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.
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).
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.
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.