Latest Mac games
Andrew Hayward looks at this month’s best new releases
It’s the start of the year, so we’ve rounded up the biggest and brightest new releases. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Battle Chef Brigade, and Bridge Constructor Portal are among the most notable games released over the past few weeks, but there are several more compelling options within.
1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Price: £39.99 from Steam (fave.co/2cqyjvf)
Been waiting since the finale of the great Deus
Ex: Human Revolution to see how Adam Jensen’s story continues? If so, you’re in luck – because Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is finally on Mac. Mankind Divided takes place in a futuristic, cyberpunk world in which techaugmented humans (like Jensen) are segregated from their fully flesh-and-blood counterparts.
It blends stealth action with intense melee combat and cool cybernetic customizations, all within a huge, beautiful world. It needs heavy-duty hardware, though: Feral Interactive’s port only works with AMD graphics cards for now, which means a select few Macs can handle it.
2. Battle Chef Brigade
Price: £15.49 from Steam (fave.co/2cszsoa)
Battle Chef Brigade is surely the only cookingthemed, anime-inspired puzzle and combat game you’ll ever encounter, as you fight monsters to snag ingredients and then cook them up by matching together items in your cauldron with Bejeweledesque elemental gems. Yes, that is quite the unique premise. Battle Chef Brigade follows an Iron Cheflike tournament, albeit in a fantasy world of wild creatures and big personalities, and you’ll need to defeat the competition by whipping up the most inventive dishes you can. This indie game delight has scored with professional critics and Steam users alike, and there’s nothing else quite like it.
3. Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy Price: £5.79 from Steam (fave.co/2cch9mf)
Bennett Foddy tends to make a certain kind of game in different ways: they’re incredibly difficult to control, yet that near-impossibility makes them absolutely addictive. We’ve seen it with web games like QWOP and GIRP, and now he’s done it again with Getting Over It. You control a man who is firmly lodged inside a cauldron, who must use only a hammer to propel himself up a huge, jagged mountain, and you can’t save your progress. How long will it take you to finish a run? Will you discover new depths of frustration in the process? Find out for just eight bucks, if you dare.
4. Bridge Constructor Portal
Price: £6.99 from Steam (fave.co/2cd90u2)
Bridge Constructor Portal merges one physicsbased game with another, blending the bridge-building simulation of the former with the teleportation shenanigans, humour, and presentation of Valve’s beloved latter series.
It’s an unexpected pairing, but it’s one that seems to have landed well with fans of both series. You’ll put together intricate bridges and structures to guide the little forklifts through the familiar Portal test chambers, which gradually become more and more complex with the addition of portals and other hazards. With 60 levels, a cheap price, and enough of the Portal aesthetic in tow, this seems like a fun little brain-teaser.
5. Reigns: Her Majesty
Price: £2.09 from Steam (fave.co/2cdligl)
Reigns is an experience best suited for an iphone or ipad, given its swipe-centric gameplay and portrait-view presentation, but if you’d rather play on Mac, it’s available at the very same price. Like 2016’s great original, the new Reigns: Her Majesty is a breezy monarchy simulator, letting you rule one decision at a time as you attempt to stay in power. As the title suggests, Her Majesty shifts the focus over from the king to the queen, and while the core gameplay is essentially unchanged from the first game, there’s a much different slant to the queen’s experience. Her Majesty expertly weaves its commentary on sexism and the patriarchy into the narrative while still providing fun along the way.
6. Opus Magnum
Price: £15.49 from Steam (fave.co/2coxiod)
Zachtronics’ games (like Shenzhen I/O and TIS-100) might not look like the most accessible puzzlers out there, but they are beloved by their fans. It’s also been hailed as the studio’s most ambitious, yet also most accessible game to date. Opus Magnum is a game about alchemy, and as a young alchemist, you’ll have to solve problems by creating machines to carry out the various processes. It has a bit of a programming feel, like other Zachtronic games, but the open-ended puzzle design means you may be able to trial-anderror your way to a solution. However, creating an efficient solution will take plenty more fiddling and experimentation.
7. Finding Paradise
Price: £6.99 from Steam (fave.co/2cswgcw)
Looking for a game that has the potential to get you all choked up? Finding Paradise might be your best bet – the trailer alone nearly brought a quiver to my lip. Like the earlier, much-loved To The Moon, it’s a game about doctors that help dying people mentally fulfil their unachieved wishes from life. It takes the form of an old-school, 16bit role-playing game, but what the game lacks in flashy visuals it seems to more than make up for with powerful moments and storytelling. Finding Paradise essentially repeats the premise from To The Moon, which you should play first (£6.99 from fave.co/2cdyimq), but player reviews suggest that it’s another amazing adventure.
8. Tiny Metal
Price: £19.99 from Steam (fave.co/2cfrgho)
Nintendo has an incredible stable of game franchises from over the years, but sometimes they’re left dormant for ages – and besides, they’re not coming to Mac anytime soon. Luckily, fans of Nintendo’s Advance Wars series have a new spiritual successor to check out: Tiny Metal, which is published by rival gaming giant Sony. It’s a visually enhanced, lightly tweaked take on the classic Advance Wars formula: a streamlined, turnbased tactical strategy game in which opposing military forces attempt to defeat the other. Steam reviews suggest it’s rough around the edges especially with online play still in the works, but it could have a lot of upside for tactical combat fans.
9. Gang Beasts
Price: £14.99 from Steam (fave.co/2cdyc7p)
After a lengthy Early Access period, Gang Beasts has finally been released, and it looks hilarious.
And I do mean looks: this is a game that appears to be just as much fun to watch as it is to play, as goofy-looking, Claymation-esque characters battle it out in raucous four-player skirmishes. It’s mainly a silly, anything-goes brawler, but Gang Beasts also bundles in a soccer mode and battles against waves of computer-controlled foes. And whatever mode you’re in, it’s hard to believe that anyone won’t crack a smile while playing.
10. Riot – Civil Unrest
Price: £8.99 from Steam (fave.co/2ct6iwk)
As you might surmise from the title, Riot – Civil Unrest has the potential to be very controversial. It truly is a riot simulator, letting you jump into violent conflicts between angry demonstrators and police forces, with the game including historical skirmishes in locales such as Spain, Egypt, Oakland, Paris, and Italy. And you can play as either side in those scenarios. Riot’s creators claim they don’t take sides in presenting these playable recreations of extremely grim events, and you’ll have to decide just how sensitively it handles such things. However, it is an intriguing concoction, as you control an entire mob pressing for action or the police forces that try to limit the damage.