Before Halo rocketed to system-selling success, before Marathon showed how an intricate story could weave into an action-heavy first-person shooter, it was 1993 release Pathways into Darkness that put Bungie on the map. The company’s third game, PiD combined the first-person action of id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D with an exploration-focused adventure game.
It was a revelation, quickly reaching bestseller status and earning plaudits across the Mac-focused press. And now you can play it in OS X (without an emulator), courtesy of a port by Mark Levin and Bruce Morrison. I’ve spent the past few weeks struggling through its many twisty passages, and am pleased to report that it’s still a great game.
But boy is it hard — brutally so. Allow me to walk you through a little of Pathways into Darkness’s legacy and gameplay, and to explain why — difficulty aside — you should seriously consider giving it a try.
John Calhoun’s original Glider — dating back to 1988 — may well be my favorite game. Quintessentially Mac in style, it put you in charge of a paper airplane in a rundown, dilapidated house. You needed simply to stay afloat, lifted by air vents, and try to reach the window leading to freedom.
It was a game of wits, and patience, and it’s one of the most innately-charming pieces of entertainment I’ve ever encountered. The shareware series earned a dedicated fan-base and awards from Mac magazines through its five main installments, culminating in a commercial release (Glider PRO, 1994), then gradually faded into the background … that is, until Glider Classic for iOS was released in late 2011, which was followed up last year by a Mac version simply called Glider.
Let’s see how this throwback stands up — both to modern standards and to the nostalgia of Glider games past.
Endless Space is a 4X strategy game in the vein of the Civilization and Masters of Orion series, which means you’re going to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. Build a mighty galactic empire by stripmining colonized planets and dominating rival civilizations through military might, diplomacy, or cultural influence.
So does Endless Space stand up against those big names of the 4X genre? (more…)
The Cave was recently released by the same people who did Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion and some other people who did Psychonauts. That’s some pretty impressive video game chops, so it’s no surprise that adventure game-cum-platformer The Cave has been met with high expectations.
How does it perform on the Mac, and just what is the mystery of the Cave? We’ll try to find out! (more…)
City-building games got complicated really fast after SimCity 2000 released nearly 20 years ago. They remain a joy to play, but the best ones tend to come with steep learning curves.
Not so for the Virtual City series, however, as it adopts a more casual tilt on the genre. Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort offers a compact city-building experience and a lengthy scenario-based campaign to dig your mouse into. Whether you’re waiting for the new SimCity to drop on OS X or looking for an alternative city builder with a different approach, it’s worth a closer look.
Back in the summer of 2012, Slender: The Eight Pages was released on the PC and Mac, and in a short amount of time, this free, short and experimental horror game became an instant hit. With big franchises like Resident Evil and Dead Space going heavy on action rather than horror, Slender revitalized the horror genre by taking things back to basics; the simple task of walking through a creepy forest trying to find clues while being chased by an ominous figure was, and still very much is, a frightening experience.
Fast forwarding to more recent weeks, Slender’s new iteration, Slender: The Arrival, comes packed with everything that made the original so spooky while adding in a handful of new things. Unfortunately, these new things add deadweight to an otherwise impeccable experimental gaming experience.
The Humble Bundle is a great way to pick up a few indie games for not a lot of cash while directly supporting developer’s and charity, too. It also serves to bring indie games to a wider audience, introducing players to titles they otherwise would have never discovered.
That’s how I came to be in possession of Thirty Flights of Loving, the first-person interactive story video game from Blendo Games. Initially released as a Kickstarter incentive, Thirty Flights of Loving has since been made available for download on its own and has received heaps of praise as an impressive evolution in video game storytelling. (more…)
Similar to the old arcade game Snake, Nimble Quest is a new game that lets you grow your train of characters, becoming stronger with each addition. Unlike Snake, though, where you created a huge, mutant reptile that roamed the arid arcade plains in search of food to fuel its ever increasing monstrous bulk, in Nimble Quest you’re creating a party of heroes and slaying baddies.
Is Nimble Quest a fun take on a classic or just a rip off of an old favorite? We’ll take a look and find out! (more…)
I like puzzles, and I like trains, so it happens that I’m often mistaken for a seven-year-old boy or a very active octogenarian. I don’t mind, though, because sometimes I get to combine puzzles and trains, and that’s pretty cool. This isn’t Jigsaw.PuzzleStorm, though, so it’s got to be something a lot better than a 1000 piece locomotive, right?
That’s where Rails comes in, a labor of love from developer BeLight Software. Build your own rail yard and get your trains to their destination in this reboot of the DOS classic. But will the gameplay stand up after all these years? We’ll find out! (more…)
Every once and awhile I stumble across a game that is perfectly expressed by one word. In Ultratron’s case, the word would be chaos. Or rather, explosive, colorful, and awesomely fun chaos. From the moment you press the “play” button, Ultratron bombards you from every direction with bullets and enemies, constantly keeping you on the edge of your seat.
The developer, Puppy Games, has prided itself in creating this sort of retro-style arcade game, and the updated version of Ultratron certainly indicates they know what they’re doing.