New Youtube Videos: Zroids

New set of videos on my YouTube channel showing off an obscure old Mac game, Zroids.

I suppose what stands out to me about Zroids looking at it 16 years after I first played it is how it had such a wonderful concept, and yet so lacked what it needed to actually make it great.

To my knowledge no new maps were ever published beyond the ones included in the first (and only) release of the game, and while there was a fair amount of variety in its gameplay (albeit not as much as in its sister Steel Fighters, which is still available from ColdSteel Software), there was very little balance. There’s one weapon really worth using (it isn’t hard to tell from a glance at the videos which one it is), a few that are moderately effective, and a bunch that are useless unless the weapons are restricted enough that they don’t have anything decent to compete with. One of the game’s neatest features, the terrain destruction, is one of the less accessible and useful aspects of the game; you have to go out of your way to make cubbyholes that are effective, and it’s hard to think of circumstances where your time wouldn’t have been better spent hunting down other players. The AI is pretty mediocre (destructible terrain didn’t help it any, at that), and unfortunately the split-screen aspect of the game was not something the Macintosh has ever been very conducive to.

So, there’s a few good reasons why this is a forgotten Mac game. But if you’re able to set the critical mindset aside, get over the loss of potential that was there, and allow yourself to make what you can of it, there was still a good amount of fun to be had here.