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While you were out soaking up the sun, playing beach volleyball, and eating various barbecued food items, you may have missed some amazing games that came out on our site. We’re here to catch you up to speed just as the summer is coming to a close and you’re looking for a great game to cozy up next to. Here are our picks for Best Mac Games of Summer 2013.

Alex’s Pick

Well, I did not think my pick of the summer would be a HOPA game, because I really tend to stick to my action and puzzle games as personal favorites. However, my summer pick is Calavera: Day of the Dead Collector’s Edition, a HOPA that was just such a treat to play.

If you’ve played enough HOPAs on our site, you may have noticed that many of our top HOPA games feature darker themes. Ghosts, witches, and haunted homes are plentiful in this genre of gaming. What’s great about Calavera is that they take these dark themes and give it the ‘Day of the Dead’ treatment.

As soon as I loaded up Calavera and saw the graphics, I knew this game was going to be different. The entire game’s style is an homage to the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos. You’ll see the famous Day of the Dead art style, made famous by Jose Guadalupe Posada, throughout the entire game. The colors are rich and every character you meet has a completely different style than the last. Somehow the darkness of death is made playful and humorous in the world of Calavera.

The fun art style lends itself perfectly to the dialogue in the game. You’ll find that the dark tongue-in-cheek humor is such a welcome change from the usual spooky themes of some other HOPA games. Almost every character you meet in the game has something to say that will make you laugh. There is even a talking book who helps guide you through your adventure, all the while, cracking smart-aleck jokes at your expense.

Of course, no HOPA would be complete without great hidden object scenes and puzzles, and this game has both. The puzzles really stood out to me because they have a lot of real-time action gameplay that keeps things exciting. The skeleton cock fighting and bug races are a hoot. If you enjoy action puzzles, then you’ll love the puzzles in Calavera.

The general consensus from Calavera’s reviews from our customers is that this game is “delightfully different.” I could not agree more. If you’re feeling a little weary of the standard HOPA fare and you’re looking for a game that will make you laugh and work your brain at the same time, I would highly recommend checking out Calavera: Day of the Dead Collector’s Edition.

Jason’s Pick

In a summer where movie blockbusters attempted to take over my love of video games, I found myself being drawn in by two games in particular.

First, an honorable mention goes out to my second favorite game of the summer: Trade Mania 2, a strategy game where you trade properties and goods to outmaneuver your competition. I probably spent the majority of a couple of weeks playing this game over and over again to increase my score. It would have been my favorite, had I not been introduced to the new game from Nevosoft, Hypnosis.

Hypnosis is an intriguing game in which you take on the role of a hypnosis specialist who has been called in to investigate what’s going on at a psychiatric clinic in which the lead physician has disappeared. The game’s story is hit or miss with some people, and the Adventure scenes aren’t very complex, but what really made me like this game are the phobia battles. But if this game were nothing more than phobia battles, I would still have recommended it as my summer’s game to play. I found myself looking forward to each of these battles, and in all of the different ways in which I could win these battles. My only complaint is that when you beat the game, there are no more phobia battles. I would have liked to see an additional set of “Expert” levels open up to continue to challenge my mind when playing these games.

If you really enjoy playing good strategy games, I also encourage you to check out other games by Nevosoft (My Kingdom for the Princess Series, Fate of the Pharaoh, Druid Kingdom, Garden Rescue.)

Leia’s Picks

This summer I celebrated the return of Elephant Games with their two releases, Mystery Trackers Silent Hollow and Grim Tales Bloody Mary. This Mystery Trackers was the fifth in their fun series about a group of detectives who solve bizarre mysteries. This one was my favorite because the player is brought in to investigate a mystery at headquarters, where all the agents are disappearing (only you can help!) and it’s up to you to find and destroy the man behind it all. Along the way you acquire different abilities with fire, ice and hypnosis, and you’re drawn deeper into the psychology of the criminal. It’s a really engaging story with an awesome length of gameplay.

But you know, if forced to choose, I think Grim Tales Bloody Mary was even better. Bloody Mary is based on the children’s folklore of calling “Bloody Mary” into a mirror to bring out an evil spirit. The game is set at a children’s school, where you’ve been called in by your niece to investigate a series of macabre occurrences leading to the disappearance of the children and teachers. There are really spooky animations in the abandoned classrooms where the evil spirits are hiding, and you have to destroy them all and find a way to overpower and destroy Mary. I loved all the art of the game and the scenes were all very different. Even after playing it every day for a week, I still was captivated by the story, always looking forward to seeing the next part of the adventure, even on my sixth or seventh playthrough. There was this “war” type of mini puzzle that was super challenging (when you open the door on the left, about 15 minutes in) and a few others that I just loved, especially in the bonus chapter. The hidden object puzzles are also full of interesting things to find and there’s just the right amount of them within the story.

These games are high quality and really worth purchasing as Collector’s Editions, because they each have this cool “Secret Room” bonus adventure that unlocks when you complete the bonus chapter. The room is a way of replaying all the hidden object scenes and every mini puzzle in a reinvented way. The wallpapers are also really well done with great scenes from the game, and I leave them set on the test machines in the lab.

I’ve been testing some of the new Elephant Games coming out this fall and I’m really excited about each of them (especially a certain medieval one coming soon). Stay tuned, we’ll tell you all about them in a future post!

Mike’s Pick

Mike here. For me there are certainly quite a few contenders (Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink CE, Calavera: Day of the Dead CE, Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call CE, etc.) but the big winner of the summer has to be Fearful Tales: Hansel and Gretel Collector’s Edition. From the stylized artwork and color choices to the funny characters and dialogue, this dark take on the well-known tale hits all of the right notes for an engaging (and replayable) adventure.

Adult gamers out there, don’t let the fairy tale title and somewhat cartoonish artwork fool you, the storyline in this game can be fairly mature. You play the mother trying to rescue her kidnapped kids from a witch (a fairly straightforward yarn) but what makes this game stand out is the backstory of the witch that unfolds as the game progresses – and you’ll find that the witch surely had a rough go of it to say the least.

Still, this game is thoroughly enjoyable for both adults and kids. If you’re a grandparent who enjoyed playing Christmas Stories: Nutcracker Collector’s Edition with your grandkids last year then Fearful Tales: Hansel and Gretel Collector’s Edition is truly the game for you. The atypical art design may turn off some, but that’s to their own detriment as they’ll miss this true gem of a game. Played on a Mac, the daring colors and scenery will pop off of your monitor. Anything but run-of-the-mill, the art design is one that suits the characters and dialogue of the world to a ‘T.’

What are your favorite Mac games you’ve enjoyed this Summer? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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