Review: Dreamcatcher's "The Crystal Key" (1999)

Matt Barton's picture

Dreamcatcher's The Crystal Key, released in 1999 for Macintosh and Windows, is a humble Myst clone without much to offer folks who aren't already committed to this particular type of adventure game. Although it has an interesting storyline, good graphics for the time, reasonable sound effects, and some good puzzles, none of these elements are polished enough to really make the game stand out against the competition (can anything really compete against Myst and Riven on their home turf?). Furthermore, it's a chore getting the game to work properly in XP, and it won't run at all on my iMac. Nevertheless, this era of GAGs is critically important for the genre, and Cyan wasn't the only company exploring the possibilities of first-person perspective and CD-ROM storage.

I was recently able to purchase a handful of games from this era at a used bookstore, so I'll be bringing you "retroreviews" as I play through them.

Compatibility Woes
First off, a note about compatibility issues. As is typical of "obsolete" games, there's a bit of a "sour spot" in each era that is almost totally lacking in good emulation/backwards compatibility support. For Windows XP, that "sour spot" is the early CD-ROM/Windows 95 era. The irony is that it's much easier to get an old DOS game up and running under XP (via DosBox, of course) than a 1999 game like The Crystal Key. In particular, several adventure game developers were irresponsibly reliant on Apple's QuickTime software, which to my mind never worked very well, and even less so when struggling with files intended for older versions. At any rate, getting The Crystal Key up and running takes a few steps--you'll need to right click on the program icon and select "PROPERTIES," then select "RUN IN 640 x 480." Then you'll need to go into your graphics card settings and turn down hardware acceleration to just the basics, then do the same for your sound card. At this point, the game ran fine on my machine, though I saw reports on forums of other problems that I didn't experience. If you find a really old version of the game (i.e., not the 1.1 patched version), you'll need to make sure to patch the game first (the original release had a show-stopping bug a few minutes into the game).

The key irritant is that the game is slowed down because each "movement" to a new area is a brief QuickTime movie that must be loaded from the CD-ROM. This puts a big drag on the pacing, and I wish some gifted individual would release a NO-CD fix for this game!

On to the Game!
Now that all that's out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks. The Crystal Key has some good stuff going for it in the way of story and atmosphere. Your home planet (which is never confirmed as "Earth," though everyone speaks your language, apparently) has received a strange message from outer space. The message talks about a dreadful alien menace named Ozgar who has been spotted in the area. A short time later, said menace appears around your planet and begins wrecking havoc with the weather and climate. Thankfully, your people have managed to track down the origin of the mysterious warning, and built an experimental spacecraft capable of getting you to it. How fortuitous!

Your spacecraft crash-lands on the planet, and from thereon it's up you to put the pieces together and figure out how to defeat Ozgar. Doing so will involve lots of exploration and basic puzzle solving, mostly based on object manipulation. The titular key plays a role as well, as you'll need to find new crystals to slide into its grooves. Each new crystal will allow you to access a new area, but you'll also be traveling via all manner of transports, such as an ATV, gondola, and submarine. Of course, you won't actually get to steer any of these; it's all just point, click, and sit back to watch the QuickTime movie.

You'll learn more about the two alien races as you play, though in rather contrived ways. You learn the most by watching holograms left behind by the friendly aliens, though, like I said, it's a bit hokey why they'd leave these (the explanation offered by the game is that they thought they might return at some distant point in the future). It's also nice that the people in the holograms speak your language (English?). Unfortunately, these small bits of narrative material do little to really engage you in the story. There just aren't enough of them, and I kept getting the impression that the more I thought about them, the less sense they would make.

Ambiance
Clearly, the best part of this game is the ambiance. The graphics, while obviously dated by modern standards, are nevertheless compelling. The locations look great, and it really feels exciting to discover a way into a new area. I particularly enjoyed the "desert world," which reminded me of Luke Skywalker's home planet. The sound effects and music are sparse, but didn't feel repetitive. Furthermore, you eventually discover that Ozgard's soldiers can show up at seemingly random intervals, a fact that adds a bit of tension to the game.

