Mac|Life - Games http://macaddict.com/articles/9/feed en Pillars of Eternity Review http://macaddict.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://macaddict.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://macaddict.com The Best New iOS Games: Angry Birds 2, Race the Sun, Operation Dracula, and More! http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-angry-birds-2-race-sun-operation-dracula-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-angry-birds-2-race-sun-operation-dracula-and-more#comments Gallery Angry Birds 2 App App Store AppLife Apps Columns Domino Drop Fruit Attacks Gallery iOS iPad iPod Mind the Arrow new releases Operation Dracula Race the Sun Red Game Without a Great Name Scrappy Cat Shibuya Grandmaster World of Warriors: Quest iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:40:31 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21894 at http://macaddict.com Titan Souls Review http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/titan-souls-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Titan Souls for Mac is a game about dexterity and wits — a gauntlet of boss battles undertaken by a lowly adventurer with only a blood-red bow, a single arrow, and a purple hair ribbon to her name.</p><p>The arrow is Titan Souls’ signature mechanic. Once loosed, you’ll have to retrieve it, either by hand or holding a button to call it homeward, as if by magnetism or telepathy. This enchanted arrow then charts a straight line toward its master, piercing anything in its path.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/titansouls-620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Nocking and retrieving arrows are stationary activities leaving your hero vulnerable to attack. She’s remarkably delicate: a glancing blow from a stone fist or charged beam will send her body back to the nearest checkpoint glyph. Thankfully, the inverse also applies: one true arrow is enough to fell any of Titan Souls’ hulking contraptions or malevolent flora. Either way, death comes suddenly, and this symmetric fragility makes each encounter quick and tense.</p><p>Most enemy encounters require an additional layer of deduction. You’ll feel clever for sussing out each foe’s Achilles’ heel, but Titan Souls’ exactitude means that the gap between devising a plan and executing it is a wide one.&nbsp;</p><p>Exploring Titan Souls’ isometric overworld for the first time is a joy. Enemy titans are scattered among snowy plains and tangled forests. Unfortunately, dying too often saps the world of its wonder: repeatedly trekking between checkpoints and boss fights is not fun, a rare bit of chaff in an otherwise focused game.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Titan Souls distills video game combat to its essence, exhibiting a clarity and precision that’s all too rare — and it’s all the better for it.</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>Titan Souls</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"> Acid Nerve </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://acidnerve.com" target="_blank">acidnerve.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>Mac running&nbsp;OS X 10.9, 2GHz Intel Core i5 or better, 4GB RAM, 1GB graphics</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>Combat is demanding — one-shot-one-kill design. Bosses are inventive; puzzle-solving skills.</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 bosses too finicky. Odd checkpointing means a fair amount of dead time.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/titan-souls-review#comments Reviews OS X Titan Souls Mac Games Sat, 25 Jul 2015 01:47:00 +0000 Joseph Leray 21875 at http://macaddict.com The Best New iOS Games: Game of Thrones, Prune, Forsaken World, and More! http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-game-thrones-prune-forsaken-world-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-game-thrones-prune-forsaken-world-and-more#comments Gallery Adventure Time Puzzle Quest App App Store AppLife Apps Cally’s Caves 3 Columns Forsaken World Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition Gallery Game of Thrones Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers iOS iPad iPod new releases Paper Train: Rush Prune Stupid Zombies 3 The Long Siege To-Fu Fury iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 23 Jul 2015 23:30:15 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21871 at http://macaddict.com Cities: Skylines Review http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/cities-skylines-review <!--paging_filter--><p>For decades, SimCity was the undisputed king of city builders. With the latest in Maxis’ simulation series a relatively disappointing affair, the time was right for a new contender to take the crown. And now, with incredibly deep, engrossing mechanics capped off by a stunning presentation, Cities: Skylines is a worthy heir to the throne.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/citiesskylines_620.jpg" /></p><p>There are so many things to manage in Cities: Skylines, with budgets, taxes, resources, transportation, and pollution just a few items on the list. Don’t be afraid if you’re new to the genre; the game unlocks more mechanics as cities grow so you’re not immediately overwhelmed. You’ll place a few roads and set up districts for housing, industry, and retail to get your city started. The more you build, the more people will flock to your ever-growing city, and you’ll have to support the citizenship with hospitals, schools, and recreational areas. If you run out of space, not to worry — adjoining plots of land can be purchased to expand upon. You’ll have to manage the flow of new traffic through road planning, or with public transportation options. Good planning requires patience, and if you expand too fast you’ll run out of money and resources quickly.&nbsp;</p><p>Turning a sleepy hamlet into a booming metropolis isn’t easy, of course. Citizens want electricity and running water, preferably clean — residents can become sick from polluted water if you place a factory too close to a water tank. A social media feed keeps you updated on how people are doing; add a fire department and they’ll express gratitude at having someone to get their cat down from a tree. This is a subtle way to keep the player informed without over-explaining or hand-holding, but there were still occasional issues in the city that were hard to solve. It took some trial and error (and expensive re-zoning of utilities) to figure out why one entire city was plagued with illness, for example.