Apple Arcade just launched for the beta testers and I got the opportunity to check out the games before they officially roll out to the public. I sat down to make the list of best Apple Arcade games after gluing my eyes to the iPhone for the better part of the last few days and here are my recommendations. Let’s begin.
How to play Apple Arcade Games?
These games can’t be bought individually and you’ll have to purchase the subscription of $ 4.99/mo. Apple is offering a one-month free trial which gives you plenty of time to check out all the titles but if you’re going to with the free trial, don’t cancel it till the end of the month or you’ll lose access to all of the games instantly.
To play Apple Arcade games, Simply go to the App Store on your iPhone or iPad (running iOS13, iPadOS 13) and tap the Arcade tab on the bottom. Agree to the terms, add a payment option, and you’re ready to play. Just Search the game title and install it to your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and Apple TV.
Right now, the games are available on the iPhone but soon the games roll out on all the other devices mentioned above. The best part about these games is that you can now connect DS4 and Xbox controllers to your iPhone and Apple TV to play the titles.
Best Apple Arcade Games
1. Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm
A sequel that’s set a thousand years in the past lives up to the expectations of the OG RPG. Oceanhorn 2 has immersive puzzles and quests that are as good as the AAA titles for the console games which give you 15+ hours of nonstop gameplay. Did I mention it has a sword-wielding robot that’s on your side?
Related: Best Games optimized for iPad Pro
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I did a piece on best hypercasual games and the most infuriating thing about those were the ads. Under Apple Arcade, you can actually play the game without having to worry about any annoying ads. Your aim is to traverse on a hexagonal arena and collect gems to level up. The graphics and sound effects are on par with the industry competition, if not better.
3. Jenny Leclue
Set in the beautiful town of Arthurton, Jenny Leclue is a young detective with a huge appetite for adventure and mystery. Things turn really adventurous when her mother is accused of murder and the responsibility falls on her to save her mother and discover the truth about the town. Apart from the gripping storyline, the metanarrative and animation would keep you hooked on to the adventures. Even though you get to make choices for Jenny throughout the game, you would still have to take help from others and keep a sharp wit to solve the mystery.
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4. Punch Planet
Also Read: Games like 2048 but better
Sometimes you just need to grab the controller and smash the heck out of some bad guys, Punch Planet is here to satiate that desire of yours. Latest in the 2D fighter genre, this game offers a simple narrative, beat your way to the top. You can play as one of the six characters with 4 unique stages and a few fighting modes which include Versus, Arcade, survival, and training. You’ll discover new planets, advanced cities, and sick aliens with a sense of humor and play this game with your SO.
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5. Hot Lava
What starts off as a fun game between friends quickly devolves into a nightmare where the floor is actually lava and the world is burning. You have to find the fastest route to safety by figuring out a passage through the rubble without ever touching the floor. You can play solo or with up to 4 friends and traverse through mazes of homes, schools and everything in between. Headphones are a must to have the full experience of this game.
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6. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts is not a video game for your iPhone, it’s a music album with interactive controls. With Neon graphics, custom music, and high-speed gameplay, the game captivates your senses and keeps you entertained. The story revolves around the heroine who has her heart broken and now must bring balance to the universe with the power of music, motorcycles, swords, and dance battles.
7. Dead End Job
Set up in a world where ghosts are not scary enough and are closer to pests and our protagonist, Hector Plasm works at Ghoul-B-Gone as a Ghost Control Executive. His daily routine involves visiting different places and capturing ghosts using a Vacuum cleaner and a plasma Gun much like Ghostbusters. You’ll love the cartoonish animation and a procedurally generated world where even catching ghosts is a ‘dead-end’ job.
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8. Skate City
Tony Hawk would probably love this casual skating game by Snowman. Paired with lo-fi soundtracks and a chill graphics, Skate City makes a perfect game to learn all the sick skating tricks. Start with easy tutorials and level up to skate in cities around the world. All the controls are on the screen and you can begin practicing with Ollie, Kick Flips, rail grinds, and more.
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9. The Enchanted World
A 2.5D tile- slide puzzler which tries to enchant you with its low poly animation paired with epic music and I have to say it succeeds. In a world of realistic graphics The Enchanted World makes its own space, you can explore 9 different worlds and 30 handcrafted puzzles. You play the character of a magical fairy who can literally move the earth, at least small tiled portions of it, and aim to clear your path by eliminating hurdles.
10. LEGO: Brawls
LEGO: Brawls is Ruthless, Brutal, and Bloodthirsty. The moment you tap the Get button, you’re automatically involved in an epic brawl of the ages. It is an online multiplayer game which keeps you on your toes while fighting real opponents. Filled with interesting and unique powerups, PUBG, and Fortnite have nothing on this 60FPS beast. The animations are super crisp and navigations controls are easy enough which makes the game something to drool for.
