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Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 7.26]

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 26th, 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 7/26:

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 151+ [Updated 7.26]

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. Star Fetched

[img id="102015" alt=""]

Description:

There’s a lot of genre-mixing going on in Star Fetched. It’s an action platformer, but it also has a good amount of crafting, rpg elements, and even tower defense. The whole concept of the game is you’re a goofy little space explorer looking to save the galaxy from an imminent alien threat.

Rank Explanation:

None of Star Fetched’s component parts feel fully cooked. Come to think of it, the game just doesn’t seem finished. In addition to feeling shallow on all fronts, Star Fetched has a lot of rough edges. Tons of bugs hamper what would already be a pretty middling experience. It has lots of neat ideas, though so it scores above some other games in that regard.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 126-150 [Updated 7.26]

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. Ballistic Baseball

[img id="101699" alt=""]

Description:

Remember when sports games weren’t hyper-realistic simulations? Remember when they were just cartoony approximations that didn’t take themselves too seriously? That’s the whole deal with Ballistic Baseball. This multiplayer baseball game has players take turns across three innings trying to outwit each other through pitching mind games and quick-reaction hits to bring in runs. The player who sneaks in more runs than their opponent wins. Simple as that.

Rank Explanation:

I don’t like Gameloft. They routinely make gorgeous knock-offs of console and PC games and load them up with in-app purchases in the process. So imagine my surprise when they put out a game on Apple Arcade and it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable multiplayer baseball game. Sure, it’s definitely still derivative, but its bigger problem is a complete lack of online opponents at this time.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 26-50 [Updated 7.26]

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. Neo Cab

[img id="100905" alt=""]

Description:

Neo Cab is a narrative adventure game where you work nights as a cab driver in the cyberpunk metropolis that is Los Ojos. As you drive around, you pick up all sorts of interesting characters and chat with them. While you do this, you need to balance your car’s charge, your driver rating, and try to solve an overarching mystery.

Rank Explanation:

There’s a lot of things I really like about Neo Cab’s look and storytelling, but there’s also a lot of things that make it a pretty poor mobile experience. The game has a great vibe and sharp writing, but there are way too few checkpoints in the game and it’s just a tad too easy to miss dialogue.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 51-75 [Updated 7.26]

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. Survival Z

[img id="109261" alt=""]

Description:

A zombie shooter that takes after Slay the Spire's structure, Survival Z has you shooting, looting, dying, and repeating on loop in hopes building a survivor strong enough to take on overwhelming waves of undead. Along the way, you'll also build up an arsenal of defenses to deploy and survivor companions to shoot alongside.

Rank Explanation:

Survival Z would be dangerously close to my new favorite Apple Arcade game, but it's one of those games that squanders its potential at every turn. I'd love its roguelike structure if it didn't seem so dependent on grinding. Deploying defense structures gives Survival Z a tower defense vibe, but your access to them is disappointingly limited. The worst part about the game right now though is its hit boxes, which allow zombies to hit you from unreasonable distances.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 76-100 [Updated 7.26]

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 Hitchhiker

[img id="109872" alt=""]

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.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 101-125 [Updated 7.26]

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. BADLAND+

[img id="111006" alt=""]

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.

The 5 Best Mobile Games Like Grindstone

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 31st, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Apple Arcade made a splash when it first launched, granting access to over 50 games as soon as it became available. Of those titles, the one that seemed to grab most people’s attention was Grindstone, a matching puzzle game from Capy Games.

In order to enjoy Grindstone though, you have to activate an Apple Arcade subscription, which—even now—doesn’t quite feel like a quality value proposition for most people. Luckily, there are some great games on the regular old App Store that share some DNA with Grindstone. I’d even go so far as to say over half the games on this list are better than Grindstone, though I know that’s probably not a statement most folks will agree with.

In any case, check out the picks below. Oh, and click here to check out all the other great lists we’ve been making recently.

Spelltower+ review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on January 30th, 2020
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: POLISHED REWRITE
Spelltower+ is an incredible overhaul of a really great word game.
Read The Full Review »

The top 5 best word games for iPhone and iPad

Posted by Harry Slater on February 6th, 2019

Word games can be a tricky genre to pin down. There are so many variations out there that sometimes it's hard to decide whether or not a game fits into the little pocket you're trying to push it into. That doesn't bother us though, because it's our job to do things like that. Which is why we've written this list of the best words game for iOS.

