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Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 10.13]

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 13th, 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 10/13:

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 26-50 [Updated 10.13]

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. 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 10.13]

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


51. Threes!+

[img id="110365" alt=""][img id="110366" alt=""]

Description:

Slide over, imitators (I'm looking at you, 2048), the original number-combining tile slider has hit Apple Arcade. This is a game about making the number three and then combining it over and over again to make higher multiples for a high score. The only catch is that every slide you make moves every tile on the board, so you have to be strategic with your slides.

Rank Explanation:

When it released, Threes! was a revelation--a truly new puzzle format that could draw just about anyone into its unique grasp. I still appreciate Threes! from this historical perspective, but I honestly have a hard time going back to play it. Each new run has this long ramp of setting up your board that I find tedious. It's still a good game, but not exactly for me.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 76-100 [Updated 10.13]

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


76. Where Cards Fall

Description:

Where Cards Fall is a mysterious puzzle game that’s difficult to explain. It’s a traversal puzzle game, but you need to move your character from point A to point B by folding and unfolding card structures for him to walk over or around. In between these puzzles, you watch vignettes that unfold a somewhat vague story about the character you’re controlling.

Rank Explanation:

The card stacking mechanics of Where Cards Fall is certainly novel, but the narrative that comes with it seems completely inconsequential and the game moves a bit too slowly for its own good. It’s otherwise a competent puzzle game, but not the strongest traversal puzzler on the service.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 101-125 [Updated 10.13]

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. Blek+

[img id="111007" alt=""]

Description:

Blek+ is a minimal puzzle game about collecting colored balls by drawing lines. The tricky part about it is the lines you draw move in the same way you drew them once you lift your finger. It's kind of a mind-bending idea, and that seems to be the point with the game. Can you train your brain to animate a line to avoid obstacles while achieving your goal?

Rank Explanation:

The idea of Blek+ is much more appealing on paper than it is in practice. I don't find it fun to see my failed drawings sulk off the screen, and I don't find much enjoyment in experimenting with the gameplay to get good at drawing lines to solve the game's more complicated challenges. This ends up reducing most puzzles into trial and error, which is not particularly fun.