Death is permanent in Rogue Legacy, but it is never final. When a plucky Barbarian Queen is invariably fried by a warlock or chewed up by a warg during her quest to conquer Castle Hamson, one of her children will always be available to take up the mantle. Here's the catch: almost everything in Rogue Legacy is randomized, procedurally generated, or otherwise the result of some cosmic roll of the dice.
Somewhere in 1980s New York lives a hidden community of fairy-tale refugees, called Fables, who fled their homes centuries ago when they were invaded by the monstrous armies of a being called The Adversary. They've been living in the Big Apple since it was New Amsterdam, and in that time their old rivalries and grudges (as well as the stresses of day-to-day city life) have made them more than a little dysfunctional. The only creature tough enough to keep everyone in line (and safe from detection) is the Big Bad Wolf, who walks the streets in human form as Fabletown's sheriff, Bigby Wolf.
When PixelJunk Monsters debuted as a downloadable PlayStation 3 game in early 2008, it proved a real diamond in the rough – and something of a revelation. This was before tower defense games exploded in popularity, and still months before we had an App Store, let alone one eventually filled with numerous great genre options. To see a game mine such rich strategic complexity out of a simple approach was so impressive at the time, and I fondly recall pumping dozens of hours into the game, alternating between extreme emotions of glee and rage as I stared into the cartoonish glow.
Even by the standards of post-apocalyptic shooters, game worlds don't come much bleaker than the one glimpsed in Metro: Last Light. Two decades after a nuclear war, the remnants of humanity huddle deep underground in the Moscow Metro, where stations have become a loose network of city-states increasingly consumed by war between communists and neo-Nazis. The surface is a toxic ruin haunted by literal ghosts of the past. Horrifying mutants are out for blood, bullets are currency, and Artyom — the series' nominal hero — inadvertently destroyed what may have been humanity's last hope in the previous game.
When you're seeking a quick burst of interactive entertainment on your Mac, there's no place more convenient to find it than the built-in Mac App Store. While its diverse offerings include the latest and greatest big-budget affairs at appropriately sizable prices, Apple's Mac storefront also features a wide array of low-priced offerings. Not all such offerings are worthwhile affairs, but many thankfully are, and we've scoured the listings to find the best of the bunch. Check out our picks below for the 25 best Mac App Store games available today, and be sure to keep an eye out as we update this list in the months to come.
Our first monthly recap looks back at the games we reviewed during the month of August, with a total of 24 iOS and Mac games presented here in bite-sized, to-the-point encapsulations. And if you want to read more, simply click the link on each slide to read the full, scored critique and find the link to purchase each game. August was headlined by intriguing Mac adventures like BioShock Infinite and Gone Home, while iOS highlights included Asphalt 8: Airborne, Rymdkapsel, and Plants vs. Zombies 2, but there's plenty more fresh gaming action found within.
If you put much stock in Metacritic, Bioshock Infinite is the best (or at least best-reviewed) PC game of 2013 so far. Set in Columbia, a sprawling steampunk metropolis floating in the clouds, it's at once a beautiful achievement in world-building; a moving sci-fi story populated by memorable characters; a thinking man's ultraviolent shoot-'em-up; and an unflinchingly brutal critique of the myth and reality of America at the dawn of the 20th century. And this Thursday, five months after its release on other platforms, it arrives on Mac (presumably via Sky-Hook and with guns blazing).
It's difficult to describe the premise of Papers, Please without making it seem crushingly dull; in some ways, it is. Manning a tiny office, your job is to slowly process a huge line of travelers at the newly opened border of a fictional Eastern Bloc country, checking their papers for discrepancies and rejecting or accepting them depending on whether everything's in order. You're paid by the number of visitors you admit during the few minutes you're open, but make too many mistakes (or "mistakes," whether they're to help someone unfortunate or earn yourself a few easy credits), and you'll be fined — which, given your hand-to-mouth existence, could spell the difference between life and death for your family at home.
Tabletop-gaming classic Shadowrun was released to a subdued audience of pen-and-paper die-hards in 1989, and quickly carved out a niche for itself by fusing fantasy with cyberpunk in a dystopian vision of the future that was all its own. More than 20 years later, Shadowrun Returns (developed by a team led by Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman) borrows the 2D isometric view from an early '90s Super Nintendo adaptation, but it most embodies the open-ended heart of tabletop gaming. It's really about the democracy of storytelling.
It’s not clear, at this point, exactly what the second season of The Walking Dead will bring to the unassumingly brilliant adventure series. If the new add-on episode 400 Days is any indication, however, it’s going to be riveting — and possibly very different from Lee and Clementine's adventure in Season One.