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What's the "best" strategy game for Macs?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
On my very old PC, I was addicted to Command and Comquer, Age of Empires and Homeworld. In your opinion, what's the best current strategy game running on Mac?
post #2 of 43
Command and Conquer! The Zero Hour pack adds even more. It's both action and stratedgy. Let's you set the pace of the game, so that you can start slow and move up.
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post #3 of 43
What are the current strategy games for mac?
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post #4 of 43
C&C: Zero Hour
Age of Empires 2
Civ III & iV (soon)
post #5 of 43
Ahem, Homeworld 2. Three-dimensional fleet combat in the middle of nebulae clouds = win. Extremely polished graphics as well, it's the only RTS in which I enjoy sitting back and watching the fight.

Absolutely gorgeous graphics and lighting that would be acceptable in a normal, in-the-action game, let alone an RTS of this scale.

post #6 of 43
The best RTS for mac is Total Annihilation, at least in terms of strategy. It's an old game (you need classic or OS9 to run it) but you just need to type it into google to see all the awards it has won. C&C is a joke compared to this game, but hey, some people like rock paper scissors.

If you have a Intel based Mac, buy Windows for it and wait for Supreme Commander, the sequel to Total Annihilation (made by the same team). Check out the trailer for it here.
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post #7 of 43
Boats that convert into six-legged walking tanks?
post #8 of 43
Yep, it's huge in scale: The largest map is also 6400 square km, the fastest jet in the game takes 7 minutes to cross it.
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post #9 of 43
I love the Civilization games. Is Civ 3 supported for Intel Macs or do I have to wait for Civ 4. I have a Mabook by the way. Will the integrated graphics have a huge effect on the way the game looks/plays?
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post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mattyj
The best RTS for mac is Total Annihilation, at least in terms of strategy.

If TA is the Go of realtime strategy games, then Starcraft: Brood War is Chess. Professional fulltime Starcraft players in Korea are still inventing previously unseen tactics. That the strategy is not exhausted yet despite an absolutely massive, dedicated, networked player community is the strongest available proof of depth.
I have to admit never having played TA more than a handful of matches (had no computers available back then that could run it smoothly). It seemed to have very little immediate, magnetic attraction, the kind I've had to C&C: Tiberian Dawn and later Starcraft. I attribute this to somewhat poor styling and boring unit design. Unit types and weapon classes (first effectively RTS-employed in C&C Tiberian Dawn, absolutely fundamental in Starcraft) would have done a great deal to give different units an unique feel and role. This is where the chess-go analogy comes from: in TA the beginning player feels like he is manipulating a large number of identical units, whereas in in SC the units have wildly varying role and "personality".
Quote:
If you have a Intel based Mac, buy Windows for it and wait for Supreme Commander, the sequel to Total Annihilation (made by the same team). Check out the trailer for it here.

:drool:
I hope they concentrate on making the units and factions tight, interesting, and fundamentally different in playstyle. No Generic Laserbeam Tank, Generic Ioncannon Aircraft, Generic Phasorbeam Mech please.
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
If TA is the Go of realtime strategy games, then Starcraft: Brood War is Chess. Professional fulltime Starcraft players in Korea are still inventing previously unseen tactics. That the strategy is not exhausted yet despite an absolutely massive, dedicated, networked player community is the strongest available proof of depth. [/B]

I second that. I waste good money every few months trying to find a game that I enjoy as much as SC:BW (and that can run on my 867 Quicksilver). WarCraft III was a nice effort, but I think the hero units warped the whole thing too much. Like playing chess where every so often you can use a hammer...
post #12 of 43
SC is rock paper scissors, albeit more complicated, it is not a strategic game, it is a tactical resource war. I don't give a damn about Koreans earning money from it playing tournaments, it is second to TA according to most awards/magazines.

Those crazy Koreans just absorb anything made by Blizzard: SC, the Warcraft series, are not Real Time Strategy games. Like you said Gon, it's chess in the sense that it is almost turn based: Move, shoot, move again, shoot, die, etc.

