Space Marshals 3 Should Be Out This Month On Apple TV

When studio Pixelbite made the announcement last week on its blog, it failed to include any sort of logo for the third Space Marshals title. So as you can see above, I sent a brief to The Apple TV Gaming Blog’s art department, and as usual, the crack squad of turtle neck-wearing, whisky-sipping, goatee-stroking deadbeats came through with the goods.

Good job team.

Excited about the tri-quel? Is that a word? It isn’t?

In that case, mash the Continue Reading button below for more made-up words.

Continue reading “Space Marshals 3 Should Be Out This Month On Apple TV”

Game Center’s Redesigned Achievements Make Me Want To Achieve Them

Until the recent September update, Game Center’s achievements were little more than just lists of things you’d done in a game, with no design aesthetic at all. After discovering them years ago when I started gaming on Apple’s early iOS devices, I promptly forgot they existed.

I guess I’m the sort of gamer that prefers to play for the fun of the game itself, not driven by ticking boxes in a list. But if I am going to jump through hoops, then I need some visual encouragement, a sense of having collected something for my efforts.

The September update to Game Center definitely fixed that issue.

It’s increasingly difficult to find games nowadays that don’t try to incorporate some sort of card collecting mechanic, and Apple has no doubt taken inspiration from that trend, redesigning Game Center’s achievements as beautiful cards that now exist as happy postcards, momentoes of your journeys through fictional worlds and spaces.

Some developers have put in some real effort, accompanying games with achievement cards that have become beautifully realised must-haves, while others have simply splashed together the same quick run-of-the-mill image to slap onto every one of a game’s achievements.

Hit the continue reading button below to have a look at some examples from both ends the spectrum.

Continue reading “Game Center’s Redesigned Achievements Make Me Want To Achieve Them”

Trained A Monkey, Cooked A Bat – My First Hour In The Survivalists

Apple Arcade feels as if it’s evolving, and slowly developing an identity, with Apple employing some neat little marketing flourishes to help it on its way.

I love for example, how Arcade is embracing its characters and mashing them together in artworks such as the one above. It makes the service feel cohesive and inviting.

Butter Royale’s characters have been getting Saturday morning-style animations, revealing their backstories on social media. They are well worth seeking out.

Updates continue to come thick and fast, adding new content to existing games, with subscribers effectively holding a never ending season pass to Arcade’s offerings. Little Orpheus, which I finished not long that ago, received one of these updates this week, and I know I’ll head back in sometime, but I don’t know when. Hours are short, games are many.

Today I’ve been distracted by the launch of Team 17’s The Survivalists, which just landed on all the major consoles, PC, and Apple Arcade.

Flip the page to find out how my first hour went (spoiler, it was eventful).

Continue reading “Trained A Monkey, Cooked A Bat – My First Hour In The Survivalists”

5 Apple Arcade Games I’ve Seen The End Of On Apple TV

I just had to use this picture again. Can’t help myself.

I thought a fun way to ease back into posting the occasional story might be to have a look back on what’s been taking up ATVG’s game time over the last few months.

In this recent post concerning the case of the missing Facebook icon, I described the arc my gaming took following the birth of Apple Arcade 12 months ago.

For months it was a case of briefly dipping in and out of dozens of games, constantly being distracted by the next shiniest thing, while more kept arriving on the service, each begging to be downloaded and trialled.

Around March or April, I started to employ some self-discipline, deciding to go back and start choosing games from Arcade’s service I felt warranted a full playthrough.

These were not the only games played since then; many such as Butter Royale, Sonic Racing, Shock Rods and Exit The Gungeon (and so many more!) are games to jump in and out of as an arcade snack, when a quick fix as opposed to immersion is what you’re after.

But when time allowed and the headspace was right, the lights would dim, the recliner would recline, and the TV would exclude the outside world as I adventured through some strange world or other, a warming brandy or whisky within reach.

Turn the page to find out which way the wind blew, and where the tides and currents of Apple Arcade have been taking me.

Continue reading “5 Apple Arcade Games I’ve Seen The End Of On Apple TV”

ATVG and the Case of the Missing Facebook Icon

This is something I should’ve done a long time ago, and I owe long time readers (who by now have no doubt found their way to another blog) an apology for not doing so.

There was a handful of regular commenters and followers on ATVG’s Facebook page who woke up a couple of months ago to find the Facebook page missing in action. Gone. The icon in the top banner deleted, leaving Twitter’s little bird as social media’s sole representation.

No explanation. No sayonara. No nada.

Why?

If you care, turn the page.

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The Curse of Issyos – An 8-Bit Classic From A Parallel Universe?

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There are retro-inspired games like Dead Cells (read ATVG’s appreciation) for which studios have taken the framework of the classic 2D action-platform genre, and over that scaffolding built a modern classic with all the trimmings current-generation technology allows.

No one will ever mistake Dead Cells as a game from the late ’80s.

Then there are games like The Curse of Issyos, which will make retro-gaming enthusiasts wonder which parallel universe studios Locomalito and Abylight stole it from.

