This Week's Sponsor:

Kolide

Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.


Posts tagged with "games"

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Is Coming to the Mac Day and Date with Consoles and Other Platforms

Source: Ubisoft.

Source: Ubisoft.

Today, Ubisoft announced that the next major release in the Assasin’s Creed franchise, Shadows, will be released on November 15th on its Ubisoft+ service, PlayStation 5, Xbox X|S, Amazon Luna, and Apple silicon Macs via the Mac App Store. According to Ubisoft:

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will immerse players in 16th century Japan. The country is heading towards a brutal path to unification, where unrest grows as new coalitions appear and corruptive foreign influences infiltrate the land.

The standard version of the game will cost $69.99 and can be pre-ordered on the Mac App Store now. Ubisoft also offers Collector’s and Ultimate editions of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, but neither variant will be sold through the App Store.

Still, the release of a major studio game for a popular franchise on the Mac App Store simultaneously with consoles and other services is notable. Many of the AAA titles that have found their way to the Mac App Store, like Death Stranding and the Resident Evil 4 remake were released on other platforms months before the Mac App Store. Perhaps the growing install base of Apple silicon Macs has begun to change the economics of big studio game releases in favor of the Mac.

Regardless of the reason, it’s good to see Assassin’s Creed Shadows coming to the Mac this fall. The release is still months away, but in the meantime, if you need an Assassin’s Creed fix on Apple platforms, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is set to launch on the iPhone and iPad on June 6th and can be pre-ordered on the App Store now.


Emulator-palooza

PPSSPP.

PPSSPP.

It’s been a big week for for emulators on iOS and iPadOS. It seems like yesterday when I was writing about Delta and being told ‘authoritatively’ online that it wouldn’t last. Yet here we are.

Last weekend, Gamma, a Sony PS1 emulator, was released. The emulator quickly appeared in the top free charts on the App Store, where Delta continues to hold steady in the top 25.

Then today, at roughly the exact same time two more well-known emulators made their debut on the App Store: PPSSPP and RetroArch. PPSSPP is a Sony PSP emulator, while RetroArch supports emulator cores for a wide variety of classic consoles.

I was out picking up my new iPad Pro when I got a heads up that both emulators were out from Brendon Bigley, who has covered both emulators on Wavelengths.

The PPSSPP release was announced by Henrik Rydgård on the emulator’s blog:

After nearly 12 years, PPSSPP has finally been approved for the iOS App Store! Thanks to Apple for relaxing their policies, allowing retro games console emulators on the store.

There are a few limitations to PPSSPP’s first App Store release compared to previous non-App Store versions:

  • Vulkan support through MoltenVK is not yet enabled
  • Magic Keyboard (iPad Keyboard) is not supported
  • The JIT recompiler is not supported
  • RetroAchievements is temporarily disabled

However, Rydgård says MoltenVK, Magic Keyboard Support, and RetoAchievements will all return to the app. JIT can’t be implemented unless Apple changes its stance on the recompiler, but Rydgård says most PSP games should run smoothly on modern hardware.

RetroArch

RetroArch

RetroArch is an even bigger deal in the sense that it contains cores for emulating a long list of classic videogame systems, including PPSSPP itself, along with Nintendo, Sega, Atari, other Sony systems, and more. One downside to RetroArch is that it’s about as non-native as an app like Delta is native, and I greatly prefer Delta’s iOS-centric approach. Still, it’s great to see RetroArch open up so many additional consoles on iOS and iPadOS.

I expect we’ll see even more game emulators on the iPhone and iPad before long, including Provenance, which is currently being beta-tested. I haven’t had a chance to spend time with these latest emulators yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how they look on my new iPad Pro’s OLED display.


Every App Tells a Story Worth Preserving, Even Warren Buffet’s Paper Wizard

You're Warren, and your job is to deliver newspapers.

You’re Warren, and your job is to deliver newspapers.

Apple anniversaries come and go. Some mark important milestones in the company’s history. Others celebrate products that have had outsized impacts on the world. Both have their place, but I prefer Door Number 3: Weird Apple Anniversaries.

That’s why today, on its fifth anniversary, it’s worth taking a moment to solemnly reflect on the legacy of one of Apple’s least culturally significant software releases ever: Warren Buffet’s Paper Wizard. I regret to say that I didn’t cover Warren Buffet’s namesake paper-tossing arcade game in 2019. So, to make amends, let’s take a look back at this gem that dropped out of nowhere five years ago today.

Read more


Apple Announces New and Updated Apple Arcade Games Coming in May and June

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Apple announced that four new games are coming to Arcade early next month:

In addition, on May 30th, Where Cards Fall, the excellent indie game by The Games Band that was published by Snowman and is already part of Apple Arcade, will be coming to the Vision Pro for the first time.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Where Cards Fall is a beautiful game that won an Apple Design Award in 2020. One of the game’s core mechanics is building structures from cards that help you advance from one level to the next, which strikes me as an excellent match for the Vision Pro’s spatial gestures.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Return to Monkey Island is getting the Apple Arcade ‘+’ treatment too. As Apple describes it:

Return to Monkey Island+ is an unexpected, thrilling return of series creator Ron Gilbert that follows the legendary adventure games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. The game continues the story of Guybrush Threepwood, his zombie pirate nemesis LeChuck, and his true love Elaine Marley. Return to Monkey Island+ is playable across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Players will solve puzzles and explore the islands with a clever evolution of classic point-and-click adventure game controls.

