Lat­est Mac games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at this month’s best new re­leases

Macworld - - Contents -

Sum­mer is upon us, but if you’d rather spend your days in the warm glow of a Mac rather than the hot sun, then you’re in luck: May brought us another fine bounty of new games to check out. The big-bud­get, open-world crime quest Mafia III head­lines the lat­est stack of Mac re­leases, let­ting you bat­tle for con­trol of a mas­sive, New Or­leans-es­que city in 1968 – and that’s not all. Check out our picks for the 10 most ex­cit­ing re­leases.

1. Mafia III Price: £34.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/yaaLnuej)

Re­leased last au­tumn for PC and con­soles, Mafia III tells the story of Lin­coln Clay, a Viet­nam vet who re­turns to New Bordeaux in 1968 to seek re­venge on a ri­val crime fam­ily that took out the black mob that raised him. Mafia III has drawn some raves for its story and per­for­mances, as well as its de­pic­tion of an African Amer­i­can lead in a game world that doesn’t bleach out the pres­ence of racism. How­ever, many crit­i­cal re­views took the game to task for its very fa­mil­iar ac­tion and un­re­mark­able open-world mis­sion de­sign. Still, we don’t get a lot of th­ese AAA-level games on Mac, so you might not be as tired of the genre as play­ers on other plat­forms.

2. Tum­bleSeed Price: £10.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y8t854qf)

That last game might fol­low a for­mula, but you’ve surely never played any­thing quite like Tum­bleSeed. This orig­i­nal in­die cre­ation finds you guid­ing a tiny, adorable seed all the way up a moun­tain, but the path is lined with threats large and small, rang­ing from odd crea­tures to gi­ant holes that can swal­low you up. And the world is dif­fer­ent ev­ery time you play.

What’s more, Tum­bleSeed has a re­ally unique con­trol scheme that finds you ma­noeu­vring a large rod from both the left and right sides, al­low you to roll the seed from side or side or vault it up into the air. You’ll def­i­nitely want a gamepad for this one, if pos­si­ble. Tum­bleSeed re­quires a lot of pa­tience and pre­ci­sion, but it can be ab­sorb­ing and it’s quite stun­ning to boot.

3. The El­der Scrolls On­line: Mor­rowind Price: £99.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y95wep73)

Although sur­passed in scale and am­bi­tion by its se­quels, 2002’s The El­der Scrolls III: Mor­rowind re­mains a fan­tasy role-play­ing favourite af­ter all th­ese years – and any­one who loved its Vvar­den­fell en­vi­ron­ment will def­i­nitely want to take a dip into The El­der Scrolls On­line right about now.

That’s be­cause the Mor­rowind ex­pan­sion,for the pop­u­lar mas­sively mul­ti­player game de­liv­ers that vast lo­cale, al­beit with a less dated look to it. The Mor­rowind up­grade is the largest add-on yet for The El­der Scrolls On­line, of­fer­ing a new chunk of story and mis­sions, a new player class, a 4v4v4 com­pet­i­tive play mode, and plenty more. You’ll need the orig­i­nal El­der Scrolls On­line game, though: £29 from tinyurl.com/ycd48ohh.

4. Old Man’s Jour­ney Price: £5.59 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y7d­crnnm)

Old Man’s Jour­ney is spell­bind­ing from the mo­ment it be­gins, as a mail car­rier brings the tit­u­lar man a let­ter with some heart­break­ing news. He sits down on a bench and takes a mo­ment, and then grabs his satchel and sets out into the world. You don’t know right away what’s hap­pened, but a long-dis­tant mem­ory has in­spired him to make things right.

The game it­self is beau­ti­ful, with hand-drawn hills that you’ll shift to cre­ate paths deeper into each scene, along with charming mu­sic and oc­ca­sional flash­backs that shed some light on the old man’s emo­tional dis­tress. It’s a com­pact quest and pretty light­weight when it comes to ad­ven­ture and puz­zle me­chan­ics, but it’s still pretty pow­er­ful as an ex­pe­ri­ence.

5. Everspace Price: £22.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/mued4qz)

Ea­ger to blast some space­ships to bits? Well, Everspace looks like it might fit the bill. This beau­ti­ful­look­ing shooter finds you com­mand­ing your own ves­sel amidst the stars, and has drawn a lot of com­par­isons to Mi­crosoft’s clas­sic genre en­try, Free­lancer, of­fer­ing a mix of com­bat, loot­ing, and even craft­ing.

