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Apple Arcade Review: Price, Features, Games

Apple Arcade is a video game subscription service by Apple. Launched in 2019, it offers more than 100 exclusive video game titles. For as low as $4.99 per month, you gain access to video games optimized for Apple devices.

Interested in getting a subscription? Before getting one, there are a lot of things to know about the service. Here is a complete review on Apple Arcade and its price, features and games.

What is Apple Arcade?

apple arcade
The Verge

 

Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service created by Apple. The service is pretty new with its announcement and launch being just in 2019. It provides users with access to more than 100 games for Apple devices. The devices you can use to play are iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs.

Announced in March 2019 during the iPhone 11’s launch event, Apple Arcade is for premium games. Users will get access to a wide variety of video games on their Apple devices. These games are usually described as being “new and exclusive.” These will also come complete with additional downloadable content without added fees. The games will not feature any microtransactions or ads during gameplay.

The service was finally launched in September 2019. The launch included 60 games as part of its initial lineup. These games are accessible by users with a monthly subscription fee. What makes this subscription worth it is the service’s focus on mobile games. Also making it worth it is the promise that these games are exclusive and highly-polished.

To deliver on their promise, Apple has teamed up with major names in game development. These include Cartoon Network, Konami, LEGO, and SEGA. There are other developers such as Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, and Finji. Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, and Mistwalker Corporation are also included. Snowman and ustwo games are also contributors to the service.

Also, don’t expect to see mainstream games on Apple Arcade. The indie and big-name developers in Apple Arcade have made their games just for this service. While the number of games will increase in the future, expect that games on the service will come and go. This is because the focus of this service is on new and exclusive games.

Users can even share the subscription with multiple users. This is through the use of Family Sharing. Each user would have the same access as you. They can also enjoy various different games at the same time as you. This further makes it worth it to get an Apple Arcade subscription.

 

How to sign up for Apple Arcade?

apple arcade
TechRadar

 

It is easy to get Apple Arcade. Simply follow the steps listed below.

 

Compatible devices for Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade generally works with any Apple devices. These include iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs. But, Apple recommends you to have your device updated before getting Apple Arcade. At the minimum, Apple Arcade supports iOS 13 and iOS 13.1. The service also supports tvOS 13 and iPadOS 13. But, take note that not all devices are equal on Apple Arcade.

There are more games available for iPhones and iPads. Much lesser games are available for Macs and Apple TVs. This all depends on the control layouts used by games on Apple Arcade. Also, there are games that support Made for iPhone controllers. There are also games that support PS4 and Xbox controllers.

 

Price range for Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade currently has two subscription modes. The first one makes you pay $4.99 per month. This gives you access to all the games available on Apple Arcade. There are no additional fees. This is because even additional game contents are free to access.

There is an option to pay $49.99 per year for Apple Arcade. This can save you as much as $9.89 when compared to the monthly payment. Apple Arcade also offers a one-month free trial period. This is for users who want to try out the service before subscribing to it. Once the free trial ends, the monthly subscription applies.

 

Canceling your Apple Arcade subscription

You can cancel your Apple Arcade anytime. This is easy to do and you can even do it on any Apple device.

If you are on your iPhone or iPad, start by heading to the App Store. Then, tap your Apple ID and select Subscriptions. Following this, select Apple Arcade.

Once here, you have two options. You can either Cancel Free Trial or Cancel Subscription. Cancel Free Trial only applies if you are running a free trial. Canceling your free trial ends the free trial immediately. Cancel Subscription applies only if you are running a subscription already.

Once you have chosen an option, press Confirm. On macOS, start by heading to the Mac App Store. Then, click on your Apple ID avatar. Once here, click on View Information. Following this, log in to your Apple ID by inserting your account credentials. Then, click Sign In.

Once you have done this, head to Subscriptions. Click Manage and then click Edit on Apple Arcade. Apple will give you two options again. This is to either Cancel Free Trial or Cancel Subscription. Choose the relevant option for you. Following this, press Confirm.

 

How to use Apple Arcade?

How to Use Apple Arcade
CNet

 

There are a lot of ways on how to use Apple Arcade. These vary depending on the Apple device you are using. Here are some of the ways to use Apple Arcade.

 

Apple Arcade on Mac

To start playing Apple Arcade on the Mac, start by heading to the App Store. Then, go to the Arcade bar. After this, press on Try it free which will start a free trial period. Following this, sign in to your Apple account by inserting your credentials. Then, click on Buy to confirm your subscription.

