I love Chowder... but I hate it even more.
I want this to be a solid game so badly, because it is a fun, cool, weird game. But it isn't. How many years has it been in development now? It is and has always been totally unfit for commercial alpha release! There are so many bugs in it from graphics to music, and supports little to no customization.
I fall for it every time, thinking "maybe this one will be different, maybe this time they got their act together". Yes, there are a few fixes to the problems it suffered from *two years ago* - some of the menu graphics actually render now - but that doesn't really help it since I can now see how poorly implemented the menu interface is.
Perhaps I am spoiled by Snood - their premiere game and longtime Mac standard - it is polished and seamless.
Chowder is WoM's abused and neglected redheaded stepchild.
Don't get me wrong - I have zero problems with the low-rez gameplay elements (I am, after all, a longtime Snood player), and the gameplay itself is as entertaining as any in its class (though I do wish "bumps" would reset after each level). The basic structure and design would make for a solid $12 game. But it is the implementation of the specific elements which are consistently sub-par and kill the game. The music is good - appropriate, a little monotonous which actually works for me since it kind of follows gameplay - but it has never not frozen, gotten stuck on a short loop, etc.
And the thing that sticks in my craw, is that WoM charges $20 for this thing and has done so since the beginning. Even when it was 10x worse they were charging for a completely unstable game. Sorry, no. I do not buy games specifically to subsidize development of the game itself - that's what bank loans and investors are for - I am a consumer and I buy the game for the game.
Development is costly to be sure and WoM is likely a one-man company (I don't know anything about them), without the time or resources to devote to full-time private programming. I get it. But that is why people issue *public* beta releases (in addition to private), to allow user feedback and even *help with coding*. I hold nothing personal against WoM - they have done nothing to wrong me (other than to disappoint me) - but the business model of selling not-ready-for-primetime software needs to go.
For reference, I am running OSX 10.5.6 on 15" 2.2GHz MacBook Pro w/ 4GB RAM and the stock NVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics card - same system I use for Doom, WoW and Snood.