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Posts tagged with "Game On"

Game On: Papers, Please Milestones, Netflix Eyes TV Gaming, Vampire Survivors and Rolando News, Plus an RPG for the Weekend

Lucas Pope’s critically acclaimed dystopian puzzle game Papers, Please celebrated a big milestone this week. As reported by Engadget, the game just passed its 10th anniversary and has sold 5 million copies, which is huge for an indie title. Of course, the game is on every platform imaginable these days, but if you still haven’t checked it out after all of these years, you can pick up Papers, Please for just $1.99 on the App Store for a limited time.

Netflix's Game Controller app.

Netflix’s Game Controller app.

Netflix released an iOS app called Netflix Game Controller this week with a UI that consists of standard onscreen versions of game controller buttons and a message that the app can be connected with games on your TV. As TechCrunch’s article on the app points out, though, there are no Netflix games that connect to it yet. An in-app message notes that Netflix Games on TV are currently in beta, and the app’s description simply says the games are coming soon. Netflix declined to comment about the app to TechCrunch.

Vampire Survivors.

Vampire Survivors.

Next week, Vampire Survivors will introduce a co-op mode on all platforms, including iOS. The highly addictive 8-bit style monster shooter that beat Elden Ring, Cult of the Lamb, and God of War: Ragnarök for a BAFTA game of the year award has an extensive FAQ covering how co-op mode will work if you’re interested in learning more.

Also on the horizon, according to TouchArcade, is a Steam version of Rolando that will be compatible with the Steam Deck. Rolando was a sensation on the early iOS App Store, disappeared with the transition to 64-bit apps, but triumphantly returned in 2019 as Rolando: Royale Edition. If you’re interested in videogame history and preservation, Andrew Hayward has a fantastic article on Polygon about Rolando’s 2019 comeback.

Stone Story RPG.

Stone Story RPG.

Finally, I want to leave you with a game recommendation for the weekend: Stone Story RPG. This isn’t a new game, but it was new to me, and I was so impressed with its all-ASCII artwork that I wanted to pass it along.

The game, which is available on iPhone, iPad, and other platforms, is a classic RPG with incredible art throughout, as well as an excellent soundtrack. An AI handles most of the action, leaving you to strategize your next move and craft items to help you on your quest. If you’re looking for something a little different to play on your iPhone this weekend, Stone Story RPG is a great option.


Game On is a periodic roundup highlighting the biggest news in gaming on Apple’s platforms. From the iPhone and iPad to the Mac and Vision Pro, we’ll cover the big-name games on Apple devices, along with notable industry and developer news.


Game On: More Netflix Gaming, Return to Monkey Island, Spaceplan, and Jelly Car Worlds

Oxenfree II.

Oxenfree II.

Not long ago, I linked to an in-depth profile of Netflix Games published by The Ringer. It seems Netflix has been busy getting the word out to more publications because not long after The Ringer’s post, Ash Parrish of The Verge published a story about Netflix Games from the perspective of its in-house studio, Night School, and Ripstone, an outside game developer that created the recently-released game, The Queen’s Gambit Chess.

Night School’s game director for Oxenfree II, Bryant Cannon, told Parrish that:

From a creative perspective, we have been able to maintain our creative independence [from Netflix], which is personally what I care about the most.

The story reinforces the sense I got from The Ringer’s story explaining that:

Netflix’s gaming philosophy right now resembles a kind of patronage system. Netflix supplies its studios with resources, and they’re free to pursue whatever artistic avenue they want. This approach isn’t too far off from how game subscription services work, bringing Netflix in line with products like Xbox’s Game Pass and Apple Arcade.

Last week also saw the release of Return to Monkey Island on the iPhone and iPad. The game, which was released on consoles and Steam last fall, marks the comeback of the classic point-and-click adventure series and its creator, Ron Gilbert.

TouchArcade, which is one of the few sites to review the iOS and iPadOS versions of Return to Monkey Island was impressed:

Having now played Return to Monkey Island on basically everything but PS5, it shines on a portable. The iOS versions have controller support as well as touch support as I mentioned above, but so do the Steam Deck and Switch versions. Given the game looks, runs, and plays brilliantly on all portables I tried it on, I recommend getting it wherever you enjoy playing games the most. There is no definitive portable version because they are all excellent. My favorite version is definitely the iPad version on my iPad Pro.

