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Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on November 17th, 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 11/17:

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 126-150 [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 16th, 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 | 151-175 | 176+


126. Possessions.

[img id="101489" alt=""]

Description:

Possessions. is a game about rotating dioramas around to solve perspective-shifting puzzles. A picture might be hanging in midair, for example, and you need to slide your camera perspective so that it fills an empty space on the gallery wall of the bedroom. As you complete levels, you’re also treated to mini-cutscenes that tell a small story about the people that inhabit these spaces.

Rank Explanation:

The puzzle mechanics of Possessions. are really neat, but I’d like to see them in a more compelling package. The challenge in this game never really evolves, and only gets harder by adding more objects to fix (and sometimes via a fixed order or logic that is never really explained). The story this game tells is also so vague that it might as well not even be there. It seems like it’s going for something emotional, but there’s not enough detail or information to really tell what is going on, making it just feel like a bunch of filler.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 151-175 [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 16th, 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 | 151-175 | 176+


151. 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 - 176+ [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 16th, 2021

This is part 8 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+


176. Towaga: Among Shadows

[img id="102401" alt=""]

Description:

Towaga: Among Shadows is a sequel to Towaga, which is a defense shooter where you stand in place and blast away at shadowy creatures with beams of light. Much like its predecessor, Among Shadows is gorgeously animated and moves at a super smooth frame rate. This sequel also adds a "Flying Mode" which feels a lot like a dual-stick shooter.

Rank Explanation:

Aside from having some nice animation, Towaga: Among Shadows is a pretty hum-drum shooter. It’s also one that makes you grind out a currency to improve your ability to beat certain levels. Even in early stages it feels like it doesn’t matter how good your reflexes are. If you don’t have the stats, you won’t succeed. Not a great look for an action game.

The Top 10 Mobile Games of the Generation

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 8th, 2020

With new consoles coming out soon, it's inevitable for folks to want to look back and determine what were the best games that came out across the current console's lifecycle. This process is commonly referred to as picking the best games of the generation, but that terminology is making less and less sense as the games industry expands beyond console hardware and the systems themselves see half-step upgrades.

As silly as it may be as an exercise, I thought it would be fun to go back and look at "this generation" of mobile titles and pick and rank the ten best. In terms of time period, this takes us back to November 2013, which is actually interesting timing for mobile games. It's a world where Flappy Bird already released but hadn't yet become a cultural phenomenon, and the latest and greatest iPhone was the 5S.

Anyway, enough preambling, let's get to the list. See below for the best mobile games of the generation:

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 26-50 [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 16th, 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 | 151-175 | 176+


26. Exit the Gungeon

Description:

Exit the Gungeon is an action roguelite that has elements of bullet hell shooters. You ride elevators and clear floors of enemies that are shooting at you constantly. A couple twists are that 1) bullets can’t hurt you as long as you are airborne (or rolling) and 2) your gun transforms to have different properties every few seconds. It’s a wild, hectic time.

Rank Explanation:

I have a hard time imagining another action-oriented game charting higher on this list. Exit the Gungeon is simply fantastic. It’s endlessly replayable, humorous, and devilishly difficult (without feeling unfair). While it is definitely best played using a controller, Exit the Gungeon changes its mechanics for touch play in a way that makes a manageable (though a bit less enjoyable) experience.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 101-125 [Updated 11.17]

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 16th, 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 | 151-175 | 176+


101. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls

[img id="112988" alt=""]

Description:

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls is a reboot of what was initially envisioned as a free-to-play game where you collect characters and gear from the iconic Castlevania series as you go on dungeon runs through cursed grimoires. This reboot keeps almost all of those components intact, but does away with the parts where you can spend money, allowing you to grind out currencies to kit out Alucard, the Belmonts, and others to complete increasingly difficult levels full of dark fantasy monsters and bosses.

Rank Explanation:

Grimoire of Souls is a snooze-fest if you are expecting anything approaching a Castlevania game. I'm partial to the "Metroidvania" versions of these games, but even if you like the level-based titles there is very little of interest here. All of the challenge comes from your ability to grind and match the power of the enemies you're fighting. Upgrade-a-thons aren't necessarily bad. They can be meditative, and this one has polish and has some fun with Castlevania lore, but it doesn't feel special in the slightest.

Twinfold guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 7th, 2018

Twinfold may look like a cheap Threes! clone at first glance, but it's so much more than that. It's actually a rather deep roguelite with a really satisfying difficulty curve and almost endless replayability.

Since the game's depth does take some digging to understand, your first few games of Twinfold might not go so well. Check out these tips to help you improve your game faster.

Twinfold review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on December 5th, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: THREES
This game borrows heavily from Sirvo Studios’s Threes! but the result is a game that feels completely unique and brilliant.
Read The Full Review »

The best puzzle games for iPhone and iPad

Posted by Harry Slater on May 23rd, 2018

In the latest part of our roundup of the best games in specific genres, we're going to take a look at the best puzzle games you can pick up for iPhone and iPad. And there are some of the very best games period on this list, so it's definitely going to be worth your while to give it a read.

We've added download links and links to our reviews as well, so you can make sure you've got all the knowledge you need before you make a purchase. And if you've got your own suggestions to add, then make sure you chuck them in the comments at the bottom of the list. We'd really appreciate it.

BoneSwiper review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on November 22nd, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: DUNGEON THREES
This Threes!-like may not look too pretty, but its got a lot of neat ideas.
Read The Full Review »

Sidewords review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on July 20th, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SPATIAL SPELLING
Sidewords turns the traditional conventions of word games on their heads in a way that is truly unique and fun.
Read The Full Review »

4 smart and stylish puzzle games like TypeShift

Posted by Jessica Famularo on March 27th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: TERRIFIC TYPOGRAPHY :: Read Review »


TypeShift launched a little over a week ago, offering some puzzling new challenges for word nerds equipped with an iOS device. Created by Zach Gage, the mind behind Spelltower, TypeShift boasts, like its predecessor, a sleak design and some very smart puzzles. TypeShift isn't alone though. If you're looking for more slick mobile puzzle games, why not try one of these other games?

Byte Master Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 17th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TECHY THREES
Byte Master might seem like a Threes! clone, but there's more going on underneath its surface.
Read The Full Review »

4 Games We Really Want to See on the Apple Watch

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 2nd, 2015

So, the Apple Watch launch is very nearly upon us, presumably changing our lives in ways that we can only imagine, much like the iPhone before it. Failing that, hopefully it’ll be a cool and useful watch to own. We thought we’d take a look at four of the games we’d love to see make their way to the device, bearing in mind the limitations that its size might offer.