“Counter-Strike.” The name is legendary for first-person shooter fans, and for the better part of a decade, Counter-Strike has been a compelling reason to game on a Windows computer, or head to your Mac’s Boot Camp partition to get some frags in. Finally, Valve’s Steam digital storefront has brought Counter-Strike: Source to the Mac, even if it means you’ll wind up being killed while fighting. Over and over again.
The name says it all. The one thing that Star Wars games hadn’t done before is let you go hog-wild with the Force, but this videogame port takes the handcuffs all the way off. Romping through that far-away galaxy while fully exploring the power of the Dark Side is such a blast that it almost overshadows Force Unleashed’s shortcomings. Almost.
Imagine being put at the helm of a gargantuan Federation ship, zooming from base to base, relying on your allies as you gun down a Romulan fleet before laying siege to their luminescent base. Sounds fun, right? Well, Star Trek D-A-C didn’t get the memo, or at least it didn’t get the budget to pull “fun” off. D-A-C stands for Deathmatch, Assault, and Conquest, the three main modes. And if that name seems weak, just try playing this unimpressive game.
After a decade at sea, the quirky pirate Guybrush Threepwood has found his way to shore in Tales of Monkey Island, the latest installment in a highly stylized point-and-click adventure series that’s much loved for its zany banter. This episodic romp begins in the middle of its story as Guybrush accidentally resurrects his arch-nemesis, loses his wife, curses his hand, and releases a malicious pox across the oceans.
While at the Unity booth, we ran into Jonathan Czeck, director of
technology and the co-founder of Graveck games. You may be familiar with
one of their popular iPhone games, Skee-ball. It hit the #1 paid apps
spot during the holidays and is still hanging out in the top paid apps
list. What started out as a part-time side project for the developers
turned into a surefire hit. Now, the company is gearing up to prepare
for the April launch of Apple's iPad.
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.