Colin McRae Rally Mac

Colin McRae Rally Mac

Free-wheelin’ rally racing is way more fun with a gamepad or racing wheel.


Most racing games are fun because you rub shoulders—and wheels—with other cars, trying to outmaneuver foes to the finish. Colin McRae Rally Mac instead pits you against times of other drivers, losing that in-the-moment thrill. Depending on the mode, a “ghost” car outline might represent another racer, but physical collisions are impossible. However, the game has so much else, it still places as one of our favorites. Tight controls, imaginative off-road tracks, and punishing but rewarding competitor times make this technical racer a winner.


Aside from having you race alone against the clock, rally racing is unique because it combines on- and off-road surfaces in a single course. Colin McRae Rally includes hundreds of tracks loosely based on real-world locations. We had fun bouncing over dry Australian dirt, zipping through dense forests in the American Midwest, and careening over Swedish ice and snow.


Colin McRae Rally also includes a navigator, just like real rally racing. His English-accented warnings call out the next series of turns, adding an invaluable backup to the familiar superimposed arrows. Some turns are hard to see without these tips—if you don’t pay attention, you’ll end up wrapped around a tree.


Racing controls excel, assuming you play with a gamepad or racing wheel. (Colin McRae Rally supports keyboard input, but that method is frustrating in long-term play.) The game recognized our tangled mess of various gamepads and racing wheels, giving confidence that it’ll be compatible with a range of devices. Using a gamepad, we threw the emergency brake to drift around turns, nudged the stick to stay centered over jumps, and otherwise felt a close connection to the car controls. A racing wheel worked just as well—however, we had problems activating force-feedback to twist against our input. (Feral says it’s a problem on Intel systems with Mac OS 10.4, and Apple fixed the issue in 10.5. We did get it working with the latest OS.)


The Mac version of this racer is based on a several-years-old PC game, which shows in the graphics. Colin McRae Rally lacks subtle shadows and other textures common in recent 3D games. But with all of the options turned up, the visuals still held our interest. The more than 30 real-world cars are lovingly detailed, and stationary scenery fluidly pans across the horizon.


The bottom line. The incredible depth kept us playing. We often had to race stages again to post times good enough to progress, but we always felt close enough to have fun. Even in the disappointment of losing, we kept coming back for more.


COMPANY: Feral Interactive


PRICE: $50

REQUIREMENTS: 1.6GHz PowerPC or Intel CPU or faster, Mac OS 10.4 or later, 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), video card with 64MB (128MB recommended) VRAM

Controls feel responsive and fun. Vast number of tracks and real-world cars. Single-Mac multiplayer splits screens or moderates turns. Universal binary.

Doesn’t work with GMA graphics chip that shares memory with main system RAM. Online competition uses external (free) GameRanger service instead of in-game matching. Force-feedback doesn’t work with a 10.4-Intel system.





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I have this game and I LOVE it. Thanks for reviewing it on MacLife.


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I love this game. The amount of time spent perfecting the times… I often have people over just to play multi, usually in the alternative turns mode as split screen can be quite a crowd around my 17 inch iMac! Great stuff and a lot of well spent evenings.
Performance wise, it’s been perfect all the way, max settings on my 2.0ghz Intel iMac with 3Gig Ram and 128mb ATI X1600.
The one issue I do have is the cars seem to have a slight habit of drifting sideways, even when on tarmac. It’s just a point but it doesn’t really affect the game any. Just look a bit odd that’s all.
Keep up the great work Feral!!!!



Now THAT is how you drive a car! Like any professional at the peak of their talent/trade simply a joy to watch and be enthralled by. No "softie" paddle gears or sequentials here only a man's gearbox with a clutch! In total harmony with the car, stage, co-driver and pace notes. A true rallying legend. I'm privileged to have experienced your era Colin. Many thanks, wherever you are.



A UB game is rare nowadays, what with cider etc. I'm glad to see some companies still making an effort, even though I'm lucky enough to be outfitted with a MacBook pro. No GMA support is something I'm getting sick of seeing though.

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