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In 2023, it’s hard to believe that the first Apple Watch was released more than five years ago, but the Apple Watch series is now well established and is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatch devices you can buy today.
The Apple Watch (Amazon, Best Buy) has also been around long enough that there are a surprising number of good video games available for it. In this article, we’ve listed some of the best Apple Watch Games you can play. These games don’t have the most cutting-edge graphics or controls, but hey, it’s better than just staring at the watch face!
Table of ContentsHow to Get Games on Your Apple Watch
If you’re new to installing apps on your Apple Watch, let’s review how to get a game from the App Store onto your Apple Watch.
The first step is to visit the App Store on your iPhone and search for your game among the other Apple Watch apps. Purchase or download the app in question and then wait for it to finish installing. Many Apple Watch games are also general iOS games. So you can play them on your iPhone or iPad too. You can only play some games on an Apple Watch. Check the app description if you aren’t sure.
Once you’ve purchased or claimed the app, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Then scroll down to the Available Apps section of the My Watch tab. Your app purchases should be listed there. Select the Install option for each app to install them on your Watch.
Now, let’s play the best Apple Watch games!
Lifeline is a groundbreaking interactive narrative, which perhaps doesn’t qualify it as a game. Nonetheless, this is one of the most acclaimed apps of its kind, and it’s especially suitable for the Apple Watch’s small screen.
The premise of Lifeline is that an astronaut named Taylor has crash-landed on an alien planet. Unfortunately, he’s the only surviving crew member, and his communicator can only get through to you.
While it’s been around for a few years, this is a great time to try Lifeline since it’s received more story content, including a bonus epilogue. It’s also an excellent place to start since there are now an extra eight games in the Lifeline series, including Lifeline 2 and the acclaimed Lifeline: Whiteout.
If you like games like Trivial Pursuit, you’ll love Trivia Crack. We don’t know if the trivia game’s name has anything to do with its addictive nature, but it’s far too easy to get sucked into the endless list of trivia questions available right there on your wrist.
The game goes a little deeper than just challenging yourself with trivia. You can play with other people and even chat with your opponents. The first player to collect six crowns wins the game. You can also create your own trivia questions, but with hundreds of thousands of them, we can’t see why you’d need to!
Tiny Armies is a game strategy and conquest. It uses simple yet attractive graphics to represent the terrain, forces, and enemies. It almost feels like a throwback to the early days of Atari gaming, where you had to use your imagination to give life to the world and battles. Apart from the main playfield, there are also various mini-games to accomplish actions on the battlefield, so there’s gameplay variety too. In addition, you can play multiplayer against other users via iMessage to challenge yourself.
Despite being visually simplistic, the game itself has a fair bit of depth. Tiny Armies is a great addition to your options if you like strategy games where you need to think a few steps ahead.
Pocket Bandit combines the digital crown and the Apple Watch’s haptics to create a safecracking game like no other. You’ll need focus and a steady hand to successfully pull off your heists, cracking safes to get to the goodies inside. This is a showcase for gaming on Apple Watch and should be on every wearable.
Remember those 100-in-1 pirate NES cartridges back in the day? Or those cheap non-name handheld consoles ore-loaded with 100s of simple games? Arcadia is a little reminiscent of that, with a collection of 8-bit style retro arcade games that don’t bear the names or license of the tiles that inspired them. However, it’s not hard to spot “Outrun” or “Space Invaders” among the games on offer here.
The graphics have a retro twist but are better than the 8-bit games they’re meant to evoke. The gameplay is also simple enough to work well on an Apple Watch screen. So if you need to kill a few minutes and can’t (or don’t want to) whip out your iPhone, this might be the only Apple Watch game collection you need to buy.
While most Apple Watch games also include a regular iOS version in the price, Cosmos Rings is among a few titles requiring an Apple Watch. Created by JRPG mega-publisher Square Enix, this game has a unique presentation involving your phone and watch. If you start the app on the Watch first, it will ask you to run the app on your iPhone first to see the story intro and allow the necessary permissions for the game to work.
