What you need to know
- With Apple Arcade launching on September 19, we've rounded up what people are saying about it.
- The service seems to offer many benefits such as pricing and game selection.
- There is a wide consensus Apple still needs to work on appealing to hardcore gamers.
Apple Arcade is launching on September 19, so naturally people are curious about how Apple's new gaming service works. Are the titles any good? Is the gameplay fun? Which titles are the best? Is it worth subscribing to it?
Those questions are being answered by early hands-on with Apple Arcade. We've collected some of the most interesting tidbits out outlets have revealed from their hands-on time with Apple that should help you decide if it is worth it.
IGN talked about how Apple Arcade is appealing to casual consumers.
And to its credit, Apple is setting Arcade up in a very consumer-friendly way. For instance, a single $5 month-to-month subscription covers up to five total people in your family. Second, the games chosen for the service won't ever be of the gross microtransaction-heavy variety. These are premium games (more on those in a moment), not digital hamster wheels designed less to entertain you than to extract every last possible dollar from you. Whatever extra content is in the games, you'll get it as part of your sub. Third, and similarly, every Apple Arcade game is ad-free. They've even got cross-save; you can leave off on any of your Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV) and resume on another.
VentureBeat came to the conclusion that the games are definitely worth the price, with an asterisk.
Are these games worth $4.99 a month? Of course they are. But it depends whether you are going to play a lot of them. If you like family games and you like what you see here, then the price is a bargain. If you don't play many games, then you'll have to think about it because you don't have an a la carte option here.
AppleInsider explained how the it might be hard to play through the whole catalog of games unless you are a dedicated gamer.
We aren't going to review every title in Apple Arcade here, or probably ever, but simply-put there are a lot of games and almost everything we downloaded was well-done and fun. Of course, there are going to be titles that don't appeal to everyone but Apple has done a good job of appealing to a wide variety of gamers.
The games also take advantage of Apple's hardware and software. All save game and score data is stored on iCloud and moved between devices, support for MFi controllers including PS4 and Xbox One controllers is baked in with good multi-touch control, and the Taptic engine rumbles appropriately with physical feedback. Apple has executed unique integrations, like utilizing the Apple TV as a scoreboard with players in the same room on different iPhones.
MacWorld deemed that Apple Arcade is good, but not great.
And while I never saw anything that immediately struck me as/great/, I can say with certainty that every game was at least/good/. Aside from/Hot Lava/, which frustrated me on the iPad with its first-person perspective, I'd be happy to jump into any of the other titles today. It's a good start for a good service, but Apple Arcade's future depends on how easily and frequently Apple can announce new, critically acclaimed games; how many top-tier developers it can attract; and whether it can adequately pay those developers.
iMore's Rene Ritchie sees the potential of Apple Arcade, but it still needs to breakthrough to a wider audience.
Beyond that, personally, surprise surprise, I'm pretty much the target audience for this. I don't have a lot of time to play, so the idea of a curated collection of totally unlocked twists on classics and modern curios is immensely appealing.
But it's not all, even at all, about me, and to really succeed, Apple's going to have to appeal to a wide swathe of casual gamers of all tastes and temperaments.
Beyond even that, Apple may well see financial opportunity in Arcade, and if it makes a ton of money for everyone, that'll be fanatic for them. But I think Apple also sees responsibility, and if they can help developers make the kind of games that I so many of us used to play the bits out of as kids — that we want so much for our kids.
What do you think? Were you considering getting Apple Arcade and are now committed or reconsidering? Let us know in the comments.