Apple Arcade is Apple’s answer for the demand for subscription based gaming. With a variety of games for Apple products owners to play with there is something for every gaming enthusiast. Apple was very kind to give us here at BG4Ghub with an annual membership and we’d like to start off by personally thanking them.
Despite Apple being tight regarding cloud based gaming, is there alternative worth investing into? Well after our first week with Apple Arcade, here s the first impressions article about their own gaming service.
How Much Is It?
Apple Arcade is priced, as of writing this article, for £4.99 a month or £49.99 annually. With other competing subscription game services this annual price is very appealing to the eye of the consumer. For example, the price is set for one year, whereas Xbox Gamepass Ultimate is priced for £32.99 for 3 months. Although there is more offered with the Xbox side of things, the pricing for one year is more expensive.
If we look at the other side of the coin with PlayStation Now, it is actually priced exactly the same as Apple Arcade (£49.99). Having an annual pass to this service is more competitive in regards to pricing. Especially when compared to Microsoft’s service, which the longest purchasable membership is 3 months. We can’t count out that Gamepass & Gold is sold separately. However, for the purpose of this article, we’re going to directly compare to the highest tiered membership. Money aside, what else does Apple have going for it.
Where Can I Play Apple Arcade?
Well if we’re looking at the accessibility in regards to platforms in where players can access the service, this does hinder the service. In order to play through Apple Arcade, players are going to need an Apple device. Whether it be on a Mac, Apple TV Device or a handheld device (an iPad, for example). Of course, it’s also worthwhile to mention that memberships can be shared with family members.
As unfortunate as this is, it’s understandable as it is a selling point for their devices, which for me personally it works. However, I’ll get into the sole reason to sign up later on. Nevertheless, let’s stick with accessing the service. It is more accessible when compared to PlayStation Now but lacks majorly when compared to Xbox Gamepass.
Xbox Gamepass Ultimate members have the choice to play via Xbox consoles, PC’s and Android products (through cloud gaming). For this area it just doesn’t hold a candle when compared to Xbox, but competes with PS Now & Stadia. The reason it’s competitive in regards to where to play when compared to PS Now is because it’s available on more devices. Also, it’s far more superior than Stadia (and other sole streaming services) in that it doesn’t require a good internet connection.
The Real Appeal, The Games!
In order for any subscription based gaming service to thrive depends on the quality & quantity of games. With Apple Arcade, their selection of games is surprisingly impressive. Although I was expecting a selection of games that are deemed as cheap mobile games, due to being mostly available on mobile devices.
But alas my expectations were pleasantly proven wrong. With this service, there is a hefty amount of games to sink a gamers teeth into. Quality titles that deserve to be playable on the consoles are available through this service. Team 17’s The Survivalists as well as Oceanhorn 2, both are examples of games that offer so much more than a regular game you’d expect from the App Store.
Although there are high quality games available which offer rich storylines and immersive gameplay & graphics, there are still many more on offer. Different genres are presented to gamers including those that resonate with mobile games that many people know and love. Games such as ‘Mini Motorways’ and ‘Word Laces’ offer simplified gameplay which can be quick to play and easy to learn from the get go.
Controlling The Games
Such mobile flavoured games are best played with on screen touch controls, which works best on the iPad & iPhone. Whilst these controls are fine for some games but for others it’s unplayable. Games such as the aforementioned Oceanhorn and others like Hot Lava essentially need a controller to play.
Of course, with the Apple TV this is an obvious statement, however touch controls do apply with the handheld devices. Touch controls are appreciated for every game but it’s something gamers should not succumb to if they can find an alternative.
Speaking with controls, the latency between my iPad & my Xbox controller works flawlessly with multiple games. Nevertheless I’m sure that each device’s connection could depend on certain aspects like the age & conditions. But from personal perspective & experience I’ve had no issues regarding performance with both the controllers and the games themselves.
Working Around Apple Arcade.
Figuring out how to access, setup and use Apple Arcade was a breeze. The service is embedded within the App Store, under their own section, which is easy to access and appreciated.
The aforementioned page is then separated into segments that are bold and easy to read, sections such as genres, games coming soon and personally selected games that suit your play style.
Setting up a subscription to the service is as well, very easy. At the top of the Apple Arcade page is a button which leads to the player signing up to the service. It is as easy as clicking one button and selecting the tiers that were mentioned at the top of this article. Once a membership is set up downloading games is the next step and of course, like everything else, simple and straightforward. To download a video game all that is required is a tap on the “GET” button, that’s it!
Working with Apple Arcade has been a very easy experience. Exploring what is available, is also easy. Also, obtaining the selected games as well is simple, like downloading an app.
The Final Verdict.
After a week with Apple Arcade and playing around with what is available is only the surface to what is to be another worthwhile service. I am genuinely excited to see what Apple brings me as a gamer. A phenomenal selection of games that will cater to a variety of players, even including many gems that are waiting to be found.
I haven’t tested multiplayer as I am more of a solo gamer. Controls are varied depending on the game but with my Xbox controller, everything has been smooth and flawless. The service is brilliant thus far. I look forward to continuing my subscription and playing a great class of games.
For more information regarding Apple Arcade, click here!
For more BG4GHub News, Reviews & Other Articles, click here!