</p><p>Whether you’re zoomed in on an individual resident or zoomed out to see the scope of your creation, Cities: Skyline’s presentation shines. The sights and sounds make cities feel alive. There wasn’t a moment when it didn’t look fantastic, and aside from one technical hiccup that was quickly solved, it ran beautifully too.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Cities: Skylines breathes new life into the city-building genre with intelligent, satisfying systems that suck you in for hours at a time.</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>Cities: Skylines</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"> Paradox Interactive </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.paradoxplaza.com" target="_blank">www.paradoxplaza.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"> $29.99 </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 10.9 or later, Intel Core 2 Duo 3GHz, 4GB RAM, 512MB graphics, 4GB 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>Intuitive, addictive city-building. Huge plots of land to build up. Flawless presentation that gets better up close.</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>Trouble sources are occasionally unclear.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/cities-skylines-review#comments Reviews Cities: Skylines simulation Mac Games Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:42:34 +0000 Sarah Leboeuf 21848 at http://macaddict.com The Best New iOS Games: Warhammer, This War of Mine, Impulse GP, and More! http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-warhammer-war-mine-impulse-gp-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-warhammer-war-mine-impulse-gp-and-more#comments Gallery 000: Deathwatch – Tyranid Invasion App App Store AppLife Apps Card King: Dragon Wars Colorim Columns Forest Home Gallery Impulse GP iOS iPad iPod Mountain Goat Mountain new releases PathPix Max SongPop 2 Stickman Football 2015 Warhammer 40 iPad iPhone iPod Games Fri, 17 Jul 2015 00:02:35 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21849 at http://macaddict.com Frozen Cortex Review http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/frozen-cortex-review <!--paging_filter--><p>In the near future, robots will replace flesh-and-blood athletes as the executors of a violent sport called Cortex, which is developer Mode 7’s asynchronous turn-based take on football. Frozen Cortex actually only has three rules: ball carriers can only pass or run toward their goal line, a team can only pass three times per possession, and the game resumes immediately after a turnover.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/frozencortex_620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>In the planning phase of each turn, you can issue commands, plan players’ movement along intricate routes, and plot the arc of the ball as it moves through the air. Cortex arenas are randomly generated and studded with low walls you can throw over and high walls you can’t, creating both thin, murderous alleys and open expanses. For extra granularity, you can put each planned step on a timer, delaying jukes until blockers should be in place, or avoiding soon-to-be-congested intersections.</p><p>But both players do all this planning at the same time, blind to the other’s plans. Once each coach’s play has been submitted, they resolve simultaneously as the camera zooms in to render the action in sleek neon.</p><p>The crux of Frozen Cortex is that plays can be simulated before they’re locked in. While terrain and positioning sometimes combine to make success inevitable, there are edge cases in which the difference between a goal and a turnover is whether a defender zigs or zags, slides over to intercept a pass or blocks an intersection with broad, metallic shoulders. There’s just enough uncertainty in each play to keep tension running high.</p><p>Unfortunately, some of that uncertainty is caused by the cursory tutorial and superficial in-game manual. It’s one thing to know that the c key displays a player’s tackling radius, for example, but it’s quite another to know how tackles are triggered, how to prevent them, and how to use that information tactically.</p><p>Finding multiplayer matches is a breeze, despite the relatively few players online at a given time: you can play several games at once, and Frozen Cortex will even send you an email if your opponent submitted a turn while you were offline.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> With short, explosive games that feature both meticulous planning and highlight-reel collisions, Frozen Cortex is a great strategy-sports hybrid.</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>Frozen Cortex</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"> Mode 7 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.mode7games.com" target="_blank">www.mode7games.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 10.9 or later, 1.2GHz processor, 4GB RAM, OpenGL 3.1+ and 1GB VRAM</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>Smart, satisfying tactical play. Funny ancillary dialog.</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>Franchise mode is a little threadbare. Can be frustratingly opaque until it clicks.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://macaddict.com/article/reviews/frozen-cortex-review#comments Reviews Frozen Cortex OS X Sports Mac Games Fri, 10 Jul 2015 22:00:38 +0000 Joseph Leray 21828 at http://macaddict.com The Best New iOS Games: Don’t Starve, Magic Duels, Alphabear, and More! http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-don%E2%80%99t-starve-magic-duels-alphabear-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-don%E2%80%99t-starve-magic-duels-alphabear-and-more#comments Gallery Alphabear App App Store AppLife Apps Clandestine: Anomaly Columns Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition Down the Moutain Forever Lost: Episode 3 Gallery iOS iPad iPod Magic Duels new releases Nono Islands Shooting Stars The Mesh TransPlan iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 09 Jul 2015 23:53:05 +0000 Giancarlo Saldana 21823 at http://macaddict.com The Best New iOS Games: Heroki, Divide by Sheep, The Executive, and More! http://macaddict.com/article/games/best-new-ios-games-heroki-divide-sheep-executive-and-more <!--paging_filter--> http://macaddict.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://macaddict.com Sunless Sea Review http://macaddict.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://macaddict.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://macaddict.com