Mac|Life - Games http://www.maclife.com/articles/9/feed en Kerbal Space Program Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/kerbal-space-program-review <!--paging_filter--><p>After years of being available on the developer’s website and Steam Early Access, Kerbal Space Program is finally available as a full release on Mac. Part space sim, part sandbox management, Kerbal Space Program is extremely ambitious. It’s not jaw-dropping to look at, but that’s easy to forget when you see the wide-eyed awe on the faces of your pilots as you launch.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/08/ksp-620.jpg" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Kerbal Space Program takes place on a planet similar to Earth, except its inhabitants are little green aliens sharing the last name “Kerbin.” It’s your job to build up the game’s meager space program: managing employees, taking contracts, researching technology, and building aircraft and spacecraft, among other things. It’s an overwhelming number of things to manage, so KSP offers three modes: Sandbox, which has no restrictions on inventory; Science, in which data is gathered and funds aren’t an issue; and Career. Career Mode is the heart of KSP, starting you with very little money and not much inventory to build ships from. As you collect data, research new things, and conquer goals, you’ll gain access to better parts, smarter crew members, and upgraded buildings.</p><p>Once you successfully build a craft and make it out of orbit into space (no small feat in itself) the space sim portion kicks in. It’s up to you to control your ship, aiming for regions unknown, new planets, or getting into orbit. There are tutorials outside of the core game, but once you’re in Career Mode there are no training wheels, and a more organic training process would have been helpful. There’s a lot of patience required, and trial and error involved in just figuring out how not to blow up your ship and kill your pilot a few hundred meters in the air.</p><p>Even after years in development, Kerbal Space Program has its fair share of technical difficulties. Multiple freezes and crashes to desktop make it hard to progress, and less serious glitches are distracting. Despite these issues, there’s definitely something engaging about it. You might find yourself building better spacecraft in your head when you’re not playing, or saying “Just one more launch” over and over again.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> A great blend of micromanagement and spaceflight, but it’s marred by tech issues.</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>Kerbal Space Program</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"> Squad </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://squad.com.mx" target="_blank">squad.com.mx</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"> $39.99 </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, Intel processor, 3GB memory, 512MB graphics, 1GB HDD</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>Incredibly deep interaction. Effortlessly combines management and simulation aspects.</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>Freezes and crashes aren’t ideal. Training is dull but necessary.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/kerbal-space-program-review#comments Reviews Kerbal Space Program OS X Mac Games Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:41:32 +0000 Sarah LeBoeuf 21994 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Lara Croft GO, Calvino Noir, Breakneck, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-lara-croft-go-calvino-noir-breakneck-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-lara-croft-go-calvino-noir-breakneck-more#comments Gallery App App Store AppLife Apps Beat da Beat Breakneck Calvino Noir Columns Fallen Forest Spirit Gallery iOS iPad iPod Lara Croft Go new releases Sage Solitaire Ski Safari 2 Tiny Empire Whispering Willows iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:53:14 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21989 at http://www.maclife.com Trulon Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/trulon-review <!--paging_filter--><p>The words “strategy card-game RPG” get us as excited as some people get over sports, theme parks, and new Marvel films. Published by a Finnish company, Trulon is one of those: a game featuring a strategy card-battle element similar to that of successful World of Warcraft spin-off Hearthstone, as well as some rather attractive artwork that flits between colorful drawings and pixel sprites.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/08/trulon-620.jpg" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>At first, Trulon doesn’t disappoint. Thrown into the world with naught but a deck of cards and your own spunky confidence, you travel off into the distance as Gladia, the game’s heroine. The towns and villages are bright, the music pacey and the dialog interesting — if not a little odd, teetering on the edge of nonsensical. As a monster hunter, your job is to rid the land of the pesky critters that are bringing people down, and as in other turn-based battle RPGs, you’ll come across these monsters in the field.</p><p>Unfortunately for a game that’s so centered on these card battles, the fighting is irritatingly tedious, preferring to focus on the slow, repetitive doling-out of battle animations while you wait for your turn. With cards dealt into your hand fairly sparingly, you’ll also find yourself in difficult-to-win battles, purely because of the luck of the draw — though you can create your own strategic deck with cards you’ve picked up along the way.</p><p>The monsters appear and reappear as slightly different versions of themselves, with horns, different colors, tougher defenses — but very rarely new tactics. The maps are convoluted, samey, and sprawling, turning traversal into filler content that requires you to drag Gladia around in increments.</p><p>The story itself is sweet, and it’s certainly reassuring to see a female lead in an iOS game, but there’s so little of substance in Trulon. The bits worth celebrating are found in between a great deal of padding, and frequent frame drops and the occasional crash did little to gain our affection. Not a completely terrible timewaster, but there are much better available for this kind of price.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Aesthetically attractive though it might be, Trulon disappoints with repetitive, tedious combat. There are better card battle games out there.