Today is the day that Valve finally takes the curtain off of its Mac Steam client, and apparently the company had no intention of launching it without a good deal of games to support it. Unfortunately, out all the games available, the only one from Valve itself is Portal, but we can expect that to change in the weeks and months to come, I’m sure. If Portal doesn’t strike your fancy, then hopefully one of the other 56 titles will.
Yes, that’s a rather massive collection, so if you’re a Mac gamer, don’t plan on being bored soon. Of all the games available, none are quite as graphical as Portal, and many are indie hits such as And Yet It Moves, Braid and World of Goo. But there are even some older titles that have surprisingly been ported over as well, such as The Dig, Loom and the old-school Indiana Jones titles (I assume this is made possible by DOSBox, as having a native client for titles as old as these is unlikely).
If you’re looking for some good ole RTS action in the form of a Diablo-clone, then Torchlight might be one of the first games you want to check out. Yes, it now has a Mac client, and it only costs a meager $10 for a limited time. Of course, if you’re more of a puzzle freak, there are many titles to keep you busy, such as Zuma Deluxe, Peggle, Tales of Monkey Island, Sam & Max and many more.
I admit, I certainly didn’t expect a launch with this many games, and according to Valve, this is only the beginning. The message on the Steam site states that for each Wednesday for the near-future, the company will be rolling out a slew of new games that will work on the platform. We can hope that each Wednesday, Valve itself will also release a new Source title, such as Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and others.
Along with this new Mac client comes a feature called “Steam Play”. If you see a Steam Play logo next to a game you’re about to purchase, it means that you can purchase it once, and play it on either OS’ respective Steam client without issue. The exact wording is “all Steam supported platforms”, despite there only being two. Could this be loose wording regarding a potential Linux client in the future? Hard to say, but as we’ve seen in the past, it looks like such a client is definitely in the works.
The launch festivities don’t end here, though. If you download the Mac client and sign up for an account, you can download Valve’s award-winning Portal for $0.00. That’s right, nada. You can’t get a much better deal than that. You better hurry, though, as the offer expires May 24.
I might not own a Mac, nor even care to, but the release of Steam for OS X is huge. If the Steam platform for the Mac is a success, and there seems to be no real reason why it wouldn’t be, then it could only mean good things for the success of cross-platform gaming in the future.
Edit: The Telegraph is reporting that a Linux Steam client is in the works and will be released in the months to come. Michael Larabel, of the Phoronix Linux enthusiast site has some commentary on the discovery.
Each Wednesday a new group of games highlighting an area of Steam functionality will be released. Gamers who download Steam between now and May 24th will also receive a free copy of Valve’s game of the year award-winning Portal. “The Mac is a great platform for developers,” said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. “And it’s also great that we now have the ability to connect with Mac gamers via Steam. This is the beginning of a groundswell of games coming out for and fully utilizing the openness and power of the Mac.”