There is a lot to cover this week when it comes to the mobile gaming scene. It appears that PlayStation has acquired a mobile game maker, while Apple introduced six new Apple Arcade games and Netflix introduced a future classic.
We’ve also got the week’s best new games for you to play, including a new battle royale from Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft and Tom Hanks’ new trivia game. That’s how it is: the Tom Hanks. Let’s get into it, okay?
PlayStation moves to mobile
Mobile gaming was mostly uncharted territory (ha!) for PlayStation until this week, when it bought Savage Game Studios for an undisclosed fee. The mobile game maker has “an unannounced new AAA mobile live service action game” in development, which will now release via PlayStation Mobile.
So what do we know about Savage? Well, he has studies in Helsinki, Finland, and Berlin, Germany; it 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 believe that PlayStation bought Savage based on the shooter he’s been making for the past few years, as well as the very experienced people running the studio. The announcement also suggested that Savage would continue to do his thing as part of PlayStation, without much interference from his new owner.
Maybe after that first mobile game is a hit, Savage will get the keys to a dormant PlayStation series. There’s 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 great month for Apple Arcade subscribers, with six new games hitting the catalog this month. And five of them are brand new.
Headlining for us is Shovel Knight Dig, a new platform adventure co-developed by the original maker of Shovel Knight Yacht Club Games and pixel art masters Nitrome. Both studios really know how to create retro-style adventures that feel great to control with touch controls or an iPhone controller. So we’re confident this will be a winner when it comes out on September 23.
A close second is Horizon Chase 2, a retro racing sequel with a beautiful ’90s arcade-inspired look coming next week on September 9. The first game was a hit, so surely this one will be good too.
Coming September 30th is Gris+, a re-release of the award-winning thoughtful indie game with stunning art to gawk at. And for more casual gamers, there’s the nature-themed match-3 game Garden Tails on September 16 and the farming game Farmside on September 23.
And finally, surprise! – Hanx101 Trivia is out today, a trivia game that comes, strangely enough, with an endorsement from Tom Hanks. Yes, that Tom Hanks. More on that later.
Netflix expects new game, Immortality
Out of the blue, the new release of Immortality for PC and Xbox Game Pass has garnered absolutely incredible review scores. And if you have a Netflix subscription, you won’t have to wait long to play it as part of the streaming service’s growing catalog of games.
It’s a detective game where you scroll through old movie footage to connect the dots and find out what might have happened to missing movie star Marrisa Marcel. And seriously, people are talking about this 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 bit more time to bring the game to mobile and tablet devices. Netflix originally announced that the game would be coming in July, then August, and now the latter date is a vaguer “coming soon.” The game will also come to the best Macs at some point, which is good news.
iOS games to play this week
Here’s a weird one: Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft has apparently developed and released a 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 more cartoonish parts of Far Cry games, and has a lineup of characters with different weapons, strengths, and weaknesses, much like that other battle royale from a major publisher, Apex Legends Mobile.
The weird thing is that we don’t even remember Ubisoft announcing this game, let alone actively promote it through their usual, highly prominent marketing and PR channels. Very rare.
Meanwhile, Apple Arcade subscribers can dive into Hanx101 Trivia starting today, the quiz game created with the blessing of that Joe Versus the Volcano guy, Tom Hanks. He may have been in other movies, we’re not sure.
That is all for now!
Hanx101 Trivia is a perfectly enjoyable trivia game for solo trivia lovers or those looking for head-to-head competition, and it’s very much what Apple Arcade is throwing more and more at these days: well-designed family fare. that virtually anyone can enjoy.
Until next week!
-Neil Alexander Long