Don’t worry — we’ll resolve all this next week. Photo: Capcom
You don’t always have to sit down to an epic, 100-hour slog to get your gaming in. Developers are delivering plenty of great bite-size, episodic games that (usually) release one part at a time.
If you’re looking for something you can play in installments, here are four great places to start. These games are all fully released, so you won’t have to wait for the next episode if you can’t stand the suspense. This is great if you’re like me; I watched all of Breaking Bad in a week once it was all up on Netflix. That’s just how I roll.
There’s a trick to creating a compelling game for your wrist. Photo: Bossa Games
From James Bond’s laser Rolex to Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone, spies have always been suckers for wearable tech.
To salute secret agents’ fondness for the latest gadgets, the makers of Spy_Watch crafted their new game for the latest cutting-edge device — the Apple Watch. And, like clever spymasters, there’s a twist: They paired this super-modern smartwatch with a vintage videogame mechanic to make a compelling game suitable for a gadget the size of Dick Tracy’s famous wrist radio.
“The idea is to immerse yourself in the idea that you are a spymaster controlling a spy out on missions,” Vince Farquharson, COO of Spy_Watch developer Bossa Games, told Cult of Mac. “To make it feel like they are a real person and that this is really happening.”
I can play this anywhere? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Hearthstoneaddicts players rejoice! Blizzard’s incredibly compelling digital card game is now optimized for your iPhone or iPod touch.
We’ve heard rumors that some folks even use their iPhone while in the bathroom. Gross! If you’re one of those people, though, get ready to never stop playing Hearthstone again.
Sure, the video game company behind mega-hits World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo III has had a version of this easy-to-learn, hard-to-master two-player collectible card game on the Mac and iPad since 2013, but this is the first time you’re able to play it on the small screen without any jailbreaking or hacking needed.
“Hearthstone is now officially supported on iPhone and iPod touch,” says the App Store description. “…Featuring an all-new intuitive interface hand-crafted for the mobile experience, it’s never been easier to take Hearthstone with you anywhere you want to play.”
Things could be going a bit better, for sure. Photo: Activision
You’re in the green room, waiting for your curtain call. You can hear the throngs of rabid fans in the audience, just waiting for you and your group of rock and roll rebels to take the stage.
You and your bandmates head out, winding through backstage. You flirt with a cute blonde production assistant; a bearded roadie hands you your favorite axe. You step out onto a massive stage in front of a crowd of thousands. You totally suck at playing the guitar. The crowd, fickle as ever, turns on you.
No, this isn’t that anxiety dream you’ve been having ever since you were a teenager, this is the new Guitar Hero, a new video game with a familiar name and a very different experience.
Stop getting interrupted when you’re gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
I’ve been playing Vainglory quite a bit lately, and the one thing that really distracts me and actually impacts my gameplay (when on my iPad 3) is notifications. They can make the game stutter, which wreaks havok on my ability to gank an enemy Joule from the bushes with my Krul.
Seriously, it’s annoying.
I turned on Do Not Disturb last week to try and get rid of these badges that annoy, but it never worked: I still got notifications from Facebook, Messages and other appss. I did some digging to find out why.
Tap your wrist, save the world. Photo: Everywear Games
Helsinki-based developer Everywear Games surely had to rethink the way they pitch when they decided to make an Apple Watch game. Runeblade, the team’s casual fantasy-adventure made only for the Apple Watch, will launch onto Apple’s diminutive third screen later this month.
“The game is designed to be played in 5-15 second sessions and builds over time as you progress through the journey,” said CEO Aki Järvilehto in a statemnent. “We’re excited to help pioneer game development on Apple Watch with a fully original title designed specifically for smartwatch gaming.”
The team has released a trailer to tease the game, and it looks interesting, if a bit tiny. It is a game meant to be played on your wrist. With one hand.
That looks like a Professor Layton … card game? Ugh. Photo: Level-5
Level-5, the game developer behind adored Nintendo 3DS gaming franchises Professor Layton and Fantasy Life, is making the rough transition to mobile devices.
At a press conference in Japan, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino said Layton 7, the next installment in the Professor Layton series, and Fantasy Life 2, sequel to the much-loved Fantasy Life sim game, would be coming to iOS and Android smartphones.
Unfortunately, both games show signs of becoming shallow mobile experiences, the biggest reason companies like Nintendo have cited as a reason not to bring handheld titles into the mobile arena.
Three great tastes that taste great together. Photo: Dick Poelen/King Penguin
Ah, Pong, the first video game I ever played! If you’re like me and feeling nostalgic for the retro-goodness of Pong, Pac-Man, or even Space Invaders, boy are you in luck.
Pacapong is a new free game that mashes up all three of these fantastic classic video games into one lovely multiplayer package that you can play on your Mac (or PC/Linux box) right now. How they all fit together is a mystery even the developer isn’t aware of.
“I’m actually not sure why,” developer Dick Poelen tells Cult of Mac, “but it started with adding Pac-Man and the maze to Pong. That seemed to make sense.”
This weekend is WrestleMania and, even as a kind of lapsed fan, I still can’t help but be excited about the prospect of Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and pals plying their trade on the grandest stage of ‘em all.
Which, of course, makes this the perfect time for Warner Bros. Interactive and WWE to update its WWE Immortals card-based fighting game for iOS — adding the characters “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, plus an all-new Events System, to what was already a fun gaming experience.
Daryl Hornsby is a friendly guy with a mission. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Indie developer Daryl Hornsby has a novel approach for getting kids engaged with educational games: Don’t dumb things down.
That’s the key to Machineers, the clever puzzle-adventure game his company crafted to to lead kids through various programming logic concepts.
“When you say you want to target 10 to 15 year-olds, you’re told you have to make it overly colorful and bubbly, and that no kids read text,” Hornsby told Cult of Mac. “We’ve been able to prove that this is not quite the case. We’ve found that kids want to be treated like adults, but it still has to be approachable.”