Mac|Life - Games http://www.maclife.com/articles/9/feed en The Best New iOS Games: Heroki, Divide by Sheep, The Executive, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-heroki-divide-sheep-executive-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-heroki-divide-sheep-executive-and-more#comments Gallery Adventures of Pip App App Store AppLife Apps Blockadillo Chip Beat Blaster Circulate Columns Divide by Sheep Gallery Heroki Invasion: Alien Attack iOS iPad iPod LEGO Minifigures Online new releases QuadRush The Executive iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:24:12 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21802 at http://www.maclife.com Sunless Sea Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sunless-sea-review <!--paging_filter--><p>On an upgradable ship, with a hold full of supplies, you are a captain, and you will sail the Unterzee, a dark underground ocean, docking at various mysterious, threatening (life-saving?) ports. At each, you’re met with descriptive text, a few choices (the results of which may depend on your stats and resources) and the possibility to collect resources, both physical and non.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/06/sunlesssea-620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>One of the most interesting things about Sunless Sea is that you choose your win condition. At the start of each journey, you can choose not only a history for your captain that gives a bonus to starting stats, but also an ambition. These range from wealth to a personal journey to find your father’s remains, but all fit within a general goal: to explore, and gather resources.</p><p>All resources, from smuggled crates of souls to “zee-ztories,” are represented by cards. Each action requires a certain set of cards; if you don’t have the right set, you’re shown what you need. In chasing rarer resources, however, it’s important not to forget to maintain food and fuel, and minimize “terror,” which increases as you head into the dingy depths.&nbsp;</p><p>There are plenty of ways to die on the Unterzee. When that does happen, you’ll see the legacy system. With each death, you choose how your new captain is related to the previous for a starting bonus: a shipmate gets to keep an officer, a correspondent gets your chart....</p><p>This system does lessen the frustration of death, but as your line of captains retains knowledge so do you, and while the map can change between captains, each dock has the same story to tell. After a few plays, you’ll stop reading, using familiar docks purely as places to input resource x and receive resource y. Since even the combat is rote — sea creatures are fast but weak, and you can take out any ship — the mechanics alone are not enough to maintain interest. That said, the world and its stories are so different, it’ll take a while to get old, especially given that for a good few hours (and deaths) there will remain plenty of docks you’ve yet to visit.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Well written and different enough to be worth the inevitable repetition.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Sunless Sea</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Failbetter Games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.failbettergames.com" target="_blank">www.failbettergames.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $18.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.6 or later, 2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 700MB HD space, 1280x768 minimum screen resolution</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Customizable goals. Interesting world and stories.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Some repetition is inevitable. Combat doesn’t feel that interesting or worthwhile.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sunless-sea-review#comments Reviews OS X Sunless Sea Mac Games Fri, 26 Jun 2015 23:13:04 +0000 Jordan Erica Webber 21782 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Tales from Deep Space, Sonic Runners, Siegefall, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-tales-deep-space-sonic-runners-siegefall-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-tales-deep-space-sonic-runners-siegefall-and-more#comments Gallery App App Store AppLife Apps Columns Dragon Quest VI Fort Meow Furdemption Gallery Her Story iOS iPad iPod Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham new releases Piloteer Siegefall Sonic Runners Tales from Deep Space The Abduction of Bacon at Dawn the Chronicles of a Brave Rooster Wormarium iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 25 Jun 2015 23:06:04 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21778 at http://www.maclife.com The Sims 4 Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sims-4-review <!--paging_filter--><p>The Sims 4 — now available for Mac — is deceptive. If you’re familiar with the older games in the famous series of people simulation, where you create Sims and guide them through their lives, the new one might look cartoony and overly simplified. Yet, right from the start, that’s not the case. The Sims you make are more customizable, but complex sliders have been replaced by a new Create a Sim tool that lets you push and pull at features like putty. Building houses is easy too; wannabe architects can design them inch-by-inch, but those with less time can add whole rooms at a time, letting you get to the good stuff: playing with lives, jobs, and relationships.