iOS gaming recap: PlayStation buys into mobile as Apple and Netflix boost game line-ups
There’s lots to cover this week when it comes to the mobile gaming scene. It appears that PlayStation has acquired a mobile game-maker, while Apple unveiled six new Apple Arcade games, and Netflix lined up a future classic.
We’ve also got the best new games of the week for you to play, including a new battle royale from Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft and Tom Hanks’ new trivia game. That’s right: the Tom Hanks. Let’s get into it, shall we?
PlayStation moves into mobile
Mobile gaming was mostly Uncharted (ha!) territory for PlayStation until this week, when it bought Savage Game Studios for an undisclosed fee. The mobile game-maker has “a new unannounced AAA mobile live service action game” in development, which will now be released through PlayStation Mobile.
So what do we know about Savage? Well, it has studios in Helsinki, Finland, and Berlin, Germany; has been running since 2020, and previously raised over $4 million in funding to make a mobile shooter.
It was suggested in the announcement that Savage could revive an older PlayStation series for mobile, but we’d bet against that for now. We reckon PlayStation bought Savage based on the shooter it has been making for the last few years, plus the very experienced people running the studio. The announcement also suggested that Savage would continue to do its own thing as part of PlayStation, without much interference from its new owner.
Perhaps after that first mobile game is a success, Savage will get the keys to a dormant PlayStation series. There are plenty to choose from if Savage is going to stick to making shooters: Killzone, Resistance, and SOCOM, for starters.
Apple unveils six new Arcade games for September
It’s a bumper month for Apple Arcade subscribers, with six new games coming to the catalog this month. And five of them are brand new.
For us, the headliner is Shovel Knight Dig, a new platform adventure co-developed by original Shovel Knight maker Yacht Club Games and pixel art masters Nitrome. Both of these studios really know how to make retro-style adventures that feel great to control with touch controls or an iPhone controller. So we’re banking on this one being a winner when it drops on September 23.
A close second is Horizon Chase 2, a retro racing sequel with lovely ‘90s arcade-inspired looks that’s coming next week, September 9. The first game was a banger, so this one’s sure to be good too.
On September 30 there’s Gris+, a re-release of the thoughtful, award-winning indie game with stunning art to gawk at. And for more casual players, there’s nature-themed match-3 game Garden Tails on September 16 and farming game Farmside, on September 23.
And finally — surprise! — out today is Hanx101 Trivia, a quiz game that comes, weirdly, with the endorsement of Tom Hanks. Yes, that Tom Hanks. More on that later.
Netflix waits for new game, Immortality
Out of nowhere, PC and Xbox Game Pass’ new release Immortality has been getting absolutely incredible review scores. And if you’ve got a Netflix subscription you won’t have to wait long to play it as part of the streaming service’s growing games catalog.
It’s a detective game in which you scrub and scroll through footage of old films to connect the dots and figure out what might have happened to missing movie starlet Marrisa Marcel. And seriously, folks are talking about this one being a game of the year contender.
While the game is out now on PC and Xbox, unfortunately, developer Half Mermaid has had to take a little more time to bring the game to mobiles and tablets. Netflix originally announced the game was coming in July, then August, and now the latest date is a vaguer “very soon.” The game is also coming to all the best Macs at some point too, which is good news.
iOS games to play this week
Here’s a strange one: Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft has seemingly developed and released a brand new battle royale game, but forgot to tell anyone about it.
It’s called Wild Arena Survivors, and it’s pretty good — a 40-player battle royale set on a tropical island with animals roaming the place, adding to the carnage. It seems loosely inspired by some of the cartoonier parts of the Far Cry games, and has a line-up of characters with different weaponry, strengths, and weaknesses, just like that other battle royale from a major publisher, Apex Legends Mobile.
The weird thing is, we don’t remember Ubisoft even announcing this game, let alone actively promoting it through their usual — very prominent — PR and marketing channels. Very odd.
Meanwhile, Apple Arcade subscribers can tuck into Hanx101 Trivia from today, the quiz game created with the blessing of that guy from Joe Versus the Volcano, Tom Hanks. He may have been in other films — we’re not sure.
That’s all for now!
Hanx101 Trivia is a perfectly pleasant quiz game for solo trivia lovers or those seeking head-to-head competition, and is very much the stuff Apple Arcade is releasing more and more of these days: Well-designed, family-friendly fare that pretty much anyone can enjoy.
Until next week!
– Neil Alexander Long