Apple Arcade is a subscription service that lets you play 180+ games on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac.
It hasn’t been promoted anything like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, but is still a great deal if you’re interested in trying something outside of mega-budget console games, particularly on Apple's family of mobile devices.
Don’t know what to try? Sifting out the gold in a big pile of titles you’ve never heard of isn’t easy, so we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you and take a quick look at every single game on Apple Arcade.
In just a few words we’ll tell you what to expect and offer some micro-reviews based on our own play sessions. Ready?
Three word review: Love obsessed puzzler
It looks like a platformer but A Fold Apart is a puzzler in which you fold parts of the screen, like pages of a pulpy romance novel, to reunite a pair of sappy lovebirds.
Three word review: Action heavy racer
Take each car chase and driving scene from action movies of the last 50 years, leave them to simmer on the hob until you have a dense tangy paste, compress it all into a stock cube and you have Agent Intercept — a fast, action-packed vehicular romp.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Miniature environmental Zelda
Don’t miss this beautiful, relaxing adventure. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure has some of the world-building charm of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a stronger environmental message. Alba’s out to save the wildlife of the island on which her grandparents live. You take pictures of the local fauna, and the whole thing can be done and dusted in a few hours, so there’s no open world bloat.
Three word review: Avian road trip
Help a chicken find its lost chicks by pausing and swapping the circles that highlight the obstacles and dangers in each level.
Three word review: Log-flipping puzzler
Make your way from island to island by flipping logs which let you get over bodies of water. You’ll need to position the logs carefully to get them in the right place, mind.
Three word review: Broken gadget simulator
This gentle puzzler from ustwo, the team of geniuses behind Monument Valley, sees you take apart and repair gadgets like watches and cameras. A relaxing experience with bags of style.
Three word review: Rhythm game RPG
This moody isometric RPG adventure turns into a rhythm game when you get into fights. There are puzzles too: a multi-faceted one, this.
Three word review: It’s baseball, stupid
Animations with some of the snappy, vivacious aesthetic of games like Team Fortress 2 and Fortnite give this casual baseball game a punchy feel.
Three word review: Cute vertical shooter
A vertical shooter with a twist. You fire out your character into each level, bustin’ baddies to reveal coins. And then a rope pulls you back to the start, when your net deploys to grab the cash.
Beyond a Steel Sky (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Point ’n’ click
Gaming veterans take note. Beyond a Steel Sky is a sequel to the 1994 point ’n’ click adventure Beneath a Steel Sky. Think a classic adventure with modern graphics. Newcomers who like a sci-fi adventure should also give it a go.
Three word review: Chilled scuba diving
A great showcase for the graphical power of iOS devices, Beyond Blue sees you swim through the sea, chasing down giant whale sharks, dolphins and other ocean-dwellers. It’s relaxing, and even potentially educational for the little ones.
Three word review: Mini games ahoy!
Reaction-based mini games with a sport veneer. Big Time Sports has a distinctive visual style and is best played with friends.
Bleak Sword (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: 8-bit Dark Souls
Don’t be put off by Bleak Sword’s ultra-pixelated graphics. It looks great in motion. This is a stylish and highly distinctive horror action game that has some of the same dark DNA as a title like Dark Souls or Bloodborne.
Three word review: Twin-stick MOBA
A battle arena shooter without the violence, Butter Royale sees up to 32 players firing sauce at each other in a large arena. Has some of the appeal of today’s online first-person shooters, but is viewed from top-down.
Card of Darkness (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Card-y dungeon crawler
You may be able to tell from the look, but Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward had a hand in Card of Darkness. It’s cute AF. But underneath that sits a compulsive card-based dungeon crawler. As you progress you’ll find more powerful cards to use in each level. These levels represent a floor of the dungeon. It’s an epic adventure shrunk down to iPhone-friendly proportions.
Three word review: Magic the Gathering
Cardpocalypse grafts a story onto the gameplay of a one-on-one card battler. Cute graphics and a kid-friendly theme make it more accessible than some of the “grown-up” alternatives in this genre.
Cat Quest II (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Feline action adventure
You could easily pile 10+ hours into this friendly adventure. Yes, you’re a cat, but there’s solid hack and slash mechanics bolstered by character-upgrading RPG systems underneath, to appeal to the non-cat people. You can tell it’s a console-grade game, not least because you can also buy Cat Quest II for PS4, Xbox One and Switch.
