Rocket Yard Guide: Summer Gaming Options for Nearly Every Mac

iMac_vs_MacProWith Summer upon us, many folks are out of school or finding themselves with more time on their hands. And that means it’s the perfect time to catch up on gaming. If you’re not sure which games are worth your time, the Rocket Yard has put together a summer gaming guide full of options for casual gamers, those traveling, and dedicated gamers with more powerful Macs at their disposal.

Casual and On-the-Go Gamers
These titles have the ability to be ran on just about any Mac, and even better, can easily be played without a mouse. Your keys or trackpad also will suffice.

Darkest Dungeon: A brutal side-scrolling dungeon crawler, Darkest Dungeon is an exercise in party and town management, as well as your nerves. Hire new heroes, explore the dungeons, return with loot, upgrade your town, and build up heroes strong enough to enter the Darkest Dungeon and defeat the evil within. A striking art style and brilliant sound effects bring the environments and battles to life.

Tales from Borderlands: I recommend Tales from the Borderlands, even if you aren’t a fan of the shooter series. With a wickedly funny dark sense of humor, and engaging characters, the bizarre world of Pandora is never a dull moment. Of course TellTale has many other titles worthy of your time, such as The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones.

The Banner Saga 1 & 2: An Oregon Trail style game mixed with Viking mythology, what’s not to like? Lead your caravan across a dying world, making important character and story decisions along the way. A strategic turn-based combat system layered with action and excitement keep you busy between the traveling and dialogue. You can import your save file in the sequel to keep all your choices.

Civilzation

Beyond Earth

Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth: While many are fond of Civilization V for its earth-bound history, I am a sucker for anything in space. Enter Beyond Earth, a sci-fi themed entry into the long-standing strategies series. Explore and colonize an alien world, filled with dangerous terrain, mystical resources, and hostile lifeforms. A unique Affinity system lets you choose the path of your civilization towards harmony, purity or supremacy.

Don’t Starve: Don’t Starve offers gamers a unique and challenging survival world. Randomly generated each time, explore and scavenge a strange realm full of magic and science. Gather the resources you need to craft items and structures, hunt, farm,  and whatever you do, don’t let the fire go out at night.

For those of you with “Mega Macs”
These games will push your Mac to the limit, and are a fun way to test your graphical power. While still looking good on lower or medium settings, they will dazzle your eyes if you can crank them up to max. A powerful graphics card, processor and maxing out your Mac’s RAM is recommended. Related: A guide to optimizing your Mac for gaming

TombRaider

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider: This game may be a few years old but still stands out as one of the best action-adventure games released for Mac period. A reboot of the popular Tomb Raider series, you will witness young Lara Croft’s journey from a naive archaeologist to a hardened survivor. After being shipwrecked on a mysterious island, you must uncover its secrets and survive its less-than-friendly inhabitants. The spectacular environments and fluid animations make exploring and fighting fun from start to finish.

Homeworld Remastered Collection: This gorgeous remaster of the original HomeWorld games should be high on the list of any space gamer or strategy fan. Take control of entire fleets, choose your formations, and engage in epic space battles as you guide your people through the stars. Once you are done with the story, you can go head-to-head in online multiplayer.

Xcom 2: Sequel to the hit reboot of the XCOM series, XCOM 2 see’s a vastly different world, as the aliens have won and conquered earth. Take command of guerrilla soldiers as you strike back against the aliens. Choose your missions, outfit and upgrade your squad, and take back the planet before it is too late. A tense and engaging campaign keeps you playing for hours, and DLC and tons of mods add excellent replay value.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: The Witcher games have always excelled as top-tier RPG’s. Even if you haven’t played the original Witcher game, The Witcher 2 is an easy start. Enter the world of Geralt, Monster Hunter, as he becomes embroiled in a plot of royal assassinations and invading forces. This RPG features a more mature and complex take on game worlds than most but is well worth the time to learn its complex systems.

Sleeping-Dogs-Mac

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition: We don’t get very many open-world games on the Mac, but even if we did, Sleeping Dogs would stand out. With its excellent blend of driving, shooting, and martial arts action, this game will keep you entertained throughout its gripping story and numerous side missions and activities. Set in modern day Hong Kong, you must assume the role of Wei Shen, and infiltrate the Triads to take them down.

Which games have you been playing or plan to play this summer? Let us know in the comments section!


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  • Ever since we gave my daughter a Mac Mini (2014 model w/8GB RAM and a 512GB HDD), she’s been complaining of the lack of games to play on it. I realize it has a relatively low-spec graphics chipset with the integrated Intel graphics … but a big part of the problem also seems to be the SLOW hard drive in it. Can’t believe Apple used such a poor performer in a 2014 machine!

    Anyway, I appreciate this list because I see a few titles I wasn’t even aware of listed here.

    I’d also recommend “Heroes of the Storm” from Blizzard software, as one that plays reasonably well on most Macs. It’s “free to play” but chances are, players will wind up spending at least $30-40 or so on “unlocking” certain heroes to keep the game worth playing. Still, it may be worth the money.




    • Hi Tom! Good comments. I’ve never owned a Mac Mini, but its possible it has a slower 5400 RPM HD.

      What kind of games does your daughter like? I could most likely recommend some more. Do you like to do cooperative games together? Offhand a lot of the LEGO games are great for that and kid-friendly. (I don’t know how old she is.)

      I’m actually a very big Heroes of the Storm player! I’ve been playing since early alpha, so almost 2 years now. Great game :)




      • Worth noting that the latest LEGO Star Wars does require a fairly beefy computer to run it with decent graphics. Not really sure a Mac mini would be up to it. But it would probably play LEGO Star Wars the Complete Sega nicely.