This is part 5 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+


101. 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.

Update: The update to Super Mega Mini Party adds an interesting matchmaking system where players are supposed to be able to wander an open-world and challenge each other to mini-games. I say “supposed to” because I am yet to see a single person playing this game. Perhaps this is a fun game to play with people, but at this rate I will never know.

Update 2: Revisiting this title again so soon because the updates keep coming. Also, it now seems like people are actually playing the multiplayer so I’ve been able to test my skills against humans. It’s still a mini-game collection, so I’m not sure it’s a great thing to play with random strangers on the internet, but you can if you want, and it seems like some people want to do that.


102. Lego Brawls

Description:

If you turned a side-scrolling beat ‘em up into a multiplayer game, you’d end up with something like Lego Brawls. Players make their own minifigures, join a team online, and battle in “territory control”-style competitions. In addition to using their fists, players can pick up items like hot dog guns and rocket ships shaped like fists to take down enemies and capture control points.

Rank Explanation:

There’s some goofiness and charm to Lego Brawls, but none of that comes from actually playing it. Without the appeal of Lego, Brawls is a really lite and floaty multiplayer game that grows stale almost immediately. This game also loses points because it’s basically multiplayer only.

Update: New maps and items have been added to a game that continues to have a pretty hollow core. Lego Brawls is begging for any amount of added precision to make swinging fish and swords at opposing minifigs feel like it involves any amount of skill or prowess.



103. Scrappers

Description:
In the far-flung future, the Earth is only inhabited by two things: robots and trash. This is the setup for Scrappers, a side-scrolling beat ‘em up where you play as a robotic sanitation worker who needs to fight their way through junkyards while depositing trash into your truck to earn money. You can also do all of this with up to three other people in the game’s co-op mode.

Rank Explanation:
Scrappers is a mound of poor decisions that got bundled up into a colorful package. Beat ‘em ups are rarely ever good; co-op focused games with no matchmaking make for a boring time; and making “picking up trash” your differentiating mechanic is not exactly my idea of fun. Even if you happen to like beat ‘em ups, Scrappers is a tough sell because of how easy it is to exploit the game’s combat system and suck all of the challenge out of it.


104. Spidersaurs

Description:

Spidersaurs is a 2D shooter that tries to stir up lots of 80s and 90s nostalgia. Its “Saturday Morning Cartoon” style combines with throwback gameplay that has you running and gunning to take down dinosaur/spider hybrids.

Rank Explanation:

For as cool as Spidersaurs looks, it controls horribly. It seems to be going for a Contra-like experience, but it’s impossible to control using touch and is functional, but sluggish, on controller.


105. 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.



106. The Mosaic

Description:

The Mosaic is a narrative adventure set in a future society where a single corporation has seemingly taken over the world. You play as an employee of this corporation who (surprise!) doesn’t seem to enjoy his job. Over the course of the game, you’ll play through this worker’s commute, which gets routinely interrupted by strange visions and dream sequences.

Rank Explanation:

There’s something really compelling about The Mosaic’s balancing of the surreal and mundane, but it all ends up feeling like a missed opportunity. Playing the game is pretty boring, not to mention super clunky to control, and by the end of the game, it’s not really clear what The Mosaic is trying to say. The surface-level critiques of modern society that are presented at the beginning of the game persist throughout the experience, but nothing that happens over the course of the story dive much deeper than that. By the end of the game it doesn’t feel like you’re reached a satisfying conclusion, and there’s nothing about the mechanics, visuals, or storytelling that make the trek feel particularly worthwhile.


107. Pac-Man Party Royale

Description:

In Pac-Man Party Royale, four players all chomp pellets on a single Pac-Man stage, with the ultimate goal of being the last player standing. Players can knock each other out by eating each other after picking up power pellets, knocking opponents into ghosts, or staying alive the longest as a glitched-out ring reduces the playable area. The first player to hit three wins takes the match.

Rank Explanation:

Pac-Man Party Royale isn’t Pac-Man Vs., nor is it Pac-Man Battle Royale, and both of those are better multiplayer Pac-Man games than Party Royale. It also doesn’t help that this game has a terrible online setup where players can essentially only play with friends using lobby codes, as opposed to offering any kind of matchmaking for folks to play online with random players. Overall it’s a pretty disappointing Pac-Man game, and a generally weak offering for Apple Arcade.

Update: It won't matter how many new powers get added to PAC-MAN Party Royale until the game actually supports online matchmaking. Even then, the sluggish movement of your Pac-Man still makes it feel like a third-rate title.