Anyone who grew up in the 90s on The Secret of Monkey Island should enjoy this game a lot. I’m also curious to try Tomb of the Mask+, a retro platformer.

In addition to the new games coming to Arcade and the Vision Pro, Apple announced updates to some fan favorites throughout May and June, including WHAT THE CAR?, Ridiculous Fishing EX, and Crossy Road Castle. For a complete list, be sure to check out Apple’s press release.


MacStories Unwind: An Ant BBQ

This week on MacStories Unwind, we return to an animal kingdom to discuss invading fire ants, raccoons, and wild boar before recommending a Mario classic and Amazon’s TV adaptation of the Fallout videogame series.



Ghost in the TV

John Versus the Fire Ants

Picks


MacStories Unwind+

We deliver MacStories Unwind+ to Club MacStories subscribers ad-free and early with high bitrate audio every week.

To learn more about the benefits of a Club MacStories subscription, visit our Plans page.

Read more



Assassin’s Creed Mirage Is Coming to iPhones and iPads on June 6th

At last fall’s iPhone event, Apple and Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed Mirage would be coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Today, Ubisoft confirmed with a press release that the game is coming on June 6th, just before WWDC. In addition to the iPhone, the game is coming to iPad Air and iPad Pro models with an M1 chip and later, which includes the 5th generation iPad Pros released in the spring of 2021 and later, as well as the current iPad Air.

According to Ubisoft’s website:

Developed by Ubisoft Sofia, these ports offer an intuitive, comfortable and engaging gaming experience with optimized touch controls and controller support. Cross-save and cross-ownership will also be available for players to enjoy the game between iPhone and iPad as they please.

The game will also be a Universal Purchase that will work across the iPhone and iPad and will be free to download and play for 90 minutes. The full version of Mirage will unlockable for $49.99. If you’re interested in pre-ordering Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you can do so now on the App Store.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage launched on consoles and PCs last fall to favorable reviews. I’m looking forward to giving it a try on the iPhone and iPad, but I’m a little disappointed that it’s not also launching on the Mac.


Ketchup: The Only Pokémon Companion App You’ll Ever Need

As any Pokémon fan knows, the series is all about data – lots and lots of data. So much data that entire websites and apps are dedicated to helping players keep track of it all. That’s a big design challenge for any app developer, which is why I was so glad to see it taken on by Ben McCarthy, whose apps, including the camera app Obscura, are some of the best designed on the App Store.

Ben’s new app is called Ketchup, and it’s a comprehensive compendium of every generation of Pokémon that incorporates powerful search, caught and favorite Pokémon tracking, a battle match-up utility, and a quiz game all in one app. But what makes it special and sets the app apart from others I’ve tried over the years is the design, which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and presents it in a coherent, understandable, and modern interface.

Read more


Supercell Announces That Squad Busters Will Be Released Worldwide on May 29th

Earlier this week, Supercell soft-launched Squad Busters, a party action game, in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Singapore. Today, the company announced that the game will launch on iOS and Android worldwide on May 29th.

According to Supercell’s CEO, Ilkka Paananen:

Our dream is to create great games that as many people as possible play for years and that are remembered forever. Huge credit to the Squad Busters team – it’s already apparent that the game has such high potential, making it our first company game launch since Brawl Stars in 2018. Squad Busters brings together our Supercell characters in a fun way that fans have never seen before and I can’t wait to see the reactions from players across the globe!

I haven’t had a chance to play Squad Busters yet, but from the demo Supercell shared with me, it looks like an interesting addition to its lineup, which includes popular titles like Clash of Clans. The Supercell team likens Squad Busters to the fun, chaotic competition of classic games like Mario Kart. Players compete against friends and online squads in ten-person, four-minute matches that are populated with characters from across Supercell’s stable of games, collecting gems and other items. Along the way, characters evolve in a style similar to Pokémon games.

Squad Busters may superficially look a little like a last-person-standing battle royale game, but Supercell says its goal was to design a competitive action game that is accessible to players of all skill and experience levels. To that end, prizes are awarded no matter where you finish among the squads competing during a match. It’s not easy to design a game that appeals to such a broad spectrum of gamers, but if Supercell can manage it, Squad Buster’s colorful, frenetic, one-button gameplay has the potential to become a big hit. In that same vein, Supercell has worked to make sure that the game works on multiple generations of hardware as far back as the iPad mini 2.

Clash of Clans and Supercell’s other games have never appealed to me, but Squad Busters is intriguing. The gameplay I’ve seen looks fun, and I can see it working as a way to introduce a new wave of gamers to the company’s other titles.

Squad Busters is available for pre-order on the App Store now.