Lat­est Mac games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at this month’s best new re­leases

Macworld - - ROUND-UP -

On the hunt for a fresh and ex­cit­ing game to play this month? Luck­ily, there’s al­ways some­thing new worth check­ing out in the world of Mac games, and we’ve put to­gether our picks for the 10 best new ti­tles. Sur­vival smash Rust re­cently ex­ited Early Ac­cess, while Descen­ders is a fre­netic new down­hill bik­ing game, Never Stop Sneakin’ is a speedy take on stealth-ac­tion clas­sics, and Sail­away lets you ex­plore the world’s oceans on a dig­i­tal dinghy.

1. Rust

Price: £27.79 from Steam (fave.co/2oM3cSZ)

Rust is eas­ily this month’s big­gest full re­lease, and it’s one that has al­ready been avail­able via Steam Early Ac­cess for more than four years now, and has sold sev­eral mil­lion copies along the way. Fa­cepunch Stu­dios’ game is all about sur­vival: from the mo­ment you emerge into the world, naked and alone, you’ll have to fend for your­self.

And you’ll have to do so while play­ing on on­line servers, as you har­vest re­sources from the world, build tools, craft weapons, bat­tle (or co­op­er­ate) with other play­ers, and hunt an­i­mals for food. It’s a big, rough, yet seem­ingly ap­peal­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that has drawn in loads of play­ers up un­til now.

2. Descen­ders

Price: £19.49 from Steam (fave.co/2oLVNTI)

Descen­ders fills a gam­ing void by de­liv­er­ing a freestyle down­hill moun­tain bik­ing game, and it looks thor­oughly in­tense, fling­ing you through forests and down steep slopes as you try to stay up­right and zip­ping ahead. And you’ll never run out of new ter­rain to ride across, as the game is fully pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated. You can also ride at night and across snow, which should only make the high­speed an­tics even more ex­hil­a­rat­ing. Descen­ders has launched in Steam Early Ac­cess, so it’s not fully com­plete, but even so, the ini­tial user re­views are strongly pos­i­tive, prais­ing the game for its im­pres­sively re­al­is­tic trick and han­dling sys­tems as well as the pol­ished physics.

3. Never Stop Sneakin’

Price: £9.29 from Steam (fave.co/2oRsL5t)

Kon­ami’s beloved Metal Gear Solid stealth-ac­tion se­ries may never make its way over to Mac, but Never Stop Sneakin’ looks like an ad­mirable sub­sti­tute. It’s the lat­est game from the cre­ator of Dust: An Elysian Tail, and it’s built in the mold of the orig­i­nal Metal Gear Solid from the first PlaySta­tion, al­beit much sim­pler, much faster, and some­how even wack­ier. For ex­am­ple, one of the main bosses you’ll face is Vice Pres­i­dent He­li­copter, an ac­tual he­li­copter, while another is Dr. Acula. This is a su­per-stream­lined take on stealth ac­tion, task­ing you with speed­ily rush­ing through lev­els while avoid­ing guards and sur­veil­lance cam­eras… and prob­a­bly en­joy­ing a few laughs along the way.

4. Dun­greed

Price: £7.19 from Steam (fave.co/2H7zuik)

What hap­pens when a peace­ful vil­lage and all of its in­hab­i­tants are sucked into a mys­te­ri­ous dun­geon? Well, you dive in and res­cue them. Dun­greed puts you into the tiny pixel shoes of the ad­ven­turer tasked with that un­for­tu­nate ob­jec­tive, and you’ll need to fight your way through the dun­geon and re­store the town and its peo­ple to their for­mer glory. It re­sem­bles an old-school, side-scrolling ac­tion game, and the dun­geon takes a new form ev­ery time you jump in. And you’ll do that of­ten, since your hero dies for good each time he falls, plus there are no check­points in the mix. Luck­ily, you can im­prove your hero’s stats over time and em­ploy a wide ar­ray of weapons to keep things in­ter­est­ing.

5. Farm To­gether

Price: £11.39 from Steam (fave.co/2oLgYWa)

Farm­ing games are sur­pris­ingly pop­u­lar, and they come in vary­ing shapes and sizes, but Farm To­gether seems to find its own niche in the space: it’s colour­ful, car­toon­ish, and tar­geted at ca­sual play­ers, plus it’s best en­joyed co­op­er­a­tively with pals. As the name sug­gests, you can play Farm To­gether on­line with friends and plant crops, raise an­i­mals, and ex­pand your farm­stead along­side al­lies. And it seems pretty chilled: Steam re­view­ers sug­gest that it feels like a ca­sual-minded, al­most Far­mVille-es­que mo­bile game, al­beit with­out freemium an­noy­ances in the mix. It’s in Steam Early Ac­cess now, as well, so it still could see deeper game­play and larger fea­tures added in the future.

