Strategy games for Mac are games that reward planning and careful decision-making. Often, these are historical or science fiction themed, but the ‘pure’ strategy genre ranges far and wide, touching on economic simulation and even puzzle games. One thing all good strategy games have in common is a focus of planning against an opponent, whether they be an actual human being or just a simple computer algorithm.
Strategy games require the player to accomplish a defined objective by planning and coordinating resources. This can include building such as settlements, acquiring and maintaining an army, or developing technological capabilities.
The games usually involve a time factor in that they take enough time to complete that the actions of the opponent must be anticipated.
Almost all strategy games give the player a fast-paced, adrenaline fueled, and at times heart pounding experience. This is due to the game taking us on an adventure where the stakes couldn’t be any higher and adrenaline rushes could very well make or break the game itself.
Good strategy game players must learn to be patient and think through their potential moves and their opponents’ likely responses. This is one of our favorite Mac Game genres.
For longer gaming sessions check out this best gaming chair.
In this article we will go through some of the best strategy games for Mac platform and share with you our own opinion, however feel free to leave comments at the end of this page if you have any suggestions related to this topic.
In this article, I will review ten classic strategy games for Mac, which bring the best of these approaches to the genre of gaming itself.
The Best Turn-based strategy
Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Firaxis Games, published by 2K Games, and distributed by Sega. It is the sixth installment in the Civilization series, which was first released in October 1991.
As with previous installments, Civilization VI offers PC gaming users control over a civilization as they develop it from the ground up. By using various metrics to measure their civilization’s progress, players will aim to achieve one of various victory conditions through numerous ways, such as military conquest or cultural hegemony.
- It has a good tutorial, even if it doesn’t have a long one.
- Exploring is fun on its own.
- The maps are still randomly generated, but now they’re just… better.
- There’s more to do in the early game.
- They’ve added district to the core of the game instead of piling them into expansions.
- One city can actually do things now, instead of feeling like a single building surrounded by farms and mines.
- Citizen growth is more organic than in past Civ games, and makes sense when you’re looking at your cities.
- Religion is actually pretty cool this time around, and culture seems to be too.
- Some victory types feel like they take longer than they should.
Civilization VI introduces changes to the gameplay mechanics meant to make the game more accessible for newcomers, but which serve as an iteration upon similar systems introduced since the first title’s release. The hex grid that determined movement and combat for previous installments has been replaced with a new tile-based system that allows for terrain to play a larger role in how units move across it.
A game of Civilization VI is divided into turns—each turn taken by a single player. The early turns are when most of the hard decisions must be made, and, for me at least, that’s when I had the most fun playing. This is because so much can change in the first generation of cities, with great minds and founding fathers having a wide impact on what you’re able to accomplish.
But as the game moves forward, and your civilization grows into a bustling utopia that can avoid global warming and nuclear war, there isn’t a lot of variability in how it plays.
- Civ VI marks a return to the visual style of Civ V, which had a bright color palette and emphasized units over city buildings. It’s still possible to zoom right down there and see your citizens working the farms or whatnot, but it’s nothing like the gorgeous wonder movies that were a hallmark of Civ IV.
- There are just so many things to do in Civ VI. I played a lot of Civ V at launch, but I never pursued victory types other than domination. By comparison, after playing eight hours of Civ VI, I had tried to win by science, domination, and religion. The espionage system should make diplomacy even more interesting than it was in the past as well.
- The new maps have interesting geographical features that come into play in terms of placement of cities and where you settle certain districts. It really drives home the variety of options you have once you get away from making every city pretty much identical.
Civ VI does introduce some new gameplay elements into its mid-to-late-game that shake things up a bit and keep things interesting for those who want to keep playing after they’ve won (like building wonders or invading), but these are relatively minor developments (although I did appreciate the potentially world-ending threat posed by nukes) that don’t fundamentally alter how the game is played until near its end. This left me feeling an odd mixture of joy at the start of each round coupled with boredom at the end.
Civilizations are at their finest when they are in competition, and the 12-15 hours of my early game were some of the best I’ve ever played in a strategy game. But once the world got settled into an extremely comfortable groove including zero conflict, it became very easy to get distracted from any other activities, including the one that would secure me complete control over the globe.
The AI could have taken over for a few hours there for me, but it can’t make decisions like I can. Maybe some day we’ll see a game where two players struggle to maintain power in a world that is too quiet and boring for either of them to suitably entertain themselves.
It’s not just the hexes in Civ VI that look like they’ve been lifted directly from a scientific textbook, it’s also the little things like buildings now having an “instant” phase as well as a building completion phase, but also many big changes that make this latest entry into Firaxis’ venerable strategy series feel fresh while also retaining what made Civilization such a successful franchise to begin with.
Even though I tried to stop myself, I started by cataloging the many, many ways that this game isn’t like its predecessors. The game is still very much in that traditional Civilization mold of starting a settler unit and plunking it down somewhere to begin building a city – it’s a founding principle of turns in Civ, after all – but there are two major differences.
First, the map is somehow even more abstract than ever before. You can still see mountains and rivers and other landmarks, but only in the vaguest sense – you know that the area ahead of your settler contains some mountains or that there’s a river somewhere on the map somewhere over on your left side. You just don’t know where or what they look or behave like.
This abstraction is weird because so much of what makes Civ work is having such specific control of everything from tech research to military maneuvering to converting cities with missionaries. So suddenly being deprived of one of those senses at the ground level when you first start playing feels strange. The second way this game differs from other Civ games is that it’s now more simulation-y than ever before in terms of how things like citizens and food.
