The 5 Best Games To Play in Apple Arcade

By | December 11, 2021

Apple Arcade is a new video game subscription service from Apple that costs $4.99/month (with 1 month free trial) that gives full access to a library of 100+ games on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV devices.

Games on Apple Arcade are ad-free, have no in-app purchases (zero microtransactions), and have no always-on DRM. Customers can download games to play, share access with up to six family members, and continue gameplay progress on all supported operating systems.

Now, here are the best games to play on Apple Arcade.

Shinsekai Into the Depths

What happens when Metroid meets Subnautica

In this vibrant underwater world, players find a zombie-free twist on post-apocalyptic life. During your quest, players battle sea monsters, pilot submarines, and explore the depths while searching for ancient civilizations.

If you’re looking for a console-level competitor title, Shinsekai has the pedigree to stand alone as a 2D platformer. The game has simple controls, but makes mastering all the more rewarding and important.

Outside of gameplay, Capcom does a fancy job of making the world a player-immersive one. All music and sound effects are recorded underwater for added authenticity. The world is full of life and colors of water. Even the basic graphic design of the HUD strays away from the clean and distinctive minimalistic design popular with the mobile genre for some of the more rugged and grainy engine text.

If you’re looking for a game to lose, the world and gameplay of Shinsekai will give you plenty of reasons to be an early adopter with this AAA-class launch title.

Hot Lava

First-person parkour meets childhood game meets cartoon-shady graphic style.

At first, fond memories of the Mirror’s Edge franchise surface. Tracing from platform to platform in rapid succession of acrobatic comes smooth as players jump from place to place to dodge the threatening lava.

Instead of limiting its existence to a nostalgic journey, the game provides all the essentials to get going quickly. Multiplayer and online leaderboards allow intrepid soloists and group players to compete for the best time score with equal passion.

A fast-paced passion for better times and breaking records is at the heart of the game. Players can run, bounce, swing and climb against the best. Checkpoints abound and help encourage players to experience challenging challenges.

For those who grew up on the run run maps in Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO, Hot Lava provides a new addition to the forgotten game modes. As a launch title, the community aspect makes it a very promising flagship for your device.

Whether looking for nostalgia or competition, Hot Lava offers a welcome distraction.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

The next self-titled pop-culture video game on our list.

Gorgeous, eclectic and neon. This game manages to collect all of these and deliver so much more.

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Despite the sheer visual splendor that needs to be experienced, Sayonara Wild Hearts can also be a very polarizing game. As beautiful as the game’s visuals are, it’s still judged as a short interactive music video that’s shorter than the game.

Nonetheless, I needed to include this title because it perfectly covers the purpose of subscribing to Apple Arcade. Gamers don’t have to clutch their piggy bank tightly because it’s not about maximizing a game’s true potential (though it might be) but more about experiencing and enjoying the continuous flow of titles.

Sayonara Wild Hearts creates an engaging short-entry yet must-play experience through smooth gameplay, art, and music that might be missed due to the price tag.

Where Cards Fall

In a quick change from the title posted above, Where Cards Fall tells a charming age story at a much more relaxed pace. Simple puzzle games follow the traditional trend of getting players from one part of the stage to another.

As might be expected from the title, a twist to the classic formula comes with the cards. Players use cards to avoid obstacles. At certain times, these cards will pile up and turn into houses to help advance the journey.

After completing the stage, players experience flashback sequences that show a bit of a teenager’s life even though there is no clear language. It makes the experience more peaceful and interpretive in the eyes of the viewer.

As an Apple Arcade exclusive, Where Cards Fall stands strong as another thought-provoking piece in their catalog.

Bleak Sword

As the onslaught of retro style difficulties and the Souls lookalike series continues, the mobile space has been largely empty until now. After Blasphemous was released with many awards, an 8-bit challenger emerged with the same skills as parrying, attacking, countering, and rolling (evading).

Despite comparisons to other popular franchises, Bleak Sword can be quite standalone. The resulting arena only holds so many enemies, and the stage doesn’t last more than a minute or less. Instead of using the full Metroidvania, players should focus on satisfying combat elements while facing a variety of monsters.

The combat exchange all has a real meaning to it which complements the mobile control scheme. To keep players focused even more, the art design uses a minimalistic black, white, and red base to make only the most important details stand out in battle.

For anyone looking for an episodic challenge in between the busy moments of life, Sword of Bleak can offer a pleasant respite.

Unlike many subscription services, Apple Arcade launched with a very strong catalog of titles. For those who are hesitant to take the free trial, we encourage you to test these five titles and see if Apple Arcade is for you.

For those who don’t have an iOS device, waiting for Apple Arcade to reach additional Apple devices doesn’t have to be excruciating. Meanwhile, you can stay entertained with our recommended games best Mac games to play.

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