This is part 4 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175 | 176+


76. Where Cards Fall

Description:

Where Cards Fall is a mysterious puzzle game that’s difficult to explain. It’s a traversal puzzle game, but you need to move your character from point A to point B by folding and unfolding card structures for him to walk over or around. In between these puzzles, you watch vignettes that unfold a somewhat vague story about the character you’re controlling.

Rank Explanation:

The card stacking mechanics of Where Cards Fall is certainly novel, but the narrative that comes with it seems completely inconsequential and the game moves a bit too slowly for its own good. It’s otherwise a competent puzzle game, but not the strongest traversal puzzler on the service.



77. Super Impossible Road

Description:

Finally, a racing game that encourages cheating. Super Impossible Road has you piloting a futuristic sphere on spiraling tracks suspended in a void with one goal (reach the finish) and no rules. Veering off the track to fall onto a lower, further part of the track isn’t only allowed, it’s encouraged. The result is a racing game with a phenomenal sense of danger and clever risk/reward system.

Rank Explanation:

Super Impossible Road is just such a neat idea for a game. Bouncing off of pieces of track to finish a track in seconds feels phenomenal, but it’s a hefty challenge that can set you really far back if you’re not careful. Luckily, nothing about the game is made harder by playing on touchscreens (though I still prefer it with a controller). As a racing game, Super Impossible Road thrives as a multiplayer title, but its single-player mode is the only way to save you from waiting endlessly in empty lobbies.


78. Beyond a Steel Sky

Description:

Beyond a Steel Sky is the long-awaited follow-up to the cult classic adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky. You continue your adventure as Robert Foster, who this time is investigating the disappearance of a child after a violent attack in the game’s opening. Your investigation quickly brings you back to Union City, which has been transformed into a bright, technolocratic metropolis as a result of Foster’s actions in the first game. It is here you spend the majority of your time solving puzzles that involve item combinations, dialogue trees, and hacking.

Rank Explanation:

I really want to like Beyond a Steel Sky more than I do. At times, it can feel like Fallout or Mass Effect, but without all the crunchy stats and shooting, but the game is so laser-focused on being an adventure game such that its open 3D environments feel hollow and distracting. Some puzzle sections in the game also follow bizarre logic or are otherwise poor at communicating how you can or should interact with your environment to progress forward (even when using the in-game hint system). Since launch, Beyond a Steel Sky has seen several rounds of updates to fix its technical problems. Although it's not entirely free of the occasional weird visual bug or strange behavior, it is much more playable (and enjoyable) than it once was.


79. Spelltower+

Description:

Spelltower is a word-search style game that's also kind of like a matching game. In a wall of words, you can draw lines between nearby letters to form a word. If you make one, you can submit it for score, which then pops those letters off of game board. There are a variety of modes that operate slightly different using this base gameplay, but the general idea is to link letters to make the most impressive words possible and score big.

Rank Explanation:

Spelltower+ is a good word game, but it's not exactly my speed. The big wall of letters gives me analysis paralysis, so I spend way too long looking to make individual moves and usually end up quitting sessions while I'm ahead. I'd much rather have Zach Gage's other word game, Typeshift on Apple Arcade, but I'm still pretty happy with Dear Reader as my subscription-based word game of choice.


80. Super Stickman Golf 3+

Description:

Super Stickman Golf 3+ takes Noodlecake's arcade golfer onto a premium service while ditching all of the monetization. Golf in 2D environments filled with sticky pads, ice floes, and more while powering up your golfer so you can apply air brakes to your shots or get previews of where your ball should end up going. The game sports mostly a single-player campaign of courses, but also some multiplayer competitive modes exist as well.

Rank Explanation:

This is a great arcade golf game. It's fun and ridiculous in the right ways, and it's easy to find yourself sinking tons of time into it to practice your shots, strategize with powerups, and lower your overall stroke count. I just wish it stripped out the currency system altogether though, as the unlocks you can get with them can totally change your approach to courses or multiplayer matches in a way that still feels free-to-play grindy.


81. The Lullaby of Life

Description:

The Lullaby of Life is a puzzle/exploration game that uses sound mechanics as you pilot a blob around a strange, primordial universe. Most of the game involves floating around environments and gathering the right companions that allow you to play sequences of sounds that unlock the next area.

