• Glider PRO


  • Arcade


  • john calhoun


  • Casady & Greene

Release Date:

  • 1994

On Wikipedia:


  • Macintosh

Best House:

  • Slumberland

I originally wrote an article forGlider PRO in 2014 (some updates had been made since), which itself was based on an article for HardcoreGaming.net. This is, of course, an updated version of the same article. Some of the biggest changes involved cutting outGlider 4.0 and the versions that came before it.

Games native to the Macintosh were not a rare breed--there were scads of 'em released over the years, many distributed through user groups and early online endeavors. Unfortunately, that didn't mean they were all good games. Yes, Mac games pre-OS X have gotten a bad rap (especially in regards to DOS reports, though in many cases, the Mac version was superior), but there were a few that while not completely fantastic or just memorable because there wasn't much else on the system (Dark Castle, specifically, though it was far better than its ports), were fun in their own right.

Glider PRO (the capitalization found just about everywhere but the box, and I'm sticking with it) was a new version of what started out as Glider, a 1988 shareware title that saw "Glider 2.0" and "Glider 3.0" before a (substantially different) commercial title that took the name of Glider 4.0 was released. All of the games revolve around a paper airplane being navigated through a household. There are clocks to grab for points, candles to avoid, and the omnipresent (mostly) air vent, which gives your piece of folded notebook paper lift. Like why collecting clocks for points makes no sense (at least candles set your paper on fire, so that makes sense). Later games had a curious obsession with the Wizard of Oz series, which is never fully explained in the games themselves, but in the end, it sort of works.

What made Glider PRO different from Glider 4.0 was despite having almost-identical graphics (with a richer color palette), it decided to change the whole theme of the game. Rather than a dark and moody house with lightning flashing outside, it featured prominent outdoor scenes (with blue skies and various new outdoor hazards). It also had an actual goal--rather than get to the end of the house, your goal was to fly around and collect all the stars which the house designer spread around. It had a full level editor with the ability to import all sorts of graphics and sound, and the CD-ROM version includes a variety of "houses" that take advantage of the custom layouts and tricks to the point where they really aren't "houses" at all (the term "house" is just the game's name for them): Art Museum (complete with 256-color renditions of famous artwork), Castle O' The Sky (a castle), even one called Titanic (which inexplicably has your Glider traversing underwater for part of it). Designing houses were very popular in the mid-1990s though interest soon waned and dropped off.

There are some neat gimmicks that Glider PRO had: apart from the original version 1.0, the clocks all show the correct time per your computer, so if it's 4:27 in the afternoon, the digital and the analog clocks reflect this. It's also helpful to know how late you're playing ("Oh no! It's 1:14 already! I've got an eight o'clock class tomorrow!!"), with calendars showing the month, refreshing when a new room goes into play (I have played Glider PRO when the month rolls over). The music is dynamic, even though it seems to be a loop, it actually has four tracks that change depending on how you do.

One of the included houses, "Nemo's Market", has you going through a small grocery store instead an actual house.

Glider PRO excels with larger resolutions (you can see a good deal of the house around it). The game was ported to Mac OS X, though Casady & Greene went out of business before officially releasing it. As a result, it was released as freeware and was available on the author's website (courtesy what was then known as .mac). The Mac OS X version unfortunately lacked the House Editor but was otherwise superior, featuring slightly updated graphics (including a high-res title screen and some translucent effects). Sadly, this version was never released with a Universal Binary, rendering it unplayable on Macs with Lion or beyond.

I even bought another game by the same author, published under the "Soft Dorothy" brand (there's that Wizard of Oz reference again), simply called Glider Classic but it wasn't the same, just mostly designed as a "casual" iOS game. I don't even think it's on the App Store anymore. Luckily, Glider PRO's legacy has outlived Glider Classic.

One of the included houses, "Nemo's Market", has you going through a small grocery store instead an actual house.

Thanks to the source code being released in 2016, an open-source port was released for modern systems (including Windows for the first time) under the name "Aerofoil" though uses different fonts due to some fonts being used being proprietary Apple fonts. It's also based on the classic Mac OS port (House Editor yes, translucent effects no). The older version of this page had a zipped version of Glider PRO for Macs (OS 9 and OS X) which was available here and for more check out Macintosh Garden.

One more thing--I've got a working walkthrough of the complex Slumberland in process. Without major spoilers, it explains how to get the first star (legitimately, though there are a few hints if you want to get it a bit quicker). Let me know if you want to see it continued.