There’s no doubt about it: a 1.5-inch display doesn’t leave much room to squeeze a game into. And this will make developing games for the Apple Watch a challenge, to say the least.
Now, Nimblebit–developers of the hit game TinyTower–are showing off the first screenshots of their game built for the Apple Watch. It’s called Letterpress, and will be a word game featuring 200 different puzzles.
Other than that, we don’t know much about it. But it is clear, from these three screenshots, that developers paired down the interface to a grid of nine letters, each its own tappable button, presumably functioning without the necessity of clicking and turning the watch’s side dial. It’s a game that can be played in a few straightforward taps.
Expect a lot of these. Given that iPhone apps shrunk the console gaming experience from a 50-inch screen to a 5-inch one, and 10 hour games to 10 minute ones, you can expect the same generation loss as iPhone games are shrunk to Apple Watch games. I suspect that on the Apple Watch, a platform which, at its core, emphasizes quick-glance interactions, a one-minute game will feel just right.
Of course, now that Nimblebit has shown off the simplest game you could imagine for the Apple Watch, it will be interesting to watch as developers begin pushing the envelope in scope and interaction. Another promising title, one teased by the studio Flying Tiger, called iArm Wrestling Champs, will allow you to have arm wrestling matches with other Apple Watch wearers. Now, I’m not sure you need an Apple Watch to arm wrestle somebody–in fact I’m sure you don’t! But in theory, iArm Wrestling is a clever workaround for the Apple Watch’s tiny screen, as well as a resourceful use of the watch’s built-in accelerometers.
Even though it’s small, and even though it doesn’t have the same pixel-pushing power as its bigger relative, the iPhone, the Apple Watch could be the first mainstream wearable gaming device. What will developers do with this opportunity? Will they create simple word games? Or will they leverage the platform to expand the definition of what a game can be?
[via the Verge]