Our 5 favorite Mac games of 2015
So Santa Claus was good to you this year and you have a shiny new iMac or Macbook that needs to be filled with the best games available. A great way to start is to look back, so here’s our list of the top 5 Mac games we played in 2015 (in no particular order). We’re not exactly saying they’re the best, but they’re the ones with which we had the most fun.
Don’t Starve is one of the most enjoyable survival games I’ve ever played because it has an easy-to-use crafting system with a ton of useful items to make, enemies that start out weak when you are and gradually get tougher as time passes, and a huge world to explore with something interesting around every corner.
As befitting a survival game, you can never let down your guard and think you’re completely safe and nothing can kill you. Whether it’s a winter that freezes you when you leave camp or attacks by wolves and spiders, there are always dangers lying in wait. Add to all of that user-created mods and maps which add new characters and ways of playing and you get a ton of gameplay for not a lot of money. Don’t Starve is the ultimate survival game.
Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin brings back a lot of what attracted me to role-playing games originally, and which has been removed in modern games for convenience. It has exploration and lore that gradually develops as you talk to people and delve into the dangerous, hidden parts of the world.
You can design your characters exactly as you’d like even if it’s not ideal or the most powerful just because it fits the way you like to play. The combat challenges your ability to use your party’s skills together. Once you do get quests, you can do any of them that you want or none of them and go in an entirely arbitrary direction just to see what you can find.
In many respects, Divinity: Original Sin is a tough game because it doesn’t hold your hand, but it’s also a fantastic game because it doesn’t hold your hand. If you like a challenging game this is a game you should own.
Prison Architect is more than simply designing and building a jail, although there is plenty of that. You have to tend to the needs of the inmates by keeping them happy, working, healthy, rested, and fed. Have enough guards around to stop contraband from getting into jail and firefighters to put out the occasional fire. Keep an eye on your budget and make sure you’re earning more than spending, then use that money to expand your jail. Maybe you’d like more cameras or drug-sniffing dogs to have better security, or maybe a big recreational area to make your prisoners happy or a visitor center so they can visit their friends and family.
There’s so much to do to make a well-designed functioning prison; if you get overwhelmed, simply use some of the hundreds of user-made prisons or mods to help you out or change how Prison Architect looks and feels. Prison Architect is a game that combines creativity with a lot of control over how your prison runs.
Although a late release in 2015 (of a game originally released in ), Thief only needed a week or two to earns its way onto my list. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for games set in the distant past, as heavy machinery and war torn civilizations aren’t really my thing. Also, I’m better at games in which I can sneak around and avoid combat. And although there is some combat and unavoidable confrontation, Thief is all about the sneaking—across rooftops, through mansions, and through the occasional bordello.
Of course, no video game would be content to just let you thieve your way through it, so it gives you special powers that that certain people would like to harness for nefarious purposes (as opposed to, you know, using them to steal stuff and watch people get busy). The plot and characters are revealed as you progress through more difficult missions, and they can get quite difficult, especially if you’re used to just shooting your way through games. Thankfully, an easy mode allows you to work your way through the story and its gorgeous settings without much frustration.
Oh, but regarding those gorgeous settings, they’re also very, very dark. Play this one with the lights off, and preferably with headphones, and you’ll find the experience quite rewarding.
For more information, you can wait for our full review, which will come soon. A better option, however, is to get $32.99 ready and visit www.feralinteractive.com.
Pillars of Eternity
I’m suggesting this game for pretty much the same reasons that Erica recommended Divinity: Original Sin. The top-down RPG harks back to my early Mac gaming days, but with enough modern twists to hold the attention of the modern gamer.
Pillars of Eternity follows a traditional class-based character set-up, and then presents you with plenty of people to round out your party as you explore its vast world and fight all manner of villains and beasts throughout.
I think what impressed (and continues to impress) me most about Pillars of Eternity is sense of scope, be it through visuals, story or gameplay. There is much to do and master throughout the game, but it builds at a pace that allows you to grow comfortable and you progress. I’m not sure if I’d suggest you play this one before or after Divnity: Original Sin, but you should certainly play both…if you have the time.