Once you have subscribed to Apple Arcade, access it through the App Store. Apple Arcade is under the Arcade bar of the App Store. Once here, choose the game that you want to play. Press on Get and then press Install. This will start the download of your game. There is no additional fee for getting the game due to your subscription.

 

Apple Arcade on iPhone and iPad

The way to get Apple Arcade on the iPhone and iPad is similar to the one for Macs.

Start by heading to the App Store. Then, go to the Arcade tab. Look for the Apple Arcade subscription. You can also start a subscription by trying to download an Apple Arcade game. Once here, you can start a subscription. You can also try starting a free trial period. You will then need to log-in to your Apple account.

Once done, you will need to verify your payment details. Then, agree to the terms and conditions. Once your Apple Arcade subscription is set, head back to the Arcade tab. You can now access Apple Arcade games. To do this, simply select a game and download it. The game is free and there is no need to pay an additional fee for downloadable content. Apple Arcade games are safe to download, but for extra security, you can download a Gaming VPN to keep you safe.

 

Apple Arcade on AppleTV

To access Apple Arcade on Apple TV, head to the App Store. Then, select the Arcade tab. You are then asked to select an Apple Arcade subscription.

Once here, you can start a subscription. You can also choose to start a free trial. Once done, you are then asked to log-in to your Apple account. You are then asked to verify your payment details and accept the terms and conditions. Once done, you are now subscribed. You can now access its games by heading to the Arcade tab on the App Store.

 

Parental controls on Apple Arcade

Parental Controls
Photo by Chuck Underwood from Pixabay

 

Parental controls allow you to set up what children can access on Apple Arcade. It restricts children from accessing games that are not meant for them. There are a lot of ways to set up parental controls for Apple Arcade.

On the iPhone or iPad, start by going to the Settings. Then, go to Screen Time. Once here, tap on the family member under Family. Following this, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Then, tap on Content Restrictions. Select Apps and then you have three options. First is you can tap the highest rating that you would allow. Second is you can tap Don’t Allow Apps. Third is you can tap Allow All Apps.

To block multiplayer games, simply head to Multiplayer Games under Content Restrictions. Then, select Don’t Allow.

To block adding friends from Game Center, head to Adding Friends. This option is under Content Restrictions. Then, select Don’t Allow.

To activate parental controls on the Mac, start by heading to System Preference. Then, select Screen Time. Select Content & Privacy and then go to the Stores tab. Once here, choose the maximum allowed rating for apps and games on the Mac

To block multiplayer games and adding friends, head to Content & Privacy. Once here, uncheck Multiplayer Games in Game Center. Also, uncheck Adding Friends in Game Center.

 

Family sharing for Apple Arcade

You can activate family sharing for Apple Arcade. This allows you to share your access with five other family members. Despite sharing the access, your subscription still remains at $4.99 per month.

To start family sharing, check first if you have the following:

  • Apple ID signed in to iCloud
  • Compatible devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac
  • Devices must have at least either iOS 8 or Mac OS X Yosemite

To family share on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, start by going to the Settings. Then, tap on your Apple ID. Once done, select Set Up Family Sharing and then tap Get Started.

Once here, you are then asked to set up the features that you will family share. For Apple Arcade, select iTunes & App Store Purchases. Then, confirm your Apple account and your payment details. From here, you can now invite members for family sharing.

To family share on the Mac, start by going to System Preferences. Then, click on Family Sharing. Follow the on-screen instructions and then invite members for family sharing.

 

Apple Arcade features

apple arcade
MacRumors

 

Apple Arcade offers a lot of useful features for its subscribers. Here are some of its most useful features.

 

Apple Arcade interface 

Apple Arcade is under the Arcade tab on the App Store. This basically means that its interface is the App Store interface. The interface lists the games with the popular or featured ones on the list first. Some games would have a preview while some have their icons shown. Clicking on an icon would show a button that allows the player to play the game.

There are only pros for this feature. This is because the App Store interface is easy to use. This easy-to-use feature is also found for the Apple Arcade interface. Games are also easy to find on Apple Arcade’s interface.

 

Apple Arcade game selection

Apple Arcade has a wide game selection. The subscription service features more than 100 game titles. These games are of high-quality and are exclusive. Known names in the gaming industry worked with Apple to create these games.

The pro of this feature is that you are sure that you are getting quality games. Apple has made these games optimized to run on Apple devices. This means fewer issues and glitches when playing games on your Apple devices.