Initial release date: 21 October 2016 Mode: Multiplayer video game Designer: Ed Beach Series: Civilization Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, MORE Developers: Aspyr, Firaxis Games Awards: The Game Awards for Best Sim/Strategy Game Civilization VI System Requirements OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit. Processor: Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz or greater. Memory: 4 GB RAM. Hard drive: 12 GB or more. DVD-Rom: Required for disc-based installation. Video card: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 5570 or Nvidia 450)
An intriguing and complex grand strategy video game
Crusader Kings 3 is a grand strategy game from Paradox Interactive. Crusader Kings 3 aims to give you the most authentic medieval experience possible. You will see familiar events unfold as the game begins in 1066 and ends in 1453 where the start of modern history begins. The map stretches from Scandinavia, England, Ireland and Iceland in the west to Persia, India and Mongolia in the east. Further south you will discover a huge host of new lands including North Africa, The Crusades and much more.
Empress Hamam is a master at political intrigue, with decades of experience scheming her way through court and royal circles. She is mortified, however, by the provincialism of her native land and the lack of sophistication of its people. While she organized worship to the old gods, it was primarily done as a ploy to maintain her power over the masses.
After that was secured, she turned her attention to pursuing pleasures more befitting of an empress: elaborate feasts with musicians, huge parties with plenty of booze, and much more. A master tactician and ruler, she’s also an adventuress who loves fighting on the frontlines alongside regular troops – and kills a man in one battle.
She also has 12 kids and somehow finds time to tend a vineyard out in her province. The number of human stories that emerge organically over 100 hours are too numerous to note .
Crusader Kings 3 is the pinnacle of Paradox’s historical grand strategy gaming. That’s not a guess, it’s a fact. This PC game, developed by Paradox Development Studio, successfully marries its predecessors’ focus on an individual emperor, king or duke with the ability to rule a kingdom and more seamlessly connect you with an entire realm, complete with multifaceted characters from across all castes.
In essence, if I were to compare it to a past game in the series (wherever you are Medieval II), Crusader Kings 3 is the game that should have been born from that marriage. If not for the bugs this game would be deserving of our highest accolades.
The intimate, human stories that emerge from Crusader Kings 3 resonate deeply — particularly with anyone who’s played a Paradox game before. The historical strategy game celebrates one of the greatest strengths of humanity: the stories we tell about each other.
Historical strategy sims have been around for a long time, but none have so elegantly and effectively combined the micro and macro elements of history quite like Crusader Kings 2. Over time, I came to develop a casual fascination for the dynastic plots, marriages and affairs that emerged from its deep systems, soaking up hours as a result. For all its intricate systems, though, at its core CK2 is an intimate look at the lives of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
It’s appropriate, then, that in all my hours with the game so far there’s never been a single moment where I didn’t feel like an active participant in this grand period of history. That sense of ownership has resonated with me even more strongly over the last few years, thanks in part to the emergence of Paradox’s console ports—which saw me following major characters like Emperor Konstantinos VII across three different games set thousands of miles apart while also maintaining my interest in their various domestic struggles back home on Skira.
It was a strange mix at first—and it took me some getting used to—but having that same family tree pop up in different places made the connections between different games that much stronger for me.
Ultimately, Crusader Kings 3 is a game about families. It’s a game about the only thing that really matters: how your name is remembered in history and whether you’ve made an impact on the world around you. If your play style is more focused on poetry than sword-swinging, Crusader Kings 3 may be right up your alley. But if you’re looking for something with more action in its gameplay and narrative, it’s still worth checking out.
Initial release date: 1 September 2020 Publisher: Paradox Interactive Mode: Multiplayer video game Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5, macOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems Developers: Paradox Development Studio, Lab42 Nominations: The Game Awards for Best Sim/Strategy Game Genres: Grand strategy wargame, Computer wargame System Requirements OS: Windows® 8.1 64 bit / Windows® 10 Home 64 bit. Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-2120 / AMD® FX 6350. Memory: 6 GB RAM. Graphics: Nvidia® GeForce™ GTX 660 (2GB) / AMD® Radeon™ HD 7870 (2GB) / Intel® Iris Pro™ 580 / Intel® Iris® Plus G7 / AMD® Radeon™ Vega 11. Storage: 8 GB available space.
3 Civilization V
Turn-based strategy popular game
Civilization V (Civ V) is a turn based strategy computer game made by Firaxis Games. The gameplay revolves around building an empire, from the ground up, beginning in 4,000 BC until the near future. Players control one of 18 civilizations throughout the world and beyond. Civilization V builds upon its predecessor by introducing cultural, religious and trading facets after a certain amount of turns in the game. Along with this added complexity in gameplay comes an improved AI system for both military and non-military matters.
But this time around, instead of seizing control of world religions, you steer societal development with the new ideologies. This comes in two flavors: good guys (Freedom and Autocracy) and bad guys (Order).
Each ideology has three tenets that provide boons like an early-game military unit or a wondrous building like a Giant Death Robot, as well as additional abilities to be unlocked down the line. Freedom’s tenets are diplomatic (lowering maintenance costs on units), expansive (unlocking a new campus building that increases production), and libertarian (one free culture per turn). Autocracy’s tenets include one-time emergency bonuses, unlockable military units, and a culture-generating structure that reduces worker cost at all other campuses. Order gains temporal abilities like increasing the length of Golden Ages and boosting production from completed buildings.
