This story is part of CNET’s coverage of Apple Arcade, including exclusive first looks we got at some of the service’s high-profile new games.
On Friday, Apple Arcade added one of its most intense games yet to its growing catalog of over 100 games. Neversong, formerly titled Once Upon a Coma, is an indie game from Serenity Forge. In the side-scroller style puzzle game, you play as young Peet, who, upon waking from a coma, finds himself in a nightmare.
With his girlfriend nowhere to be found, Peet must navigate the frightening halls of Blackfork Asylum and try to understand the sometimes-violent behavior of adults. The more he explores, the more the secrets of his past unfurl.
Neversong has six levels to explore, including Red Wind Field and Blackfork Asylum, which are all packed with bosses to defeat. Armed with a baseball bat, his childhood friends and pet bird, Peet will set out to learn the truth about his coma.
For Serenity Forge founder Zhenghua Yang, Neversong is more than just a game. It’s based on a true story. An illness made his platelet count drop drastically, and doctors all but gave up hope. But Yang miraculously survived. While he recovered for two years in a hospital, he battled loneliness — losing contact with his friends and being away from college. To cope, he turned to video games like League of Legends and Final Fantasy. There, Yang found a whole new support community.
After he healed and went back to his life, he couldn’t stop thinking about the role video games had played in his recovery process. Yang said he believes video games are no longer just distractions for kids, but can inspire and teach practical skills to people of all ages.
“They can advance science. They can heal trauma. They can solve conflicts,” he said.
With Apple Arcade’s release in September, Apple firmly staked its claim in the mobile gaming world. The subscription gaming service costs $4.99 a month (£4.99, AU$7.99) and lets you play 100 new and exclusive games across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod Touch and Apple TV.