Although I’ve used a Mac exclusively since 2005, before that, I was a PC guy, which means I have lots of gauzy memories of halcyon days well-spent in front of a menagerie of beige boxes falling backwards in time through a decade of classic PC gaming, starting with the old 8-bit Ultima games and Nethack under DOS and continuing well into the Windows era with games like Grim Fandango, Half-Life, Planescape: Torment and System Shock 2.
I love the Mac, but the one thing I miss about having a PC is easily playing classic PC games without loading them up in Boot Camp or Parallels. Luckily, it looks like that’s about to change, as GOG.com — a digital distributor of classic PC games updated to work on modern machines and distributed without DRM — is now releasing their titles to work on Mac.
Initially, GOG.com’s support for OS X will be limited to just fifty games ranging from free to $9.99, with standout titles including The Witcher, FTL, Dungeon Keeper, Crusader: No Remorse, Ultima IV, Spacechem and Bullfrog’s Syndicate.
With few exceptions, these games are all old DOS games, which means that they can already be played on the Mac using tools like Boxer… but you need the original install discs to make that work. GOG.com prepackages this stuff in a DOS emulator you can run just like a regular app, and it’s all legal and above board.
Going forward, GOG.com is promising at least one new Mac title added per week, which is a great commitment to hear. My only complaint is that from this initial list, it doesn’t look like GOG intends on making any of its catalogue of vintage games that ran exclusively under Windows available for Mac. There are some real winners in that catalogue, including favorites of mine like System Shock 2 and Planescape: Torment. It’d be nice to see them make the transition.