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(Bastion has been selected as one of MacLife's 25 Best Mac Games Today!)
The beautiful hand-drawn settings help give Bastion a distinct feel.
One of last year’s most successful and beloved games from a small studio, Bastion is now available for Mac via the Mac App Store and Steam, and the extra layover has done nothing to diminish the colorful action game’s considerable charms.
Bastion follows the adventures of the Kid, one of the rare human survivors of the Calamity, which has destroyed the world he used to know. We learn about the Kid and his past via the game’s narrator, Rucks, whose contributions aren’t simply limited to mid-mission cinematics or obvious dialogue exchanges. Instead, they provide ample atmosphere while you plow through enemies, with the pitch-perfect spoken lines delivering context and backstory while the stunning soundtrack unfolds.
While the aural presentation proves perhaps the most distinctive element of the experience, it’s nearly matched by the visuals, which serve up gorgeously dreamy stages that arrive in stark contrast to the post-apocalyptic setting. Seemingly floating in the sky, the levels build up brick by brick as you wander in any direction, with distinctive color palettes and décor found with each fresh locale. Paired with the fantastic audio design and affecting narrative, the end result is an adventure that sticks with you long after the emotional finale.
Weapon and ability choice prove essential in combat.
Compared to the rest of the experience, the actual nuts and bolts of the gameplay are arguably more pedestrian, though the moment-to-moment action remains enjoyable. From an angled overhead perspective, you’ll fight through swarms of bug-like creatures and other aggressors using a customizable array of weapons, including a massive hammer, bow and arrow, and a rifle, with continued play leading to stronger attacks and added abilities.
Bastion is more epic in feel and presentation than in actual longevity, with a play-through lasting perhaps a handful of hours, but this is an adventure worth savoring twice and certainly one of the most memorable games available on the Mac today.
The bottom line. Gorgeous and haunting throughout, Bastion is an excellent experience that proves to be much more than a banal hack-and-slasher.
Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 1.7 GHZ dual core processor, 2GB RAM, 256MB VRAM
Stunningly affecting presentation, including constant aural narration and beautiful art design. Memorable narrative. Engaging action rewards weapon choice and continued play.
Gameplay can prove a bit repetitive over time.