The only way the Apple Watch is going to get decent games is if quality developers support it, and one has already revealed that it is.
WayForward Technologies, the studio responsible for cult platformers like Shantae, Mighty Switch Force, and DuckTales Remastered, announced today that it’s working on a game exclusively for the Apple Watch. Called Watch Quest, this app splits up the action between your iPhone and its companion timepiece. On your phone, you manage your kingdom. On your watch, meanwhile, you go on adventures where you battle against beasts, solve puzzles, and discover treasure.
Watch Quest debuts alongside the Apple Watch on April 24, so you’ll have something to play with on your expensive new device on day one. The game is free to download, and you’ll get the first part for free. After that, you’ll have to pay for extra content after that. Although, considering you (probably) just bought a $17,000 screen for your wrist, I think you can spare a few bucks for DLC.
Since Apple announced the watch, people have wondered what gaming would look like on the device. And WayForward is definitely aware that it’s not making just another mobile game.
Watch Quest features two distinct ways to play on your phone in the form of different kinds of missions. The first playstyle is active, and you must constantly monitor your watch and guide your hero through various challenges and collect loot along the way. The second is much more conscious of the way people may choose to interact with their watches. These are passive quests where you outfit your hero for longer journeys and then you get a notification when they are finished.
Those passive missions sound a lot like those fun sidequests you sent your brother assassins on in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. And that’s definitely something that could work in 30 second play sessions on your watch.
It’s easy to see WayForward starting a trend here. Apple Watch won’t have standalone apps at launch, which means that you’ll only get games on the device if they are patched through your iPhone. So if Watch Quest finds an audience, I expect we’ll see other developers using the new Apple product in a similar way to let players manage passive quests.
Here’s the full-page infographic that WayFoward is sending around to announce its latest game: