Shockwave Help & Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the system requirements?
- How do I install a game?
- How do I register a game?
- I'm having difficulty downloading the installer. What else can I try?
- I downloaded my game's installer file successfully. But when I try to run the installer, I get an error message. What's wrong with the file?
- I did not receive an email message with instructions for registering and unlocking my game. What should I do?
- When I try to register my game it doesn't unlock. What should I do?
- The game does not play and exits to "Thank you for Playing" screen on Vista.
- I'm receiving a "Failed to contact Shockwave.com" message when entering my key information. What should I do?
- What hardware and software do I need to enjoy the Shockwave site?
- Which players do I need?
- Can I visit Shockwave with Macintosh OS X?
- Can I visit Shockwave with Windows XP?
- Can I visit Shockwave with my AOL browser?
- Which browsers are recommended for best results?
- How can I optimize my Windows computer and software to work best with Shockwave?
- How can I optimize my Mac OS computer and software to work best with Shockwave?
- Some games ask me to download and install the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MS JVM) before I can play. What is this, and why do I have to install it?
- I still have more questions!
Ordering and Returns
- What payment methods are accepted for purchases made online?
- Can I make purchases without a credit card over the Internet?
- Can I purchase a CD instead of a download?
- Are back-up CDs non-refundable?
- I do not live in the United States. How much will my order cost?
- How are tax charges determined?
- Are there shipping costs?
- When is my credit card charged?
- I received email confirmation messages. Does this mean I have been charged again?
- I did not receive an email message with instructions for registering and unlocking my game. Do I have to order again?
- How do I return the software if I am not completely satisfied with it?
- Do you ship backup CDs to Switzerland?
- I'm unable to complete a purchase, what should I do?
- I still have more questions!
What are the system requirements?
Each game download has a different set of system requirements. Please refer to the game's page to find the requirements for the specific game you are trying to use.
How do I install a game?
Most games have similar installation processes. You may select "download free trial" button from the game's main page to download the game's installer onto your hard drive. Or, if you purchased the game, you may use the download URL provided in the registration email sent to you or through the confirmation page you see after you purchase a game. Download the installer file, which will be an *.exe file, directly onto your hard drive. We recommend downloading the installer to your Desktop, documents folder, or other easy-to-find location.
If you experience difficulty downloading, please use the same link or URL to try your download again free of charge. Click here for tips and suggestions on successful downloading.
To install your game, wait until the entire installer file has finished saving to your hard drive. Close all other applications, but remain connected to the Internet. Locate the *.exe file you just downloaded, and double click it. Read each screen that appears and follow the instructions as they are given.
How do I register a game?
You must purchase the game in order to register and unlock the full version of the game. Once you have purchased a game, you will receive an email message with instructions on how to register your game. Please note that registration codes for one game will not work for any other games. Double-check that you are entering your registration code into the correct game.
If you only wish to use the free trial version of the game, find and click the button that says "Free Play", "Free Trial", or "Continue" (or other button designating that you don't wish to register). You are not obligated to purchase the full version of the game if you don't wish to. However, the free trial version will expire after a certain number of plays or a pre-determined time frame.
If you are a Shockwave UNLIMITED subscriber, you can access the premium versions of many of our downloadable games by logging into the game after installation with your Shockwave UNLIMITED account information. While you will need to be connected to the Internet each time you open and log into these games, once logged in you do not need to remain connected to the Internet to play. This is not available with all Shockwave UNLIMITED titles and you will be asked to enter this information when it is available.
I'm having difficulty downloading the installer file. What else can I try?
Do not make another purchase! All duplicate purchases will be charged automatically.
You can attempt your download again, free of charge. You may select "download free trial" button from the game's main page to download the game's installer onto your hard drive. Or, if you purchased the game, you may use the download URL provided in the registration email sent to you.
Tips For Successful Downloading:
- If you cannot click directly on an URL, copy it and paste it into your browser.
- If you use a download accelerator, such as RealDownload, NetZip, Go!Zilla, ZipMagic or GetRight, please disable it before downloading.
- Check the security zone setting of your browser's preferences. If the security is set too high, you will be blocked from accessing more sites, including Shockwave.
