Pangea Software Inc.
has released Bugdom 2, their latest 3D game for the Macintosh. Bugdom 2 is a Macintosh exclusive, and it was developed on the Mac.
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Pangea Software’s past credits include Nanosaur, Cro-Mag Rally, Otto Matic and the original Bugdom. While those games have found bundle deals and have also made their way onto retail store shelves, the long-time Mac game developer has taken a different approach with Bugdom 2 by initially releasing the game as an online download which can be unlocked with the purchase of a registration code.
If you’re not on a high-bandwidth connection, don’t worry. Bugdom 2 will also be released on CD in the next three weeks, according to Pangea president Brian Greenstone. Don’t wait to see it on retail store shelves, however. Pangea plans to sell it direct, only. At least for now.
Retail distribution of game software in North America is a notoriously expensive endeavor that can be littered with financial and logistical pitfalls. It costs a lot of money for software publishers to get their products in wide distribution. The distribution companies responsible for getting those products onto store shelves will drop publishers quickly unless they’re capable of maintaining a steady stream of revenue.
This puts Mac game publishers at a huge disadvantage, as they’re trying to attract a smaller audience and generally aren’t as well heeled as their PC counterparts to begin with. While it’s worked out okay for major publishers who can spread their bets with a variety of titles like MacPlay, Aspyr Media and MacSoft, Pangea — which produces about one game a year — doesn’t have that luxury. In fact, Pangea’s experience has been so negative that Greenstone sees a lot more sense in avoiding the retail racket all together.
Since Pangea has taken the direct sales approach, it’s found it to be much more profitable than retail, according to Greenstone, who told MacCentral that since his game Cro-Mag Rally went shareware, they’ve made more money than they did when it was in retail distribution.
Pangea hasn’t closed the door to retail distribution all together, however. “Any store that wants to buy directly from us will get a nice wholesale discount,” he said.
Same world, new characters
Greenstone said that the new game should be a thrill for fans of its predecessor, which is now three years old. “We’ve created an entirely new game based on the Bugdom world,” he said.
Although Bugdom 2 is a sequel, you won’t find Rollie McFly or his friends here — this is an entirely new world featuring a grasshopper named Skip who is on his way to visit some relatives. A Bully Bee knocks him down and takes his knapsack, and resourceful Skip isn’t going to let that bully get away with it.
Along with a new protagonist with new capabilities, Bugdom 2 sports entirely new level designs and new gameplay features. Ten levels take Skip through the world of Bugdom, both inside and around a house. The third-person action familiar to players of the original game has been augmented with special levels that will put Skip in control of a balsa airplane on a mission to bomb anthills, and surfing down rushing water in a sewer pipe.
At a time when it’s increasingly common to see games requiring Mac OS X and heavy system requirements, Bugdom 2 is a little more low-key. The game runs on Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X, and requires at least a 400MHz iMac DV with 128MB RAM.
If you’re using a Power Mac or other system, make sure it’s equipped with at least a RAGE 128 or better 3D graphics accelerator with 8MB of VRAM.
The online version is available for US$29.95. When the CD version is released, you’ll be able to pick it up for $34.95. Visit Pangea Software’s Web site for more info, screenshots, and links to downloadable demos.