Ernest Cline

Phaëton for iOS: The Fictional Video Game from Armada

If you are a retro gaming and 80's pop culture fan like I am then I'm sure you have heard of the novels of Ernest Cline:

Ready Player One


If you haven't hear of these books, seriously, stop reading this article right now and go buy and read them. But if you have read these books then be sure to check out the free iOS game Phaëton.


Phaëton is a fictional video game that has a very important role in the book Armada. It is a pretty simple space shooter video game that was developed in junction with Ernest Cline and based on the 1980 Atari game Battlezone. In true Ernest Cline style there are all kinds of references and eater eggs from the book scattered throughout the game. The game itself is a blast to play. I find that it's hard to find a really engaging shooter game in iOS. They are either way too hard or the game mechanics are frustrating. Phaëton gets it just right in my opinion. While the control mechanics were designed specifically for the iOS touch interface and work well, the real kicker to Phaëton is that is also works with the Nimbus Steelseries Bluetooth controller. The Nimbus is a must have if you like to game in iOS or on the Apple TV. In the case of Phaëton it gives the game a true arcade feel.


I don't have a lot of free time, so the limited time I do I tend to spend on things I truly enjoy. I had a bit of free time this past Sunday morning and came across Phaëton. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that up until then I didn't know this game even existed, and I'm a huge Ernest Cline fan. So big a fan in fact, that I even created my own Ready Player One and Armada playlists in Apple Music and wrote up blog posts for each one (see my posts on the Ready Player One playlist and the Armada playlist). So go download my Apple Music playlist from the novel Armada and get some truly geek time in by playing Phaëton while listening to the Armada playlist. Your welcome...

Armada Playlist: Raid the Arcade Mix

Right on the heels of reading the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (iBooks, Amazon), I picked up his most recent novel titled Armada (iBooks, Amazon). Armada is steeped in 80's nostalgia just like Ready Player One and the basic plotline is even the same...teenage gamer out to save the world. Maybe its because I am child of the 80's or maybe its because I'm just a die hard geek, either way I devoured this novel. At the very end of the book there is a handwritten "mix tape" playlist that has all of the songs that are referenced throughout the book. So naturally I created my own playlist in Apple Music and just had to share it for all the other geeks out there like me looking for the perfect mix of songs to game with...

Ready Player One Playlist

I recently finished reading the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (iBooks and It is about a teenager living in a dystopian future where much of the population escapes the harsh reality of the physical world they are living in by spending much of their time in a virtual reality world called the OASIS. The basic plot of the book is about a contest by the developer behind the OASIS who has left his entire fortune to anyone who can collect all the keys he has left as hidden "Easter eggs" throughout the OASIS. The book is full of references to classic video games, 80's TV shows, movies and of course music. I know, you are probably asking why I am just now reading this novel. If you have any interest in video games or virtual reality this book is a must-read. But if you are like me, as you are reading this novel you are going to have a craving to listen to the music referenced in the book. I solved that by creating a playlist in Apple Music. So crank up your Walkman, load up your copy of Yar's Revenge in your Atari 2600 and enjoy!

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