An Evening With Sayonara Wild Hearts – 2019 Apple Arcade Game Of The Year

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Of the 102 games currently available (at the time of writing) through Apple’s gaming subscription service – Apple Arcade – The Apple TV Gaming Blog has not yet dipped its toes into Simogo’s latest release, Sayonara Wild Hearts.

As I said in my recent article detailing an evening spent with Stela, I am but one man with two hands. One game at a time it must be.

But ’tis the Season of Lists in the games industry, and Apple kicked things off recently by handing out some awards and announcing its various picks of the year. With all the hype and fanfare surrounding Sayonara Wild Hearts – which featured as a launch title for Apple Arcade – I thought what better time to spend an evening with Simogo’s newest creation?

So I fired up the telly and the Apple TV 4K, powered up the Nimbus, cranked the stereo and dimmed the lights. If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly.

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Stela – Apple Arcade’s Heart Of Darkness

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At the time of writing, Apple Arcade – the tech-giant’s subscription gaming service – has a catalogue of 102 games. The diversity among those 102 releases is expansive, covering nearly every gaming genre imaginable (except you FPS, I’ve got my eye on you). 

There are RPGs of many flavours (ARPG, JRPG, tactical, turn-based), twin-stick shooters, puzzlers that prod both sides and every corner of the human brain, 2D platform games, various multiplayer joints, and much more. 

This level of diversity would be worthless if the quality was not there to match it, but fortunately, it proves equal. Apple Arcade is a labyrinth of gaming goodness that players of all ages will be happy to get lost in.

Whenever I’m exploring one of Apple Arcade’s titles, I feel sorry for the other 101 games I’m not playing, wishing I could clone myself 101 times in order to share the love. But I am just one man, with two hands, so one game at a time it must be. 

A few weeks back, I attempted to start a regular feature for this site called Pick of the Week, but didn’t follow up with any more of them. I don’t think any sort of regular, predictable feature really suits this site. ATVG is more of a wake up and see what’s what sort of site, and regular features dilute the energy of that. Until I change my mind and try a regular feature again. 

So with that said, it’s back to our regular programming, which is writing about whatever Apple TV gaming related thing that’s currently occupying my gaming time.  

Onwards. Excellent. 

Recently I spent some quality time with Apple Arcade title Stela, from Skybox Labs – a dark, brooding, haunted journey through a nightmare wasteland, in which the shadows have eyes, and claws… and teeth. 

Sounds like fun, right? 

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Cornfox Reveals 2020 Roadmap For Oceanhorn 2 – Big Content Update

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Just prior to the launch of Oceanhorn 2 in September, ATVG posted this story revealing the final trailer before the studio hit the big go button. That story is the best way to catch up on this site’s coverage of the sequel, from its initial announcement right through to launch, as I’ve packed all the necessary links into it.

Now that launch has come and gone, and some of you may have even finished it by now (with 101 Apple Arcade games to play, I’ve yet to take much of a bite out of it), it’s time to look to the future.

Today Cornfox did just that, revealing plans for some big updates in 2020.

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With Rosie’s Reality, Apple Arcade Keeps Promise Hitting 101 Games

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In Apple’s September event, a little over two months ago, the tech-giant made a promise: More than 100 games would come to Apple Arcade – its subscription gaming service – in the weeks following launch.

Weeks, not months.

This weekend, and just in the nick of time, Rosie’s Reality, Apple Arcade’s 101st title was released.

Phew, that was close. With Apple Arcade releasing to iOS and iPadOS on September 19 (a week later on Apple TV, and October for Macs), another few days and I could’ve written a story about broken promises. And being the eternal optimist I am, I didn’t really want to write that story.

After a slow start, 2019 has turned out to be a big year for Apple TV gaming, provided you have an Apple Arcade subscription. Without one, high quality releases have been thin on the ground, apart from a recent notable acceptation – Dead Cells (so good!).

Where to from here then Apple TV gamers?

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Manifold Garden – Coming To Apple Arcade This Weekend

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The weekend before last saw four new games come to Apple Arcade – The Bradwell Conspiracy, Nightmare Farm, Pilgrims, and Redout: Space Assault.

On the weekend just passed, five more hit Apple’s subscription service – Decoherence, Inmost, Mind Symphony, ShockRods, and Stela – taking the current count up to 80.

It seems it would be pretty safe to bet on another handful releasing this weekend, as Apple Arcade climbs towards its promised goal of more than 100 games in the weeks following Arcade’s release. Will we see any of these as yet unreleased 24 games this weekend? Get your bingo cards ready.

At the very least, ATVG knows that following October 18, the total will be 81, with William Chyr announcing today that his seven year project – Manifold Garden – will finally be out.

At first glance, I was thinking this might be a nice quiet game to set aside for the iPad, but the more development videos and trailers I watch, the more I’m looking forward to tripping out in front of a 60-inch screen on Apple TV with Chyr’s mind-bending creation.

Punch that Continue button for more.

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Towaga: Among Shadows – Content Update Incoming

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Hot on the heels of Radian Games announcing a huge incoming update for its excellent Apple Arcade racer Speed Demons, which you can read all about right here, Sunnyside Games also announced today that there is more on the way for Towaga: Among Shadows.

With currently 80 games to choose from on Apple Arcade, and more on the way (you can check out another 24 upcoming games right here), it will take ATVG some time to experience them all.

Tonight I’ve jumped in and had a look at Towaga: Among Shadows for the first time, and was once again made aware of the high bar of quality that Apple Arcade games are setting on our Apple TVs (and of course iPads, iPhones, and now Macs).

