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Mac gamer seeking Mac games for fun and companionship

by Kirk Hiner on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:17 PM

I used to go to Macworld Expos in New York City and there used to be games there. Plenty of games. Aspyr, Freeverse, Ambrosia, MacSoft, MacPlay and more. There were gaming pavilions with competitions and prizes. Displays with forthcoming games. MacPlay pitched a tent and donned fatigues to promote their latest first-person shooter and MacSoft drove me around Manhattan in a limousine.

I won’t tell you that times have changed because a) I’m at the age now where if I say that, it’s no longer ironic, and b) you know that they have.

There’s no Apple at Macworld this year and that means a smaller Macworld. Truth be known, though, the halcyon days (and yes, there were a few months scattered about where things really did look very good) of Mac gaming were done well before Apple tried to kill the Expo.

MacSoft and MacPlay are gone.

Aspyr is around but they focus largely on PC and console titles.

Freeverse and Ambrosia remain but Freeverse concentrates fully on the iPhone apps and Ambrosia’s production has mostly dwindled to the occasional utility. Neither company is at Macworld Expo this year.

So, where does that leave us? It leaves me in San Francisco wandering isles in search of the unmistakable sounds of gaming goodness. I’m not a man without hope. I know that as long as there are keys to be punched and a mouse to be clicked, someone, somewhere will be making games for the Macintosh. It may not be as viable as the PC (and come on, it never really was, right?) but it’s there.

Evidence:

  1. GameSalad – Gendai Games, the makers of GameSalad, an authoring tool created to support amateur and professional game development, has enlisted judges from the Mac and gaming communities to select five finalists for the Macworld 2010 GameSalad Challenge. For the past five weeks, participants have submitted their GameSalad-created games in the GameSalad Challenge. The winners will be announced today, and I’ll be there.
  2. Telltale Games – Last month, the good folks at Gamertell got word that Telltale Games would soon be releasing its entire lineup of games for the Macintosh. We haven’t heard much about this rumor since, but our inside source has pointed out that Telltale is now officially listed as an exhibitor at Macworld Expo 2010. They’ll be unveiling their plans today and Appletell will be there for the announcement.
  3. Alawar – This company has put out some stellar games on the iPhone, including The Treasures of Montezuma 2, Hotel Mogul, and Farm Frenzy 2. Although they don’t have a booth at Macworld Expo 2010, they are having a press conference Thursday morning to announce their 2010 iPhone lineup and, more importantly, their foray into Mac gaming. Likely, these are going to be Mac versions of their iPhone titles, but games are games, and Alowar knows how to put out a solid product.

Now listen: I know none of this God of War 3, Fallout 3 or The Sims 3. I know PC gamers can look at this article (although, seriously, what the hell are you guys reading this article for?) and just laugh their smug little selves all the way to GameStop. Mac gamers aren’t stupid and we know our place in the gaming industry.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had out there. Games both casual and hardcore still stock the shelves at the Apple Stores and such. Big name publishing houses still occasionally throw us a bone, and we’ve still got companies like Feral Interactive fighting the good fight (they’re brining us Rome Total War quite soon…go ahead and laugh, PC gamers), and that’s why I’m here on Gamertell.

Every couple of weeks or so, or when a special announcement calls for it, I’ll use this column to highlight the gems—be they current, old or forthcoming—in Mac gaming. Expect a Macworld roundup soon, and then the adventure begins (I just have to come up with a clever title). If you want to join me, there’s room in the party.

I mean, what else have you got to do, play games?

Editor’s Note: Kirk Hiner is the Editor-In-Chief of Appletell and a frequent contributor to Gamertell.

Site [Appletell @ MacWorld 2010]

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