Crossing Over – Windows games on the Mac

cxlogo_games.pngJust released yesterday, CrossOver Games from CodeWeavers (the makers of Wine compatibility software for Linux) promises to let you run Windows games on your Mac and even lists a bunch of compatible games. They even have a Linux version.  So how do they do bringing the PC gaming experience to the Mac?  Read on and find out!

The compatibility list is a bit light right now – 25 games given ‘Silver’ status, meaning that they should work. But the games list is pretty impressive – Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and both Episodes, Peggle Extreme, Prey, Guild Wars, Team Fortress, and more. Just installing Steam was a rather heady experience for someone who has wanted to get full-on PC gaming on my Mac for years. The focus is clearly on FPS games, as they list one ‘RPG’ … and it is Civilization IV! Last time I checked … oh, nevermind!

But of course, that isn’t good enough for me, so I had to try installing more games. Sadly, this is where things really fall apart:

Jedi Knight (1997) – Would install and try to run, but everything was just ‘wrong’ and performance was abysmal, Epic fail.

Unreal Gold * (1998) – Installed and ran, but wouldn’t run Direct 3D properly. Ran in Safe Mode and it performed great! Check the screen below.


Baldur’s Gate * (1998) – Installed and ran, but had some issues … looks nice though as the screen indicates.


Wizardry 8 (2001) – Had install problems, then wouldn’t even try to launch. Mega Epic Fail.

Temple of Elemental Evil (2003) – Installed fine, and tried to launch but failed. Patching didn’t help. Uninstalling and reinstalling didn’t help. Another dream crushed.

Peggle Extreme (2007) – OK, so I decided not to wait to install all of Half-Life 1 or 2 … and just play this gem.

So all in all a fairly mediocre showing – it works well enough to manage some programs, but is a pretty weak solution in terms of providing Windows game capability for the Mac thus far. All we can hope is that they will improve compatibility quickly in order to grow their fan base.

* Yes, I know that these games were released in Mac versions. However, since the switch to Intel processors there has not been a direct method to play them on a Mac.

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