These bubble shooter games will never replace the classic Snood, but at least this one has a festive Christmas theme. And the game promises unlimited levels, making it a rarity in the Mac App Store — a 100-per-cent free game that’s actually worth playing.
Your homework sits on a platform surrounded by monsters. Luckily you have balls to throw at them and knock them off. Charming and addictive. Free “for a while longer” at the Mac App Store.
Save crash survivors from abduction by evil aliens.
Amoebas drop in colour-combination pairs. Guide them so you get four of a colour at the bottom to make them disappear. A lot like Puyo Pop from Sega.
Take the role of an adventurer, exploring a deep dungeon, fighting monsters, and acquiring the best weaponry you can, in preparation for a final battle with Morgoth, the Lord of Darkness.
Slide atoms through the maze-like structures of Aquatomic to create molecules.
A modern rendering of the classic Asteroids game with glorious graphics.
3D clone of the popular laser-racing game Tron with a customizable playing arena.
Adventure game reminiscent of the Zelda series in glorious retro 2D. The storyline is a hoot, but puzzles give you a run for your money.
First-person-shooter set in a realistic looking environment. It’s all about team oriented multiplayer fun.
A delightful update to the classic Snake game has you chasing flowers on neon grids in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Make as many words as you can in three minutes.
Work your way through the levels with strategic placement of bombs that kill enemies and destroy obstacles.
Clear the grid before getting blown up in this Minesweeper clone.
DOS game simulator brings back old favourites such as Commander Keen, Epic Pinball, Ultima Underworld and X-COM UFO Defence. The website provides links for plenty more. You can drag-and-drop CDs, floppies and bootleg game copies onto Boxer, and start playing. Wrap games in app-style game boxes, and decorate games with icons.
Create Lego models with your Mac—looks tricky, though.
Buy weapons and ammo and set them up along a path to kill bugs before they get in your house. More kills means more cash for weapons upgrades.
Use a bullfrog to clear your yard of pests before time runs out. Beautiful graphics.
A free multiplayer, multiplatform 3D tank battle game. The name stands for Battle Zone capture Flag. Aside from Mac OS X, it also runs on Irix, Linux, *BSD, Windows and other platforms.
This Japanese side-scroller has you trying to make your way through a series of caves, avoiding obstacles and enemies along the way. You’ll have to download both the game and a separate English-language patch to make it work — unless, of course, you speak Japanese.
Play Italian card games against the computer. The games are easy to learn, but always a challenge involving a combination of luck, memory, logic and ingenuity.
Avoid obstacles and race against time to collect enough diamonds so you can make it to the next level. A classic from the 1980s.
Race your vehicle against the computer in a bid to make it to the next level.
Drop discs into a grid to create a line of four horizontally, vertically or diagonally before your computer opponent beats you to it.
Crack Attack is based on the Super Nintendo classic Tetris Attack, featuring full-screen mode.
Type in the word you can’t figure out, with wild cards in place of the missing letters. Crossword Puzzle Helper comes up with a list of suggestions. It contains a list of 48,000 words that you can edit.
Model-airplane flight simulation program helps you learn how to fly model aircraft, test new aircraft designs, and improve your skills.
Co-operative multiplayer RPG and adventure game that is fully graphical and runs in realtime. It is set in a classical medieval environment with ubiquitious weapons and magic.
Guide your omster as it dashes around to dodge or absorb donuts. Collect power-ups and watch out for especially formidable donuts. Simple controls, addictive gameplay and cute graphics.
Match the tiles in Double to eliminate them — a good mahjong clone.
Run a dwarven outpost or play an adventurer in a persistent, randomly generated world with distinct civilizations spanning over 1000 years of detailed history, dozens of towns, hundreds of caves and regions with various wildlife
A puzzle game the object of which is to uncover pairs of identically colored Oxyd stones. It features hidden traps, vast mazes, laser beams and countless hairy puzzles.
Blocks drop through water into a big shallow vat. When the timer goes to zero, you’re allowed to click on a block to make it disappear along with matching blocks that touch it. If the pile gets too big and blocks start falling out, you lose lives.
Slide on your penguin belly as fast as you can, picking up as many herrings along the way as possible before hitting the finish line.
Use letters from the “pot” to create as many words as you can before time runs out.
Flight simulator for the Mac lets you fly around the world in the comfort of your own home. Joystick recommended.
Solve protein-folding puzzles and help scientists working on cures for AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. “We’re collecting data to find out if humans’ pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. If this turns out to be true, we can then teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever!”
Take off on an adventure with Frasse, a hairy blue monster. It all starts when a stone falls and blocks the entrance to his friend’s cave. Humour and fun challenges make this game a delight.
