Gaming on Apple Watch – what is out there?

Whenever I tell people that I frequently engage in gaming on my Apple Watch, I often get weird looks. After all, I do have the 38mm, and the screen on it is quite small, plus, who wants to stare at a Watch all day to play a game? Well, the audience of people willing to stare at a Watch all day is big enough that there exists a sizable games market for Apple Watch. Also, Apple is encouraging games to be made on the Watch, with the release of SpriteKit and SceneKit for it with WatchOS 3 and Xcode 8.

the best Apple Watch games

So then, that begs the question: what is the best of the best? What games are worth your time? Well, I’ve played quite a few games, enough to compile a decent list. These are just my recommendations, of course, but if you have the time, and haven’t gamed on your Apple Watch yet, I’d highly recommend you check it out at least once. I’ll include both free and paid games on this list, for those who want to dip their toes without actually spending any money.

Lifeline… ($1.99)

The basic premise of this game is that you are an astronaut who has crash landed on a moon, and you need to help him make the right decisions to survive. The game plays out in real-time, and throughout your day, you will receive push notifications asking you what the astronauts next move should be. I was thoroughly gripped playing this game, and enjoyed every bit of the story. It’s nerve-wracking knowing that every decision you make can change your fate, and it’s a blast. Definitely give this one a try if you love intricate stories, as it’s written by Dave Justus, a writer who helped write the video game adaptation of The Wolf Among Us which was an excellently written game.

Give it a buy here if you are interested.

POCKET BANDIT ($0.99)

I LOVE the idea of this one. Ever since I first tried out the Digital Crown, I imagined cracking a safe, and someone has finally brought this idea to fruition. In this game, you play as a thief, who is trying to perform a heist. You have a set amount of time to complete the heist, and you must rotate the Digital Crown and feel the haptic vibrations to let you know when you are close to cracking the safe. It’s a ton of fun, and the developer adds new content frequently to keep you coming back for more. If you’re into games that utilize existing tech in novel ways, this is definitely right up your alley.

Give it a purchase here if you are interested.

POKéMON GO (Free)

I’m not sure if this one really needs any introduction. If you haven’t heard of this, you must be living under a rock, because it was probably one of the most played games of 2016 in many countries, especially the United States. In it, you have to capture Pokémon by walking around, going to Pokéstops, and trying to capture Gyms. While this is not a full-fledged port (it still requires you to do certain actions on your iPhone, but the basic stuff is there like Pokéstops and hatching eggs) it’s still a blast if you still play Pokémon Go and want to extend the fun to your Apple Watch. Definitely give it a try if you’re a fan of Pokémon or already play the game on your iPhone.

It’s free, so you can download it here.

Trivia Crack (FREE)

This is another one of those games that was uber popular for a brief time period. It seemed like everywhere you went, people were playing this game. Even people who I didn’t know even played any games were playing it. The general premise is that you are battling someone in Trivia, and you have to get questions right from six categories. Once you answer enough questions to accumulate six crowns, you win the game and put your opponent to shame. If you know people who still actively play this, the Watch version will let you play quick bouts of it on the go. Almost no features are left out of the Watch version, either.

Give this addicting trivia game a download here

 

I definitely think that gaming has a long way to go until it is considered a mainstream use of the Watch. SpriteKit and SceneKit ports to the Watch were a great step, but there’s still a long road to go in terms of battery life and processing and GPU power. However, that didn’t stop many developers from making great games for the Watch, and the recommendations I provided today were just a few examples. If you have any more good games to recommend, feel free to drop them in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Hunter Stanton

Hunter Stanton

An avid Apple Watch fan who thinks that wearables are the future of tech. Likes long walks on the beach and playing the bass.