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Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 11th, 2021

In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.

Over a year into the Apple Arcade experiment, I’m adjusting my approach to these rankings to make it a bit less cumbersome to update and read. For the most part, this means the number of updates on previously released games will decrease, and the text below each entry will be kept to a brief-yet-accurate justification for its positioning.

This has less to do with the pace of Apple Arcade releases and more to do with the fact that the general quality of games on the service simply isn’t what it should be. In the time that one release comes to the service, multiple high quality games hit the App Store that you don’t have to pay monthly upkeep for. Unless something drastic changes with the service, my opinion on it probably won’t change much. With the most recent update bringing older established titles to the service, Arcade is certainly the strongest it has ever been, but additional shakeups like this will need to keep happening to finally sell me on the service.

Anyway, on with the ranking updates:

Game ranking updates for 6/11:

Distract Yourself With These Great Mobile Games on Sale Right Now

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 11th, 2021

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Every day, we pick out a curated list of the best mobile discounts on the App Store and post them here. This list won't be comprehensive, but it every game on it is recommended. Feel free to check out the coverage we did on them in the links below to further vet these discounted games before you decide to buy:

Games marked with an asterisk(*) denote that the entire developer/publisher’s catalog is discounted, despite the fact that all of their games may not be listed here.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 151+ [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 11th, 2021

This is part 7 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

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


151. 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.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 126-150 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 22nd, 2021

This is part 6 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

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


126. INMOST

[img id="102013" alt=""]

Description:

INMOST is a platformer with an emotional story driving things along. You play as a variety of characters through various vignettes, and solve puzzles and learn how these seemingly disparate characters are tied together. To set the mood, INMOST also sports a beautifully dark pixel art style.

Rank Explanation:

I’m intrigued by the story of INMOST, but I don’t really enjoy playing it. The platforming is slow and clunky, and a lot of the puzzles rely on trial-and-error. Instead of feeling challenging—which is what I believe INMOST is going for with these decisions—it makes for a pretty boring and repetitive experience.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 26-50 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 2 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

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


26. Spelldrifter

[img id="101482" alt=""]

Description:

Spelldrifter mashes up collectible card game mechanics with those of a turn-based tactical rpg. You build a party, customize their decks, and then take three heroes into missions where you battle in close quarters. As you play, you start to unravel a story about how fate has tied your adventurers together.

Rank Explanation:

The first thing I’ll say about Spelldrifter is its tone kind of sucks. It reeks of lame baditude, but you can reduce most of this by simply playing the game on mute. Despite this issue, Spelldrifter has enough variety, mechanics, and depth to make it a really engaging and fun experience nonetheless. There’s tons of cool synergies and combos to play around with, and using that in a tactics-based environment feels really novel in a way that a lot of other Apple Arcade games don’t.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 51-75 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 3 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

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


51. ShockRods

[img id="102097" alt=""]

Description:

This is a car combat game, but it moves and plays like a typical third-person shooter. You compete in classic multiplayer shooter modes like capture the flag and team deathmatch, but you control a car that can go from moving forward to strafing sideways no problem. As you play, you can unlock new cars to customize your automotive avatar.

Rank Explanation:

ShockRods feels like an old shooter, but in all the right ways. It’s not trying to make too much sense, and prioritizes gameplay that feels good to make you want to keep playing it. I can’t say this game is too fun on a phone using touch, but using an iPad and a controller it’s a fun throwback multiplayer game.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 76-100 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

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. The Collage Atlas

[img id="107857" alt=""]

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.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 101-125 [Updated 6.11]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

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

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


101. Crossy Road Castle

[img id="103534" alt=""]

Description:

The follow up to Crossy Road is a simple platformer who’s main selling point is that up to four players can wander through its micro stages together. Players collect coins while trying to avoid spikes, enemies, and giant bird bosses, all while piloting voxel animals that reflect the iconic styling of Hipster Whale’s breakout mobile hit.

Rank Explanation:

Crossy Road Castle feels like it has so much potential for zany antics, but is mostly just a pretty mild platformer. Players can’t interact with each other in multiplayer, and the levels themselves don’t feel particularly special aside from being pretty small. The game also has a weird structure where you always start the game from the very beginning and play stages in a random order. The levels aren’t procedurally-generated though, so you end up seeing and playing a lot of the same levels repeatedly.

The best Black Friday mobile game deals

Posted by Jessica Famularo on November 24th, 2017



Black Friday's upon us, and if you've happened to nab a fancy new phone during the week's big savings, you might be searching for some new games to fill up space on your new gadget. There are a lot of great games on sale right now for Black Friday. Here are the best deals on the App Store.

The best sales on the App Store this week

Posted by Jessica Famularo on February 25th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: INVENTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE :: Read Review »



The App Store has quite an exciting lineup of discount games this week that range across a variety of genres. It's a great opportunity to catch up on some of the premium games you may have been holding off on -- and some you can even grab for free. Here are the best deals happening right now.

148Apps's best games of 2016 - Jessica's list

Posted by Jessica Famularo on December 29th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: STYLISH SLASHING :: Read Review »


Say what you will about 2016 in general, you can't deny it was a great year for mobile games. 2016 welcomed a host of creative games across many genres. We saw the explosion of CCGs explode even more, we were treated to a few indie darlings, and, of course, lost our minds over Pokémon GO. It's been a long ride, but a rich one, and now Campbell and I have the very difficult task of picking out the best of the bunch. Here are my top mobile game picks (in no particular order) for 2016.


