Little Orpheus Episode 9 – More Beautiful Layers Of The Onion

A Rush of Onion to the Head is the cryptic title of Little Orpheus’ episode 9 which released just yesterday. Last night ATVG dimmed the lights, fired up the flatscreen, the Apple TV 4K and the Nimbus, and once again ventured down the rabbit hole with cosmonaut Ivan Ivanovich.

Was it a good night in?

Hit the Continue button below to resolve this Little Orpheus-style cliffhanger.

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Time To Download Little Orpheus Again – Ep 9 Incoming (Very Soon)

Weighing in at 3.9GB on Apple TV’s App Store, Little Orpheus can easily be considered one of the big boned titles among Apple Arcade’s lineup (after all, there is that T-rex to cater for).

With only 64GB in total available on my Apple TV 4K’s hard drive, some housekeeping needs to occasionally be done, meaning that finite games with definitive endings are always the first to go once the credits roll (don’t worry Butter Royale, you are safe).

You can catch some bite-size reviews of a handful of games in which ATVG has seen the end credits (including Little Orpheus) right here, and here.

What I’m trying to say in a long winded way, is that I’m going to need to download The Chinese Room’s Little Orpheus again, because a new episode is on the way, and may even be out by the time I finish posting this piece.

The episode – number 9 – is titled A Rush of Onion to the Head, and The Chinese Room earlier today teased social media with some screens from the upcoming ep, complete with intriguing captions.

Hit the Continue button below for a peek.

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The Best Apple TV Games Of 2020

This time last year, I revisited ATVG’s 2016, 2017 and 2018 end-of-year roundups – taking a look back on the first three years of Apple TV gaming, with the benefit of a little more perspective. It was a journey worth taking, and if you’re new to this niche gaming console’s world, it’s the best way to get acquainted with what’s on offer.

Here’s some in-case-you-missed-it links for you:

ICYMI: Recap – Celebrating 3 Years Of Apple TV Gaming – Year One (2016)
ICYMI: Recap – Celebrating 3 Years Of Apple TV Gaming – 2017
ICYMI: Recap – Celebrating 3 Years Of Apple TV Gaming – 2018

Then of course there was 2019, which saw the birth of Apple Arcade; an event some might argue heralded the true birth of Apple TV gaming.

Have a read:

The Best Apple TV games of 2019

And now that you’re all caught up, welcome to 2020.

2020 has been an outstanding year for Apple TV gamers who also carry an Apple Arcade subscription. Without a subscription? Not so much.

Aside from a very few notable exceptions – of which I’ve chosen ATVG’s best four over the page – high quality console worthy non-Arcade titles were few and far between on Apple TV in 2020. I still believe they’re on the way, but it seems it will be a slow burn.

The ingredients are nearly all in place; Apple Arcade’s exceptional catalogue, plus PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X controller compatibility (with PS5’s DualSense compatibility rumoured to be not far behind), will continue to slowly draw attention to the platform.

New Apple TV hardware with more horsepower under the hood surely will arrive not too deep into 2021, allowing games closer to triple A status on Apple Arcade. With these arrivals, developers might be a little more inclined to see Apple TV as a viable destination for releases outside of Apple’s subscription service.

2021 will no doubt be another formative year for Apple TV gaming, as every early year in the life of a console this young will no doubt be. With new hardware and the safe bet of a tonne of new games (certainly for Apple Arcade anyway), combined with Apple’s penchant for the occasional unexpected one more thing, and it’s bound to continue being a fun ride.

If you do own an Apple TV 4K and compatible controller, and you want a fast track to turning it into an excellent place to play right now – grab yourself an Apple Arcade subscription and dig in. There’s currently nearly 150 options in Arcade’s roster, many of which deserve to be enjoyed within a console environment (i.e. big screen!).

Over the page I’ve put together the best Apple TV gaming releases of 2020, inclusive of both Arcade and non-Arcade titles. So enough with the preamble, and on with the games.

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Best Apple TV Game Of 2020: Butter Royale

Choosing a Game of the Year is no easy task.

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.

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Oceanhorn Becomes A Trilogy via 16-bit Inspired Chronos Dungeon

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.

Hit the Continue button below for more.

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

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.

Mash the Continue button for more.

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Sociable Soccer 2020 – The Beautiful Game

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.

Mash the continue button below for more.

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Butter Royale’s Halloween Event Is Coming Back Today

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.

Hit the continue button below for more.

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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”