- Use of firewalls, or home firewall software (such as ZoneAlarm) can also cause access problems. Contact your network administrator or internet provide for information about your security and firewalls. Home firewall software should be temporarily disabled before downloading from Shockwave.
- We recommend the Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers for downloading. The AOL and CompuServe browsers have been known to cause file-corruption errors. If you have trouble with one kind of browser, please try using the other kind. Internet Explorer is available from http://www.microsoft.com. Netscape is available from http://www.netscape.com.
- Internet Explorer 6 can also cause problems, unless you have the most current suitable Shockwave Player and Flash Player plug-ins. Please install or upgrade your plug-ins if you are using I.E. 6. Both plug-ins are available for free at http://www.adobe.com/downloads.
- Problems can be caused by your browser trying to access an old and/or broken version of the page. Please clear your browser's cache, refresh the Web page and try it again.
- Do not try to run the installer from the mailer or browser — save the installer file to your hard drive (Desktop is recommended). Your browser should pop up a dialogue that asks if you wish to run it or save it; choose "Save". If you see a broken film icon, or a broken QuickTime logo icon, you are attempting to run the installer rather than saving it. Please reconfigure your browser to save files rather than run them, as described above. Or, try using a different browser.
- Do not click, move, or otherwise disturb the file while it's downloading. Wait until the entire file has been saved completely.
- Once you get the installer file saved onto your Desktop (or other easy location on your hard drive), we recommend you save a copy of it to a CD-ROM or Zip disk, etc. This way, you can re-install it in case of future loss or damage.
I downloaded my game's installer file successfully. But when I try to run the installer, I get an error message. What's wrong with the file?
Common error messages include:
- "This is not a Win32 application"
- "I/O Error"
- "Invalid package size"
These are file-corruption error messages, which simply mean that your installer file was downloaded improperly. Using a download-accelerator, disruption of the download process, or conversion by a certain browser usually causes them.
Please delete the corrupted installer file immediately. Then, re-download the installer file, following the tips for successful downloading. For these error messages, the most common solutions are:
- Using a different browser: Don't use AOL or CompuServe, and update plug-ins before using Internet Explorer 6
- Turning off all download-accelerator software
- Downloading the entire file without interruption before running it
I did not receive an email message with instructions for registering and unlocking my game. What should I do?
Make sure that you are checking the same email address that you submitted during the checkout process. If you did not receive an email, please check any email filters and junk mail folders for the email. If you are still not receiving emails from us, send us a message using the contact us form. Under "Contact Shockwave regarding", be sure to select 'Questions about a game I bought' from the menu. We will respond promptly to your message. Please provide your full name, your email address, and your order number (if you have received one) when you write to us, so that we can locate your order.
When I try to register my game it doesn't unlock. What should I do?
Please double check that you are entering the registration name (if applicable) and code exactly as it is delivered in your registration email. Your name and code must be spelled, spaced, and capitalized exactly as they appear in the email — no matter how you regularly spell, space, or capitalize your name. Punctuation and hidden spaces are not permitted.
Also note that many games have similar titles. Registration codes for one game will not work for other games. Please make sure that you are entering your registration code into the correct game.
Shockwave registration codes will only work on Shockwave games. If you have installed a different version of the same game (from a different Website), please delete it, then download and install the Shockwave version.
Please copy and paste both the name and the code if you are having trouble. If you need further assistance registering your game, please send us a message using the contact us form. Under "Contact Shockwave regarding", be sure to select 'Questions about a game I bought' from the menu.
The game does not play and exits to "Thank you for Playing" screen on Vista
Right-click on the game's icon and choose "Properties." Select the Compatibility tab and check the box which reads "Run this program in compatibility mode for." From the drop down menu, select "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)") or Windows 98. Also, check the box marked "run as administrator." Next, launch your game again and see if you receive the same error message.
Please note that the change to the applications properties must be done while logged in as an administrative user.
I'm receiving a "Failed to contact Shockwave.com" message when entering my key information. What should I do?
The "Failed to contact Shockwave.com" message indicates that your browser or computer's security settings are not allowing the downloaded game to communicate with our server during the unlock process. Please review the following list of helpful troubleshooting tips:
- Be sure you are connected to the Internet before opening the program.