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11. Sonic Racing
Nintendo has got its users hooked on Mario Kart and even after so many iterations, it is still one of the best games to play with friends and family. Sonic Racing tries to lure Apple users by offering a similar game concept. You can play any of the 15 characters from the Sonic universe. Just like Mario Kart, you can collect power-ups, set traps, and obviously attack other players. Gotta get this game, fast.
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12. Exit the Gungeon
The Bullethell Roguelike star returns with a vengeance also known as Exit the Gungeon. Sequel to Enter the Gungeon picks up where the first game left off and now our heroes must ascend to ‘exit’ the gungeon. You still have the trusty dodge roll and new weapons to escape the smell and dark hellhole. Also, it is not about the destination but the friends we meet along the way and a lot of silly jokes.
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13. Shinsekai Into the Depths
I was excited to check the game out since it was showcased at Steve Jobs Theatre on Sept 10th. Shinsekai takes you deep down into the ocean where humanity has taken refuge to avoid killer ice taking over the world. You play as an aquanaut who encounters this deadly force and must look for other survivors. The physics engine was developed by taking reference from real-world situations and the sound effects are actually recorded underwater. Truly it’s an immersive experience.
14. Frogger in Toy Town
Reprising its role in the Toy Storyesque world where a storm has dropped all the froglets in a house and our hero, Frogger is tasked to save all of them. You get similar game mechanics such as crossing the road but with highly animated toy trucks and cars. The game gets interesting with evil toys, roadblocks, and special powers that you get along the way. Also, there is an evil baby that is really evil.
Spek isn’t just some boring figment of imagination by a game developer, it is a mind-bending, perspective-changing puzzler that will have you glued to the screen, no matter where you play it. Your aim is to collect gems walking on a straight line and avoid obstacles. As you swipe the screen, the perspective changes and new hurdles appear. It is full of innovative mechanics and challenging environments which keeps the puzzle genre interesting.
Related: Play these Apple Games in 2019
16. Don’t Bug Me
Set in a world where life on Mars exists and it is filled with pesky bugs. In this tower defense strategy game, your objective is to protect the Orion III. Helps is on the way but you have to keep the solar cells charged and alien bugs away, the only way to do that is by settings up turrets and building barriers. Unlike other RTS games, it is much simpler and you can switch between bird’s eye view and FPS.
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17. Mini Motorways
You’re the person responsible for creating roads in a developing city, much like the real world, you have to think ahead and plan your roads accordingly so that the city doesn’t start to choke as it grows. You would face challenges which would force you to drop your current strategy and adapt to the circumstances and honestly that is the best part of this game. The game progresses dynamically and cities grow naturally creating an element of surprise, the layout and animation is smooth AF, not to mention relaxing. Plus, you can also use MFi controllers with this game.
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18. Projection: First Light
Living in the Shadow Puppet world, Greta is on an adventure of self-enlightenment where she discovers the powers of light and shadows. The 2D runner feels much more immersive with its monochromatic settings and innovative use of lights and parallax scrolling. Cruising through 19th century Indonesia, China, Turkey, and England, Greta learns a lot from the culture and the puzzles get interesting with the use of original music created with instruments that were actually used in puppet performances.
19. Over the Alps
Over the Alps is not a traditional adventure game, it involves a lot of bookkeeping, a lot of conversations and a lot of stamps. However, you would be amazed at the narrative which is designed to be reactive and changes according to your actions. You can play this game multiple times and reach different conclusions. The graphics are inspired by vintage postcards which keep the illusion of mystery intact.
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21. Speed Demons
Don’t let the retro style game visuals and bird’s eye view fool you, Speed Demons is a high octane racing simulator where you’ll find yourself racing on a highway with others. The physics engine is closer to reality so the acceleration and crashes feel natural. You can drive 25 different vehicles in 8 different modes such as Race, Checkpoint, Escape, Pursuit, Rampage, etc. You’d have to keep your eyes on the road at all times to win this. Ready?
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Best Apple Arcade Games
These were my pick for the best Apple Arcade games that you should definitely try. This is nowhere a complete list and the final subscription would have 100+ games. During the beta release, I could only see around 65 games so we can assume Apple would be rolling out those games in batches. Out of the 65 games that I tested these 18 are the best of the best and I highly recommend them. Every game brings something unique to the table and even if the genre feels saturated one of these games does something right that makes the subscription worth it. What do you think of these games, do you have a favorite that isn’t in the list? Let me know in the comments below.