Three word review: Football on fast-forwards
Charrua Soccer is UK/European football played at intense speed, cramming the action of a 90-minute match into a time slot that suits a trip to the toilet. It’s quick and fun.
Three word review: Retro game revival
The original ChuChu Rocket! made its debut on Dreamcast way back in 1999. Now, it returns with a new space theme on Apple Arcade. Gameplay is much as we remember; you have to direct your space mice across each level to avoid the space cats.
Three word review: Hand-drawn charm
There’s something about the hand-drawn art style of Creaks that instantly draws us in. It adds atmosphere, and a sense of world-building you don’t always get in a puzzler like this. Explore an otherworldly mansion and be prepared for some mild brain-teasing. It comes from the makers of Machinarium, which is no surprise given Creaks’ graphical style.
Cricket Through the Ages (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Pure physics insanity
First things first: don’t approach Cricket Through the Ages expecting a traditional cricket game. It has a much wider appeal than that. Levels include a battle between bone-wielding cavemen, jousting knights and exploding samurai. You might learn a tiny bit about how real-world cricket works, but it's gags and ridiculous cartoony physics that hold this game together, not cricketing.
Three word review: Not Crossy Road
The original Crossy Road is about, well, crossing increasingly unlikely roads. Crossy Road Castle is completely different, a platform with a co-op mode for up to four players.
Three word review: Cartoon twin-stick mayhem
A twin-stick shooter. You are a ghostbuster who racks up money for each ghost exorcised. It’s fast and manic, and you get to upgrade your abilities between levels.
Dear Reader (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Literary word game
There are countless word games for iOS, but Dear Reader uses actual text from works of literature that have slipped out of copyright, including classics from Jane Austen, Voltaire and Jules Verne. You fill in the right missing words, or swap them, to restore the original text. This one might even nudge a couple of you to read some of the classics afterwards.
Three word review: Genre mash-up
Not content with one genre, Decoherence dabbles in a bunch. It’s part twin-stick shooter, part tower defense, part strategy game. Not the simplest, so this one is probably best experienced on iPad.
Three word review: Obtuse, surreal, engaging
A first-person puzzle adventure with an eerie atmosphere. Your aim is to restore color to a world turned monochrome. It’s a quickie, with an average length of just over an hour according to howlongtobeat.com, but you might find yourself stumped by some of its puzzles.
Three word review: Colorful arcade retro
Dodo Peak borrows gameplay mechanics from a few classic arcade games, like Qbert. Scale the mountain to rescue your lost chicks while avoiding enemies. This one gets middling reviews, but certainly has visual charm.
Three word review: Martian tower defense
One of the early Apple Arcade releases, Don’t Bug Me! is an odd tower defense game set on Mars with some incongruous first-person shooter sections.
Three word review: Breezy, brief puzzler
A short isometric puzzler in which you play as a cut bulbous robot. Not too hard, not too long.
Three word review: Charming isometric puzzler
The beautifully drawn Down in Bermuda sees you explore various themed islands, each of which is packed with puzzles.
Three word review: Pint-sized X-Com
A turn-based battle strategy title. You have to save a ship from supernatural nasties across 20 decks.
Three word review: Artistic aerial platforming
Dragons have invaded earth. Earthnight is packed with the things. It’s a platformer of sorts, but one in which you spend much of your time in the air, rather than sauntering along platforms.
Three word review: Pain and gain
Sequel to Enter the Gungeon, Exit the Gungeon is a hardcore single-screen quasi-platformer with 16-bit style graphics and a major focus on gunplay. Your weapon changes almost constantly, forcing you to change your strategy on the fly.
Three word review: Aerial cat carnage
Cats in planes shooting guns all day long. That is the Explottens way. You have to dart around each level constantly to avoid enemy fire. It’s an unrelenting dogfight.
Three word review: Mega Man wannabe
A classic-style, Mega Man-inspired action platformer with virtual gamepad controls if you choose to use the touchscreen. Fallen Knight would be a good title to test a wireless gamepad.
Three Word review: Upcoming slice-em-up
Not yet available at the time of publishing, but Farm It! looks like fun. You swipe to slice a knife through crops and fields, which burst into blocks, and then use the resources to plant new stuff.
Three word review: Bird-based runner
Remember Flappy Bird? Fledgling Heroes is a more built-up take on that style of aerial gameplay. You tap to flap your wings, and have to manoeuvre to avoid obstacles, and pick-up collectables.