A few of the "worlds" were challenging, such as a jungle world. The hotspots aren't always easy to distinguish, so it's entirely possible to miss a whole area. I'll say more about this below.

Interface
Many games of this era seem to have an irrational fear of relying on anything but simple mouse input. It's as though the right mouse button and the (gasp) keyboard are to be avoided like an onion and garlic bagel before a big date. The result of this silliness is an often awkward interface. Thankfully, Dreamcatcher uses the keyboard where it makes sense. The basic control scheme here is to select a hotspot, which may "zoom in" or actually move to a new location. At most locations, you can hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse to look around, panorama-style. You can also zoom in and zoom out by using the ctrl and shift-keys (it'd been great to have wheel support). At any rate, you can't tell just from looking which parts of the screen can be explored, but must continuously sweep the screen with the mouse to uncover hotspots.

Ozgard's Ship: Can you fly her?Ozgard's Ship: Can you fly her?I've always hated the "hotspot" problem and much prefer games that give you more feedback. Some games from LucasArts will show a piece of informative text as you mouse over a hot spot. Other games will show you all the viable hotspots if you hold down a certain key. At the very least, the mouse pointer ought to change to reflect what type of hotspot you're hovering over. With The Crystal Key, this change is often ambiguous, which can make an otherwise straightforward puzzle mind boggling.

One nice concession to the gamer is automatically getting rid of unneeded inventory objects once they've served their purpose. This is a big help, especially considering how many puzzles can only be solved by trial-and-error.

Puzzles and Other Thoughts
The final puzzle in the game is extremely clever, and isn't solvable until you've found several objects throughout the various worlds. What's neat is that it involves "recycling" some of the devices from earlier puzzles. Other puzzles are of the, spot-a-symbol-here, input-it-there type. You'll need to write down lots of hard-to-draw symbols, some of which are vital and others which look critical but are never seen again.

All in all, The Crystal Key isn't a bad game, but it's just lost in a sea of competition. The best praise I can offer is what I've seen in countless other reviews--if you loved Myst, you'll like The Crystal Key. It's no masterpiece, but it's playable. I do have the sequel as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether the developers managed to improve their formula.

Comments

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
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On compatibility issues: I

On compatibility issues: I think this is a pre OSX game right? If so then on Macintosh the following: - PPC machines often have the ability to dual boot into OS9 even with Tiger installed. It's also possible to create that dual boot option afterwards if only OSX is installed on the system. It's very doable when you have two hard-drives.
- On intel machines it's a different story, those don't have the ability to run OS9 out of the box or with an Apple solution. One thing to try out is Shapeshifter or it's older cousin BasiliskII that create virtual machines (PPC, but the latter only 68K) that allow to installation of pre OSX apple operating systems. Often games do run on those 'emulators'.

http://www.users.bigpond.com/pear_computers/
http://basiliskii.darwinports.com/

On the PC a solution to Windows95 games compatibility might be to download the free-ware Virtual PC 2004 emulator by Microsoft that allows you to install Windows95/98 or other operating systems. Don't expect stellar games performance as 3D emulation is not really there. Quite a few 2D games do run properly in those virtual machine.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx

Dual booting Windows95/98 might also be a possibility but there's quite a few problems with the fast cpu's where Windows is executed too fast and that can generate incompatibility within the previous windows versions.

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks for all the info,

Thanks for all the info, Mark. The game package indicates that it should run on OS 7.5, I believe. However, I was trying to use a program called "Sheep Saver," which requires that I have the old Mac system ROMs, which I was unable to find. There was some complicated mess about downloading a file and using TOME, or something to that effect, but I didn't have the patience to sweat through it.

I also had this problem with my Myst games that claim to be Mac compatible. Apparently, nothing is compatible out-of-the-box with the new Macintels (I'm running OS 10.4.8) except Universal Binary and very recent software. It's a real disappointment, really, especially considering how excruciatingly difficult it is getting those stupid ROMs and running them in a classic Mac emulator. I guess that Apple must be a real bear about tracking down people distributing the old system ROMs and sending them threatening legal notices. How ()*$@& stupid can they be? I can't think of a single reason why preventing me from running my Myst games on this iMac is helping Apple.

