GameTech: Hardcore gaming here with Apple

When we think of core gaming consoles, we don’t think of Apple. Which is somewhat ironic, when you consider what we call the center of an apple.

Still, the communications giant has made Apple Arcade a core feature of their 2020 push, with the Apple website currently overrun with gaming characters that can be found on the platform. When you visit the Apple site, characters from Redout, Sneaky Sasquatch, Rayman, Towaga and LEGO Brawls can be seen diving around the company’s flagship products.

Apple Arcade will see the company push gaming across its platforms this year.
Apple Arcade will see the company push gaming across its platforms this year.

While this is just a playful promotion, it’s a clear example of Apple pushing gaming across all their platforms and making Apple Arcade front and (ahem) centre in 2020.

While many of the exclusive games are mobile orientated, we would highly recommend the superb Oceanhorn 2 for a deeper gameplay experience that bears resemblance to older Zelda titles. Hard core!

DARK THOUGHTS

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what core audience develops for Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (Multi-platform), which released yesterday. This is one of Netflix’s first entries into game development, and is based on their revival of the Jim Henson show of the same name.

Making Dark Crystal a tactics-driven experience was a clever move by Netflix, as the genre typically separates plot and battles into distinct pieces. So while a cutscene explains the drama, the subsequent battle plays it out.

This allows Netflix to use the show’s distinct puppets for the game’s story, which lends a lot more credibility to the tie-in overall.

However, the real question is who will be the core audience for the game? Dark Age is a mature show, but it’s still for a younger audience. Will they be drawn to tactics battles? The sales figures will tell their own story.

SHOCK TWIST

Some of the best stories in gaming history are available on PlayStation Plus for free this month, in the form of the BioShock Collection and The Sims 4. Great stories in waiting, but for very different reasons.

The BioShock Collection contains some of the best plot-driven, big-budget releases in modern gaming, with the first entry being subversive, submersive and a downright classic action adventure. The big plot twist is still relatively unknown to many gamers and there’s no way you will see it coming. Fantastic stuff.

Meanwhile, The Sims 4 allows you to tell stories of a different kind – your own stories. Sure, it may not be the greatest entry in the series, but there’s still plenty of dollhouse storytelling to do, especially if you trap one of your children in the basement to produce art that funds your lavish lifestyle. (A scenario made infamous by a Sims blogger online).

LONELY BEAUTY

Don’t tell people your Sims stories or they are likely to leave the table. Then again, being alone can be great. Just ask The Brotherhood, who named their latest game Beautiful Desolation.

“Mark, a man out of time, searches for his lost brother Don, in a far-flung futuristic era ruled by highly advanced technologies which are both revered and reviled,” says the game’s summary. Negotiate your passage with local leaders, healers, and warriors, or find yourself embroiled in a battle against nanite swarms, scorpions and rocket-equipped robots.”

Just like their last game, Stasis, the South African developers have created an isometric, story-driven experience in Beautiful Desolation. It should stave off the loneliness when it releases on PC later this month.

REMASTER 101

Finally, if you’ve been feeling lonely without a Platinum game, then they have 101 friends to introduce. The iconic Japanese developer has announced a remaster of the cult classic The Wonderful 101, which released on Wii U back in 2013 and didn’t see release on any other console.

Announcing a Kickstarter project to remaster the game this week, the target was originally $50,000 for a Switch remaster only, but just a few hours in the goal had been smashed to $500,000, which means we’ll see a release on PC and PS4 also.

There are additional rewards if the Kickstarter reaches $1.5m, but with all the port options met, we’re in great company already.

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