Lat­est Mac games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at the best new re­leases

Macworld - - Contents -

The start of any year is al­ways a great time for Mac games and 2017 is no ex­cep­tion. Over the fol­low­ing pages we round up the most en­tic­ing new re­leases, in­clud­ing top tac­ti­cal of­fer­ing Shadow Tac­tics: Blades of the Shogun, while zom­bie romp Dy­ing Light and plat­former N++ both war­rant se­ri­ous at­ten­tion.

1. Shadow Tac­tics: Blades of the Shogun Price: £34.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/hso42qm)

Shadow Tac­tics: Blades of the Shogun is a tac­ti­cal stealth ex­pe­ri­ence set in the Edo pe­riod in Ja­pan, let­ting you guide five skilled as­sas­sins as you serve the Shogun to de­feat re­sis­tance fight­ers across the land. And you’ll com­mand mul­ti­ple heroes at once in many cases, us­ing their dif­fer­ing abil­i­ties to work to­gether to de­feat the im­mense en­emy forces.

What makes Shadow Tac­tics so in­trigu­ing is the over­head per­spec­tive – unique for a stealth-ac­tion ex­pe­ri­ence – and the mea­sured pace, as you’ll need to con­sider each move to find suc­cess in th­ese tense bat­tles. Steam user reviews are ab­so­lutely glow­ing, with play­ers call­ing it one of the best games of 2016 and a trib­ute to the old-school Com­man­dos mil­i­tary tac­tics se­ries, plus there’s a free demo avail­able if you’re curious.

Price: £39.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/oj9o978)

Dy­ing Light is a game worth know­ing if the idea of bash­ing through, or leap­ing over, loads of zom­bies ex­cites you. The core game finds you try­ing to sur­vive in an open city full of dis­ease-pack­ing at­tack­ers, with the added abil­ity of park­our skills to vault up walls and across rooftops. Of course, you can also use and craft weapons if you pre­fer to dis­patch them vi­o­lently in­stead.

This com­plete pack­age also comes with The Fol­low­ing ex­pan­sion, which drops a se­quel-sized chunk of bonus con­tent into the game. Per­sonal ac­ro­bat­ics are swapped for fun-filled dirt bug­gies amidst the mas­sive new set­ting, and it makes the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence im­pres­sively vast. All told, it’s a fun and ex­cit­ing zom­bie romp.

Price: £10.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/gto8Lct)

The mak­ers of N++ say they’ve spent the past 12 years “per­fect­ing the plat­former”, and given the over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive reviews on Steam and 90 score on Me­ta­critic, it seems a fair num­ber of peo­ple agree with them. N++ doesn’t have the vis­ual punch of Su­per Mario or Ray­man, but it fea­tures some of the tough­est and most re­ward­ing plat­form-hop­ping ac­tion you’ve ever seen.

And loads of it: N++ in­cludes 2,360 dif­fer­ent hand­made lev­els to con­quer, as you’ll use your mo­men­tum to thrust a tiny ninja through mazes filled with mur­der­ous ro­bots and other haz­ards. N be­gan life as a Flash game and then be­came N+ on con­soles, but N++ is the grand­est re­al­iza­tion of the con­cept to date – and an ‘Ul­ti­mate Edi­tion’ up­date will nearly dou­ble the con­tent in early 2017.

Price: £7.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/z36wLbc)

If you don’t have a cur­rent smart­phone or tablet, or sim­ply pre­fer not to play games on touch de­vices, then you prob­a­bly missed out on Lara Croft Go, one of the best mo­bile adap­ta­tions of a clas­sic game fran­chise to date. Like Hit­man Go be­fore it, this smart puz­zler finds the iconic Tomb Raider hero­ine try­ing to solve her way through a se­ries of en­vi­ron­men­tal puz­zles.

While the play-at-your-own-pace de­sign makes a lot of sense for smaller screens and on-thego at­ten­tion spans, now you can play it on Mac. It’s a great ex­pe­ri­ence on any plat­form: this is a chal­leng­ing, yet ap­proach­able puz­zle game, not to men­tion a spin-off that main­tains the essence of the ac­tion/ad­ven­ture source ma­te­rial. And it’s a re­ally at­trac­tive lit­tle game, to boot.

Price: £3.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/z6q4539)

Five Nights at Freddy’s built an ef­fec­tive sur­vival hor­ror ex­pe­ri­ence around cute and cud­dly crea­tures, and now Tat­tle­tail is here to fol­low in its foot­steps. This com­pact creeper is de­signed around the premise of a fake talk­ing plush toy sen­sa­tion from the late 1990s, and there’s a ru­mour about a re­called Mama Tat­tle­tail with a pro­tec­tive urge and a thirst for blood.