The culture victory is one of the most complicated of all the victory types in Civilization V . It requires you to grow your culture (through tourism or direct artist/writer production) to a level that allows your civ to found a new golden age. That lasts a few dozen turns and brings about wonders, world-changing event cards, and challenges that make it worth trying for in the first place. But this is also why it’s so hard — other civs are competing with you for these same things, and attacks from barbarian bard-worshiping hordes can wipe out important provinces of your culture super-highway.
Let’s talk about culture. The cultural aspect of the game is just one of the victory conditions in Civ 5, and it is arguably the most difficult one to achieve. There are a total of four strategies that can lead to a cultural victory: spreading your culture to cities of other civilizations; preserving your own culture while adopting that of conquered cities; maintaining control over your own culture while influencing that of rival city-states; or, as this guide will demonstrate, using military force to eliminate rival civilizations entirely.
Most strategy gamers I know say that after they’ve played Civilization V to its eventual conclusion, they’re typically ready to consider another game. Don’t get me wrong: there are some fabulous systems in here. City-states, great people, culture and diplomacy, religion and beliefs, trade routes, social policies … They all work beautifully and make the world of the game feel alive. But the problem is that once you’ve acquired all these wonderful things, there are no more challenges to face and quantify your success with. There’s no set of problems or goals to solve. After that occurs a hundred times or so (sometimes in as little as forty hours), you understand why many gamers call this the endgame.
To sum up, I’ve been very happy with the reworking of Congress and Ideologies. They both feel like they have a much more central role in the course of the game.
This gives you a constant impetus to keep your eyes on all aspects of your civilization, not just military might or scientific progress. It also adds another layer of thought and planning to the end-game which I really, really needed for multiplayer games–it often came down to luck whether we had any future development left in the parliament after all my previous opponents had done theirs by turn 75, but with this new design Parliament votes can extend way past that.
Like it or not, Civilization has always been a far more systemic game than any 4X. As a result, it’s very easy for players to forget that Civ 5 is a strategy game about city building and expansion first and foremost. I’ve found that the this “civilization first” mentality is instrumental in understanding the paradoxes of Civ 5 combat.
Ultimately, warfare is inevitable in this game because your civilization can’t grow and prosper without taming new plots of land and defending its borders from foreign encroachment. To succeed in Civ 5 you have to “pick your battles” and think along the lines of Alexander The Great: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Initial release date: 21 September 2010 Mode: Multiplayer video game Awards: BAFTA Games Award for Strategy Designers: Ed Beach, Jon Shafer Developers: Firaxis Games, Aspyr Composers: Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran Platforms: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux System Requirements (Minimum) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz. CPU SPEED: Info. RAM: 2GB. OS: Windows® XP SP3/ Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7. VIDEO CARD: 256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 7900 GS or better, or Core i3 or better integrated graphics.
4 Cities: Skylines
Cities: Skylines is a city building simulation strategy game
Cities: Skylines is a modern take on the classic city simulation. The game introduces new game play elements to realize the thrill and hardships of creating and maintaining a real city whilst expanding on some well-established tropes of the city building experience.
From the makers of the Cities in Motion franchise, the game boasts a fully realized transport system. It also includes the ability to mod the game to suit your play style as a fine counter balance to the layered and challenging simulation. You’re only limited by your imagination, so take control and reach for the sky!
There is so much more to city-building simulation than managing the growth and expansion of a single, central metropolitan hub (though I will readily admit that’s my favorite thing to do).
It’s just that once you start thinking about the different ways a city can be mapped out, and all of the different roles each citizen might serve, the fictional possibilities begin to spread much farther apart. And even once you get past making sure everyone’s got a job, everyone gets enough food and water, and everyone has access to education and healthcare – once you’ve sorted out basic needs for your people – there are still other considerations.
The needs of individual neighborhoods feel oddly distant from your role as urban planner-in-chief. You can see how happy they are from a general population statistic, but it’s impossible to say where exactly that happiness is being derived from without touching down in an area and studying each building in the neighborhood. Fear not, however: Cities: Skylines is packed with personality.
This is a seriously impressive city-builder that captures everything good – and some of what has long been missing – in this class of games. It’s a steep learning curve, particularly for those not familiar with previous SimCity games or games like Cities XL and Cities in Motion, but it’s an intoxicating one. Buildings rise, houses fill in across the map, garbage trucks scurry from place to place, and you get to watch it all from above. I would have liked to see more attention paid to random events and disasters (at least for pre-built cities) and more options for terrain manipulation, but overall this is just about everything I could want in a city-builder.
Cities: Skylines does a wonderful job of filling exactly the niche that it sets out for itself. Fans of the modern city-building genre will find themselves at home with Skylines, which offers all the underpinnings and joy of this classic video game structure without requiring everything to be in working order. If you’re simply looking for a new SimCity game – or even if you had your fill but are curious what Colossal Order has come up with – Cities: Skylines is an easy recommendation. It’s a smooth, capable simulation that offers plenty of direction and challenge, plus plenty of room for creativity and self-expression throughout the engaging process of building and populating a city from scratch.
Initial release date: 10 March 2015 Designer: Karoliina Korppoo Publisher: Paradox Interactive Engine: Unity Mode: Single-player video game Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, macOS, MORE Developers: Colossal Order, Tantalus Media Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. OS: OS X 10.11 (64-bit) Processor: Intel Core i5-3470, 3.20GHz. Memory: 6 GB RAM. Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, 2 GB or AMD Radeon HD 7870, 2 GB (Does not support Intel Integrated Graphics Cards) Network: Broadband Internet connection. Storage: 4 GB available space.