A Mac OS X version of the classic solitaire game.
A free version of the popular Civilization strategy game requires Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and X11.
In this turn-based strategy game your objective is to create an independent nation, starting with only a few colonists in search of new land. Based on the old Colonization game and similar to Civilization.
Wonderful adventure game takes you on a quest with Frogatto the frog. Nice graphics and immersive music make for great gameplay, requiring agility to make it past obstacles and battle enemies.
Perennial favourite in the Mac App Store features a slick interface, plenty of features and developers with a love for the game. It’s become the best card solitaire game available for the Mac, and is genuinely free.
You control two armies on the battlefield of this 3D real-time strategy game: the warriors and mechanical devices of Tech and the mages and summoned creatures of Magic.
Float your Glider Pro paper airplane through rooms in a house with many obstacles.
Inspired by the movie TRON, you steer a futuristic bike through a rectangular arena, leaving a trail behind, which you hope to force other players to drive into.
Think you’re good at backgammon? Try your luck against GNU Backgammon, currently boasting world class capabilities.
Use your mouse to make Ollie the worm jump from platform to platform to the finish line, all the while avoiding falls and enemies. Terrific side-scrolling cartoon fun.
Play Go against the program or against other players over a local network or the Internet.
Tetris and Same Game combine in this game that’s been around for years as a Web-based Flash game. You have to be quick, but otherwise it’s mindless time-killer. Download from the Mac App Store
A collection of over 30 abstract strategy board games, including Ataxx, Reversi, Checkers, Gomoku, Connect Four, Breakthrough, and many others. You can play against the computer or over the network.
A nicely done version of Minesweeper spiced up with great graphics for the themes.
Work your way to the middle of four concentric rings using 32 game tiles with various colours and symbols. The rules make it tricky, though. Maybe even darned near impossible.
Features include beautiful 3D graphics, 3D and 2D views, HD textures, and climatic music.
A solitaire tile matching game based on the single player game known most often as Mahjongg, and also called Shanghai or Taipei. Beautiful graphics.
Just like Bejeweled — you switch jewels around on a grid to group them in threes and eliminate them. You’ll want to keep going forever.
Classic adventure game from the 1980s is remade and redrawn with retro pixelated graphics. Kings Quest I: Quest for the Crown, Kings Quest II: Romancing the Stones, and Kings Quest III: To Heir is Human are now available free with deep story lines and plenty of game play. Hard to believe this great stuff is free — grab it while you can.
A fast, smooth, and beautiful version of the perennial solitaire favourite with an option for full-screen mode. Will there ever be a time in the future when people become tired of solitaire?
Create strings of balls by nudging them together with your cursor. Beautiful graphics and soundtrack combine with challenging game play.
An ancient Roman board game has your pieces arrayed for battle against the enemy, which in this case uses artificial intelligence.
A city simulation game with nice graphics. Start with a small village and build your way up to a bustling metropolis.
Clear the grid by placing same-colour tokens in lines of five. Similar to Bee Cells 3D.
The classic worm game, played in non-euclidean space — that is, on the surface of various three-dimensional shapes.
First-person shooter originally developed by Bungie is now open source with active support.
Fans of Marble Blast, which sells for $19.95, will be happy to know that a similar freeware game called Marble Arena is now available. Both involve rolling your marble through intricate and challenging 3D landscapes. Another freeware game along this vein is neverball. Plus, an updated version of Marble Arena is available at the Mac App Store.
Jump marbles to clear the board, being careful not to leave any behind.
Roll a marble through some tricky levels without falling off the edge. Jump with the spacebar and ram your way through obstacles. Kinda retro, but still fun. At the Mac App Store.
Make music the classic Mario Paint way with this remake of the music system from the original game for the Super NES.
A good clean version of good ol’ Klondike. Recent upgrades have made this the best solitaire you’ll find for the Mac.
Rebuild images chosen from your albums or the Internet by moving and scrolling random cells that hold portions of each photo. The game can be easy or hard depending of the content of the images you choose, how many you pick and the puzzle size you set.
Choose a song from your collection and let the game analyze it. Then race along a colourful track, picking up beats — and points — from the song as you go. But watch out for dead beats.
Match the tiles to clear the mahjong board — but this time in glorious 3D.
Push the boxes around a maze to their final destination without getting stuck. You’ll like the cute Nintendo-style graphics. If you don’t, have a look at SYASokoban, which is basically the same game.
Help Platdude jump between moving platforms, grab balls and throw them at bad guys. Object: fill in the white floors.
Match cards as quickly as possible in this memory game. There are several levels of difficulty, and you can create your own cards.
