For me it started with a frustration. When I upgraded my Mac to Mountain Lion, some of my older Mac software stopped working. Quietly Apple dropped support for many applications that came out before their new Intel Chipsets. Many people weren’t affected, until they decided to dust off an old favorite app or game.
For me that was Diablo II.
Blizzard can kiss my whole family’s butt for requiring an internet connection to play Diablo 3. I won’t buy a game with such a staunch limitation. I can’t play D3 in airplanes or at airport terminals. I can’t play it in other countries with limited or no internet, or any location stateside with similar limitations. So if I don’t want to play at home, I can’t play. The problem is that I want to play when I have down time, and often for me that is when I travel… so I decided to do the next best thing and dust off my old copy of Diablo II. That’s when it happened. That’s when I discovered that DII no longer works for Mac. What degree of malady is this?? I instantly hit the old Google machine to find a solution.
There were several options, but it seemed the best was to use software to “bottle” a windows version to run on Mac. This was interesting, but sort of hard to do. I got something called “Wine” (not the beverage, the software) and tried my hand at it. Of course, I didn’t read how and was left with something that really didn’t work.
Then, I stumbled on a solution
There was a forum I read which talked about a software called “Crossover” by Codeweavers. Crossover works like Win, but they make the bottle for you. They do the hard work and you get a clean and easy to follow process to make Windows applications run on Mac. It was very easy!
Within a few minutes I had the Windows version of Diablo II downloaded from my Battle.net account and I was able to install it with ease using the Crossover software. Now I’m able to play DII with ease… and it didn’t stop there! I ended up bottling Rift for Windows as well. This MMORPG became a free to play game, but they dropped Mac support. Now, I’m able to play that too!
Crossover’s own website has a tab that tells you what runs. They also grade the software they bottle from Gold to “Known not to work” so you know immediately if your favorite games will work with Crossover before you ever buy it. There is a thriving community of enthusiests and developers working together to improve and keep up to date the software list. As Mac changes, so will Crossover (look for big updates with Mavericks this fall).
Apps do take a little longer to boot up, but that frustration is quite mild compared to the rage you can feel when something doesn’t work at all. I found that most of the titles I still wanted to run worked, often the titles that didn’t work (Nexon’s Maple Story for example… don’t judge me!) failed because of limitations put on them by the programmers themselves (for some reason, some games are programmed not to work in an emulated state, presumably to prevent hacking and cheating).
If you need to run something on your Mac that was designed for Windows, give Crossover a try. There is a free trial and a great amount of information right on the site to help you decide if this software is the appropriate solution for you. I’ve very happy with Crossover and I am looking forward to seeing what they add in the future!