Every weekday MacCentral brings readers news about the latest happenings in the world of Macintosh games. There are always a few articles that don’t make it onto our regular news pages, which is why we have this weekly retrospective. The Week in Games also gives us a chance of checking in on other game-related content from around the Web.
Active Lancer details revealed
Freeverse Software announced that Active Lancer, its scrolling arcade-style shooter, has gone gold master and should soon be hitting store shelves. Now that Active Lancer is done, the game’s developer, Anton Tsai, has
posted details, new screenshots and other content to his own Web site — check it out.
Blizzard whacks cheaters
On Blizzard Entertainment’s own
Battle.net online game-matching service, the company announced continued efforts to close and ban players who exploit the games through hacks and cheats. “… we have permanently closed 276,000 StarCraft accounts, 86,000 Diablo II accounts, and 41,000 Warcraft III accounts,” said the company, and they’ve recorded the accompanying CD keys for all those accounts.
Defender of the Crown goes Shockwave
Old-school Mac gamers may be interested to learn that Cinemaware has released a Shockwave-based version of the classic game
Defenders of the Crown, in which you compete for land and prestige in merry old England as one of four different knights, engaging in jousting competitions, attacking neighboring territories and more. The Shockwave version is the same as the mid-80s game, done to celebrate the new title Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown’s release (no Mac version thus announced for that game, alas).
Half-Life 2 source code stolen
Valve Software Managing Director Gabe Newell recently noted that the
source code to Valve’s vaunted Half-Life 2 game has been stolen. While this doesn’t have any bearing on a potential Mac conversion of the game — as of this date still not announced — it’s of significant interest to people who have been tracking what’s been happening with the game.
Myst: The Book of Atrus chapter released
Myst fans may be interested in Cyan Worlds’ publication of a draft of the first chapter in
Myst: The Book of Atrus, written in 1994 by Myst co-creator Ryan Miller. The chapter has been published to celebrate Myst’s 10th anniversary.
Savage: The Battle for Newerth coming to OS X
discussion forum thread related to S2 Games’ Savage: The Battle for Newerth reveals that the company has ported the game to OS X, in just a matter of hours. It’s unclear exactly how the port is going to make its way out into the world, though it’s expected that a demo will be available and that you’ll be able to buy it directly from where the Windows version is now for sale. Savage is a game that combines real time strategy elements with 3D action elements. You can get more information about the game itself from
S2 Games’ Web site.
Phelios Inc. has released Swap, a new puzzle game. A trailer is available for viewing as well. Swap is a variation on the “match three or more similar colors together” idea, with four modes of play and other features.
Warcraft III ‘bonus map’ released
Want another map to play other gamers on using Warcraft III? Check out
the Bonus Maps section of Blizzard’s Web site, now featuring a new addition called Typhoon. Typhoon joins Hellfire and Iceforge in the list of add-on maps you can download.
Elsewhere on the Web
MacGamer.com has posted a new View from Here editorial called
The Vicious Cycle, discussing the constant need to upgrade computer hardware to keep systems playable. Inside Mac Games has posted its first look at
Halo: Combat Evolved, coming soon to the Mac from MacSoft and Westlake Interactive.
The Gamesome Mac QuickTime radio show last week interviewed Red Marble Games, developers of games including Bejeweled, Alchemy and most recently, Bugatron. Pregaming has posted an interview with
Digital Eel, the game developers behind Strange Adventures in Infinite Space and Dr. Blob’s Organism. Apple’s Web site has posted a trailer showing
Sveerz in action — it’s a new shareware game from Skunk Studios. Bare Feats has posted a comparison of
Power Mac G5s that include benchmarks for the new Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition graphics card.
Closer to home
MacCentral this week brought news that Spiderweb Software is working on
Blades of Avernum for Mac and Windows; the company plans to release the new role playing game early in 2004. Westlake Interactive updated its Project Status Web page with details that its Mac conversions of
Halo: Combat Evolved and Age of Mythology, two projects to be published by MacSoft, have both hit their beta development milestones. Peripheral maker Belkin has released its
Nostromo SpeedPad n52, a peripheral expressly designed for First Person Shooter enthusiasts and others who eschew “conventional” gamepads for the keyboard.
StarROMs Inc. hopes to legitimize game ROM downloads (used in conjunction with emulators like MacMAME) by offering a commercial service that its developers like to the iTunes Music Store; the company’s getting off to a start with a library of vintage ROMs from Atari. Virtual Programming Ltd. noted this week that it’s shipping
three new Mac games including MindRover (a robot programming game), Hearts of Iron (a World War II-era strategy game) and Player Manager 2003 (a soccer/football management game). Donohoe Digital LLC has released
War! Age of Imperialism, a Java-based implementation of the Eagle Games strategy boardgame.
As always, we encourage you to
drop us a line if you have questions, comments or suggestions.