Apple may do a lot of things right, but they should really make it easier for folks to run older software on the new Macs. I hardly see what the problem is in releasing those old Mac ROMs for legitimate reasons like this. If anything, not being able to run classic Mac software is a damn good reason NOT to go with Mac!

At any rate, I don't want to have to install another OS. I setup some dual booting before and later regretted it, because it's nearly impossible to revert back once you've taken that step. I don't want to mess around with partitioning my drive, and I shouldn't have to. Really, though, I can see why so many people who enjoy classic software tend to keep an old PC around. A solid Pentium machine equipped with Windows 95 might really help me out of a few jams, and it wouldn't hurt to have a 486/66 in good working order. Sadly, I know so little about the Mac that I'm not even sure which model would be the most accomodating to older software.

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Oops I actually meant Sheep

Oops I actually meant Sheep Shaver. Shapeshifter was the macintosh emulator for Amiga - that sort of sneeked in. Indeed you need to have MacOS roms to be able to run Sheep Shaver, this is a PPC emulator related to BasiliskII. The latter also needs MacOS roms. But those can be acquired by running a small program on one of your old macintoshes that will dump it to floppy.

I wouldn't say nothing is compatible out of the box with the newer Intel systems.
I got this from the PPC Games - OSX86 Wiki a site where a lot of stuff is written about using OSX on regular intel machines. Please not that this OSX on regular windows machines can only be done through hacking and is not condoned by Apple Inc. Apple developers are supposed to have this special OSX version that boots on regular machines. I would welcome the fact to be able to use OSX on just about any PC around as it is in my eyes the superios OS (Unix Based, very easy to use and yet for the power user very configurable and programmable). I use my slower clocked Macs far more than my 3.4Ghz clocked Intel Windows machine.

As I do now own both a PPC and Intel tue Macintosh, I used to have only a G4 and older PPC601,PPC603 Macs I found that this stuff does apply to people with real intel macs as well. But the mini and quite a few of the apple laptops sometimes won't have the horsepower to run the 3D apps whereas a 3D accelerated iMac will. So there might be differences in experiences from the real Apple Inc machines as the games are probably tested on very different machines.

Please also note that these games are native PPC games running on the Rosetta emulation layer on intel cpu's. I must say I am very impressed with the results and power of the Rosetta part of OSX.

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/PPC_Games

Age of Empires II

Game Name: Age of Empires II
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA950
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version: 1.05
Notes:
[edit]
Army Ops

Game Name: Army Ops
Working: Yes
Playable: Only for the very patient
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 2.531
Notes: Works fine but screen updates and mouse response are much too slow to be useable unless you're really really bored (on 2.8ghz prescott HT 1gig).
[edit]
Black & White (10.4.5)

Game Name: Black & White
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes (~60+fps)
Tested Resolutions: 1440x900
Graphics Card: RadeonX1600
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.51
Game Version: 1.1.9
Notes: Works great, only slowdown is from laptop CD-ROM when not using a full install.
[edit]
Black & White (10.4.3 8F1111A)

Game Name: Black & White
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes, perfectly (~30+fps)
Tested Resolutions: 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.1.9
Notes: Seems to work perfectly, are some colour glitches on the horizon in game
[edit]
Call of Duty

Game Name: Call of Duty
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600, 1280x1024, 1900x1200
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111
Game Version: 1.51
Notes: A bit laggy(for my computer!!)

