This is Part 2 of our Apple Arcade Ranking list. To see part 1, go here.


51. Way of the Turtle*

Description:

Way of the Turtle is a very conventional platformer starring two turtles. These turtles may walk automatically, but you choose when they jump or when they use their different shell powers that they accumulate over the course of the game.

Rank Explanation:

There’s nothing wrong with Way of the Turtle’s concept per se, but it also doesn’t feel all that special. It’s just very expected. This is the kind of game that may be satisfying at times, but is rarely surprising.

It’s also worth noting that Way of the Turtle bugged out a few times loading into the game on a couple occasions, and I had to restart it to get it working properly again.



52. Painty Mob

Description:

Painty Mob is a super bright arcade game about painting characters and then avoiding them as they give chase. It’s bizarre, but colorful, and tries to celebrate that in as many ways as possible.

Rank Explanation:

My main issue with Painty Mob is that it’s super difficult to tell what’s going on in the game. The ultra-bright visuals and frantic gameplay just don’t mesh very well into a particularly readable experience. In a lot of ways, it seems like Painty Mob is going for the Katamari-like zaniness, but that doesn’t work with how punishing and illegible everything is.


53. Decoherence

Description:

Decoherence is a multiplayer game where you build and program robots to fight alongside your own player character. This turns what would be a one-on-one battle into a dynamic battlefield that challenges you to master both tactical decision-making and sharp reaction times to defeat your opponents. Each match consists of a building and planning phase followed by a real-time battle where players can hop into their own robots to take matters into their own hands.

Rank Explanation:

There’s a lot going on in Decoherence, and I like almost all of it... in theory. In practice, it’s a bit overwhelming. The game’s tutorial is long and explains a lot regarding how the game works, but it also somehow feels like not enough. I’m not sure why I should prefer one kind of bot over another, or what match ups are favorable vs. unfavorable and why. I assume you can learn these things by just playing the game a lot, but there’s not really anyone online to play against. This leaves you with the option to play random matches against AI or Decoherence’s roguelike mode, both of which feel like fallback modes that support a cool multiplayer experience, but not particularly substantive modes in their own right.

Also worth noting that Decoherence is borderline unplayable on phone screens. Menus are borderline unreadable and it’s just hard to control the action on such a small screen.


54. Sonic Racing

Description:

It’s a cart racer that has Sonic and all of his compadres in it. Just like Team Sonic Racing, which came out earlier this year on consoles, the twist in this game is that racers play on teams. This means you don’t necessarily have to get in first place to win. As long as your team does better than your opponent’s, you’re the victor.

Rank Explanation:

I’m impressed at the lengths Sega HARDlight went to to make a mobile-friendly racing game, but perhaps they went a bit too far. By default, the game presents itself as something you play in portrait mode with a virtual steering wheel, but you can go so far as to play the game in landscape mode with a controller. Playing in either mode never really ends of feeling that compelling. Using touch, you feel like you don’t have the fidelity you’d like, and playing console-style ends up making it feel like a pretty light and dumbed-down experience.

Another thing to note about Sonic Racing is its multiplayer focus. There really isn’t much to do playing offline, and if a race gets interrupted, that’s tough luck. Something about the whole thing feels like it was an unexpected addition to Apple Arcade, too, because the game is built like a free-to-play game (there are upgradable drivers and items), though they took the part where you might spend money out.


55. Hot Lava

Description:

What if someone turned the old childhood “ground is lava” game and turned it into a video game? That’s what Hot Lava is. It’s a sort of parkour-like platformer where you try to race through levels hopping on objects that somehow aren’t being melted by the lava underneath it.

Rank Explanation:

I’d love to have a platformer on Apple Arcade focused around time trials, provided it wasn’t a first-person game. First-person platforming rarely feels good because it’s always so hard to tell where your feet are. Same is true here with Hot Lava, plus the game defaults to a goofy motion-based control scheme that asks you to wave your phone or tablet around to look. All of this feels better once you change some settings (ideally to play with a controller), but even then, Hot Lava doesn’t feel as good to control as it should.


56. Super Mega Mini Party

Description:

Super Mega Mini Party is like Mario Party, but without Nintendo characters and weird board game meta-layer on top of it. This is to say it’s a multiplayer mini-game collection where you and up to three other people can compete in challenges like hopping on pogo sticks over lava and passing dynamite around like it’s a hot potato.

Rank Explanation:

I actually think the mini-games in Super Mega Mini Party are actually kind of fun. They control well and are reasonably well thought out to make for some fun multiplayer moments. The only bummer of all this is that you can’t really enjoy it whenever you want. Gathering multiple people to play games together is hard, but it’s especially hard when you ask them to play a mobile game modeled after Mario Party. Of course, you can try to play online with random people, but no one appears to be doing that as far as I can tell. This just leaves you with the option of playing practice mode in single-player, which isn’t much of a party at all.


57. Various Daylife*

Description:

Do your job. Buy your food. Go to sleep. Colonize the land. These are all the main directives of Various Daylife, a role-playing game that seems very caught up in simulating routine activity. Players create their own character, choose one of 20 classes, and start grinding away, all in the name of colonizing and mysterious new land.

