7 Alternatives to Civilization 5 for MacBook Air Owners

Looking for some great games to play on your MacBook Air? If you’re a fan of strategy games like Civilization 5, you’ve got more options than you might think. MacBooks aren’t usually the first choice for gaming, but that doesn’t mean they can’t handle a good game.

More developers are making their games Mac-friendly, and a VPN for games can help you access more games, especially for online play.

Everyone has their favorite type of game, whether it’s shooters, MOBAs, or strategy games. If you’ve been hooked on Civilization 5 but are ready for something new, here are 7 great alternatives:

Starcraft II

This is a classic from Blizzard. It’s a bit old but still a favorite. Players typically begin in the campaign mode, choosing to play as Zerg, Protoss, or Terran. This mode is great for getting a feel for the game.

After mastering the basics, you can dive into the multiplayer arena and test your skills against other players.

Sure, it’s a bit of a challenge to get really good at Starcraft II, but the sense of achievement as you improve is definitely rewarding.

While Blizzard’s reputation has seen better days, they’ve proven their ability to craft top-notch games, and Starcraft II is no exception. It’s a standout title that has stood the test of time.

Regular updates and balance patches from Blizzard would be welcome, but even without them, the game remains a hit. The lack of frequent updates hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of its player base. 

Warcraft III

Another gem from Blizzard, Warcraft III takes you to a fantasy world. In this real-time strategy game, the gameplay revolves more around broad strategy or macro-management.

You’ll find yourself leading smaller armies compared to other games, but here’s the twist: your focus is on controlling one or more heroes. 

As you play, these heroes gain levels, unlocking new abilities that give you an edge in battle. It’s a different take on strategy gaming, where the growth and development of your heroes can turn the tide in your favor.

Age of Empires II

A true classic in real-time strategy games. Age of Empires II may not be the newest, but it’s definitely a fan favorite. 

Its enduring popularity is evident, as Microsoft keeps rolling out new updates and expansions, even for a game that’s over two decades old.

For Mac users, there’s a slight hitch – Age of Empires II isn’t directly supported on macOS. But don’t let that deter you. You can easily get around this by using an emulator, allowing you to enjoy AoE II on your Mac without much hassle. 

Total War Series

These games are known for letting you control huge armies. They offer a different gameplay style from typical RTS games, but they’re engaging and fun once you get the hang of it.

The real highlight of Total War games is the epic real-time battles. Imagine commanding thousands of troops on a massive battlefield, where your strategic decisions can turn the tide of war. It’s not just about brute force; factors like terrain, morale, and unit types play a crucial role in these battles.

Each game in the series takes you to a different historical period or setting. From the samurai warfare of feudal Japan in “Shogun” to the grandeur of the Roman Empire in “Rome,” and even to the fantasy realms of “Warhammer,” Total War offers a rich variety of scenarios to explore.

The series is also praised for its attention to historical detail, making it a hit among history buffs. However, its depth and complexity can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, especially if you’re used to more straightforward RTS games. But, once you get the hang of it, the Total War series can be incredibly rewarding and addictively engaging.

Crusader Kings

Crusader Kings is taking off these days, especially since the latest game in the series hit the shelves.

Playing it isn’t too tough, but it does have some quirks that set it apart. You’ll find yourself pausing the game more often than usual to make choices about your kingdom’s finances and army.

What shines in Crusader Kings is its story. If you’re into medieval history, this game’s going to be right up your alley.

Company of Heroes

If you’re looking for a more modern setting, this game set in the 20th century is a refreshing change from fantasy or medieval themes.

Company of Heroes delivers an intense WWII gaming experience that shakes up the real-time strategy scene. It’s all about making you feel the impact of war, from the sacrifices of soldiers to the devastation of the battlefields.

The game kicks off with the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, and you’re in charge of leading Allied troops against the German forces in key WWII battles. The single-player campaign is like a movie, packed with dramatic moments and heroism from ordinary soldiers in extraordinary situations.

What’s cool about this game is the smart AI of your squads. Your soldiers react realistically to their surroundings, find cover, and use clever tactics to beat the enemy. The graphics are top-notch, thanks to Relic’s advanced engine, making everything look super realistic.

The game’s environment is totally interactive and destructible, which means no two battles are the same. You can use the terrain and buildings to your advantage, or completely change the battlefield by destroying them.

Rise of Nations

Similar to Age of Empires, but with a twist – you progress through all of human history. You can also adjust settings if you prefer sticking to a specific era.

You’ll gather resources, build infrastructure, and research technologies. Ever dreamed of constructing the Pyramids or the Eiffel Tower?

In this game, you can do that and more, all while building a powerful military with everything from ancient hoplites to modern tanks — and yes, you can do this even in the time it takes to finish your lunch!

Here’s what makes “Rise of Nations” so unique:

  • 18 different nations, each with special abilities and unique military units.
  • A vast array of military units, over a hundred in total, fight on land, at sea, and in the air, ranging from ancient warriors to helicopters.
  • More than two dozen buildings, each with its upgrades and technological advancements, help your city evolve from a small settlement to a thriving Information Age society.
  • 14 iconic Wonders of the World, like the Terra Cotta Army and the Taj Mahal, each offering special bonuses to your nation.
  • A variety of map types, including places like the Amazon Rainforest and the Nile Delta.
  • A “Conquer the World” campaign that links dozens of scenarios together in a grand narrative of global domination.
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