Working fast on P4 2,8 DC with ATI X1600. Not working after 10.4.8 update.
[edit]
Civilization III

Game Name: Civilization III
Working: Yes
Playable: Fully
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: None
OS X Version: 10.4.4 8g1165
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Kinda slow but playable due to being a turn based strategy game.
[edit]
Command & Conquer: Generals

Game Name: Command & Conquer: Generals
Working: Yes
Playable: Very, but it looks like the units are moving through malasas
Tested Resolutions: 800x600 1024x768
Graphics Card: MacBook Pro 15"
Audio: MacBook Pro 15"
Networking: ???
OS X Version: 10.4.6
Game Version: N/A right now, will fill in later
Notes: I got it for the PPC and it works like a champ. I'm playing on my MacBook Pro 15" and it looks great! Rossetta does it job perfectly.
[edit]
Commandos 3

Game Name: Commandos 3
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: RadeonX1600 256MB
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.7
Game Version: 1.0.2
Notes: Seems a bit slow but might just be the normal speed.
[edit]
Cube

Game Name: Cube
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes, no problems
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768 full and window
Graphics Card: Radeon 9600xt 256MB (QE+CI)
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111a
Game Version: All tested
Notes: PowerPC versions works perfectly. No video+sound+networking problems at all. Good performance. This game is free! Download it or it's source code from here!
[edit]
Diablo 2

Game Name: Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction
Working: yes
Playable: yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600, 640x480
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X1600 (MBP 15"), and hackintosh using X1600+ATINDRV hack
Audio: working (tested on 10.4.5)
Networking: battle.net connection working
OS X Version: 10.4.5/6
Game Version: installed using the OS X installer and patched to most recent via battle.net
Notes: Cannot be used in OpenGL rendering mode; Option-double-click the application to start it, holding Option until the "Diablo II Options" window appears. Hit 'Configure Video' and select 'Software'. With lots of effects or monsters on-screen, there's some pretty noticible slowdown.
[edit]
Escape Velocity Nova 1.0.9

Game Name: EVNova
Working: Yes
Playable: sort-of, lags and requires fully working drivers runnig at 16bit colours
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024(16Bit Colour)
Graphics Card: NVidia Geforce 6200 (Home-Made Drivers)-- It should be noted that this game used pre-rendered graphics and does not put much load on or require a powerful graphics card.
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111a
Game Version: 1.0.9
Notes: only runs in 16Bit Colour
[edit]
Fallout 2

Game Name: Fallout 2
Working: Yes
Playable: yes
Tested Resolutions: 1280x800
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Not working due to a lack of audio driver for my hardware (untested with working soundcard)
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111g
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Very playable, it's just like it should be, no artifacts, no lag, wonderful! I'm gonna go kill me some geckos
[edit]
Football Manager 2006

Game Name: Football Manager 2006
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1680x1050, actually a 1280x1024 window
Graphics Card: Radeon 9600 Pro
Audio: Don't know if there is audio in the Mac version
Networking: Not tested
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111g
Game Version: 6.0.1
Notes: Not very fast, but completely playable, needs a lot of RAM
[edit]
Ford Racing 2

Game Name: Ford Racing 2
Working: Yes
Playable: Almost, if you lower your standards
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: ATI X1600 256MB
Audio: As poor as on a PPC machine, but works
Networking: Not tested
OS X Version: 10.4.7
Game Version: 1.0.1
Notes: Works better on my Macmini 1.5GHz 1GB of RAM than on my Macbook Pro 2.16GHz 2GB of RAM
[edit]
Halo

Game Name: Halo
Working: Yes
Playable: Doesn't crash with the GMA 900 or any other ATi Radeon 9550+ card on *10.4.5*, because 10.4.5 introduced new/different ATi/GMA-Intel915-945 Drivers
Tested Resolutions: 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA900, ATi Radeon X600Pro, others will work as well (see below)
Audio: Yes
Networking: Online play is working, lags a tremendous amount.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111 and 10.4.5 8G1454 and 10.4.4 8G1165
Game version: 1.5.2 now runs ok on any 9550+ Radeon with QE/CI on 10.4.4/5

Notes: There's online lag, more tests need to be done, and it helps to have HT on if you have it, and "No Shaders" on.
Notes Bis: A Universal Binary version now exists.
[edit]
Jazz Jackrabbit 2

Game Name: Jazz Jackrabbit 2
Working: Yes
Playable: No
Tested Resolutions: 640 x 480
Graphics Card: ATI device 0x5159
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.1 8B1025
Game Version: 1.2.8
Notes: Versions before 1.2.8 will not work
[edit]
Knights of the Old Republic