Give Supreme Commander a chance and I guarantee it will win you over completely. TA has huge depth, but it's not immediately obvious.
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post #13 of 43
What's the best single-player turn-based strategy game or single-player turn-based RPG for Mac? RTS are too time-engrossing and I like to multi-task. Something along the lines of Civ 1&2 or M&M 1,2 and 3? Fancy graphics not required.
post #14 of 43
I used to like the Myth series, because it has absolutely nothing to do with mining resources.
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post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
What's the best single-player turn-based strategy game or single-player turn-based RPG for Mac? RTS are too time-engrossing and I like to multi-task. Something along the lines of Civ 1&2 or M&M 1,2 and 3? Fancy graphics not required.

I would like to know this too. I love the civ games, and I would love to have one on my MacBook.
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post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
I used to like the Myth series, because it has absolutely nothing to do with mining resources.

post #17 of 43
Other turn-based strategy games I've loved (they really don't make them like that any more):

Bandit Kings of Ancient China (the only KOEI game ever released for the Mac). It was an adaptation of the Chinese literary classic "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". This game was so old it's in Black and white and runs on the stock Mac Plus, System 3!

Spaceward Ho! 2 and 3.

Warlords II

But I probably loved Might and Magic III more than any. Realmz was a great extensible shareware single-player turn-based RPG too.

So please, tell us where we can get something with the same style game play as those.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mattyj
SC is rock paper scissors, albeit more complicated, it is not a strategic game, it is a tactical resource war. I don't give a damn about Koreans earning money from it playing tournaments, it is second to TA according to most awards/magazines.


What's supposed to be the difference between "strategic game" and "tactical resource war"? In both games you get resources, invest in troops, march them to fight, get more resources, and hit below the belt.

Rock-paper-scissors the game mechanic is present in most games including TA and Starcraft and that does not tell anything about whether the result is a deep, balanced, interesting or fun game. I just think the way rock-paper-scissors is implemented in SC is particularly good. If you go with a homogenous army and the other guy were to somehow get 1/3 of the resources you spent and use it to create an "antidote" team from scratch, you'd be about even. This makes for interesting wrestling with unit mixes and tech changes, as well as makes intelligence work a key element of winning.

Anything can be given an award, really. But not just anything survives professional tournament play without degenerating into two, three standard tactics and competition about who can execute those few tactics most fluidly.
Quote:
Those crazy Koreans just absorb anything made by Blizzard: SC, the Warcraft series, are not Real Time Strategy games. Like you said Gon, it's chess in the sense that it is almost turn based: Move, shoot, move again, shoot, die, etc.

How is TA not move, shoot, move again, shoot, die? How do units not move, act and be constructed in real time in SC? I must be in the slow class.

Go and chess both are turn-based. My analogy stems from the various units in SC vs. the generic laser-bots and tanks of TA, and also from that area control is continous in TA while SC is about control of choke points and especially the ramps between height levels, making many areas effectively "one spot" which is occupied by a force of units..
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Give Supreme Commander a chance and I guarantee it will win you over completely. TA has huge depth, but it's not immediately obvious.

I tend to play more than one game, and look for the upsides in each.
post #19 of 43
Stop arguing about Starcraft. It's ten years old and the only people who want to play it anymore are those damned Koreans. 8)
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post #20 of 43
SC is based upon tactics, it is essentially useless to direct a force around an opponent before battle commences, and nigh on impossible, and therefore is not strictly an RTS. Tactics means the way in which a force is managed during enemy contact, there is no build up of strategy.

TA has far larger maps, useful defensive weapons and gives players an ability to strategically place forces, i.e. maneuver them before contact with an enemy.

SC is a resource war, as in, who ever can mine resources the most effectively will typically win the game. TA is different as there are many more units and therefore options available, making it more tactical, as you have to prepare a force that can take out a defended base as well as the enemies' offensive units.

I don't care about professional tournaments, anyone who plays SC for money is pathetic and battle.net is a horrible place.

