Stronghold Kingdoms Invades Mac

Firefly Studios invites Mac gamers to join the fight for medieval Europe on January 13th with a new port and cross platform play

Strategy fans can now get their MMORTS fix with Stronghold Kingdoms, which launches worldwide 13th January on Mac. Still one of the Top 100 most played games on Steam, Kingdoms brings classic Stronghold gameplay into a persistent MMO world based on medieval Europe.

Nick Tannahill, Marketing Manager at Firefly Studios said, “As a small indie releasing Stronghold Kingdoms on Mac is a huge milestone for us. This is something players have been asking for since the game first launched on Steam in 2012 and we’re looking forward to players settling the eternal battle between PC and Mac online. Our new Mac edition features cross-platform play with the hundreds of thousands of PC players who log in every month. This massively improves the first time experience for new Mac users, who will have thousands of active players to fight alongside in their game world on day one.”

“Stronghold Kingdoms on Mac also includes content updates from over two years of active development. Players can use gunpowder on a ‘Fourth Age’ world, collect rewards for completing quests and fight across 33 different countries in our massive ‘Europe’ game world. We really owe players for the explosive growth of the game over the past two years, which we will continue to support with monthly updates and a large gameplay update planned for the coming months.”

At launch Stronghold Kingdoms will be the first and only MMORTS game on Mac. With over 25 different game worlds, each recreating a different medieval country or continent, Kingdoms allows players to build a castle in their home town and lay siege to their virtual neighbours. Using a vast research tree players can specialise as a diplomat, farmer, trader or warlord as they forge alliances and engage in political mind games.

Stronghold Kingdoms is out next month on Mac, with users joining more than 3.5 million registered PC players from over 100 different countries:

Death Blade MAC Review (1996)

More than anything else, Death Blade plays like a game of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. A lot of the monsters have the same names and special attacks as AD&D monsters. Many of the magic items also are the same. It’s rather easy to tell what the inspiration for this shareware game was.

Aside from that, the combat interface looks very strange. Monsters attack you in real time, but their movements look they are suffering a fit or doing some strange dance, hopping and moving in completely unrealistic ways. And, as you face these monsters head on, this makes combat seem very strange indeed.

You start out the game with no armor and no weapons. As you defeat monsters, they will occasionally drop armor, weapons, or other goodies that will enable you to survive. Chief among these are healing potions that return lost hit points. There are also other potions that will take poison out of your body, restore lost levels, and more.

On the sixteen levels of the game, the monsters get progressively harder as you go deeper, from thieves or goblins on the first level, to all sorts of undead and Cassandra herself, who is the nastiest creature of them all. Only by doing away with Cassandra will you escape the maze and be able to stop the monsters plaguing the town.

The story behind the game is good, but the strange look of combat mars this otherwise good game.

Graphics

Graphics are good. Monsters look appropriately spooky and/or strange.

Sound

The sounds are okay, but the music for exploring the levels makes you wonder what is around every corner or behind every wall.

Enjoyment

Aside from the combat interface, the game is somewhat bland but enjoyable.

Replay Value

You might wish to go back and do more exploring, but then again you might not.

Documentation

The documentation explains the background of the game and how to play.

Space Ace MAC-1994 Review

Similar to Dragon’s Lair is Space Ace, both by the Bluth Group. In each, you get to play a hero, racing to rescue a beautiful maiden. In action and adventure, though, Space Ace comes off as weak compared to the better and earlier Dragon’s Lair.

In Space Ace, the evil Commander Borf is out to conquer the Earth, using his “Infanto Ray” that can turn ordinary adults into infants. Borf is a less-than-credible villain, appearing as a jazzed-up, sci-fi version of Bluto from Popeye. Even the beard is pretty much the same. And it’s got a similar dynamic, as the muscled, heroic Ace gets hit by the Infanto Ray and turned into the weak and nerdy teenage Dexter.

As Dexter comes into being, Borf abducts Kimberly, Ace’s partner and–we suppose–his girlfriend. Dexter must transverse some pretty strange places to get her back and save the Earth once more.

Each of the approximately 15 scenes can be played as Dexter or Ace once you energize. Dexter must avoid creatures more than Ace as he simply doesn’t have the bulk or muscles to fight them effectively, while Ace gets to blast things more. What’s interesting is that these scenes change depending on which character you are playing.

One of my favorite scenes has you face off against your double, which involves lots of dodging no matter which character you are playing. It is obvious that the designers had lots of fun with this game, as some of the scenes are quite funny, such as the motorcycle chase, or the scene with the roller-skates, where you avoid holes on the way to your destination. There is a scene on an alien trash heap where you try to avoid becoming recycled by trash compactors, and a planet with alien dogs trying to eat you.

At the end, Dexter/Ace faces off against Borf in hand-to-hand combat to rescue Kimberly. Once he does, Borf returns, trying to blast Ace with the Infanto Ray. If you get hit here, you become a baby in diapers and you lose the game. Otherwise, you save the earth and are treated to a cute ending.

This game seems rather contrived in parts, but has a genuine sense of fun beneath the surface. Whether or not you played it in the arcade, it’s worth a replay on the Mac.

Graphics

Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair were the first and, so far, only games originally produced on laserdisc. This means their graphics are far ahead of their times, and still appear superior today.

Sound

Sound is equally good. The whole game is like a Saturday morning cartoon. In fact, I think they did adapt the story for one.

Enjoyment

Once you get past the hokey exterior, there is a genuine sense of fun in this game. You’ll chuckle at the game even as you try to stay alive.

Replay Value

This is an exceptionally hard game to master. The movements required to win must be learned slowly, by trial and error. You may wish to replay the game once or twice, but once you have won once, it’s pretty much over.

Documentation

An extensive manual, covering all the scenes in the game and giving backstory and hints.