- Please check the security zone setting of your Internet browser's preferences. If the security is set too high, you might be blocked from accessing our server.
- Make sure that the time and date on your computer are set correctly before attempting to launch a game.
- If you use any ad-blocking or security software, please disable it temporarily.
- Make sure you are not behind a firewall or other heightened security measure. The most common cause of this type of error is a firewall, proxy server, or similar product preventing the program from properly contacting the correct servers at Shockwave. If you are unable to temporarily disable your firewall, please try opening ports 80 and 22.
- If you are using Internet Explorer 5, upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 can often resolve this issue. This can be done at Microsoft's site or from third party sites like http://www.downloads.com.
- If this issue persists and you are using Windows OS, please open Internet Explorer and go to: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. Click on the "Scan for updates" link to get the latest updates available for your computer's operating system. HighEncryption Pack and 'Root Certificates Update' should both be selected if they are available on this page.
- If you are still unable to unlock the full version, please open Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu, then Internet Options > Advanced Settings > Security, and temporarily uncheck the box for: "Check for server certificate revocation (requires restart)". Restart your computer and try again.
- ZoneAlarm users: Even while disabled, ZoneAlarm can block access to the internet. You will need to make certain that the software is allowed access to the internet.
- If you are using McAfee Personal Firewall, please do the following:
- Right Click the McAfee icon in your task bar
- Select Personal Firewall
- Select View Applications
- Look through the list, and make certain that the program is not a blocked application. If it is, select it, and click the Delete Application Rule button.
- Start the program
- McAfee Firewall will display an alert that tells you that the software is attempting to access the internet. Click the Grant Access button
- AOL users: Please make sure that you have established a successful Internet connection to AOL before continuing. If you continue to experience problems, go to your 'Control Panel', double-click on 'Internet Options' and click on the 'Connections' tab. Under the 'Dial-up Settings' section, make sure that you have selected 'Always dial my default connection'.
- If you use a download accelerator or download manager, such as NetZip, Go!Zilla or GetRight, please disable it temporarily.
What hardware and software do I need to enjoy the Shockwave site?
Windows Minimum Requirements:
- Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7
- Pentium 333 MHz or faster processor (Pentium II 450 MHz recommended)
- 64 MB RAM (128 MB RAM recommended)
- 3D Video Card w/ 8MB RAM (for 3D Content)
- Internet Explorer 8.0 or above, Firefox 7.0 or above, Google Chrome 13.0 or above
Macintosh Minimum Requirements:
- Macintosh OS 9 or above (some content may not function on OSX)
- 333 MHz or faster processor (500 MHz G3 or higher recommended)
- 64 MB RAM (128 MB RAM recommended)
- 3D Video Card w/ 8MB RAM (for 3D Content)
- Firefox 7.0 or above, Safari 3.0 or above, Google Chrome 10.0 or above
We do not support the use of Windows 98 or earlier, Windows Me, Windows NT, Macintosh 8.x or earlier, Linux, Solaris, Unix, IRIX or other operating systems. We also do not support TV-based or game-based systems (WebTV, etc.). While any of these operating systems may be successfully able to use our sites, we do not offer technical support for them.
Which players do I need?
To enjoy Shockwave, you need to have the latest Shockwave and Flash players:
- Shockwave Player required
- Flash 6.0 Player required
Both players can be downloaded for free from Adobe's Downloads page: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/
Can I visit Shockwave with Macintosh OS X?
We are aware of the issues regarding the use of our content on Macintosh's operating system, OS X. This OS does not come with the Adobe Shockwave Player built in, so you will not be able to properly view or download Shockwave-related content in Mac OS X until you install the Shockwave Player plug-in. An OS X-compatible version of Shockwave Player is available from the Adobe download center: http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/
Note: The Director 8.5 projector is not officially supported by Adobe for use with OS X. If you cannot successfully use our content in OS X, please boot your computer into OS 9, or "Classic Mode".
For information regarding OS X issues with Adobe Shockwave and Flash Players, please contact Adobe's Support site directly: http://www.adobe.com/support/
Can I visit Shockwave with Windows XP?
Our content should work on Windows XP just fine. Windows XP comes with Adobe Flash Player pre-installed, but it does not come with Adobe Shockwave Player — so you will need to install the Shockwave Player first. Otherwise, you may have problems when you come to a piece of Shockwave content.