</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>Trulon</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"> KYY 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://trulon.net" target="_blank">trulon.net</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"> $4.99 </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>iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch 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>Well-designed artwork and music. An intriguing story invites exploration.</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>Technical issues mar the enjoyment. Often repetitive and dull.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/trulon-review#comments Reviews App AppLife Apps iOS Trulon iPad iPhone iPod Games Fri, 21 Aug 2015 23:23:09 +0000 Kate Grey 21968 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Horizon Chase, Final Fantasy VII, Pac-Man 256, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-horizon-chase-final-fantasy-vii-pacman-256-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-horizon-chase-final-fantasy-vii-pacman-256-and-more#comments Gallery Ace Maverick App App Store AppLife Apps Columns Demon's Rise Dungeon of Endless Final Fantasy VII Frozen Synapse Prime Horizon Chase iOS new releases Ocopoco Pac-Man 256 Winter Fugitives iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:53:36 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21962 at http://www.maclife.com Never Alone Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/never-alone-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Never Alone tells the story of an Iñupiat Inuit child’s trek across the Alaskan landscape to find the source of a blizzard that’s ravaging her village, with only an arctic fox for company.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/08/neveralone-620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Their journey is full of platform-based action and puzzle solving, with Nuna able to use tricks such as jumping in strong winds to cross chasms, and pull heavy objects to weigh things down. You can also switch to controlling the fox, which can claw its way up walls to reach things that are out of Nuna’s reach. Progression unlocks videos which explain how the game draws upon Iñupiat cultural values.</p><p>The atmosphere built by the visuals and sound fosters genuine affection for the duo. It’s heartbreaking to hear Nuna gasp or the fox’s mournful whimper when the other falls victim to the world’s dangers.&nbsp;</p><p>Messing up can feel like it wasn’t your fault, but ample checkpoints keeps the story moving. The cost of this is the game’s short length, which isn’t helped by things just starting to get challenging around the halfway mark.</p><p>An experienced player can finish the single-player mode in about three hours, but Never Alone really shines when played with a young family member, each of you controlling a character, which reinforces the story’s collaborative theme. The way you play isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s really just the vehicle for a lovely piece of folklore told in a modern way, with striking imagery.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Never Alone is really at its best when played with a partner. The game tells a beautiful short story with moral points to get kids thinking, too.</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>Never Alone</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"> Upper One 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://neveralonegame.com" target="_blank">neveralonegame.com</a></p> </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&nbsp;OS X 10.8.5, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5, 2GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better, 3GB HDD</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>Strong atmosphere. Videos about Iñupiat culture.</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>Not much challenge. Occasionally feels unfair.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/never-alone-review#comments Reviews Never Alone OS X Mac Games Fri, 14 Aug 2015 21:07:03 +0000 Alan Stonebridge 21946 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, Path to Luma, Gathering Sky, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-rollercoaster-tycoon-3-path-luma-gathering-sky-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-rollercoaster-tycoon-3-path-luma-gathering-sky-and-more#comments Gallery Age of Defenders App App Store AppLife Apps Barmark Blood Gate – Age of Alchemy Columns Gallery Gathering Sky iOS iPad iPod Mazecraft Monsters Are My Metropolis new releases Ricochet Theory RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Sputnik Eyes The Path to Luma iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 13 Aug 2015 23:56:34 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21944 at http://www.maclife.com Legend of Grimrock Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/legend-grimrock-review <!--paging_filter--><p>A dungeon crawler built from the oldest of old-school sensibilities, Legend of Grimrock tasks you with working your way through a maze-like dungeon, full of secrets, enemies and a pretty strong chance of untimely death.</p><p>You play as a team of four prisoners, promised their freedom if they can just make it through the dungeon with their skin still attached. You get a generic group of fantasy adventurers by default, though you can customize your own set of four hapless fools.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/08/log-620.jpg" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>You explore the dungeon in first-person, using direction buttons in the bottom right to steer yourself through its rigidly square corridors — a nod to the more technically challenged games from the early ’90s that it’s emulating. Everything is rendered in shiny, high-resolution 3D, so the game looks great, but you move through it one step at a time. Move forward, turn right, move forward, turn right, pull lever....</p><p>It sounds (and often feels) a bit staid and awkward, but it does make things really manageable for playing on the go. You don’t need skillful maneuvering to explore successfully, though you will need to be paying attention. Grimrock’s passages are full of hidden secrets, from small optional areas that offer improved equipment or weapons for your team to puzzles that totally obstruct your progress. This is where the game is at its best — the satisfaction of finding the tiny detail that reveals some fantastic new area or item is hard to beat. And, if your team does die, you know where to look after you load the save.