6. Sail­away

Price: £29.99 from Steam (fave.co/2oNb4E1)

Sail­ing isn’t easy, cheap, or ac­ces­si­ble to every­one, but if you have a ca­pa­ble-enough Mac, you can hit the waves any time you please with Sail­away. This sim­u­la­tion of­fers up painstak­ing recre­ations of the world’s oceans, with vary­ing waves and wa­ter colour, plus wind and weather con­di­tions pulled in real time from the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion. You can sail solo, chat with fel­low sailors, in­vite them on board to help run the ship, or even take part in boat races. Sail­away in­cludes an ar­ray of cus­tom­iz­a­ble boats, and the game claims to ease in new­com­ers while al­low­ing more se­ri­ous sail­ing afi­ciona­dos some tougher con­di­tions to con­tend with.

7. Delver

Price: £11.39 from Steam (fave.co/2HcAXUC)

As with Rust, you might have en­coun­tered Delver be­fore now – that’s be­cause it has been avail­able in Steam Early Ac­cess for more than four years, plus it started life on An­droid be­fore that. But this dun­geon-crawl­ing role-player only just hit a full 1.0 ver­sion on Mac, which means it’s worth putting fresh eyes on whether or not it’s al­ready been on your radar. It might be tough to tell from a still screen­shot, but Delver is a 3D game made with crisp, pixel-packed 2D graph­ics – al­most Minecraftesque, but with more de­tail and per­son­al­ity. De­spite the colour­ful look, Delver prom­ises to be tough as nails, drop­ping you into a newly-gen­er­ated dun­geon with each at­tempt, plus death is per­ma­nent.

Price: £7.19 from Steam (fave.co/2oM4CNj)

Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy has us plugged in and shar­ing our lives in new and seem­ingly ex­cit­ing ways, but our so­cial net­work feeds and In­ter­net ac­tiv­ity only add to the amount of on­go­ing sur­veil­lance on us. Or­well: Ig­no­rance is Strength turns that mod­ern sur­veil­lance state into a game, as you use and even ma­nip­u­late data to pro­tect a fic­tional nation. As a top-se­cret agent, you’ll in­ves­ti­gate a jour­nal­ist who is in­cit­ing ri­ots and un­rest in a neigh­bour­ing country. That in­cludes read­ing his pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions and sto­ries, as well as spy­ing on his fam­ily and al­lies and fab­ri­cat­ing in­for­ma­tion as needed. It’s a se­quel, so check out the orig­i­nal first (£7.19 from fave.co/2H948HT).

9. Stel­laris: Apoc­a­lypse

Price: £15.49 from Steam (fave.co/2oMeS8z)

Stel­laris was one of the big­gest Mac game re­leases of 2016, and if you’ve been itch­ing for more rea­son to set sail across the stars, then here’s a good excuse. The game’s Apoc­a­lypse ex­pan­sion adds some sig­nif­i­cant new el­e­ments to the core ex­pe­ri­ence. The 4X real-time grand strat­egy af­fair sees ad­di­tions like a Colos­sus planet-killer unit, which can wipe out en­tire worlds, as well as Ti­tan ship units and no­mad Ma­raud­ers that can be ei­ther friend or foe. As­cen­sion Perks and Civics bring some non-com­bat en­hance­ments, as well, plus the Apoc­a­lypse ex­pan­sion has been timed along­side the game’s 2.0 ver­sion re­lease, which it­self is surely worth ex­plor­ing if you haven’t played in a while.

10. Ex­iled King­doms

Price: £5.79 from Steam (fave.co/2oLi8Rw)

We’ve seen newer games like Tyranny and Pil­lars of Eter­nity up­date the old-school, iso­met­ric com­puter role-play­ing game (CRPG) for­mat, but Ex­iled King­doms is a new game that looks as old as its in­spi­ra­tions. There’s no mod­ern gloss here: it has the look and feel of a game like Bliz­zard’s orig­i­nal Di­a­blo, as if it was 1996 all over again. On the other hand, it’s £5.79, and Steam re­view­ers have been pretty pos­i­tive about Ex­iled King­doms so far. It of­fers up a huge fan­tasy world to ex­plore as you bat­tle, take on quests, and chat up the lo­cals, promis­ing 120+ hours of con­tent to take in. It’s like a blast from the past, al­beit one that was just re­leased on Mac.

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