In all our wildest dreams of future technologies, who would’ve guessed that we’d remain beholden to our damn tamagotchi pets?! It’s 2015 and according to Back to the Future II, we’re already knee deep in the future, and yet without fail, we continually pause upon the threshold of progressive technologies to collectively reminisce of the good old days of gaming. And so it remains that with the Apple Watch this nostalgic cycle continues.
But today is not a day for wistful reminiscence. Conversely, we are here to dwell upon advancement; because, despite the proliferation of archaic heritage games, there is myriad of marvels of innovation within the field of wrist sized, diminutive gaming.
Keep reading to find out more about some of the most creative, compelling games made for the Apple Watch to date, and decide whether or not to let your 8bit pretend friend expire.
Spy_Watch is generally at the top of most Apple Watch game roundups and for a very good reason: it’s awesome. The main game play mechanic relies on notifications to keep the player engaged in an immersive story of espionage in which you are led through a series of missions to assassinate enemy spies and uncover the mystery of your father’s death. You don’t just “play” Spy_Watch. You LIVE, Spy_Watch. Fans of Cloak and Dagger will really enjoy this game.
The thought of playing a role playing game on a tiny screen seems precarious at best; however, Runeblade is expertly tailored to fit the dimensions of the Apple Watch without causing strain on the players sense of adventure. Like most other well designed RPG’s, the game play mechanics evolve and deepen over time urging players to grow their character’s abilities in a way that won’t scare off the casual gamer. There’s even an iPhone client to help players more comfortably fiddle with the nitty gritty of the RPG idiom: extensive equipment inventories!
Lifeline is a moody, sci-fi text adventure written by Dave Justus, who also penned the amazing Fables: The Wolf Among Us. It plays out in real time with text based notifications that prompts players to engage with a solitary, stranded astronaut on an alien moon. No internet connection required, no in-app purchases, and multiple endings. THIS is the choose your own adventure game fans of Alien and Moon have been waiting for.
One of the more innovative games on this list, Zombies, Run! takes advantage of the Apple Watch’s built-in features more so than most other games on the market. It’s essentially an ARG that tracks your movement through a city and encourages you to literally run from an encroaching, make-believe zombie horde. Crafted with expertly written missions from an award-winning novelist, the games utilizes enthralling sound design to create an audio adventure that will keep you running for your life. Not for exercise phobic folks, try this game out if you’d like to be in shape for when the real zombie apocalypse goes down.
Fast-paced and composed of an ever evolving set of game mechanics, Rules! is a puzzle game that keeps players on their toes. Also, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of cute robots and shifty eyed unicorns. Choose from three different difficulty levels and spelunk your way through the 100 level deep dungeon of cuteness.
Letter Zap exists because game enjoyment isn’t always about convoluted rules, powerups, and flashiness. It’s at times more about simplicity and execution. Enter: Letter Zap. You’re given 30 seconds to uncover as many words as possible among a group of letters. Anagram games have been around since the advent of smartphones, but what a relief to have one that’s bringing it back to the basics.
A social game in nature, Trivia Crack steals a page from the Zynga playbook by inducing a competitive craze in the player. It’s basically a Trivial Pursuit clone that originated on both iOS and Android, and was so wildly popular in those markets that it must have been a slam dunk decision bringing it to Apple Watch. Unlike some other Apple Watch games, this one is formatted so that you’ll never have to touch your iPhone to play.
The Apple Watch is still brand spanking new, so the diversity of games is still quite limited. If the Apple Watch is to survive the test of time, both Apple and 3rd party developers will need to continually push the notions of what wrist-borne gaming looks like.
Otherwise, we’ll look back on this wearable computer experiment as this generation’s Virtual Boy. What kind of gaming experience would you most enjoy seeing strapped to your wrist?