When you first walk into the Apple Arcade, you might be a little overwhelmed. There are games everywhere! Hundreds of them! Everything from action-packed adventures to puzzle games to shooters. And they’re all free-to-play, with no need for in-app purchases.
You can jump right in and start playing without any time commitment—something that’s quite different from other gaming experiences I’ve had (like the time I bought an entire game on my iPad and found out halfway through that it was no good).
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What is Apple Arcade?
For a mere $4.99 per month, you can have access to a growing library of over 200 games, including new and exclusive titles, from all the major gaming platforms and publishers. All the games you play on Apple Arcade are accessible from any iOS or tvOS device you own (up to 10 devices total), so you can take your favorites with your wherever you go.
Apple Arcade is more than just gaming—it’s a service that aims to give users the tools they need to be able to discover new games and play them easily. A curated user interface enables you to filter out the most popular new releases and in-depth recommendations based on what you’ve played before, as well as see which of your friends are playing the same game as you.
You don’t need to be an expert gamer or tech expert to get in on this action: Apple Arcade solves a lot of the common frustrations that plague today’s online gaming experience, like having to download new software each time you want to play a different game or having to pay for individual game downloads. The service also offers in-game purchases if you enjoy a particular title so much that you want more of it (and if your financial situation allows it).
These are the 8 best Apple Arcade games right now
Apple Arcade is a brand new service that gives you unlimited access to over 200 games for a monthly fee. There are lots of reasons this is a good deal, but the best part? It’s not just for kids. These are the 8 best Apple Arcade games right now.
1. Sayonara Wildhearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a dreamy arcade game about riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and all the other things we like to do. It’s a celebration of youth, friendship, self-discovery and exploration.
Sayonara Wild Hearts is an action-packed fighting game with characters inspired by your favorite punk bands and subcultures. In this colorful homage to the golden age of arcade games, you will experience an intense battle for the heart of legendary pop idol, Sayonara.
I’ve played for only an hour or so, but I’m already convinced that this is one of the best apple arcade racing games right now on iPhone and iPad. I love the way it sounds and looks—it’s got a great retro/8-bit aesthetic (which I’m sure you can tell from the screenshots), and its electronic soundtrack is so upbeat and energetic that it elevates my heart rate every time I start a new round.
I also love the way it plays: it’s just challenging enough to make me feel really good when I win a round, but not so hard that I get frustrated or want to give up. The controls are simple but nuanced; I like how you don’t have to hold down any buttons to accelerate or jump and that hitting up on the directional pad activates your special attack rather than making you do some weird dance move (which would be way less fun).
Sayonara Wild Hearts is an easy recommendation for anyone who appreciates classic arcade games or is looking for a game that’s simple to pick up and put down but hard to master. I love how it makes me feel like I’m living in an anime—I want it on my phone so I can play it while waiting in line at the grocery store!
2. Rayman Mini – Best Puzzle arcade game for Mac and iPhone
The game itself is pretty simple… the main character, Rayman, runs through various levels trying to collect as many lums as possible. Lums are small yellow things that I assume are magical in nature, as they appear to be floating in mid-air. Each level is three screens tall and three screens wide.
Rayman can run up or down any of the screens, but he can’t walk side-to-side. He must jump over obstacles, or use his abilities to avoid them—for example, he can punch holes in walls and then run through them, or spit fireballs at enemies. There are different types of enemies that all behave differently; some move towards him while others stay in one place, and some fly and some burrow underground.
Each level also has three magic teeth which Rayman can collect by touching them. Collecting teeth unlocks new worlds and characters for subsequent play, so you’ll have something to work for if you’re competitive like me.
3. Mini Motorways – A great puzzle strategy game
Mini Motorways is a puzzle strategy game released by New Zealand studio Dinosaur Polo Club. It features simple yet captivating graphics, soothing music and a relaxing pace.
The game starts off with a simple start screen showing the board with a few cars on it, and some buttons to start a new game, open the options menu, or view the credits. It’s part of a mobile game genre called “lane-based” puzzle games, which is most famous for being made by Candy Crush Saga developer King.
The player’s goal is to make it from point A to B without crashing any of the cars. The cars can be moved left or right into empty lanes, but cannot go backwards. If a car is pushed into another car that has not been pushed into yet, then both cars are pushed back one space. One button in the top right corner of each turn makes the board rotate 90 degrees in either direction. There’s also a restart button if you get stuck and want to start over.
