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Apple Arcade Review

September 27, 2019 at 5:14pm
By Jason Stettner

As gaming subscriptions continue to develop, and with Apple’s push into that type of business we’ve been presented with the Apple Arcade. This is a monthly subscription gaming service that’s set at $4.99 USD/$5.99 CAD. It brings over a hundred titles with a premium style to them, for any Apple devices supporting IOS 13 or later.

This is actually a really great service, and I’m shocked by the quality it provides. It’s not only great for serious gamers, but also casual ones as well the younger audience. Building on a focus for the young ones, these titles work with screen time and parental controls. This is a service where you can download any of them, at any time. Play them online or offline whenever you’d like to.

There are no advertisements within the games, and no microtransactions. You don’t need to open up the digital wallet at all. You get a set of full games, a true rarity in the mobile market. You can also share your subscription with up to five family members across a host of devices. On top of that, these are all built with privacy in mind which is another rare thing to see these days.

Sayonara Wild Hearts IOS Screenshot
Most of these games can also be paired with a Bluetooth controller from Xbox One or Playstation 4 which is awesome. Not only are these games focused on bringing something special in terms of functionality, they’re also great games created by some of the top talent out there. I’m going to highlight a number of titles, and give thoughts on what we’re getting here. I believe the true standout on Apple Arcade is Sayonara Wild Hearts which is a splendid pop music based experience. It’s wild, of full quality and it looks stunning on my iPhone XS. That was of course the device where the service was generally tested on.

Another fun one is Frogger in Toy Town. I haven’t seen that character in ages and it’s looking great with modern elements and a truly realistic looking setup. There are physics included, and it’s very neat. Hot Lava was also a worthwhile time being one of those parkour titles, high quality visuals and a great challenge with many obstacles to conquer across fun environments. Mr Turtle was also a fun one to play, neat use of 3D space within this 2D platformer. It might not be for everyone, but I found it worthwhile to check out.

On the flip side of that, I didn’t care much for Sonic Racing or straight up multiplayer only titles. Those ones felt minimalistic by taking something we know and stripping it down. That aside, there are so many games here that it doesn’t matter if a few aren’t for you. Just delete them and download something else. You get a massive variety of titles that encompass so many genres.

I really do hope they expand this going forward as there’s so much potential. It really is a great curated space, something that’s needed these days due to the quantity of games releasing. It can be hard to find games that are good, or follow certain rules and that makes this service unique. Other titles worth mentioning are Spidersaurs from WayForward; LEGO Brawls from RED Games, Skate City, Punch Planet, Overland, Exit the Gungeon or Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm from Cornfox & Bros.

There are so many games to play and that should make it enticing for anyone even vaguely interested in gaming to try it out. It’s excellent in terms of quality, and what it provides. I feel that the price is rather minimal considering what’s available, and that’s important for making something like this work.

It won’t be for everyone, but I do appreciate the effort to provide a curated area of the store. A place where certain annoying elements of gaming aren’t present. I’d definitely suggest at least trying it if you’re on an IOS device, you’ll probably find a few titles to be enticing. You might actually find it quite overwhelming as well, so many great titles to shift through!

Read About Apple Arcade Games with Controller Support
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Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner