"TransGaming's Cider Portability Engine is a proprietary technology that allows PC games to be enabled on Apple's Intel Macs without the traditionally expensive and arduous need to redevelop a game from the ground-up. Cider acts as a "wrapper" around the PC game dynamically translating PC API calls to the Mac OS X operating system. As such, games can be enabled with Cider in a matter of days to weeks as opposed to the typical man years that traditional development takes.
Cider is an extremely powerful technology that allows games to be released day and date with their PC counter-parts giving publishers significant upside revenue potential and leveraging marketing and branding initiatives. Cider also allows publishers to release either dedicated Mac versions of their games or PC/Mac hybrid versions (i.e. both versions of the game in a single box)."
In reality how well do games really run with Transgaming's Cider on Mac? Well with the the help of my friend Google I did some searches for Cider Games and this is what I found. Below is a quote and link to the original article.
GTA2 [Intel][Cider] (Mac Games) :
"Notes: The resolution can't be changed in game - you will have to leave it at the preset value.
Known Issues: If you click on Options in the main menu the game will crash, so don't do it. Controls and other settings have already been configured for you." Full Link
'Cider' could see PC/Linux/Mac game releases :
"Cool, but also a bit frightening, many publishers will rush games and release fairly buggy products as is, I can only imagine the horror unleashed adding all that" Full Link
Sins of a Solar Empire :
"Personally, I would really really hope that if a port ever happened (which it doesn't seem like Stardock has ever had any inclination to do for any of its games - which is a shame) it wouldn't use Cider as Cider games are often very buggy due to not being Mac native. Hell, EVE Online uses Cider and there are still dialogs to pic a DirectX version in the options..." Full Link
Dark messiah with Cider and font issue :
"the fact that the cutscene videos won't show up and had to be deactivated because they use a DirectX 90c shader which Cider can't handle I can hear the sound but the screen is just black with a white quare - too bad since the videos contain major story elements..."
"I am currently fiddling with Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, but the game is extremely buggy and crashes every time I try to load a new game." Full Link
COD5 Cider Port Released :
"I hate cider. Everything about it is just annoying. I would rather have it then no port, but really, for big game companies? Its slow, buggy, and resource intensive. The valve apps that are programmed in OpenGL should run much better." Full Link
Settlers Community Technical Support :
"Cider C Runtime Error Runtime Error!!!!! Program: C:\The Settlers 7\Data\Base\_Dbg\Bin\Release\Settlers7R.exe abnormal program termination" Full Link
And this is just a small sample of the search results regarding Transgaming Cider ported games for the Mac. All I can say is, Wow... it sure seems that Cider is a extremely buggy piece of technology at this time, and therefore you can most likely expect crashes and errors with a Cider ported game on your Mac.
Most people choose a Mac because it is a quality premium product with a elegant OS to go on that hardware. So the last thing your going to want is a buggy Cider based game on your Mac right? Keep in mind extremely buggy software like this also taxes your CPU and GPU and can cause premature hardware failures do to overheating and constant 100% system loads. Not to mention system lock ups and system crashes. I personally would not put my Mac through this torture, because their are alternatives at this time to Ciderized Games.
What are the alternatives to Cider ported games?
At this time there are more and more native Mac ported games coming on the market all the time. With the recent market share increases the Mac has seen more and more game developers are porting to the Mac.
You could also duel boot using bootcamp, but your going to have to pay for the Microsoft Windows licence. And you cant run any of your Mac software while your booted into Windows. You will also loose a large chunk of hard drive space for that Windows install.
You can install vanilla Wine from WineHQ on your Mac and play games, this is a good option for technical minded people. And for people who have hours to spend tweaking Wine and the Game for the best playing experience. But if your not familiar with compiling software and then further configuring Wine once you have Wine installed this option might not be for you.
And then their is CodeWeavers CrossOver Games for Mac. CrossOver Games can run hundreds of Windows Applications and Games on Intel based Mac PCs.
About CodeWeavers CrossOver Games for Mac :
"Now gamers can play the games they want, on whatever platform they want! With CrossOver Games, you can run many popular Windows games on your Intel OS X Mac or Linux PC. Whatever your tastes first-person shooters, fantasy, strategy, MMORPGs CrossOver Games lets you run many popular game titles. CrossOver comes with an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing your games simple and fast. Once installed, your game integrates seamlessly with your Desktop. Just click and run! It's like running Windows on your Mac or Linux machine, but without Windows. No rebooting, no switching to a virtual machine, and no Windows Operating System license required!."
To see if your favorite game currently runs on CrossOver Games just visit CodeWeavers CrossOver Compatibility Center (C4) and browse through the over 8,000 applications and games in the C4 database.
About CodeWeavers CrossOver Compatibility Center (C4) :
"CodeWeavers goal is to make Linux and Mac OS X fully Windows-compatible operating systems. All Windows applications should be able to be run: cleanly, harmoniously, within the native environment, and without using an emulator. To that end, we maintain this Compatibility Center."
If your favorite games currently runs via CrossOver Games Mac you can join the C4 forums and share your experience with other CrossOver Gamers. You can also become a advocate for your favorite games and vote on your games support level, give feedback, and much more. If by chance your game doesn't currently run with CrossOver Games you can vote for your game and let the people at CodeWeavers know the game is important to you and you would like to see it supported in a future CrossOver Games release. Their is also a tips and tricks section in the C4 forums where you can use or add to known tips for getting a unsupported game up and running.
If by some chance your game isn't currently listed in the database you can still install the game as a unsupported application and see for yourself if it runs. And then submit the game for inclusion in the database and once its accepted submit your ranking. You will also want to keep in mind that just because a game isn't officially supported by CodeWeavers doesn't mean it isn't playable. As of today their is currently well over 1,000 Gold ranked applications and games in the C4 database.
So how do you save 30% off CrossOver Games for Mac? Just use "UNITY" in the CodeWeavers store at checkout time as your coupon / dealcode and you will get a instant 30% discount off the full retail selling price. Anyone who has ever had any problems running a Cider based Game can use this dealcode and give CrossOver Games a try.
You can also share the "UNITY" dealcode with friends and family so they can join in the fun and start playing many of today's most popular games on their Mac computers with you.