It’s time to hop in the Wayback Machine and dial it ALL the way back to March of 2012, when we first checked out an upcoming action RPG called Spiral from developer Pixel Hero Games during that year’s GDC. The game featured really pleasing visuals and intuitive touchscreen-native controls, and a few months after that GDC demo Spiral got its very first trailer which looked quite promising. The actual game wouldn’t release for another year though, in June of 2013, but it made quite a nice first impression on myself and held up well in the longer term with our full review which awarded it a strong 4.5 stars. Probably the biggest problem that anyone had with Spiral back then was that it was only the first episode of a planned multi-part storyline, and everyone wanted to know what was going to happen next.
Back in the real world, what happened next was that Pixel Hero Games struck a deal with Games Workshop to create an action game based on the Warhammer universe. That game was Eisenhorn: Xenos, which Pixel Hero worked on in the years following Spiral’s release and eventually launched in August of 2016. While we enjoyed how Eisenhorn: Xenos treated the Warhammer property and fleshed out a somewhat obscure corner of its universe, gameplay-wise we weren’t huge fans of it. Sadly that seemed to be a general consensus among many who played the game, and while it was hoped that strong sales of Eisenhorn: Xenos would help Pixel Hero be able to finish more episodes of Spiral, that wasn’t the case and the developer officially closed its doors a few years ago.
That probably would have been the end of the story too, as the contract between Pixel Hero and Games Workshop has since expired and Eisenhorn: Xenos is no longer available on the App Store, and poor Spiral Episode 1 hadn’t seen an update in more than six years, leaving it woefully outdated for today’s devices. But even the cloudiest of days can see a ray of sunshine, and today that ray is in the form of a brand new update for Spiral that brings all the support for modern devices you could want as well as performance improvements, bug fixes, and Japanese language support. Oh, and the entire game is totally free with no strings attached now, too.
So how do we get such a lovely gift from a developer who isn’t even technically around anymore? Well Nader, one of the head honchos at Pixel Hero back in the day, has chimed in on our forums to say that their former technical director Aaron had worked hard on updating the game in an effort to preserve it for future generations to play. So basically, out of the kindness of his heart, which is also likely why the game is just totally free now. As for the potential of an Episode 2 ever seeing the light of day, Nader states that he is “personally working on something around this… but it will be slow and probably be a while before anything is visible." So you’re saying there’s a chance!
For anyone who missed out on Spiral Episode 1 over the past six years, now is a great time to finally check it out, updated for modern devices and completely free, and hopefully someday our dreams will come true and we’ll finally be able to see how the story continues with a future episode. And if you appreciate when developers do awesome stuff like this for their fans, be sure to drop a thank you to them in the game’s forum discussion.