In addition to getting to the end of each level, there are other goals like getting all three stars (giving you extra points), picking up fuel cans (not necessary for finishing levels), and avoiding obstacles like oil slicks and police cars.
“The premise of Mini Motorways is simple”. You’re in charge of an interchange that must be designed to route cars from one highway to another. The interchange will be built piece by piece on a grid, with each building having different properties—some will cost more to place than others, some will have a greater or lesser impact on traffic flow.
In order to place buildings, you must pay attention both to how they’ll affect traffic flow and where they’ll fit into the growing map.
Initial release date: 19 September 2019 Developer: Dinosaur Polo Club Engine: Unity Composer: Disasterpeace Publisher: Dinosaur Polo Club Platforms: Nintendo Switch, iOS, Microsoft Windows, tvOS, Macintosh operating systems Genres: Indie game, Puzzle Video Game, Strategy Video Game, Simulation Video Game
4. Alto’s Odyssey
Get ready for more amazing visuals, mesmerizing music, and fun new challenges in Alto’s Odyssey! The sequel to the Apple Game of the Year runner-up is here, with an exciting new desert environment, new abilities, and more.
Alto’s Odyssey is a gorgeous game that is no doubt worth a price tag. The game starts you off in the same place as the first Alto, but with a few differences. The most obvious difference is that this time around, there is an expansive desert and a day-night cycle.
Both of these concepts are beautifully implemented and really add to the experience. I would go so far as to say that this, along with the hauntingly beautiful music and sounds, give Alto’s Odyssey a more atmospheric feeling than its predecessor. It also makes it easier to get lost in the game, which is both fun in its own way and kind of sad as well.
The game also has some new mechanics in it—namely, rolling down hills that are sprinkled throughout the levels. Rolling through sand feels very different from running on dirt or snow; it’s almost like you’re walking on clouds, which makes it extra fun to jump over cliffs into nothingness and try to land in a neat formation.
In Alto’s Odyssey, you’ll embark on an endless snowboarding odyssey. Journey across the beautiful desert landscape while you perform incredible tricks, jump over mountains, and dodge perilous boulders. Along the way you’ll earn coins to upgrade your suits and unlock new characters. With addictive gameplay, stunning visuals, and a unique soundtrack, Alto’s Odyssey is a magical experience that can only be found on your iPhone or iPad.
Float through the sky with style and grace by upgrading your board to give it new powers like Reverse Flight and Sonic Wind. Discover hidden caves and explore them to unearth special prizes. Run into trouble? Tap your heels together three times and find salvation in a magic carpet ride.
Solve each of the game’s 90+ puzzles to reveal new areas filled with mystery and wonder. Compete with friends for high scores as you make your way through a variety of stages inspired by different Southwestern landscapes.
Initial release date: 22 February 2018 Engine: Unity Developers: Snowman, Team Alto Genres: Endless runner, Sports Video Game, Simulation Game Composers: Todd Baker, Torin Borrowdale Platforms: Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, tvOS Publishers: Snowman, Noodlecake Studios
5. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls
Grimoire of Souls is an action-packed arcade game you can play on your phone or tablet. It has all the elements that make the Castlevania series great: challenging gameplay, a variety of weapons and items, and a dramatic storyline. You’ll find yourself immersed in this gothic world with its creepy monsters and fun music. The animation is fluid and smooth, with no lag even when there are lots of things going on at once.
Some of the levels are a little hard, but overall it’s just right. The controls are responsive, you can play as any of the characters in the game, and there is an online mode where you can play against other players. The graphics are good, but could be better—they’re kind of pixelated and not as smooth as I would have wanted them to be.
There are boss battles every couple of levels, and they’re pretty hard to beat when you first encounter them, but once you get the hang of it, defeating them becomes easier. Overall this is a really good game and I would definitely recommend it for people who like Castlevania or action arcade games.
There are plenty of modes to explore including Story Mode, Endless Mode, Boss Rush Mode, Versus Mode, Survival Mode, and more!
Initial release date: 16 September 2019 Series: Castlevania First released: 20 September 2019 Developers: Konami, Konami Digital Entertainment Platforms: Android, iOS, Macintosh operating systems Publishers: Konami, Konami Digital Entertainment Genres: Platform game, Role-playing Video Game, Adventure game, Fighting game, Shooter Video Game
6. Assemble with Care – Best Puzzle arcade game for iPhone and iPad
Assemble with Care is a puzzle game that was designed to have the feel of a tabletop game. Players use their devices to take on the role of an antique restorer who goes around a town fixing broken objects, but they actually have to assemble the objects themselves.
