This doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally there will be an Apple Arcade game that I adore so much I just have to pick it as the Game of the Week. Well, here we are, and Cypher 007 is one of those games. The big key point here is that Cypher 007 is co-developed by Tilting Point and Pixelbite, the latter studio being the creators of the Space Marshals series. Fun fact: The Space Marshals games are my absolute favorite mobile original titles of all time (even though they are now on other platforms they were mobile’s first gosh darn it). The ability to apply their expertise from that series with an official James Bond license has resulted in a truly excellent little game so far in Cypher 007.
So, is this just Space Marshals with a James Bond skin? Kind of? I don’t want to do the game a disservice by implying that it’s some sort of reskin or something, because this appears to be the most high quality output from Pixelbite so far, but it’s a top-down action game with a heavy emphasis on stealth and it’s impossible not to spot the Space Marshals DNA all over the place. This is NOT a bad thing by any stretch, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The Space Marshals games excel at offering engaging level designs and enemy placements so that the player can choose to tackle any given situation as they see fit, whether that be by full-blown stealth, using interesting gadgets, going in guns blazing, or a mixture of any or all of those.
While still pretty early into Cypher 007 it seems this one has an extra emphasis on stealth compared to the Space Marshals games. But wow, now that I see it in front of me it’s clear just how perfect a fit the Space Marshals blueprint is for a James Bond game. Tilting Point and Pixelbite have really harnessed the essence of James Bond here. The dialogue between the many familiar characters, the gadgets, the dramatic escapes, the aesthetic of the entire game… it all just screams James Bond. Not that I don’t love the absolutely kooky intergalactic cowboys from the Space Marshals games, but this is a nice change of pace for sure and I think it’ll be pleasing to even the biggest James Bond aficionados.
I had been wondering what Pixelbite was up to since wrapping up Space Marshals 3 in the spring of last year, and I’m so happy that it turned out to be a major release on Apple Arcade that uses one of the most recognizable IPs in the world. Yes, this is decidedly a Pixelbite game and very much in the essence of the Space Marshals games, and that is all very good stuff. However, this is far from some reskin and feels very much like its own thing, and it uses the James Bond IP in an excellent way that does the legendary series justice. You have to have Apple Arcade to play this one (at least at this point in time) but if you’re a subscriber this is definitely a great one to dive into over the coming weekend.