Rank Explanation:

The environmental puzzles in Lullaby of Life are clever, but game’s style and presentation don’t do a whole lot for me. I’m particularly bothered by the fact that game that seems so preoccupied with music, yet the game itself doesn’t have great music. Even the sound-based puzzles never end up sounding like music making. It’s just a series of sound effects that unlocks your way forward.


82. The Hitchhiker

Description:

Chat your way down the open road with a variety of different drivers. Things always start out friendly enough, but there's a dark underbelly to these conversations you uncover as you go. Occasionally, you'll also have to do some sleuthing find the next step of your journey.

Rank Explanation:

The Hitchhiker wastes no time getting weird, so no spoilers here. Anyway, the conversations you have with your drivers can go a long time before they reach interesting territory. In the meantime, you can aimlessly look around the car, which can and will frequently trigger dialogue options by accident. This is fine enough, though, since the game doesn't really seem to care what you say to your drivers. Overall, not particularly impressed.


83. Populous Run

Description:

Populous Run is an arcade runner where you guide a crowd of people through levels full of hazardous donuts, cupcakes, lollipops, and other sweet treats. Your goal is to steer your crowd well enough to reach the end of stages, though there are bonus objectives based around how many people you finish a level with, how many coins you collect, and whether or not you're able to unlock secret characters and take them to the exit with you.

Rank Explanation:

Populous Run makes a great first impression thanks to its polished look and charmingly goofy soundtrack. Once you've gotten your fill of its aesthetic (which doesn't take long, by the way), it's just a mildly novel runner that controls really loosely.


84. King’s League II

Description:

King’s League II is basically the video game equivalent of plate-spinning. You are in charge of a team of fighters who spar in a kind of fighting league. Between fights though, you have to rest all of your fighters, train them, and secure increasing tributes to your team in order to win championships and advance to more challenging leagues. All of this moves along in real-time without a pause button, so you have to exercise sound judgement and manage time efficiently at all times.

Rank Explanation:

I really dig the structure of King’s League II, even though it can be hectic at times, but the game's combat just isn't engaging enough to keep me playing it for any significant amount of time. Fighters just bumble into each other and the team with higher numbers usually wins.


85. World of Demons

Description:

World of Demons isn't exactly a new game, but it's Apple Arcade release is an overhaul of what would have otherwise been a pretty middling free-to-play action game. In this version of the game, you wander barren environments in search of Yokai to kill so that you can upgrade and unlock new gear to let you kill more powerful Yokai.

Rank Explanation:

The Apple Arcade version of World of Demons is much better than the soft launch experience from 2018, but that's not saying a whole lot. Having on-screen buttons with snappier movement and more control over your attacks is great, but the game's inky look still looks pretty drab and environmental exploration drags out play sessions in a way that isn't particularly mobile friendly. At the end of the day, World of Demons is also still just an upgrade treadmill that doesn't seem to lead anywhere.


86. SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit

Description:

Spongebob’s arch-nemesis, Plankton, is once again up to no good. With the Krabby Patty formula stolen and his friends all imprisoned, it’s up to you to control Spongebob in this auto-running platformer. Unlike a lot of runners, Patty Pursuit’s levels are non-linear, so the game plays more like a traditional 2D platformer, where you are hunting for collectibles, finding secret paths, and more.

Rank Explanation:

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Spongebob or not, Patty Pursuit is a pretty solid platformer that is good about mixing up its gameplay as you progress. As you complete levels, you rescue characters (e.g. Patrick, Squidward, etc.) each of whom can join you to help you access new areas and give you special abilities. It’s a little annoying that you’ll have to play and replay levels with different characters to gather all of these collectibles, but that’s kind of the only thing that puts a damper on this undersea adventure.


87. Don't Starve: Pocket Edition+

Description:

Another crafting/survival game hits Apple Arcade, but this time it's one of the classics. Klei's Don't Starve didn't kick off the survival game explosion, but has certainly established itself within the canon thanks to its distinct style and humorously bleak tone. Your objective is right there in the title, but achieving it is much harder than you think, especially given the horrors that lurk within the strange land you're surviving in.

