Mac adventure game bonanza: Avernum 2, Icewind Dale Enhanced, and more!

This week I'd like to highlight half a dozen recently-released adventure games you can play on your Mac. Whether it's solo play exploring the surface of an alien world or team-based play in a classic dungeon crawl that's more your speed, I've got something that might appeal to you here.

Some of these games are available via Steam and too, so if you're comfortable getting apps from places beside the Mac App Store, it can pay to shop around if you'd like to save a few bucks. In fact, one of them — Grim Fandango — is only available from Steam.

1. Avernum 2: Crystal Souls

Spiderweb Software's latest is a dungeon crawl in the grand tradition of games like Wizardry for the Apple II, Ultima and more. Explore an underworld populated with more than 100 towns and dungeons. The developer clocks more than 50 hours of gameplay in this one, with three separate game-winning quests and dozens of side quests to keep you busy. Master magic and battle disciplines, interact with unique races and settings.

Although it's a sequel, the story is completely self-contained, so if you're new to the Avernum series, you don't need to worry about getting in over your head.

2. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

The latest offering from the folks at Aspyr is an updated version of a game that first came out in 2005. The ambitious game is a paranormal action-adventure title set in modern day New York city: A murder-mystery in which seemingly normal people become possessed and murder strangers in public.

The original developer, Quantic Dream, has resisted easy categorization of Fahrenheit, preferring to think it as interactive cinema rather than a conventional game. This game makes full use of a dual-thumbstick game controller (you can read up on how to connect a console game controller to your Mac).

3. Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition

Finally available for download from the Mac App Store. This is a completely redone version of its role playing game based on Dungeons & Dragons, originally released back in 2000.

The game's been rebuilt for modern devices with a new interface, but goes a step further with new content as well - dozens of new spells and items, new kits to outfit your party with and new classes, cooperative cross-platform play and more. It's gorgeous, but more importantly, it has tons of play value. You'll spend hours exploring the dungeons in Icewind Dale and leveling up your party.

4. Grim Fandango

I've already written about Grim Fandango, a classic LucasArts adventure game that's been brought back to life, updated for new devices and re-released by Double Fine (the company whose founder, Tim Schaefer, designed Grim Fandango back in the day).

It's a gorgeous and unforgettable game that puts you in the role of an afterlife travel agent who uncovers a corrupt conspiracy in the land of the dead. It combines cultural elements of Day of the Dead festivals and Aztec mythology with a healthy dose of humor and a Maltese Falcon film noir style. Not to be missed.

5. Last Inua

Last Inua plays like a side-scrolling platformer, and it's pretty linear. But that doesn't make it any less of a compelling adventure game. This atmospheric father-and-son tale sets you on an adventure to help your young boy Hiko fight the demonic Tonrar, battling against the harsh arctic elements and Tonrar's supernatural forces to visit the Trinity of Magical Creatures - the Ice Bear, the Raven and the Narwhal.

You're no match for most of forces supernatural and natural you encounter. You, as Ataataq, Hiko's father, must use your brains and brawn to figure out how to overcome the obstacles and outsmart the opponents you'll face.

The game sports gorgeous animations and artwork, compelling gameplay and a strong emotional component that makes it an absolute must-have.

6. Space Age

After a successful stint on iOS, Space Age is out for Mac. It landed earlier this month. It's a point-and-click adventure game that takes me back to classic Sierra Online games like King's Quest and Space Quest. It's the story of Private, a soldier who lands on another planet and is tasked with collecting resources, including the rare Nucleum. Something is amiss, though.

Along the way through this game you must solve puzzles, often relying on the skills of teammates to help you. You'll die along the way learning how the puzzles work, but that's part of the fun of it. It's easy to lose hours to Space Age if you're not careful.

Like its iOS counterpart, Space Age offers different color palette options for users with red or green color blindness, and it syncs to iCloud so you can continue the game on your iPhone or iPad when you're away from your Mac.

7. What kind of adventure games do you like?

Is your idea of a perfect adventure game more like The Legend of Zelda, or is Dungeons & Dragons more your style? Do you consider platformers like Last Inua part of the adventure game genre? Or are adventure games not your thing at all? Need some suggestions for how to get started? Let me know what kind of Mac games rock your world.