What are you going to do on your Mac today? The usual--emailing,
updating your enemies list, removing the geotag data from all the
photos of your secret underground lair? That all sounds pleasant
enough, but to really flex your world-domination muscles, we found two
turn-based strategy games that ape the classic gameplay of Risk. So
whaddya say, after lunch we try to conquer the world?
BioWare doesn’t release a ton of games, but when one is ready to roll,
the developer throws everything it has at it--including a native version
for the Mac. The company’s latest epic single-player role-playing game
Dragon Age: Origins was all that our Xbox-, PS3-, and PC-gaming friends
could talk about when it was released in November 2009, and now we get
to join the party.
A well-made strategy game reminds us of a season of Survivor,
requiring a player to struggle, conquer, bargain, backstab, and
dominate until all resistance has been removed. Rome: Total War,
published for the Mac by Feral Interactive, certainly fits that
bill--only instead of eating bugs for a million dollars, all you have
to do is conquer the world.
If you made a Venn diagram (you know, with the overlapping circles) of
people who love point-and-click adventures, people intrigued by
Leonardo da Vinci, and people who don’t get carsick, everyone in the
overlapping area absolutely needs to play The Secrets of Da Vinci. But
anyone else might find this game’s flaws too much to take.
Warhammer Online doesn’t waste time with petty introductions. Just seconds after starting the game, you make the most important decisions of all: Selecting your character’s faction (two choices), race (three per faction), and career (another three options). The factions basically boil down to good and evil, but the other choices are more complex because they dictate how you’ll play the game. Certain characters are more difficult to play than others, but each offers unique gameplay elements. Once you choose your faction on a game server, you can create 10 characters, but they all must belong to the faction you chose. So yeah, choose wisely… because Warhammer Online isn’t messing around with warm-ups or second chances.
While the more recent Grand Theft Auto videogames all focus on expansive 3D worlds, GTA: Chinatown Wars steps back in time to the series’ 2D roots. Surprisingly enough--and in spite of its forgettable narrative--it’s more refreshing and brilliant than we ever would’ve imagined.
What combination of love-to-hate-’em videogame villains could outmatch
the absurdity of a Nazi zombie? That shtick was the backbone for the
incredibly popular (and aptly named) Nazi Zombie bonus mode in
Treyarch’s console and PC shooter, Call of Duty: World at War. After
making millions of dollars on downloadable maps, we can see how a
portable port seems only natural. The enjoyment of the original game,
however, is almost completely buried beneath a heap of flaws.