What alternatives to lost Mac games?

The great PopCap games wife likes to play vanished with the loss of 32-bit apps. (Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, Bookworm, Peggle) Some were converted to iOS, and some went to Steam, which presents just enough friction to dissuade her. A bit of a “kludge.” These games played great with a mouse.

We tried Apple Arcade on the Mac, but there weren’t many like the PopCap games, and most used the keyboard, rather than the mouse. Some will use a PS4 or Xbox controller, but what good is that for something like Bejeweled, even if it were available?

I looked at the new Apple Silicon Macs, thinking the iOS Popcap games might be there, but so far not, and I’ve read the developers can prevent their iOS apps from working on Apple Silicon.

We looked at the App Store for games we could buy individually, but without trials that seems “iffy.” And we didn’t see anything like Popcap’s offerings.

Am I missing something?

Would her gaming be better on Windows? I don’t know where to even start looking for that platform. I don’t play games and have no interest in going that route myself, but if it made her happy… (Although I wince at the idea of being her tech support for Windows. My last experience was Windows XP. I’ll tell her to call BestBuy!)


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You could run a 32-bit version of macOS in a virtual machine.


Thanks, John. I’d thought of Parallels for running Windows, but hadn’t thought of it running an older MacOS. That would be much more familiar to my wife, who doesn’t do well with any technical friction. The more transparent any “fixes” are, the better.

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It might be possible to get the .ipa file off an iPad or iPhone using software like iMazing (maybe).
Apparently, once you have that on your M1 Mac you can run it. Then it’s down to whether the interface ‘works’.

As you can probably tell, I haven’t tried this; I just heard about it on a podcast somewhere.

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I recently tried something like this with a program called Crossover that uses WINE as the emulator engine (I love playing Portal 2 community-built maps) on my M1 MBA and the experience was less than desired, very choppy and low frame rates. It may be different for others, however.

Yeah, not surprising. You had macOS on an M1 emulating Intel running a Windows emulator :slightly_smiling_face:


How about an iPad with a mouse and keyboard?

That is already a thing.

My experience with virtualizing macOS is that graphics performance is…let’s just call it “not great”. It had something to do with the macOS guest not playing nice with the 3d accelerator in the virtualization engine.

That was a couple of years ago though, so it’s possible it got better. Or depending on the game, it’s possible that it just wouldn’t matter that much. :slight_smile:

Are you aware of whether any of the virtualization engines are better than others for that?

Rube Goldberg at it’s best.

I tried “Diablo III” (macOS), the only game I own, and it works (with highest graphics settings) on the M1 MBP.

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Good idea, but my iPad’s getting old and won’t go past iOS 12, and it looks like the mouse arrived with 13. However, when it’s time to upgrade the iPad for additional reasons, I’ll remember your suggestion. Thanks!

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