Articles tagged with: classic


mossy_11 on Saturday, 12 March 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Before he co-created the legendary Mac game Dark Castle -- long before he led development on the now-dominant Flash multimedia platform -- Jonathan Gay made a little black-and-white game called Airborne. The Macintosh was still in its infancy at this point, and Airborne was released more-or-less alongside the freeware Banzai!, but this did little to detract from Airborne's appeal.

The concept is simple: destroy the advancing tanks, planes, helicopters, and soldiers with your mortar or anti-aircraft gun before they reach your position. If someone gets close enough to shoot you, you lose -- presumably ending an admirable, or perhaps foolish, last stand against all odds to repel an invasion force. If you manage to defeat them all, a new wave arrives. There is no winning, just a staving off of the inevitable and a hope of setting a new high score.

Growing up Mac: Windows to Another Dimension

mossy_11 on Wednesday, 05 May 2010. Posted in Opinion

When Windows 95 came out, I didn’t care. Sure, I was just a kid, but I could clearly see that it was inferior to System 7.5.5. Years later I learned this isn’t strictly true -- although the feature gap was almost non-existent (despite what Windows’ marketing suggested), they each possessed different strengths and weaknesses. But all I saw was an ugly interface, a continued reliance on the dated DOS back-end, and the infamous blue screen of death. And games still looked better on the Mac, even with the aging hardware.

It was like a window to another dimension, where somehow everything bad reigned supreme over all that is good. I didn’t like it. I wanted to close the shutters and pretend there was no other dimension. But there was no escaping Windows, and I soon came to terms with my aversion for the OS, thanks in large part to a game called Civilization II and a little thing called the Internet.



mossy_11 on Monday, 08 March 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

A helicopter, a tiny little man, and a horse-drawn wagon. That doesn't sound like much of an idea for a game, but it's the basis for StuntCopter, a shareware Mac game released by teenage programmer Duane Blehm in October 1986. Blehm released two other games -- Zero Gravity and Cairo ShootOut! -- and updated versions of StuntCopter before his untimely death a few years later. His parents decided to release the games into the public domain, where they have become increasingly difficult to run on current hardware.

But now gamers can once again enjoy the simple-yet-gratifying gameplay of StuntCopter (without jumping through hoops to make it run). The game was ported to OS X by Antell Software in 2004 (get it here; requires Mac OS 10.4 or later), and to the iPhone by nerdgames in 2009.


Glider PRO

mossy_11 on Sunday, 31 January 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

The quintessential paper plane simulator, John Calhoun's shareware classic Glider first emerged in 1988 "for all Macs". Its basic premise involved the player guiding a paper plane through 15 rooms, while avoiding obstacles (including a cat) and keeping the "glider" airborne, with the help of upward air movement from vents. Subsequent versions added new rooms, features, and obstacles, but the gameplay remained essentially the same.

Glider's simple mechanics and undeniable charm spawned a dedicated fan community, consisting mostly of modders, who created new levels or "houses" for the game. There was even a fanzine for a few years in the mid-90s.

Glider PRO, the fifth major version of Glider, was released in 1994 for Macs running System 7 or better. It was repeatedly updated to run on newer hardware, and even got a commercial release on CD, before publisher Casady & Greene went out of business in 2003. John Calhoun released all versions of Glider as freeware soon after.