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Apple Watch gaming: Devs talk early titles and the challenges of wearable fun

Andrew Hayward | April 24, 2015
We've been bombarded by the images and ideas of the Apple Watch transforming the way we communicate and use apps in our daily lives, whether it's receiving notifications on our wrists, paying for coffee, or interacting with loved ones. So much emphasis has been put on the Apple Watch as an essential part of our everyday routine, yet for many of us, there's something we do all the time on our phones that has barely been shown in marketing materials: Play games.

As such, Monkube decided to skip the April 24 launch date and take extra time to make sure the game is working right on the Watch itself before shipping. However, since Belgium won't get the Watch this week, Van de Perre has to tap into some international assistance to make that happen. "Luckily, my parents live in France and I can pre-order three watches through them," he admits. "We hope to have a little time to tweak our game, have it be perfect right out of the gate, and still be well within the launch window." 

But even with the myriad headaches and frustrations that come with making a game for a brand new platform, the developers we spoke with seem excited for the chance to launch an early Apple Watch game. For FreshPlanet, the task of designing for a small screen was a puzzle akin to those seen in BoxPop, and it provided a welcome shift from the norm. "We like to think of this challenge as an asset: Restrictions force us to think in new patterns, making way for innovation," explains Nouzareth.

"This April marks the beginning of smartwatch gaming, and we're very enthusiastic about being on board right out of the gate," asserts Järvilehto. "It has been tremendously fun to develop Runeblade. There's this feeling of excitement amongst the team that's a little hard to convey. That sensation that we are doing something new and fresh, that we're doing the work of early pioneers and creating something completely new, constantly pushes us forward." 

Finally seeing months of potentially uncertain work pay off in a matter of days will surely be a great reward for some — at least for team behind Rules! "The project kept going and grew into something we really love and are passionate about," asserts Pittenauer. "By now, we can't wait to see the game running on our wrists."


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