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 | 176-200 | 201+


76. Mini Metro+

Description:

If building roadways in Mini Motorways wasn't exactly doing it for you, Dinosaur Polo Club's original commuter-puzzler has come over to Apple Arcade. Link different subway stops together by dragging transit lines between them to try and plan out the most efficient way to get people to their destinations while being careful not to let any stops jam up with too many people. All of this is presented in a simple geometric style that reflects classic transit map design.

Rank Explanation:

Mini Metro+ feels more intuitive than Mini Motorways, making it my preferred flavor of transit puzzling. It still can be a bit of a slow burn and rounds can be cut short with some poor luck, though. This, plus its age don't make it the most attractive Apple Arcade offering, despite being occasionally a good time.



77. Pilgrims

Description:

We’ve seen a lot of card-based games on mobile, but not really one that tries to emulate adventure games. Pilgrims does exactly this and with all of the charm you can come to expect from Amanita Design releases. In it, you take a charater from location to location and you gather objects and companions who are kept as cards in your inventory. At new locations, you need to pull these cards out to solve light puzzles, witness bizarre hijinks, and play through a brief story.

Rank Explanation:

Pilgrims reduces the trial-and-error of conventional adventure game design down to a small card game that rarely wastes your time. Part of this comes from establishing a game logic that’s pretty easy to follow, but it also helps that Pilgrims rewards players with funny little scenes and collectible cards for trying out cards that don’t specifically solve the puzzle you’re working on. My only real issue with the game is that it ended rather abruptly. Just when I thought I was clearing the first section of the game, credits started rolling.


78. Hidden Folks+

Description:

The black-and-white hidden object game has made the leap from App Store hit to Apple Arcade entry. With lots of charm in its visual and audio design, this very basic game concept is more than meets the eye.

Rank Explanation:

Hidden Folks is a good game, and this subscription-based version works identically to the original App Store release. Your save even carries over so you can pop in to check out the additional scenes and challenges that have been added to the game. There isn't a lot of depth here, but it is charming as heck.


79. LEGO Star Wars Battles

Description:

Build decks of LEGO-fied Star Wars armies and battle live opponents in what is basically a Clash Royale-like experience. Players are competing to destroy their enemies base, but can construct towers at specified parts of the battlefield they control. If no base gets destroyed, the player who controls the most towers wins.

Rank Explanation:

This game is fine, but mostly because Clash Royale is a great game. LEGO Star Wars Battles takes out some (but not enough) of the free-to-play design elements, but trades them in for annoyingly long animations for basically everything to add visual flair to a game that doesn't really need it. This isn't the worst trade, to be fair, but it could be better.


80. The Pinball Wizard

Description:

You play pinball, but your ball is a wizard, and your table is a tower floor littered with enemies and loot. In The Pinball Wizard, your goal is to get as high up a tower as possible without dying. All the while, you collect experience and money that you can spend on upgrades to your wizard between rounds so that you’ll stand a better chance at making it further up the tower on your next play session.

Rank Explanation:

The idea of Pinball Wizard is incredible, but I don’t really love the execution. The pinball physics here feel off. Your wizard hugs the wall in an odd way and everything feels slow and sluggish. Also, it’s only playable in landscape mode, which seems odd for a pinball game. It’s fun enough despite these minor gripes, but it’s hard not to feel like Pinball Wizard isn’t fully realizing its potential.


81. Pocket Build+

Description:

Pocket Build+ is a true world-building sandbox. Whether its a cowboy town, castles, theme parks, or sleepy little island towns, you can make it happen in this special Apple Arcade version of the game which unlocks every kind of building tool and feature you can think of straight away.

Rank Explanation:

Pocket Build+ is one of those games that really is what you make it, which is to say it feels a lot more like a set of tools than a game itself. I found the prospect of building in the game's default sandbox mode a little too freeform and directionless, but have had a good time turning on the survival mode, which requires me to harvest resources and pay to add structures and resources to my world. It's a slow grind, but still somewhat satisfying, especially knowing how much stuff I can eventually build my little world into.


82. Mini Motorways

Description:

Mini Motorways is the follow up to Mini Metro. Only this time, instead of building public transportation, you are building road ways from houses to buildings with parking lots. Your goal is to create as smooth and quick a flow of traffic as possible, and if too few cars can reach their destination in an appropriate amount of time, you lose.

Rank Explanation:

Mini Motorways is a fine minimalist puzzler, but it doesn’t feel all that different from Mini Metro. On top of that, the game has some clunky controls which often result in accidentally building roadways where you don’t mean to.


83. Wylde Flowers

Description:

Take control of a young woman named Tara as she leaves her life in the city to tend to her aging grandma and help run the family farm. Run errands, meet the inhabitants of the island, and learn more about some of Tara's family secrets in this story-driven life management game.

Rank Explanation:

Look, Wylde Flowers seems fine. It's character models can look a little creepy at times, but it is a mostly well-made game that feels a lot like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. The only problem is Apple Arcade is basically bursting at the seams with this type of game. On a rough count, almost 1-in-10 of the service's catalog is some kind of crafting/management game, and the best one (Mutazione) was there at the beginning. If you want more of this kind of game and haven't grown tired of it, then Wylde Flowers is worth a look, but otherwise it's a slightly-above-average version of a game type that is all over the service already.