And although it doesn’t look the part, Everspace has also been fre­quently likened to FTL: Faster Than Light, the much-loved rogue-like strat­egy game. Everspace fo­cuses more on hands-on ac­tion, but like FTL, it’s a sur­vival chal­lenge that tests your abil­ity to re­act to un­ex­pected threats and other curve­balls. It just ex­ited Steam Early Ac­cess with a full 1.0 ver­sion re­lease, and re­views are very strong so far.

6. Char­lie Mur­der Price: £6.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y7­gawm44)

Char­lie Mur­der might not sound like the most en­tic­ing ti­tle, but this side-scrolling beat ‘em up pro­vides plenty of ram­bunc­tious fun. The game’s name refers to the punk rock band that you’ll com­mand a mem­ber of, and you’ll guide your hero in hand-to-hand com­bat again a ri­val death metal band and its evil min­ions.

Be­sides the but­ton-mash­ing bat­tling, Char­lie Mur­der also in­cor­po­rates role-play­ing el­e­ments and loads of loot to find and equip, and like fel­low for­mer Xbox ex­clu­sive Cas­tle Crash­ers, it’s much bet­ter en­joyed in co­op­er­a­tive play with some friends.

7. Emily Is Away Too Price: £3.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y77rewqe)

Emily is Away Too is more than just a recre­ation of the olden days of chat boxes and pas­sive ag­gres­sive away mes­sages. It’s a nar­ra­tive ad­ven­ture about be­ing a teenager and nav­i­gat­ing the last year of high school, talk­ing with friends about re­la­tion­ships and how peo­ple have changed.

Does the thought make you cringe? I un­der­stand the instinct, but like its pre­de­ces­sor (the free, orig­i­nal Emily is Away), the sequel has been widely praised, sport­ing an ‘Over­whelm­ingly Pos­i­tive’ re­view con­sen­sus from Steam users so far. The recre­ation of clas­sic AIM, Face­book and YouTube ex­pe­ri­ences is ad­mirable and might trig­ger some for­got­ten feel­ings, and the emo­tional punch along the way could sur­prise you.

8. Oh... Sir! The Hol­ly­wood Roast Price: £2.79 from Steam (tinyurl.com/ybos78f2)

The orig­i­nal Oh… Sir! The In­sult Sim­u­la­tor is one of the most en­ter­tain­ing Mac games you can pick up for only a few pounds, and now a spin-off is here to de­liver much more of the same great for­mula. Oh… Sir! The Hol­ly­wood Roast largely sticks with what worked so well the first time around, let­ting you build in­sults from a shared pile of terms and then un­leash them amidst in­tense back-and-forth bat­tles.

As the ti­tle sug­gests, it puts par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the world of film, with char­ac­ters in­spired by the likes of Harry Pot­ter, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe and Dead­pool, and terms that fit the theme as well. This ver­sion has more than dou­ble the vo­cab­u­lary of the main game, as well as a new come­back el­e­ment and char­ac­ter cre­ation mode.

9. StarCrawlers Price: £14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/ya4bpz7k)

Got an itch to play an old-school dun­geon-crawl­ing RPG? StarCrawlers was built as a modern take on the old first-per­son dun­geon bat­tler, al­beit with a sci-fi twist rather than the typ­i­cal fan­tasy ap­proach. Here, you’ll col­lect a crew of bounty hunters and com­plete jobs for var­i­ous clients by ex­plor­ing a seem­ingly in­fi­nite num­ber of pro­ce­du­rally-gen­er­ated lo­ca­tions.

Along the way, you’ll bat­tle foes both ro­botic and alien in turn-based com­bat, and while StarCrawlers has eas­ier dif­fi­culty set­tings, you can opt for per­madeath if you want a real chal­lenge along the way. Be­sides the ran­dom­ized dun­geons, the game also fea­tures var­i­ous player classes and di­a­logue op­tions that af­fect the sto­ry­line, pro­vid­ing plenty of re­play value.

10. Strafe Price: £14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/L3mL92h)

If you grew up on clas­sic late 1990s shoot­ers like Quake II and Half-Life, then you might get a big kick out of Strafe. It’s de­signed as an homage to that era of first­per­son blasters, when rudi­men­tary poly­gon graph­ics were king – Strafe looks the part about as per­fectly as pos­si­ble, with fran­tic gun­play against clunky-look­ing bad guys. That said, it isn’t ex­actly like the old clas­sics. While it looks fa­mil­iar and plays all fast and chaotic, Strafe has a rogue-like feel to it, which means the lev­els are ran­domly gen­er­ated and you’ll take per­ma­nent dam­age en route to your even­tual demise. Re­views have been mixed from both crit­ics and buy­ers, with the com­bi­na­tion per­haps not gelling so per­fectly, but the throw­back hook re­mains ap­peal­ing.

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