The con of this feature is that people might not be familiar with these games. Apple has said that popular titles are not included in the service. The service is more of a place to feature high-quality but new games.

 

Apple Arcade multiplayer

There are games in Apple Arcade that have a multiplayer mode. This allows Apple Arcade users to play with people through the Game Center. The multiplayer experience varies depending on the game title.

This means that the pros and cons of this feature largely depend on the game title. There are games that offer good multiplayer gameplay while there are those that do not. For multiplayer mode, it is best to check the reviews of various games for this.

 

Games to get in Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade has a lot of games to offer for its users. Apple describes these games as being high-quality and exclusive. This means that these games work well with Apple devices. Users cannot find these games anywhere else as these games are for the service.

There are currently more than 100 game titles available for the service. This number continues to grow as new games get added to the service. Users can get these games in full without any additional payment. For the best gaming experience you can get a mobile controller and play easily.

Here are some of the games that you should get in Apple Arcade.

 

Shinsekai Into the Depths

shinsekai into the depths
Nintendo

 

Shinsekai Into the Depths is an adventure game created by Capcom. Released in March 2020, it provides an original take on exploring in games. The game is not only a visual experience but also an audio one.

The game is set in the sea. This is following mankind’s move to the sea as the land is now covered in ice. Players take the role of an aquanaut who explores what is beneath the sea. As the ice makes a move on the sea, it forces the player to make an undersea journey.

The game makes the player search what is beneath the seas. While doing so, they must watch out for their oxygen and suit pressure. Along the way, players find not only beautiful aquascape but also past civilizations.

The game features single-player gameplay. It supports gameplay on TV, tabletop and handheld modes. As an Everyone 10+ rated game, it features fantasy violence and mild blood.

 

Mutazione

mutazione
Noisy Pixel

 

Mutazione is an adventure game released by Akupara Games in 2019. Though it starts out as a simple adventure game, players end up getting hooked to its story.

The player starts out as the 15-year old Kai. She travels to the community of Mutazione to take care of her sick grandfather Nonno. The town allows the player to make friends, plant gardens, and go to parties and trips.

But, this community is hiding a secret. It is actually a town overran by mutants. These mutants were a result of a meteor that struck the community. With this, Kai is now tasked to survive this mutant-filled town.

 

Oceanhorn 2

oceanhorn 2
Cornfox & Brothers

 

Oceanhorn 2 is a sequel released by Cornfox & Brothers in 2019. While a sequel, the game is actually set 1000 years before the events of the first game. The player takes the role of a knight in the fantasy world of Gaia.

The player has to deal with Warlock Mesmeroth and the Dark Army. Joining you on your trip are Trin, the granddaughter of a world leader, and Gen, a sword-wielding robot. The players must fight against the Dark Army and the many bosses. They must also explore dungeons and complete puzzles.

 

What the Golf?

what the golf
Triband

 

What the Golf? is a game by Triband that will make you question golf. Released in 2019, it looks like a golf game made for golf lovers. But, actually, it is a game made for non-golf lovers. It does not in any way makes you an improved golf player at the end.

Don’t expect to be hitting golf balls in this game. You could be sinking stuff like cars and houses into holes. There are times you might even be the one that ends up in the hole.

 

Dread Nautical

dread nautical
Zen Studios

 

Zen Studios puts you on a cartoonish yet eerie experience with Dread Nautical. It is a tactical turn-based roleplaying game that has you fighting supernatural forces.

The player controls a team stuck on the cruise liner Hope. This team consists of a former Yakuza, a performer, a detective, and a gamer. Monsters have taken over the cruise ship during what’s supposed to be a vacation for many. The team is now tasked with battling the monsters and looking for survivors on the ship.

 

Guildings

guildings
Medium/Ian Gregory

 

Guildings is a game by Sirvo released in 2019. The game mixes roleplaying, point-and-click, visual novel and adventure elements. What also makes this game interesting is its somewhat absurd story.

The player takes the role of Coda, a young girl who got her first phone. Unknown to her, there are secrets within the phone. Once she accepted the terms and conditions, Coda became bound to a mission she didn’t sign up for. She must start a guild for a quest to save the world.

 

Sayonara Wild Hearts

sayonara wild hearts
Microsoft

 

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a music-based game created by Simogo. The game features the story of a heartbroken girl presented as a “pop album video game.”

You will find yourself in the timeline of a heartbroken girl. But, the gameplay takes place in an alternate universe based on the major arcana of the tarot. The player must go through this world guided by pop music.

Miguel

Miguel

A writer trying to make sense of tech.

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