Apple Arcade is the video game streaming service that you’ve probably never heard of. Apple usually invests money in huge publicity campaigns when it launches a new product or service, but for reasons best known to themselves, they’ve taken a low-key approach to Apple Arcade. We think that’s a shame. When it comes to value for money and providing fun and entertainment, it’s one of the best gaming platforms out there.
If you’ve never heard of Apple Arcade at all, here’s the basic information you need to know. It’s a subscription gaming service, similar to Google’s Stadia. The theory behind it is that it works in the same way online slots websites do. You have one username and one password, and you use that information to log in and access hundreds of different games just as there are hundreds of different online slots at new UK online slots website. The financial model has made online slots one of the fastest-growing industries on the internet, and so it’s not surprising that gaming companies are trying to do the same thing.
We wouldn’t be speaking too harshly if we said that Google Stadia had struggled a little since it was launched in 2019. It was marketed as a premium service, but there have been delays with making big-name games available for the platform, and some users have experienced connectivity and performance issues when trying to play games through laptops or smart televisions. None of that should be an issue for Apple Arcade. It’s a budget service available for only five dollars per month, and focuses on easy-to-load fun-focused games instead of the latest big-money blockbusters.
This month, they’re ramping up production and offering more new games to players than ever before. If you’re tempted to try the service out and find out what it might be able to offer to you, here are the games to look out for.
Beneath A Steel Sky
This title should excite some of the veteran gamers among you based on nothing more than the name. The 1994 original was a PC and Commodore Amiga classic, and pushed the technology of 1990s home computers to their limits. The Amiga version came on no less than twelve floppy disks. At the time, that was unheard of! It was a point-and-click cyberpunk thriller that was years ahead of its time, and it’s still popular on emulation websites today. This new version of the game isn’t a blow-for-blow remake of the classic original – it’s a brand new game, and it’s intended as a sequel. Obviously, the graphics will be a lot better than you remember them, but the first game’s protagonist Robert Foster is back under your control as you explore his post-apocalyptic comic book world. So long as the developers haven’t deviated too far from the original format, this should be fantastic.
Super Impossible Road
The name might sound like something from the good old days of the Super Nintendo, but don’t let that fool you. This is a cutting-edge, modern-looking game that might owe one or two of its features to the 1990s PlayStation classic ‘Wipeout.’ Rather than driving anti-gravity ships as you do in ‘Wipeout,’ ‘Super Impossible Road’ puts you in charge of a racing pod trying to navigate at high speed through space, including wormholes and obstacles to avoid as you attempt to stay ahead of your opponents. In what we believe to be a unique feature, there’s no such thing as a ‘track’ in this game. The course is randomly generated every time you start a race, and so you’ll never race the same course more than once. That should mean that you never get bored!
This is a game that’s been designed for the same people who play and love ‘World of Warcraft’ games but is easier to get into than the complex ‘WOW’ games of the past few years. You’ll be familiar with the basic principles as soon as you load the game. This is a world of magic and monsters, with labyrinths to fight through and card decks to acquire. Visually it might be a little on the simple side for a game released in 2020, but looks aren’t everything. If you like RPGs, you’ll almost certainly love ‘Spelldrifter.’ We’re not saying that it’s about to replace your favorite RPG in your collection, but for a few plays as part of a subscription costing you so little money each month, it’s a fun way to spend a little time.
Why is it that Sonic the Hedgehog has never had a racing game as popular as ‘Super Mario Kart’ was for Nintendo? That must have been an issue that occasionally kept Sega game developers awake at night, but the long wait for Sonic to step up to the plate when it comes to racing games may finally be over. ‘Sonic Racing’ looks great, feels great, and offers many of the same thrills and spills as Nintendo’s Mario game does. Play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles (or all three) as part of a racing team tearing around tracks with maximum acceleration, picking up rings in the process, and battling Shadow and his rival team. It wouldn’t be a Sonic game without rings, would it?
This won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the most original-sounding video games we’ve heard of in a very long time. This moody, midnight-blue game is about the emptiness of modern life. Your character wakes up, has near-identical days every day, and goes back to bed again. It’s all bleak and more than a little depressing – until piece by piece and day by day, little things begin to change, and suddenly you find out that this mundane world isn’t quite what you think it is. We don’t know if it’s life-rejecting or life-affirming, but it’s compelling, and it doesn’t feel like any other game you’ll ever have played.
The five games we’ve highlighted are just a few of the more than 100 that Apple has just released into the wild, so there are plenty more to choose from if none of them tickle your fancy. Those of you who remember “Sensible Soccer” will definitely love “Sociable Soccer,” for a start! Is there a better use of five dollars for video game entertainment? That’s not for us to say, so we’ll leave it for you to decide.