If, unlike me, you’re deep into the weeds of Towaga’s content, and are hoping for more, today’s announcement will definitely put a smile on your dial.

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4 New Games Just Hit Apple Arcade On The Weekend

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In ATVG’s part of the world, it was a Sunday. On Saturday I posted this list of 30 games that were yet to come to Apple Arcade, and less than 24 hours later, I was already updating the story, crossing a couple of them off.

Two of the games – Redout: Space Assault, and The Bradwell Conspiracy – I was eagerly anticipating, while the other two – Pilgrims and Nightmare Farm – weren’t even on ATVG’s radar.

While it’s not unprecedented for games to release to the App Store on a weekend, it’s certainly unusual. Years ago it became the norm for studios to release on a Thursday, and while other weekdays would see new titles, Thursday became the most common by far. But Saturday or Sunday? Get outta town!

Not that I’m complaining. Who doesn’t like waking up on a Sunday morning to find four new games had come to the subscription service you’d already subscribed to?

I’d mused in Saturday’s post on what sort of release schedule new Apple Arcade titles would follow. Is this to be the start of a new patten, in which each weekend new titles will be delivered to waking gamers? Maybe there will be no set pattern. Maybe small batches of new titles will just come when they’re good and ready, having been baked to a lovely golden brown by master chefs in studios around the world.

Remains to be seen.

For now, let’s have a look at this quartet of freshly baked goods, in which we have a first-person narrative adventure, a gorgeous looking story in which farming seems to be the main mechanic, a puzzle adventure from the makers of Machinarium and Samorost, and a space shooter.

It’s nice to get four such disparate genres all at once. If only one new game had arrived, chances are it may not be in your wheelhouse of favoured styles, but getting four new releases which would barely overlap on anyone’s Venn diagram, chances are much higher that players will find something to enjoy, possibly even more than one.

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Here’s 30 Games That Haven’t Yet Hit Apple Arcade

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We’re a little shy of two weeks into a world in which Apple Arcade on Apple TV is a thing. And what a thing it is.

What phase are you in?

Personally I spent the first week in a phase of trying game after game for 15 minutes to half an hour while waiting for another one to download and so on and so forth. During every game I played, I felt sorry for all the games I wasn’t playing.

After that first week, I felt myself moving into a second phase which involved going back to the games I’d briefly tried but really enjoyed on the big screen, such as Spidersaurs, Exit the Gungeon, Sonic Racing (a bit broken at first, but here’s how I fixed it), Oceanhorn 2, Punch Planet and a bunch of others, and spending some more prolonged, quality time with them.

And then along came Dead Cells. What a distraction that was. And still is.

So now I’m alternating between runs in Dead Cells, and spending some solid time with Oceanhorn 2. All the others will have to wait patiently for their turn, I’ve only got two hands.

None of this is taking into account the multitude of Apple Arcade games that are a really nice fit for iPhone and iPad, which I’ve been dabbling in as well.

Prior to Apple Arcade’s launch, I posted this list of 61 games that I knew were coming to the service, but post-launch, many of them haven’t yet arrived. With that earlier list now redundant, I thought I’d filter out all the ones that launched, and post a new list with just the ones that haven’t, plus a couple more I’ve since learned about. As with the earlier list, I’ll look at updating this new list as more information comes to hand.

In total you’ll find 30 games over on page 2 that are on the way, and right about now would be a great time for Apple to start building some hype for what’s to come beyond the initial launch stage. While there’s already way too many games to have gotten through already, players will want to start looking to the future to see if the free trial they’re currently enjoying is worth converting into a paid subscription.

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of rhythm Apple Arcade settles into for new releases. Will they be weekly? Monthly? If it proves successful will we see some big hitters come to the party to sweeten the deal for consumers?

The future feels bright right now for Apple TV gaming as we bask in the afterglow of Apple Arcade’s launch, and hopefully there will be some big announcements to talk about in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.

And mash the Continue button below for more.

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Three Apple TV Games To Play While You Wait For Apple Arcade

Okay, let’s get back on this horse and see if we can find some water. It’s been a while.

The last six months have been a little quiet, both in terms of Apple TV game releases, and in general here at ATVG, with posts averaging around one a month, if that.

I can fix the latter, but not the former.

In regards to the latter, there’s only about two months – give or take (depending on the whims of the Apple gods) – until Apple Arcade arrives to rearrange the furniture (complete with DualShock 4 and Xbox One controller support). And with that in mind, it’s time to get cracking once again, building some momentum and scoping out the lay of the land in preparation. So here I am. Plus there’s a particularly exciting piece of news I want to share with you all which I’ll do in the next post.

In regards to the former, I suspect developers are still playing a cautious game of wait-and-see, holding back from going all-in on Apple TV as a gaming platform until Apple Arcade comes along and boosts it to being a viable place to release games. Or not.

Thankfully, not all studios have been as cautious, with some willing to roll the dice and help populate this strange little undiscovered country that is Apple TV gaming.

For those who’ve disembarked here only recently, having navigated the wild trade winds of a hopeful Google search, the best way to start exploring is by checking out ATVG’s Best Apple TV games of 2018. Let it serve as your initial world map, and from there, you’ll gradually unlock new areas (games) to explore. Promise.

For those of you who are returning after forced exile, due to a lack of new words from yours truly, welcome back, and thanks for your patience. Over the page you’ll find three games which haven’t yet been written about here at ATVG, which is a pity, because they look like they’ve got the goods.

Proper, big, fat, traditional video games.

With lots of juicy gaming meat to gnaw on while Apple Arcade bakes to a lovely, golden brown.

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