Game Name: Knights of the Old Republic
Working: Yes
Playable: No
Tested Resolutions: 800 x 600
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon x1600
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.6
Game Version: 1.0.3
Notes: Incredible lag. Was faster on my old 700mhz powerbook than on this 2.16ghz MacBook Pro
[edit]
Lemonade Tycoon 2

Game Name: Lemonade Tycoon 2
Working: Yes
Playable: Fully
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: None
OS X Version: 10.4.4 8g1165
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Works great!
Also working with a driverless 6600 on 10.4.5 and 10.4.6
[edit]
Max Payne

Game Name: Max Payne
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Seems to work perfectly
[edit]
Medal of Honor

Game Name: Medal of Honor: Breakthrough
Working: Yes on Intel Core Duo, NO on Intel Core 2 Duo
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600, 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Untested
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: Unknown (latest?)
Notes: Playable, as long as the quality is cranked down. No graphics glitches. Lack of SSE3 probably hurting performance here, anybody with a SSE3 CPU tried it?
[edit]
Myth2 1.5.1

Game Name: Myth2
Working: Yes
Playable: Very
Tested Resolutions:800X600 (windowed), 1024x768 (windowed)
Graphics Card: Software Render
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3 (8F1099)
Notes: Has small graphics glitches when playing back in game movies.
[edit]
Nanosaur II: Hachling

Game Name: Nanosaur2
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions:1440x900
Graphics Card: RadeonX1600 256MB
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.7
Game Version: 1.1 but version 2 now adds Universal Binary
Notes: Universal binary patch available on Apple website.
[edit]
Neverball

Game Name: Neverball
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions:1024x768
Graphics Card: Intel GMA 900
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.7
Game Version: 1.4.0
Notes: Open-Source Game, http://icculus.org/neverball/
[edit]
Oni

Game Name: Oni
Working: Yes
Playable: Sort of- see Notes
Tested Resolutions: 640x480, 800x600, 1600x1200
Graphics Card: GMA900, ATI X1600 Pro (Saphire)
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A- No multiplayer component
OS X Version: 10.4.3, 10.4.5
Game Version: 1.32
Notes: Performance is perfectly acceptable and audio works fine. HOWEVER- textures are horribly corrupted; many objects appear as a single colour. Also, only 640x480 and 800x600 resolutions are available. I plan to test GMA900 with Oni under Windows to verify that this is a Mac-specific problem ::: Using ATI X1600, 1600x1200 was extremely playable, everything looks fine - nothing seems to be corrupted. Even the cursor remains intact when you quit the game! Reccommended.
[edit]
Pocket Tanks Deluxe

Game Name: Pocket Tanks Deluxe
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 640x480, 800x600
Graphics Card:nVIDIA Asus N6600 TOP
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.6, 10.4.5, 10.4.1
Game Version: latest
Notes: I can't seem to be able to change the resolution [nvidia graphics card] but the game is fully playable.
[edit]
Postal 1

Game Name: Postal 1
Working: no
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: Unchangable and it works.
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111a & 10.4.4 8g1165
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Works 100%
[edit]
Quake

Game Name: GLQuake
Working: Yes
Playable: Game is working perfectly
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Working perfectly.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.0.9
Notes: Works perfectly, no issues
[edit]
Quake1

Game Name: Quake
Working: Yes
Playable: Game play is nice, works without hardware acceleration=nvidia
Tested Resolutions: 800X600 so far
Graphics Card: GF5700
Audio: YES
Networking: Not tested,should work
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8f1111a V4.1
Notes: using the quake mac osx patch
[edit]
Quake 3

Game Name: Quake 3
Working: Yes
Playable: Game is working perfectly
Tested Resolutions: 800x600, 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Working perfectly.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.32
Notes: Universal binary now available
[edit]
Raven Shield

Game Name: Rainbow 6 - Raven Shield
Working: Yes
Playable: Perfect
Tested Resolutions: 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200 1920x1440
Graphics Card: Radeon Mobility X1600 (Fully working, with hacks)
Audio: Works fine
Networking: untested
OS X Version: 10.4.6
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Test system was a MacBook Pro 1,83 GHz. No playing difference with my PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz
[edit]
Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Game Name: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024 (max quality)
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: Seems to work perfectly
[edit]
Rise of Nations

