The Chaos Rings series holds an important part in mobile gaming history, as it was among the first truly full-featured sets of original games made specifically for mobile devices. That coupled with the fact that Square Enix was the developer lent a lot of credibility to mobile as a true gaming platform back in its formative years. Sadly, Square Enix pulled the older Chaos Rings games, among other titles, last month due to incompatibility with newer iOS hardware, and as of right now only Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is still available. So it sure was weird when a week ago Square Enix announced a brand new game in the Chaos Rings series, only this time it was exclusively for the Apple Watch. That game, called Cosmos Rings [$8.99], is now available.

So, what's the deal with Square Enix making an Apple Watch game? While the tiny wrist-worn devices are pretty capable at playing games, it's not exactly the most conducive place to do so, and there haven't been many Apple Watch games that have tailored their gameplay to the periodic glances you give a watch throughout the day. Perhaps this was just a silly side project one of the Chaos Rings developers was working on, and the higher ups saw it and thought it was worth polishing up and releasing? Or perhaps Square Enix is trying to do what they did with the iPhone back in 2010 and legitimize the Apple Watch as a gaming platform using the Chaos Rings name? Who knows!

I certainly find the existence of Cosmos Rings interesting if nothing else, but I have yet to fire it up so can't really comment on the gameplay just yet. In fact, I haven't really been taken with any Apple Watch games thus far, so if this is the one to break through that barrier for me then I'm totally on board. You can grab Cosmos Rings yourself for $5.99, which is a sale price I might add, but I guess it's no surprise to see Square Enix targeting the higher price tiers. If you want to read some player impressions or leave your own, be sure to stop by the Cosmos Rings forum thread.

  • David

    Almost done installing it!

    • David

      Okay, here's how it works.

      Levels are broken up into Day X, Hour X. Defeat 10 monsters during each level then face a boss to continue.

      When you defeat a boss, you are given a short story complete with artwork which looks great.

      The entire time there is a timer counting down to 0:00. It begins at 30:00 minutes and when it reaches 0:00, your game is over and you have to start from Day 1, Hour 1. The timer counts down no matter if you're playing the game or not, BUT it pauses when a) you reach the end of a level, and b) when it reaches 3 minutes remaining.

      You earn currency ingame which can be used to level up a) your weapon's auto attack damage, b) the amount of time you have in your bank (30:00 minutes -> 31:00 minutes for example), and c) inventory slots for skills.

      Say you reach a boss you can't defeat in Day 2, Hour 3... you can "roll back time" using the Crown Wheel to return to say... Day 1, Hour 11 to earn more currency to level up your weapon.

      The story hints that there are certain Days and Hours you'll need to return to in order to obtain special skills and abilities.

      As for the skills and abilities, when you're playing the game you can "tap" on them to do a bigger attack or power up your next attack or some such. So there's minor interactivity while auto-battling.

      One other thing, the main way the bosses attack you is by stealing your time... so be careful when you're running low on time, because you may reach 0:00 quicker than you think!

      All-in-all, seems fun. We'll see where the story goes!

      • Godspoken

        Very interesting, thanks for the report! I like how they used time as the main mechanic.

  • SobriK

    This isn't really *that* surprising. Square Enix released a tactical RPG for the clickwheel iPods (Song Summoner) back in the day!

    Totally agree with you about the significance of the Chaos Rings franchise. I think the original CR was the first mobile game that I ever played through to completion.

    ...and then maybe bought the soundtrack of 🙂

    • Godspoken

      I think of Song Summoner every time I see this game. It gives me hope that this could be legitimately fun! I have fond memories of destroying the battery of my older brother's iPod with the original Song Summoner...

      Here's hoping for an Android port.

      • SobriK

        Glad I'm not the only one who had this thought 🙂 It's cool that Square Enix will dip a toe into almost any platform that can run games (hell, they ported / licensed FFIII for the Ouya!) I think it shows that they're willing to at least test out a market before deciding it's not for them.

  • HelperMonkey

    As much grief as I feel like giving Squeenix for dumping the original Chaos Rings games, Apple is lucky to have them producing so many products (of varying quality) for their devices. With the catalog that they've created, it's a lot to expect of them to update every game every time a new iOS version causes something to break.
    I have no interest in this game, or the Apple Watch, but it's nothing but a benefit to the device to have them involved.

    • Agkelos

      I agree. I also think that it's more on Apple's business practices that SE pulled the earlier games. Apple really just don't seem to care about the gaming side of its business since they don't seem to be of the mindset that they should work with the game devs to make things easier. Apple is more of the mentality that it's 100% on the devs to deal with any fallouts post-iOS updates.