|Publisher: MacPlay Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 690 MB|
Graphics: Sheís Still Sexy at 640x480Icewind Daleís graphics engine is NEWER than the original Baldurís Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast, but itís OLDER than Baldurís Gate II. Yet, the game still looks quite lovely. At 640x480, the images arenít as crisp as they could be, but theyíre still nothing at which to scoff. Iím particularly fond of Icewind Daleís real-time lighting effects. Being mostly a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl, there is plenty of torchlight around to set a very eerie tone.
The Temple of the Forgotten God is especially disturbing; thereís nothing creepier than a bunch of Clerics chanting spells by firelight. Another of Icewind Daleís most beautiful and intriguing locations is the dwarven Aquarium at Wyrmís Tooth. In their heyday, the Dwarves of Dornís Deep built a huge Aquarium within the icy caverns of Wyrmís Tooth. Sadly, after the dwarves were driven from their home, the Aquarium tanks were allowed to freeze over, leaving the creatures within forever frozen in time. The artwork put into Icewind Daleís locations is truly gorgeous.
Spell effects in Icewind Dale are also something to behold. I canít say that they look insanely better or worse than those found in Baldurís Gate II; theyíre simply different. They look beautifully animated, but not in true 3D. I especially enjoy the splatter on Melfís Acid Arrow.
Graphically, Icewind Dale isnít particularly hardware intensive. Not requiring 3D acceleration, provided that there is enough RAM installed this game should run decently on any G3-based Macintosh. Furthermore, Icewind Dale is optimized to run under Mac OS X and does so nicely.
Sound: A Sweet Bardís SongIcewind Dale features some amazing aural delights. The soundtrack is excellent; music is peaceful while strolling through town but then becomes extremely intense when battle is joined. Yet sometimes while traveling across desolate snowfields there is no music at all, leaving only the howling winds to be heard. Icewind Daleís sound effects are also very good. When characters walk, their armor creaks and jingles, spell casters speak in ominous tones, and beasts give out shrill cries as they die. This game definitely rolls an 18 in audio.
Conclusion: Donít Forget Your Booties Cause Itís Cold Out ThereIcewind Dale is a MUST have for any RPG fan. With an intriguing story, lush graphics, rich audio, intense combat, robust OS X support, and snow, this game is worth the attention of Mac adventurers everywhere. Thanks to Icewind Dale, Iíve been able to stave off my RPG addiction. Hassah!
Now, I leave with a question. When Homer Simpson and Mr. Burns were trapped under the frozen tundra, how EXACTLY did Mr. Burns suggest they pass the time? The first person to answer correctly wins his or her very own shiny copy of Icewind Dale. (Note: We have a winner! The correct answer is "build REAL men out of snow".)