All posts by Campbell Bird
This weekend, Apple Arcade will officially be one month old. That means anyone who signed up for the free trial on day one has a decision to make: Stick with the service and shell out $5 a month, or cancel and go about your merry way.
As someone who dove head first into Apple Arcade by playing 35 games since launch (and counting. See their rankings here), I’ve come away ambivalent about the service in its first month. While it is really nice to have a huge, curated list of premium games from a lot of well-known developers, there’s a lot about the service that could be improved. To illustrate this, check out some of my notes I kept while thoroughly testing the service:
In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.
Added: Mutazione, Dear Reader, Cat Quest II, Neo Cab, King’s League II, Pilgrims, Outlanders, Down in Bermuda, Fledgling Heroes, and Big Time Sports
Rank Changes: What the Golf? (3 to 5), Exit the Gungeon (4 to 6), Jenny LeClue (5 to 7), Sayonara Wild Hearts (6 to 8), Over the Alps (7 to 9), Bleak Sword (8 to 13), Spaceland (9 to 14), Super Impossible Road (10 to 15), Dread Nautical (11 to 16), Dead End Job (12 to 19), Cricket Through the Ages (13 to 20), Grindstone (14 to 21), Hyperbrawl Tournament (15 to 22), Assemble With Care (16 to 23), Sneaky Sasquatch (17 to 25), ChuChu Rocket! Universe (18 to 26), Oceanhorn 2 (19 to 28), Pinball Wizard (20 to 29), Lego Brawls (21 to 31), Sonic Racing (22 to 32), Hot Lava (23 to 33), The Get Out Kids (24 to 34), Where Cards Fall (25 to 12)
Added: Super Impossible Road, Cricket Through the Ages, Hyperbrawl Tournament, ChuChu Rocket! Universe, and Lego Brawls
Rank Changes:Dread Nautical (10 to 11), Dead End Job (11 to 12), Grindstone (12 to 14), Assemble With Care (13 to 16), Sneaky Sasquatch (14 to 17), Oceanhorn 2 (15 to 19), Pinball Wizard (16 to 20), Sonic Racing (17 to 22), Hot Lava (18 to 23), The Get Out Kids (19 to 24), Where Cards Fall (20 to 25)
Added: Oceanhorn 2, Exit the Gungeon, Over the Alps, Jenny LeClue - Detectivu, and Pinball Wizard
Rank Changes: Sayonara Wild Hearts (4 to 6), Bleak Sword (5 to 8), Spaceland (6 to 9), Dread Nautical (7 to 10), Dead End Job (8 to 11), Grindstone (9 to 12), Assemble With Care (10 to 13), Sneaky Sasquatch (11 to 14), Sonic Racing (12 to 17), Hot Lava (13 to 18), The Get Out Kids (14 to 19), Where Cards Fall (15 to 20)
Added: Dead End Job, Dread Nautical, Assemble With Care, The Get Out Kids, and Spaceland
Rank Changes: Grindstone (6 to 9), What the Golf? (5 to 3), Sayonara Wild Hearts (3 to 4), Bleak Sword (4 to 5), Sneaky Sasquatch (7 to 11), Sonic Racing (8 to 12), Hot Lava (9 to 13), and Where Cards Fall (10 to 15).
Added: What the Golf, Sneaky Sasquatch, Sonic Racing, Hot Lava, and Where Cards Fall
Rank Changes: Grindstone (5 to 6)
September 23: First launch of list with titles Card of Darkness, Overland, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Bleak Sword, and Grindstone.
Games marked with an asterisk(*) are games that suffer in rank due to technical problems.
All current rankings are listed below. More titles will be added frequently until the list is complete.
We’re getting closer and closer to Halloween every day, which means everyone’s gearing up to watch their favorite horror movies, make weekend trips out to pumpkin patches, and do all kinds of other, fun seasonal stuff before this month ends and everyone looks toward Thanksgiving.
If you’re in the midst of all your Halloween activities and you want to take a break with some games that match the spirit, we’ve got good news for you. There’s a bunch of great games on the App Store that can get you in the mood for Halloween, and we’ve compiled a list of the best ones in a handy little list. We've also added a "spookiness rating" (1=not scary, 5=scariest) to each one so you can find the right game for you. Check out the picks below:
Last week, I wrote about Playond, a service by Bending Spoons that has been acquiring the mobile publishing rights to premium games and re-releasing them behind a subscription paywall. Since writing the piece, I received quite a few replies about the service, and most of it was negative.
The complaints mostly centered around how certain games didn’t actually verify old purchases properly and would also reset player progress. This definitely makes Bending Spoons seem like a shady player, and so it’s no wonder I started seeing chatter from players wondering why trusted developers would get into bed with such an operation.
Instead of just looking at anecdotal evidence, I decided to follow up on this. Is Playond really that bad? Are developers being tricked? Do said developers actually care about mobile anymore? I started trying to find these answers by reaching out to developers who agreed to be part of the service, and here’s what they said:
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re all bad, and mostly in the same way.
Apple Arcade is here, and I’ve been thinking about how best to cover its debut. Writing reviews for each game seems unnecessary, and a lot of the takes on whether the service is worth the money seem a little premature. So, I got to thinking and came up with a really dumb idea: I am going to rank every game on Apple Arcade.
Why? I wouldn’t worry yourself about that too much. Just think of this as the definitive list of which games for the service are best and why.
Here’s how this will go: I’m going to work my way through every Apple Arcade game a handful of games at a time. I’ll analyze each one based on a set of loose criteria and then use that to decide where they fit among their peers. Each game will get a small blurb explaining what the game is, its rank, and additional info about rank changes as necessary.
By the end of this journey, every game on the service will have some handy info that you can use to do all kinds of things, like:
- Find the best games to play. And all without dealing with Arcade’s poor organization and layout.
- Learn whether the service is right for you. If the top games all seem lame, maybe don't pay for it.
- Know which games to avoid. Just because you can play something doesn’t mean you should. Avoid the stinkers.
So, there it is. I’ve said I’m going to do this, so I better go and start doing it. View the list here.