blog, The Bottom Feeder. The game designer's first post offers his views on the shift in terminology from shareware author to independent game designer.

When I started this business in 1994, when the web barely existed and I did most of my business over AOL, CompuServe, and BBSes, what i wrote was called Shareware. From the Latin roots 'ware', meaning "Loser" and 'share', meaning "Big, Fat".

Sometimes, people would ask me what I did for a living. I said that I wrote shareware. Then one of two things happened. Either they didn't know what shareware was, in which case they looked at me with bovine incomprehension. Or they did know what shareware was, in which case they'd ask, "Ah. And what do you do for a living?" And then, in both cases, I'd say, "Actually, I squeegee car windows downtown for spare change." And this would make them nod approvingly, because it was far more plausible.

Now, when someone asks what I do, I say, "I run an Indie game company." And it is completely sweet.

Isn't that a great word? Indie! It has this aura of cutting-edge and danger about it. Like Indie rockers. Like I'm Kurt Cobain, if he never left his basement or something. Indie means I'm cool, and independent, and fighting The Man. And it even goes a long way to explain why my games look like they were made on basically a zero budget. Because they were. But it's all right. Because I'm Indie. MAN!
Check out the full blog post at the link provided below.

Shareware Is Dead, Long Live Shareware
The Bottom Feeder
Spiderweb Software

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apple Games Features EVE Online Apocrypha6:00 AM
Feral Unveils Demo Area, Features New Demos6:00 AM
IMG Reviews Pixie6:00 AM
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Reviewed6:00 AM
Smashing Tennis Released For Mac6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 12, 2009 on one page

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