Game Name: Rise of Nations
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600 1024x768 1280x800 1680x1050
Graphics Card: MacBook 13" (GMA950) iMac 20" 1.5 GB RadeonX1600 128Mb
Audio: MacBook 13" iMac 20"
Networking: Not tested
OS X Version: 10.4.6 10.4.8
Game Version: 1.0 ? Gold 1.0.1
Notes: MacBook 2x1.8Ghz, 512 Ram, with more RAM the game should run faster Download 1.0.1 updater to avoid crashes
[edit]
Rune Scape

Game Name: Rune Scape
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: Raedon 9200
Audio: No
Networking: NA
OS X Version: 10.4.1
Game Version:
Notes: After opening the java app on safari, a kernel panic occurs
[edit]
Soldier Of Fortune 2

Game Name: Soldier Of Fortune 2
Working: Yes
Playable: Not Very
Tested Resolutions: 640x480, 800x600
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: No noticible Problems
OS X Version: 10.4.4
Game Version: 1.0, 1.03 (Gold) and Gold with OSP patch Multiplayer
Notes: tested on a 2.8 Celeron 336, 512 ram, using xbench I am getting similar results to 1ghz ibook it plays fine as far as I can tell but unacceptable framerates of 5-20 fps, Havent properly tested single player as frame rate was too poor but multiplayer was better at ~ 15fps at the lowest graphics settings, this is compared with min 70fps for the same settings of the ibook
[edit]
Spaceward Ho!

Game Name: Spaceward Ho!
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: N/A
Graphics Card: N/A
Audio: Yes
Networking: No noticible Problems
OS X Version: 10.4.8
Game Version: 5.0
Notes: tested on an intel core duo, it taxes the cpu a bit but the only noticeable bug is that horizontal scroll goes the opposite of the intended direction
[edit]
Starcraft

Game Name: Starcraft + Broodwar
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 640x480
Graphics Card: Radeon X1600+ATINDRV hack
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version:1.33
Notes: After downloading the patch from apple.com, the farest I have reached was the screen that allows you to select your resolution. The splash screen does not appear. By the way, Blizzard would most likely not port a game as old as Starcraft.
[edit]
Starcraft Broodwar

Game Name: Starcraft Broodwar
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: NA
Graphics Card: Radeon X1600+ATINDRV hack
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version:1.33
Notes: After downloading the patch from apple.com, the farest I have reached was the screen that allows you to select your resolution. The splash screen does not appear. By the way, Blizzard would most likely not port a game as old as Starcraft.
[edit]
StarWars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Game Name: StarWars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600 - 1280x1024
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.7
Game Version: 1.03c Universal Binary
Notes: Game works Great! I kill some Siths! ^_^
[edit]
Star Wars : Knights Of the Old Republic (SWKOTOR)

Game Name: Star Wars : Knights Of the Old Republic (SWKOTOR)
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 800x600
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X300SE
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A (Its a Single Player game)
OS X Version: 10.4.8
Game Version: 1.03c
Notes: Pretty happy. Tested with low settings and medium settings. High settings seems to work fine but the performance isnt impressive on High. I suggest you to try it on Medium !
[edit]
Stepmania 3.9

Game Name: Stepmania 3.9
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: ATI x300 128MB RAM
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version: 3.9 Stable Build
Notes: It works at full speed without crashing on my Dell Inspiron 6000. To get it to fill the screen I had to change the resolution to 1024x768, otherwise it just fille done corner of my screen. Very playable and pretty much flawless.
[edit]
The Sims 2

Game Name: The Sims 2
Working: Yes
Playable: No
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 1.0 Rev C (v4660)
Notes: HUD doesn't work, and game crashes after loading a family. Universal Binary Released April 12, 2006. It requires the CD to play though so I couldnt test it
[edit]
Tomb Raider Chronicles

