All Game, No Wrapping: Ambrosia Software

By Jonathan Berohn

If you're a new Mac user who likes to play computer games, you're probably thinking, "this is cool and all, but I'd really like to be able to play some of the games my friends have for their PCs." Now, just for a moment, zip back in time 10 years and imagine a gaming landscape with even fewer choices for the Mac user. That's when Ambrosia burst onto the Mac scene with shareware games to rescue the bored Mac gamer.

Classic Arcade Games

Ambrosia's first efforts were all based on classic arcade games. Their award-winning Maelstrom was based on the classic Asteroids concept. Aperion descended from Centipede. Swoop took off where Galaga left off. That last part was the key to Ambrosia's success. They didn't just repackage tired old arcade standards, they added new twists and graphics, and took advantage off all that the Mac could bring to games. Mac users-starved for games of any kind-were only too happy to join the party. And better yet-they didn't have to share with Windows users. These games were Mac only.

New Hits

Fast forward to today, and you'll find Ambrosia still offering cutting edge games that keep Mac users at the edge of their chairs. Sadly-for those die hard Mac fans among us.ahem-we now have to share some of the titles with Windows users, but that's really only a testament to how popular Ambrosia games have become. Certainly, being shareware, Ambrosia games don't have the multi-million dollar budgets that allow for the blow-your-mind 3-D worlds you find in many of the major game company releases these days, but you do get good game play and good value.

Ambrosia's current stock of games includes strategy, arcade, and action offerings. Their newest games are Aki, which is sort of an adventure Mahjong, and Uplink, an ingenious game of Internet hacking and espionage. Aki ushers players through Japanese culture and history while they solve Mahjong puzzles. Uplink sets up players in a virtual Internet where they try to outmaneuver their enemies by manipulating computer systems. Pop-Pop and EV Nova offer challenges with a little more fast-paced action. Pop-Pop adds Ambrosia's trademark spin to the traditional Breakout-style knock out the bricks game. EV Nova is the latest installment of Ambrosia's space opera series, Escape Velocity. Both games will keep your attention while keeping you on your toes.

All in all, Ambrosia offers interesting and fun games that won't break your budget. For a Mac addict, that itself is quite a breakthrough. When you also consider that the games are fun and addicting, it's practically manna from Mac heaven.