If you’re a 90s gamer with nostalgia for the Monkey Island series, Return to Monkey Island sounds like a great way to revisit the series on modern hardware.

Spaceplan.

Spaceplan.

I’ve never been a big fan of clicker games. I find them too mindless for my tastes, but last week, I stumbled upon an update to Spaceplan, a weird and wonderful potato-planet themed clicker by Jake Hollands that debuted in 2017. With the update, Spaceplan runs on modern screens, adds haptic feedback, and refreshes other game elements.

At the start of the game, you need to press a button repeatedly to collect energy that can be traded for items that collect the energy for you. The catch is that items cost progressively more in collected watts as the game goes on.

Apparently, there’s a conclusion to the game, although I haven’t reached it yet. What’s drawn me into Spaceplan is the simple graphics, hypnotic electronic soundtrack, and dialogue that help build a story around an incredibly simple mechanic. As it turns out, sometimes a little mindless fun is just what I need to unwind, and Spaceplan delivers that perfectly.

Jelly Car Worlds.

Jelly Car Worlds.

Finally, I wanted to call out an update to Jelly Car Worlds, an Apple Arcade title. Jelly Car Worlds is an excellent reimagining of the original Jelly Car, which debuted about a decade earlier on the App Store. The unique physics of this cross between a racing game and platformer are incredibly fun. Worlds added a level editor, which was refined with last week’s release. The update also added the levels from the original Jelly Car game. According to TouchArcade, future updates are planned to add levels from Jelly Car 2 and 3, which will make this a great way to experience those classic levels and inspire the design of new ones in the level editor.


Game On is a periodic roundup highlighting the biggest news in gaming on Apple’s platforms. From the iPhone and iPad to the Mac and Vision Pro, we’ll cover the big-name games on Apple devices, along with notable industry and developer news.


Game On: Pokémon Sleep, Stardew Valley+, Dead Cells, Netflix Gaming, Unity’s PolySpatial Beta, and Epic Games’ Battle with Apple

The videogame industry is huge, surpassing movies and music by wide margins. Apple has seen a lot of success with mobile games, but it’s history with desktop gaming leaves a lot to be desired. However, one thing is clear. Apple wants to expand its presence in the videogame industry and sees Apple silicon as the key to its success.

While the jury’s still out whether the company’s ambitions will succeed, beginning today, we’ll be publishing periodic roundups highlighting the biggest news in gaming on Apple’s platforms. From the iPhone and iPad to the Mac and Vision Pro, we’ll cover the big name games coming to Apple devices, along with notable industry and developer news.


What the Golf? running on visionOS. Source: [Unity](https://blog.unity.com/engine-platform/unity-support-for-visionos).

What the Golf? running on visionOS. Source: Unity.

This week, Unity announced a beta program for PolySpatial, a tool for visionOS developers that integrates with other Unity tools to help developers bring their Unity-based games to Apple Vision Pro. I wrote about the company’s announcement, which also revealed that Triband’s What the Golf? is being adapted for visionOS, earlier this week where you’ll find links to Unity’s blog post about PolySpatial and its beta program.

This week, I also covered a story by Lewis Gordon on The Ringer that takes an in-depth look at Netflix Games’ history and ambitions. It’s a fascinating look at a the video streaming company’s efforts to place a lot of small bets on mobile platforms like the iPhone and iPad, as well as console and PC gaming, in an effort to stay relevant to its subscribers.

Pokémon Sleep.

Pokémon Sleep.

There was big game news this week too. Pokémon Sleep, a gamified sleep tracking app from The Pokémon Company that’s been in development since at least 2019 debuted on iOS and Android. According to Ash Parish at The Verge:

Sleep works by having you place your phone on your pillow after doing any of the fifty ‘leven million Pokémon-themed activities you can do nowadays. (Back in my day, all we could do was catch ‘em all — all 151 of them — and we liked it!) The app purports to track your sleeping habits via your phone, and when you wake up in the morning, the app will tell you how well you slept and compare your sleeping style to that of other ‘mon.

If you think Pikachu might help you get a good night’s sleep, you can download the game from the App Store here.

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