108. Frogger in Toy Town

Description:

Frogger in Toy Town takes the basic tenets of the classic Frogger arcade game and turns it into a sort of collection-based physics platformer. You control a frog and wander through various household environments, avoiding things like toy cars and pens as you climb over toy blocks and books to rescue baby frogs and collect jelly beans.

Rank Explanation:

The physics aspect of Frogger in Toy Town make this game both an interesting and frustrating experience. On the one hand, it’s neat to experience what it’s like to disrupt the classic Frogger experience by suddenly being able to block cars from moving by moving a block into the road to stop them. On the other, it can feel like you’re constantly fighting tons of variables in Frogger in Toy Town just to do simple tasks like jump up on top of something. This can lead to a lot of times where you die or miss an objective, and it doesn’t really feel like there’s a whole lot you could have done differently to prevent that from happening. When everything’s working as intended though, Frogger in Toy Town is a fun new take on classic Frogger.

Update: The simple mode for Frogger in Toy Town makes it much more playable, as the game's physics engine is wildly unpredictable and makes it impossible to play the game well with any consistency. This update doesn't fix the physics though, so you still will be frustratingly blocked from rescuing frogs or hit by things you couldn't possibly dodge, but at least now you won't get as punished for it.


109. ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree*

Description:

ATONE is a wild mishmash of game mechanics. It’s part adventure game, there’s tons of environmental puzzles, and it also has combat that plays like a hardcore rhythm game. This disparate pieces are all tied together with a story steeped in Norse mythology.

Rank Explanation:

ATONE’s strangeness works both for and against it, but it’s mostly a good thing. The game itself is beautiful and fascinatingly odd. It’s puzzles and rhythm-based combat are also pretty brilliant and satisfying. There are just some things like character movement, game dialogue, and some unclear pathfinding that can sprinkle tiny blemishes on what is otherwise a bizarre gem.

Update: ATONE’s precipitous fall is due to some pretty significant technical issues. In returning to the game I’ve experienced regular hard crashes that make it hard to recommend. When I have been able to play the game in a crash-free stretch, the rhythm game aspects also now feel off, with the note paths and music not quite syncing up in the way that they should. Hopefully all of this gets fixed up soon.


110. Red Reign

Description:

Red Reign is a real-time strategy game that borrows the concept of lane-based combat from MOBAs like Arena of Valor. The concept is simple: two players race to build units and upgrade their base to eventually send an army (or armies) down lanes that are large enough to destroy their opponent’s base.

Rank Explanation:

I don’t have a problem with Red Reign’s core mechanics, but it seems heavily biased toward anyone looking to maximize their actions per minute. There are so many little actions you can (and should) do to gain advantages over your opponent that if you don’t train yourself to do them, your opponent will be able to beat you every single time. In this way, Red Reign feels like a throwback strategy title, but it’s also so streamlined to the point that you it doesn’t feel worth diving deep into. Perhaps if it had less of a focus on multiplayer and had more robust single-player offering, it would be higher on this list.


111. 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.

Update: Various Daylife got updated with some nice quality of life features, but remains an absolute snoozefest. It just feels like an upgrade treadmill that leads to nowhere.


112. 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.


113. Discolored

Description:

Discolored is a first-person puzzle adventure where you’re trying to restore color to a monochromatic environment. You do this by activating certain color prisms, though the game is very mum about what these prisms are about, who you are, or why you’re doing any of this. As a result, it’s up to you and your magical viewfinder to figure out what parts of the environment you can manipulate and which items you can combine to slowly bring colors back into the world.

Rank Explanation:

This game is too minimalist for its own good. Everything, including puzzle solutions feel like things that you happen upon by chance as opposed to anything logical that you might be putting together based on context. To make matters worse, your character moves as slow as molasses, so most of the game consists of you sluggishly sliding between objects randomly tapping on them and waiting for something to happen.


114. Charrua Soccer

Description:

Charrua Soccer is an arcade soccer game inspired by retro classics. There are some stats for teams and players, but no progression. You just pick a team and play in a tournament and see what happens.

Rank Explanation:

Somehow, both Apple Arcade soccer games are a huge letdown. Sociable Soccer nails the game length and feel of an arcade soccer game, but is so heavily dependent on grind that it practically feels like a free-to-play title. Charrua Soccer has almost the opposite problem. It feels too fast and loose, and there’s nothing to keep you wanting to come back to it.

Update: A content update to Charrua Soccer gives you more reason to keep playing it. You can now play against St. Patrick’s Day teams to unlock them, and the matches in these challenges have special rules, which is kind of fun. There are definitely other problems that persist in this game, but this update does make it a little better.


