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Role-Playing Games For The Mac
September 10, 2001 | Michael Phillips

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I remember a time during the early 1990s when all I could find for my Power Mac 7200 were endless copies of Myst, The 7th Guest and SimAnt at my local CompUSA. That was it; there wasn’t much else out there. Now, however, us Mac gamers have a vast cornucopia of digital entertainment to enjoy. Gaming on the Mac OS is better than ever. With A-List titles such as, American McGee’s Alice, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 & The Sims already here and games like WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos, Red Faction & Max Payne soon to come, Mac gaming has never been sweeter.

Now, the games above are all well and good, but what about Role Playing Games? Fear not, dungeon loving, dragon slaying, spell casting adventurers, the Mac has RPGs aplenty. Thus, over the next 47 pages and several hours of reading, I’ll discuss the finest Role Playing Games the Mac OS has to offer. So, sit back, relax and ponder this… Where are all the good men dead, in the heart or in the head? Here comes the most important RPG Roundup EVER! By the way, it’s only 42 pages, don’t worry.

Baldur’s Gate & Tales of the Sword Coast
Published for the Mac by GraphSim, Baldur’s Gate revitalized computer RPGs with its beautiful graphics, detailed gameplay and lush storyline. Spanning 5 CDs, Baldur’s Gate is the epic tale of a child with celestial parentage, two nations on the brink of war and a mysterious iron shortage that plagues the entire Sword Coast. As the game progresses, players unlock the secrets to the problems that ravage the land, all while engaging in exciting combat with deadly foes.

Baldur’s Gate features over 50 hours of gameplay, not including side quests & subplots. In fact, much of Baldur’s Gate’s value is in its side quests. Each side quest is well conceived and quite enjoyable, they weren’t just tossed in to make the game long & drawn out like so many Oliver Stone films. Every town contains interesting NPCs (Non Player Characters), each spouting witty, well-written dialogue and often rich backstories. The amount of detail in every facet of Baldur’s Gate is absolutely stunning, from household decorations to intricately detailed armor & weaponry on player characters, this game has it all.

Combat and spell casting in Baldur’s Gate is nicely implemented and highly entertaining. In the heat of battle, Rangers let loose quiver after quiver of arrows, Thieves stab their enemies from behind with poisoned daggers, mighty Paladins cut down unholy fiends with righteous swords and Mages chant ancient words that invoke bolts of lightening from their bare hands. Baldur’s Gate’s combat system is a hybrid mix of real-time and turn based action. At anytime during battle, the game may be paused in order to issue attack orders and spell casting commands. Thus, it’s possible to plan out complex attacks and then watch them come to fruition.

Baldur’s Gate also sports a wide array of Priest and Wizard spells straight from the Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition Rule Book. Spell effects are quite lovely. As the Priest or Wizard performs the somatic portion of his spell, his hands begin to glow with energy, once the spell is cast; the entire area fills with colored light.


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