What if I told you that you could play a game that’s been around since 1988 on your Mac… without an emulator or compatibility layer? And what if said game was an important part of Macintosh history? And… what if said game was both highly addictive, and free? No, this isn’t some kind of nostalgic fantasy, it’s real, and boy is it fun!
This game is called Glider. You veteran Mac users will know what I’m talking about, whereas most everyone else will just go “what?”. The basic idea is to guide your glider throughout miscellaneous “Houses”. Your glider looks something like this:
To control it, you press keys to tilt it back and forth. This moves it in the direction it is tilted. Your objective is to make it through a “house” without losing all of your gliders. If you land on the floor, hit a cabinet, or collide with an enemy, you lose a glider and have to resume the game from the beginning of the room. Now, Glider has gone through many iterations, the earliest being Glider. However, it’s nearly impossible to find copies of the original, so the next version up was Glider 3.12. You can check it out at Macintosh Garden. This was followed by Glider 4.0:
Glider 4.0 brought a number of changes, including powerups (batteries which allowed you to speed up your glider for a short time) and editable houses.
Glider 4.0 was followed by Glider PRO for OS 7+, which was followed by Glider PRO for OS 9 and (drumroll please…) OS X! Luckily, Glider PRO for OS X works perfectly in Rosetta, so it can be played on an Intel Mac too.
The gameplay is identical to that of Glider 4.0 but for 4 things: Helium, Rubber Bands, 9 room view, and the fact that to win, you have to collect stars instead of make it to the end. 9 room view does what it says. It allows you to see 9 rooms at a time, which is very helpful in large houses.
Glider PRO comes with 2 houses: Slumberland and Demo House. I suggest playing Demo House to get a feel for things before trying to go all out and beat Slumberland.
So, you ask, “Where can I get this amazing game?” Well, the game’s author has been so kind as to release it as freeware, and it is now available (along with Glider 4.0) for OS 9 and OS X at: http://homepage.mac.com/calhoun/Glider%20PRO.html
If you want more houses, there are excellent archives at: http://www.sterlingstudiosinc.com/GliderPro/index.html and http://www.sacredsoftware.net/GliderPRO/GliderPRO.xhtml
I suggest you take a look sometime.
Anyway, thanks for reading, Matt.