World of Warcraft: Cataclysm for Mac

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the new expansion pack for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft ( ), the venerable massively multiplayer online juggernaut, has brought the most sweeping changes and updates that the game has ever seen. Hundreds of hours of new content for all levels, cinematics, expanded lore, thousands of quests, a dozen instances, and three additional player-versus-player areas have breathed new life into the six-year-old online world.

But let's take a step back for a second: World of Warcraft is one of the most successful, popular, and expansive games of all time. Yet for new players, such a gargantuan game can be intimidating to break into. With so many characters, quests, levels, and classes, simply starting out can seem like an intimidating prospect. On the surface, the new Catacylsm expansion seems like more red meat for the hardcore players (more levels, and of course, more dungeons). But the introduction of Catacylsm may prove to be the best time to be a new player in this fantastical world.

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light comes to iOS

Lara Croft's latest adventure, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, was released for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on Thursday.

Developed by Ideaworks Game Studio for Crystal Dynamics, the game comes in two different flavors: one designed for iPhone and iPod touch, and a special high-definition version for the iPad that takes advantage of the device's large high-resolution display.

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Star Wars: Clone War Adventures blasts its way onto the Mac

On Monday, LucasArts, Sony Online Entertainment and Transgaming announced that the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures’ virtual online world is now open to Mac users.

“The demand for game content on the Mac platform has increased significantly, and we are excited to bring our games to this growing audience,” stated John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, in a press release. “Through our collaboration with TransGaming, Mac and PC players are able to play together seamlessly on both Free Realms and now Clone Wars Adventures, and we will continue to look for opportunities with future games to do the same.”

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Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for Mac

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga lets you play as Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windo, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and pretty much every other Star Wars character from the movies. The catch? Instead of playing in a conventional sci-fi world complete with dialogue, voice-acting, and realistic renderings of the iconic characters, you're playing in a world of Lego blocks. Feral Interactive's port of the successful Star Wars Lego series for the Mac is faithful to the source material: Lego Star Wars is cute, funny, and fully of geeky moments sure to delight fans.

Use the force!

Lego Star Wars, like the rest of the Lego series of adventure games, is meant for a kid audience but can also be appreciated by adults. Though the "Lego" designation conjures up images of creating elaborate block creations, the series has always been a bit more humble in its ambitions. You're playing an adventure game made of Lego pieces where you'll ocassionally need to construct certain Lego machines and objects to advance. It's a much narrower focus, but it makes problem solving for kids much easier and the gameplay much smoother.

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Real Racing 2 speeds towards iPhone

Firemint’s much-anticipated sequel its popular driving game, Real Racing ( ), has finally grabbed a release date of December 16. The award-winning Real Racing, which debuted in April 2009, was well received because of its advancement of the iPhone as a social gaming platform. With more than double the competitors in the multiplayer function, new vehicle damage features, and more modes of game play, Real Racing 2 promises to be an improvement on an already impressive iPhone game.

The handheld racing game offers five game modes: Quick Race, Time Trial, Career, Online Multiplayer, and Local Multiplayer. The enhanced multiplayer modes are the biggest departure from the original game, where only six cars could play at once. Real Racing 2’s new online racing makes that number look measly, as it is the first iOS game to feature a 16-car grid. Real Racing 2 also offers in-game money prizes for winning a race. The currency can be used to buy, sell, and customize cars within the game.

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OnLive, Steam, and the Eddys

Every year, there are exceptional products that Macworld recognizes with Eddy awards (the winners were unveiled on Tuesday). And every year there are products that miss the cut. With Macworld’s vibrant staff full of people with diverse opinions, reasonable minds can differ. I believe games are important to the Mac community, and we had two gaming services that deserved Eddys: Steam and OnLive. Only Steam received the award, and even its inclusion (and OnLive’s exclusion) has met with some controversy.

Steam

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Chillingo unveils Winter lineup of iOS games

Chillingo, a leading publisher of iOS games, revealed its winter lineup on Thursday. The exciting collection of games augments an already impressive lineup that spans across genres and demographics. Look for these games on the App Store in the coming weeks.

Sky Combat

Fans of old school shoot ‘em ups will enjoy Chillingo’s latest top-down combat simulator, Sky Combat. Due out in January and developed by Alien Worm, this retro title is reminiscent of 1942, the iconic arcade shooter that defined the genre.

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