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/06/thesims4_620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Where The Sims 4 excels is not just at that accessibility, but what it hides, too. At its core is a complex simulation that brings digital dolls that little bit closer to believable characters. Events and personalities interact to put your Sims in particular moods, having unique effects on your Sims’ lives. A Sim with a gloomy personality is more likely to react badly to a negative event and end up in a sad mood; they’ll get a creative boost when writing their novel but they might stop typing and put their head in their hands for a quick cry. It’s unsettlingly realistic.</p><p>Also realistically, each Sim always wants more than you can manage: life goals with stages made up of sub-goals (such as training a skill to a certain level), goals for each stage of their career, goals for special events like going on a date, and whatever passing wants and fancies their current mood inspires. Unfortunately, technical considerations sometimes interfere with plans. If you want to take your Sim to a community lot such as a bar or park, or to visit another Sim — whether player-created or not — you’ll face a loading screen, unlike with The Sims 3. The loading times are short on any decent machine — the only significant tech issue we found was the game not displaying properly until we’d switched out of fullscreen mode and specified new screen settings — but even so it can feel a hassle to travel.</p><p>As always with new entries in this series, fans will yearn for what they’ve gotten used to, and features that have been left out. But with updates already adding back in some of the more notable omissions (such as swimming pools), The Sims 4 should be treated like its predecessors: a basic but solid foundation to which players can add whichever of the inevitable expansions they choose. The new simulation and its interplay between Sims’ personalities, moods, and desires means that players of all kinds — creators, goal-oriented players, and storytellers — even those new to the series, will find something for them.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> More simple to play than previous versions, but with a better simulation at its core.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The Sims 4</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Electronic Arts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.ea.com" target="_blank">www.ea.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $49.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or later; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz; Nvidia GeForce 320M, 9600M, 9400M, or ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256MB video RAM; 4GB RAM; 10GB hard drive space</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>More realistic emotions. Accessible creation tools. Always lots to do.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Some display issues.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sims-4-review#comments Reviews sims The Sims 4 Mac Games Tue, 23 Jun 2015 23:45:21 +0000 Jordan Erica Webber 21767 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Fallout Shelter, Xenowerk, Harmony 3, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-fallout-shelter-xenowerk-harmony-3 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-fallout-shelter-xenowerk-harmony-3#comments Gallery Columns Columns Gallery games iPad iphone iPod iPad iPhone iPod Games Fri, 19 Jun 2015 00:06:33 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21753 at http://www.maclife.com Sid Meier’s Starships Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sid-meiers-starships-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Deep down, we all just want to build our own galactic federation of planets, don’t we? Starships promises to let you do just that. It comes across as Civilization (also by Sid Meier) among the stars, but this expectation is in many ways also its pitfall.</p><p>Really, it’s a strategy-light game that rather awkwardly mixes the simplified Civilization Revolution games for iOS with XCOM’s squad combat. The result is a scrappy little creation that’s not bad at all — but it also could have been so much more.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/06/starships_620.jpg" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>You are one of several nascent civilizations in the galaxy in each game, and you win be becoming either the largest or the most advanced. You gain resources by expanding your federation to include new planets and colonies, which you then develop to produce more resources, or to increase their population. You win over unclaimed planets by gaining influence on them — which means helping them in combat missions, spending time there with your fleet, or...buying them off.&nbsp;</p><p>Sadly, while this might suggest interesting inter-federation politicking to win over competitors’ planets, it’s really just a throwaway system. Influence only counts on unclaimed planets, so the early game is a rush to grab as many as possible. After that, if you want more, you’ll pretty much have to invade. It sorely lacks in good peaceful/trading play, or more underhanded tactics. Instead it’s just fight or hang around.</p><p>Fortunately, combat is the best part of Starships. When you get into a fight or mission, you command a fleet of ships — usually your own, which you build and upgrade over time — on a small-scale map. Ships can specialize in different areas, and great ideas such as shields that only work at the front mix with tools like cloaking to offer the potential for some supremely satisfying tactical play. That said, the AI is not smart, so it can be just a basic laser-fest later.</p><p>For a pick-up-and play war game, Starships works well enough on iOS (even with some touch control issues — accidental taps while trying to zoom in are common), but depth is lacking, and those who want true Civilization-style strategy in space will be disappointed.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Too light in too many places, but still offers fun tactical action when it’s at its best.