5 Total War: Shogun 2
A strategy game that offers you an authentic Japanese feudal experience
A strategy game that offers you an authentic Japanese feudal experience! The Total War: Shogun 2 strategy game has remarkable graphics and is one of the most complete games in the world.
Total War: Shogun 2 has been long awaited and the product does not disappoint. It’s not a revolutionary step for the series, but it is a necessary one, confirming what we’ve come to love about Total War. As Shogun 2 thrusts you into the body of a clan general, you can almost feel the blood running through your fingers from gripping your sword and shield in battle.
Your units are controlled tactically on strategic and real-time maps, requiring careful planning and smart thinking, but their fate is ultimately determined on the field of battle when an army faces another. Battles in Shogun 2 are just as thrilling and intense as those found in Empire: Total War, showcasing Creative Assembly’s combination of turn-based strategy with sweeping real-time tactical combat at its finest.
The game’s visuals and sound continue to be impressive with only two main detractors—the artificial intelligence and stability could use some work. Regardless, Shogun 2 serves as a fitting update to Empire: Total War while providing the same level of entertainment and challenge the series has become known for.
Total War’s march toward real-time strategy meets the intimate nature of turn-based strategy in Shogun 2. Creative Assembly has returned to its roots and updated Total War for a new generation. They’ve trimmed away some of the flab and focused on what makes the series great: the actual warfare. After making a name for itself with Rome: Total War, Empire: Total War came as something of a let down for fans when it released. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it wasn’t “Total War.” It was different.
Empire introduced political machinations and civil war, which were interesting concepts but didn’t fit into the series’ strong suit. Shogun 2 is a return to form that strips things down to what made the previous games great while adding small elements like full 3D battles to enhance gameplay rather than changing it entirely. The result is an excellent game that represents a defining moment for Total War — as well as a bit of redemption after Empire was met with disappointment by fans.
A lot of players were frustrated with the complexity in Creative Assembly’s empire-building last time around, so it’s great to see that this time they’ve taken a simpler approach. Basically you’re just trying to build an army, fight off your enemies and keep provinces content. Now this kind of directness isn’t for everyone. I can think of a few people who regard Empire: Total War as one of their favourite games ever, because there is so much to do and so many options – Shogun 2 doesn’t have that. I would say that most people will like this game, though because it has got a better tactical combat system (basically you get to control individual units), more of a story and better visuals/sound. Some people are going to say about the AI being dumb and the game being unstable, but personally I didn’t find these issues too bad.
Total War: Shogun 2 isn’t much of a departure from its predecessor in terms of gameplay, but its finely tuned mechanics make the strategy experience better than it has ever been. Its new campaign and the excellent multiplayer should keep players engaged for hours on end, and those who crave more will find satisfaction in a newly added scenario editor. Creative Assembly’s use of history to provide colorful settings for far-reaching battles draws upon the familiar for a rewarding strategy experience.
Initial release date: 15 March 2011 Series: Total War Composer: Jeff van Dyck Designer: James Russell Modes: Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game Awards: BAFTA Games Award for Strategy Developers: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive Minimum specs: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor, or AMD equivalent (with SSE2) 1GB RAM (XP), 2GB RAM (Vista / Windows7) 256 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3) 1024×768 minimum screen resolution. 20GB free hard disk space.
6 Tropico 5
Tropico 5 is a construction and management simulation video game
Tropico 5 is a construction and management simulation video game. It is a sequel to the 2011 game Tropico 4 and the first main entry in the series since 2009’s Tropico 3. Like its predecessors, the game tasks players with building a thriving Latin American island, this time, however, you’re in charge of running an entire country.
The challenge lies in maintaining civil order among seven factions—religion, military, capitalist, workers, peasants, industrialists, and progressives—all of whom are vying for influence. The game unfolds slowly in real time so you can build out some infrastructure and prepare yourself for elections: you need to set up political rallies and campaign speeches; maintain support from civics groups (which require citizens to vote for you); tackle issues like crime, health care, and education; even set up legal protests and online infringements.
The thing that I love about Tropico is that the series hasn’t made any compromises for the sake of accessibility. Yes, it’s definitely easier than Cities: Skylines when it comes to placing buildings and laying out roads, but it also doesn’t sacrifice any depth for the quick-playing style or minimal interface. And if you keep your early decisions in mind, when you’re eventually put into a larger, multi-island game and start building wind farms, tech buildings, and dams — as well as massive industrial complexes — then it’s clear that Tropico 5 feels just as fleshed-out and robust as all of those games.
Tropico 5’s multiplayer mode is the best thing about it. Even if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t care about the game’s political and diplomatic hooks – those gorgeous, over-the-top speeches your avatar gives, where he poses as God, firebrand critical theorist, or a sleazy salesman – and even if you don’t spend much time building up your island to attract tourists, there’s a good, solid RTS/4X game in all that. The combat feels good and the leader development system gives you plenty of options for expansion. It’s an engaging game in its own way, but it would be nice if it was just a bit more of one.
If Tropico is going to be a political satire and cultural critique, it loses some of its bite when the actual politics are so impotent and easy to work through. Maybe Tropico 5 will be better off (and a much better game) in the future, when there are possibilities for surprise that aren’t depending on how well or poorly one side or another performs in an election.
