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Retro computer gaming - GS vs Macintosh?


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#1 Major_Tom_coming_home OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:46 PM

I recently picked up a IIc (my first vintage Apple system) and have been doing a bit of research on some of the slightly more recent models of Apple computers, to figure out whether or not I wanted to get into them or not. It seems like Apple's product lines from the late 1980s and into the 1990s were convoluted to say the least, with the Apple II family and Macintosh family running concurrently into the 1990s. I was wondering how the game libraries of the GS and Macintosh (Quadra, LC, etc.) compare to each other  as far as quality and quantity. I'm thinking most games available for Macintosh circa 1990 were probably PC ports since Dos/,Wintel then had a larger market share. On the other hand, I would guess that GS games would tend to be more exclusive and numerous considering the popularity of the Apple II line at the time. Thanks for any insights!



#2 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2017 7:01 PM

The IIgs wasn't suited too well to games. Underpowered compared to the ST and Amiga, so developers went there instead.

#3 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 10:12 AM

I recently picked up a IIc (my first vintage Apple system) and have been doing a bit of research on some of the slightly more recent models of Apple computers, to figure out whether or not I wanted to get into them or not. It seems like Apple's product lines from the late 1980s and into the 1990s were convoluted to say the least, with the Apple II family and Macintosh family running concurrently into the 1990s. I was wondering how the game libraries of the GS and Macintosh (Quadra, LC, etc.) compare to each other  as far as quality and quantity. I'm thinking most games available for Macintosh circa 1990 were probably PC ports since Dos/,Wintel then had a larger market share. On the other hand, I would guess that GS games would tend to be more exclusive and numerous considering the popularity of the Apple II line at the time. Thanks for any insights!


I don't recall the GS being as popular as the IIe or IIc. A lot of games on the IIgs were ports of Amiga and Atari ST games since the machine had similar graphics capabilities. However, it didn't have the CPU horsepower, so my understanding is these games didn't run very well.

#4 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 10:38 AM

The IIgs wasn't suited too well to games. Underpowered compared to the ST and Amiga, so developers went there instead.

 

Compared to the Macintosh, though? There's really no reason to have gotten a Mac over the IIgs IMO. The IIgs was cheaper (even after separate purchase of a monitor and/or drives), had RGB color video, a better keyboard, expandability, II+/IIe compatibility, a GUI OS that was essentially the same as the Mac's (and which was one of the Mac's main selling points), and plays a hell of a game of Arkanoid.

Can't really speak to the Atari ST or Amiga, but compared the Mac, it ain't even close.



#5 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 10:43 AM

Later color macs though, as long as you don't get a road apple model with a slow coy is like playing a more plush pc version of a game

#6 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 12:01 PM

I don't believe the IIgs side of the IIgs ever really had the industry support like the Macs did. Industry support can often make less capable or lesser quality hardware become #1. There are tons of examples.

 

Then the MHz race began.

 


Edited by Keatah, Mon Oct 2, 2017 12:03 PM.


#7 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 1:41 PM

Imagine if the IIGS came as an all-in-one like the Mac Color Classic.

 

There was still the ability for a memory or accelerator upgrade.  And it would have built in SCSI for cd's and hard drives and an ethernet port for internet connection.



#8 H454 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 8:08 PM

I don't believe the IIgs side of the IIgs ever really had the industry support like the Macs did. Industry support can often make less capable or lesser quality hardware become #1. There are tons of examples.

 

Then the MHz race began.

 

 

The IIgs didn't really even have full apple support, Jobs wanted to move to anything else (lisa / than mac). The only real buyers of IIgs were schools.

From what I've read, the some engineers at apple hated the mac because the IIgs was twice the machine the 128K/512K mac was.

But revamping hardware that was reaching 10+ years old isn't a money maker.  The build quality of the first tens years of mac isn't near as well made as the apple II's.

Just moving touching an old mac will break random bits off.icon_eek.gif


Edited by H454, Mon Oct 2, 2017 8:08 PM.


#9 BydoEmpire OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 9, 2017 1:18 PM

I was in kind of a similar boat, and ended up getting a B&W Mac.  The real hardware is a bigger part of the experience, not having had either one growing up.  The ][GS has some good games and it's a fine machine (this coming from someone who had an Amiga back then) but for me using an emulator is "good enough."  There are good B&W mac emulators, but the hardware itself is so unique with the 9" screen, it's a bigger part of the experience.  Just my 2c.  In terms of the actual games, I think the B&W mac doesn't have a huge library, but there's some unique stuff as developers figured out how to work with the machine. The ][gs game library is much closer to other similar machines of the era.



#10 CGQuarterly OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:12 PM

Since you have a //c, you have access to a much bigger library of games than either the IIgs-exclusive library, or what was around for the Mac classic.  Basically, as far as classic Apple computers go, you already have the best games machine.  If you're itching to get something else, grab a C64 or Amiga if you don't already have them.



#11 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:42 AM

The Mac was never a good game machine at all. Ever. Still isn't. Just doesn't have the developer support and never did. It did have some good games, just not nearly as many as other machines, or really many marquee games at all.