*** Spoiler Alert – don’t read on if you want the level IV boss and the setting of level V to remain a secret. These are things you may want to discover for yourself when The Curse of Issyos releases April 30***

Continue reading “The Curse of Issyos – An 8-Bit Classic From A Parallel Universe?”

Putting The Blog Back Into The Apple TV Gaming Blog

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When I started this, well, for now let’s say website (although that may be the last time I call it that, for reasons which I’ll hopefully manage to clarify and qualify by the end of this post) back in December 2016, I had two main focuses in mind.

The first was the more ambitious of the two – to create a site that comprehensively covered all things Apple TV gaming. Something like the once-great Toucharcade used to do for iOS.

The second was to carve out a corner of the Internet for myself in which to post random nonsense, with the main guidepost being Apple TV gaming, while allowing myself the freedom to wander aimlessly to other topics if and when they sprang to mind, and somehow corralling those wandering posts back toward the realm of Apple TV gaming. And not even always.

This secondary, more blog-oriented focus was where the From The ATVG Bunker posts tried to fit in.

For reasons I’ll get into past the beloved continue button, I feel I’ve never fully succeeded in either of the above aims, although at the same time, I feel I’ve not fully failed.

And it’s for those as yet unexplained reasons that I’m ditching one of the two focuses, in order to allow the other a better chance at success. And by success, I really just mean enjoyment for both myself, the writer, and hopefully you, the reader, mainly due to the fact that past this point, your expectations will be met.

As usual, the headline has spoilt the reveal, but if you’re interested in more words strung together to form sentences and ultimately paragraphs which ideally as a whole form a coherent yet rambling stream of consciousness [inhale], then hit the continue button.

Continue reading “Putting The Blog Back Into The Apple TV Gaming Blog”

While ATVG Slept, Hyper Light Drifter & Oddmar Hit Apple TV

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As a gaming platform, Apple TV can easily be described as having a quirky charm.

Something about the strange mix of games, the unpredictable nature of those games arriving out of the blue, and the obscurity of the platform, hiding in plain sight from mainstream gamers despite the giant household name behind it, all combine to generate this charming quirkiness.

The games that exist on Apple TV outside the safe, newly built walls of Apple Arcade are nothing if not diverse, both in quality and genre, with the only real triple A offerings available being those of the ‘Triple Indie’ variety. It’s the occasional and surprising arrival of these ‘Triple Indies’ that also lends Apple TV much of its personality.

There’s some big-hitters – Barbearian, Inside, Evoland 2, Teslagrad, Dandara, Transistor and Dead Cells to name a few.

As a shortlist, Apple TV gamers would do very well to start with those.

For most of January, all of February, and the bulk of March, The Apple TV Gaming Blog made like a woodchuck and hibernated, concentrating on non-gaming related hobbies, and while this blog slept, two big indie titles snuck onto the platform, ready to be discovered and enjoyed by Apple TV gamers.

Continue reading “While ATVG Slept, Hyper Light Drifter & Oddmar Hit Apple TV”

No New Apple Arcade Games – But Loads Of Free Content Updates

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My Saturday morning routine is now set.

Out of bed and over to the coffee machine to put on a brew. The pot takes about fifteen minutes to do its thing, filling the apartment with an aroma soon to be tasted. And drunk. Taken in, imbibed, absorbed. Nay, worshipped.

While the machine is doing its thing, grab the iPad and check for new Apple Arcade games. A pleasant little anticipatory buzz as the Arcade section of the App Store loads, to reveal . . . this morning . . . nothing.

That’s okay. The upside is it makes next Saturday a little more exciting, knowing the odds are even better. The other upside this weekend was discovering a bunch of content updates to existing Arcade titles, one of the most notable of which was the conclusion to Shantae’s adventure.

Actually, it felt like Part 2 of Shantae and the Seven Sirens was released in lieu of new Arcade titles this weekend, which seems like a fair compromise.

The last few weeks have seen a slew of notable content updates to Apple Arcade titles, and as stated in today’s previous post, your Apple Arcade subscription is like a season pass to all the games on the service, granting players instant access to future content at no extra cost. Love it.

Hit the continue button below for a look at a handful of Arcade titles that received some big, fat content updates in the last 24 hours or so.

Continue reading “No New Apple Arcade Games – But Loads Of Free Content Updates”

Shantae And The Seven Sirens – The End Is Now

Okay, maybe that headline was a little melodramatic, but it’s hard not to be at the moment.

When studio Wayforward – now in its 30th year of making games – released the long-awaited fifth title in the Shantae series as an Apple Arcade launch title in September 2019, it didn’t actually give players the whole game. Only Part 1 was released,  with Part 2 set to come at an unannounced later date.

Well that unannounced later date has arrived – Part 2 hit your Apple Arcade collection as a free update to Shantae and the Seven Sirens today, along with a whole raft of improvements.

PC and console gamers were also treated to an announcement today by Wayforward, with the studio revealing the release date for those platforms.

Continue reading “Shantae And The Seven Sirens – The End Is Now”