Ian here—

For years now, I’ve wanted to update the section of my site devoted to games that can be easily integrated into syllabi. I was laying low until the firehose of my students’ work turned off, but I figured since I’m teaching another games-related course in Spring 2020 it would be a good time to return to the subject.

Unfortunately, the past few months have brought with them a significant new hurdle.

By now it’s old news that Chrome will be dropping Flash compatibility in December 2020. I’ve seen the pop-up, and I’ve gradually made peace with the fact that games like LonelinessProblem Attic, and The Artist Is Present won’t be accessible to students in the future. It’s a major loss for free, platform-agnostic games that could be easily assigned. But with the release of macOS Catalina in October, with its 64-bit requirements for all applications, I’m now forced to grapple with the fact that Mac, as a platform, is all of a sudden much less friendly to indie games than it had been for much of the past decade.

I’ve seen a few guides online to what is and isn’t broken by the strict 64-bit requirements of Catalina, but most of them are light on indie games (especially non-Steam indie games). So I went ahead and personally checked all of the games listed in my “practical pedagogical notes” section, and all of the games from my “games of the decade” list (including the honorable mentions). I’ve also added things that I’ve written about, included in a video, or done a capsule review of. Below the fold you’ll find a list of 32-bit games that no longer function on macOS Catalina. I’ll update the list as I test more, or if developers get around to updating them.

32-bit games that no longer run on macOS Catalina

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games, 2010)
  • Analogue: A Hate Story (Love Conquers All Games, 2012)
  • The Beginner’s Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd., 2015)—this already crashed for me upon launch in Mojave
  • Braid (Number None, 2008)
  • Calendula (Blooming Buds Studio, 2016)
  • Cibele (Star Maid Games, 2015)
  • CURTAIN (Llaura “Dreamfeel” McGee, 2014)
  • Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2012)—neither the 2012 Source Engine release nor the 2017 Landmark Edition Unity port works
  • emily is away (Kyle Seeley, 2015)
  • emily is away too (Kyle Seeley, 2017)
  • FOTONICA (Santa Ragione, 2011/2014)
  • Fran Bow (Killmonday Games, 2015)
  • Half-Life (Valve, 1998)
  • Half-Life 2 (Valve, 2004)
  • Half-Life 2 Episode One (Valve, 2005)
  • Half-Life 2 Episode Two (Valve, 2007)
  • Hate Plus (Love Conquers All Games, 2013)
  • Home (Benjamin Rivers, 2012)
  • Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games, 2012)
  • Little Red Lie (Will O’Neill, 2017)
  • Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment, 2012)—Only the original release is 32-bit. The 2018 Remastered edition (currently the only version for sale) is 64-bit.
  • The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D, 2017)
  • Nova Alea (Molleindustria, 2016)
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses, 2014)
    • Jan 14 2020 update: Version 1.2.35018 brings the game to 64-bit
  • Papers, Please (3909, 2013)
  • Portal (Valve, 2007)
  • Portal 2 (Valve, 2011)
  • The Red Strings Club (Deconstructeam, 2018)
  • Rooftop Cop (S.L. Clark, 2014)
  • Surgeon Simulator 2013 (Bossa Studios, 2013)
  • Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh, 2012)
  • The Stanley Parable (Galactic Café, 2013)—this is getting remastered, and will presumably no longer be tied to the 32-bit limitations of the Source engine, but we’ll have to wait for that
  • The Static Speaks My Name (The Whale Husband, 2015)
  • That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games, 2016)
  • Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games, 2012)
  • Unmanned (Molleindustria, 2012)
  • Virginia (Variable State, 2016)
  • The Walking Dead [Season One] (Telltale Games, 2012)—not that this matters much, as the rights for this are up in the air after Telltale’s demise, and it’s being delisted all over the place


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