Priced at just $4.99 / AU$7.99 / AED 19.99 / £4.99 per month, Apple Arcade launched on September 19, 2019, with games compatible across Apple’s entire ecosystem, including iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and Macs. Start an adventure on one screen, and finish it off on another. These highly-polished games aren’t available anywhere else, and by taking a new stance (paying developers based on how popular their games are, rather than encouraging them to load games with exploitative in-app purchases and invasive ads), Apple Arcade is a family-friendly approach to gaming, with IPs that everyone can enjoy, aged 3 through to 103.
We’ve rounded up five of the very best to help you get started…
If you’re a fan of (metaphorically) blasting off into space to defeat enemies, then you’ll love Spaceland. This turn-based strategy title was inspired by the classic board game Space Hulk but sports a more graphically-updated style that works for modern gaming. Though this is a single-player game, it’s fun for the whole family to experience live in front of the TV, as you’ll choose from a bunch of heroic space characters as you investigate an abandoned colony that’s packed with aliens and enemies, which you must shoot, kick, and generate your way through. Although we recommend a touchscreen, this game also supports controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus and DualShock 4, which adds a new element of control and immersion.
Mobile games have come a long way since PAC-MAN, but the iconic brand still proves to be incredibly popular on the App Store, with the 8-Bit retro classic title regularly topping the App Store charts. Party Royale, available exclusively on Apple Arcade, is a multiplayer classic that pits four PAC-MEN against each other in a fight that will result in death. If you’re caught by the non-player ghost or another PAC-MAN, you’ll morph into a ghost to sabotage your fellow players. Keep an eye on the dots; the more of those you eat, the faster you’ll move, giving you an advantage and accelerating the game. If you’re on your own, then you can play against robots under the QuickStart option – or find some friends and swap party codes.
Apple singled-out Sayonara Wild Hearts as its Apple Arcade Game of the Year in 2019, [https://www.apple.com/uk/newsroom/2019/12/apple-celebrates-the-best-apps-and-games-of-2019/] and it’s clear to see why. Developed by Simogo, this dreamy game is centered around motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and even breaking hearts at 200 miles per hour. With a stunning custom score and impressive graphics, this game is not one to be missed; the fact it’s now also available on Nintendo Switch says it all.
Back to the highway now, this time for Super Impossible Road. This futuristic racing game is a firm favorite, and the only way that you can win is by taking some nail-biting shortcuts. Oh, and don’t expect tarmac; on SIR, you’ll be racing through the skies on roller-coaster tracks where metal balls and other obstacles will step in your way. Unlike Lego Builder’s Journey, this game requires skill, patience, and focus. At first, it really may feel impossible; for casual gamers, ‘Road’ is frustrating, but you’ll soon pick up the pace and come out in first place.
If Cluedo is a constant in your own Family Games Night, then the Murder Mystery Machine will go down a treat. Once you’ve played through the introduction, you’ll be first on the scene and have to collect evidence and put two and two together to work out the killer. The game’s narrative and mechanics are truly rewarding – yes, the controls are a little unusual and at times frustrating, but they’re worth the pain for the pay-off once you’ve solved each mystery.
Which is your favorite? Let us know and check back soon for more on AppleMagazine.