Ambrosia Software

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Ambrosia Software
IndustrySoftware, video games
FoundedAugust 18, 1993 (1993-08-18)
HeadquartersRochester, New York, U.S.
Key people
Andrew Welch
ProductsShareware video games and utilities

Ambrosia Software was a predominantly Macintosh software company located in Rochester, New York, U.S. Ambrosia produced utility software and video games. Its products were distributed as shareware; demo versions could be downloaded and used for up to 30 days.

Ambrosia's best-selling program was the utility Snapz Pro X,[1] according to a 2002 interview with company president Andrew Welch, although the company is better known for the production and the distribution of video games.


Ambrosia Software was incorporated August 18, 1993 by Welch after he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1992.[2] The first game produced by Ambrosia was Maelstrom, a 1992 remake of the 1979 Asteroids arcade game. Maelstrom won a number of software awards.[3] This initial success led Ambrosia to release several more arcade-style games, including Apeiron (a remake of Centipede), Swoop (a clone of Galaxian), and Barrack (a clone of JezzBall). In 1999, Cameron Crotty of Macworld wrote "No other company has gotten so much mileage out of renovating mid-1980s arcade hits."[4]

Nearly all of the company's ten employees were laid off in 2013, but Welch denied rumors of the company shutting down.[5]

In 2017, customers reported on Ambrosia's Facebook page that attempts to contact the company were unsuccessful and they were unable to make new purchases.[6] As of February 2019, the web site is still online, but the certificate is outdated, so it is unclear if it is still being maintained.



Ambrosia Software's games, in order of release:

Ambrosia, in conjunction with DG Associates, has also released the Escape Velocity Nova Card Game.

Productivity Software[edit]

Ambrosia Software's utilities, in order of release:

No "Crippled" shareware[edit]

One of Ambrosia's founding mantras was that shareware software should not be distributed as crippleware. The company's software was released on the honor system with only a short reminder that you had used the unregistered software for "x" amount of time, creating what is commonly called nagware.[8] This policy has since been changed and the company today employs typical shareware piracy prevention measures,[9] as well as more innovative ones such as used in the Escape Velocity line of games where Hector the Parrot will use her heavily armed frigate to attack players of unregistered copies after the trial period has expired. Their software products now fall under the category of crippleware.[9] Matt Slot has written about the factors that played into the policy change.[8]


  1. ^ "MacSlash Interview: Andrew Welch of Ambrosia". MacSlash (retrieved from the Internet Archive). 2002-01-23. Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  2. ^ "Home-grown Ambrosia feeds software niche", Michael Saffran. In RIT: The University Magazine, Vol. 10, #1
  3. ^ "Into the Maelstrom". The Mac Observer. 1999-12-08. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  4. ^ Crotty, Cameron (January 1999). "Mars Rising". Macworld.
  5. ^ Mathis, Joel. "Despite layoffs, Ambrosia says it's still in business". Macworld.
  6. ^ "Ambrosia Software". Facebook. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ Salvador, Phil. "Barrack". The Obscuritory.
  8. ^ a b Slot, Matt (2002-03-11). "The Plain Truth about Casual Software Piracy". TidBITS. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  9. ^ a b Welch, Andrew (2000-01-22). "Ambrosia Times: President's Letter: On CDs and Shareware". Ambrosia Software. Retrieved 2011-04-28.

External links[edit]