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The Best Strategy Games For The Mac

Written By Ahmad Nurhakim on Minggu, 03 Maret 2013 | 07.23

The Great Strategy Games You Can Play On Your Mac

strategy games
Mac gaming can be frustrating at times. The problem is finding games that are available on the platform. Even today, after Steam’s adoption of the Mac, finding games to play can be difficult.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some excellent games. You just have to do a little extra work to find them. Let’s have a look at ten strategy game titles that are sure to please any fan of the genre.

Criteria

Mac games are relatively rare, and their scarcity increases as they age. The production runs are smaller, which results in fewer used copies, which results in higher prices.
I’m capping the price for games at $60. This leaves out games like Rise of Nations. It’s an excellent title, but the few new copies I could find are priced at over $100. All of the games found here are affordable, which means they are relatively recent releases and many of them are sold on Steam.

AI War: Fleet Command

strategy games
If you’re a fan of the space-strategy genre and you don’t mind a steep learning curve you’ll love AI War.
This massive game offers players the chance to conquer the stars with gigantic fleets. Building them requires the management of complex resource system, though with that said, this is far from the most hardcore title you can buy.
AI War is available on Steam for $9.99. There’s also a demo available.

Civilization IV and Civilization V

free strategy games
The Civilization titles have supported Mac for some time. The newest version is Civilization V, but its focus on making the series more accessible has angered some gamers while pleasing others.
Fortunately, you have a choice. Civilization IV: The Complete Edition is also available for Mac and it still feels quite modern, so gamers who prefer more complex strategy can pick it up.
Civilization IV is about $40 on Amazon, while Civilization V sells for a tad over $20.

Darwinia

free strategy games
This unique title is story-driven, making it different from most strategy games. It places you in charge of saving a virtual world called Darwinia. A virus has assaulted it and its virtual citizens – and only you can stop it.
Darwinia’s lo-fi graphics style is beautiful but also makes the game easy to run on almost any Mac made in the last five years. The game is relatively simple to understand, so it’s a good choice for those unfamiliar with the genre.
You can buy Darwinia for $9.99 on Steam. There is a demo available.

Frozen Synapse

free strategy games
One of the newest games here, Frozen Synapse is a turn-based title focusing on squad combat. It’s one of the few games of its kind to be released in the last decade and it’s probably the best of the bunch.
There are only a few units, so understanding the basics isn’t difficult. However, the complex interactions between units, terrain and fog-of-war result in a deceptively challenging game. Units die quickly to gunfire, so a single round rarely lasts more than thirty minutes.
Frozen Synapse is $24.99 on Steam. There is a demo available.

Gratuitous Space Battles

fun strategy games
As the name implies, this strategy game is all about space battles. Fleets of 2D vessels are pitted against each other and attempt to achieve victory with beam weapons, torpedoes, missiles and rail guns. If you’ve ever found yourself re-watching the space battles in Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5 you’ll love what this game offers.
This game sets itself apart from others by taking away direct control of battles. Players are responsible for designing ships and determining deployment. This sounds unusual, but the design lets you focus on building ships and enjoying battles instead of worrying about split-second changes in starship tactics.
Gratuitous Space Battles is $19.99 on Steam. The Complete Pack, which includes a number of DLC expansions, is $39.99.

Hearts of Iron III

fun strategy games
Hearts of Iron has been considered the definitive World War II strategy game since the release of the original in 2002. The game has never been accessible to strategy newcomers, but that’s sort of the point.
The latest edition refines the interface and updates the graphics, but it remains a hardcore title targeted at history buffs and World War II fanatics. The huge number of possible strategies and large number of playable countries makes this a title that you can play for hundreds of hours without exploring every possibility.
Hearts of Iron III is just $9.99 on Steam.

Rome: Total War

fun strategy games
The Total War series is one of the best strategy franchises on the market, but the latest games have not come to the Mac. The most recent title you can purchase is Rome: Total War.
That’s not to imply the game is bad, however. Rome: Total War is about eight years old, which means the graphics aren’t the best, but the battles themselves are as enjoyable as any Total War title. Anyone who wants to enjoy real-time strategy with extreme tactical depth needs to pick this one up.
Rome: Total War is available through a number of major retailers for $29.99.