SC is move and shoot simply because in SC YOU CAN EITHER MOVE OR SHOOT, NOT BOTH AT THE SAME TIME, OH DEAR!. No physics are taken into account, i.e. trajectory of shots, they cannot miss, etc. The list is very, very long.

TA is not move, shoot, move, shoot, die, because the units can do both at the same time, not to mention miss, which means actually moving your forces can have a dramatic effect in terms of their survivability unlike it is in SC.

This SC vs TA debate is old and tired, just because more people play SC than TA is a flawed and naive argument, most people read tabloid newspapers yet they are inferior to broadsheets. So don't get me started.

BTW, having generic laser tanks is not bad at all, I bet you like BF2, yet that has generic helicopters, tanks, jeeps, planes, so what's the difference? After all in TA both sides are human and were both part of the same society at one point according to the story line.

Case closed.
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post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mattyj
SC is based upon tactics, it is essentially useless to direct a force around an opponent before battle commences, and nigh on impossible, and therefore is not strictly an RTS. Tactics means the way in which a force is managed during enemy contact, there is no build up of strategy.

That's bunk. In a SC match most of the time most of your forces are not tied in battle and can be maneuvered.
Zerg in particular tend to lose even on flat ground (despite being the most "melee" race) if the player does not take care to flank the enemy from 2-3 directions before committing to the fight. Every race has decent airlift capability to deliver units wherever on the map.
The action in SC concentrates on choke points and cliffs simply because out in the open, either player is generally a little stronger and the other one has to pull back to a position more easily held lest he is crushed out in the open. On strategic level, good players balance production, multiple fronts, time their pushes right, lay sieges to isolate attack targets, to block reinforcements and expansion and engage in constant guerrilla action. Stalemate situations and open battles are decided with concentration of forces, special abilities and units and air drops.
Quote:
TA has far larger maps, useful defensive weapons and gives players an ability to strategically place forces, i.e. maneuver them before contact with an enemy.

SC is a resource war, as in, who ever can mine resources the most effectively will typically win the game. TA is different as there are many more units and therefore options available, making it more tactical, as you have to prepare a force that can take out a defended base as well as the enemies' offensive units.

You saying the resource leader in TA typically doesn't win the game?

There can be more choice in less units when the units have multiple abilities and roles. And in SC they do. The Vulture, for instance, comes to life as a fragile, fast, worker-killing raid unit which is relatively unable to damage armored units or defend anything. But a moment later in the game you canupgrade it with the mine laying ability, and if you do, the Vulture becomes an important support unit in defense. A skilled player can even use a pack of upgraded Vultures to bring down lone armored units with an offensive mine rush. Similarly, the air-to-air fighter Corsair gets an ability that causes a massive area effect on ground forces and defense towers. What's interesting is that these are just frontline fighting units. Dedicated support units - which each race has at least two of - have multiple special abilities.

Not that more choice always makes for a better game. Go is plenty fun.

Quote:
I don't care about professional tournaments, anyone who plays SC for money is pathetic and battle.net is a horrible place.

I don't follow tournaments either, and somewhat agree with the last points, but regardless of whether you follow pro tournaments, they are concrete proof about the quality of the game, and the fact new strategies are still coming up is concrete proof of the depth of the strategy.

Quote:
SC is move and shoot simply because in SC YOU CAN EITHER MOVE OR SHOOT, NOT BOTH AT THE SAME TIME, OH DEAR!. No physics are taken into account, i.e. trajectory of shots, they cannot miss, etc. The list is very, very long.

TA is not move, shoot, move, shoot, die, because the units can do both at the same time, not to mention miss, which means actually moving your forces can have a dramatic effect in terms of their survivability unlike it is in SC.

This SC vs TA debate is old and tired, just because more people play SC than TA is a flawed and naive argument, most people read tabloid newspapers yet they are inferior to broadsheets. So don't get me started.

Strawman. I never used the "million flies" argument.

Keeping your units moving is absurdly easy. Precisely because the units In SC do not move while firing, you micromanage them so they both move, fire and use special abilities. Offhand I can think of at least eight different reasons to manipulate a unit while it is already at firing distance from the enemy.

