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Mechanical Challenge Games on Mac

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.

This list includes 46 games from the last 22 years, with 617 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to combine dexterity and instincts.

DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Era: 2000 - 2021
Total Games: 46
Total Likes: 617
 

 

Phantom Abyss

Release Date: 21/06/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Phantom Abyss is a running and jumping game where you charge through temples to get to the exit. Your only tool is a whip that interacts with objects and can propel you forward. Along the way are numerous traps and difficult jumps to avoid. There are...

OCO

Release Date: 11/08/2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

OCO is a sliding and jumping game set with simple colourful levels each set in a rotating planetoid. Unlike other platform games, you control everything with a single button. Each different colour of platform you slide along grants different abilities...

Boomerang X

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Boomerang X is a shooting platform game where you explore worlds and fight enemies with a boomerang-like shuriken weapon. Unusually, you can warp to your boomerang once thrown meaning you can slice, fly, and blast through arenas swarming with evil...

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Race down a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route to find the fastest way to the finish line.

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Osu!

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels the games is an esport with people competing to...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Dead Cells

Release Date: 10/05/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Dead Cells is a running, jumping and fighting game where you are escaping a prison. In a bright pixelated world you must accurately time attacks and dodges to defeat a wide range of enemies. It's intentionally hard, and you will die a lot. But each time...

Vectronom

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Vectronom is a moving and jumping game where you control a block moving through a level that's changing in time with the music. The primary colours and hypnotic beats can distract at first, but as you find the flow of moving in time with the beat a...

BedWars

Release Date: 19/01/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft servers. It's a game similar to the official Minecraft minigames but created by independent developers.

Geometry Dash

Release Date: 13/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Geometry Dash is a running, jumping game. It features over 20 stages where you play as a customisable small cube, which you used to dodge 2D obstacles to the rhythm of electronic music using a single button to control the cube. If you hit any of the...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Hitman (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2000, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Hitman 3 is a stealth game where you take on assassination missions and then figure out how to execute them. The dynamic situations you enter unfold as you play and you can try different approaches.

Ready or Not

Release Date: 17/12/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Ready or Not is a tactical shooting game, where you need restraint and discipline as much as a quick trigger finger. Like Rainbow Six Siege, you take on tactical missions with other people and must work together to apprehend suspects with minimal...

Skatebird

Release Date: 16/09/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

SkateBird is a running (rolling) and jumping game where you play a skateboarding bird who performs tricks and explores skate parks. The skate parks are made of everyday objects such as pencils, books, and staplers which have been transformed into ramps...

Fugl

Release Date: 14/09/2017

Platforms: Mac and PC

Fugl is a game that simulates flying. You play a bird and launch yourself into the sky to explore a vast world. Rather than search for things, fight, or take on challenges, all you have to do is wend your way through the air currents and glide your way...

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Series)

Release Date: 12/08/2012

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (commonly abbreviated as CS:GO) is a competitive first-person shooting game. You play either a counter-terrorist or terrorist. The objective changes based on the game-mode you play but generally, game modes are...

QWOP

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

QWOP is a sports game with a difference. You have to control each limb of your virtual athlete. This changes it from a challenge of hitting buttons to using the touch screen or keyboard to deftly co-ordinate movement to gain forward motion. It's really...

Rolando

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Rolando is a puzzle-adventure game where you control the ball-like Rolandos. You direct the collection of creatures through levels by tilting the device and interacting with elements like conveyor belts and elevators via the touch screen. It's a lovely...

Bioshock Infinite

Release Date: 26/03/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Bioshock Infinite is an adventure shooting game. Although the story is unconnected to the previous games in the series, it raises similar themes of dictatorship communities and alternative to capitalistic society. It's another nuanced and complex story...

Heavenly Bodies

Release Date: 07/12/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Heavenly Bodies is a puzzle exploration game about cosmonauts working in space. You use one controller stick for each arm and a button for each leg. In this way, you navigate around the space station and complete tasks that would be relatively simple if...

Eggggg

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Eggggg is a silly platform game where you can fly by vomiting in the opposite direction. You play Gilbert who has an extreme egg allergy. Eating them makes him vomit like a fountain which you can use as a special power.