The Sims 3


Yes, the Sims is a strategy game.  It doesn’t involve killing or conquering – but it does require proper resource management if you want your Sims to be successful.
This is the most approachable game on our list. Strategy game fans shouldn’t write it off automatically as too simple, however.  The Sims 3 is the most engaging game in the franchise from a strategy perspective. Managing day-to-day life of an entire family can become a serious challenge.
The Sims 3 is available for $27.99 on Amazon.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

strategy games
Blizzard’s long-awaited installment of the hugely popular Starcraft franchise was certain to make this list. It is the only strategy title on this list that was built for professional competitive play. This focus is evident in the game’s excellent balance and fast pace.
Gamers who are looking for an engaging single-player strategy game experience may need to look elsewhere. The multi-player, however, is enjoyable for both newbies and experienced gamers. Blizzard’s ladder does an excellent job of gauging skill levels and pitting players against others that are approximately as skilled.

 

Rome: Total War

fun strategy games
The Total War series is one of the best strategy franchises on the market, but the latest games have not come to the Mac. The most recent title you can purchase is Rome: Total War.
That’s not to imply the game is bad, however. Rome: Total War is about eight years old, which means the graphics aren’t the best, but the battles themselves are as enjoyable as any Total War title. Anyone who wants to enjoy real-time strategy with extreme tactical depth needs to pick this one up.



Hearts of Iron III

fun strategy games
Hearts of Iron has been considered the definitive World War II strategy game since the release of the original in 2002. The game has never been accessible to strategy newcomers, but that’s sort of the point.
The latest edition refines the interface and updates the graphics, but it remains a hardcore title targeted at history buffs and World War II fanatics. The huge number of possible strategies and large number of playable countries makes this a title that you can play for hundreds of hours without exploring every possibility.

AI War: Fleet Command


strategy games
If you’re a fan of the space-strategy genre and you don’t mind a steep learning curve you’ll love AI War.
This massive game offers players the chance to conquer the stars with gigantic fleets. Building them requires the management of complex resource system, though with that said, this is far from the most hardcore title you can buy.
AI War is available on Steam for $9.99. There’s also a demo available.

 Rob LeFebvre

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
When people think computer gaming, they may not think Macintosh right away. However, there are a host of games both new and old, expensive and cheap, indie and triple-A for the Macintosh platform. The following list, then, is of the best strategy games the Mac platform has to offer; all of these received an over 80 score on Metacritic, a gaming review aggregation site. Most of them are playable on modern Macs, with a few exceptions as noted.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

While StarCraft set the standard for Blizzard’s sci-fi-themed real-time strategy game, the sequel — coming only 12 years later — provided a fantastic iterative improvement on the original. The three race/factions — Protoss, Terran, and Zerg — war across the galaxy for extreme dominance. The second game in this popular franchise gains a more story-focused single-player campaign, updated graphics, and new units to engage the fight for survival.
Standard Edition – $39.99

Rome: Total War

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
Ancient history is fun again in this real-time strategy game from Activision. The goal here is to conquer, rule and manipulate the Roman Empire and be declared as the Emperor of Rome. The game is set at a time in history when Rome was at its height of power, engaged on many fronts in brutal warfare. Deal with barbarians in Gaul as well as Hannibal’s war elephants while managing a bloody civil war with over 20 hours of gameplay and epic, cinematic battles.
Mac App Store – $29.99

Warcraft III

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
It’s hard to remember that the Warcraft franchise started as a real-time strategy game, before it created the MMO juggernaut we all know and love today. Warcraft III brought the genre to new heights when it was released in 2002, and remains a high point today. Players must gather resources, build and expand their bases, and fight off three of the four races included in the game: Human, Orc, Undead and Night Elves. The single player game takes players through specific missions and introduces the four races in turn. The multiplayer allows more free-ranging contests with up to eight other players via Battlenet.
Battle Chest Edition – $19.99

