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Games For The Entire Family
September 7, 2001 | Jeff Wescott

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There are all kinds of games out there. Some titles are appropriate (content-wise) for the whole family and some definitely are not. With the current spike in available game choices for the Mac platform, the wise consumer will thoroughly research a game in advance of purchase. Before installation, know if the game is right for young minds and also won’t horrify relatives when they come to visit.

We live and breathe in a free market society, and that is a good thing most of the time. That freedom allows game developers the creative choice. It allows adult-oriented games like Unreal Tournament, American McGee’s Alice and Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption. But not every gamer, hard core or casual is looking for that kind of action. Besides blood and gore, they want intellectual stimulation and a way to keep the kids occupied on rainy days.

With the goal of family fun in mind, there are some factors to consider. Rate each game in terms of overall violence, adult content, and the addiction factor. The latter refers to just how long the game keeps a kid glued to the monitor. Some titles are great for days or weeks of entertainment and make perfect Christmas gifts for those cold winter nights. However, that same game might not be right for the summer time, when young gamers could be out getting some sunshine and exercise.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates games by their content, and this can provide a good guideline. Keep in mind that these ratings are only advisory, and stores may or may not prevent minors from purchasing mature-rated games.

There are many quality games out there that people of all ages can enjoy. Some are based on traditional games that predate the computer, others are based on popular TV shows and some simulate realism like sports or driving. The good news is that there is something out there for everybody, even the Mac gamer.

Ah, the blast from the past that can still entertain us today. A lot of gamers today remember the birth of video gaming back in the 1980s. The Atari 2600, Coleco Intellivision and huge arcades that devoured quarters before the advent of the home console systems. Qbert is one such hallmark of bygone days that will soon be available to Mac gamers. Simplistic and innocent, much like the classic Pac Man, Qbert is the safe choice.

Expect the classic arcade fun and more. Qbert also has a quest mode, where you solve various levels as part of a rescue mission. For group fun, there is a head-to-head mode, where players can share the computer and compete against each other. This game’s cartoonish graphics and mild comic violence make it a good pick for young children and old nostalgic gamers alike. Macsoft will publish the title once it’s ready for duplication.


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