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Mechanical Challenge 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 38 games from the last 21 years, with 306 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.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 306
 

 

OCO

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/08/2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative and Platform

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Spectrum 48 Games (@Spectrum48Games)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Phantom Abyss

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/06/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle and Sports

Developer: Phantom Abyss (@PhantomAbyss)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Boomerang X

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 37 features

Developer: Video Dang (@VideoDang)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Genres: Action, Open World, Racing and Sports

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Megagon inds (@Megagon_inds)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Osu!

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

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

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action and Rhythm

Developer: Ppy (@Ppy)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

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

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12-14 year-olds

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

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Deep Night Fr (@DeepNightFr)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

BedWars

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 19/01/2017

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Blockman Go (@BlockmanGo)

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

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

Cuphead

Content Rating: PEGI 7

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

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

Genres: Action and Platform

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Studio MDHR (@StudioMDHR)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

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.

Geometry Dash

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Creative, Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Rob Top Games (@RobTopGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Descenders

Content Rating: PEGI 3

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

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

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Rage Squid (@RageSquid)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

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)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

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

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

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: IO Interactive (@IOInteractive)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Skatebird

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 16/09/2021

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

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Glass Bottom Game (@GlassBottomGame)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Skyblock

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

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

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

Genres: Creative, Fighting, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Sky Block Server (@SkyBlockServer)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 5 players online

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....

QWOP

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Bfod (@Bfod)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Ready or Not

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Void Interactive (@VoidInteractive)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

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...

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/08/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Shooting and Strategy

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online

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...

Eggggg

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Platform

Developer: Hyper Games (@HyperGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Rolando

Skill Rating: 4-10 year-olds

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Mac and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Hand Circus (@HandCircus)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Fugl

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 14/09/2017

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Melo Dive (@MeloDive)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Kolumno

Content Rating: PEGI 3

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 7 features

Developer: Devilish Games (@DevilishGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Cyber Shadow

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/01/2021

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

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Meka Skull (@MekaSkull)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Deru - The Art of Cooperation

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Ink Kit Studio (@InkKitStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Heavenly Bodies

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 07/12/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: 2 pt Studio (@2ptStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Rog & Roll

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Clayzulah (@Clayzulah)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Cave Story

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

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

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Studio Pixel JP (@StudioPixelJP)

Players: This is a single player game

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,...

Fossil Echo

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Awaceb (@Awaceb)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Kick Bot

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action and Platform

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Two Scoop Games (@TwoScoopGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

ScourgeBringer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

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

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Flying Oak Games (@FlyingOakGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Super Pole Riders

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 11/06/2013

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Fighting and Sports

Developer: Bfod (@Bfod)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

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

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

Genres: Fighting, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Chris NZL (@ChrisNZL)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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...

Test Tube Titans

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/05/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting and Simulation

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Ghost Time Games (@GhostTimeGames)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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.

Vectronom

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: ARTE Interactif (@ARTE_Interactif)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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...

Axiom Verge 2

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

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

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: Axiom Verge (@AxiomVerge)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Enter The Gungeon

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

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

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Dodge Roll Games (@DodgeRollGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Gonner (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 22/10/2020

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Ditto Mat (@DittoMat)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Gonner 2 is a running and jumping game where you defend yourself by shooting enemies in a chaotic procedural environment as a small character called Ikk. You'll need a large amount of patience as you die a lot. To progress you need to hone your shooting...

Wild River Outlaws

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Sky Pirate Radio (@SkyPirateRadio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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,...

Vagante

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: Nuke Nine Games (@NukeNineGames)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Vagante is an adventure game where you hunt for riches in a dark fantasy world filled with monsters, demons, and crooks. Like Spelunky, enemies are not pre-programmed but respond to the player and the environment. This creates all sorts of ways to...

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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