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Gaming on Macs: A Personal Retrospective





I have a confession: I used to be a Mac gamer. For a long period of time, my main gaming machine was a Mac. My daily driver not too long ago was a hand-me-down 2007 MacBook Pro with 4gb ram and 128mb vram. I managed to still game on the thing, even as it burnt my lap (thanks Apple!) and pushed the machine to its absolute limits. Some of the games I played included Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Skyrim and Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Some games were an absolute joy to play, others were a semi-pixellated mess with textures popping in. 

It was not very fun at times but this was all I had at the time. 

Beginnings

I've played games on a range of Macs. One of my earliest experiences was playing Prince of Persia 2 on a 2CX. I wasn't very good and died a lot but I liked the animation and fluidity. I swiftly moved on to games like SimCity 2000, which was amazing. I loved the disasters and wrecking havoc on my cities. 

I learnt to enjoy games like Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? on an old Powerbook and even had fun finding shareware on the CD-ROMS Macworld used to include with their magazine. It was through this I discovered Bungie's Marathon series and the wonderful action adventure Oni:


(Video: Oni review from GmanLives)

All hail the iMac

One of the most influential Macs I played on was the iMac. I had a 2nd generation iMac (released in 1999) and it was glorious. Beautiful to look at, it opened my eyes to games like Deus Ex and Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. I loved the included games from Pangaea Software and have fond memories of Nanosaur, Otto Matic and Cro Mag Rally

The ever expanding collection of shareware showed me some great games from Spiderweb Software and I loved playing the original Blades of Exile and Avernum games

Gaming on a MacBook Pro

As I mentioned earlier, my daily driver was a hand-me-down 2007 MacBook Pro. It was a few years old by the time I got it and still in usable condition. Its ram had been upgraded to the maximum 4gb and it had a new(ish) hard drive. 

I really wanted to play games on it and was limited by 128mb vram. The original Rage didn't work and games like Skyrim played but suffered from texture issues. Some would be missing in places, which made for an interesting experience. 

I had a good time playing Doom 3 and Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, though. The latter was a great RPG and I had an amazing time with it. Steam ran well and I had a blast with Half Life 2

My experience playing on Macs taught me how to make the most of whatever hardware you have. You can still have a great time no matter the platform. 







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