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Apple Arcade. My Impressions for Each Game in Two Sentences

APPLE ARCADE! Yes I’m excited and yes the caps lock was on by mistake but I’m leaving it like that. Apple has decided to throw their hat into the ring of subscription based gaming. For five dollars a month you have access to a ginormous amount of games. Now you have even more excuses to walk blindly into traffic while playing a Breath of the Wild clone. Who needs a Nintendo Switch? To be honest I was very skeptical of this service because I’m not a mobile gamer. Call me old fashioned but I prefer receiving homophobic slurs from some fat kid in Iowa in the privacy of my own home.

I am skeptical but also curious so I decided to use my magical thumb print and subscribe to the service and see what all the fuss is about. There are a ton of games which is a bonus. I couldn’t try them all but you’ll get the idea of what’s included. Here are my impressions in two sentences for each game I tried.

Murder Mystery Machine

A detective game that holds your hand a little too much as a tutorial. It’s a game about figuring out stuff isn’t it?

Where Cards Fall

Cards fall then you have to pinch and move them. Not recommended for stubby fingers and small screens.

Frogger in Toy Town

Frogger with a splash of 3D. Really good visuals and classic Frogger gameplay. 

Skate City

Solid gameplay and lots of customization! All the micro-transactions are free.

Rayman Mini

It’s a runner similar to the Rayman mobile game. It’s Rayman and it’s fun as hell. 

Sonic Racing

Steering is silly. I can’t get used to it.

Hot Lava 

Hot garbage…it is not. Fantastic Saturday morning cartoon intro.  

Sayanora Wild Hearts

Sonic 2 bonus round that wants to give you a seizure. Like playing an anime music video 

Word Laces

What’s the name of that puzzle word game that’s been out for years? I forget just like you should forget this one 

Shinseka 

Play with headphones! Or don’t this game is great.

Punch Planet

It’s not street fighter 2. It’s not bad either 

What The Golf

WTF? I should hate this game but I don’t 

Big Time Sports

If you hate sports big time this won’t change your mind. Basketball is fun. 

Speed Demons

Faster and better driving mechanics than Sonic racing. Game should be narrated by John Bunnell. 

Neo Cab

Ever wanted to know what your Uber driver who picks you up in the middle of the desert life’s story is? Me either 

Projection

Walk towards the light! Use shadows to create platforms. 

Super Impossible Road

If you loved the Rainbow Road track in Mario Kart you’ll feel right at home here. Better steering than Sonic racing.

Bleak Sword

Touch controls take getting used to. If Dark Souls was released on the Atari 2600 in 1983

Hexaflip 

Hexagon the game. Flip a hexagon around a board and watch out for traps.

Agent Intercept

Mario Kart but with the camera at an elevated angle. This game should be narrated by John Bunnell.

Spaceland

A lot like X-Com 2. Except it’s fun 

The Get Out Kids

Find stuff in your room then get out! Couldn’t they think of a better name for their gang or this game?

Exit the Gungeon

A mix of retro gaming genres like Castlevania and Metroid. Kinda hard but pretty good.

Cat Quest 2

Pawsitively prrrrfect rpg for the iOS. When did Cat Quest one come out?

Dead End Job

Ghostbusters twin stick shooter with no sticks! Fun yet repetitive.

Oceanhorn 2

It’s a Zelda clone but a very well made Zelda clone. When did Oceanhorn one come out?

Chu Chu Rocket Universe

Multiplayer game that obviously requires an internet connection. I was in the matchmaking screen for 10 minutes then I gave up so 🤷‍♂️ 

Assemble

A puzzle game that tasks you with fixing random stuff from people with sad stories. Everyone’s life is shit except the protagonist who travels for a living and has no problems finding work. 

Tangle Tower 

Point and click adventure. Kind of like Myst but fun

Overland

Survival horror meets X-Com. Touch controls take getting used to this game is begging for a mouse. 

Redout Space Assault

Beautiful graphics for a space combat rail shooter but touch screen thumb stick leaves a lot to be desired. You really need to a phone controller to get the best out of this one. 

So there you have it. I tried every game from all genres offered and took some time to think about what this is. I think it’s a perfect service for these devices and I think it’s great for the industry if it is successful. I couldn’t help but think that these games really do feel like iOS/Android games but you’re given all the cosmetic items instead of being hit over the head with micro-transactions. I’ll never know this for sure but it seems like some of these games may have been designed as a typical App store game then re-engineered for the Apple Arcade service. I might be wrong about that and does that really matter?

I don’t believe it does. What matters is that if this service stays at 5 bucks a month and is updated regularly. If Apple Arcade can do that it can be a home run for Apple. They are fighting battles on many fronts now. Apple Plus is a thing now so now their competition is Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Android devices, Google Stadia, PC’s and the Nintendo Switch. I bring up the Switch because casual gamers (or normies) might look at a 5 dollar subscription to Apple Plus instead of forking over hundreds of dollars for the Switch especially if they have young children. I can’t say for certain they’ll stay in every game they’re in but I am rooting for Apple Arcade.

In Conclusion

The games are pretty solid so kudos to Apple for that. I am not a casual gamer at all. I play everyday and I play on different platforms. I can’t speak for every hardcore gamer but it seems like these games are targeted towards the casual crowd and that’s fantastic. I think people are getting pretty tired of predatory gambling mechanics in mobile games and I commend Apple for releasing games that are just games. If they somehow start sneaking in micro-transactions into the games offered by this service you will a blog post that will go legend! I’m talking about age verification pop ups before reading the post because it will be a symphony of profanities.

I would recommend this service if you take public transportation to work or you travel a lot. Some of the games are really in depth and probably could take a number of hours to complete. So when your significant other is watching their favorite reality show that you can’t stand fire up some Ocean Horn 2 with some headphones and you’ll be in a better place.

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