 

The IIGS had much better support at the time it was available. The IIGS was, in general, a far better machine than the Macs on sale at the same time, in every way except raw CPU speed. Of course the Mac superseded it in power and features eventually, but never in game support.

 

That's not to say early Macs aren't interesting in other ways. But if you're thinking of getting one just for games... my advice is don't. There are many better classic gaming computers, including the IIGS.

 

The one exception *may be* a Mac that supports the Apple IIe card, plus said card. I've been wanting to try that combo for a while and it may give you a best of both worlds scenario. But I haven't gotten my hands on that setup yet, so I can't vouch for it.

 

I have a IIc and a IIGS and wouldn't trade either of them for anything. But then, I grew up with the Apple II. (My IIc is one that I've owned since 1985.) I'm not sure what I'd do if I was coming in cold without any prior experience, especially if I'd just bought an Apple IIc. There's probably not enough on the IIGS to justify having both if you're not like me and just keeping your IIc for sentimental reasons. Most IIGS-specific games did appear on the ST and Amiga and are better on those machines. So, since you have a IIc already, I'd probably get an Amiga as your second computer.



#12 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:14 PM

The IIGS game lineup is nothing compared to the likes of the competitors at the time (Amiga, ST) but what it did have makes it still so sought after today. I have an Amiga and can play any game the IIGS has and then some, but there is a different "feel" to the games on the IIGS. Hard to explain. Sort of like the feel when you know you are playing a Sega game over a Nintendo game. Just a different and very cool experience. Because of that I can't part with my IIGS. I have had my hand at a few Mac computers of the era, but the IIGS is just a better machine (to me) for many reasons. Color, great sound, easy expand-ability and very cool modern options like the CFFA3000 make it a win all around.



#13 khyrox1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:58 AM

It's a shame Apple stuck the IIGS with such a slow processor. Despite that, I'm appreciative of what developers were able to do on that platform - especially in the sound department. The AGI Sierra adventures that were published for the IIGS utilized the system's sound capability. The port of Rastan was pretty great, as well as Arkanoid (which a poster above mentioned). I'm still impressed games like Wolf3D and Another World were released on the platform (despite compromises in screen size). And dammit I still need to find a copy of Ultima I for my IIGS.

 

The Amiga and ST had more horsepower obviously. And while the game library of the IIGS is nowhere near as deep as the Amiga and ST, I really enjoy what it does have.

 

Some interesting videos:

 

Rebecca Heineman's experiences coding games for the IIGS:

 

Sword of Sodan running on the IIGS:



#14 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:43 PM

Both are great!  I had no idea the IIGS was capable of something like that Sword of Sodan demo.  Rebecca's video was very cool and reminded me of my childhood when I was figuring out how to program.



#15 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:27 PM

Both are great!  I had no idea the IIGS was capable of something like that Sword of Sodan demo.  Rebecca's video was very cool and reminded me of my childhood when I was figuring out how to program.

 

That Sword of Sodan demo is what made me want an Apple IIGS back in the day. I was leaving "The Program Store" in Willowbrook Mall (Wayne, NJ) around 88-89 and caught a glimpse of it in an Apple store right across. I already had an Amiga 500 and had the game, but it just looked so crisp on the IIGS RGB display. I didn't think it was a demo back then and only found out (to my dismay) recently that it was never actually released.



#16 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:56 PM

I switched from a IIgs to a Mac SE30 in college and it was definitely a step down in gaming. It wasn't until the color Macs became more affordable that decent games started coming out for the Mac, but they never had the amount of games as the PC Clones. When they did port a game to the early color Macs, often times it looked better than the PC version because of the Mac's higher resolution. Prince of Persia is a good example of this.

#17 theslownorris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:07 PM

I've had many, many older Apple machines... What machines have I kept? My Apple IIgs stuff. (Currently cleaning out my other Apple II stuff as my Commodore things have sort of taken all of my available space). That being said, the classic Black and white Mac offers a unique gaming experience, not quite as wide in scope as a IIgs, but 'those' mac games are very appealing to me. Here is a small list of games that were coded specifically for mac, not ports and as such are very good:

 

-Rogue (Epyx): I maintain this is the best version of Rogue ever written. I am a huge Rogue fan too. This game crashes on any old Mac with ROMs never than an original SE.

-Shufflepuck cafe: I think this is the best version of Shufflepuck written. It's not that the action is better than any other color version, I guess it's the 1-bit graphics that holds it's charm.

-Pools of Radiance: I think the best version of this game. It's certainly the only version I would bother to replay. (It's successive sequels were crappt DOS ports that look and play tragically bad compared to this title)

-Arkaniod: The black and white graphics and certain charm of the old Mac lends itself surprizingly well to this game.

-Might and Magic: Another RPG coded for the mac. Again, it's sequels were ports, but the original was GREAT!

-Airborne: Another arcade. Great game.

-Quarterstaff: Another RPG. The closed thing to actual Dungeons and Dragons [probably] ever. However, it has an unfortunate bug that makes the game impossible to win. In my opinion the greatest infocom game written.

