Apps to Watch: Lifeline and Alien Invasion on Apple Watch

There are now thousands of apps available for Apple Watch, but there are also a surprising number of games available for the wearable. Despite the obvious limitations of a tiny screen and the challenges associated with playing games on such a small device, there are a couple of games which really excel on the format and are a fun way to waste a couple of spare minutes on the commute to work.

As you may know, I’m partial to the occasional casual game for iPhone (Boom Beach) and Apple TV (Sky Force Anniversary at present), but until recently hadn’t tried many on-the-wrist games simply because I typically always have a larger device to hand. There are however a couple of Apple watch games definitely worthy of a mention, and might signal the direction future wearable games might take.


Lifeline is one such app that has a cool take on Apple Watch games. Lifeline plays to the strengths of the device by using push notifications to guide you through a story that you shape.

The essence of the game is basically talking to an astronaut named Taylor, part of a team that has crashed on a distant alien moon. So far, you’re the only person that he has been in contact with, and the two of you must make on the fly decisions to help him stay alive.

Lifeline App 1

Lifeline is also a real-time game, so if he says it will take a few hours to reach a particular destination, it will actually take that long. Besides Apple Watch, it can also be played on an iPhone (or an iPad).

Alien Invasion

Alien Invasion is one of those retro-style games that echoes the popular Nintendo Game and Watch titles from the early 1980’s, making good use of the Digital Crown to control the action.

The game is billed as follows:

“You are Commander Snafu, you’ve bungled your attempt to take over the Earth because your army of aliens cannot survive in Earth’s atmosphere! Your troops are fleeing and need rescuing before they explode in the vacuum of space. Save them and maybe you can salvage your career, you incompetent fool!”

Alien Invasion App

All clear? There are two modes of gameplay – Game A is far easier and generally meant for beginners, and Game B is somewhat more challenging. As you can see from the screenshots, it really is a Game and Watch clone, and that is the whole appeal of this very playable title.

Judging by Lifeline and Alien Invasion, it seems there are developers who know how to play to the strengths of Apple Watch with simple, addictive gameplay that can be picked up for minutes at a time. If you’ve got time on your hands, you could do worse than try these two little gems…

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

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