Apple Arcade has been out for a little over a month, and I’m not entirely thrilled with it. It’s definitely an interesting idea, but it leaves a lot to be desired, especially in fulfilling its commitment to letting folks “play anywhere.” Still, at $4.99 a month, it seems like a very reasonable value proposition that is getting better and better as new games get added to the service.
The greatest strength of Apple Arcade is definitely the variety of games given the price. I am now more convinced of that than ever because I went ahead and built out a list of games you could add to your iOS library to mimic the offerings of the service, and it’s not exactly cheap. If you wanted to capture the breadth and depth of offerings that Apple Arcade currently offers users, it would cost you about $400 ($384 more precisely) in total.
The full list of these games is below. Each game is grouped by genre and includes a link to their review (if possible) and store page.
Any games marked with an asterisk(*) are free-to-play games that you can’t fully unlock with a single purchase. I vouch for them, though. They're all incredibly fair with their monetization.
19 Arcade Games
Ball King (Free)*
21 Puzzle Games
Peter Panic (Free/$2.99)
15 Action Games
Shadowgun War Games (Free)*
2 Card Games
Shadow Blade: Reload ($4.99)
1 Tower Defense
1 City Builder
1 Fighting Game
5 Sports Games
15 Adventure Games
2 Racing Games
3 Idle/Management Games
What can we glean from a list like this?
For starters, buying everything above would cost the equivalent of paying for Apple Arcade for almost 6.5 years. This also only captures what Apple Arcade looks like now and doesn’t account for the fact that the service plans to continue growing its library over time.
On the other hand, if you wanted to pursue your own Apple Arcade-like library, there are some advantages. First and foremost is the fact that you only have to pay once for these games. You can also pick and choose which ones you actually want, which—depending on how discerning you are—can result in you paying way less than $384.
Personally, I’m still more interested in paying for individual premium games than buying into a subscription service, so I hope more games like the ones above continue to hit the App Store. That said, I understand and am grateful for things like Apple Arcade in their attempt to reinvigorate a platform that has been overrun with free-to-play games.
I’m curious to know how other mobile gamers feel about this. Where do you fall? Let us know in the comments below!