-Thexder: Amazing this game could be pulled off well in black and white.

 

Couple other games of note:

-Dark Castle

-Apache strike

-Ultima III

-Bard's Tale

-Wizardy

 

That being said, I still keep my Apple IIgs. I wanted one back in the day, but was too poor (I was a Commodore Kid). I love the sound chip and all in all the IIgs is better capable of arcade games. PLUS, you have access to pretty much ALL the 8-bit apple II stuff. These games will seem primitive compared to the 16-bit machines and even primative to those who had a C64 or Atari 800, but they are novel and a bit more impressive than say a CBM PET or Tandy Model 1-4. Here are a few impressive IIgs games:

 

-Captain Blood: Very well executed on the IIgs platform

-Arkanoid: A+ maybe my favorite version even over the Amiga.

-Rastan: WOW! The IIgs could do this?

-Bard's Tale: Looks and sounds great!

-Zany Golf: Really gives the Amiga version a run for it's money.

-Thexder: Maybe my favorite version.

-Silpheed: Very cool arcade game.

-The Immortal: Plays too slow really w/o an accelerator, but a great game with one!

-Tower of Myraglen: Rogue-like game with much a charm of it's own.

-LemmingsGS: Plays great, but you'll need 1.5meg RAM. Kind of a big deal back in the days, but cheap enough to obtain now.

 

Some 'Me too' games programmed to show the IIgs could do what was selling well on Macs (Even color Macs):

-Solarian

-Crystal Quest

-Shufflepuck cafe

 

Some 'Why bother' stinkers (If I had bought these I would have felt SO ripped off, both games bested by C64 versions)

-Paperboy

-Gauntlet

 

All said and done, most games that actually made it to a IIgs version are good games, but Apple crippling this machine with a SLOW CPU is a real drag. It's a neat machine, but accelerators are made of unobtanium and getting a very unable machine is harder than picking up a Mac Plus and a second floppy. I myself would still rather (and still do) have an Apple IIgs, but back in the day? I'm glad I was stuck with a C64 until I got my hands on an Amiga 500. :)

 

My vote between the two: If you onl;y have room for one, have the time and want/can build an Apple IIgs, go for the IIgs. If not, get a Mac Plus or Mac SE with a second floppy, hard drive, or Floppy-EMU (bigmessowires.com) and call it good. Feel free to PM me if you are interested in what is really needed for a minimal IIgs setup, perhaps I can save you some research time. An old Mac and a Floppy-EMU and you are ready to go.

 

After the way Apple treated this machine and the customers that bought it? If I had bought an Apple IIgs new, I would have never bought another Apple product again.



#18 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:11 PM

I am really hoping that one day a homebrew project emerges that will finally give "the rest of us" access to an accelerator solution for the IIGS. I find it absurd to pay $700+ for an old accelerator board with God knows how much mileage on it just to enjoy a couple of games and applications that I need it for on the IIGS. I am sure it will happen some day....I hope. Otherwise I will have to get really lucky and find one somewhere...



#19 theslownorris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 2, 2017 9:18 AM

Keep hoping buddy. :/ (God knows, I'm right there with you). A year or so ago there was a TranswarpGS clone made (like 10 boards) up on Reactive Micro, but they were selling at $777.77. I could not justify that much cash just for decent speeds on my IIgs.

 

If it adds any bit of hope, I emailed Reactive not too long ago and was told the project had not been canceled, but no word since. :(



#20 H454 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 2, 2017 4:46 PM

Keep hoping buddy. :/ (God knows, I'm right there with you). A year or so ago there was a TranswarpGS clone made (like 10 boards) up on Reactive Micro, but they were selling at $777.77. I could not justify that much cash just for decent speeds on my IIgs.

 

If it adds any bit of hope, I emailed Reactive not too long ago and was told the project had not been canceled, but no word since. :(

 

I was wondering how many boards were made. Kinda of disappointing that the new ones were going for almost the same price as an old one.

Last auction on eBay I saw for an Org. trans-warp went for over $650 +shipping - "as-is / Untested".

 

Maybe 10 @ $777 was so they could make a larger run (fingers crossed)?

I would think if the price point was under $300, it would be pretty easy to sell 50 to 100.

I know the IIgs is no Amiga when it comes to after market upgrades.

But it might be case of "their is no market, so nobody makes it".

And that means some times that is no market until someone makes it - A "build it and they will come" situation.


Edited by H454, Sat Dec 2, 2017 4:48 PM.


#21 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 2, 2017 5:17 PM

I dunno about market, but I do know that a lot of stuff in apple designs gets tied directly to the clock, so accelerators or overclocking is a bit more tedious 

 

though I have never looked into the IIGS design, I know EVERYFREAKING thing is tied to the master clock on a 8 bit machine, thus its constantly having to dance with like a zip chip, and when I was overclocking my LC2 I had to calculate frequencies pretty perfectly or boom, no more serial port (and the sound would always get screwed up)  

 

now I am no expert on Atari or Commodore designs, but sort of like the pc and z80 machines, they seem a bit more independent 


Edited by Osgeld, Sat Dec 2, 2017 5:19 PM.




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