Apple Arcade review – A fun way to play

Imagine you’re playing your favourite mobile game and you’re enjoying it. You get to an exciting part and realise you can’t move forward because you don’t have enough coins or you’ve “run out of energy.” The game then asks you if you would like to purchase coins with real money or watch another ad to boost your chances of success. Apple Arcade promises to alleviate the burden of in-app purchases and annoying ads with a more straight forward experience.

Apple Arcade is Apple Inc’s game subscription service that launched on September 19. For US$4.99, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV users running compatible software can download and play exclusive titles.

Instead of searching for and purchasing premium games individually, Apple Arcade puts all its exclusive titles in one place. For one fee, gamers get access to curated games from several top game developers like Capcom and Konami.

The games so far have been very polished and enjoyable, ranging from fast-paced titles to more laid-back games requiring strategy. This may be due to Apple’s strict requirements for entry. Here are our thoughts on a few Apple Arcade games.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

This game is arguably one of the best titles in Apple Arcade right now. It’s a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping, synth-pop thrill bathed in neon colours. It requires good hand-eye coordination, a good ear and proper timing. The game follows a broken-hearted female protagonist as she rides, flies and fights for good.

The music is very impressive and changes with each stage. Tasks are tied to the beats and more points are awarded during fights if the player can correctly time punches, jumps and dodges, all while racing through neon streets, collecting hearts.

LEGO Brawls

RED Games and LEGO have teamed up to bring a fun, chaotic game you can play online. It’s quite like Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series with big crashes, dashes and melee. However, it adds its own unique elements like giant robots, customizable characters and its own spin on how to win the game. Instead of hitting players off a platform, one wins the game by ensuring their team of 1-4 online players controls a level.

Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm

Oceanhorn 2 is the most visually stunning game I’ve seen so far. Its colourful, fun and reminds me of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Your character is armed with a sword and goes on various quests to retrieve items. Sound familiar?

The storyline is appealing as is the music. Characters are likeable and each discovery creates more curiosity as to what will come next.

Apple Arcade is a fun time but hardcore gamers aren’t going to switch from their PC, Play Station or Xbox to smaller screens.

You can only access the service from Apple devices, so if you don’t already own one, this may not be for you. Plus, Android users can opt for Google Play Pass; devoid of ads and in-app purchases, for the same price.

Apple now joins a host of other companies like Netflix and Amazon that are vying for our attention and our hard-earned cash. The upside is that it puts great games in one place and gets rid of annoying ads and excessive in-app purchases.

— Written by Renor C.