If someone creates a new gadget, games will eventually migrate to it. We’re already seeing that with the Apple Watch. And one of the early experimenters is PlayScreen, a mobile game publisher that just released Blackjack Anywhere on the Apple Watch.
William Volk, chief creative officer at Encinitas, Calif.-based PlayScreen, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company has been making mobile games for a decade, and the tiny screen on the Apple Watch reminds him of the screens on the old Nokia Series 30 and Series 40 cellphones.
“That enables us to tackle new platforms like Apple Watch, with an understanding on how to make that work well,” he said. “We have a nice user interface with swiping, and it looks good.”
The company has made Blackjack and other casino games for a while. And Blackjack doesn’t require high-speed graphics or a lot of screen real estate. The screen resolution is 340 x 272 pixels on a 38-millimeter Apple Watch screen, and it’s 390 x 312 pixels on a 42-millimeter watch screen.
All you need is enough space to see (and tap with your finger) four cards from a deck. You swipe toward you to “hit,” or to the side to “stand.”
Volk’s developers created the game from scratch to take advantage of the combined power of the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The game’s user interface uses the touchscreen and the “crown,” or twisty knob on the side of the watch. The game has sound effects, and it is true to the full Blackjack game experience, Volk said. You can see the cards easily because they’re bigger than the digits on a typical watch clock.
Volk said the company is experimenting with a paid app. It costs $1.99, and players can play as often and as long as they want. There are no ads or in-app purchases. The approval process took just a few days.
As a platform, the Apple Watch has some drawbacks. It doesn’t allow for overlapping cards that easily, so PlayScreen’s designers tiled the cards.
Meanwhile, Volk said the company is doing a second Apple Watch app already.