Apple Arcade: Everything Apple puts out seems to garner a lot of attention. Be it good or bad, and the folk at the company have tried their hand at many different things over the years.
But despite being a tech giant with a firm foothold in the smartphone and PC market, Apple has had a rather difficult time trying to break into the gaming market.
How Apple Arcade taps into the gaming market?
Back in 1995, they released their very own console, the ill-fated Apple pippin, but in a market already dominated by Sony, Sega, and Nintendo, the pippin made no headway whatsoever. 24 years later, Apple decided to tap into the gaming market differently.
Instead of attempting to sell their hardware, they’ve decided to capitalize on the hardware they’ve already put out. It is how Apple Arcade was born in September 2019.
But strangely enough, it didn’t generate a lot of hype as Apple products tend to do so many of us are left wondering. What is Apple Arcade? How much does it cost? And is it ultimately worth your time and money? These are all questions that we’ll be covering in this article. So,
What is Apple Arcade?
Let’s start with the what and the how. Apple Arcade is a subscription-based video game service available exclusively on Macs and all devices running IOS or one of its derivatives. It includes iPad OS and TV OS, as well as IOS.
The monthly subscription of Apple Arcade comes in at just $5. If you purchase the annual 12 months plan, the value increases, reducing the overall price to 50 instead of $60. You can look at this as either bringing down the monthly cost to $4 or get 2 months for free whichever one rocks your boat.
While the subscription is active, you grant unlimited access to Apple Arcades’ ever-increasing library of games that updates with new titles on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
How many games are on Apple Arcade?
How many games is this, you ask? Well, the service launched in September 2019 with 53 titles, but now in June 2020, it boasted a total of 129 games. Less than a year in and we can already see how rapidly the service is expanding. But these are mobile games.
The consensus among gamers regarding mobile games is that they’re mostly garbage and rightfully so. In a nutshell, mobile gaming nowadays has mostly been reduced to developing devise models via intrusive ads, paywalls, and tons of microtransactions.
From a development standpoint, the gameplay is secondary to this, and even secondary sounds too nice in some cases. So, before we can decide whether Apple Arcade is worth it? We have to take a look at the game selection and quality.
|How much does Apple arcade cost?|
What is on Apple Arcade?
How does Apple arcade work?
Is Apple arcade any good?
Apple Arcade Game-selection and Quality
Some of you guys may be too young to remember this, but there was a time before the microtransaction plague when mobile games felt like games instead of elaborately designed schemes to get you hooked and frustrated just enough so that you’ll throw money at them.
They were simple games. The mobile hardware back then didn’t allow for anything more, but they were still games in the true meaning of the word. You downloaded them, and you enjoyed the experience.
Apple Arcade games are reminiscent of this type of mobile gaming. They’re full-fledged games that offer a polished satisfying and most importantly completed experience without a microtransaction insight. We could say they shine this old light on mobile games, except they make it even better than ever thanks to the capabilities of modern mobile hardware.
So, when we say there are 129 games available on Apple Arcade, we mean 129 content-rich experiences unburdened by ads or in-game transactions. Some are simpler than others, but none of them design to rip you off.
Now we don’t want to sell them over the majority of these games are still mobile games, so don’t expect The God Of War Or Persona 5. We just wanted to emphasize that Apple Arcade is entirely free of the shackles that otherwise bind and stigmatize mobile gaming as a whole. But we would be remiss to overlook the fact that there are some complex 3D titles on Apple Arcade that wouldn’t look out of place on any console.
Some of them are even cross-platform and way cheaper to access through Apple Arcade than by other means. You can also get around the wonky touchscreen controls as both IOS and Mac OS supports third-party controllers, Including but not limited to DualShock 4 and the Xbox one controller.
It’s essential also to mention that the selection of genres among the currently available 129 games is quite diverse. From fast-paced action and adventure games to platformers puzzles racing games RPGs strategy games and even some narrative-driven titles that place the story before the gameplay. Apple Arcade has got it all.
