MacSoft unveils games lineup

Popular game publisher MacSoft used this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco to unveil its lineup of games for 2001 and beyond. While some titles were previously announced, there are a few surprises as well.

MacSoft's Macworld Expo lineup is heavily influenced by the company's previously announced relationship with PC game publisher Hasbro Interactive -- at Macworld Expo New York in July, 2000, MacSoft announced a 13 title publishing deal with Hasbro. The company has already brought several Hasbro-licensed titles and bundle packs to market, and will continue their efforts in the new year.

MacSoft announced that it has acquired the Mac publishing rights to Master of Orion III, a turn-based strategy game currently in development by Quicksilver Software, Inc. The game is scheduled for a release in early 2002, and is being developed simultaneously for the Mac and PC.

Master of Orion III (MOO3) is the latest in a series of games filled with interplanetary intrigue. The scale of MOO3 is even larger than the previous version, which was also published for the Mac by MacSoft. Players represent the controlling power behind an entire galactic civilization, and must manipulate the dictators, presidents, councils and overlords of various factions to do their bidding. Players build empires, but they must manage their own "Imperial Focus" effectively to keep useful leaders in power and populations under control.

If casino games are more your style, MacSoft is also showing off Monopoly Casino, a collection of casino games based in the world of the classic board game "Monopoly." Games like Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette are included, along with slot machines and much more. Monopoly Casino includes over 40 Monopoly-themed games with over 200 different variations, according to MacSoft. Players can take each other on in Internet-based multiplayer modes, or they can go up against the computer.

Fans of arcade games may be interested in Centipede. Centipede is a clever modern rework of the classic game that ate many a quarter in the video game arcades of yore. In Centipede, players take control of Wally, a "Joe" who must destroy the Queen 'Pede. It's a 3D action game that features multiple perspectives, a split-screen multiplayer mode, five worlds and 30 levels.

MacSoft is also using the Macworld Expo event to show off Pong -- another modern rework of a certified arcade classic, arguably one of the progenitors of video game entertainment as we know it. This isn't just a couple of blips on the screen, though -- the new version of Pong sports 3D graphics; 20 levels; multiplayer support for up to four players with varied play modes, including cooperative and competitive settings; and powerups and secret goodies.

MacCentral is scheduled to meet with MacSoft at the show and will bring more details about the company's announcements soon.

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