With iOS 8, Apple introduced a new tool for game developers which gives them better ways to take advantage of the A7 and A8 processors. It’s called “Metal,” a play on the common way of describing coding that’s “close to the metal” of the processor instead of abstracted through layers of programming. Now that iOS 8 is available, Apple has put together a special section of the iTunes App Store to showcase the half-dozen or so games that take advantage of Metal.
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled Metal, an API designed to improve game performance on iOS. Epic Games took the stage during the event to show off Epic Zen Garden, a game built using the Unreal 4 Engine and the Metal API. The game, which was designed to show off the impressive graphic enhancement features possible with Metal, demonstrated an expansive world with a fully interactive environment. Users could touch a tree to send a cascade of leaves and cherry blossoms swirling to the ground or interact with a group of koi fish. As of today, Epic Zen Garden is available for download, letting users see some of the things that will be possible in iOS games in the near future. The game supports a resolution of 1440 x 1080 at 30fps, and can display 3,500 butterflies at once. One of the major features of Metal is that it allows for more draw calls, letting a huge number of objects be displayed on the screen.