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Sid Meier’s Starships</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 2K </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="https://www.2k.com" target="_blank">www.2k.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $14.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iPad running&nbsp;iOS 7 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Easy to play in bursts. Fun space battling.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Very light on strategy outside of combat. AI not that smart.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/sid-meiers-starships-review#comments Reviews App AppLife Apps iOS Sid Meier’s Starships iPad Games Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:00:00 +0000 Matt Bolton 21732 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Angry Birds Fight!, Transistor, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-angry-birds-fight-transistor-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-angry-birds-fight-transistor-and-more#comments Gallery 4Arrows Adventure Time Appisode: Furniture and Meat Angry Brids Fight! App App Store AppLife Apps Columns Drift Girls Elemental Wings Gallery Green Ninja: Year of the Frog iOS iPad iPod new releases Pills4Skills Spirit of War: The Great War Threes! Free Transistor iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 11 Jun 2015 22:58:17 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21727 at http://www.maclife.com Parallax Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/parallax-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Parallax’s puzzles are right there in black and white. Then, you pass into a parallel dimension and they’re now in white and black. To succeed in these abstract worlds, you must hold two physical environments in mind and understand how they affect each other. A switch in the black flips a door in the white, and so on. You’re manipulating a path through each stage towards the exit teleporter. It’s certainly challenging, but it’s not very satisfying.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/06/parallax_620.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p><p>Puzzle games need a eureka moment. What makes games like Portal and The Talos Principle so satisfying is the little burst of dopamine when you figure out the solution. Parallax is a first-person puzzler like them, but it lacks that satisfaction: you find yourself frantically activating buttons, hoping for a lucky twist of a metaphorical monochrome Rubik’s Cube. It’s confusing, not perplexing.</p><p>There’s a huge contrast (no pun intended) between Portal’s elegant challenges and the heightening complications of Parallax. The latter simply demands too much from the player, and the further you get into the game, the greater this crushing cognitive load. There’s no way to save in the middle of a course, and you can’t skip a puzzle if you’re stuck. Solutions come from testing permutations rather than deductions, so you bounce around the place in search of a solution (though there’s little room for improvisation) while the game counts “deaths” from falling off the level, an unnecessary design contrivance.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Parallax is a clever two-minute tech demo that fails as a complete game. Like that aforementioned monochrome Rubik’s Cube, you’re very quickly stuck with a half-finished mess of contorted possibilities.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Parallax</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Toasty Games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://toastygames.com" target="_blank">toastygames.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $9.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.6 or later, 1.4GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 150MB available space</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Striking visuals. Interesting concept.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Uninteresting execution. When you’re stuck, you’re stuck. Doesn’t support Retina displays.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/parallax-review#comments Reviews Parallax Toasty Games Mac Games Fri, 05 Jun 2015 20:38:46 +0000 Alan Williamson 21699 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Hitman: Sniper, You Must Build a Boat, Alpha Betty Saga, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-hitman-sniper-you-must-build-boat-alpha-betty-saga-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-hitman-sniper-you-must-build-boat-alpha-betty-saga-and-more#comments Gallery 4x4 Jam HD Alpha Betty Saga App App Store AppLife Apps Blades of Brim Columns Dude Perfect 2 Fallman Gallery Hitman: Sniper iOS iPad iPod new releases Robbery Bob 2: Double Trouble Stunt Wheels Tika Taka Soccer You Must Build a Boat iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 04 Jun 2015 23:59:59 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21696 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Portal Pinball, Game of Thrones, Geometry Wars 3, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-portal-pinball-game-thrones-geometry-wars-3-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-portal-pinball-game-thrones-geometry-wars-3-and-more#comments Gallery Always Sometimes Monsters App App Store AppLife Apps Chaos Rings III Columns Desktop Dungeons Gallery Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons Winter Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions iOS iPad iPod Lara Croft: Relic Run new releases One More Dash Portal Pinball Sproggiwood Toysburg iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 28 May 2015 23:10:32 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21671 at http://www.maclife.com