Initial release date: 23 May 2014 Developer: Haemimont Games Mode: Multiplayer video game Series: Tropico Publishers: Kalypso Media, Kalypso Media Digital Ltd., Square Enix, H2 Interactive Genres: Role-playing game, MORE Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox 360, Macintosh operating systems OSWindows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8. OSWindows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8 (64 bit) Processor2 GHz Dual Core CPU. ... Memory4 GB RAM. ... Storage4 GB available space. ... Direct XVersion 11. ... GraphicsGeForce 400 or higher, AMD Radeon HD 4000 or higher, Intel HD 4000 or higher (DirectX 11 hardware support required)
7 Starcraft 2
Starcraft 2 (SC2) is an award-winning RTS strategy game
Starcraft 2 is a real-time strategy game that was released in 2010. It is set in the same universe as Starcraft: Brood War, and takes place four years after its expansion, StarCraft: Brood War. There are several new features in the sequel including multiplayer on Battle.net for up to eight players, a complete graphical overhaul, and new gameplay mechanics designed to increase strategic variety and player agency.
My advice to you, as a long time gamer looking for a particular set of experiences and feelings that video games used to offer more of, is look no further. Forget about the reputation StarCraft II has for punishing, multiplayer click-fest played only by rocket-powered Korean pro-gamers. The campaign is lengthy and compelling enough you won’t mind the daunting learning curve.
Blizzard have been making PC strategy games for more than twenty years and StarCraft is arguably one of their best. As you’d expect, the sequel comes with plenty of polish, as well as a bunch of new mechanics, units and special abilities that make for an even more unpredictable and challenging multiplayer game. The campaign mode won’t blow you away and there are moments when the interface seems over-complicated, but you’ll soon get sucked into a captivating sci-fi storyline set in the 26th century where three species battle for control of crucial interplanetary resource known as Taldarim. Admittedly it’s not quite StarCraft, but if you’re looking for a fresh RTS, this is definitely it.
The Terrans are the military of Earth, and you, as the player-character, may be selected from one of three factions: the United Earth Directorate, the Sons of Korhal, or the rebel Southern Cross. Or you can build your own units and use those instead. The Terran units at your command are brilliant. I love the Marauders: robot-suited men with rocket launchers for hands. And I adore the Siege Tanks, which drive into position before planting extended feet firmly into the ground and pounding away with an upturned artillery battery. I think the basic marines are hilarious, particularly when upgraded with a small shield and dosed with stim packs (they run faster, shoot quicker and die easier). And I’ve got a complete soft spot for the Firebat: a singleplayer-only soldier with flamethrowers for fists.
Elegant design, plenty of detailed art and exaggerated expression go a long way to making StarCraft II’s units a delight, but there are other factors too. The relationships between bases and units – how each base supplies food to create new workers, or minerals to fund unit construction – is clear at all times. Meanwhile, the relationships between different unit types – Marines can blast away individual Zerg workers but the Hydralisk can stand in the middle of a pack and tear through many more in seconds – creates powerful tactical possibilities.
Initial release date: 27 July 2010 Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Mode: Multiplayer video game Awards: VGX Award for Best Performance by a Human Female, MORE Designers: Blizzard Entertainment, Dustin Browder, David Kim, Mike Heiberg Composers: Neal Acree, Russell Brower, Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke Platforms: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS Minimum starcraft 2 system requirements for windows- OS: Windows 7, 8 or 10. Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Video graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or advanced. Memory: 2 GB RAM. Storage: 30 GB available space.
8 Total War: Warhammer 2
Total War: Warhammer 2 gameplay is based on the strategy of choosing factions and utilizing their unique traits
Total War: Warhammer II is a turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. The second game of the Total War: Warhammer trilogy, it is a sequel to Total War: Warhammer.
In a franchise with more installments than Caesar, Total War: Warhammer 2 stands out in a crowded series of strategy titles. It has the strongest campaign focus, the most unique victory conditions, and the most engaging battles among all its predecessors. This is a game that puts you in control of an empire in such a way that you feel like a real tyrant–and likely end up spending over 100 hours on it.
Warhammer 2 is a difficult game to review. This is due to the fact that it is impossible to review this game without discussing how it differs from Total War: Warhammer. The two games are mechanically identical — they feature the exact same campaign and multiplayer structure with the same necessary DLCs. These features are solid, but unsurprising if you’ve played any Total War game before. What makes reviewing Total War: Warhammer 2 difficult is that it’s an expansion pack of sorts to an already fantastic game. So instead of a gameplay-by-numbers review, I’m going to focus on what strategies worked in Total War: Warhammer, and how those have been improved in Total War: Warhammer 2. In turn, any criticisms for the sequel may remind you why its predecessor was so good when at its best.
Building on a solid strategy is what wins the day in Warhammer 2, a sequel that strides confidently over the foundations laid by its predecessor, Total War: Warhammer. There’s more of nearly everything that defined the first game — from magical Winds of Magic to lofty mountains to flying units darting between them. The scale of these things grows with each faction and battle, building on both the first game and its DLC.
With Total War: Warhammer 2, this entire gameplay concept has been honed to pitch-perfect levels, stretching far enough beyond that original game to feel exciting and fresh, yet staying true to what made it so strong in the first place. Even though it doesn’t pull any surprises and delivers on many familiar comfort zones established by previous Total War titles, playing this sequel feels more rewarding thanks to more varied battles and persistent character development.
The odd thing about Total War: Warhammer 2 is that, despite the developers’ best efforts, it simultaneously represents a step forward and backwards for Total War. The Empire and Chaos Warriors factions are wonderful additions to the roster of playable races, but as a whole it’s difficult not to feel that so much of what makes them wonderful also makes them familiar. Great spectacle melts into drudgery when a unit selection screen is already full of toys, no matter how great those toys might be.
