SLIDESHOW

The best Mac and iOS games shown off at E3 2016

Here’s what Apple users have to look forward to from this console-heavy show.

e3 generic logo
Games for every device

Mac and mobile gamers are often ignored at gaming-industry tradeshows like E3, but if you’ve been watching the livestreams and wondering what you’ll be able to play on your trusty MacBook Pro or your iPhone 6s, never fear! We took a look at all the exciting new games for Mac OS X/macOS and iOS that were announced at E3 2016 earlier this week. There’s plenty to choose from, from beautiful mobile RPGs to narrative exploration games and “friendship ruining” party titles—and you won’t have to buy any new hardware.

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Dragon Raja

Dragon Raja is an impressive-looking hack-n-slash mobile RPG that has already made waves in Korea (where it’s been out since February). Chinese developer Locojoy is bringing this freemium title to U.S. shores in Q3 of this year, with some changes. When Dragon Raja debuts in the U.S., it will have an eSports element—a pure online player-versus-player arena that’s unaffected by in-app purchases (the U.S. version will also have a flatter economic model—you won’t have to spend money to advance through the campaign). If PvP isn’t your thing, this is still a title you’ll want to check out—the graphics are gorgeous and gameplay are ultra-smooth.

Platform: iOS (universal) and Android
Available: Q3 2016
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

clapper
Clapper

Clapper is a mandatory two-player game, designed for parents who want to play an iPad game with their children. This unique rhythm game takes Pat-a-cake to the next level by using the iPad’s front-facing camera to identify five different types of hand claps between two people, including straight and diagonal claps. You play the game by placing the iPad on the table or floor between you, and then clapping your hands together across the tablet. The rhythm plays out on the screen in little paw print circles, and you get points for accuracy (similar to other rhythm games, such as Dance Dance Revolution). Clapper is designed for children aged nine and up and features six songs and four difficulty levels, to start.

Platform: iOS (iPad only)
Available: Now
Price: $3

1979 revolution
1979 Revolution: Black Friday

iNK Stories’ 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a gritty, evocative interactive narrative based around the true story of the 1979 Iranian revolution. (It’s also been banned in Tehran for that reason.) You play as Reza, a young photojournalist trying to survive the unfolding revolution. The game is a blend of documentary-style cinematics and heart-thumping timed narrative choices, which really capture the essence of dangerous uncertainty. You’ve never played an interactive narrative game like this before.

Platform: iOS (universal)
Available: Now
Price: $5

octobo
Octobo

Octobo is an interactive plush octopus designed to help children interact with physical objects instead of just screens. The plushie has a special sleeve that you can place your iPad in, and it comes with a companion app that helps turn your iPad-Octobo combination into a smiling, laughing, one-eyed interactive octopus. Octobo is still in its very early stages—the creators plan to launch a Kickstarter for the project near the end of this year—but it’s definitely a creative solution to the too-much-screen-time problem that kids are facing today.

Platform: iOS (universal) and Android
Available: Early 2017
Price: $50 to $80 (tentative)

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Masquerada: Songs and Shadows

Kickstarter-backed Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a tactical strategy RPG set in a Venice-inspired fantasy world. In the world of Masquerada, masks—known as Mascherines—are the source of magical power, prestige, and even postmortem legacy. But only the wealthy can afford Mascherines, and so Masquerada explores themes of class warfare and human existence, all in a setting that is heavily influenced by the arts. Masquerada is certainly a unique-looking game, with 2D painted backdrops and a color scheme inspired by French comics. The game offers about 18 hours of gameplay with a fully-voiced narrative, and will debut on Steam in August for both Mac and PC.

Platform: Steam for Mac and PC
Available: August 2016
Price: $20 to $25 (tentative)

deus ex go
Deus Ex GO

Deus Ex is the latest Square Enix blockbuster to get the GO treatment: This summer, Deus Ex will come to iOS and Android as a turn-based puzzle game, Deus Ex GO. Like 2014’s Hitman GO and 2015’s Lara Croft GO, Deus Ex GO will offer touchscreen-friendly, strategy-based gameplay that keeps the spirit of Deus Ex alive, complete with stealth moves and terminal hacking. There’s a little more action in Deus Ex GO—when enemies see you, they’ll start moving toward you and become invincible until you leave their line of sight. You’ll also be able to hack terminals—one at a time—and enemies will be able to undo your hard work. Deus Ex GO will also (eventually) feature a puzzle editor that will let you create custom levels and share them with the online community.

Platform: iOS (universal) and Android
Available: Summer 2016
Price: Unknown

kona
Kona

Kona is a first-person adventure exploration game—similar to Gone Home or Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture—with a twist: survival. Kona is set in Quebec in the winter of 1970, and you play a detective who has been called up to this remote, and mysteriously abandoned, town in northern Canada. You’ll need to solve puzzles and search for clues about what happened to the town’s residents, all while struggling to survive the harsh, snowy weather. The survival element is both frustrating and realistic, and it keeps you focused on solving the mystery (instead of meticulously checking every nook and cranny). Kona is currently available on Steam as an Early Access Game, but the final game should be available in September.

Platform: Steam for Mac and PC
Available: September 2016
Price: $10

move or die
Move or Die

Move or Die is the perfect party game. In this four-player “friendship ruining” game, the game mechanics change every 20 seconds. That’s right—each round lasts 20 seconds, and then the rules change completely. The only thing that stays constant is the requirement that your character constantly be moving (or they die—it’s in the title!). In one round, the goal may be to pass a ticking bomb to other characters (by running into them and touching them); in another round, the goal may be to bounce on characters and squash them. Characters who die during the round aren’t out of the game—they can still thwart living characters. At the end of each round, a winner is named, and wins and losses tally up throughout the game. Move or Die is very simple—each round’s mechanics can be explained in a single sentence—so it’s the perfect pick-up-and-play game. 

Platform: Steam for Mac and PC
Available: Now
Price: $15