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Every so often, there comes a moment in a Mac Tester’s career where they get to test a game they absolutely love. It’s so good that they would play this game overtime without pay and it makes other testers jealous that they don’t get to play it. This spring, we’ve played a lot of great games and we’re super excited to share them with you. Here are our picks for Best Mac Games of Spring 2013.

Alex’s Pick

I never thought my favorite game this spring would involve firing tennis balls at clowns, cops, hipsters and white-collar workers. But my Best Mac Game of the Spring pick, Tennis in the Face, is just full of wonderful surprises.

It turns out that freeing a town of its rule from an evil corporation that produces addictive energy drinks via projectile tennis balls is an absolute hoot. On the surface, Tennis in the Face is your typical physics based action/puzzle game. Many of us have played Angry Birds and found enjoyment in it.

However, what it lacks is a true human connection; the kind you get when you fire a virtual tennis ball into an evil clown’s face. That’s what makes Tennis in the Face unique: Firing tennis balls into people’s faces. My favorite game mechanic is when you take out the last enemy in a level, the game switches to slow motion. This way you can see the gloriousness of a ragdoll physics tennis ball takedown. While the game concept is simple and the challenge level is forgiving, the actual gameplay is extremely satisfying. If you haven’t tried this game yet, please do. You’ll have a blast with Tennis in the Face.

Close runner-ups for Best Mac Game of Spring would be I Am Vegend: Zombiegeddon, a great take on the Plants vs. Zombies style game, and Teddy Floppy Ear: Mountain Adventure, an extremely well done children’s game that (I’m not ashamed to admit) I thoroughly enjoyed.

Jason’s Pick

It should come as no surprise to people who know me that my favorite Mac Game of Spring was “Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover.”

Let me break down why this game deserves to be the best game this spring. First, the story is awesome. Awesome to the point where I could see it happening in an actual episode of Castle. Being a big fan of the show, the characters come to life through the game. Second, the puzzles and HOS are fun to play through. I love how the puzzles are very canon — they fit perfectly into the world of the TV show. Lastly, the game is challenging; in other games I oftentimes find myself blazing through puzzles very rapidly. However the puzzles in Castle had this Clever Detective stumped for a good bit of time.

I would highly recommend this game to fans of the show, or fans of HOPAs, as it’s a great addition to any game collection. Other games that round out my personal best of spring are Northmark: Hour of the Wolf (A fun RPG Card Battle game) and Empress of the Deep 3: Legacy of the Phoenix Collector’s Edition (the latest edition in a great HOPA series.)

Leia’s Picks

I am a fan of ERS games and I test almost all of them that come through our group. It’s gotten to the point where the gameplay is kinda comforting for me, because I know the characters and the main storylines, and each sequel is like a new chapter to catch up and explore. Of their spring releases, I really liked Grim Façade: Cost of Jealousy because it was set in Spain with passionate, hot-blooded characters and a classical soundtrack that really fit the mood. I’m a senorita myself and I loved the fiery speeches with all those twist and turns surrounding a mysterious love triangle.

I also had a kick playing Reveries: Sisterly Love because there was poetry (even a surprise song!), talking animals and a complete new world to play around in. ERS has been taking lots of risks this year and I’m always interested in trying out their games to see them integrate new gameplay elements like achievements and collectables. Each game seems to take it further and I make it a point to help test each release to be familiar with their progress.

I also love games by EleFun and their game, Fear For Sale: Nightmare Cinema, was one of the most fun playthroughs I’ve had this year. The CE has a ton of collectables and morphing objects (I believe over 100 total) so you really get engaged in the artwork for each scene and hidden object area. It took me a few times to collect each achievement so there’s a good challenge and high replayability available for the player. The story was spooky and there were many scenes that really captivated me including the sewing room with the mannequins, and the office where the boyfriend was writing furiously, which opened portals to new worlds. I thought this sequel really set the series ahead and I’m excited to see what comes next from that developer.

Finally, I know we talk a lot about Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest but it can’t be overstated how much we all became fans of that game. The artwork is so beautiful and the gameplay is unique, with so much to do and explore. Those cut scenes with integrated HO elements were lovely and I kept showing all the minigames to my team and bringing people over to say, “where did they think this up?” I wanted each tester to have exposure to that game because sometimes we just need to really stop and appreciate how amazing casual games have become. This one really raises the bar and you can tell it was made by people who love what they do.

Mike’s Pick

Mike here. Like Leia, my favorite game this spring (and really of 2013 thus far) would have to be Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest Collector’s Edition. Since Leia stole my pick (Grrr…) I want to talk about another amazing game I played this spring: Empress of the Deep 3: Legacy of the Phoenix Collector’s Edition. Although this game by no means had the kind of tour de force that Rite of Passage brought to the table, Empress of the Deep 3 had a subtler appeal that truly did grab me.

To me, audio means a lot in a game. It’s a major character in any game and this one hit that particular facet out of the park. From the ghost of Jacob (whose voiceover sounds like it’s straight from the Jim Henson classic, The Dark Crystal) to the soft music and sound effects when an object is found, it all ties together for an atmosphere that’s fantastic to chill out with on a raining Seattle spring day.

I also like the scale of Empress of the Deep 3. This world feels so impressively massive unlike so many games where you’re confined to small buildings and move room to room. While playing the game, it’s easy to imagine that this is a real place in some alternate dimension. There aren’t a whole lot of other characters in this world to interact with but those that you do meet, such as the Key Master, reinforce that feeling that this is a real place. If you haven’t played Empress of the Deep 3: Legacy of the Phoenix Collector’s Edition yet, definitely give it a try.

What are your favorite Mac games from this spring? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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