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SuperMew98's picture
Joined: 2013 Mar 14
Best games for an iMac G3?

Title says it all. What I'm looking for are ones that run native in OS X 10.2 (Jaguar).

Machine speed: 400 MHz
Bus speed: 100 MHz
Number of processors: 1
L2 cache size: 512K
Machine model: iMac (version = 83.0)
Boot ROM info: 4.1.9f1
HDD size: 37.26 GB, 32.74 GB free



sfp1954's picture
Joined: 2013 Dec 29

How much VRAM do you have?
Some OSX games require Open GL which in turn requires 8MB of VRAM.
As a result the G3 Wallstreet (one of my favorite machines) which runs Jaguar just fine is not of much use for OSX gaming as it only has 4MB of onboard VRAM. Your iMac is basically the desktop equivalent of the Wallstreet follow-up (either the 400MHz Lombard (USB) or the 400MHz Pismo (Firewire)).

I think you're going to find that 80-90% of what you can run are carbonized OS9/OSX games.
So I would either have an OS 9 partition or dual boot capability.
Apple gaming kind of died in that period. Companies either got out rather than invest the time and money in converting to OSX or simply carbonized the application to stay in the game until the OSX dust had settled. I don't think there were a lot of OSX only/native games developed.

So Blizzard for instance carbonized Diablo II. The same for the original "The Sims".
And then you have games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale which will run in either 9 or X. On a G3 I think you'll find the same game will run faster in OS9 than in OSX.

Blizzard's first OSX only game was Warcraft III and it requires 10.3 Panther.
If your iMac has a firewire port (and since you have 1GB RAM) I would recommend a dual boot install of 9.2.2 and MacOS 10.4 Tiger. That will give you greatest game compatibility.

Also during that time frame computer based gaming was being supplanted by handheld games and gaming only consoles (GameCube, Nintendo 64, Xbox, PlayStation).

SuperMew98's picture
Joined: 2013 Mar 14

Well, I looked all around my iMac and found no sign of how much VRAM I have. Unfortunately, my iMac doesn't have any Firewire ports, either, but I do have OS 9.1 installed, I just would rather use OS X than OS 9.

I only have found about five games to run natively on my iMac, but for some reason the majority of them are classified as "Early Childhood".

sfp1954's picture
Joined: 2013 Dec 29

OSX has a lot more overhead. You really need a G4 chip to run OSX native games with any kind of action. OS 9 will have much better performance on a G3 platform.

This seems to be a decent list.
But I think you'll find that the majority of the PPC/Universal games will require at least a G4 CPU.

Are you sure about the Firewire?
According to unless the CPU chip is not original it should have two firewire ports, 8MB of VRAM and be able to run Tiger.

Which iMac G3 models have Firewire "400" ports?

In a delightfully easy-to-remember manner, all iMac G3 models with 400 MHz or faster processors include two Firewire "400" ports.

sfp1954's picture
Joined: 2013 Dec 29

As you can see from the timeline 9.2.2 and 10.2 almost overlap. So any games written for an 800MHz or slower G4 would probably have been released to run under both OS 9 and OSX (but they would have run faster in OS 9). I would be surprised if you can find more than 10 or 15 games that run only in OSX but will also run on a G3 400 iMac with stock onboard GPU. Anything developed exclusively for OSX 10.2 or greater would have been developed on a G4 or G5 machine.

WhosIt.There's picture
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

That depends greatly on what type of games you like.

Some that I know work under 10.2 are (I don't know if all these are on MacGarden though) - the version numbers are what I'm using, but newer versions may also work:

  • Bubble Trouble (v1.0.1)
  • Bub & Bob 2 (v0.98 ) (although it occasionally crashes for no reason)
  • Bejeweled Deluxe (v1.73)
  • MacBoXiKoN
  • Maelstrom (v3.0.6)
  • Snood (v3.01)
  • Reckless Drivin' (v1.44)
  • Pac the Man 2 (v1.02)
  • Solitaire Till Dawn X (v1.3)
  • Mike's Cards 2 (v2.0 )
  • Dominoes (v3.1)
  • Aquatomic (v1.0 )
  • Absolute Backgammon (v5.3.8 )
  • Mancala Deluxe (v2.0.2)>
  • 3D Hearts Deluxe (v7.3)
  • 3D Spades Deluxe (v3.3)
  • 3D Bridge Deluxe (v2.3)
  • Classic Cribbage (v2.0 )
  • Xwords Deluxe (v3.0.6)
  • Airburst (v1.053)
  • Candy Crisis (v1.2)
  • Avernum 3 (v1.1.3)
  • Blades of Avernum (v1.1.2)
  • Geneforge (v1.1)
  • Ponere (v1.0 )

Some of those will also run under Mac OS 9 as well.

Plus there are emulators around for various old consoles and handhelds which you can run to play things like Gameboy games (again under both Mac OS X and OS 9).

With 400MHz, you'll probably get some of the old 3D games playable as well (they're too slow on my 266MHz G3 PowerMac).

butterburger's picture
Joined: 2014 Aug 16

Cultivation by Jason Rohrer. I love this beautiful game.

MikeTomTom's picture
Joined: 2009 Dec 7

All 400 MHz G3 iMac's shipped with 8 MB video RAM on board.

Browse through Pure Mac's Games section for suitable games (some in there will be OK). Each game is listed with a minimal OS version they'll run under. Some are freeware, others are shareware or commercial (some as demos).

SuperMew98's picture
Joined: 2013 Mar 14

@sfp1954: Oops, I'm sorry, there is a Firewire port, I just didn't recognize it at first. I can install Tiger, but I'm not sure what I'll do about the G4 or G5 thing.

@WhosIt.There: I like any kind of game, to be honest, but I do like RPGs and driving games the most. I'll check out the ones you listed.

@MikeTomTom: Thank you for the link, I'll see what they have there, too.