Spin Doctor Brings Retro Mac Gaming to the iPhone


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

In the early 90's, a small software company called Callisto Corporation released a number of games for the Macintosh, along with a few other productivity applications. One of those games was Spin Doctor, which some long-ago Mac Performa owners may remember because Apple licensed a 10-level Spin Doctor Challenger edition for bundling with "about a million" Performas, according to developer Seth Lipkin.

Lipkin has since ported Spin Doctor, which was sold "in a big box" for $40 when it was first released in 1994, to the iPhone. The game is a bit like chess in the sense that it is easy to learn and difficult to master. It consists of a glowing wand making its way from dot-to-dot through a literal minefield of doors, switches, acid, fuses, bombs, and more. The user controls the direction of the wand -- which never stops moving -- as it moves its way across the map over more than 100 levels with several difficulty modes.

Spin Doctor for iPhone is $0.99 on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Spin Doctor Brings Retro Mac Gaming to the iPhone


macrumors member
Apr 18, 2002
I remember this game

Apple should buy free copies for anyone who can prove they owned one of the gazillion different performa models - especially the 63x series. Those were some of the worst boxes Apple ever made. I had two of them.


macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2006
Wow, I remember having the demo of this on my LC III, then picking up the full version with one of my later macs. I'm going to purchase this one right now! Hope it has the awesome sound effects...

Edit: ...just bought it and it still does. The press in one or both of two corners bounce/change dot control scheme works very nicely too. Great port so far!
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
Ha! I loved that game. My family had a 630CD that replaced our Mac Plus.

I love that the iOS and Mac App Stores are creating a market for ports of lots of old games.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2004
oh wow the nostalgia!! i'd forgotten all about this game - it was truly awesome
can't wait to see how well this new port works


macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2012

I'm the developer of the iOS version of Spin Doctor (and one of the small team that developed the Mac original).

Thanks for the good words and fond memories expressed here!


macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2008
Auckland, New Zealand
Okay so is this more official than the iOS one that came out in '09?

Wait, it is that one ... why is it getting attention now suddenly?

I always found the sound volume to be a pain; at least last time I played it on my phone it used the ringer volume and was thus pretty deadly.

I had previously only ever played that 10-level demo that was mentioned; it is still a novel concept and good fun, but I remember giving up at some point; I was trying to get all of the shiny bits each level, and that got very hard.


macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2012
so cool!

I used to love this game when I was a kid! Played it on my LCII and remember sharing it with my elementary school friends on 3.5" floppy disks. I also played it on my Performa 6320 120MHz... oh the good old days, this brings back such great memories! Thanks Seth for remaking it on iPhone


macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2007
Vienna Austria Europe
Just being curious: Is there any reason to dig out this very old iPhone app right now? A special event or something? The iOS app Spin Doctor exists in the App Store since December 2009 according to AppShopper.com and I would call it (almost) an App Store dinosaur (only updated twice btw).

Thanks in advance for enlightenment. (NOT saying that it's a bad game.)


macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2007
Hey! I played this game on my kanga last night! Ahhh, the memories of nearly 22 hours ago.


macrumors member
Mar 21, 2007
Good times. I remember playing this on my PowerBook 540c as a child; don't think it was bundled, I might have gotten a shareware or demo version on a MacAddict CD or something.

Awesome to have it back, though I wish it had Retina graphics, it's gotten to the point where apps look kind of jarring without them. I'm also thinking about whether it might be possible to have multitouch-based controls that are a bit more fluid and intuitive, though I'll probably get used to the controls as they are. (Can't remember what the controls were on the classic Mac OS version.)
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macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2010
OMG. I have been trying to find what this was called for a looooong time. I used play this on a Macintosh LC growing up. Instadownload


macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
Man.. the good ol' days :) Playing this... Mazewars. Back when there was still Mac Paint! Remember that?

Imagine if they ported Mazewars to iOS now--that would be tremendous fun for multiplayer! (Hint hint ;) )


macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
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Diode said:
Ha - a Performa 638CD was my first home computer and I remember playing this game.

Lol, similar memories here, just can't remember the model name.

I love the retro desktop conversion apps... Recently ran across the ports of Marathon and Marathon II: Durandal.


Nov 13, 2008
Spin Doctor! The first game I ever played on my first ever Mac and I loved it! A port to OS X would be welcomed - I'd buy it in an instant!


macrumors 604
May 4, 2002
Go Vegan
Yes! My aunt purchased her Performa 6116CD (or was it a 6115CD?) many years ago, and it had this wonderful game pre-installed on it. I remember as a kid playing this constantly when we would visit. Such a wonderful game. It's simple, but challenging. A great blast from the past that needs no changes or updates to still be fun in this day & age. It simply rocks to have this on the iPhone! :D