The Goddess of Time is in deep trouble, and it’s up to you to save her. Once you’ve gone through the initial setup on your phone, you can load up the Watch app and grind in the battle against enemies. Cosmos Rings has moved the classic grinding battle mechanic from JRPGs onto your wearable device, but you can open up the phone app at any time to review the story (also delivered on the watch) or to look over the skills you’ve unlocked.
It’s not as good as playing the latest full-blown Final Fantasy. However, it’s still a fun and unique experience that Apple Watch owners who love RPGs should try. It might be more expensive than the other apps on this list, but it’s also far meatier when it comes to content.
Like Lifeline, KOMRAD isn’t so much a game as an interactive narrative experience, but it’s no less cool because of it. It has a fantastic premise that’s reminiscent of the film WarGames.
You’re speaking to a Soviet AI that’s been training for 30 years unbeknownst to anyone. It doesn’t know that the Cold War is over and it’s possibly still connected to a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons. Hopefully, you can convince it not to use them!
KOMRAD is more than just a branching narrative; the creator of this title is a former Chief Design Officer for IBM’s Watson AI. So be ready for it to get a little too real at times. Apart from the cool premise, we also quite like the 80s CRT aesthetic KOMRAD has. At only a dollar, this is a must-own title.8. Elevate (Free With In-App Purchases)
Ever since Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training on Nintendo’s consoles, the genre of brain-training games has remained quite popular. The idea is to stimulate your grey matter with mini-games that test memory, reading comprehension, problem-solving, and a little mathematics to boot.
The jury is out on whether brain-training games make you smarter or not, but there’s no question that they can be heaps of fun, and no one can accuse you of playing a “mindless” video game to pass the time either.9. Ping Pong for Apple Watch (Free With In-App Purchases)
Early table tennis (or “ping pong”) video games used a paddle with a rotating wheel. So it’s surprising that there aren’t more Apple Watch games that connect with this classic control scheme and the digital crown on the Watch.
Ping Pong for Apple Watch is a free game that offers you a Pong-like experience and a few variations on the theme, such as breakout mode. While the app is free to try, it’s essentially a demo, and you’ll have to pay over the modest $1.99 fee to unlock the good stuff. Considering that this is probably the best-playing action game on the Apple Watch, we think it’s well worth it.10. Snappy Word (Free With In-App Purchases)
Right now, the world has gone crazy for the word game Wordle, but the Apple Watch has a fantastic word puzzle game all of its own. Best of all, you don’t have to wait a day for a new word!
Snappy Word takes some inspiration from Scrabble and tasks you with spelling words with a jumble of letters. Simply swipe the letters to spell words. Once you’ve found all of the possible words in the jumble, you’ll move on to the next level.
There are 400 levels in total, with the challenge going up as you progress. To make it even more exciting, you have a time limit to find them all.
You can also see a daily leaderboard for those who like competition to see how well you rank among other players.
For example, Circle Invaders is Space invaders, but with a twist that reimagines the game with a circular design. Contra Pang mixes the hardcore shooter Contra with the bubble-popping game Pang. Circle Break mixes up Pong, Breakout, and a circular design. You get the idea!
One standout feature of Retro Twist is how good the graphics are. This is the best-looking retro-inspired Apple Watch game we’ve seen so far, and if you’re nostalgic for the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, this title hits hard.The Apple Watch Games We Lost
If you read other lists of the best Apple Watch games, you may come across several games that you just can’t find. As with many mobile apps, there’s no guarantee that developers will keep updating and supporting them forever. If no one is spending money on the game anymore, it doesn’t make much sense to update your Apple Watch game to work with the newest version of WatchOS.
In our research for this article, we’ve found a few games that are often recommended but are no longer available:
Bubblegum Hero (still on iPhone)
Mini Watch Games 24-in-1
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