Game Name: Tomb Raider Chronicles
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1280x800 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA950
Audio: Yes
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.8
Game Version: 1.0.2
Notes: The Carbon versions appear to work fine under Rosetta. Please remember to install the 1.0.2 update from Aspyr FTP which fixes some playing bugs (the 1.0 version is not tested but should work too). You need to set the appropriate resolution in the "TR Chronicles Setup (Carbon)".
[edit]
Transport Tycoon Deluxe (OpenTTD)

Game Name: Transport Tycoon Deluxe
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024 1024x768 - always windowed
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.3
Game Version: 0.4.8
Notes: I love it.
[edit]
Tux Racer

Game Name: Tux Racer
Working: Yes (Running)
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1400x1050
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: N/A
Networking: N/A
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version:0.61-3
Notes: Works perfect
[edit]
Unreal Tournament (UT99)

Game Name: Unreal Tournament (UT99)
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes (~40+fps at max quality)
Tested Resolutions: 1280x1024
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Working
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 436x3
Notes: Seems to work perfectly
[edit]
Unreal Tournament 2003

Game Name: Unreal Tournament 2003
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes (and yes on Radeon too - very fast, even with all the bells and whistles)
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA900, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested.
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 2225.1
Notes: Mainly works - does crash sometimes during a level
[edit]
Unreal Tournament 2004

Game Name: Unreal Tournament 2004
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes (~20+fps) (60+fps on Radeon 9800 Pro)
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA900, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested (extremely smooth when tested with the ATI card).
OS X Version: 10.4.3 8F1111A
Game Version: 3355
Notes: Seems to work perfectly, some graphics errors (when exiting the game using the ATI card, the mouse cursor becomes lines on the screen and at that point, you have to fumble around for the apple menu and restart the computer to fix it, no other issues using that card)
The lastest patch 3369.2 for Mac OS X are some fixes, but the biggest changes are the presence of Universal Binaries and the inclusion of the Epic Mega Pack. http://icculus.org/news/news.php?id=2565
[edit]
Warcraft 3

Game Name: Warcraft 3 (The Frozen Throne)
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: GMA900- 800x600, 1024x768 -- Radeon- 1650x1080x16
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X1600/128MB - Also GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Works
OS X Version: 10.4.4 (10.4.3 8F1111A for GMA900)
Game Version: 1.20c
Notes: Runs pretty smooth for normal gaming. Reducing resolution will probably help- (On GMA-900 performance is awful; barely playable at 800x600. Note that I am using a SSE2 CPU- this may be the problem.)
[edit]
WipeOut 2097

Game Name: WipeOut 2097
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768
Graphics Card: GMA950
Audio: Yes
Networking: Not tested
OS X Version: 10.4.8
Game Version: 1.3
Notes: Appears to play fine (only tested single-player first level and menus, though). Note that you need to download the latest 1.3 patch [1] which provides a Mac OS X binary (the original version is for Mac OS 9). The maximum resolution allowed by the game is 1024x768, so this is probably the best choice. The initial videos don't appear to play smoothly, though.
[edit]
World of Warcraft

Game Name: World of Warcraft
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768(windowed) 1280x1024(fullscreen)
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Yes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.5
Game Version: 1.10.2 (1.9.3 added Intel native support)
Notes: (this is an Intel Native game but there is no "Intel Games (section)" so I put it here, Anyway) Works great at full detail kinda choppy compared to a true 3D accelerator but still completely playable! 1GB ram minimum due to IF (Ironforge) or ORG (Orgrimmar) lag (if you know what that means)

Question: How do I change the resolution without entering the game? Answer: [Game directory]\WTF\Config.wtf (No joke. wtf = WoW Text File)

[edit]
Redline

Game Name: Redline
Working: Yes
Playable: Yes
Tested Resolutions: 1024x768(windowed) 1280x800(fullscreen)
Graphics Card: GMA900
Audio: Probably, i dont have audio on my laptop so i cant hear anything until a sigmatel driver comes
Networking: Yes
OS X Version: 10.4.6
Game Version: 1.0
Notes: 512mb ram, Is universal, worked really well! full graphics, no lag or glitches,

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

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