The Apple Arcade library has been growing steadily over the past couple of years. An increasing number of game developers have jumped on board Apple's gaming service, including more than a few who have previously worked on some iOS mobile titles. European developer Orbital Knight is among those making the move to Apple Arcade with its latest release, Spire Blast, which just went live on Friday.
To learn more about what Spire Blast is about, Shacknews briefly spoke with Orbital Knight CEO Karol Drzymala.
Shacknews: What is Spire Blast and how long have you been working on the game?
Karol Drzymala, Orbital Knight CEO: Spire Blast is a physics-based puzzle game. Your goal is to collapse towers by matching colored blocks like in a bubble shooter. The game was in development since September 2020.
Shacknews: You've worked on mobile games for many years. What made you want to bring Spire Blast to Apple Arcade?
Drzymala: Yes, we're in the business for some time. Our games were downloaded by almost 100 million users. We did premium, casual, and hyper casual games. Apple Arcade is really interesting because it allows us to focus on building games with pure gameplay and no monetization. Spire Blast is based on a hyper casual prototype that we tested back in early 2019. This concept stayed with us, because the game was really fun, had great user engagement, but couldn’t take off as a hyper casual because other metrics weren't there. It was the ideal concept for Arcade, since it's all about providing great gameplay and we knew we had it there.
Shacknews: What makes Spire Blast uniquely suited to Apple Arcade, as opposed to mobile devices?
Drzymala: Spire Blast tends to be more like casual mobile puzzle games, but without intrusive ads or monetization pressure. That's what makes it ideal for Apple Arcade.
Shacknews: How did you get the idea to mix together color matching and physics-based gameplay?
Drzymala: At Orbital Knight we know that if you want to succeed you need to be innovative. That's why we’re doing lots and lots of different prototypes. Spire Blast was born this way. The initial idea was to mix color matching and destruction mechanics. Most of such prototypes are killed after a few days, but this one was really fun from the early days. That's why we kept iterating and eventually turned it into Spire Blast.
Shacknews: How many towers are in the game?
Drzymala: For the moment there are 80 main towers in two different biomes - fantasy kingdom and desert land - and more coming in the future updates. Some levels have additional side-towers that are miniature versions of a tower and are part of a gameplay.
Shacknews: What sorts of new mechanics are introduced throughout the game?
Drzymala: We have many types of different mechanics - some work as an objective, that must be completed to progress further and some are there just to make the game more interesting. For example, some blocks are in a cage, that must be destroyed by shooting blocks next to it, there's a dragon, that must be fed with falling blocks. Even parts of the tower are protected by rotating shields that block our shots. All of that is to change the pace of a game and to encourage our players to try different techniques and strategies.
Shacknews: What sorts of items and abilities will players find over the course of their game?
Drzymala: Players have access to three different boosters that help them in their quest. Each booster has to be unlocked by progressing further in the game. We have a powerful rocket that destroys a whole row in the tower, a paint grenade that changes the color of the part of a tower and a Rubik's cube that erases one color from the unlocked part of a tower.
Spire Blast is available now on Apple Arcade.