84. The Survivalists™

Description:

Team17 takes their crafting/survival formula to the tropics with The Survivalists. Like Robinson Crusoe, you are stranded on an island and have to find a way to fend for yourself. Luckily, you can unlock blueprints for pretty complicated items and train monkeys to help take the tedium out of gathering or crafting particular items.

Rank Explanation:

The Survivalists is certainly better than the other island-themed crafting/survival game on the service, but it's still very much one of those games and operates pretty much exactly as you'd expect it to. It's competent, but far from special.


85. Shinsekai Into the Depths

Description:

This game is sort of like an undersea Castlevania-type game. You wander the ocean depths in a scuba suit, defending yourself from all sorts of deep sea creatures, all while trying to discover why there’s a sudden influx of ice that has started flash freezing the waters around your home.

Rank Explanation:

There’s a slowness and murkiness to Shinsekai that takes some getting used to, but once you do, the game is pretty intriguing. There’s a lot of systems to balance as you float about and discover mineral deposits you can use to upgrade your suit to travel to new depths. There are definitely some weird and unpolished things going on with this game, but it’s also such a confidently weird take on a well worn genre that it’s hard to put down.


86. Crossy Road+

Description:

An updated version of Hipster Whale's smash-hit, Crossy Road+ finally brings some quality Frogger action to Apple Arcade. In this version, there's a management layer added on top of the simple score-chaser that gives some additional purpose to collecting new animals to play as.

Rank Explanation:

Perhaps the best thing about the original Crossy Road was that it was simple, quick, and had an amazingly fair free-to-play model. Crossy Road+ bloats up some of the game with its management mechanics and then otherwise feels like an unnecessary addition to Apple Arcade. It's still a fun time though.


87. Moonshot

Description:

This physics-based puzzle game has you launching a lonely little moon through space to have it weave around planetary gravity fields as it searches for home.

Rank Explanation:

This isn't a new puzzle concept by any stretch and it isn't done with any better finesse or charm than games that have come before it. It looks fine and plays fine, but is nothing special.


88. Reigns: Beyond

Description:

Reigns has finally leaped into the future. In Reigns: Beyond, you play as an amnesiac who captains a starship and plays guitar in an intergalactic rock band. Swipe your way through all kinds of sci-fi adventure and make stops to play shows, make money, and grow your following.

Rank Explanation:

Reigns? Are you ok? What happened? You were once a silly, stripped down adventure game and now you’re... a sci-fi Guitar Hero management sim? I don’t say this to sound entirely negative. Reigns: Beyond is mostly fine, but it feels like a game made without confidence in what made the original game great. On a specifically negative note though, I do wish Reigns: Beyondcould have lasted at least 30 minutes before serving me repeat cards.


89. LEGO® Star Wars™: Castaways

Description:

Create your own minifig and have them explore a hidden world that just so happens to have a virtual reality library of every iconic moment in Star Wars history. Join with friends or battle alone as you wind through the streest of Mos Eisley or go on bombing runs against the Deathstar. As you repeat these 3rd-person action vignettes, you receive rewards you can use to further customize your character and unlock new gear.

Rank Explanation:

The premise for this game sounds great, but the LEGO branding makes it a little less appealing to my personally. Even if you don't mind it, the real problem with the game is it's extremely swimmy controls and flat combat design. If this game had a little more depth and control fidelity, it could be something special, but it regrettably just feels like a mindless upgrade treadmill.


90. 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.


91. 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.


92. Bloons TD 6+

Description:

Pop a ridiculous amount of balloons as you train up an army of monkeys that can do a variety of things, from throwing darts to piloting helicopters, with the goal of preventing any loose balloons from reaching an exit point. Bloons TD 6+ is tower defense taken to its logical extremes.

Rank Explanation:

Bloons TD 6+ is more an overwhelming amount of stimuli than strategic experience. You can place monkeys of any amount anywhere on screen and balloon waves parade in at high speeds with a ton of overlap without giving you much heads up as to how to plan for them. Luckily (I guess?), the game rewards players who lean into the ridiculousness and upgrade and place monkeys all over the place, but once you stop being impressed by the sheer amount of action taking place on screen the game really feels shallow and perhaps a bit too easy.


93. 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.


94. 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.


95. Monument Valley 2+

Description:

Both Monument Valley games are now on Apple Arcade. Continue the mind-bending puzzle room adventures that ustwo introduced players to back in 2014, though this time with a bit more story layered in.

Rank Explanation:

Monument Valley is a pretty incredible game, but Monument Valley 2+ by comparison feels like an also-ran. Where the first game goes out of its way to justify its existence at every turn, Monument Valley 2 seems to assume a place of brilliance while proceeding to serve up a lot pretty, though much less memorable environments and puzzles.


96. 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.


97. 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.


98. 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.


99. 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.


100. 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.

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1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175 | 176-200 | 201+

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