Black Box

The Low-End Mac Portable Gaming Page


The only 3D game that is actually 3D. In Descent you are not limited by gravity - you pilot an antigravity spacecraft, figthing hordes of antigravity robots. The robots revolted in their space mines and you are send by their employer to, uhm, settle the labor dispute using laser cannons and guided missiles. I have played the original Descent on Amiga, and the sequel on iMac/powerbook. There is not much difference - both games seem to share similar engine, slightly improved in the sequel. If you have the choice, play Descent II.

OVERALL RATING: Somehow I prefer to run and shoot rather than fly and shoot. But if you don't mind the latter, you'll enjoy it.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Any PowerMac with 16 megabytes RAM (24 megabytes recommended). However it takes a machine stronger than 1400/166 to play without the 'double pixel' speedup. Oddly enough, the manual does not specify MacOS requirement - I suspect  it should be 7.5.

CD-ROM: Fully installable.

SCREEN: Manual mentions a possibility of bumping screen resolution from the default 640*480 to 800*600, however the described method fails on a powerbook 1400 (but works on iMac). Obviously the game was not developed with powerbooks in mind.

SLEEP: Not compatible.

KEYBOARD/TRACKPAD: Default keyboard layout heavily relies on numeric kepad. It is configurable, but not without some hassle (I could not find any really convenient alternative to default layout). Some keys are unfortunately NOT configurable (such as F15 - pause). However, if you REALLY want to play, you can play (pausing with F2 - options), but you'll curse it often.

BUGS: None detected.

MORE INFO/PURCHASE OPTIONS:Hard to say. The developer MacPlay is out of bussiness. Could be unavailable. See a screenshot of the playable config for 1400/166 (640*480, highest detail, double pixels) here.

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