Apple Arcade Reviews: 'Surprisingly Excellent Game Lineup,' Unique Mechanics and Visuals, Fun Gameplay

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Ahead of the launch of Apple Arcade this Thursday, Apple has allowed YouTubers and media sites to go hands-on with the service, and reviews are now available letting us know what we can expect.

Below, we've rounded up some highlights from the reviews, which will be of interest to anyone thinking of subscribing to Apple Arcade.


According to Engadget's Devindra Hardawar, the demo games that Apple allowed testers to play each had unique gaming elements. "It's clear that Apple is trying to build a service that shows off what its devices can do with truly innovative games," writes Hardawar.

He went on to call the service a "no brainer subscription" for anyone who owns an Apple device, and called Apple Arcade "one of the best deals in gaming."

Sneaky Sasquatch, image via Engadget​

iMore's Rene Ritchie said that it felt like Apple spent "a lot of time" making sure there was a wide range of diversity in its launch catalogs and shared his thoughts in a hands-on video.

Sure, there are stealth games, but maybe you're not a sniper... you're a Sasquatch. There are puzzle games, but maybe not to climb a tower but to delve into your childhood memories.

There's Frogger and Chu Chu Rocket and Lego Brawls, but there's also Skate City, Projection: First Light, and Way of the Turtle. One of the biggest, oldest knocks against Apple has been that they don't get gaming.

It's usually made by studios and players who want a hardcore, PC-like, even console-like experience on the Mac or iOS.
The Verge's Chaim Gartenberg called Apple Arcade's launch lineup "surprisingly deep" that goes beyond the lackluster Frogger debut we saw on September 10.

Where Cards Fall, a puzzle game from Snowman (via The Verge)​
My colleague Dieter Bohn got to try out a few of the upcoming games, and his take is: "All the games are good." Even that Frogger game has more to it than first thought. It's made by Q-Games, which previously made PixelJunk Monsters, and it's almost indicative of the entire Arcade reveal: lackluster at first, until you look closer and see that there's actually a lot happening.
Gizmodo's Alex Cranz said that Apple Arcade "probably isn't going to suck," and that after sampling some of the games, he's "tentatively excited." He wasn't a fan of some of the gameplay on the iPad, though, and he thought that several of the games "looked really similar."

An Apple Arcade game on an iPad, image via Gizmodo​
Across the board, most of the games were a drag on the iPad. Quite a few of the games like to use the device itself to mimic a controller when played on touch devices. That works with a phone, which is roughly the same size as a controller from Sony or Microsoft. But using the iPad as a giant controller was really uncomfortable. My hands were too damn small to pretend a 10.2-inch iPad had joysticks on either side of the display.
Lifewire's Lance Ulanoff said that Apple Arcade games don't "break any new ground" beyond what's already in the App Store, but the promise of "all you can eat games" across Apple devices without in-app purchases for just $4.99 per month is "compelling."

Other Reviews: VentureBeat, Mashable, MobileSyrup, BGR, Digital Trends, and CNET.

Video Reviews and Game Demos:






At launch, Apple Arcade will be priced at $4.99 per month. That $4.99 fee will allow an entire family of up to 6 people (that uses Family Sharing) to access games.

Apple is planning to offer a free one month trial of Apple Arcade, which is launching in more than 150 countries and regions. There will be dozens of new and exclusive games available, with additional games coming in the future.

Article Link: Apple Arcade Reviews: 'Surprisingly Excellent Game Lineup,' Unique Mechanics and Visuals, Fun Gameplay
 

yossi

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2004
162
504
As a parent of three young kids, if they have enough games to keep 2-9 year olds happy, this will be a massive slam dunk. I am so sick of the "free" games that have intrusive, inappropriate ads and constantly crash the ipad.
 

gymratjudy

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2016
221
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I'm going to do the free trial first but I'm pretty sure I will be doing the subscription. Five dollars a month for the whole family is pretty unbeatable.
 

ksgant

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
602
52
Chicago
Looking forward to proper reviews. Just scanning those videos, it looks like the usual YouTube "tech" reviewers were invited to test Arcade, not actual games journalists
Yes, don't believe or trust anyone that doesn't hate everything about everything. But then again, we already know they'll hate it since they hate everything and they'll get the million hits and go back to playing Minecraft.
 

teme

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2004
311
26
Well, at least this is much better than freemium games and probably only way to get some proper games to iOS, which is flooded with freemium games.
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
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I'm excited for this. A bunch of indie creators I'm into are dropping games.

I'm also excited to see how the 'real gamers' on here complain that these are all bad games.
It’s a different kind of game that appeals to a different audience. More casual gamers I think. To ‘me’, they look like bad games but I can see how they can appeal to others.
I’d be the type that prefers to pay more, give up a bit of convenience, and stick with a console or a PC.
(When the choice of both is available).
 

Horselover Fat

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2012
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Germany
It will be interesting to see how they manage to keep this whole growing library up to date with iOS constantly evolving and a ton of abandoned apps up until today.
 

Khedron

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2013
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Let me guess - Rene Richie gives it a glowing review?
He thinks having 100 games ready to launch is the greatest accomplishment in management history, as if these games all required years of development time and only started when Apple invented Arcade.

From his discussion of gaming, he also thinks the only options are Apple Arcade or microtransaction mobile games.
 

GregJohn

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2015
230
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Saskatoon, SK
In Canada running iOS 13.1 developer beta it just let me sign up. time to look into these games!


(Cat quest 2 has me excited )
Ocean horn 2...
Hot lava...
Exit gungeon..

see “all games” only shows some so it’s hard to tell what there is and how many there are but the layout is nice
 

Saipher

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2014
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CA, USA
I’ll sign up on launch day. I don’t consider myself a hardcore gamer but I’ve been gaming for a while now, since NES and Sega Genesis days, and I do play titles like Apex Legends and the newly released Borderlands 3, but sometimes it’s nice to just play a casual mellow game to unwind. I hope Apple makes a ton of $$$ on this service so they become more heavily invested in the gaming community, and who knows, maybe we’ll see future ATV iterations able to run some major AAA titles.

Edit: Spelling
 
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TacoChowder

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2019
35
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It’s a different kind of game that appeals to a different audience. More casual gamers I think. To ‘me’, they look like bad games but I can see how they can appeal to others.
I’d be the type that prefers to pay more, give up a bit of convenience, and stick with a console or a PC.
(When the choice of both is available).
There's 100 games. They're not all casual indie story telling. There's some action/adventures, there's some puzzles, there's even a sequel to Enter the Gungeon. I just can't see twitchy FPS working on this platform, but who knows