Roll a marble through challenging landscapes to reach your goal. Includes neverputt, a simple golf game.
3D death match similar to Quake III: Arena. A 273 MB download — need we say more?
You play a ninja in a dungeon, exploring the many passages and fighting many fearsome monsters. It’s built to have the feel of a text adventure but with full graphics and a complete ninja-style look. Requires Java.
This 2D physics game has to be played to be understood: “Harness gravity with your crayon and set about creating blocks, ramps, levers, pulleys and whatever else you fancy to get the little red thing to the little yellow thing.”
An online fantasy role-playing game and virtual community, available exclusively for Macintosh.
Match cards against computer players, just like Uno.
A space sim game with a retro feel and modern technology. Fly from planet to planet, buying and selling goods, shooting pirates or committing acts of piracy. It can be complicated, but there is a flight training manual.
Race your pieces around the board, sending your opponents back to the start, in this version of the popular board game Sorry. Play against the computer or go up against opponents on a network, leaving messages as you go.
Completely free game based on the Q3A engine and gamecode with fully working bots, net play and a vast sellection of maps and player models. You do not need Quake III Arena to play this game.
An addictive realtime worms shoot-em-up backed by an active gamers community. Players choose their weapons, grab a ninja rope and face off for a deathmatch in a closed level.
Build a transportation empire by land, air and sea, outwitting your competition along the way.
Match the blocks and watch them drop, reminiscent of Same Game.
Swoop through the night skies of Montreal to attack a flock of pigeons — but watch out for lampposts. The movie trailer is a real hoot.
When you play Pac the Man, it’s just like, well, Pac-Man.
Tile matching game tests your memory as you race against the clock to find identical pairs of pictures. Includes a number of tile styles and three difficulty settings.
Help the chicks escape by blowing up obstacles in their path with a limited number of bombs.
Up to four players can control underwater vessels, each with their own key on the keyboard. Hold down the button and release when ready to fire various types of weapons. Artificial intelligence does the rest.
A board game played with pegs: in the classic mode, there 33 positions and 32 tokens. The object is to remove the pegs but only with horizontal and vertical movements. To solve the game, leave only one piece on the board in the center position (which was initially empty). In reverse mode, there is initially only one piece on the board. With movements, tokens are added so that only one position is vacant on the board.
Lead a band of penguins on a journey in this open source version of the classic Lemmings.
Pong with a twist: inject plasma fluid into the environment, create a vacuum from your paddle, and blast shockwaves into the playing area.
Candy graphics and a fun story combine in this bubble-poppin’ Asteroids-style game.
It’s non-stop jumping — being careful not to hurt your head — as you make your way through funky levels to your destinations.
Try to improve your poker hand so you can win the bet.
A plucky wheeled robot named Polly has been imprisoned by the nefarious Dr. Nurbs in his laboratory and must overcome a series of increasingly elaborate obstacles to regain her freedom.
Simple implementation of eight-ball lets you line up your shots with fine-tuning, then choose how hard to hit the balls. You can change the look of the table, but some of the designs might hurt your eyes. Full-screen mode is a nice touch.
Play more than 1,000 solitaire games in categories that include popular, French, mahjongg, oriental, matrix, poker and puzzle. Yes, Klondike is available — but even it has dozens of variations. PySolFC (FC as in fan club) is a fork of PySol Solitaire, which no longer works with the latest versions of Mac OS.
One of the classic first-person shooters lives on with 64-bit Intel support. Fight your way through a terrifying 3D environment on your own or go on the network to play deathmatches and co-operative games.
Use Quinn to play Tetris the usual way or challenge friends on the network. (Currently unavailable due to legal threats. See the comment below.)
Multi-player first-person shooter has you and teammates going on missions against enemy combatants. Play in your web browser or download a standalone app for your Mac. The game — with no strings attached — is designed to push the limits of browser-based gaming technology.
First-person shooter with gorgeous graphics based on an open source game engine.
Control a square that collects smaller squares on the way the level’s exit. Touching surrounding walls drains your health. Layouts shift and undulate as you move. The tip of your tail of pixels must also avoid touching walls.
Tanks battle it out in this modern version of the old DOS game, Scorched Earth. Up to 24 players can play at the same time in a variety of changing environmental conditions and terrains.
Input the letters from your Scrabble hand, click the button, and see all the word possibilities — for those times when you’re really stuck.
Observe increasingly complex colour patterns, then try to copy them without making a mistake. Just like they did in the ’70s.
