09 January 2007

Pangea Arcade

The Mac isn't that great as a game platform, at least for those 3D shooters or immersive role-playing games (RPG). Some popular games never get ported to the Mac or when ported are poorly done and don't take advantage of the Mac's capabilities. Not that I care that much about 3D shooters and RPG. I played games sometimes on my Mac, mostly word games (Bookworm, Text Twist), puzzle (Bejeweled 2, Frozen Bubble), platform (Pizza Panic), and some action (BreakQuest, Jets N Guns), but no RPG. I would love to be able to play something like Space Invaders but alas haven't found anything like that yet. Recently I bought Pangea Arcade and am very pleased with the extra feature it has - 3D! Pangea Arcade is a collection of three games - FireFall, Warheads, and Nucleus. FireFall is a clone of Centipede, while Nucleus is an imitation of Asteroids, and Warheads is a spin-off of Missile Defense. The game graphics are great and the 3D feel make them more enjoyable, although the 3D effect is most noticeable with Warheads, as shown in the screenshot. My only wish is that the games have adjustable levels of difficulty. When I plunk some money for a game, I want to be able to go through as many levels as possible or spend as much as enjoyable time with it. The human mind is no match for the computer brain when it comes to quick eye-hand coordination, at least to us middle-age men. I don't want to spend only a few hours with a game and can only get to only a certain level and never get any further. It seems like a big waste of money.

I know, I know, on the day that Apple Computer, uh, Apple Inc., announced all kinds of cool stuff, here I am, supposedly a Mac die-hard, only write about some not-so-new games. Well, I am just not that much into putting a computer into my living room (no thanks, AppleTV), or having my cell phone and music player in one device. Every now and then, I do accidentally drop my cell phone onto a hard surface, so I shudder at the thought of dropping one of those new iPhone. I do hope that maybe in a few months, Apple will come out with something like an iPhone but without the phone. I wouldn't mind carrying such a device in my backpack or winter jacket and whip it out whenever I need to listen to music, watch movie, or surf the web. But to hold something like an iPhone in one hand and risk having it knocked out of the hand to come smashing on the sidewalk or even snatched by a run-by thug, not me.

BTW, from now on, Apple Computer is known as simply Apple Inc. Apple no longer just makes computer software and hardware, but has branched into consumer electronics, such as the Apple TV and music, a la iTunes Store.

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