There are automated tools that give you actions per minute (APM) from a Starcraft game replay. A good player has around 120 APM or over - that is, two commands issued to units or structures per second throughout the whole game. In micromanaged combat a good player will spike to 200 APM or more.

So actually when units cannot move and fire simultaneously, that makes the combat far more complicated! How you move the units has more of an effect on their survival than in TA.
Quote:
BTW, having generic laser tanks is not bad at all, I bet you like BF2, yet that has generic helicopters, tanks, jeeps, planes, so what's the difference? After all in TA both sides are human and were both part of the same society at one point according to the story line.

Well, of course there are people who are content wearing clothes whose only distinguishing characteristic is that they have no distinguishing characteristic, drive the car that had the best warranty, have 2 average kids and an unremarkable dog. The rest of the population of the planet thinks a little color in life is good. In C&C: Generals, for instance, some creative units like scavenger tanks just "click". Messing with them is by itself enough reason to fiddle with the otherwise uninspired, poor game at least for a bit.

Gameplay-wise, generic units offer no replayability that comes from combination (3 different races in SC -> 3x3=9 very different 1v1 matchups, more in team games, plus the new strategies that come from combining units with a teammate's that plays different race).

Never played BF2.
post #22 of 43
I'm tired of arguing with people that perceive SC as some kind of cult. TA is more strategic, this can be seen through simply the physics engine that is uses. It is a more realistic representation of war than SC is, end of story.

Read, read and read.
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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mattyj
I'm tired of arguing with people that perceive SC as some kind of cult.

I have a guess as to why you keep getting into that kind of arguments.

I have only played a couple games of TA so I don't presume to make any statements about how good a game it ultimately is. But you have no problem spouting stuff about SC that simply is not true.
Quote:
TA is more strategic, this can be seen through simply the physics engine that is uses.

I have no idea what the presence of a physics engine has to do with strategy.

By the way, are aircraft affected by the gravity and wind settings? I'm wondering if they've done things "the hard way" or if they just generate a flight path.
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It is a more realistic representation of war than SC is, end of story.

Ehh.. if you want a representation of war, you should look into something very different. Close Combat comes to mind.
Quote:

The list "TA vs SC" is mostly objective fact, like about graphics, unit control and such. It does not go to conclusions.

Most of the "Why TA is better than SC" list is fanboy crap. The writers make a bunch of factual mistakes about SC. They bitch about SC being "unrealistic" in the same sense some people watch historical movies trying to spot a wristwatch in someone's hand. (All the while cheering for a game with laser mecha, of course.) They even bitch about the background plot. When they mention something about game design they compare it straight up with the other game instead of evaluating it in the context of the design decisions made in that game, and decide the "winner" by the obvious standard: more, bigger, etc. equals better. They would hate Chess because you can only move one unit at a time and there are only six unit types. Never mind if the ruleset as a whole offers tight and good gameplay. Never mind if it looks good. Never mind if it's fun. These are the kind of people who'd take a 1080p goatse over 480i Godfather every time.

I note both lists say very little about game balance and core mechanics. Maybe it's because the people who have played enough of both to be able to do more than superficial comparison have better things to do than boneheaded evangelism.

If it isn't clear yet - I do not put one game above another. I personally know many TA players as well as national level SC players.
post #24 of 43
Say what you want, I really don't care, it's typical for you SC supporters to rant and rant until you're dead even against purely objective facts as though they are wrong because you can't stand the fact that your game is archaic compared to TA. Which is an undeniable fact.

So, whatever.
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post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
What's the best single-player turn-based strategy game or single-player turn-based RPG for Mac? RTS are too time-engrossing and I like to multi-task. Something along the lines of Civ 1&2 or M&M 1,2 and 3? Fancy graphics not required.

