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Aspyr Media Sponsoring TidBITS

Please welcome our latest long-term TidBITS sponsor, Aspyr Media, an Austin, Texas-based publisher of games for Mac and iOS.

Since 1996, Aspyr has been a shining light in Mac gaming. Until recently, Apple users were the unloved stepchildren of the video game world. Blockbuster titles were rarely ported to the Mac, and if they were, it took years. Aspyr was there in the darkest of days for Apple users, porting quality games to the Mac. In fact, the first Mac game I ever bought was Aspyr’s version of Unreal.

Since then, Aspyr’s Mac ports have become even faster and better. They brought BioShock: Infinite to the Mac within a few months of PC release, in a flawless translation that runs beautifully on my 2011-vintage MacBook Pro (for my review, see “FunBITS: In Praise of BioShock Infinite for Mac,” 6 September 2013). Not only that, but they’ve somehow managed to bring the new BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea expansion to the Mac at the same time as PC and console releases.

Aspyr has recently jumped into gaming for the iPhone and iPad. If you’re a Star Wars fan, try their iPad version of the classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (reviewed recently here; see “FunBITS: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for iPad,” 6 December 2013.) Of course, it’s also available for the Mac. It’s without a doubt one of the finest role-playing games of all
time, and now you can play it from the comfort of your couch. Knights of the Old Republic is one Star Wars prequel that won’t disappoint, and it has one of the best plot twists ever.

Aspyr also runs the GameAgent game directory service, and if you’re a Mac gamer, you have to check it out. GameAgent lists all games available for the Mac, regardless of the publisher, and even lets you filter by which titles are on sale. Add one to your wishlist, and the site sends you email when the price drops. Who else does that?

A particularly welcome feature of GameAgent is Mac Match, which lets you know if a game will play on your Mac, once you’ve signed up for a free account. You can either let the GameAgent app scan your hardware, or you can tell Mac Match about your system manually. Either way, it takes just a few minutes and eliminates the headache of figuring out system requirements.

Even though most of my TidBITS colleagues don’t share my experience in the gaming world, video games play a significant — and growing! — role in the Apple ecosystem, thanks in part to Aspyr’s longtime support. For that, we’re proud to have them as a TidBITS sponsor.

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