The Best Old Mac Game Ever

by Tanner Godarzi Mar 17, 2008

Today’s computer enthusiasts push their new gaming rigs to the limit and boast how many frames can be pumped in the time it takes for you to open your wallet and lament that you could never afford such a powerful computer even if you sold your soul (forgoing the fact that such a feat is impossible). But every now and then it’s important to reflect on the great games along the way that have been passed off as so old, they star as ancient relics in another Disney film featuring Nicholas Cage. But one game stands tall in the bargain bin: Descent for the Mac.

If you’ve never played Descent, then you’ve hardly expanded your view beyond the already expansive library of 4 game titles for the Mac (kidding, I forgot expansion packs) and plethora of retro games. Descent originally came out for the Mac in the early years when Classic dominated the OS scene and the iMac craze was barely taking hold. The premise of the game is similar to most modern games in that you and an enemy furiously try to kill each other, the only exception being you’re mashing the keyboard in a frenzied rage and shouting obscenities at a every detailed enemy. Descent is the same concept, except the object of your cursing is probably 4 pixels big and attacking you 2 inches out of your camera range.

It’s simple and challenging with an easy to grasp story line: you are in space and have to kill aliens to fend for your life and ultimately complete the game. But what put Descent in such a popular footing as an old computer game was its notoriety for being one of the first 3D games to grace the computers of gamers stuck in a virtual 2D world.

But you can relive the nostalgia of an old Mac game without resorting to an old PowerPC Mac running Classic. Fan ports of the game have allowed it to still cling to life and avoid being beaten mercilessly by everyone’s sworn enemy, Obsoletion. You can run Descent perfectly fine on any Mac running OS X, even if it’s Intel or PowerPC.

Hit up for the download


  • My old Mac game favorites include Maelstrom, the asteroid homage by Ambrosia Software, and (this will date me) ShufflePuck Cafe.

    XMG had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 3
  • Now that the old memories are flowing . . .

    Bungie’s Marathon.

    Anyone remember Infocom?

    XMG had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 3
  • A further enhanced version of the D2X project can be found at

    evilcat had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 66
  • I kicked ass at that game.. well, until I entered the national net-play contest. That was the time I got my own handed back to me by someone that must have been using additional gaming hardware. I used to just use the keyboard in Descent.

    Hoby Van Hoose had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 15
  • How about Cliff Johnson’s The Fool’s Errand

    planetmike had this to say on Mar 18, 2008 Posts: 23
  • Doesn’t seem to like Leopard. Am I doing something wrong?

    Dudeguy had this to say on Apr 02, 2008 Posts: 20
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