Game Spotlight: Little Orpheus

Have you ever played a video game where your jaw just drops and hits the floor? That’s pretty much been my experience with a gorgeous new indie game called Little Orpheus.

Little Orpheus is available on Apple Arcade, and my son and I have been loving this game to pieces. (Haven’t heard about Apple Arcade? It’s Apple’s $5 / month “all you can eat” gaming service which is perfect for families, since you have full-access to over a hundred games, there are no in-app purchases, and everyone on the family plan gets to play on the device of their choice). This game was lovingly crafted by the award-winning developer house The Chinese Room — and it shows. Every shot is cinematic, every frame is lush, and each new level is pulpy-good fun. You follow the adventures of a hapless Russian cosmonaut whose mission did not go as planned (to say the least).

Now, I’m not a hardcore gamer anymore (note I said “anymore”), so if you happen to be playing games 24 / 7 — please take what I say with a grain of salt — but this game truly is a marvel from start to finish. It’s not a long game, but every moment is saturated in glorious technicolor, the scenery will blow your mind, and the different modes of play keep things interesting (think “move block here to climb up there, time your jumps as you slide down, crank this lever to move that”, etc.) There’s also some lovely narration and cut scenes where our Russian hero regales his journey to his skeptical comrade, and it keeps things light and moving along. If I had to nitpick anything, it would be that the controls can be a bit stiff at times (I play with an external controller), however the difficult level is relatively low, so it’s really not a big quibble.

Full circle — if you like atmospheric platformer games that are more about art and less about button mashing (i.e. “INSIDE”, “Stela”, etc.) then you’ve got to give Little Orpheus a shot. Check out the trailer below:

Book Spotlight: Apple Books Classics

Public Service Announcement: Apple Books just released its own collection of beautifully-modern editions of a dozen classic books … oh, and did I mention they’re all free? Currently, the list is:

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • The Art of War

  • Wuthering Heights

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  • Dracula

  • Emma

  • Frankenstein

  • Anne of Green Gables

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  • Jane Eyre

  • The Jungle Book

I’m not sure if Apple plans to offer these free forever — so if I were you — I’d grab ‘em while they’re hot! To find these shiny gems:

  • Open the Apple Books app (as of this post, I believe it’s currently only available on Apple devices)

  • Click on the “Book Store” tab

  • Click on “Featured Collection: Free books for everyone, from kids to adults”

  • Click on “Free: Dive into classics, Apple Books style.”

  • Have a literary feast! 📚