Icewind Dale

Icewind Dale
Company: MacPlay

Price: $49.99

Obvious Stuff first: Icewind Dale, Mac OS 8.6 or later required, G3 233, OSX compatible. Tested on: Mac G4 with 448 MB, 20 gig hard drive and a paste-eating user running Mac OS 9.2.

One of the problems with reviewing Mac Games is that a lot of games for the Mac come out way, way, way after their Windows counterparts. Since this the circumstance with Icewind Dale I suggest you not rely solely on my opinion but see what the PC world has to say about the game. After all those computers are made for games (specifically Solitaire) and the Mac version is gonna be similar to (but just a little bit better) than the PC version.

I am torn with this game. There are a lot of reasons not to like Icewind Dale. Every time you fire the game up it tries to connect you to the Internet. I suppose this might be of interest to folks who love to do the multi-player thing but I like to work through the game first. Another annoyance lies in the cursor. The idea is that your mouse should change to a cool, if ominous, pointing hand when you fire the game up. I get both of them, the usual mouse and the spooky hand. Plus the resolution kind of bites, it’s 640 by 480 so you’re not going to see much at any one time.

Well that covers the bad…Mostly. Now you have to make a choice. Do you like fighting in the Dungeons and Dragons style? If you said yes then this game is for you. Icewind Dale lacks a bit in the story line department but makes up for it by lots of fighting. By lots of fighting I mean turn the corner and your involved in yet another bloodbath. In Icewind Dale it is seemingly impossible to take three steps without being involved in yet another spell casting, hack and slash, mace to the noggin gore feast. Which is okay, for many folks this makes their day. For fans of puzzles and the balance found in Baldur’s Gate it’s a bit of (pun noted yet unintended) overkill.

Redeeming points of the game are numerous. The spells seem extra cool and some of the monsters will take you back to the days when you worried some evil fiend was lurking under your bed just waiting to grab your ankles. Additionally you get to generate all, I repeat ALL, the characters in your party. This was particularly nice for me as it harkened back to my time spent playing “Pools of Radiance” on a Commodore 64.

It should be noted that the game is a standalone funfest. No importing characters just pure D&D goodness. While the story line has several nods to the geography found in the Baldur’s Gate series no otherworldly lineage is foisted upon you. It should also be noted that I am the world biggest sucker for just this kind of game, for all of Icewind Dale’s obvious flaws I am still playing it with a near religious fervor. My most recently saved gamed clock in at 215 days and 7 hours. I think one can make a rough guess at the amount of time invested in the game by a divisor or something. I figure anything over 100 days in two weeks means: Get back to your family.

MacMice Rating: 3 out of 5

Chris Seibold

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