All in all, Total War Warhammer 2 is a worthy follow-up to the hit Warhammer fantasy franchise. The new races create an exciting tactical challenge, and the new mechanics invite hours of entertaining experimentation. With that said, the new races could have benefited from some more fleshed-out campaign mechanics, and there are some serious bugs to be ironed out. Nevertheless, this strategy game series has succeeded in taking the battle online and onto your hard drive.
Initial release date: 28 September 2017 Mode: Multiplayer video game Developers: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive Nominations: BAFTA Games Award for British Game, The Game Awards for Best Sim/Strategy Game Publishers: Feral Interactive, Sega Platforms: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems Genres: Action game, Real-time tactics, Tactical wargame, Strategy Here are the Total War: Warhammer 2 System Requirements (Minimum) CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 3.0Ghz. CPU SPEED: Info. RAM: 5 GB. OS: Windows 7 64Bit. VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB | AMD Radeon HD 5770 1GB | Intel HD4000 @720p. PIXEL SHADER: 5.0. VERTEX SHADER: 5.0. FREE DISK SPACE: 60 GB.
9 Hearts of Iron 4
A brilliant strategic game that aims to put you right in the middle of the Second World War.
Hearts of Iron 4 is an intimidating game. It’s a grand strategy game that can have you commanding hundreds of thousands of men, or even millions and there’s even tanks. But it can be hugely rewarding once you get over that initial hurdle! In this guide I’ll be going through everything Hearts of Iron 4 and how to succeed in the game.
As someone with a general interest in history and an even more specific interest in World War II (I’ve read a disturbingly large number of books on the subject), I thought I’d love Hearts of Iron 4. But when I loaded up the game, I realized how complex it was — not just in terms of gameplay but in terms of interface as well. It took me a half hour to figure out how to zoom out and actually get a look at what little territory my starting nation had. The tutorial was helpful, but it didn’t explain much about how to manage resources or actually get things done as opposed to watching them happen.
The World in 1936 – This may look like a Wargame, but it is an Operational wargame that focuses more on the actual military operations. The player assumes the role of the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief for one of the major nations that fought in the Second World War between 1936 and 1948. If you´re a grand strategist and like to plan ahead, then HOI4 is a perfect choice.
In Hearts of Iron 4 , you can test your mettle by controlling any nation in its fight for global domination in the midst of World War II. Drawing from an impressive lineup of over 250 historically accurate leaders, you are free to take full control of every decision from diplomacy, to the type of military equipment used, to how battles should be fought. It is a pure joy to play this game — I found myself taking control over an array of countries and making decisions that ultimately led to a global conflict where I steamrolled my way into victory.
Hearts of Iron IV is a game that almost anyone can pick up and play regardless of your level of expertise in the genre. The only caveat I have for any newcomer to HOI4 is this: be prepared for your strategy games to take up more time than you’re used to. Meals, restroom breaks, and social events will be scheduled around large chunks of time needed to execute operations with the same care that would be expected from a real general. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for many people it will take some getting used to – especially if you’re used to breezing through most strategy games.
Initial release date: 6 June 2016 Developer: Paradox Development Studio Mode: Multiplayer video game Series: Hearts of Iron Publisher: Paradox Interactive Designers: Johan Andersson, Dan Lind, Chris King Platforms: macOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS
Northgard is a real time strategy game inspired by Settlers, Age of Empires and Viking games.
Northgard is a real-time strategy video game developed by Shiro Games. In Northgard, you must survive the harsh viking winters while expanding your civilization into new lands and mastering the art of war. Your people need food to survive and gold to pay for their pastimes, treasure, and upgrades. The colder it gets, the more resources you will lose if you cannot protect them.
With its ominous soundtrack, striking art style, and visceral combat, Northgard immediately draws you in. The art design is gorgeous, with inviting imagery and crisp textures. The entire game is richly detailed and comes across as highly polished. Your settlement looks like a settlement! It feels alive, with smoke pouring from fires, your citizens constantly chattering, and different areas bustling with activity.
Northgard offers a broad, expansive build tree that allows for plenty of customization. The amount of customization is surprising, given the game’s simple presentation and cartoony look. The building process is incredibly streamlined. After you select your structure from the radial menu, you just fill in a few fields: the location of your structure, what it will be to start with (a shack or village hall), and its upgrade level.
It’s hard to talk about Northgard without comparing it to Civilization. Between the top-down perspective, the heavy emphasis on growth and development, and the strategic resources that act as leitmotifs for the different clans, comparisons are inevitable. But while I can’t help but point out parallels between Northgard and Sid Meier’s long-running strategy franchise, don’t mistake this for an unoriginal experience.
If you were ever the kind of kid who dreamed of pillaging and burning villages, Northgard is a dream of a game. It’s merciless, it’s strategic, and it’s bound to get your blood pumping. I was excited to get into combat, but even more so I was excited to eventually build up my village and send out my own armies. With regards to issues, the AI does little to challenge you at harder difficulties, but it is still satisfying enough for new players just getting used to Northgard’s unique brand of strategy.
Initial release date: 22 February 2017 Developer: Shiro Games Engine: Heaps.io Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems Publishers: Shiro Games, Playdigious Genres: Strategy Video Game, Indie game, Simulation Video Game Programming language: Haxe
11 XCOM 2
XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical decision making strategy game
XCOM 2 is the sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown and was released on November 3, 2016. It is a turn-based tactical video game in which the players control humans fighting back against an alien occupation, while also managing base infrastructure and strategic elements of the game. The game adds multiple new features to the series including updated combat and gameplay mechanics, procedurally generated levels, an expanded arsenal of weaponry for characters, new enemy types and advanced melee attacks among others.
