Solarian II 1.1 : A classic Mac video game

Price: $10 (PayPal) (other)

NOTE: Solarian II 1.1 has not been updated in several years, and does not work on recent versions of OS X (10.6 or later).

Solarian II was first written in 1988–1989, and was one of the first color games for the new color Macs that came out in 1988. It ran happily for years, but Mac OS X broke it – it never ran well under Classic. We kept getting email about this, and so we ported it to Mac OS X. It's now a native Cocoa app (!), and should be good to go for another 15 years, we hope!

[Ed. note: well, those hopes were not well-founded. Almost immediately after version 1.1 was released, two things happened. One, Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel, which broke Solarian II again; it ran kind of OK under Rosetta for a while, but those days are long gone. And two, a hard disk crash destroyed the shipping version of Solarian II's source code, meaning that it could not simply be rebuilt for Intel and re-released; instead, it would have to be re-engineered from older source code in a backup. That would be a lot of work, and so it has not happened yet. But it might happen some day!]

We made this port as faithful to the original as we possibly could. All the sounds are the same (but cleaned up to have less hiss and noise), the graphics are untouched (but it can now switch your display's resolution so it fills that nice big monitor you have nowadays), even the user interface is preserved in all its archaic wonder! Here's a screenshot of the game in action (click for the full-size version):

Solarian II is shareware (which means we rely on you to pay for it if you use it). It costs $10. Feel free to try it out for a little while before paying, but please don't forget that it is ultimately your responsibility to pay for it if you use it. For details on how we handle payments, see our main software page. Thanks!

Folks who paid for the old Classic version are not registered for this version of Solarian II. Usually we provide free upgrades for registered users, but this is not just a new version, it's a complete port to what is effectively a new operating system. The amount of effort expended seems to us to justify a new registration fee. Additionally, we don't have any payment records from the old version of Solarian II – more than 20 years ago! – so we could not verify who had already paid. We hope nobody is outraged by this; please keep in mind you had more than a decade of playing version 1.0.4, paid for by your first $25.  :->

For those who are confused by some aspect of Solarian II, we have an online manual that covers the common questions like display configuration and game performance (and there is a PDF version of the manual for download if you wish). Most users should find that they can play the game without the need for the manual at all, however.

Solarian II's new icon is courtesy of SOHO/EIT consortium and is used with permission. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA. They produce amazing images of the sun, worth checking out.

For those who are curious: yes, there was a Solarian I. It was a class project (big hello here to Doug Ierardi!), and was never released publicly. As to whether there will ever be a Solarian III: well, at the moment my ambitions are limited to finding the time to get Solarian II working again. My last game, Trisection, did not do very well despite being (in our humble opinion) a great game, and so I'm feeling a little leery of the Mac game market lately. Is there anybody out there who wants to play games besides first-person shooters?

To those hoping for a similar port to OS X of Lunatic Fringe: sorry, we don't own the copyright on it, and thus can't do anything with it. We wish we could.