Every week MacCentral brings readers news from the Mac game business on our daily news pages. There are always a few stories that fall through the cracks, though, and that’s why we have this weekly retrospective, called the Week in Games. This is the first Week in Games we’ve posted since before Macworld Expo in July, so there’s a lot to move through this week.
Arcane Arena updated
Freeverse Software has updated its massively multiplayer online role playing game Arcane Arena to version 1.02. Bug fixes and improved stability are what the new version has to offer. Freeverse also said that a future patch to this game will be Carbonized, to run natively in Mac OS X for the first time.
BGBlitz backgammon available for OS 9, X
Looking for a Mac backgammon game with some bite? Check out BGBlitz from Frank Berger, a neural net based Backgammon game for the Mac that won the 7th Computer Olympiad in Maastricht.
Bungie boss leaves for family
Alex Seropian has been with Bungie from the start, but he’s leaving to tend to his wife and baby, according to recent news from the Microsoft studio. The news comes a bit more than two years following Bungie’s acquisition from Microsoft, which caused huge waves in the Mac game community at the time — prior to the acquisition, Bungie was lauded by many Mac gamers as one of the great independent successes of Mac gaming.
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin to run on OS 9 only
MacCentral has confirmed with Battlefront.com that its forthcoming strategy game Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin will run natively only on Mac OS 9 or lower operating systems. Company spokesman Martin indicated that the Mac version’s 3D graphics engine — which depends on Apple’s now-defunct RAVE technology — has to be completely rewritten to work natively on Mac OS X. The sequel to the original Combat Mission, this game is a hybrid turn-based/real time strategy game that won respect from grognards for its realistic portrayal of World War II combat.
Downfall 1.1 released
Norbyte has released Downfall 1.1, a new version of their Tetris/Columns-style action puzzle game. The new version gets improved graphics and user interface, import-export highscores, improved game play and rules, some optimizations, new/changed menus and more.
Forma 2.0 released
Degana has released Forma 2.0. In this strategy game, you arrange blocks while avoiding obstacles. You can use power ups to erase enemy “slider” blocks too. It runs on Mac OS 8.6 or later, or Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
GameRanger 3.0 Preview 7 released
Scott Kevill has released a new version of his popular Mac-only game finding and playing service, GameRanger — 3.0 Preview 7 is now available, and if you’ve logged on this week, you’ve probably already been upgraded. This new build fixes bugs and optimizes server lists.
Id Software’s Devine on Quake, Doom for Mac
Id Software Mac maven Graeme Devine recently posted news to his .plan file to let folks know about what’s going on with Quake III Arena and the forthcoming game Doom III on the Mac. He said that Id will be releasing a new version of Quake III Arena at the same time as the Windows and Linux clients. The new version will also require Mac OS X 10.1 or later. What’s more, Devine added that Doom III is already up and running under Mac OS X 10.2 — which he called “really quite cool” with better speed than its predecessor. This of particular note because it’s the first more-or-less official word we’ve seen to confirm that Doom III is coming to the Mac.
KickOff 2002 shipping
Virtual Programming Ltd. has begun shipping KickOff 2002. It’s an enormously popular footie (soccer) game from Europe that may be coming to the United States via Freeverse, which has previously collaborated with Virtual Programming to bring WipeOut 2097 to North American audiences.
Knights & Merchants updated for OS X
e.p.i.c. interactive has updated its real time strategy game Knights & Merchants to support Mac OS X natively. The new Carbonized build enables this game to run on Mac OS X without invoking Classic for the first time — so if you have it, check it out.
Links Golf Community welcomes Mac players
With the release of the Mac version of Links Championship Edition a week ago by Bold, the Mac game imprint of Destineer, the Links Golf Community now welcomes Mac players to its ranks. LGC features tournaments and other happenings for people that take their Links golf games seriously, so check it out.
Stoenworks updates flight sim tutorial Web site
Stoenworks has updated its Web site, chock full of tutorials suitable for flight simulation enthusiasts. The site features new graphics, new content and lots more.
Elsewhere on the Web
Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Avernum 3, a new role playing game from Spiderweb Software. MacGamer has posted a preview of Ghost Recon: Desert Siege, the forthcoming 3D combat/action game from Aspyr Media. Meanwhile, Apple takes a look at Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, the forthcoming 3D combat/action game from MacPlay.
Closer to home
This reporter took a vacation this past week, so there wasn’t too much in the way of game-related news on MacCentral. Destineer’s Bold announced that Links Championship Edition is shipping for the Mac, however. If you have a little one who loves Thomas the Tank Engine, there’s a new game on the way. Graphics chip maker Nvidia seems to finally be feeling the heat of a slowdown in the PC market — the company cut its Q2 outlook and said that a buildup of inventory is to blame. Three new games are coming to the Mac.
As always, we encourage you to drop us a line if you have ideas for ways we can improve our games content here on MacCentral, or if you have a game-related product or service you’d like our readers to know about.