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Best Games on a MacBook?


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#1 brayv

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 07:56 PM

Hi! New Mac user here.   Any suggestions on great games that run okay on a basic Macbook? (Not a Pro).  I've been playing Age of Empires (works okay), Sim City (sluggish), and a few classic adventures (Sam & Max and Day of the Tentacle).  I love strategy games and adventure games.  But, after Command & Conquer slowly chugging along, I'd really appreciate suggestions of games that work well on a Macbook.   Doesn't have to be anything that's the latest and greatest - just some favorites.  Thanks!

#2 Lemon Lime

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 08:01 PM

well! im glad you asked! if you have a mac you HAVE to get Quinn. i would tell you what it was about, but the tetris company might get mad at me ;).

#3 Blackshawk

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 08:23 PM

Enough with the Quinn, man.

Sadly, Macbooks aren't the best gaming machines. They lack a true standalone GPU, and so they are essentially handicapped when it comes to any sort of graphics intensive game.

Board games, puzzlers, basically anything shareware will run fine. Also you need to make sure that the games you do play are Universal binaries, meaning that they've been compiled to work with your Intel machine. Your Macbook, lacking a GPU, can't afford to waste any time chugging through Rosetta. So try to avoid anything that's strictly from the G-series chips.
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#4 Rev-O

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:32 PM

Minions of Mirth will run very good, provided you have a gig of ram. Less than a gig and it will run fine with some detail settings dropped. If in doubt, download the demo and try it out.

#5 Jan

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 03:01 AM

If you're into adventure games, you should try out Bone Out from Boneville. Since it doesn't use any fancy shaders, it should work just fine:

http://www.vanbrio.com/bone/act1/

Freeverse games also work well on the MacBook.
Check out Legion Arena and WingNuts 2:

http://www.freeverse.com/legionarena/

http://www.freeverse.com/wn2/

Enjoy!
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#6 jackdawsson

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:23 AM

As touched upon by previous posts, MacBook is excellent for most things, bar gaming.  The following link expands on this & highlights some decent Mac games that are playable on a MacBook:

MacBook gaming: A graphics concern?

#7 StopDropBurn

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:11 AM

Wait... Jan, a Macbook would die trying to run Legion Arena, thats a pretty bad idea.
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#8 Jan

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:27 AM

View PostAskilfeasd, on November 3rd 2006, 03:11 PM, said:

Wait... Jan, a Macbook would die trying to run Legion Arena, thats a pretty bad idea.

I've got Legion Arena running on my BlackBook and I find it very playable. :unsure:
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#9 StopDropBurn

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:44 AM

Really? Guess I was mistaken, sorry 'bout that.
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#10 bookman

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 01:35 PM

I've played the following games on a 2 GHz MacBook with 1 G of RAM with fine overall performance:

World of Warcraft
Diablo 2
No One Lives Forever 2
Return to CastleWolfenstein: Enemy Territory

I find they all run better than they did on the 1.2 gHz iBook with its 32 MB Radeon 9200 and 768 of RAM.

I've also played the demos of Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4, and found the performance to be WAAAYYY better than I expected. Definitely playable, esp. Call of Duty 2.

On the Windows side I've played Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War and Morrowind, which both run great.

Also, the Half Life 2 demo worked pretty well, despite autosave crashes.

Medieval Total War 2 is the only game I've tried so far that didn't work.



One thing to remember is that when people say the 950 is crap for games, they're testing with everything maxed out; if you dont mind turning the eye candy down, you'll find the MacBook isn't all that bad for gaming.
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#11 brayv

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 06:54 PM

:) Thanks everyone - those are some great suggestions.  I'm going to give a few of them a try.  I realize the Macbook isn't able to handle a lot of the cutting edge stuff.    It is nice that a few demos out there exist for try before buy.  I've already got the Bone demo - and will check out some others.  I'm always impressed at how friendly and helpful the Mac community is.  Thanks again!

#12 rminkler

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:07 PM

Check out Tremulous... Google it. It's a free FPS/RTS hybrid. Based on the open source quake 3 engine.

#13 StopDropBurn

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:38 PM

Oh yes, I can also recommend Tremulous, it's ridiculously fun, and if you can get the right servers with people using teamwork, it's better than most $50 shooters out there.
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#14 WhiteSavage

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 01:26 AM

Umm.. did I miss something? The cheapest macbook u can get runs close to 2 Ghz. My old 1.42ghz iBook runs stuff way better then the guys on here are saying. The macbooks should run stuff par to better... ... ... right?

I currently play on my iBook G4 (512mb RAM), WELL:

Call of Duty: + United Offensive
Unreal Tournament 2004
Starcraft + Brood War
Rise of Nations
Escape Velocity: Nova
Nanosaur 2
Age of Empires II
Weird Worlds
Homeworld 2
Halo

...and you guys are suggesting puzzle games? Did I buy a special rainbow powered iBook or something? You guys can't be serious saying he wont even be able to play Legion Arena??!!! I can play the Doom 3 demo with everything at their lowest settings (ya it lags a little) and I can play the Call of Duty 2 demo without a hitch. <tiny bit of lag at the end.

I realize rosetta ruins some stuff. But the guys with UB patches should play fine... right?


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#15 Eric5h5

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 08:45 AM

View PostWhiteSavage, on November 4th 2006, 02:26 AM, said:

Did I buy a special rainbow powered iBook or something?

No, you bought a computer with dedicated graphics.  Which Macbooks don't have.

--Eric

#16 Lemon Lime

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 10:04 AM

View PostEric5h5, on November 4th 2006, 06:45 AM, said:

No, you bought a computer with dedicated graphics.  Which Macbooks don't have.

--Eric

even so, its argued that even the Intel GMA 950 with shared memory is just about level with the 9200 depending on how system RAM you have.

#17 Eric5h5

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 10:47 AM

View PostLemon Lime, on November 4th 2006, 11:04 AM, said:

even so, its argued that even the Intel GMA 950 with shared memory is just about level with the 9200 depending on how system RAM you have.

Yes, but the 9200 is ancient.  That's not to say the GMA 950 is completely hopeless, but for a modern notebook to have graphics capabilities from 5 years ago is not a good thing.

--Eric

#18 WhiteSavage

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 10:50 AM

Call of Duty!!!  >:(

#19 Lemon Lime

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:18 AM

View PostEric5h5, on November 4th 2006, 08:47 AM, said:

Yes, but the 9200 is ancient.  That's not to say the GMA 950 is completely hopeless, but for a modern notebook to have graphics capabilities from 5 years ago is not a good thing.

--Eric

definitely, i thought they would have at least put in a X300 or something

#20 StopDropBurn

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:53 AM

View PostEric5h5, on November 4th 2006, 11:47 AM, said:

Yes, but the 9200 is ancient.  That's not to say the GMA 950 is completely hopeless, but for a modern notebook to have graphics capabilities from 5 years ago is not a good thing.

--Eric

Boy, you guys are making me feel worse and worse about my 7500.  :angry:
I need to steal a Mac from work.
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