Kolumno

Release Date: 15/11/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Kolumno is a puzzle game where you drop a ball down the side of a sphere aiming to reach the bottom without being blocked. Your task is to manipulate the ball so it fits the rotating elements with gaps in them.

Rog & Roll

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Rog and Roll is a running and jumping game where you fight enemies and avoid traps. Unusually, you play a former henchman on a quest to save his friends from re-emerging tyranny. It features retro-inspired graphics and a humorous story where characters...

World of Tanks

Release Date: 12/08/2010, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

World of Tanks is a multiplayer tank simulation shooting game. You control a tank in a war zone and try and destroy enemy tanks in online matches in a race for supremacy and points. The scale and strategy of the battles recreates a realistic theatre of...

Cave Story

Release Date: 20/12/2004, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Mac, PC, Switch and Wii

Cave Story is a running and jumping game styled after classic Metroid and Castlevania games of the 1980's. Unusually, it was initially overlooked until it gained popularity on the internet and then received widespread critical acclaim. The simplicity,...

Cyber Shadow

Release Date: 26/01/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cyber Shadow is a retro running and jumping game where you defeat enemies and dodge obstacles. It combines classic 90's platforming games with modern controls and checkpoints that make it more enjoyable and approachable. Dodge and attack midair to...

Inks

Release Date: 04/05/2016, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Inks is a messy pinball game that combines puzzle with platforming. It's like a traditional game of pinball, however you are aiming to splash the ball through each coloured area rather than rack up high scores.

Deru - The Art of Cooperation

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Deru is a cooperative puzzle game about the flow and interaction of colour. Its stylised design hides within it complex conundrums you must work closely together to solve. Each of the two players can only touch streams of their colour, so must carefully...

Fossil Echo

Release Date: 08/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Fossil Echo is a short running and jumping game about a young boy's mistake and subsequent climb of a giant tower in the middle of the sea. The story is told in short animations and with challenging platform-style gameplay to create a moving and...

ScourgeBringer

Release Date: 06/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

ScourgeBringer is a fast running jumping and shooting game. You play Kyhra who must slash her way through ancient machines guarding the seal of her past. It's hard and unforgiving, but offers a free flowing exploration and battling that can be tailored...

Test Tube Titans

Release Date: 25/05/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Test Tube Titans is a fighting game where you create monsters in a lab, before taking them into the city to wreak havoc. It is intentionally awkward to control your monster's legs and arms, which adds an incentive to create different types of creatures.

Axiom Verge 2 (Series)

Release Date: 31/03/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Axiom Verge is a series of running, jumping and fighting games where you play as Trace, a scientist who wakes up in an unknown ancient world. It's similar to retro games like Metroid and Contra where you explore levels, collect items and progress your...

Kick Bot

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Kick Bot is a pixelated platform game you play with just two buttons. An evil computer is out for revenge. You must stop its giant robot from kicking Earth into oblivion. As Kick Bot, you jump, dash and collect your way through each level to infiltrate...

Super Pole Riders

Release Date: 11/06/2013

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

A cross between the high jump, jousting and basketball, Super Pole Riders is a simple game where four players must get a ball hanging from a wire to the opponent’s goal using long poles. It’s the controls that make this game so much of a giggle to...

Tallowmere (Series)

Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Wii U and iOS

Tallowmere is a series of running, jumping and fighting games. You aim to get a high score as you journey through a vast, randomly generated 2D retro-style dungeon, dodging traps and killing enemies in gory and unusual ways. Its unique combination of...

Wild River Outlaws

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Wild River Outlaws is a classic arcade-style shooting game where you and a friend shoot your way through bandits and cowboys. With a western theme and inspired by the old Gain Ground and Ikari Warriors game, you rescue and recruit a posse of bandits,...

Enter The Gungeon

Release Date: 05/04/2016, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Enter the Gungeon is a shooting game where you use one stick for running around and the other to aim. These twin-stick controls combine with loads of enemy bullets to dodge to create a tough challenge. You play four adventurers descending into the...

Flipper Volcano (Sokpop)

Release Date: 31/08/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Flipper Volcano is a pinball game where you play a ghost trying to escape a volcano with rising lava. It's an unusual take on traditional pinball where the idea is not to score points but rise up through the volcano by passing your ghost up through each...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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