XCOM 2 is best played as a chess match. If you approach it as a fast-paced arcade shooter, you’ll probably get steamrolled by the aliens. The invisible tanks are deadly, synapse creatures and sectoids pack an ungodly amount of power points in their punch, and they’re quick to boot. But if you think like a general leading an army and utilize high ground, explosives, classes (sergeants grant 4 bonus skill points and allow the promotion of soldiers two levels higher), shooting through walls with heavy weapons, backing up your gunners with a sniper perched on top of an elevated UFO structures and utilizing tech like the Ghost Armor for increased mobility and stealth perks for scouting out enemy movements that determine tactics instead of just gung ho rushing into combat without reviving injured troops or building supporting fire you’ll be fine.
In ways both obvious and subtle, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is a game that demands respect. The kind of game you can play casually with friends, but if you’re going to take it seriously, you’ll have to pay attention and make some tough decisions. It’s one of those games that is hard to stop playing after you start, even when your entire body is telling you that it needs sleep. It’s a game worth devoting the time to learning, if only so that we can be better prepared for the inevitable robot uprising. You’re not doing yourself any favors if this is your introduction to turn-based tactical combat games. But if you consider yourself an especially gifted opponent in chess or Risk, I think XCOM 2 makes a strong case for itself as my favorite video game of the year.
XCOM 2 is more story, strategy, and action than it is an RPG. If you want to craft an angry mutant, or outfit a tank with a harpoon cannon, XCOM 2 will not scratch that itch. But if you’re looking for a deep war-game with incredible choices at every turn and tense investment in each and every soldier’s survival, your search has ended.
In the end this is a huge, rich game with a lot of systems to master and layers of tactics to explore. It’s available for the first time on PC and does a better job than XCOM: Enemy Unknown ever did of capturing the feel of being in command of humanity’s last line of defense. This version also does better by its new soldiers than the expansion XCOM: Enemy Within ever did, challenging you to get attached and pulling at you with way more ways to see them suffer or succeed.
Initial release date: 5 February 2016 Series: XCOM Mode: Multiplayer video game Designer: Jake Solomon Developers: Firaxis Games, Feral Interactive Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Classic Mac OS Publishers: 2K Games, Feral Interactive
12 Total War: Three kingdoms
Total War: Three Kingdoms is a historical, turn-based strategy video game
Total War: Three kingdoms is a new historical strategy game, developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. Three Kingdoms is based upon the events of the turbulent era in ancient China caused by the fall of Han dynasty and end of the reign of Liu-Song dynasty. The entire story revolves around three rival factions during that era, which are Wei, Shu, Wu.
Total War: Three Kingdoms offers you two ways to conquer its sprawling, attractively exaggerated map of 200s CE China. Records mode is closer to classic historical Total War, where generals are mere mortals accompanied into battle by a bodyguard regiment, and real-time engagements play out slowly and less decisively. It also led me to feel like I might as well be playing any other historical Total War game, though with more Chinese characters (which would be an issue for me if this weren’t a game about killing Chinese people). Fortunately, Romance mode fixes that for the most part, introducing an RPG-style character system that gives each general their own name, class, and weapon preferences.
Records mode allows you to play Total War: Three Kingdoms as if it was any other historical Total War title — with real-time battles and no special characters to speak of. I recommend against it, as it robs Three Kingdoms of its best features. The far more interesting mode is Romance mode, where troop composition is often more important than sheer numbers, a variety of special characters make unique wartime contributions through the use of a new agency system, and rulers’ leadership abilities change in response to battlefield conditions on the fly.
The battles are complete with cinematic cutscenes and quick-time events that make each one feel like a small spectacle in its own right. They’re filled with movement and unique characters, including heroes who rise from the ranks in response to your actions or the current needs of their faction. Leaving on a high note? There’s also none of the usual Total War stinginess when it comes to visual customisation. You can change literally everything about your generals as well as faction colors, banners, and even architecture styles.
With its visually impressive but historically dubious miniatures and smooth retooling of the Total War formula, Three Kingdoms feels like a more confident, if not quite a more refined, step forward compared to previous entries in the long-running series. While it has some notable omissions, like naval combat and non-combat roles for generals, this is an expansive and compelling entry point into the series’ historically-inspired tactical battles. For those willing to follow in Cao Cao’s footsteps towards a tantalizing dynastic precedent that may have been lost to history, Three Kingdoms is an exciting addition to the Total War canon worthy of commandeering your emperor’s attention.
Initial release date: 23 May 2019 Series: Total War Designer: Simon Mann Mode: Multiplayer video game Developers: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive Publishers: Feral Interactive, Sega Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Macintosh operating systems
13 The War of Mine
The War of Mine is a survival game set in a besieged, urban environment during the First World War.
The War of Mine is a survival game created by 11 bit studios. It is heavily influenced by the Siege of Sarajevo in the early ’90s. There are 3 playable characters in this story driven game, that all have unique skills you will need to manage if they are to survive. The Goal of The War of Mine is to outlive the war and character progression is based on surviving.
A war has raged for years between two factions: the Soldier and the Civilian. The Soldier and Civilian have an enormous army of troops at their disposal – a gang of bandits, soldiers, heavy-weight boxers, policemen, and even a chemist. One day, the two combatants signed a truce and stopped the fighting. They decided to come together and create a game from their brutal battles: The War of Mine.