Three word review: Original Apple showcase
Frogger in Toy Town was one of the main showcase games when Apple first unveiled Arcade. We can see why. It looks great. However, it’s not the perfect execution of the frogger formula, where you hop through environments to avoid dangers.
Three word review: Build that wall
Pretty much the polar opposite of Telltale’s graphic adventure Game of Thrones, Tale of Crows sees you take on the role of the Night’s Watch. You send out expeditions and maintain the wall's defenses. But instead of watching the action happen, you issue commands and then come back to the game every now and then to see how it all turned out. It’s not action-packed, but that's not the idea.
Grindstone (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: (Non) Bloody brilliant fun
Want a truly unmissable Apple Arcade game? You’ve found it. Grindstone looks a bit like Candy Crush but maps symbol-matching gameplay onto an adventure. It’s made by Capybara Games, which produced classics like Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery and Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. Looking for games for the kids? Don’t worry. While there’s plenty of slashing action here, there’s no blood.
Three word review: Roleplay meets novel
A quirky RPG that is part visual novel, which should suit if you want a story and don’t mind doing a bit of reading.
Three word review: Six-sided puzzling
No fancy visual themes here, just colourful hexagonal pieces and fast-paced action-infused puzzles. Make your way through the maze-like levels, moving left or right at each turn.
Three word review: Muddy multiplayer mayhem
It’s three versus one in this farm-themed multiplayer title. You play as either the farmer, who has to clean up the farm, or as one of the muddy pigs, spreading muck far and wide. We know which side we’d choose.
Three word review: Game show parkour
Watched Floor is Lava on Netflix? This is a game based on the same idea. You can’t touch the floor because, this time, it is literally lava. Parkour your way over platforms to complete levels. You’ll need to spend a little time to master the controls but a wireless gamepad helps.
Three word review: Slap-happy sport
Take ice hockey, remove the ice, add even more violence and you have HyperBrawl: Tournament. It’s a future-tinged 2-on-2 sports ball game with ultra-short rounds to keep the action snappy.
INMOST (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Spellbinding
“A moving story of loss and hope” wound into a good-looking puzzle platformer. With play time of around three hours this is just the kind of game we want to see on Apple Arcade. Highly recommended for fans of games like Inside and Braid.
Three word review: Positive role model
A charming 8-10 hour adventure with a story-led approach and a liberal smattering of puzzles that won’t leave you scratching your head for too long. The main meat of the game is played in side-scrolling platformer style.
Three word review: Quickfire by design
Jumper Jon is an exploration-based side-scroller where time is always an issue. A 30-second timer sits at the top of the screen. If it runs out, it’s game over and you have to head back to the last checkpoint. Fill it up by picking up items or killing enemies.
Three word review: Big-headed battler
Train a team of giant-headed warriors to take into battle. This one looks cute, but be prepared to get your head around some reasonably deep systems as you progress.
Three word review: Jumping Flash 2021
Explore islands and pick up enough gems to free the prince, who has been locked in the castle. We get strong Jumping Flash vibes from Kings of the Castle. For those not as ancient as us, that was an early PlayStation game.
Three word review: Old-school Zelda-ing
The top-down isometric action of Legend of the Skyfish 2 reminds us of the earlier Zelda games. But that’s no bad thing.
Three word review: Super Smash Brickers
Super Smash Bros. meets Capture the Flag, LEGO Brawls is a chaotic fighting game. Up to eight can play at once.
Three word review: LEGO gets deep
What’s this? A deep and meaningful LEGO game? That’s right. A great way to relax after a session with LEGO Brawls. You complete construction puzzles using, obviously, LEGO bricks.
Three word review: Art meets gaming
A hypnotic and beautiful Apple Arcade title in which you control a little blob of light. Experiment with how Lifelike’s swarms of particles (or creatures) react to solve its levels.
Three word review: Paper plane simulator
Pilot a paper plane through 21 levels. We’ve enjoyed chilled glider games like this since the early days of the App Store. Lifeslide isn’t a true exploration game as you effectively fly downhill through a wide corridor, but sink into it and you’ll feel your heart rate dropping as you relax.
Three word review: High production values
An adventure puzzle-platformer from The Chinese Room, makers of games like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Death Esther, Little Orpheus aims for madcap rather than meaningful. Still, it’s beautiful and has the great sound design you’d expect from a developer with The Chinese Room’s reputation.
Three word review: So very Nickelodeon
Loud House: Outta Control probably isn’t the sort of game you’d expect from a glance. It’s not an adventure or a light role-player. It’s an air traffic control game like iOS classic Flight Control, but you direct family members rather than planes.
