With all the hoopla surrounding the Apple TV, many Mac owners are unaware that an easy device for streaming iTunes media may already be sitting in their entertainment system. All three of the latest game consoles—PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii—are capable of streaming media from your Mac to your television over your existing network.
Bank shots are even better when you shoot them on purpose! With Neon Tango, Freeverse conjures up the spirit of classic, vector-line arcade games. This unabashedly retro shooter features typical, blast-anything-that-moves gameplay that would normally cost you an afternoon pumping quarters into a cabinet. And even though Neon Tango never feels completely original, its high standards make for some fun shooting.
As the Portuguese battle the mighty French, those aren’t mere numbers rising from our avatars. They’re people! Thousands of people! The exciting, and sometimes upsetting, national narratives of world history form the setting and mechanics of Europa Universalis 3, the latest strategy title from publisher Virtual Programming. But don’t worry—the game and its expansion pack, Napoleon’s Ambitions, are more of an exercise in strategic domination than a history lesson.
A zoomed-in view lets you watch the orcs bleed. You’ll have to zoom out, though, to place the towers. Orcs coming. Must kill orcs. Towers kill orcs. Must buy towers. Orcs drop cash. Buy more towers. Kill more orcs. Orcs come faster. More to kill. Kill, kill, kill.Hordes of Orcs is enjoyably primal. If you enjoy games like Beach Head 2000 for their repetitive killing, you’ll find a lot to like about this game, which should also thrill anyone whose favorite buildings in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness were the guard and cannon towers.
Why can’t we just raid a tomb once in a while without having to leap for precarious ledges? Lara Croft trades Indiana Jones’s whip for a pair of big guns. The two characters end up in similar adventures, however, stealing priceless artifacts from around the world. But unlike the creakier Dr. Jones, Lara uses her athleticism to vault through traps, off walls, and over pits. This acrobatic style makes Tomb Raider Anniversary an exciting game, even though it occasionally frustrates.
The next time some hater tells you that “Mac gamer” is a contradiction, fire back with these best-ever Apple-platform titles. Sure, Apple’s systems have had their gaming downs; the short-lived Pippin had few worth playing, and the most fun we had on a Newton was “Find Elvis.” But the Apple II and Mac have had a vibrant ecosystem of games that stood out among all titles.
You’ll have a hard time finding copies of most of our top games. Some are available online , while eBay and local computer stores might carry old copies of others. But if you do have the floppies or CDs, the game isn’t likely to run in OS X. Try an emulator like Basilisk II to trick the old software into thinking it’s running on an old Mac or Apple II.
Spore starts small. A simple life form--you, specifically--merrily swims around in primordial goo, absorbing nutrients. Nothing matters outside of this pool, not the rock basin that holds it, the continent that cradles the rock basin, the planet that holds the continent, the solar system that contains the planet, or the galaxy that surrounds the solar system. None of that matters--yet. Spore keeps its focus on the immediate goal, a race to survive and grow. Just like those scaling worlds, there’s always a hungry creature bigger than you.
We like traditional Scrabble for its physical feel almost as much as the crossword game itself. We carefully arrange letters between turns, sometimes petting a groove into a treasured tile like rubbing Buddha’s belly. Scrabble for the iPod loses that physical touch, but it brings the game to turbulent flights and the family truckster without the danger of losing tiles under the seat.
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.