Three 8-Bit Mac Games to Love

by Josh Rubenoff Nov 30, 2009

One game listed below is beautifully designed specifically for the Mac, while the other two work cross-platform. All of them are way too much fun to play considering the technological era to which their designs belong.

Jumpman, created in 2009, is the result of having real-world physics applied to the austere landscape of a retro platformer. Your blocky protagonist slides across floors as he attempts to decelerate—and the ability to rotate the entire game area in 45-, 90- or 180-degree intervals reveals itself to be a key game mechanic, as you can rotate out of the way of enemies or use it to propel yourself farther.

Jumpman comes with a handful of challenging levels, but if you want a truly brutal gameplay experience, download a few of the many level packs by Peter Mawhorter: a level editor comes with the game, and Mawhorter's used this editor (especially with Jump Story) to test the extreme capacities of Jumpman's physics. I downloaded this when it was released in March, and haven't stopped playing since.

Quinn isn't technically an 8-bit game, but those are certainly its origins. It's a near-perfect port of Tetris to the Mac. The developer, Simon Haertel, makes the most out of Core Image to create some nice transitions for his title screen and pop-up boxes, and the art is great, too, with nicely-colored Tetris blocks and very OS X-like buttons. Add to that a network-play option (including a robust online multi-player community on a few public servers, and a global high-score board on Haertel's website) and you've got an amazing package.

Mario Adventure is the stuff of legend—one guy spends months, maybe years, hacking into the ROM for Super Mario Brothers 3 and creating his own, completely new and totally original game. The result is something that's much more challenging than any Nintendo-created 8-bit Mario game, as well as a lot more fun. Download a NES emulator for the Mac (I prefer Nestopia) and the Mario Adventure ROM and have fun exploring seven worlds ranging from slightly challenging to insanely difficult: there's a desert world with levels that present challenges like climbing over a treacherous obstacle or defeating 4 bosses simultaneously, as well as a world that mirrors classic Mario levels but with enemies and question-mark boxes blown up to comically large sizes. It's really enjoyable for anyone who enjoyed Mario in their youth.

Any games you guys would recommend?


  • Play Scratch Cards : 8-Bit Mac Games are superb in graphics and friendly in using. I am happy to use it.On the otherhand i can say Quinn is better than Jumpman.

    kevindew had this to say on Feb 11, 2011 Posts: 1
  • I would really love to try this game. Hope it works on one of my custom built gaming computers. Mario was one of the games that I played day and night until I knew every little secret about it.

    IBMdude had this to say on Sep 09, 2011 Posts: 50
  • It sounds very interesting.I am used to play on a xbox, I just bought new games for Xbox 360 and I can’t wait to try them on.I think I will try this game too.Once you are a game addict you love all games,and I am a game addict.

    Aramica had this to say on Sep 12, 2011 Posts: 14
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