Rank Explanation:

Every time I get a new opportunity to try and get into Don't Starve, I amp myself up thinking "this is the time it will really click for me!" But, then I do a couple runs and die because of some nonsense and have to start over again from nothing. This Apple Arcade version does feature a more casual mode which mitigates the punishing nature of the standard mode, but playing that somehow feels wrong. I'm still supportive of Don't Starve in theory, but struggling to love actually playing it.


88. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Description:

Explore a beautiful island town surrounded by natural beauty in an adventure that focuses around documenting wildlife. You play as Alba as she works together with her grandparents and other townsfolk to preserve it as it is.

Rank Explanation:

ustwo's house style continues to be pretty games that don't really have much to them. Alba--like Assemble With Care--is fine, but it's mostly a laundry list of facile tasks to do. In the case of this game, most of it revolves around taking pictures of animals and picking up trash. Kudos to the team for trying new things and not just making Monument Valley over and over again, but I'd like to see more substance behind ustwo titles.


89. 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:

Patterned is just a really chill puzzle game. It has some gorgeous artwork to put together, and it doesn't try to overcomplicate the simple pleasure of solving a jigsaw puzzle.


90. Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat

Description:

A mobile version of Namco's popular taiko drum rhythm series, Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat tests your skills in tapping along to a soundtrack of about 30 songs, which include notably strange selections like the My Little Pony theme song, the prelude from the opera Carmen, and select tunes from other Namco games. As you tap on your drum, colorful animated characters celebrate your rhythm mastery.

Rank Explanation:

I love how colorful, bright and kooky this game is, but I truly struggle to enjoy this game's soundtrack and rhythm design. If I'm playing a drum, it doesn't make sense to me to play to the rhythm of the vocals before switching to drumming along to a guitar solo, and it's even harder to abide this when nearly every song is arguably of the "novelty" variety. New songs get added to this game over time, but they still feel too niche or cliche. I don't feel cool drumming along to Flight of the Bumblebee.


91. The Collage Atlas

Description:

An artsy, walking simulator-type affair, The Collage Atlas takes place in a world of paper, pages, and words. There is definitely environmental puzzle-solving alongside its abstract narrative, but the game seems mostly focused as a linear storytelling vehicle.

Rank Explanation:

The idea of a world made of paper is more interesting than The Collage Atlas makes it seem. This game ends up looking too same-y with its black and white visuals and repetitive goals of retrieving keys, though I was intrigued by its story.


92. Masterchef: Let's Cook!

Description:

Compete against other aspiring amateur chefs in battles to create the most favored dish. Masterchef: Let's Cook! is a heavily modified version of the popular reality show's format that pits players against each other in real-time cooking challenges that you complete through various mini-games. The chef who aligns their dish to the judge's requirements, completes it quickly, and executes each step with precision comes out on top.

Rank Explanation:

I'm actually surprised at how fun Masterchef: Let's Cook! is. It has loot boxes galore and is styled like a tossed off free-to-play title, but matches feel fun and intense. I wish there was a little more variety in the challenges, but maybe some more of that will come in future updates.


93. Stranded Sails

Description:

In Stranded Sails, you and your crew have been shipwrecked on an island, and it’s up to you to gather all the survivors and... well... survive. This plodding game feeds you a laundry list of crafting objectives that lead you all around the island, teaching you how to farm, build, fish, and more, most of which serve as ways to let you keep exploring more across the island.

Rank Explanation:

This seems like the kind of game you’d want to put behind a subscription. A slow-burning survival/crafting game can make sure you always have something to do. The only problem is Stranded Sails is a little too slow. It takes a long time to do just about anything in the game, and all the while you need to be managing your stamina and trying to get things done before the sun goes down. Sometimes, this is just fine, but there are also other mobile crafting games that do everything Stranded Sails does but better, and those you don’t need to pay for monthly.


94. Spire Blast

Description:

This color-matching game has you launching balls of color at medieval towers constructed out of blocks of the same material. If you hit a block with a same-colored block, they burst and can challenge the structural integrity of the tower. Your goal is mostly to collapse the tower completely, though there's usually some side objectives to complete as well.