Legend of the Skyfish manages to borrow quite heavily from The Legend of Zeldawhile still bringing its own unique flair. Stunning artwork reminiscent of northern European fables draws you at every turn, and the mechanics present fresh challenges that are perfectly suited to touch controls.


Pinball has been done over time and time again, and yet PinOut! still found a way to make this arcade classic fresh, fun, and surprisingly addictive. PinOut! combines your typical pinball mechanics with the endless runner genre. Timed runs and clever board design give the game a frenetic feel that keeps you coming back for more.


Burly Men at Sea is more of a storybook experience than anything else, and we're perfectly fine with that. The tale unfurls around you, but you'll have a say in crucial decisions that control the direction of the story. There are many ways that the story can progress, giving the game a good deal of replay value, too. Burly Men at Sea hearkens back to romance tales in the original sense of the word -- world weary travelers heading out into the unknown to seek adventure.


Leave it to Devolver Digital to combine Tinder's swipe mechanics with a political stat balancing act. With its mixture of Monty Python inspired wit and off the rails fantasy wackiness, you never feel too bad when the peasantry revolts and sticks your head on a pike, or the multitude other ways your reign can come to a gruesome end. The game reveals its layers slowly as you assume the throne again and again in a satisfying progression that makes Reigns well worth the price.


This pretty little platformer is more about exploring and completing quests than it is jumping around bopping cartoon monsters on the head. Its nonlinear levels are a refreshing change to this tried and true genre, and its diverse cast of characters all have different ways of interacting with the world, allowing you to solve puzzles with creativity.


Mini Metro's simplicity belies its elegant design. Choose from one of 13 maps and get to work creating a metro system for a real city. As the city expands, so, too, does your rail network. You'll need to take burgeoning populations and geographic obstacles into account as you grow. It requires a good deal of forward thinking and adaptability to succeed.


Sorcery! 4 brings this fantasy gamebook adventure to a satisfying conclusion. Inkle's ability to transform a classic gamebook into an innovative, animated mobile experience is truly admirable, and the writing is some of the best you'll find anywhere.


This strategic, team-based shooter finally made its way to mobile, and we're so glad it did. You control a charming bunch of robot pirates, each with their distinct personality. If the characters don't win you over, though, the tactical combat will. There's a fun range of weapons and accessories to collect, and each crew member brings their own unique set of skills, allowing for a lot of mixing and managing to keep things interesting.


Essentially Neko Atsume meets Super Mario Bros., Super Cat Tales is a beautiful platformer in every sense. Its colorful landscapes are easy on the eye, and the game handles with grace -- there are no control issues to be found here. Super Cat Tales has a smooth difficulty curve and is just forgiving enough to encourage you to keep going. It's everything a classic platformer should be.


Severed is an ambitious dungeon crawler, full of nightmarish scenery and revolting body horror. At the same time, it's a poignant story of loss and love. You play as Sasha, a girl tasked with roaming an eerie purgatory in search of her lost family members. The story is told through powerful cutscenes and various emphemera you uncover on your journey. The battle system is perfectly suited for touch screens, as you slash and tap monsters in a timed dance that requires coordination and keen strategy. It's one of the most memorable experiences on any platform this year.

What are your favorite games of the year? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Mini Metro review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on October 17th, 2016
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: INVENTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE
This transit-based puzzle game is a zen-like experience with a minimal aesthetic.
Read The Full Review »

GDC 2015 - These are the 6 Best Games We Saw at This Year's Game Developers Conference

Posted by Rob Rich on March 11th, 2015

There were a lot of really cool and interesting games on display at this year's Game Developers Conference, which made narrowing down this list extremely difficult. Just because a game isn't featured here doesn't mean it didn't impress me, but if you happened to be in San Francisco last week and saw an iOS game you'd like to mention then by all means please do so in the comments below.

And so, let's take a gander at 148Apps' top picks from GDC 2015.


GDC 2015 - the Stylish and Minimalist Puzzler Mini Metro is Coming to iOS

Posted by Rob Rich on March 3rd, 2015

As a native New Yorker - and by extension, a person who's quite familiar with subway systems - I found the concept of Mini Metro to be instantly appealing. Of course it's only available on Steam. Or at least, it was.

Dinosaur Polo Club has been hard at work bringing the stylish, minimal, and exceedingly clever Mini Metro to iOS. The basic idea is that you have to run a metro subway system by creating train lines that reach different stops, and ferrying riders around before they get too cranky after waiting an age and a half to get to their destination. Easier said than done, obviously.

The build I was able to get our hands on is still in the early stages but it already plays quite well on a touch screen. Dragging new lines around or editing existing ones is pretty fluid, and adding new trains and train cars is quite easy. Keeping everybody happy by balancing your subway lines, not so much.

Mini Metro will be coming to iOS (definitely on the iPad and potentially on the iPhone as well) sometime in Q4 later this year. Keep your eyes peeled for this one. Seriously, they pretty much had to wrestle the iPad away from me after the demo.