</p><p>Speaking of death, though, it’s a shame that combat is probably the weakest part of Grimrock’s repertoire. Each of your adventurers can be given an appropriate weapon, visible in the lower-left corner, and you just tap to attack. Which isn’t very interesting. Mage characters are a bit different, since you must memorize sequences of runes to learn new spells, but it feels more like busywork than skill. Your characters will get better at attacking as you find more equipment and level them up over time, so less tapping might be required, but that doesn’t really solve the issue. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Grimrock’s puzzling and adventure side is a lot of fun, looks great, and has translated really well to iOS — great for RPG fans.</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>Legend of Grimrock</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"> Almost Human </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.grimrock.net" target="_blank">www.grimrock.net</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"> $4.99 </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>iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7.1 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>Looks great and easy to play. Loads to find and explore. Lovely old-school vibe.</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>Combat not that interesting.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/legend-grimrock-review#comments Reviews App AppLife Apps iOS Legend of Grimrock iPad iPhone iPod Games Fri, 07 Aug 2015 23:21:00 +0000 Matt Bolton 21925 at http://www.maclife.com The Best New iOS Games: Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and More! http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-spider-rite-shrouded-moon-five-nights-freddys-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-spider-rite-shrouded-moon-five-nights-freddys-and-more#comments Gallery .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne Apocalypse Meow: Save the Last Humans App App Store AppLife Apps Baller Legends Columns Doom and Destiny Advanced Farming Simulator 16 Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 Gallery iOS iPad iPod new releases Rockstars of Ooo – Adventure Time Rhythm Game Sling Kong Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon Zoombinis iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 06 Aug 2015 23:51:01 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21919 at http://www.maclife.com 15 Promising Mac and iOS Games Coming in the 2nd Half of 2015 and Beyond http://www.maclife.com/article/games/15-promising-mac-and-ios-games-coming-2015-and-beyond <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/15-promising-mac-and-ios-games-coming-2015-and-beyond#comments Gallery Armello Armikrog Bounty Train Dropsy Dungelot Evoland 2 Face It! iOS Lara Croft Go OS X previews Punch Club Relativity Relics of Gods Skyhill Sword Coast Legends Valhalla Hills Worms 4 iPad iPhone iPod Mac Games Fri, 31 Jul 2015 23:52:16 +0000 Chris Hoffman 21900 at http://www.maclife.com Pillars of Eternity Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/pillars-eternity-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Pillars of Eternity is a game for heroes whose glory days were sometime around 1998 — those who fought the battles of Baldur’s Gate. If you aren’t one of these role-playing veterans, it’s happy to let you join the quest. Be warned though, it will expect you to know what you’re doing — wasting little time on niceties like explaining how to play, and being quick to insist you take control of whole parties in combat while still working out what each character does.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/pillarsofeternity_620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Provided you can conquer the difficulty curve, though, it’s an amazing game — very Dungeons &amp; Dragons in style but in a whole new world. Indeed at times it does feel as much like an introduction to the world as a game set in it, but written by masters of the craft and with some well-executed twists.</p><p>Whereas normally wizards are squishy cannons and fighters just heavy lumps of meat, for instance, Pillars of Eternity gives each class extra benefits for venturing outside their comfort zone. If you want an armored wizard or a smartypants fighter, both are perfectly doable, although those decisions come with their own trade-offs.</p><p>It’s a massive game — at least 40-50 hours if you rush — and with lots to discover off the beaten path through three towns, sprawling wilderness, and your own castle Stronghold, which you slowly upgrade from a ghost-infested ruin into a fortress anyone would be proud to call their own. As with the best RPGs at the moment, decisions have major implications, and it’s often possible to talk your way out of a fight — though by no means all of them.</p><p>The more you dig into the world, the more there is to enjoy, the mood spoiled only by characters and jokes created by backers of the game’s Kickstarter campaign, which at best contribute little and at worst are deeply obnoxious. They’re easily spotted from a distance, though, and just as easily skipped.</p><p>This isn’t simply a roleplaying game from the old-school, but a great reminder of why fans have longed so hard for a return to it. Expect a nasty shock if you’re not used to the difficulty level, but get past that and the adventure waiting is never anything but richly rewarding.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> A fantastic modern RPG in classic style, learning from both the past and what followed.</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>Pillars of Eternity</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"> Obsidian Entertainment </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.obsidian.net" target="_blank">obsidian.net</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"> $44.99 </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&nbsp;OS X 10.5 or later, Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, ATI 4850 or Nvidia 9600 GT</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>Return of classic style. Huge, sprawling world. Amazing player choice.</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>Brutally unforgiving.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/pillars-eternity-review#comments Reviews OS X Pillars of Eternity rpg Mac Games Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:13:03 +0000 Richard Cobbett 21899 at http://www.maclife.com