Any answer?
post #26 of 43
civ 3 plays nicely on my MBP 17"
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post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mattyj
Say what you want, I really don't care

"There is only one right game in the world and it's the one I'm playing, I can't hear you, LA LA LA LA"

I'm saying there are two good games here.
Quote:
it's typical for you SC supporters to rant and rant until you're dead even against purely objective facts as though they are wrong because you can't stand the fact that your game is archaic compared to TA.

What does the last line of my last post say?

I'd love to hear where I went against objective facts, too. You did on several points, and I pointed them out.
Quote:
So, whatever.

"I have no respect for the people I talk to."

Not that surprising of a comment after you ignored the questions I asked in the two previous posts. I know, asking questions is a strange habit. It's just that when I don't know something, I make an effort to find out.

If you don't care about the facts, it would be honest and effective to say "I just happen to like this thing and I'm not interested in anything else."
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by New
civ 3 plays nicely on my MBP 17"

ok, since I actually can play PC-games now as well, which are the best turn-based strategy games on windows?
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post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by New
ok, since I actually can play PC-games now as well, which are the best turn-based strategy games on windows?

It's more of a tactics game but If I had a gaming-capable PC, I'd be all over Silent Storm.
post #30 of 43
Gon, I have no problem with SC, I actually quite enjoyed the game, but on sheer technicality TA is better. It would take too much time to type the differences, but I can do more of what I want to do tactics and strategy wise in TA than I could ever do in SC.

For example, say if there is a hill to the north of your base, and the enemy is north of your base as well. One strategy is to build your base up as close to the hill as possible, so that artillery cannot hit your buildings (as the artillery shells fire in an arc). However, it means you will generally not be able to place defensive turrets close to these buildings. Plus, the enemy could use missile tanks instead of artillery, which can fire over hills and mountains easily - An example of how the physics influences the tactics.

This is one example of the many decisions you have to make in TA to be good. There is just more scope and a much bigger theatre of battle, and the tactics involved are shaped accordingly. TA you can have 1000 units per side and it makes for very entertaining battles.

Another example: Placing your units up on a hill will give them more range than being on ground level, this is the same for radar as well, but it may make the spots where you place radar and units more obvious to your enemy.

I have absolutely no problem with people liking SC, but when they claim it has more tactics involved than TA it gets annoying. I happen to like TA more simply because it is more complicated. If you don't think so, then you obviously haven't played it enough. I have played both for years.
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post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by maimezvous
I love the Civilization games. Is Civ 3 supported for Intel Macs or do I have to wait for Civ 4. I have a Mabook by the way. Will the integrated graphics have a huge effect on the way the game looks/plays?

I'm not sure if Civilization III was updated to work with intel Macs, but Civilization IV is going to be released on (the 26th) Monday and from the early review from MacWorld Civ IV is playable on a MacBook.

Heres the the first look from MacWorld http://www.macworld.com/2006/06/firs...iviv/index.php

And the best part he was only using a 1.83GHz with 512MB of Ram MacBook, so if you have more Ram it should play even better!!!

I can't wait to buy it

back on topic I really like this game http://www.wesnoth.org/ its a free turned base game which I have been playing for over a week and I love the game its really fun, I recommend it 100%!!
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post #32 of 43
I want to point something out against this pointless 'battle' between what is better, SC or TA.

It is a fact that these two games are one of the best RTS's ever.

Personally, I haven't played enough TA compared to the HOURS upon HOURS of SC I used to play (I was around 10-12).

TA is BIG. Duh. It is very innovative in terms in the RTS Genre.

Let me tell you here and now that Blizzard doesn't innovate. What blizzard does is looks at the genre (RTS or MMORPG) and streamlines it. Takes everything that is good and makes it easily assesible and easily learned by a normal audience, while hard to master. Much like what Miyamoto believes, that game can be learned in 5 minutes, but it takes a long time ti master.

The reason while StarCraft is still kicking after so many years is because, it is PERFECTLY balanced. Between the three races, there is ALWAYS a solution to something.

WoW is another example of Blizzard taking all the fun aspects of the "First Generation" MMO and streamlining it (in some case, in my opinion, oversimplifying it and making it boring). WoW is also easy and rewarding; assesible to the average player that is new to the MMO, and refreshingly simple (although the lack of depth shows up later) for veteran MMO players.

