The first time something out of the norm happens, I’d call it an anomaly, and prior to Apple Arcade, games releasing to the App Store on the weekend has certainly been out of the norm.
The second time? It’s a coincidence.
The third time however, it’s safe to call it a pattern.
For the third week in a row we have a handful of new Apple Arcade titles to sink our non-existent free time into, and from here on, we can safely predict this will be the pattern until we get to that golden number of 100-plus promised by Apple prior to launch. At the current rate of four or five a week, that gives us another month or more of weekly releases to look forward to.
There’s still 21 unreleased games on this list, as well as any other bolts from the blue that come completely unexpected.
As in previous weeks, today’s four releases range across a wide variety of genres, from sports, to iconic arcade, a co-op 2D platforming party game, and mind-altering puzzles.
Let’s dig in.
Ballistic Baseball – Gameloft
“An action-packed arcade baseball game that captures the intense battle between pitcher and batter in live head-to-head multiplayer matches.” – Apple press release
Ever since it was announced onstage at Apple’s March event earlier this year that Gameloft were bringing a title to Apple Arcade, ATVG has been intrigued. What would a premium Gameloft release – one without ads, in-app-purchases, free-to-play currencies or timer mechanics – look like?
There’s no arguing that Gameloft can’t do quality. The releases the studio has brought to Apple TV over the last 3 years, such as Gods of Rome, Dungeon Hunter 5, and Modern Combat 5, have had incredible production values. It’s been the business model that’s let those games down, with an overwhelming amount of currencies and timers getting in the way of actual gameplay.
If Apple Arcade title Cricket Through The Ages is a game for those who hate cricket, conversely, Gameloft’s Ballistic Baseball looks like a game for those who love baseball. Which might just leave ATVG out in the cold. Who knows though? I don’t care for actual car racing, but I love car racing games.
Described as a player-versus-player battle between pitcher and hitter, I’m curious to dig in if for no other reason than to see Gameloft going back to releasing a premium game.
Manifold Garden – William Chyr
“Manifold Garden is a game that reimagines physics and architecture. Explore the infinite and master the impossible.” – William Chyr
ATVG recently took a deeper dive into the backstory behind Manifold Garden’s development, and it’s a fascinating tale.
Can games double as art? I think that argument was settled many, many years ago, but if we need another example, Manifold Garden – developed by an installation artist – sure looks like a modern poster child.
PAC-MAN Party Royale – Bandai Namco
“A brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.” – Apple press release
ATVG jumped in for a quick few minutes of Bandai Namco’s latest use of its PAC-MAN IP, and it seems like it will make for a fun local co-op party game.
Players navigate through familiar looking PAC-MAN mazes gobbling pellets and avoiding ghosts, with the last one surviving crowned the winner. Eating pellets increases your speed, giving you more of a fighting chance to dominate the field. Death brings the opportunity to turn the tables and become a ghost yourself, seeking some quality payback. The more deaths, the more ghosts. Just like in real life.
I thought PAC-MAN Party Royale might also include a traditional single player PAC-MAN version for old time’s sake, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to the the case. If you venture in solo, you can fill the remaining player-spaces with bots.
For those after a more classic experience, PAC-MAN CE DX is available on Apple TV, as is the endless PAC-MAN 256.
Thing’s That Go Bump – Tinybop Inc.
The second local multiplayer party game for Apple Arcade this week, Thing’s That Go Bump looks from the trailer to be a more 2D platform based battler, possibly a little like LEGO Brawls.
Players will use household objects to do each other in, fulfilling the role of mischievous yökai (ghosts/spirits).
In the App Store description studio Tinybop promises that new levels will be introduced “roughly every 2 months.”
Tinybop offers a range of apps and games for younger players that seem to specialise in interactive experiences and socialising, rather than simply traditional video games, which is a nice alternative flavour to have available on Apple Arcade.
So it’s another promising lineup for this week, with a bunch of variety. Can’t wait to see what next week brings.
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.