Not all of them are equally good, but while certain games won’t appeal to everyone. We’re confident that everyone will be able to find something to their liking. We can’t go over all the games, but we can strongly recommend you check out Skate City, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Frogger In Toy Town, Super Impossible Road, LEGO Brawls, and our favorite Hot Lava.
It lets you re-experience the childhood joys of pretending that the floor is lava and trying to platform and navigate your way around that fact.
Is it worth it?
So, is Apple Arcade worth it? It’s kind of hard to say, on the one hand, it’s a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant and exploitative mobile gaming market. We want it to be successful if only to encourage more developers to make similar games.
We know it’s expected of us as real gamers to mock smartphone gaming as a concept, but we genuinely believe that there would be nothing to mock if the state of mobile gaming was as it is on Apple Arcade.
Uncompromisingly genuine $5 a month for a large selection of quality mobile games and even some console worthy 3D titles. It sounds too good to be accurate, and it is in a vacuum or if we only look at the state of mobile gaming, which is otherwise degenerate.
But things aren’t as clear-cut when we take Apple Arcade out of the vacuum and put it in the context of other games subscription services. We’re talking, of course, about Sony’s PlayStation Now and Microsoft’s Xbox game pass services.
Comparison with the other game’s subscription services
Sony’s PlayStation Now
Sony currently offers 800 games made for three generations of consoles on PS now, including the highly acclaimed spider-man game by insomniac that added recently. These games can stream on either a PS4 or PC, but the PS4 titles can even be downloaded and played locally.
The monthly fee for PS now is $10, but the 3 month and the 12-month plans offer better value coming in at around 25 and $50, respectively. The 12-month plan stands out the most as it effectively halves the monthly price bringing it down to a mere $5.
Xbox game pass
Alternatively, Xbox is a lot more expensive than Apple Arcade. Unless you’re subscribed only to the PC version but PS now offers some extraordinary value with its 12 months subscription plan. It costs just a $ more but nets you a much more extensive selection of games, some of which are certified classics.
The Xbox game pass features almost 400 games, including both Xbox and PC titles. It costs $10 on the Xbox one and $5 on the PC, and there is also a premium $15 monthly plan that covers both platforms and comes with Xbox live gold thrown in for good measure.
With the Xbox live gold, you get access to 2 free games each month and some exclusive discounts. Next to these 2-services, Apple Arcade can be a hard sell.
Conversely, Apple Arcade has mobile games and some cross-platform titles, but that’s just the thing Apple Arcade offers something unique and different precisely thanks to all the mobile-friendly games. Sure, it’s available on Mac OS as well, but we feel that the iOS is where Apple Arcade truly shines.
If you’re after simpler games that you can play on your iPhone or iPad in short bursts, then there is nothing quite similar. It in this context, it’s certainly worth it, and it’s even better than PS now and Xbox game pass.
Unfortunately, Mac OS does not support PS Now or Xbox game pass, so you don’t have a choice there, which does make Apple Arcade more appealing, but for IOS, it’s simply amazing. If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we’d say that Apple Arcade is the realized promise of mobile gaming as we all imagined and hoped it would be before microtransactions became a thing.
To summarize, Apple Arcade is a game subscription service available on the iOS and Mac OS that boasts a diverse and rapidly increasing library of content-rich games that aren’t plagued by any of the issues commonly associated with mobile gaming.
It costs just $5 a month or $4 if you get to 12 months subscription plan, and that’s it no strings attached.
The only additional expense would be a third-party controller in case you’re not a fan of the touchscreen controls.
Best for iOS and Mac users
So, if you’re an iOS user and you’re looking to kill some time with fun and intriguing games, we wholeheartedly recommend you try out Apple Arcade. Mac users will also find enjoyment here. Although in this case, it’s hard not to draw comparisons with the objectively more content-rich PS now.