I'm not saying TA is a bad game, on the contrary, it is an amazing game with a fantastic scope. Keep an eye out on its spiritial successor (made by the same guy), "Supreme Commander".

But SC vs. TA is like comparing apple to oranges (sorry for the cliche), they're both different types of games, with things that people might enjoy on one end, and some on the other. SC's simple UI is very welcoming to a new player, and for me, non-blizzard RTS's UIs have always seemed a little unpolished compared to a blizzard RTS, just something different can't put my finger on it. While both games offer amazing depths, albiet differently, as one person mentioned above.

http://www.gamespy.com/articles/494/494673p1.html
Here is an interesting list of good RTS games over the years.

Anyways, this is just my opinion, and my advice...play BOTH. And it wouldn't hurt to try Civ 4
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Apple
I'm not sure if Civilization III was updated to work with intel Macs, but Civilization IV is going to be released on (the 26th) Monday and from the early review from MacWorld Civ IV is playable on a MacBook.

As I said earlier, Civ III works nicely on the MBP. Looking forward to Civ IV though. Wonder how the internet multiplayer option works?
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post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Apple
I'm not sure if Civilization III was updated to work with intel Macs, but Civilization IV is going to be released on (the 26th) Monday and from the early review from MacWorld Civ IV is playable on a MacBook.

Heres the the first look from MacWorld http://www.macworld.com/2006/06/firs...iviv/index.php

And the best part he was only using a 1.83GHz with 512MB of Ram MacBook, so if you have more Ram it should play even better!!!

I can't wait to buy it

back on topic I really like this game http://www.wesnoth.org/ its a free turned base game which I have been playing for over a week and I love the game its really fun, I recommend it 100%!!

Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely going to go out and buy that. I have 2gb of ram on a 2.0ghz processor. If he had no problem with the standard MacBook, I shouldn't either. I'm so excited now.
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #35 of 43
Yeah, C and C Generals baby. Just wish I had a computer fast enough to play it. Sure it's fine on a 12" PBG4 867, if you don't mind playing in slo-mo. Hehe. Just like SimCity 4.
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Apple
back on topic I really like this game http://www.wesnoth.org/ its a free turned base game which I have been playing for over a week and I love the game its really fun, I recommend it 100%!!

hey. god fun!
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Bill Bradley to comedian Bill Cosby: "Bill, you are a comic, tell us a joke!"
- "Senator, you are a politician, first tell us a lie!"
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post #37 of 43
I've been out of the loop regarding games for some time ... but does anyone recall a spaceship based RPG called Escape Velocity: Nova (or something like that) ... I used to play that on a G3 years ago...

Just wondering if it made the transition to OSX or perhaps there's a new version of the game. I don't recall who made it though.

Any help ?
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by KingOfSomewhereHot
I've been out of the loop regarding games for some time ... but does anyone recall a spaceship based RPG called Escape Velocity: Nova (or something like that) ... I used to play that on a G3 years ago...

Just wondering if it made the transition to OSX or perhaps there's a new version of the game. I don't recall who made it though.

Any help ?

EV Nova came out around 4 years or so ago. Still quite fun with all the expansions you can download

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/
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A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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post #39 of 43
Is Civ IV turn-based, or real time, like Sim City style?

Nevermind. I should have clicked the link. Duh.

Quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Apple
I'm not sure if Civilization III was updated to work with intel Macs, but Civilization IV is going to be released on (the 26th) Monday and from the early review from MacWorld Civ IV is playable on a MacBook.
post #40 of 43
Still looking for that elusive D&D role-playing game. Wesnoth is nice, but I LOVED Might and Magic III.

I need that Ultima/M&M/Realmz experience again... something I can truly disappear into. Something with a six person party, stats like strength and agility and constitution, magic spells and levels... you know, the whole AD&D shebang.

What are my options? Can I run anything at all like that on my MacBook?
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