Black Box

The Low-End Mac Portable Gaming Page


The game that invented the 'Third Person Perspective 3D' genre. And the first person is the cute miss Lara Croft. Need I say more? That is exactly the kind of game a lonely traveller can enjoy on a sleepless night in some cheap hotel far away from home. The plot is simple and consists mostly of puzzles such as 'where is the lever that opens this goddamned door'. There is also some shooting action with monsters animals and bad guys, lots of running, climbing and jumping.

Only the first two parts of the series match system requirements of the powerbook 1400, and this page covers only them. However I tried launching 'TR3' on my Black Box and it went fairly well, though according to 'read me' it requires 180 MHz processor. Try it for yourself. 'TR4' won't even try to run without a 3D accelerator.

If you have to choose between those two games, I recommend strongly the first part - released on Macs as 'Tomb Raider Gold' (with two additional expert levels). There is simply more fun in it, as you travel with Lara from Inca temples to Egyptian Pyramids and finally to the lost city of Atlantis. In Tomb Raider II Lara spends most of her time in a very boring environment of a wrecked ship 40 fathoms under the sea. Sound interesting at first glance, but - boy - what a bore was that.

OVERALL RATING: Recommended - if your powerbook has the horsepower to handle. Powerbook 1400c/166 is the minimum.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: (Tomb Raider I/II): MacOS 7.5.3 or later, 80 MHz PowerPC (100 MHz or faster recommended), 16 MB RAM (24 MB or more recommended), 4x CD-ROM (8x or faster recommended), optimized for ATI and 3Dfx Accelerator Cards (but works without them).

CD-ROM: Required.

SCREEN: On a stock 603/166, select '400*300 doubled' resolution with line skipping on to get a dozen or so frames per second. If it's too slow for you, select 340*200 doubled. Brightness adjustment allowed. If you want to know, what exactly is '400*300 doubled', here's the screenshot.

SLEEP: Not compatible.

KEYBOARD/TRACKPAD: Keyboard layout is not customizable, and lack of some keys on a powerbook disables certain options, such as sidestep movement. You can play very well without them - take my word on it, I played a lot.

BUGS: None detected.

MORE INFO/PURCHASE OPTIONS: If you have any question related to Mac and Tomb Raider, the answer is on the MacRaider page. If you live in the US, the cheapest way to purchase your copy is a direct order at Aspyr's website.

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