Virtual Programming has gone back to the well and reissued the Mac OS X version of the best-selling intergalactic adventure game X3:Reunion in a version that eschews the translation layer technology known as Cider.

The latest version of the game, which is a free update for all players, is a Mac OS X native port. It is also cheaper than the original version.

“We weren’t happy with X3: Reunion’s performance when using Cider, and it turned out many of our customers weren’t either,” says Virtual Programming CEO Mark Hinton. “As a gesture of goodwill, we reengineered the game as a native port that’s a free update for existing customers. Starting today, new X3: Reunion customers will receive the updated version of the game.”

Here’s how the game is described: “X3: Reunion takes place in a far-flung future where humans have long since lost contact with Earth, which is now considered nothing more than a myth. Players slip on the spacesuit of Julian Brennan, who travels the 161 sectors of the X Universe undertaking dangerous missions, hauling resources along trading lanes, and battling hostile forces, including nefarious pirates and the deadly, enigmatic Kha’ak.

“Players can pick up the game’s main storyline, which concerns a crystal linked to the Ancients and a strange ship equipped with a cloaking device, as they please while traveling between solar systems. There are plenty of secrets to uncover and relationships to maneuver with X3’s five races: Argon, Boron, Paranid, Split, and Teladi. Each action players undertake will please at least one race while upsetting at least one other.”

The new version of X3: Reunion can be purchased now at as a digital download for US$19.95. Gamers who own the previous version of the game can download the new one for free.