US PC charts: August 6-12

Once again, the weekly NPD numbers are topped by World of Warcraft, the Sims 2 and...Nancy Drew?

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For the better part of the year, the number-one slot of NPD Funworld's weekly top PC game charts has seesawed between World of Warcraft, the Sims 2, or one of the latter's expansions. The week of August 6-12 was no exception: Blizzard's massively popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game took the gold again, while the virtual-life sim had to settle for silver. That's impressive for two games that are both nearly two years old.

That said, the week did see a relative newcomer land in third. Since its release in late July, Nancy Drew: Danger by Design has steadily climbed the charts, holding the fifth-place slot until the second week of August. That's when its budget price, E-for-Everyone-rated brand of gameplay, and large fan base--it is the 14th game based on the popular teen-mystery series--pushed it into the top trio.

Fourth place on the chart was filled up with some other semi-fresh blood, courtesy of the Civilization IV: Warlords expansion pack. The popularity of the add-on helped pull Civilization IV back onto the charts, coming in at number eight. Two other expansion packs also made the top 10: The Sims 2: Open For Business (fifth) and The Sims 2: Family Fun Stuff (seventh).

Parked in sixth place was the still-popular, movie-inspired minigame compilation Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures. Another family-friendly title, Paws & Claws Pet Vet, clawed its way to ninth, while Age of Empires III stood fast in the 10th-place slot. The same couldn't be said for Half-Life 2: Episode One and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion--the previous week's seventh- and eighth-place finishers were both pushed out of the top 10.

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