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+


76. 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.



77. 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.


78. 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.


79. 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.


80. 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.


81. 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.


82. 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.


83. 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.


84. 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.


85. 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.


86. 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.


87. Blek+

Description:

Blek+ is a minimal puzzle game about collecting colored balls by drawing lines. The tricky part about it is the lines you draw move in the same way you drew them once you lift your finger. It's kind of a mind-bending idea, and that seems to be the point with the game. Can you train your brain to animate a line to avoid obstacles while achieving your goal?

Rank Explanation:

The idea of Blek+ is much more appealing on paper than it is in practice. I don't find it fun to see my failed drawings sulk off the screen, and I don't find much enjoyment in experimenting with the gameplay to get good at drawing lines to solve the game's more complicated challenges. This ends up reducing most puzzles into trial and error, which is not particularly fun.


88. Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes

Description:

Imagine pinball, except the ball is a hero being launched into battle to take out zombies. That's what Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes is. This action-oriented pinball game has you complete challenges while fending off the undead by launching your round protagonist directly at them or objects in the environment that can help you slow their advance.

Rank Explanation:

I like the way Zombie Rollerz feels as compared to Pinball Wizard, but neither really feel like pinball or even quality alternatives. Zombie Rollerz has some neat ideas with how to turn pinball into a sort of combat puzzle, but it can sometimes get a bit too difficult to follow the action, which can lead to frustrating defeats.


89. UFO on Tape: First Contact

Description:

UFO on Tape: First Contact is a game about taking pictures. These pictures are mostly of alien spacecraft, but they can be of all kinds of other things, too. In fact, every level in UFO on Tape has specific shots it’s looking for you to capture, some of which are just interesting signs or of the surrounding nature. Once you capture enough of these specific shots well enough, you earn enough money to move on to the next level.

Rank Explanation:

UFO on Tape kind of feels like Pokemon Snap, but it’s main failing is that you spend a lot of your time looking at boring spaceships instead of cute monsters. The photography gameplay is interesting and entertaining to a point, but it wears thin quickly, especially since you have to play levels through multiple times to get good enough shots to progress to the next scene.


90. Doomsday Vault

Description:

Doomsday Vault is set in a bleak future where the Earth’s environment has collapsed. You play as a seemingly lone adventurer who is exploring the planet’s abandoned infrastructure in order to rescue some of the last remaining plant life so that you can hopefully restore the natural order. The resulting game is an exploration-focused puzzle platformer that challenges you to find hidden collectibles while managing your enviro-suit’s power.

Rank Explanation:

I love the concept, look, and puzzle design of Doomsday Vault a lot. There’s just something really satisfying about exploring every nook and cranny of these post-apocalyptic settings. My problem with it though is that the controls and UI are both pretty lousy. Wandering through levels is needlessly clunky regardless of whether you’re playing with touch or a controller.


91. Sneaky Sasquatch

Description:

Sneaky Sasquatch starts as a stealth game where you play as a cryptid who steals food from unsuspecting campers for survival. Each day, you wander campsites looking for picnic baskets, grills, and coolers to snatch food out of so you don’t go hungry. Play it for long enough though and it expands into a gigantic open world full of mini-games to let your Sasquatch enjoy.

Rank Explanation:

It’s a funny concept, but Sneaky Sasquatch feels a little too aimless. For as big as its world is, the mini-games that punctuate points of interest only highlight how empty the game really is.


92. Agent Intercept

Description:

Agent Intercept is a cross between a racing game and a puzzle game. You play as a secret agent who is chasing all sorts of villains all over the world. In your chase, you need to drive fast, but you also get points for drifting, hitting jumps, and taking down henchmen. The ultimate goal of any level is to get the best score on the leaderboards, which change out every day when a new level becomes available.

Rank Explanation:

This game gets a lot of bonus points just based on its style alone. The super spy theming of Agent Intercept is so spot on and makes playing it feel really cool. Its "one challenge per day" structure also feels like a perfect dose for this kind of game. I just wish the driving felt a little better. The controls just give you a slider to move your vehicle from left to right, which doesn’t always feel the most responsive.


93. Neversong

Description:

Neversongis a strange mishmash of games. It’s a mediation on mental health, but it’s also an action platformer. You play as a boy Peet, who’s girlfriend was stolen away from him, causing him to fall into a coma. After waking, he sets off on a strange and surreal adventure to find his girlfriend while battling bug-like enemies and swinging around environments.

Rank Explanation:

I think the odd blending of tones and genre conventions gives Neversong a truly unique flavor, but I’d like it more if the things it implemented felt a little better. The platforming itself is serviceable, but Peet’s hitbox in combat doesn’t feel right, and the swinging mechanics that the game introduces later on don’t work well on touch at all. I want to see where Neversonggoes, but I’ll only be enjoying it in small bursts using a controller unless some updates come through to improve the touch experience.