115. Sociable Soccer

Description:

Sociable Soccer is an arcade soccer game where you build a dream team of footballers to try and take down other players’ teams. Along the way, you pick up other players to add to your roster, which you can use to create alternate lineups or feed to your other players to upgrade their stats. The whole thing feels a lot like a gacha game, except you can't spend any money on it.

Rank Explanation:

I’m very frustrated by Sociable Soccer. It constantly teases you with gestures at good ideas, but they all turn out to be empty. The arcade soccer is so simplistic that it feels kind of random. Collecting and upgrading players is a ridiculously long grind (especially since the game limits how many times you can play matches). Managing your team involves arranging formations of players, and... nothing else. This is to say that Sociable Soccer has set up a bunch of great structures for creating a fun sports game with rpg elements, but said structures aren’t filled with anything satisfying.


116. 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.

After Way of the Turtle got a new content update, so I decided to give it another shot, and it wasn’t pretty. For whatever reason, Way of the Turtle had not saved any of my previous progress when I came back to it. It also decided that each time I came back to the game it would keep my progress (good), but always start me back at the beginning of the game map some reason (not good). This, plus the fact that Way of the Turtle has a confusingly poor frame rate on iPad drove me away from the game faster than it did when I first tried it.


117. 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.

Update: The more I play Redout, the less I get it. It’s like if someone wanted to jam space sim-style missions into a Starfox game, but then couldn’t decide which control style would work best for that design so they gave up. Certain sections of the game feel undertested and easy to break while others almost impossibly challenging. I guess the silver lining is that the missions are short? My personal silver lining is there are a lot of other, better games on Apple Arcade I could be playing.


118. 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.


119. 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.


120. 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.


121. Lifelike

Description:

Lifelike is an abstract game about flocking particles. You move an orb of light around flatly colored backgrounds until you reach spheres of particles that you move into to activate. From there, the particles move with you until you wander into a new set of particles. If that sounds weird, then I’m describing it well. Lifelike is weird.

Rank Explanation:

I’m not opposed to abstract games, but I literally fell asleep playing Lifelike. In piloting my little light around, I felt like I was wandering aimlessly to no end or purpose, waiting for something to happen, and what happened was I got bored. While this game is certainly pretty, there’s just precious little to Lifelike that makes it worth checking out.


122. Loud House: Outta Control

Description:

Remember Flight Control? Well, Loud House: Outta Control is basically the same game, but it features locations and characters from Nickelodeon’s animated series, The Loud House. Characters wander onto the screen and you have to draw walking paths for them to reach specific objectives while making sure no one runs into each other. It’s a basic concept that can get complicated quickly.

Rank Explanation:

I have no familiarity with The Loud House, but I used to play a ton of Flight Control, and Outta Control feels like a bad knock-off version of a classic. Although this game tries to mix up the action with different kinds of levels, Outta Control feels weirdly imprecise for a game where you literally draw lines for characters to walk along. Even if you don’t have any intersecting paths, characters still seem quite easy to have run into each other, which immediately ends the level you’re on, leaving you no option but to try it again from the very beginning. It’s pretty frustrating and unimaginative from top to bottom.


123. 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.


124. Operator 41

Description:

Operator 41 is a stealth action game where each level involves moving your spy past guards to reach a telephone. Your character and guards move in real-time, so you need to time your movements carefully and take advantage of distractions to avoid getting caught.

Rank Explanation:

Operator 41’s stealth mechanics are not particularly innovative and the game itself exudes zero personality. You could play this game, but there’s nothing about it that makes you want to do so.


125. Hyperbrawl Tournament

Description:

Hyperbrawl Tournament is an arena combat sports game. Two teams of two compete to put a ball in their opponent’s goal by any means necessary. This includes punching, kicking, and even using weaponry like hammers and swords to KO opponents, take control of the ball, and score.

Rank Explanation:

I’d probably rate Hyperbrawl Tournament higher on this list if more people were playing it. The game’s biggest issue right now is it’s basically multiplayer-only and queuing for matches is quite long. Once you’re matched with someone though, Hyperbrawl Tournament is a heck of a good time. There’s a surprising amount of depth here, and it allows for a lot of mind games and tricky high-level play.

Update: It doesn’t seem like anyone is playing this game anymore, so it’s hard to have much to say about the new characters that have been added to the game or maintain much enthusiasm for it.


126. Secret Oops (UPDATE)

Description:

This is essentially a spy-themed Lemmings game. Your special agent infiltrates buildings by blindly walking straight ahead toward his goals, and you have to look out for him by tapping cameras to shut them off, open doors for him, and reveal evidence for him to gather. Secret Oops is also largely designed around augmented reality, where you can move your phone or tablet around to get a better view of your agents actions and the obstacles that lay ahead.