Interactive fiction features the adventures of six-year-old sisters playing hide-and-seek at the park on their birthday. “There are adventures to be had, friends to chase, people and animals to meet and tricks to play.” The game promises a fun introduction to the genre for young and old. (Needs Gargoyle app to run. Follow instructions at the download site.)
Ski some of the great courses of the world such as Whistler, Lauberhorn, Streif or Saslong. Compete with friends over the Internet.
Your snake grows with your Snake Quest as you gobble up crystals, making it tricky to manoeuvre.
A dozen high-quality solitaire card games rolled into one, including the classic Klondike, Free Cell, Spider, Pyramid, Canfield, Aces Up, Golf, Scorpian, Yukon, Baker’s Game and Forty Thieves.
Play solitaire Klondike style with big and beautiful cards. A transparency option lets you feel like you’re playing on your desktop.
Similar to the Klondike card game of solitaire, with splendid graphics.
Line up the coloured balls and make them disappear, either by moving rows left and right, or by spinning the whole grid around.
Multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator lets you enjoy favourite games from the 1980s on your Mac such as Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Missile Command and Pac-Man. Download ROMs needed to play the games from AtariAge.
The only limitation with Sudoku Daily is that you only get one free puzzle a day. If you’re OK with that, you’ll like the features — hints and solutions, give up or start over, bookmarks and rotations. And lots more. At the Mac App Store. (If you know of a better free sudoku app, please let us know.)
Here’s a sudoku app that goes out of its way to help you solve the puzzle with tons of hints and shortcuts. It comes with several puzzles, but you’ll want to find more and import them. One method — amazingly enough — is to take a screenshot from a website such as this one and drag it onto the app. It actually analyzes the numbers and creates a puzzle based on it. Very impressive. Sudoku Susser is freeware, but the developer makes a strong plea for donations.
This is a MacOSX port of Super Foul Egg, itself a clone of Puyo Puyo released for the Commodore Amiga in 1995. It is a re-write of Really Bad Eggs, a port of Super Foul Egg to the Nintendo DS.
Get this Mastermind clone in a version similar to the original, a more advanced version involving shapes, and of course a widget.
Compete with the computer to avoid spelling words.
It’s just like Super Mario, but with SuperTux, you get Tux the Linux penguin.
Race against friends or the computer in a variety of racetracks reminiscent of Mario Kart.
Take your swarm of bees through a maze, collecting gems along the way. Control swarm formations to get the job done faster. Speed is of the essence.
A turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme sees you build up a mighty army so you can regain your rightful place on the throne of Wesnoth.
Parody of the old Zelda games gives you two huge dungeons and five to 10 hours of playing. It’s not quite the full Zelda experience, but tweaks in game play add to an otherwise faithful homage.
A neat little yahtzee game using Tintin characters.
Side-scrolling action has you pitted against friends in one of three modes: deathmatch, king of tumblers, or last man standing. Violent, but in a fun kind of way.
The description alone should be enough to entice you: “Speed! More speed! Speeding ship sailing through barrage!” This vertical shooter has you driving forward through a tube with plenty of enemies along the way. It’s similar to the arcade game Tempest. And yes, there is an abundance of speed.
Now there’s a Mac version of Touchgrind, but you’ll need the multi-touch technology of a MacBook or Magic Trackpad. Finger controls simulate ollies, shuvits, kickflips, heelflips, impossibles, 5-0, 50-50, crooks, smithgrinds, boardslides, tailslides, dark slides in endless combinations. Get it from the Mac App Store.
Protect Earth from an alien invasion by controlling your base, training your troops and researching deadly, new weapons. Similar to X-COM, but with new features added.
A strategic board game, Othello (also known as Reversi) involves surrounding your opponent’s pieces to make them your own. Variations include MacIago and Reversi Unlimited.
There’s a whole lotta drift in this racing simulation. Features include: tracks based on famous real-world tracks, cars based on real-world vehicles, competition against AI players, and support for mice, joysticks, gamepads, wheels and keyboards.
Standalone first-person shooter based on the Qfusion 3D engine (a modification of the Quake 2 GPL engine), aimed at competition. Developed “by gamers for gamers” with a focus on movement, speed and tricks when playing.
As a commander, you must carry out various assignments in this real-time strategy game. For example, you may have to build a base, explore new technologies, deal with scavengers, and give manufacturing orders.
3D wildlife simulation game challenges players to learn about wolf ecology by living the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Explore the wilderness, hunt elk, and encounter stranger wolves. Establish a territory, raise pups and defend them from predators. Online multiplayer games let up to five players form a pack.
Physics play an important role in this 2D motocross platform game. You’ll be pushed to the limit in an effort to control your bike as challenges become increasingly difficult.