Following the strong debut of the Apple Arcade in 2019, Apple’s core mobile platform has exponentially increased its suite of high-profile games for users to play. With titles like the first-person surrealist adventure game Manifold Garden, and the AR-focused puzzle game Spek that leans heavily on the modern iPhone’s advanced camera and rendering features, numerous games that have launched on iPhone and iPad go beyond just the standard mobile games releases. While 2020 saw Apple adjust the scope of the Apple Arcade, the hardware and software publisher still aims to keep the momentum going with new games for iOS, and a key part of the company’s plans is to leverage big brands for its mobile audience.
GameSpot recently had the chance to check out an early look at the latest games coming to iOS and the modern iPhone; League of Legends: Wild Rift, Crash Bandicoot: On The Run, and the new update for Marvel: Realm of Champions. In preparation for their respective North American launches this year, we had the chance to hear from the devs behind each title, and they explained what the games will offer iPhone and iPad users. The demos showcased were played on the iPhone 12, which possesses the proprietary A14 Bionic chip. However, all these games will still be playable on current Apple devices. Below, you can check out our rundown of each game and when you’ll be able to play them.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Since its debut in 2009, Riot Games’ League of Legends quickly cemented itself as the quintessential MOBA experience, and in 2021, the competitive area brawler remains one of the most popular games in the world. While the core game and its spin-offs have stayed on the PC, Riot Games’ will be launching the mobile spin-off, Wild Rift, in North America this March. First revealed in 2019, Wild Rift brings LoL’s style of team-focused MOBA gameplay on-the-go, offering quick matches and a more accessible way to play League.
Wild Rift isn’t a port of the standard League of Legends, but rather a standalone game built from the ground up for mobile. In addition to a more streamlined experience, using a twin-stick style control scheme, it also runs on a new graphics engine that renders much of the action and its unique roster of 40 champions (mixing new and old characters) in more detail. According to executive producer Michael Chow, he stated that “Wild Rift is the most high fidelity [League of Legends] experience you can get on any platform–including the PC.” While it is a spin-off, Chow also stated that Wild Rift is a core pillar for the League of Legends franchise, offering a solid entry point into the series’ infamously challenging community.
Crash Bandicoot: On The Run
The Crash Bandicoot series has been one of the most recognizable and iconic platformers in gaming, and the iPhone will see its own take on the zany and challenging gameplay with Crash Bandicoot: On The Run. Reimagining the core Crash platforming gameplay as a runner-style game, On The Run has you maneuver the character around obstacles as he makes a mad dash to get as far as possible in the stage. The main story for On The Run is something of a showcase for all things Crash Bandicoot, bringing back characters from across the entire series–even from the forgotten Game Boy Advance releases. In addition to playing as Crash, you can also play as his sister Coco who has her own set of unlockables to acquire. Along with clearing through stages, you can also help Coco build her base of operations, which can be upgraded throughout the game.
As you play, you can collect resources to spend on new costumes for both Crash and Coco. Most of these are original outfits for On The Run, but others also reference the series’ classic games. During the presentation, producer Robert Woodburn revealed that the game will have a microtransaction system at launch–which wasn’t specified during the demonstration–he explained that the game’s content can be unlocked without spending real money. While Crash Bandicoot: One The Run is out in other territories, the runner game will make its North American debut on March 25, 2021.
Marvel: Realm of Champions
Released in late 2020, Marvel: Realm of Champions is another game in the long line of Marvel mobile games. Realm of Champions places a deep focus on MOBA-style competitive battles, where you’ll take your squad of customizable superheroes to face off against AI minions and capture territory across the battlefield. You take control of champions with a similar archetype to characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, or the Hulk, each of whom represent different houses vying for control of the game’s Battleworld. You can customize each hero’s look and character builds, and then take your squad out for online battles against other players.
While the game has already had some time out in the wild, 2021 will mark its next phase with the new 2.0 event. This new update will add Thor to the roster, new gear, and a revised story that adds in comic-book style cutscenes. Moreover, the 2.0 update will also introduce world events and team-focused activities that will expand the competitive elements. Marvel: Realm of Champions is out now Apple devices, and its new 2.0 update will launch sometime this year.
There’s much more in store for games coming to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. For more on what’s to come with the iPhone and with the Apple Arcade, be sure to check back in with GameSpot.
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