Mac users are often characterized as marching to the beat of a different drummer. Nowhere is that more evident in a new Mac-only game from
called Tranquility. The OpenGL-based 3D game eschews aliens and monsters for abstract shapes floating in space, and a more serene style of gameplay.
In its most basic form, Tranquility is a platform jumping game. As the game begins, you find yourself floating in space above a two dimensional grid. Floating around and above you are primitive geometric shapes arrayed in a variety of brilliant rainbow colors, spinning and dancing in wild vortices. The goal of the game is to proceed to the next “Realm,” where new challenges await you. Users collect a Tranquility Card, which aids them as they progress.
You use your mouse to control your forward, backward, and lateral motion, and gravity pulls you downward. You rebound up as you make contact with the grid or the floating platforms, and you must get higher and higher to reach your destination – a “Spinner.” Players can control velocity depending on how far they move their mouse, and can force a “dive” by pressing the space bar. While the basic mechanics of the game are surprisingly easy to learn, Tranquility poses some very intense challenges.
Tranquility’s designers have made the game wholly dependent on Internet access in order to play — users first sign in on a server, which contains new levels and challenges. The server also maintains a complex ranking and scoring system that rewards users based on factors like the length of time, amount of movement, platform hits, and distanced traveled. Tranquility’s developers indicate that users will soon be able to add their own custom-designed levels to the mix, as well.
Tranquility is available for free download, and requires registration in order to play. Game play is unlimited and free through Feb. 3, but after that TQworld will invoke a subscription model. TQworld is selling one-year subscriptions for US$24 (users who sign up before Feb. 3 get one month free, too).
System requirements for Tranquility call for a PowerPC G3-based Mac operating at 300MHz or better; Mac OS 9.0.4 or better; an OpenGL-capable 3D graphics accelerator; and an Internet connection.