I'm a software reviews guy by trade, but I've mentioned before I'm also an avid gamer. I grew up in the era of "classic" arcade games and with all the advancements over the years in technology, graphics, and the birth of new and exciting game genres, I've never stopped. But even with today's advanced games, I sometimes long for the games that required only a joystick, a fire-button, and a pocket full of quarters.
The Mac gaming community knows all too well there is often a significant amount of lag time between when a game is released and when it finally comes to the Mac. Some developers do simultaneous releases for both platforms, but they are still few and far in between. Today I came across an app (via MacLife) that is late on arrival, but is definitely something for Mac gamers to be happy about.
GameTap lets you play tons of games through its downloadable client, which now supports the Mac platform. But before you get too excited, there are a couple of caveats: GameTap only works with Intel Macs (my apologies to PowerPC users) and will only play games that have emulators (from Atari 2600 games to Dreamcast games and even DOS games). If you have an Intel Mac, you'll have access to more than 50 free games and if you sign up for GameTap's Gold service ($9.95/month), that list jumps to more than 550 Mac-compatible titles. Everything from the old classic arcade games like Joust to newer first run games are available. Unfortunately, Mac users will still not be able to play PC games offered by GameTap, but can easily filter on Mac-compatible titles. The online component lets you challenge other GameTap users, and you can see all-time high scores. In addition to an Intel Mac, you'll need a fast connection to truly take advantage of this service.
While it took a long time for GameTap to become Mac compatible (and only on Intel Macs, for that matter) it's nice to see a large gaming service make the move to Mac. Hopefully more developers and game services will make the jump soon so Mac gamers can join in on the fun.
What do you think? Are you happy to finally use GameTap? How do you feel about the Mac gaming community? Are you a PowerPC gamer who wishes you never read this post? Do you really think you can beat me at Joust? Let me know in the comments!