Soft Dorothy Software, in the heyday of Macintosh System 6
(that's around 1990, kids), made some of the best shareware
games available to the platform. Owned by John Calhoun, the company produced such classics as Pararena, Glypha
(I, II, and III), and Glider (followed up by Glider Pro
). All were available for a song
and recommended that you pay a $10-$15 fee. They have since been eaten by Casady & Greene
, and most of their games are now discontinued.
Pararena - In Pararena, you are a warrior from Earth sent to compete for the planet's fate in an Olympian sporting match. You and your opponent fly on small hovering platforms over a bowl-shaped playing field and attempt to deposit the shared ball into a high-altitude goal. What makes the game most interesting is its full contact nature; therefore, most of the strategy involves crashing into your opponent. When they possess the ball, you can crash into them at high velocities and force them to drop it. A particularly well-aimed collision will force them out of bounds, removing them from the game for fifteen seconds and giving you the ball. You compete against opponents of increasing difficulty, from Simple George to Clever Claire. Color version available.
Glypha - A modernization of an arcade classic. Your character flies on a griffin, attempting to dismount other griffin riders (by positioning yourself above them) in a lava-ridden landscape. Bonus levels impel you to collect eggs and defeat innumerable opponents. Unlimited arcade fun.
Glider - Glider was the true gem of the Soft Dorothy line. In Glider, the user controls a paper airplane (one of two types) attempting to navigate a house. The 15-level game's hazards included air conditioning, candles, windmills (?), puddle-jumpers maliciously released by the house's mysteriously invisible children, deactivated lights, electrical outlets, and, finally, a cat bent on destroying you (often successfully). A fantastic game with remarkable replay potential, Glider eventually spawned Glider Pro (or Glider In The City), with many, many more levels and a level editor.
On a random note, Soft Dorothy's logo (and splash screen) was a naked fairy. When I played these games as a 9-year old, I never even noticed.