Rank Explanation:

Spire Blast is oddly satisfying when physics are on your side. Seeing towers crumble under their own weight after you take out enough load-bearing blocks just feels cool, but only up to a point. As the game turns more objective-based, Spire Blast's light arcade appeal dissipates and feels like a chore.


95. All of You

Description:

In All of You, you play as a mother hen trying to gather her chicks back. This happens across levels where you are in control of how and when the hen moves between scenes spaced apart from each other. In a way, it feels like FRAMEDin how you can manipulate the order or orientation of scenes to find the way forward.

Rank Explanation:

This kind of puzzle game feels the most tired on mobile. All of You’s trial and error levels each have small tricks that slowly ramp up to things that are actually interesting, but it doesn’t entirely feel worth it. There’s nothing technically wrong with the game per se. It’s just pretty boilerplate.


96. World's End Club

Description:

World's End Clubis a narrative adventure game about a club of young students who are off on a road trip when a series of mysterious and catastrophic things happen. From there, it's up to the club to use their own ingenuity and the power of friendship to uncover the mysteries of the new world they wake up in, which is done mostly via reading dialogue and some light puzzle platforming.

Rank Explanation:

The quick and dirty pitch for World's End Club might as well be "it's Danganronpa but also a platformer." The game even starts with a scenario that feels almost exactly like the happenings at Hope's Peak Academy, though to solve it you have to run and jump around a 2D environment to hit switches, run from threats, and catch up to your friends to progress the story. It starts with a bang, but peters out pretty quickly due to a lack of compelling character development.


97. Spek.

Description:

Everything is a matter of perspective in Spek. Quite literally the game is about manipulating your viewing angle to allow a dot to collect fragments so you can advance to the next level. Its minimal style and puzzle design also gives it a little bit of an Echochrome vibe.

Rank Explanation:

Spek. is quite a solid puzzler and certainly stands above Possessions., another Apple Arcade entry about moving the game camera to solve puzzles. As abstract as it can be, though, there are times when your perspective shifts don’t work out the way you expect them to, or the game doesn’t explain them well. Sometimes, this leads to pleasant discoveries. Other times, it can be a little maddening.


98. Flipflop Solitaire+

Description:

This variant on Solitaire makes it possible to solve every deal, regardless of the setup. Zach Gage's take on the card stacking single-player game lets you stack cards in both ascending or descending order with minor rule variations depending on how many suits you decide to play with.

Rank Explanation:

Flipflop Solitaire+ is a good Solitaire game, but it's hard for me to love it knowing that it comes from the creator of Sage Solitaire, a much more exciting take on clearing and organizing cards. Flipflop Solitaire+ just feels too much like the regular game, and its extra rules can make it feel convoluted at times.


99. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls

Description:

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls is a reboot of what was initially envisioned as a free-to-play game where you collect characters and gear from the iconic Castlevania series as you go on dungeon runs through cursed grimoires. This reboot keeps almost all of those components intact, but does away with the parts where you can spend money, allowing you to grind out currencies to kit out Alucard, the Belmonts, and others to complete increasingly difficult levels full of dark fantasy monsters and bosses.

Rank Explanation:

Grimoire of Souls is a snooze-fest if you are expecting anything approaching a Castlevania game. I'm partial to the "Metroidvania" versions of these games, but even if you like the level-based titles there is very little of interest here. All of the challenge comes from your ability to grind and match the power of the enemies you're fighting. Upgrade-a-thons aren't necessarily bad. They can be meditative, and this one has polish and has some fun with Castlevania lore, but it doesn't feel special in the slightest.


100. Marble Knights

Description:

Marble Knights is a 3D beat em up where you play as characters that roll around on top of marbles. In addition to fighting well, you need to make sure you can steer you characters around levels without falling off edges or into pits.

Rank Explanation:

There’s nothing wrong with Marble Knights, but there’s nothing that interesting about it either. The marble-based traversal doesn’t add as much dimension to the gameplay as you might think. Also, the game seems to be focused on multiplayer, but only offers it through private codes or local co-op.

The list continues here, or see below to jump to another page:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175 | 176+

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