94. Speed Demons

Description:

Speed Demons is technically an auto-runner, I guess, but it feels more like a racing game because it involves cars. Race your way down winding roads across a variety of event types, most of which ultimately want you to drive fast and keep others from doing that better than you. To enhance the experience, Speed Demons relies heavily on an high frame rate and a propulsive soundtrack.

Rank Explanation:

When you’re in the zone in Speed Demons, it feels incredible. This involves the convergence of a lot of moving parts, though. You yourself have to be in the right mental (and physical) space to concentrate on the game. Then, the soundtrack needs to land on the right tune (thankfully, you can control this relatively easily). Finally—and most crucially—the game actually needs to be running at 60 frames per second or higher, which is sometimes a struggle. If any of these ingredients aren’t just right, the magic of Speed Demons doesn’t quite work.


95. ChuChu Rocket! Universe

Description:

In ChuChu Rocket! Universe, you have to lead mice to a rocket using arrows you draw on the ground. In this particular entry, there’s a single-player focus full of levels with various puzzles and challenges. Universe still features multiplayer, but it is relegated to a small sub-menu.

Rank Explanation:

I don’t have any nostalgia for the original ChuChu Rocket!, so this game doesn’t do a whole lot for me. It’s a lot like heaps of other puzzle games on the App Store, and features a multiplayer mode that is so fast-paced that I’m not really sure what’s going on at any given moment. Still though, it’s a really well made puzzle game.


96. BADLAND+

Description:

This side-scrolling platformer has you tapping to control a flapping, fuzzball-like creature through mysterious environments. There are lite obstacles in your way, but they basically only pose a problem because the screen is always scrolling over to the right as you play. If you take too long in your navigation, you have to start over.

Rank Explanation:

Badland is another one of those high-profile mobile games I never got around to playing, but after playing it I have a hard time understanding what made it special. It's brand of puzzle platforming seems fine, but not especially revelatory. It would also be a lot more fun to play if controlling it didn't feel so floppy and imprecise.


97. Assemble With Care

Description:

Assemble With Care is a narrative puzzle game about a young girl named Maria who repairs things. As she fixes objects for the people of Bellariva—a town she is just passing through—she learns a lot about them and their lives. The gameplay here mostly consists of poking and prodding at broken objects with virtual tools to get them in working order again. Every time you fix an object, you then get a small dose of story that leads you to the next puzzle.

Rank Explanation:

I’m starting to think there’s something I’m missing when I play ustwo games. I love the attention-to-detail in games like Monument Valley and Assemble With Care, but I don’t find the overall experience all that compelling. It probably doesn’t help that Assemble With Care doesn’t really give itself room to develop its ideas. On the plus side, this is an easy title to burn through if you’re using a free trial of Apple Arcade.


98. Little Orpheus

Description:

Who would’ve thought that the creators of Dear Esther, a plodding and cerebral meditation on trauma, would be the same studio to make a game with a pitch like "what if we made Inside but with bright colors and there are cosmonauts and dinosaurs?" This is essentially what Little Orpheus is: A hollow, meandering romp of simple platforming set pieces accompanied by voiceover narration.

Rank Explanation:

Little Orpheus gestures at great ideas and fails to really execute on any of them. It looks great in screenshots, but is really clunky and borderline unplayable using touch. It evokes Inside, but does not have the same clever puzzle design or creativity. It’s supposed to be funny, but it’s voice actors charmingly quip without ever really landing a punchline. To its credit, I was intrigued by the game’s overarching narrative and its general style to see the whole thing through in short order, but I walked away from it being pretty disappointed.


99. Tales of Memo

Description:

What starts as a simple memory game quickly evolves into a frenetic twitch-based puzzle experience. Tales of Memo is more or less about just finding matching numbers from opening random chests, but you need to use these matches strategically to take down enemies and advance to the next level.

Rank Explanation:

The first level or two of Tales of Memo are dumbed down to the point that it’s hard to tell what the game is supposed to be. Then, there are a couple more levels where finding matches is dead simple. It’s not until you push through all of this to find what is actually a pretty solid game build around the mechanics of basic memory games. It’s kind of impressive, though ultimately boils down to speed and a little bit of luck to pass stages.


100. Marble It Up: Mayhem!

Description:

Marble It Up: Mayhem! is a platfomer that puts a lot of emphasis behind momentum and physics. You roll a marble around levels and you need to hop over gaps, gather gems, and reach and exit, while making sure not to roll too fast that you accidentally slide of a ledge or hit a bumper to send your marble flying.

Rank Explanation:

I have never really understood why you’d want to play a platformer where your ability to control things feels muddy and slow, but games like Marble It Up: Mayhem prove there is some kind of audience for these things. Even placing my personal hang-ups aside, I’m not sure Marble It Up is great at what it’s trying to do.

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+

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