This week is all about getting back into our old favorites: “Better Call Saul” is in its last season, and thanks to cloud gaming, you can play Fortnite on your iOS devices again. All this week we have a parkour anime (yes, you read that right) on Netflix, and a Wordle-like word puzzle that’s breaking our brains.
Fortnite’s back, alright!
I fell off Fortnite back in 2019, when I found the novelty of the game’s core battle royale mode had worn off, and, more importantly, I was having trouble competing with the scores of players more skilled than me. But I still found time to squeeze in games here and there, and to check out the nonstop flow of new seasonal content and events. I was especially disappointed when Epic and Apple’s legal feud resulted in the game getting the boot from the App Store. Now, thanks to a new deal with Microsoft, Fortnite is available on iOS devices again through Xbox Cloud Gaming. It’s a good opportunity to jump back into the game while also giving Microsoft’s cloud gaming platform a spin.
Final season of “Better Call Saul”
There’s no better time to tune in to a show like “Better Call Saul” than the final stretch. The “Breaking Bad” prequel’s sixth and final season kicked off on AMC last month, setting up the conclusion to the series after seven years. It’s hard to overstate the genius of Vince Gilligan’s crime drama, which is as much an antihero character study and drug cartel narrative as it is a subversive love letter to classic legal dramas. It blends procedural lawsuit plot beats with some of the best prequel storytelling on TV as it fills in the blanks of its predecessor's biggest mysteries, all shouldered by the performance of a lifetime from Bob Odenkirk.
“Bubble” is the parkour anime you didn’t know you wanted
Have you ever thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat if there was a parkour anime?” What if this series happened to be directed by the legendary Tetsurō Araki of “Death Note” and “Attack on Titan” fame, and animated by the masterful Wit Studio? Well, fans of that — perhaps a bit offbeat — recipe are in luck: “Bubble,” on Netflix, is just that. Following this year’s “Belle,” a modern twist on Beauty and the Beast, the parkour-themed “Bubble” tackles Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” to similarly clumsy but heartfelt effect. The film is best enjoyed as a visual feast of eye-popping color and fluid animation, featuring a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and a cast of characters using gravity-defying tricks to maneuver the cityscape.
All tangled up in Knotwords
I highlighted Zach Gage’s new word puzzle game Knotwords in our newsletter on Tuesday, and I’m doing it again here because it is simply that good. The game is a cross between anagram word-guessing games like Wordle (Gage said some of his game design was inspired by Josh Wardle’s creation) and classic crossword puzzles, though there’s a catch. In Knotwords, the only clues available to you are the limited selection of letters for any available group of spaces. Filling an empty puzzle grid with answers through logical tinkering and process of elimination is about as satisfying as these games can get, and I can’t recommend Knotwords enough for those looking to tack on a new daily obsession alongside their Wordle habit.
— Nick Statt
A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.