Back in 2019 when Apple Arcade came out I was in my gaming glory. The service started out strong and in my opinion, it is still going strong. I said that I wanted to review every game on the service, well that hasn’t happened. Not for a lack of trying, I reviewed a lot of them. What the goal is here is to start at the first game in the Apple Arcade list give a quick review or impressions and compile a list in order from my favorite to my least favorite. Some reviews will be longer than others and some will just be early impressions without a number score. It depends on how much the game grabs me and if I feel comfortable putting a score on it. First, let’s find out how I feel about the service as a whole.
This is what I had to say in my initial impressions. Originally posted on September 19th 2019.
Subscriptions are no longer just the way of the future; it seems to be our present, with every company trying to get their piece. Subscription models are widely popular for many reasons that we do not need to get into now, but what we do need to get into is Apple’s new subscription service: Apple Arcade.
Apple Arcade was announced on March 25th at the Apple event, and is going live today (September 19th, 2019). When it was announced, I was equal parts nervous and excited. I love mobile games — it’s where I do most of my gaming these days — so the promise of premium games at one cost sounded great to me. I was nervous about, not only how many games and what games would be in the service, but also about the price.
After its announcement, I put a price in my head that I wouldn’t pay more than, and that price was $14.99 a month. I was hoping it would be cheaper, but that was my cutoff price, and honestly, in the range I was expecting. I thought best case scenario would be $9.99. At the September 10th keynote, we got the release date, and a price of $4.99 a month, and my mind was blown. Let us not forget that, for that one low price, you can share it with your family members.
I have been fooling around with the beta and I can not believe this only cost $4.99. I have yet to try all the games, but the ones I have played are worth $4.99 on their own merits. The interface is not bad; it looks like your normal store, just missing one thing, which I’ll get to later. You can find the Arcade in your AppStore. It replaces the button for updates (updates can now be found by clicking on your profile picture). Once you click on it, there are different banners promoting certain games, and all the way at the bottom you will see a button to see all the games. The only thing missing, that really needs to be added (especially once more games are added), is a way to search or sort the games by genre.
*Update* categories by genre have been added at release.
They are promising 100 games to follow quickly after the launch — many of which they are calling “exclusive”. The term exclusive is used very lightly; it’s exclusive to mobile, but not all are exclusive to only the iPhone. So there are some games that could be played on other gaming platforms.
As I said, I have not played all the games, but some stand out. Here are some I have tried so far:
A strategy, turn-based action game that at least for anyone who has played XCOM will find feels very familiar.
A sequel to the Zelda-like game Oceanhorn. It’s a huge adventure that I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. It looks great and plays great.
Cat Quest II
Keeping with the sequels, Cat Quest was a brilliant game that was screaming for a sequel. It’s an open world, 2D action RPG, that controls perfectly on a touch interface.
A team-based brawler with Lego characters. Create your own character and hit the arena for some fun brawls. This is one I can’t wait to get into the public’s hands to see how the brawls go.
This one fills the void left by the Tony Hawk games. It’s not as detailed, but what it is, is perfect for touch controls and short bursts of play. It’s a lot of fun to jump into.
For now, I would say $4.99 is extremely worth it; I actually feel it’s undervalued at this price. These games coming in a subscription package have definitely saved me money, as I would be buying many of them on their own. As long as Apple can continue to add quality games, this will be a subscription that I will hold on to for a long time. The future is unknown, but the present is very bright for Apple Arcade. This is a service I will gladly give my stamp of approval to.
In 2022 I stand by this service and still believe it is worth the five dollar a month price tag. Xbox Gamepass is hands down the best deal in gaming, and Apple Arcade is the second best. I have played a lot of games on the service that are available on other platforms. Games like The Pathless which people were playing on their PlayStation 5, I was able to play on my phone for no additional cost.
The service has definitely slowed down a bit with the number of new releases but the catalog of games there will keep you busy for a long time, I’m about to show you how long it will keep you busy as I start this journey to review them all. As I scroll down this long list of games, the first game on my list will be Word Laces, let’s get to playing.