Civilization V

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
This is the grandaddy of them all, the fifth installment in a highly-regarded turn-based strategy series. Players lead a civilization from prehistoric times, through the present day, to the future. The maps are procedurally generated, using hexagonal tiles instead of the previous-installments’ square tiles, which brings a whole new style of play. Civilization V players can achieve victory via research, diplomacy, expansion, economic development, government and, yes, military supremacy. Many familiar systems of gameplay from the series have been improved an overhauled, making this a great time to jump in and find out what all the fuss is about.
Mac App Store – $39.99

Myth II: Soulblighter

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
Released by Bungie in 1998, Myth II: Souldblighter remains a classic of the strategic tactics genre, and is still highly rated on many gaming websites. Players are given a select number and type of units with different abilities. They must be used as given to fight AI or human-controlled opponents in strategic, real-time battles. While the game can seem dated due to the graphics of the time, it continues to be actively developed by Bungie-sanctioned programmers, with a large online following. This title will need a little extra love to run on current model Macs.

The Sims 3

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
The third game in a highly-regarded franchise, The Sims 3 allows players to create more realistic Sim people with new personalities and looks. While the bulk of the gameplay might seem to revolve around the way things look, The Sims 3 is at heart a solid strategy game, requiring players to balance many competing factors and manage resources properly to keep their families of Sims happy, well-adjusted, and active.
Mac Download Edition – $29.99

Frozen Synapse

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
Frozen Synapse is a smaller, indie-size game set in a dystopian cyberpunk future that requires players to bring their strategic thinking to the table. It’s a simultaneous turn-based strategy title that asks players to issue orders to small, commando squads to win in smaller, mission-specific battles with other AI- or human-controlled squads. Orders are given in one phase, and carried out simultaneously in the next, creating an interesting cat-and-mouse dynamic. The graphics are not immersive, but fit the ethos and theme of the title perfectly.
Steam Standard Version – $24.99

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
EA’s military sci-fi real-time strategy game was released in 2007 as a direct sequel to the 1999 game, Tiberian Sun, in the previous franchise. The third installment of this series returns the game to its strategic roots, featuring three factions to play in both single player and multiplayer modes. The game includes a ton of live-action footage with well-known actors, including Battlestar Galactica alums Tricia Helfer and Grace Park, as well as Star Wars‘ Billy Dee Williams.
Used Mac Edition from $49.95

Darwinia

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
Darwinia is a digital theme world created for artificially intelligent polygons by Dr. Sepulveda. Thrown into the middle of a crisis situation involving the polygons and their now-threatened digital playground, players will follow assignments given by the illustrious Dr. S to save the Darwinians from a certain virus-triggered doom. The game includes a mix of genres, borrowing liberally from puzzle and god-games to inform its centrally strategic gameplay.
Mac App Store – $9.99

Gratuitous Space Battles

fun strategy games
As the name implies, this strategy game is all about space battles. Fleets of 2D vessels are pitted against each other and attempt to achieve victory with beam weapons, torpedoes, missiles and rail guns. If you’ve ever found yourself re-watching the space battles in Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5 you’ll love what this game offers.
This game sets itself apart from others by taking away direct control of battles. Players are responsible for designing ships and determining deployment. This sounds unusual, but the design lets you focus on building ships and enjoying battles instead of worrying about split-second changes in starship tactics.
Gratuitous Space Battles is $19.99 on Steam. The Complete Pack, which includes a number of DLC expansions, is $39.99.

Homeworld 2

Ten Best Strategy Games For The Mac [Feature]
This game has both real-time strategy as well as space combat, with a cinematic storyline and an innovative three-dimensional playing field. Players must gather resources and research new technologies and units, building new ships and weaponry to win the game. The game can be played as a single player, or with up to 5 players online. The score, beautiful graphics, and deep-space settings provide some of the best sci-fi gameplay in a real-time strategy title yet. Aspyr has a support page on getting it to run on Intel-based Macs, but no guarantees.
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