To keep Mama at bay, you’ll need to sat­isfy your strange Tat­tle­tail toy’s de­mands to keep him silent, which means feed­ing and recharg­ing him – as well as keep­ing your­self quiet as you wan­der through your dark home. Like FNAF, the silly start­ing point here gives way to sur­prise scares, and the hand­ful of early Steam reviews are all pretty pos­i­tive so far.

Price: £14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/h7wLmqa)

Brexit has seem­ingly been bad news all around in the real world, and in Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, the Queen of Eng­land has re­sponded by dis­solv­ing Par­lia­ment, restor­ing her rule, and find­ing a new way to build power: by send­ing a hero into space to claim a Galac­tic Bri­tish Em­pire. And that hero is you, Cap­tain Frank Lee English, along with your com­pan­ion, Aled.

This point-and-click ad­ven­ture about the Special Plan­e­tary In­ves­tiga­tive Force for In­hab­it­ing New Gal­ax­ies (ahem, SPIFFING) finds you solv­ing puz­zles in space, in­ter­act­ing with an ar­ray of in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters, and soak­ing in plenty of strongly Bri­tish hu­mour. It’s sup­posed to be fairly short, only last­ing a few hours in to­tal, but it seems to make a strong im­pact while it lasts.

Price: £10.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/gp8skeo)

It’s a sim­ple re­quest – that is, ‘don’t touch any­thing’ – but when you see one big, red but­ton on a con­trol panel in front of you, the temp­ta­tion to press it is very real in­deed. And in Please Don’t Touch Any­thing 3D, you ac­tu­ally do need to touch that but­ton, which then brings up other but­tons, knobs, switches, and screens, all of which also need to be used in the cor­rect se­quence.

Be care­ful: press­ing the wrong but­ton can lead to a nu­clear apoca­lypse or other grim re­sults, but that’s all part of the trial-and-er­ror, puz­zle-solv­ing fun here. It’s a brain-twist­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and one that re­ally takes ad­van­tage of the 3D en­vi­ron­ment all around you fol­low­ing the orig­i­nal 2D ren­di­tion.

Price: £14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/zznt­won)

If you find speedy rac­ing games to be a bit too in­tense or stress­ful, then Drive!Drive!Drive! may not be for you. Why? Be­cause it’s three rac­ing games in one: or rather, it tosses you into three si­mul­ta­ne­ous races that you’ll need to man­age by con­stantly switch­ing from one track to the next. Yes, that is a to­tally crazy con­cept.

You’ll only ac­tively con­trol a car in one of the races at a time, with the AI steer­ing your cars in the other, but the AI driv­ing isn’t great, so you’ll want to switch fre­quently to try and nudge ahead on all three tracks and se­cure the over­all vic­tory. It’s as much of a man­age­ment game as a racer, although with wild, roller­coaster-es­que cour­ses, Drive!Drive!Drive! is never te­dious.

Price: £1.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/j9z8aLz)

Snow­ball! also has an ex­cla­ma­tion point in its name, but it’s ac­tu­ally a whole lot more chill than the last game on this list. This is a fairly low-key spin on pin­ball, but in­stead of play­ing within the con­fines of a tra­di­tional ta­ble, you’ll smack a rolling, hu­man­sized snow­ball around a car­toon­ish ver­sion of a homemade moun­tain course.

It’s ex­tremely charm­ing at a glance, look­ing like the kind of gag that some friends would make at a ski re­sort, and the Su­per Nin­tendo-es­que, 16-bit aes­thetic only adds to the ap­peal. Snow­ball! seems a bit light­weight on the sur­face, but con­sider two things here: it’s only £1.99 on Mac, plus there are plenty of se­cret ar­eas to dis­cover if you play the ‘ta­ble’ the right way.

Price: £9.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/jp4js35)

Fans of old-school ad­ven­ture games will get a kick out of The Lit­tle Acre. It starts in Ire­land in the 1950s, as Ai­den seeks his miss­ing fa­ther and ends up in a strange fan­tasy land, so Ai­den’s own daugh­ter Lily goes off in search of him.

You’ll play as both Ai­den and Lily in this pointand-click af­fair, and be­tween the hand-drawn look and voice act­ing, The Lit­tle Acre re­ally does emu­late the clas­sic genre ex­pe­ri­ences in look and feel. Steam user reviews are more pos­i­tive than crit­ics, the lat­ter of which claim that it’s too short and easy to re­ally ex­plore its char­ac­ters and premise, but it looks like it could be a solid pick for any­one seek­ing some­thing warm-hearted.

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