Three word review: Illuminating puzzler?
This one is listed as “coming soon” at the time of writing so we haven’t had a chance to play, but it’s one of those familiar puzzlers where you direct light beams to send them to a certain spot in a grid-based play field.
Three word review: Trippy gravity puzzles
A first-person puzzler in which you play with gravity to make progress and, quite possibly, scramble your brain in the process.
Three word review: Marble Madness reborn
Control a marble and guide it through mazes of ever-increasing complexity. Marble It Up: Mayhem! uses a camera that sticks close to your ball for a real sense of speed. Exciting, if perhaps a little too challenging for some, as the controls battle with the later levels’ designs.
Three word review: Fantasy roller disco
A co-op adventure in which the main characters stand atop rolling marbles. Play with friends for the most fun.
Three word review: Stress versus calm
Vertical shooters like Mind Symphony are usually high-stress experiences in which you constantly move to avoid enemy fire. This one claims to offer meditative gameplay, at least in its “Calm” mode. The “Release” play mode offers the more traditional shoot ‘em up play style. Both are sync’d up to the game’s soundtrack.
Three word review: Mini Metro Redux
Played Mini Metro? It's a satisfying, if difficult, casual-style metro management sim. Mini Motorways takes the action above ground, and sees you drawing roads to connect a city. This one’s mechanics are even deeper.
Three word review: Colorful musical nonsense
Monomals’ vibrant game world and chip tune-inspired music are sure to put a smile on many faces. You unlock musical notes and elements in the swipe-controlled action levels, and can then compose tunes in the baked-in synthesiser to try to get them up the charts. This one is hard to explain. Just give it a try.
Three word review: Whodunnit?
A crime-solving adventure in which you have to interview subjects. Has an episodic structure, and the story was written by “professional film and TV writers”, apparently.
Mutazione (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Definitely a grower
Don’t miss Mutazione if you play games for their stories and characters. This is a beautifully drawn adventure. Its developer calls Mutazione a “mutant soap opera”, but forget all the negative associations you may have with that term. The significance here is that the story is informed by the humdrum lives of its characters as much as the grander events that take place in the plot. If you’re up for a slower-paced, contemplative title, check this one out.
Three word review: Deathly visual novel
A pretty visual novel heavy on the themes of death and necromancy. Don’t download it for the gameplay. But that applies to every visual novel style game.
Three word review: Cyberpunk cabbie detective
A novel concept: you are a taxi driver chatting to your passengers. And through those conversations you find more and more about the disappearance of your friend. A compelling but ultimately relaxing experience.
Three word review: Atmospheric platformer
A boy wakes from a coma and finds the world changed. Neversong is an action-puzzle platformer.
Three word review: Mobile space opera
Next Stop Nowhere is a space adventure. You play a courier dragged into a dramatic story. The game was originally criticised for being buggy, but is worth a play if you are a fan of story-driven adventures.
Three word review: Tim Burton’s farm
Maintain a farm. Grow stuff. Wear goth make-up. Nightmare Farm is the kind of game that might be riddled with micro transactions were it not on Apple Arcade.
No Way Home (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Space Miner II
No Way Home reminds us of one of the greatest mobile games most people haven’t played: Space Miner. It’s a top-down space shooter with twin stick controls. The basic action is fun enough, but the story and mechanic of gathering swag for upgrades elevates it to another level. It supports controllers, too, if you find the touch controls imprecise or fiddly.
Three word review: Damn those squirrels
A highly stylised game with overtly singular mechanics. You set up surveillance cameras around Melmoth Forest to observe the movements of a gang of squirrels. But, of course, the story isn’t quite as simple as that. May remind some of you of Firewatch.
Oceanhorn 2 (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Apple Arcade’s Zelda
Oceanhorn 2 is about as close as you can get right now to Zelda: Breath of the Wild on your iPad. Of course, you’ll have a better time with this 10-12 hour adventure if you don’t go in comparing it like-for-like with one of the most celebrated games of the last decade. Oceanhorn 2 is a beautiful open-world title that won’t suck as much of your time as the average console game of this genre.
Three word review: Oceanhorn goes retro
It may be set 200 years after Oceanhorn 2, but Chronos Dungeon takes a more old-school approach. This is a top-down dungeon-crawler RPG. Why not dabble in both Oceanhorns to see which suits?