The game centers on an antique restorer who goes around a town fixing broken objects. These can be anything from broken vases to chipped dishes to cracked mugs and more. As you travel from place to place, you’ll encounter many different kinds of puzzles, like breaking things apart, arranging them in a certain way, finding hidden objects and more.
The designers came up with the idea while they were traveling and they saw that many of the people around them were playing games on their phones. So they decided to make a puzzle game where there would be no screen—the player would have to be hands-on and interact with the surroundings, which meant that players would have to get up and move around in order to play.
Each item has its own set of puzzles, but they all share the same goal: completing each object’s “restoration” by making it whole again. To do so, you’ll have to use your puzzle-solving skills to put together backings and knobs, while also trying to collect pieces of the story as you go. The game is easy enough for younger players and challenging enough for everyone else—it’s really a one-of-a-kind experience that’s as fun to play as it is beautiful to look at.
Initial release date: 7 October 2019 Developer: Ustwo Mode: Single-player video game Platforms: Microsoft Windows, iOS, macOS, Macintosh operating systems Publishers: Ustwo, ustwo games Nominations: BAFTA Games Award for EE Mobile Game of the Year Genres: Puzzle Video Game, Adventure game, Indie game
7. Gibbon: Beyond the Trees
The game’s bright, stylized visuals and mysterious expanses capture the imagination and invite players to explore a vast world rendered in an artsy, minimalist style. The game is designed as an interactive and immersive experience where players can control the gibbon in first person view to solve platforming puzzles and overcome obstacles inspired by classic adventures from the 80s and 90s.
The game follows a lost gibbon as he travels through a massive forest in search of his lost family members. But this forest is no ordinary place… it’s inhabited by strange creatures, some friendly and some not so friendly. As you prepare for your journey, you’ll be given the opportunity to select various items to bring with you so that you can better help yourself or others along your path. When night falls, be careful where you sleep because that’s when the rarest creatures of all come out to play! It’s also when many of the decisions are made that will have lasting consequences on your journey.
The game gives you control of their movements through a series of puzzles and obstacles—but with no instructions or text, it’s up to you to figure out how to get your ape from point A to point B. Players will have to think laterally and creatively in order to avoid being caught by predators, as well as make use of the gibbon’s unique talents, such as its ability to swing from tree to tree, or jump between trunks in order to cross ravines.
The graphics in this game are gorgeous; they’re reminiscent of an art style similar to what you might find in hand-drawn animated films like Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells. If you’re into games that are simple but charmingly illustrated, then Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is something worth adding to your iOS gaming library.
8. Hot Lava – Best adventure apple arcade game
Hot lava is an adventure game primarily based on the children’s game with the same name. The game tests your ability to stay calm in a rapidly changing environment. Your goal is to reach the top of the volcano while dodging obstacles such as falling spikes and explosive barrels. The obstacles are modeled after Hot Lava, where you run around on a platform without any safety net (except for when you step on “safe” bricks).
In this game, the user navigates a lava monster through a space station and avoids obstacles to reach goals. The themes of the game include progression and accomplishment, as the player must continually face challenges and overcome them. The game begins by choosing one of four unique lava monsters. Each monster has its own special ability, which can be used to traverse obstacles throughout the game.
Once the player has selected a character, a spaceship appears in front of him or her. The spaceship is divided into three areas: an entrance on top, a hallway in the middle, and an exit at the bottom. The ship also has three buttons on the bottom left-hand side: “Collect,” “Action,” and “Quit.” By pressing these buttons, the lava monster can change forms and gain new abilities (for example, press “Collect” while in ball form to turn into a bounce pad). Pressing “Action” replaces every obstacle with a transparent image of lava rock. Pressing “Quit” ends the game without saving progress or points earned.
The player has to use their skills in physics and also overcome obstacles that try to stop them. The main character has been sent to take care of some business and comes across these obstacles.
In order to get through the different levels you have to solve puzzles by using your tools and other objects in the environment. You start out with a hammer and can pick up other tools along the way which are useful for solving puzzles and moving objects around.
The game isn’t too hard and is more of a fun puzzle game than anything else. It is made to be very relaxing and enjoyable without much stress or having to think too much about things. There are many different levels which are all at different difficulty levels.
Some levels have hidden creatures, which you have to find before you can go on with your mission. With every level there are new challenges that you will have to overcome in order to complete the level successfully. There are also some side quests along the way which can provide help when you are stuck on something else in the level.