We're pretty sure we've picked five games that best represent every corner of the word game genre, from mystery to action, with a fat chunk of puzzling thrown in for good measure. Some of these games are going to make you think about the words you use in a completely different way, and we think that's something that should be shouted from the rooftops.

If you've got your own favorite word game that hasn't been included on the list, do let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article. And if you click here you can check out all of the other lists on the site - each one is a work of exquisite beauty, even if we do say so ourselves. Right then, on with the word games.

Typeshift review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on March 24th, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: TERRIFIC TYPOGRAPHY
This word game is so well-designed that it raises the bar for what word games should be.
Read The Full Review »

SpellTower creator's new game arrives this month

Posted by Jessica Famularo on March 8th, 2017


Zach Gage may have made his first word game because he wasn’t particularly fond of the genre, but after his hit SpellTower things changed. The indie designer is hard at work on a new game for word nerds. This time around instead of a crossword puzzle twist like Spelltower, the game looks to feature tricky anagram puzzles.

SpellTower getting a big update; teams up with Merriam-Webster

Posted by Jessica Famularo on February 3rd, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FANTASTIC :: Read Review »



We've covered the sleek and stylish word puzzler SpellTower in the past, and now the game is back on the radar again with a huge new update -- the first in quite some time -- arriving on February 9.


The best word games like Word Cookies!

Posted by Jessica Famularo on December 21st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad


If you’re not sick of cookies yet (if that’s even a thing), you might want to try out Word Cookies!, a delicious word game that has you picking words out of trays of freshly baked cookies. It’s a good challenge, but also surprisingly relaxing. If you love word games, you can’t do wrong by trying. Or maybe you’re already a tried and true Word Cookies! veteran ready to branch out into something new. Word games are not uncommon on the app store, so we’ve narrowed down five of the best to help you get your fix.

Me, My Mum And Our Mutual Love Of Apps And Games

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 8th, 2013

When I was growing up, my friends' parents never really got gaming. Some might have appreciated that their kids loved playing games, and would still buy them the relevant equipment, but they never really understood why it excited us so much. I happened to be part of a, then, very select group. I had parents who figured it out perfectly. My Dad was never any good at playing any games but he enjoyed talking about them because he was forever fascinated by the progression of technology. It was my Mum, however, that turned into a major rival. In the good sense, of course.


As a kid, we would have battles to beat each other's Tetris scores. We'd compete at games of Columns too, meeting up to work together to progress through Bubble Bobble (we never did beat it).

One of the most important things I believe I've ever been given is a set of parents that were constantly supportive and encouraging of what I set out to achieve. That's continued right up until today.

With my father sadly no longer with us, my relationship with my mother is even stronger than it was before. Having pursued a potentially risky path of freelance writing, she's always been there fully supportive. Whether it be by accepting that money is a little tight this month, or by making sure I've got a sandwich by my side while I struggle to meet a tight deadline. Of course, I do the same for her, but Sunday isn't about me, it's about her!


Crucially, she's quite the solo gamer and tech enthusiast now. In recent years, she spent a few hundred hours playing through Dragon Quest VIII on the Playstation 2. Something that I'm rather proud of telling other gamers. More relevantly for readers of 148apps, perhaps, she's unlocked and at least two-starred every single level of Angry Birds imaginable, and I don't mean just standard Angry Birds. I'm talking standard, Space, Star Wars, Seasons and Rio. She's a machine when it comes to flicking birds towards pigs.

We've got the one iPad between us which luckily isn't too much of an issue, although it never stops either of us flocking to the Apple Store together to gaze at the new specimens. Sure, we both know that the iPad 2 is a very fine device in its own right but that doesn't stop either of us eyeing up the size of the iPad Mini or pondering just how much faster the iPad 4 might seem. She's got her own iPhone now too, having been given my "old" iPhone 4. It's the perfect tool for her to play SpellTower while on the move, her language skills being far superior to mine.

She hasn't quite delved into the apps world as much yet. She reckons it's because she's too busy. I reckon it's because there's always "just one more" level of Angry Birds to conquer.

I'm an extremely lucky person to have not only such a supportive mother, but one that is just as excited as me about new technology, gadgets and the wonders of the App Store.

Happy Mother's Day, Mum. :) [And from all of us at 148Apps, too, Jen's mum! --Ed.]