1999 Gaming Gift Ideas
Get Goofy over Golf — Lisa Thompson <[email protected]> recommends Goofy Golf Deluxe ($25, demo available) as an alternative to shoot-em-up titles. "Goofy Golf Deluxe should be enjoyed by many users – except maybe those who don’t bother with bloodless games or who have some aversion to miniature golf. It’s simple to play – the instructions fit on one panel of the CD sleeve. It comes with only three 18-hole courses, but you can make your own courses and download others from the company’s Web site. The course designer program is very un-Mac-like, but usable."
Urban Sprawl — Anton Rang <[email protected]> suggests tempting your megalomaniac friends with Maxis’s SimCity 3000. "I recently pulled out my old copy of SimCity Classic and, after playing with it for a couple of evenings, realized it’s pretty limiting. On a whim, I picked up SimCity 3000, and it’s much more interesting. There are a lot of variables to play with, your city can develop quite differently on each play, and the graphics are much improved over the original (which also helps keep the game interesting). My only complaint is that parts of the interface (particularly opening and saving files) are very Windows-like. Once the game is running, though, it has its own easy-to-use city planning interface."
Build Your Own Civilization — Dan O’Donnell <Dan.O’[email protected]> took the builder approach one step further by suggesting the world-building strategy game Civilization II Gold. "Designed for older children, teens (and adults) this allows single or multiple players to build societies by going through the stages and details of the development of civilization, – either on existing or user-designed land masses – from about 3000 B.C. to 2020 A.D. You can also play out scenarios based on how the world as we know it developed. Many scenarios are included, there is good printed and online help (including descriptions of the developments of civilization and wonders of the world), and the game can be played across a LAN or over the Internet." TidBITS Technical Editor Geoff Duncan once spent far too much time playing Civilization II Gold against his music student and his friends over the Internet. "There’s nothing quite like trying to take over a world where all the other nations are controlled by teenagers."