On one level, This War of Mine is a survival game. You guide a group of survivors through varying degrees of crisis, performing scavenger hunts for food, clothes, and other supplies. During the day, you can be tasked with chores like exploring new areas for useful items and fighting off the occasional infestation of hostile humans or wildlife.
This War of Mine is a well-executed, challenging strategy game. That statement may seem like an odd way to describe a video game about civilians in wartime, but it’s one of the most honest descriptions for this game I can think of. This War of Mine isn’t about the mechanics that drive the conflict you’re stuck in, or about having fun killing enemies for the sake of progress. It’s a very human story about how people react when faced with devastating situations like war and poverty, and how those reactions unfold differently from person to person. It opens as a simple survival adventure: as a survivor, you have to find food, fuel and other resources while protecting your vulnerable citizens from harm. But in time you realize there isn’t really any hope for rescue; you’re in this until the end.
The story taps into your imagination as you try to understand why things are happening, who caused them and how other survivors are coping with living through these hellish conditions every day for months on end.
The characters don’t have names (and some body types prevent you from seeing their faces), but they feel more human than any army of faceless drones I’ve ever committed to memory when playing a war game before.
The mechanics for the game are really what set it apart from other games of its genre. Most war-themed games tend to be a bit jingoistic or, at the very least, use wartime as an excuse to toss out the fourth wall and make gratuitous violence aesthetically enjoyable. The War of Mine takes a far more moral stance. It doesn’t shy away from the fact that, in situations like this, people turn on each other, stealing and lying and killing for things like blankets and food. It expects you to understand why that happens, and it expects you to deal with it.
In This War of Mine, even minor parts of the earth can kill you. You can be strolling along one minute, and then trip a landmine the next. And there’s nothing you can do about it. There are no special skills, or limited healing supplies that make you invincible.
I never thought survival games were particularly interesting since the genre button on Steam is pretty much flooded with games that look exactly the same, feature the same mechanics and offer little in terms of innovation. However, The War of Mine changes all that by absolutely nailing the emotional authenticity in a way few other games have ever done before. Making you more than just another soldier, it sets you as a group of survivors attempting to endure the hardships of war.
Initial release date: 14 November 2014 Publisher: 11 Bit Studios Mode: Single-player video game Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Classic Mac OS Genres: Indie game, Action game, Action-adventure game, MORE Developers: 11 Bit Studios, Crunching Koalas Nominations: Polityka Passport Award for Digital Culture, The Game Award for Games For Change
What is a Strategy game?
A strategy game is a genre of video games that emphasize strategic gameplay, and sometimes (but not always) logistical considerations. Strategy games can be distinguished from other genres by their generally low reliance on situational triggers, their focus on economic and production capacity, and their ‘‘long-term’’ aspect allowing players to score points more slowly through developing their economy, military and/or technological capabilities.
Strategy games are a sub-genre of the video game industry that focuses on the level of player’s decision making and planning, typically involving building a base or an army. Example of strategy games include SimCity and Starcraft. Strategy games are considered to be more complex than other genres, such as first person shooters and platformers, because there is often an extensive amount of decision making involved in playing them.
There are a few different categories a game can fall under to be considered a strategy game.
First is turn-based strategy, where players take turns controlling different aspects of the game such as resources, movement or buildings.
Another category is real time strategy games which have players control all aspects of the game in realtime. Lastly, there is also hybrid — games that fall into more than one category — for example games where players take turns, but then must strategize in real time.
Games that require strategy are preferred among many players who enjoy problem solving. These games also appeal to people looking for something to do during long periods of waiting such as over lunch break at work or when stuck in traffic during rush hour.
The broadest types of strategies games are real-time and turn-based, generally considered two separate genres. In real-time strategy (RTS) games, the player provides orders to his/her controlled units throughout the game. The dominant race in modern RTS games is Humans against Aliens (most notably in StarCraft), although it can be argued that a person’s standard FPS perspective is highly tilted towards a RTS experience due to its controls. Turn-based strategy (TBS) involves tactics and strategy, with players planning their game move by move.
Defining strategy is fairly difficult; however, a strategy game is one that adds a certain level of complexity to a game along with the scale of actions taken. It puts the player in control of important gameplay decisions and implements relatively realistic and predictable control schemes. The definition of this genre determines that it goes back to war-based games because these are the first historical examples of strategy becoming an important part of gaming. Also, Total War is a major portion of this genre due to its representation and popularization despite containing other traits unique to its own brand as well.
A strategy game is a game that involves skillful thinking and planning to achieve a goal within a limited amount of time. Most strategy games require the player to think many moves in advance. Because of this, they can be compared to chess, which also requires forethought and planning. However, there is a big difference between the two.
While chess pieces (such as kings and queens) can move in any way against each other and since the rules are fixed, strategy games allow each player to develop his or her own style of play. This has led many players to compare chess with checkers. Rather than attempting to outplay the opponent in whatever style one wants, a better comparison would be with chess, where one can choose from safe openings or different strategies based on the situation on the board at any given time.
However you decide to get your strategy gaming on, the options available to Mac owners are exceptionally varied and appealing. The models vary from one game to the next, from single player conflicts against AI opponents to utterly massive multiplayer experiences, but they all have their place in a Mac gamer’s library and heart.
There’s something for everyone here, no matter your tastes or skill level. Hopefully this guide has helped you find the perfect strategy game for your Mac gaming needs—happy gaming!
In the end, you’re bound to find a strategy game on this list that piques your interest, so I hope you’ll take the time to try them out. There is something here for every type of gamer, from stats and wars to mystery and romance. Whatever your preferred genre is, I can guarantee that there is a strategy game out there for you.