Rank Explanation:

The idea of playing a game where I have to physically move my phone around to get a better view of the action is completely unappealing. Secret Oops gives you the option to play in a non-AR mode, but it’s virtually impossible to see and tap the things you need to tap while playing this way. Even if the game was more playable outside of the AR mode, Secret Oops would still feel pretty generic and unimpressive.

Update: Secret Oops needs to fix its non-AR mode before I'll revisit it again. New levels, mechanics, etc. don't mean much if it's still asking me to play by goofily moving my phone around just to be able to see what's happening.


127. Beyond Blue*

Description:

Beyond Blue is an undersea adventure where you play as a diver named Mirai performing research and scanning wildlife activities in the ocean depths. While on dives, you explore a rich ecosystem full of marine life and between missions you have calls with other members of your research team and even family members, which is how the game tells most of its story.

Rank Explanation:

I’m intrigued by Beyond Blue, but it has so many technical problems and mobile unfriendly design choices that there’s really no reason to play it right now. In my time with the game, I played each of the first two dives twice and sat through the same interstitial conversation four times. The game is super buggy and can hard lock on you, and—even when things are working properly, the checkpointing is so bad that it’s really easy to lose progress.


128.Fallen Knight

Description:

There’s not a whole lot I can say about Fallen Knight. It’s an action platformer. You run, you jump, you swing your sword at things. It’s about as simple as that.

Rank Explanation:

Part of the reason I can’t say much to describe Fallen Knight is because its controls feel so broken. The virtual buttons for the game don’t trigger until you release your finger from the screen. This isn’t so much the case if you play with a controller, but Fallen Knight’s timing windows are clearly tuned for touch. As a result, you have two extremely awkward methods for controlling this game, to the point that Fallen Knight is basically unplayable.

And that's it for all our rankings! Check back in as we add new titles and update old ones, or see below to jump to another page:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+

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Tagged With: Review, Tint, Mosaic, cat quest 2, Card of Darkness, Overland, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Bleak Sword, Grindstone, What the Golf, Where Cards Fall, Sneaky Sasquatch, Sonic Racing, Hot Lava, The Get Out Kids, Assemble With Care, Dead End Job, Dread Nautical, Spaceland, Over the Alps, Jenny LeClue - Detectivu, Exit the Gungeon, Super Impossible Road, Cricket Through the Ages, Hyperbrawl Tournament, ChuChu Rocket Universe, Lego Brawls, Mutazione, Dear Reader, Neo Cab, King’s League II, Pilgrims, Outlanders, Down in Bermuda, Big Time Sports, Dodo Peak, Skate City, Punch Planet, Way of the Turtle, Painty Mob, Mini Motorways, Things that Go Bump, Shinsekai Into The Depths, Redout: Space Assault, Word Laces, Patterned, Stellar Commanders, Nightmare Farm, Spelldrifter, Tales of Memo, The Enchanted World, Possessions., Decoherence, Various Daylife, frogger in toy town, spek., agent intercept, atone: heart of the elder tree, super mega mini party, Guildlings, Shantae and the Seven Sirens, Hogwash, Pac-Man Party Royale, Stela, Don't Bug Me, Ballistic Baseball, Rosie's Reality, Lifelike, Explottens, tangle tower, monomals, UFO on Tape: First Contact, Takeshi and Hiroshi, discolored, sociable soccer, marble it up: mayhem, Manifold Garden, ShockRods, Cardpocalypse, Steven Universe: Unleash the Light, Mind Symphony, Battlesky Brigade: Harpooner, Spidersaurs, operator 41, ultimate rivals: the rink, projection: first light, Stranded Sails, charrua soccer, secret oops, loud house: outta control, lifeslide, Crossy Road Castle, A Fold Apart, Butter Royale, Doomsday Vault, Earth Night, Fallen Knight, Fledging Heroes, Hexaflip: The Action Puzzler, Inmost, Jumper Jon, Kings of the Castle, Legend of the Skyfish 2, Lego's Builder Journey, Murder Mystery Machine, No Way Home, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, Rayman Mini, Red Reign, Roundguard, Scrappers, Speed Demons, Spyder, Star Fetched, The Bradwell Conspiracy, The Pinball Wizard, Towaga: Among Shadows, Yaga, Beyond Blue, neversong, The Winding World, Towers of Everland, Spongebob: Patty Pursuit, Little Orpheus, Beyond a Steel Sky, Creaks, Necrobarista, The Lullaby of Life
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