For information regarding Windows XP issues with Adobe Shockwave and Flash Players, please contact Adobe's Support site directly: http://www.adobe.com/support/
Can I visit Shockwave with my AOL browser?
For Macintosh computers, America Online v5 with Internet Explorer 5 (or higher) is required.
NOTE: The AOL browser may still cause errors, even if Java is enabled. We suspect that this stems from AOL's conversion of standard, Web-format files into AOL-only formats. This conversion reduces the traffic on AOL servers, but it can negatively affect applications, which use those files transmitted through the AOL network. Another factor may be AOL's server-level caching of files. This can sometimes prevent the correct transmission of necessary files — including pictures, music, or hidden Xtras and plug-ins. If this problem persists, please try Internet Explorer or Netscape instead.
Which browsers are recommended for best results?
For best results, we recommend Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 7 or Chrome 13 or higher. Internet Explorer 8 or higher should have the most current suitable Shockwave Player and Flash Player plug-ins installed. We do not support the use of CompuServe, Opera, iCab, or other browsers. While any of these browsers may be able to load the site successfully, we do not offer technical support for them.
Shockwave no longer supports Internet Explorer 6 browsers. You may still be able play games after that, but some new features may not work.
Please upgrade your browser for the optimal game experience:
How can I optimize my Windows computer and software to work best with Shockwave?
Check your display settings. We require a display resolution of at least 800x600 pixels (1024x768 is recommended) and 16 bit depth. You can change your display settings by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing Properties from the pop-up menu. Click the Settings tab in the Display Properties dialog box. If the setting indicated under Screen area is less than 800x600 pixels, move the sliders toward More until the resolution meets our minimum requirements. Colors should be set to High Color (16 bit). To implement these settings, click OK.
Check your version of the DirectX display plugin. You will need at least version 7 to view most of our site, sometimes version 8 or higher. Please consult Microsoft's DirectX homepage for downloads and information: http://www.microsoft.com/directx/
Make sure you're using Windows' default cursors (mouse pointer icons), instead of custom cursors. You can change the pointers under Control Panel > Mouse > Pointers.
Exit unused applications. You can exit an application by choosing Exit from the file menu.
How can I optimize my Mac OS computer and software to work best with Shockwave?
Ensure that you have at least 64 MB of RAM installed in your computer. While most Shockwave titles will work with less memory, more RAM will be required by more complex titles. Check your monitor settings:
- Choose Control Panels-> Monitors from the Apple Menu.
- Set the Resolution to at least 800x60
- Set the Color Depth to Thousands (Macintosh G4 users should use Millions)
NOTE: Some computers do not support large screen sizes with higher color settingIn this case, try reducing your Color setting to 256. This will give you larger screen size optionFor OS 9.x, allocate at least 25 MB of RAM to your Web browser (America Online, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Netscape Navigator)
- Locate your Web browser on your hard drivClick once on the ico(NOTE: You must locate the application itself, not an alias.)
- Choose Get Info -> Memory from the File men
- In the Info dialog box, indicate 25,000 for Preferred Siz
- Click OK
Quit unused applications. Press Command-Q to quit an application.
Some games ask me to download and install the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MS JVM) before I can play. What is this, and why do I have to install it?
The Microsoft Java Virtual Machine is a software driver that allows a user's Web browser to run games created in an older version of Java. Some of our games, such as Polar Bowler, require this version of Java in order to run. These games will not run without the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine. Please download and install the free Microsoft Java Virtual Machine.
I still have more questions!
Still have more questions? Don't worry. You can contact us.
How do I uninstall a game?
If you wish to uninstall a game from your Windows computer, please follow these steps:
- In your Start menu, go to the program group for your game and select the "Uninstall" option for your game. (EXAMPLE: Start > Programs > Shockwave > Zuma > "Uninstall Zuma")
- If the Uninstall option doesn't appear in your Start menu, try to locate the uninstaller file, "UNWISE.EXE" in the game's program folder (EXAMPLE: C:\Program Files\Shockwave\Abysma\). Double-click the uninstaller to run it.
