Games of Macintosh Past

This time of year Mac users attention turns to games. Yes, the family and friends and their kids are coming over, and it’s a great time to enjoy some gaming. Follow along as we visit some Games of Macintosh Past

Remember, that in today’s world, most Macs have an S-Video out, or another means of connecting to video output — so you can run your Mac Games through your new big-screen TV. I happened to see this on one of the new 70-inch Sony Plasma TVs and it was stunning! Great fun for the whole family. So, this week’s InfoManager brings you some new selections of games. I also got a bit nostalgic about memories of Mac games past…

I never really had much patience for the Tetris style falling-tile and match-the-icon games. After a few rounds they quickly become ho-hum… boring. I’m for a little action. My son is into the killer war games online. He has achieved a level of notoriety and has become quite fluent with the controls. But I can’t get past level one in those games. They are just too frustrating.

My all-time favorite Mac game was Pinball Construction Set. (Screen) You could build your own pinball games, making them as difficult as the primitive software would allow! My son was about 7 when we got the game, and he and I would play it for hours. Another true favorite was the Shufflepuck Cafe — a humorous twist on Pong that pitted you against seemy creatures from some other planet. They would make snide comments about you with you won a point, and badger you when you lost. (Screen) And, who can forget the Prince of Persia (1989), my daughter’s favorite!

Our special thanks go out to Blake.Patterson, “Blakespot,” for putting together a huge library of screens from the legacy Mac games including Defender, Alice, Lode runner, Creepy Castle and others. See them all at his web site The Bit Cellar. (Blake maintains a functional Mac Plus work station although he doesn’t look old enough to have even been around for a Mac Plus!)

For another treat, visit Alice’s “SloMacUser” web site for some very interesting commentary on the past, along with some thrilling videos of your favorite old games… see the YouTube video of the “Amazing” game (better known as “Alice”), and Broederbund’s “JamPlayer”. And you’ll remember, Mac as the first consumer computer to allow music composition, we all loved MusicWorks — where I must have had several hundred compositions. My kids loved it!

And, did anyone else purchase Rock, Rap & Roll? I sure did, and we would build music constructions for hours on end. Believe it or not, that program continued to run until the Tiger version of Mac. It still runs well on all Macs up to Panther! (NOT on the MacTel machines.) Here, SlowMacUser has also provided a splendid video of Rock, Rap & Roll.

Unfortunately, the video of “MacPlaymate” has been banned by YouTube. Too bad. That was another of those milestone games of the mid 1980s — a HUGE hit at Macworld!

Have some fun checking out the SloMacUser YouTube site, and some of the best Early Mac memorabilia you’ll ever see online at the SloMacUser blog.

Flying and Shooting

I don’t know if you remember, but one of the first games on the Mac was a great shoot-em-up where you would defend your home base against all manner of incoming paratroopers, jets and choppers. We used to love that game! Great sound track, action and all! Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the game, and the original diskettes are way gone.

For last week’s review of “Chopper” I downloaded the game and ran through the first few demo levels and it’s a home-run game too! They have added new shine to this classic arcade game — making the animation action smooth, and the controls super sensitive and accurate. Even on this aging PowerBook, it runs smoothly and effortlessly. If you like simple, fast-paced military based games, I suggest you at least try Chopper for yourself. You might get hooked too! Chopper Game

If you would like a stroll down memory lane and rekindle memories of past Mac games, here are a list of links where Mac Plus and Mac SE games still rule:

The way it was…

Remember GunShy, MahJongg and BlackBox? (Another of my favorites, running on the awesome 512K Mac.) How about GoMoku, Otello and Klondike? Catch up with them all at: The Mac Plus Retrocomputing Pages

The Mac 68K Liberation Army site forums offers a number of interesting threads on legacy Mac computing

The MacRumors web site has some interesting posts in their “Apple Collectors” forum, once you get past the screen spam.

At Theodor Lauppert’s blog, you can see even more links to famous legacy games
Macintosh Game Links where there are some 40 freeware games to download.

Then if you’re really in the mood for some deep, dark, historic digging, you MUST go see the original Macintosh white paper written by Jef Raskin in 1980, and The Making of the Macintosh by Stanford University. These two documents tell the whole story about the original idea to develop the Macintosh — the computer that changed everything.

Now, if I can just find a decent Pinball Machine game for Leopard, we’ll have it made!

Please send in your links to your favorite legacy Mac games!

Fred Showker