Last week ATVG awoke on Sunday to find four new games had joined the Apple Arcade service, and today, Saturday, another five.
The only pattern that seems to be forming here for new Apple Arcade releases is roughly weekly, and around the weekends, although today is still Friday in many other time zones, but close enough. Let’s call it weekend eve.
Today’s release of five games takes the current total of Apple Arcade games to 80. Apple has said leading up to the release of its subscription service that in the weeks following launch, the total would climb to more than 100, so I would expect this current release trend of a handful of new games each week to continue for a while yet.
A little while back ATVG posted this list of 30 upcoming Apple Arcade games, and I’ve been updating it to cross off these new releases, but there’s still 24 on that list alone yet to come. There are some appearing each week that are complete surprises and not even on that list.
Is anyone else finding it refreshing to not know everything that’s coming in advance?
In this age we live in, we are bombarded by announcements for upcoming release dates of teasers for future trailers spoiling movies and games that we already hate prior to release, based on the nothing but the choice of title. Or something the director said 28 years ago.
Not sure about you, but ATVG is finding these surprise loot box drops of random selections of games – many previously unannounced such as last week’s Pilgrims from Amanita Design – a very welcome disruption.
Similar to last week, today’s releases are a mixed bag of genres. Of particular interest to many Apple TV gamers will be multiplayer arena shooter ShockRods, which ATVG looked at in more detail in this previous post. ShockRods fills a gap in Arcade’s lineup, as there was previously nothing in the way of multiplayer shooters, particularly FPSs, as ATVG discussed recently. While ShockRods is not an FPS, it will certainly fill that hole for many looking for some online battling.
All five games this week look promising for Apple TV actually, as all look like they might benefit from the big screen environment. It’s a good console-gaming week for Apple Arcade releases.
Mash the Continue button below to check out trailers for today’s five new titles.
Decoherence – Efecto Studios
“Decoherence is a competitive action/strategy game where you build robots, devise a battle plan by configuring their A.I and fight alongside them. Get ready to put your strategic thinking, sharp reflexes and adaptability to the test.” – Efecto Studios
Inmost – Chucklefish Games (publisher) – Hidden Layer Games (developer)
“Inmost sees you controlling three playable characters, each with their own unique gameplay mechanics, within one dark, interconnecting story. The narrative is intricate and set across two worlds, weaving together a tale of suffering, sacrifice and a family stuck in the middle of it all.” – Chucklefish Games
Mind Symphony – Rogue Games (publisher) – Empty Clip Studios (developer)
Mind Symphony is now the third game brought to Apple Arcade by publisher Rogue Games, following Super Impossible Road and Hexaflip.
Developed by Empty Clip Studios, Mind Symphony offers two sides of a retro shooter coin for players to flip.
One side is a more frantic offering, called Release mode, sounding like something to help you vent following a tough day at work. Mind Symphony’s App Store notes for Release mode describe it as classic “shoot-’em-up (SHMUP)-style action,” while Calm mode offers more “peaceful, rhythmic, interactions focused on relaxation as you match on-screen cues to melodic points in your favourite songs.”
Interestingly, Apple Music subscribers enjoy the benefit of the music subscription service being woven into the gameplay. Looking forward to checking this out.
ShockRods – Stainless Games
ATVG couldn’t resist, and jumped straight into ShockRods this morning once the download was complete.
Don’t skip the tutorial as you’ll want to get a feel for how these vehicles handle before going online. There’s a double jump available, but once airborne you can only change direction by firing your limited boost, which shoots you towards the direction your camera is facing. This will no doubt come in handy for quick manoeuvring against real-world opponents.
Once the movement tutorial is complete, and you’ve gotten your head around weapon handling, you can then get your hands even dirtier by getting to know the maps while battling it out offline against bots. There’s a nice variety of maps available, with Desert, Lava Pit, Dam, The Arena, Summit, and Snow Fall, each having a very distinctive feel.
I sucked up my courage and went online to find – unsurprisingly – that matches at this early stage were mostly filled with bots to make up the numbers, but there was a couple of other brave souls taking up the fight. Hopefully as awareness grows, matches will soon be filled entirely with humans rather than AI, and then the real fun will begin.
Weapons and ammo are scattered throughout the maps, with snipers, shotguns, grenade launchers, lasers and more waiting to be found. Die and you’ll lose what you’ve found, being forced to respawn with only your unlimited machine gun starter weapon.
There are power-ups available as well, such as a double-damage pickup, which again is lost once you die, and also a shield which can be placed strategically on the battlefield to give cover.
So far I’ve spawned into Capture the Flag matches and Deathmatches.
Following a few online matches it was off to the shop to spend my earned currency, customising my vehicle with some shiny new wheels and a green lightning skin for my boost. Particularly happy with that latter one.
Will definitely be spending some more time in ShockRods over the weekend.
Stela – Skybox Labs
Stela is noted as being a 3.7GB download, making it one of the larger games available on Apple Arcade.
The trailer above from Skybox Labs is giving ATVG a vibe close to Playdead’s Inside, with its creepy silhouettes, mood-lighting, and 2D puzzle platform gameplay.
Stela looks to be yet another title that will suit the big screen of your Apple TV, accompanied with a good stereo system or headphones to capitalise on the atmosphere.
I’m guessing lights off for this one.
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV Games of 2019 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.