- If you cannot access the uninstaller or the Uninstall option, use "Add/Remove Programs" in your Windows Control Panel to uninstall the game.
Uninstall Notes For Macintosh:
On your Macintosh HD, find the folder with the name of the product you want to uninstall. That folder will contain the game program itself, a license document and sometimes other data files or folders with names like 'Prefs' or 'Xtras'. Drag that entire folder to the Trash. Empty the Trash to completely remove the game.
Ordering and Returns
What payment methods are accepted for purchases made online?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal.
Can I make purchases without a credit card over the Internet?
At this time we support online credit card and PayPal orders only.
Please be assured that our systems are very secure and customer credit card information is kept private. Our transaction system is built using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) - the encryption technology used for creating a secure transaction environment for commerce on the Internet.
Can I purchase a back-up CD instead of a download?
All of our software is available via download through our site. However, when you purchase a game you can also buy a back-up CD. This is an additional cost and is not sold separately without the purchase of the download game. This CD option is so you can re-install it in case of future loss or damage.
Are back-up CDs non-refundable?
We do not offer refunds for back-up CDs.
I do not live in the United States. How much will my order cost?
All prices listed are in U.S. dollars. Orders outside the United States must be charged to a credit card that can make international purchases. If your card is not accepted, please try one that can make purchases in U.S. dollars.
The price in your country's currency will depend on the exchange-rate on the day you make your purchase.
How are tax charges determined?
We are currently not required to collect sales tax on digital goods sold to U.S. customers. Sales tax may be collected depending on how current Internet tax laws change. The amount of sales tax collected is in accordance with the policies of your tax jurisdiction. We are not responsible for additional tariffs or taxes that apply to items delivered to other states.
For international orders, the amount of sales tax collected is in accordance with the policies of your tax jurisdiction. Currently, VAT is required by European law effective July 1, 2003. VAT applies to persons who reside, have a permanent address, or are established in the European Union. The VAT tax is added to the net price of the provided Atom Entertainment service, that is, the basic price of the service. The total price for the services (net + VAT) is known as the "gross" price or amount. Warning: Falsification of information to evade payment of VAT or other taxes may result in civil fines and criminal prosecution. In other regions, additional tariffs, duties or fees may apply, these are the responsibility of the customer.
Are there shipping costs?
There are no shipping or tax surcharges on our downloaded products, because they are downloaded directly from our servers. If you choose the option to purchase the backup CD with your order, there will be an additional price reflected in your cart.
When is my credit card charged?
Your credit card will be charged when you submit the order.
I received email confirmation messages. Does this mean I have been charged again?
Not necessarily — email confirmation messages refer to one order and provide only one order number. If you think you have been charged more than once, please check with your financial institution to verify the multiple charges. If you do discover multiple charges being made against your account, please contact us immediately. Please include your name, address, product purchased, and all of the transaction numbers associated with the multiple charges.
I did not receive an email message with instructions for registering and unlocking my game. Do I have to order again?
If you have not received the confirmation and/or registration information for your purchase within 24 hours, please contact us immediately. You may have spelled your delivery email address wrong, you may have specified delivery to a different email address, or you may have the security-level set too high on your mail account.
Please provide your full name, your email address, and your order number (if you have received one) when you write to us, so that we can locate your order.
How do I return the software if I am not completely satisfied with it?
We happily offer a 48 hour, money-back guarantee on all of our download products! To request a refund, please contact us within 48 hours of your purchase. Please be sure to include your name, order number and email address used at the time of purchase. You will be asked to delete and destroy all files associated with the product from your system. Please allow up to ten days for your refund to be processed. Your financial institution determines the date the credit will appear on your credit card statement.
Do you ship backup CDs to Switzerland?
Due to Swiss Customs regulations, CD products shipped to addresses located in Switzerland will result in extra delivery fees, duties, and possibly VATs that the end customers will have to pay. Therefore we have decided to stop offering CD products to Swiss shipping addresses. We apologize for the inconvenience. You can contact us if you have any questions regarding this policy.
I'm unable to complete a purchase, what should I do?
For assistance with purchasing and answers to common questions about this issue please see: http://www.shockwave.com/help/contact_us.jsp?from=swuPurchaseFail
I still have more questions!
Still have more questions? Don't worry. You can contact us.