While my blogging output has been pretty minimal this year, I’ve played a lot of Apple TV games. So much so, I’m considering letting my PlayStation Plus subscription lapse. There seems to only be just enough room in my life for one console, and Apple TV combined with Apple Arcade is more than satisfying my gaming needs.
Out of all the Apple TV games I’ve played in 2020, there’s been one to which I’ve kept returning and pouring more hours into. Its developer has provided a constant drip feed of content and improvements, and its provided the most fun I’ve had with a controller in hand in a year that can be easily described as less than ideal.
Hit the Continue button below to find out why Butter Royale is The Apple TV Gaming Blog’s Best Apple TV Game of 2020.
In a recent post I detailed how much I’ve been enjoying spending some quality time with Sociable Soccer 2020 on Apple Arcade. I also however, noted a couple of wrinkles that Combo-Breaker (who handles development while Tower Studios owns the licence) might hopefully iron out at some point.
Well in recent days I’ve actually been afforded an opportunity to play an unreleased build of SS2020, in which the developer is aiming to address some specific issues and improve the game’s quality in general.
I’ll stress that the improvements I’ve seen may or may not make it into the final update when released, so bare that in mind as we jump in and have a look at what Combo-Breaker have been tinkering with under the hood.
Well that was unexpected. We now have a new Oceanhorn game to look forward to, as announced by studio Cornfox & Bros. earlier today. And wow, what a left turn the series is taking with this third title.
The 16-bit era is so revered that studios continue to pay homage, and Apple TV has it’s fair share. Recently released Aruna’s Adventure looks like serious fun, while the wonderful Evoland 2 takes players through a history lesson of RPG aesthetics (read ATVG’s review right here, and whatever you do, play it). And how can I not mention the iconic Chrono Trigger? Read the headline of this article again! If you’ve somehow managed to miss it on every other platform known to man, Chrono Trigger is also available on Apple TV.
Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is throwing its 16-bit pixelated hat into the ring, and it looks the goods.
In 2020, players with an Apple TV HD and an Apple Arcade subscription have been spoiled with quality releases. Games such as Warp Drive, The Pathless, South of the Circle, Samurai Jack and Little Orpheus are just a very small sample of titles that have justified the Apple TV as a gaming console.
Outside of Apple Arcade however, quality Apple TV game releases have been few and far between this year. The occasional titles that trickle onto the platform such as Interloper, The Curse of Issyos, Hyper Light Drifter and Oddmar, are exceptions that highlight the rule.
Thankfully, as Apple TV continues to elude mainstream recognition as a gaming platform outside of Apple Arcade, studio Pixelbite continues to back the little black box with its Space Marshals series.
Having managed to complete my initial run through of Chapter One’s 10 levels, it’s time to right those wrongs, and pose the question – does Pixelbite’s third Space Marshals entry deserve a number three in the title?
Back in September, I posted news of five Apple Arcades titles on which I’d seen the end credits roll.
Since then, I’ve kept myself busy, continuing to enjoy the open-ended Apple Arcade games such as Butter Royale, and more recently Sociable Soccer, but also continuing to find my way through the finite ones, enjoying the act of immersing myself in one until there’s nothing left but the satisfaction of another finished game.
So here’s another roundup of three more Apple Arcade games that deserve the attention of your big flatscreen and controller. Three more Apple Arcade games that will remind you that your Apple TV is very capable of playing the role of a gaming console.
Apple Arcade currently has two offerings for football fans, and they complement each other nicely. One is Charrua Soccer, and is the more arcade-like experience of the two, with a focus on fun, made obvious by its cartoonish player depictions. Having said that, it still carries a satisfying level of depth, and has a bucketload of gameplay options, tournaments, teams and so on.
Apple Arcade’s second offering is Sociable Soccer 2020 from Tower Studios and Combo-Breaker, and it’s clearly aiming to be more simulation-based, with its studs more firmly grounded in reality.
With two such high quality options available, I’d recommend checking out both titles.
After doing a recount, there’s currently 142 games vying for your attention on Apple Arcade, with a diversity and level of quality that this writer finds astounding. With the service being little more than a year old, and only so many hours in a day, I’ve yet to dig deep into many of the games on my radar.
But word on the street is there’s a big update just over the horizon for Sociable Soccer 2020, and so with major changes on the way, I thought now would be a good time to reacquaint myself with this version of The Beautiful Game.
Butter Royale is Apple Arcade’s answer to Fortnite.
Viewed from the top down, rather than over the shoulder, studio Mighty Bear have nailed the one-more-go recipe required for battle royale games to find success.
You won’t find any realistic, graphic, bloody shooters on Apple’s gaming subscription service, but Butter Royale still gives players the opportunity to arm themselves to the teeth, and take to the battlefield in an endeavour to claim bragging rights as the last player standing in the ultimate food fight.
October saw Mighty Bear flex its creative muscles, launching a Halloween event that showed how much the studio is willing to bend and alter this already excellent game’s assets to create completely new playstyles.
The event must’ve proved popular, because in just over 10 hours, Night of the Living Bread is making a come back.
Not quite two weeks ago, ATVG posted news of the third game in Pixelbite’s Space Marshals series. At the time, the studio had still not released an official logo for the game, and so I recycled a stunning mix of art and creativity that ATVG’s art department had come up with back in January.
As you can see above, Pixelbite now has an official banner for Space Marshals 3, taking the pressure off my artists to create another original masterwork, and allowing them to go back to doing whatever it is they do in that dark room with their incense and whisky.
Not only is there now an official banner, but also a trailer and a release date – November 5th.
Hit the Continue Reading button below to check out the trailer.
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.
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.