Latest Mac gaming news
Did you know these many good Mac games were released last month?
As always, our New Mac Games page keeps growing each month. Quietly, all the popular new games were added, creating a surprisingly long list of games to try.
PS: By popular, I mean games with at least 300 Steam reviews. If I don't set a limit, that would mean tens of games per month, including (sadly) lots of shovelware.
The month of June was no different, bringing brand-new indies, AAA games, and even exciting expansions. These are some of the highlights, but for the complete list of games released these past months, head over to the official list:
Micro Machines World Series: From the creators of Grid and F1 games, comes Micro Machines World Series, an unique take on the racing genre. Micro Machines World Series for Mac combines the madness of racing micro machines with epic team battle strategies. And all taking place in interactive backdrops of an everyday home.
CRYPTARK: Cryptark for Mac is a 2D roguelike shooter that challenges you with boarding and neutralizing procedurally generated alien starships. As you neutralize enemy ships, you earn income that can be used to purchase improved equipment and weapons to tackle even more dangerous targets. But you'll need to be careful, aliens will defend themselves with cyborg monstrosities, robotics, and security systems.
HITMAN: Hitman is the latest stealth action game from IO Interactive. As Agent 47, you perform contract hits on high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world. This game comes in episodic form and features seven episodes.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood: Stormblood is the latest Expansion of the critically-acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV. In Stormblood, you get to journey to the East to explore vast, new lands and play as two new jobs─red mage and samurai. Stormblood for Mac also features hundreds of new quests as the Warrior of Light, a level cap increase, changes to the battle system and more.
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon: Armageddon is a hex-based, turn-based strategy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. In Armageddon for Mac, you lead the Imperial forces of the Steel Legion and Space Marines as they defend the planet against the Ork invasion. The game features over 30 scenarios and powerful modding options to keep you busy for hours.
Kindergarten: Kindergarten for Mac is an original adventure indie that takes place in a deranged school. The teachers are out trying to get rids of their students as the janitor cleans up the blood left behind. Kids get strange brain implants and one of your friends is missing. It will be up to you to figure out what is happening before it's too late.
Cold Waters: Inspired by the 1988 classic “Red Storm Rising”, Cold Waters for Mac puts you in command of a nuclear submarine at a time when Cold War becomes WWIII. This unique wargame features real-time naval combat, over 40 classes of ships and submarines, a dynamic Campaign, authentic Soviet combat tactics, and more. Enough to recreate a deep warfare simulation.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3: Dawn of War 3 for Mac features a terrific campaign and challenging multiplayer mode, giving you command of the heavy-hitting Space Marines, the savage Orks, and the technologically-sophisticated Eldar. The game also features Mac and Linux cross-platform multiplayer.
The month June 2017 also saw the release of critically acclaimed indies such as Passpartout: The Starving Artist, Blitzkrieg 3, Everspace and Hover: Revolt of the Gamers. For the complete list with all the details (descriptions, release dates, links and more), head over to New Mac games: Releases.
This was long overdue and I apologize for not making it happen before...
In March 2016, I released my Top 100 Mac games.
It was by far the most difficult and longest post I had ever written: 14,000 words long, filters, sorting options, images, performance requirements, etc. It was worth it as many of you emailed me back saying it was great. But then I dropped the ball and failed to keep it updated...
Well, it was about time to change that. Our Best 100 Mac games guide is now updated with 18 new games, much more variety, more diversity, and fancy sorting and filtering options.
StarCraft: Remastered is coming to Mac this summer
You can go ahead and mark August 14, 2017, on your calendar. That's the day when Blizzard will release the remastered version of the venerable StarCraft, the fast-paced RTS that stole hours of my teenage years and was source of much frustration (I never got any good in spite of said hours playing it).
Teased a few months ago, StarCraft: Remastered is a “full graphical upgrade” of the 1998 original and its expansion. The remastered version will feature high-definition support up to 4K resolution, higher fidelity music and sound, new matchmaking and leaderboards, cloud saves, and more.
Plus, as is often possible with remasters, you will be able to go from the remastered visuals to the original visuals “with the click of a button.”
If you're a true fan and can't wait to get your hands on it, Blizzard is accepting pre-orders and is offering a few incentives too. According to a press release:
All players who pre-purchase before August 14 will receive three unique building skins for use in StarCraft: Remastered—the Char Hive, the Korhal Command Center, and the Aiur Nexus. Additionally, those who purchase StarCraft: Remastered will receive digital bonuses in StarCraftII, including the Alexei Stukov co-op commander and three unique portraits that celebrate StarCraft: Remastered.
StarCraft: Remastered will be available for Mac and Windows PC on August 14, 2017 for $14.99, a "reasonable" price if you ask me. You can pre-order the game at Blizzard's official website.
Micro Machines World Series is coming to Mac this Friday!
And there you have it, the Mac platform is about to get another racing game. Although this time the realism of F1 2016 and Grid Autosport is put aside to make room for some plain old fun.
From the game's Steam description:
The legend is back! Micro Machines World Series combines the thrilling madness of racing micro vehicles with epic team battle strategies, set against the extraordinary interactive backdrops of the everyday home! Grab your NERF blaster, try to avoid the jam, and take on the world!
A deeper look into Metal 2: expect VR support, eGPU support and better graphics
Andrew Cunningham from ArsTechnica just published a very interesting article covering some of the most technical features of the new macOS High Sierra. It discusses several things and it goes into some quite technical details, but if you simply want to know more about what Metal 2, Apple's graphics API, has in stores, this is a great read.
First of all, to put things into perspective compared to other platforms:
While both macOS and iOS still nominally support open, third-party APIs like OpenGL and OpenCL, it’s clear that the company sees Metal as the way forward for graphics and GPU compute on its platforms. Apple’s OpenGL support in macOS and iOS hasn’t changed at all in years, and there are absolutely no signs that Apple plans to support Vulkan (when asked, Apple wouldn’t comment except to further praise Metal’s capabilities).
Regarding the actual improvements for most users:
Metal 2 is a technology for developers, so a lot of its improvements will be of interest primarily to developers. For instance, there’s now a GPU performance counter in Xcode’s collection of Instruments, and Apple says the frame debugger can be anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster depending on what you’re looking at.
But the API will enable some improvements for end users, too. People with newer GPUs should expect to benefit from some performance improvements, not just in games but in macOS itself; Apple says the entire WindowServer is now using Metal, which should improve the fluidity and consistency of transitions and animations within macOS.
But the biggest new features that made the most noise: VR and eGPU support:
Metal 2 is also the go-to API for supporting VR on macOS, something Apple is pushing in a big way with its newer iMacs and its native support for external Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosures (with Metal 2, developers will also be able to distinguish between external and internal GPUs, both because Thunderbolt 3 is slower than an internal PCI Express interface and may need to be treated differently by some apps and because apps will need to be able to failover gracefully if an external GPU is removed).
One less fun information though, some will be left behind:
Apple says that every device that supports Metal should support at least some of Metal 2’s new features, but the implication there is that some older GPUs won’t be able to do everything the newer ones can do.
And finally, perhaps another clue pointing to Apple's masterplan to unify iOS and macOS?
Another key feature for Metal 2 is full cross-platform compatibility between macOS, iOS, and tvOS—games and apps made for one of the platforms should have access to all the same API features on all platforms.
A little technical but still full of interesting stuff even for more casual users and gamers. Can't wait to see what Metal 2 will truly be able to deliver when High Sierra is released.