The week in games

Every day on MacCentral, we bring readers the top news and info coming from the world of Macintosh gaming and entertainment alongside our other headlines. But every so often there's a story that, for whatever reason, doesn't make it onto the news pages. That's why we have this retrospective, which we call the Week in Games.

Please be advised that we have several news items from last week mixed in here, since we didn't get a chance to post a Week in Games feature last Sunday (I was on the road returning from Seybold Seminars).

Baldur's Gate II localized for France, Germany

MacPlay advised that localized French and German versions of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn are now in distribution. In France, the game is distributed by Apacabar; in Germany, Application Systems Heidelberg handles distribution. Look for it on the shelves of your favorite retailer.

Captain Bumper 1.1.3 released

MacRun Games has released a new version of its side-scrolling action game Captain Bumper. The new update, 1.1.3, fixes a display bug that manifested itself under Mac OS X 10.1.3. The game is distributed in North America by Casady & Greene.

Civilization III update released

In case you missed the news last week, MacSoft released the long-awaited 1.17f patch to its release of Sid Meier's Civilization III. Though the patch hasn't fixed all the issues with the game (most notably some sound problems are still around), it does help out a lot for Mac OS X users who were disappointed with the initial releases' performance. It also makes a lot of gameplay changes that were also made to the PC version. (Another patch is coming, for what it's worth, so if you can live with what you have now, you may want to wait.)

Escape Velocity: Nova now in Final Candidate testing

The latest installment of Ambrosia Software's enormously popular space adventure/action game series Escape Velocity got tantalizingly close to release this week. Escape Velocity: Nova is now in Final Candidate testing. Rejoice!

Harpoon 3 updates

Yep, it's become almost redundant to mention it, but this week has brought new updates to Jesse Spears' continuing evolution of Harpoon 3 -- the naval warfare simulation game. Crash bugs, cosmetic issues, and more were fixed this week, so stop on by for the latest build.

Hex Appeal 1.0 released

BigFishLittleFish Software has announced the release of Hex Appeal 1.0. It's a new puzzle game for Mac OS 8, 9 and Mac OS X too (it's Carbonized). The goal is to unscramble a hexagonal grid of colored pieces in a given number of moves. The game features 12 different boards, a couple of different play modes, a board editor, and more -- it costs US$15 to register.

MacMAME 0.58 available

A new version of MacMAME is available for download. MacMAME is the multi-arcade machine emulator that enables you to play your favorite coin-op arcade games on your Mac, when used with ROM files available from various archives on the Web. Version 0.58 is in sync with the same numbered Windows build. Problems have been fixed, and the new minimum system requirements call for Mac OS 9 and CarbonLib 1.4. This lays the groundwork for a big push towards adopting a lot of OSX-specific features while still keeping classic support alive," explained Brad Oliver.

Reckless Drivin' 1.3.1 released

Jonas Echterhoff has released a new version of Reckless Drivin', his arcade-style driving game for the Mac. The new build corrects "a small incompatibility" that would cause the screen to stay black after the game ended, in Mac OS X 10.1.3.

Red Faction giveaway

Gary Simmons, Fileball.net's resident "Battle Cat," advised us that the mod library service is giving away two PC and two Mac versions of Red Faction. Red Faction is the popular first-person shooter that's published for the Mac by GraphSim Entertainment. You have to be a member to enter the contest, but membership is free.

Return to Dark Castle demo beta 8 released

Z Sculpt Entertainment has released a new demo beta version of Return to Dark Castle, the forthcoming game from Z Sculpt and Delta Tao. The demo is now Carbonized and runs on Mac OS 8, 9 and X.

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds system requirements revised

Since uploading information about its forthcoming game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Aspyr Media has posted revised system requirement information. The company now lists minimum system requirements for the Age of Empires engine-based strategy game at Mac OS 8.6, Mac OS X 10.1, CarbonLib 1.4 or higher, 64 MB built-in memory, stock G3 or G4 of 333 MHz or greater, 4x CD-ROM compatible drive.

Unreal Tournament X still in development

Although she's mainly focusing on paying projects (and who can blame her?), Westlake Interactive president Glenda Adams noted recently that she's continuing to apply some changes to Unreal Tournament to make it work better with Mac OS X. She also said that another preview release will be made when she's "got a reasonable amount of new stuff in it."

Elsewhere on the Web

MacGamer has posted an interview with Big Time Software, which is working on a sequel to its critically acclaimed war game Combat Mission, called Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin. Inside Mac Games has previewed the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition card, the latest high-end gaming card from ATI. Apple takes an in-depth look at Lineage, the new online multiplayer role playing game.

Closer to home

This week MacCentral brought you news about a new episode of Lineage that brings Mac and PC gamers together. We also reported on a new game partnership between Freeverse Software and UK-based developers Strange Flavour. Pangea Software has announced the re-release of Bugdom as a shareware title, now that CD stocks are dwindling. And Virtual Programming Ltd has released a Mac version of Wipeout 2097, sold in the States for the PlayStation as Wipeout XL. And if you're a Mac game developer interested in learning how to use powerful 3D graphics and animation tools before plunking down your cash, you can now download Maya Personal Learning Edition for free.

As always, we heartily encourage feedback if you have ideas for ways that we can improve our games coverage. And if you have a Mac game, game-related product or service you'd like to see covered in the pages of MacCentral, we also recommend that you drop us a line.

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