Rank Explanation:

There’s a ton of things in Various Daylife that rub me the wrong way. First and foremost is the way it talks about colonization in 2019 like it’s part of the natural order and is somehow good. Aside from that, the game seems built around being pretty boring and repetitive, and is designed similarly. Huge chunks of screen real estate are just an empty void, and there are lengthy load times in between just about everything that you do. I will say that there is some interesting combat design happening in Various Daylife, but all of the repetitive, slow, and problematic crap you have to dig through to see it is not worth it.


58. The Get Out Kids

Description:

Interactive fiction is a good way to describe The Get Out Kids. It’s a very story-focused adventure game set in the 1980s. What starts as a fun night of mischief between friends becomes something much darker and more sinister, and it’s up to you to figure out what’s going on by tapping your way through diorama-like scenes.

Rank Explanation:

Apple Arcade has quite a few adventure puzzlers on its service, and The Get Out Kids is probably the hardest one to recommend. The controls are awkward, the puzzles too simple, and the whole thing moves at a snail’s pace. Aside from an intriguing setup and nice visuals, The Get Out Kids isn’t a particularly strong Apple Arcade title.


59. Nightmare Farm

Description:

Nightmare Farm is an idle game about growing crops to earn hearts that allow you to grow different plants and entertain your dog. If this doesn’t sound nightmarish, that’s because it isn’t. Aside from having a slight Burton-esque bent to its cartoon aesthetic, Nightmare Farm is mostly a colorful and cute game where you tap on things to help you build more things.

Rank Explanation:

For an idle game, Nightmare Farm takes far too long to boot up. First you get the Apple Arcade screen, then the developer logo, then a menu that you tap to hit a load screen, and then you can do your maintenance tasks. This can result in play sessions that last shorter than the boot sequence. Beyond this, Nightmare Farm seems totally serviceable as an idle game, but I don’t know why you’d pay for Apple Arcade to play this when there are so many idle game options out there that provide superior experiences for less money.


60. Patterned

Description:

In Patterned, you basically put together fancy puzzles. Each level presents you with a repeating background, and you have to slot in shapes that match parts of the background. It’s as simple as that.

Rank Explanation:

Aside from having some really pretty backgrounds, I’m not all that impressed with Patterened. The repeating nature of the images just adds a slight layer of difficulty to what is otherwise a really straightforward puzzle-builder.



61. Redout: Space Assault

Description:

You like Starfox? Well, Redout: Space Assault is kind of like that, which is to say it’s an on-rails space shooter. Your ship fires automatically and follows a set path, but you have to fine-tune the maneuvering of your ship to shoot at enemies, avoid obstacles, and shake heat-seeking missiles off your tail.

Rank Explanation:

Redout: Space Assault scores poorly because of how generic it is. There’s almost nothing about the game that makes it special. Even the graphics, which I guess arguably are technically “good,” don’t really read as impressive, nor do they enhance the experience all that much.


62. Big Time Sports

Description:

Big Time Sports is a colorful mini-game collection that where you participate in sporting events like basketball, skiing, and skateboarding by performing quick-time events.

Rank Explanation:

Big Time Sports may feature more sports, but it feels like an also-ran to Cricket Through the Ages. There’s some charm to its visuals, but it lacks the goofiness that mini-game collections traditionally rely on to keep you engaged.


63. Word Laces

Description:

Word Laces gives you a picture and a bunch of letters below it. From there, you’re supposed to figure out the words you should spell using the letters given based on the picture. As you get further into Word Laces, you start having to solve puzzles with multiple words and more complicated answers.

Rank Explanation:

I generally like word games, but Word Laces is really not for me. Guessing words based on pictures is a novel idea, but it’s really easy to have different associations with pictures than those of the game designers. There are no penalties for forming words incorrectly or misspelling things, which I guess keeps it from being frustrating, but it also removes all the stakes. As a result, Word Laces doesn’t really feel like a game so much as just “a thing to do,” and there are enough other things to do on Apple Arcade that I’d prefer to spend my time elsewhere.


64. Lifeslide

Description:

Lifeslide is a game about being a paper airplane. You glide around, picking up “parts” and “time” which help you upgrade your plane and continue flying respectively.

Rank Explanation:

This is one of those games that really wants you to tilt your phone to control something. Perhaps it’s better if you play it that way, but I refuse to do that. Instead, I changed Lifeslide’s controls to touch and experienced what is a pretty dull flying game. If someone hops in the comments here as the Lifeslide defender, I might give it a chance using tilt controls, but until then, no thanks.


65. Things That Go Bump

Description:

Imagine a fighting game where you have to build your character as you play. That’s kind of what Things That Go Bump is going for. You control a spirit that possesses household objects to build a body of sorts that you then use to battle other spirits doing the same thing. You do this in either a single-player wave-based “Horde Mode” or online up against up to three other players.

Rank Explanation:

There’s not a whole lot to Things That Go Bump’s combat, and it seems like a lot of other people agree. The online multiplayer for this game is a ghost town, leaving you only with the option to play the Horde Mode, which isn’t a whole lot of fun, either.

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