Traditionally, the Mac platform hasn’t been the best for gamers. There were relatively few titles out there developed for it directly, and the ports from other platforms took a long time if there were any at all. But things are changing. Not only is it now simpler than ever to just go and emulate a windows environment on the Mac and just play games using Bootcamp, but there are also a lot more games coming out with Mac ports developed alongside the PC and console versions. And 2014 looks good for Mac users. There is a sizable amount of games and not too many of them are ports of last year’s PC titles. Good times to own a Mac.
15 Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall
Shadowrun Returns returns with a welcome return to the city of Berlin, Germany, which is extra weird with extra cheese in the Shadowrun universe. Berlin is cut off from the rest of Deutschland with a big wall, the city itself reigned only by anarchy. If the wall is there to keep the Berliners out or in, nobody knows. Also the corporations are all out of ducks to give and still have their laboratories and army of suits and worse things in town to keep the profit margins up. This is an expansion pack to the award winning Shadowrun Returns, which introduces the long awaited save system overhaul along with new locales, characters, weapons, missions and all that other dandy stuff you’d expect from an expansion pack.
14 Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
Europa expands into the New World. After successfully conquering the Old World, players can now cross the Atlantic and subdue the New. Well and keep other European powers from getting their grubby little fingers on that precious gold and those precious slaves. Of course, just as EU IV itself, this game is an acquired taste and not for everyone. Like a good wine, or an expensive bottle of beer. But just as intoxicating.
Something goes eek in the dark of space. And no this doesn’t mean you better go grab your oil can. You go eek. And run and hide and wait for the monster or robot or whatever it is that roams the eerily quiet hallways of Routine to pass by. The game is full on space horror, seems to follow the templates from Amnesia a bit, though it also appears as if the player could indeed use very, very sparse ammunition to fend off encroaching beasties. A game to really watch out for.
12 Planetary Annihilation
Yeah, why settle for blowing up a spaceship when you can go and blow up entire planets? This game by the folks who made zoom through levels of command fest Supreme Commander go one level up and introduce us to this here title where the players go from space combat to micromanaging their bases on the ground. Sounds promising and it’s already available on Steam early access after it got a pretty successful Kickstarter campaign.
11 Tropico 5
The banana republic simulator (not related to the clothing brand) goes into the fifth iteration, going more and more into the direction of a full on SimCity city building simulation. For the first time in the series, Tropico 5 will also feature competitive and cooperative online multiplayer features where the players can compete or cooperate with other, potentially rival dictators.
10 Kingdom Rush
The award winning tower defense game (what, no awards? Well sounds more impressive that way doesn’t it…) from iOS and Android now also makes its way to the big brothers that run OSX. It’s a fairly standard tower defense game with cutesy graphics. The player can hire elite heroes to help out fragile defenses.
9 The Long Dark
And another indie game that recently got kickstarted. This one has a serious take on survival, pitting the player mostly against the elements and hungry wildlife in an post-apocalyptic winter in the American Pacific Northwest. Finally you can starve and freeze to death, while you can also fend of wolves by keeping a fire burning through the night. Unlike other games, The Long Dark will not feature zombies or extensive gunplay, but focus exclusively on survival mechanisms. It sounds like an interesting concept, that will hopefully not fall apart once the game releases later this year.
8 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Well, it’s still the right number, because after 1 there is 2. Usually. This sequel to 2012 pixel art super extreme deluxe murder fest will have more strange plot twists, more murderous pixelated rampage, more characters, weapons, and smooth retro style indie music. I cannot wait for it and am glad for the Mac folks that they can run it natively.
7 Broken Age
The Kickstarter project that kickstarted kickstarter. Before Tim Schaefer’s Double Fine took to the crowdfunding platform, it wasn’t a thing for small studios to get their initial injection of hard earned cash from a large crowd of backers. That all changed when this project here got out. And we know the world has changed since then, a number of kickstarted games are already out, and now this here, long awaited and finally finished, is upon us. Or rather, the Mac crowd, the PC Master Race is already at it.
6 The Sims 4
Really. It’s TheSims. What more is there to say. You can still fence them in and watch them slowly starve, if that is your thing. Or populate your SimCity with them. The game will shift crazy numbers on Mac too, because The Sims has traditionally always been a super best selling franchise.
5 Pillars of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity - that “Project” thing indicated the work in progress name - is a fantasy-themed role-playing game from the people who since 1889 make the best darn roleplaying games for computer systems ever, Obsidian Entertainment. Developed by Chris Avellone and his team, Pillars of Eternity boasts some of the most well-regarded writers in the genre, including George Zeits, who created Mask of the Betrayer for Neverwinter Nights 2. The game was funded on Kickstarter to a tune of $4.1 million, in addition to funds received through PayPal. Needless to say, it’s all very popular and expected to top the lists of role-players everywhere.
4 The Banner Saga
Vikings! Oh yes. The Banner Saga is a fun and just simply gorgeous little tactical RPG that has you take command of a horde of vikings out to slay other vikings. And norsemen. In the meantime, between the slaying of dudes wearing funny furry outfits, the players go around and buy stuff for their viking horde (people can starve) and also make (or lose) new allies. It’s a game that offers a surprising amount of breadth for a title that seemed this focused.
3 Wasteland 2
In case hearing the words “tactical turn-based” and “party-based RPG” didn’t turn you on to the fact that Wasteland 2 is a game with old school sensibilities, saying so should be more than enough to pique the interest of any old gamer who’s been a part of the gaming scene for more than a decade. Wasteland 2 promises a return to the heyday of RPGs like Fallout and its sequel, and judging from what it has to offer in Steam’s Early Access, it’s safe to say that the game’s edging to be one of the best RPGs this year.
2 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Blizzard bring back the expansion pack like it isn’t a big deal. As with other expansion packs for their previous games and their ongoing money printing machine World of Warcraft, Reaper of Souls promises to bring more of the things that made Diablo 3 click with the masses. Pun so intended. Also there will be a new level cap, a new character class, new skills, weapons and monsters to click to death and beyond with those new weapons.
1 The Elder Scrolls Online
Luckily for everyone involved, Bethesda’s answer to World of Warcraft's money printing magic (or so they hope) has received not one but at this point uncountable facelifts since its first screenshots floated around the web.The game now actually looks like an Elder Scrolls MMO and less like, well, Generic MMO 101. The game is already in closed beta, and will also be available on new generation consoles, though there will not be cross platform play.