Three word review: Real-time Hitman Go
Operator 41 is a stealth game with levels broken up into a grid. You might expect a turn-based experience, like that of Hitman Go or Lara Croft Go, but this one takes place in real-time.
Outlanders (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Build ‘em up
Build a town and watch it run through the days and weeks. It’s serene and rewarding, and there are no micro transactions involved here. Bliss.
Three word review: FTL Roadtrip Edition
Aliens have invaded. You have to keep your band of survivors alive as you trek across the US. The action is split into ambush events, when you bump into aliens along your travels. These are turn-based, and your job is to survive rather than smash those aliens into dust. As these encounters are randomly generated you could spend dozens of hours playing Overland.
Three word review: Alpine adventure
A narrative-led spy adventure in which your choices influence the story as you travel across Switzerland by train.
Three word review: PAC-Man’s on something
Classic PAC-MAN gameplay is given a 2021 boost with shinier graphics and power-ups. If you can play multiplayer (up to four can play at once) this is a must-try.
Three word review: Bizarre splosh-a-thon
Run around splashing paint onto everything within your reach. But the locals aren’t fans of your redecoration and will start forming a mob to take you out. Fast-paced chaos.
Three word review: Mindful jigsaw puzzles
Patterned is a jigsaw puzzle game. You start off with a pencil sketch and have to reinsert the full-colour pieces into place. It’s a great one to try if the world is getting you down and you need a little zen restored.
Pilgrims (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Charming card adventure
A hand-drawn adventure from the folks behind Machinarium. You pick up cards that represent items. These are used to solve puzzles throughout your travels. Quirky as they come, and a great fit for both iPhone and iPad, you can finish Pilgrims in roughly an hour. It’s a good way to spend part of an evening.
Three word review: Follow the crowd
This one isn’t yet available at the time of writing. Populus Run is an endless runner in which you control a whole group of people rather than just one.
Three word review: It’s about perspective
This quick and clever puzzler plays with 3D space. In each scene you’ll see objects that appear to be disjointed, or floating in the air. You have to move the camera so they appear to be in the “right” place. It’s a relaxing play with a strong sense of visual style.
Three word review: Shadow puppet theatre
One of those “meaningful” platformers, this time based around shadow puppetry.
Three word review: Sci-fi street fighter
Punch Planet is a one-on-one fighting game in the vein of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. You don’t see too many of those on iOS.
Three word review: Auto-run Raymond
Like several of the more recent Rayman games, Rayman Mini is an auto-run platformer. This keeps the pace up, making you tear through its lovingly-drawn vistas at speed.
Three word review: Beautiful bogey blaster
A pretty 3D space shooter. Blast your way through levels and upgrade your ship with new shields and weapons.
Three word review: Strategy made simple
A mobile-friendly strategy game from Ninja Kiwi, the developer behind the hugely popular Bloons TD games. It’s no wonder Red Reign’s simplified real-time strategy has a more than hint of tower defense flavor.
Three word review: Rockstars use Tinder
The story: you are a rock band travelling to different planets to raise your profile through the galaxy. The reality: gameplay involves swiping left or right on decision cards. There are also rhythm game-adjacent sections where you drag your guitar across the screen to hit the right notes. It all sounds a bit bizarre, but makes sense in context. Just about.
Three word review: Peggle dungeons
Ever played Peggle? You shoot a ball into an arrangement of blocks you need to bash and hope for the best. Roundguard takes this Pachinko concept and adds to it, making every level a “dungeon” complete with enemies, mana potions and healing potions. Different characters have their own abilities, too, which can be fired-off mid-air.
Three word review: Late 90s action
Samurai Jack is reminiscent of the 3D platformers of a few console generations ago. Of course, it’s much more likely to appeal to a slightly younger audience, those fans of the TV series this game is based around.
Sayonara Wild Hearts (Editor's Pick)
Three word review: Rhythm gone wild
This hypnotic, entrancing rhythm game is a must-play, even if you think you’ll end up bouncing right off its play style. The visuals and music are quite something to behold. While the fireworks are going off, you control your character by dragging across the screen to collect objects. It’s best played with a controller as, judging by our playthrough on iPad, the touch controls aren’t great.
Three word review: Streets of Trash
A garbage-themed side-scrolling beat ‘em up in the vein of Streets of Rage, complete with a soundtrack that wouldn’t seem out of place in that era. That’s no trash talk, by the way.
Three word review: AR awkwardness
Want to try iOS augmented reality? Secret Oops! isn’t a bad place to start. The aim is to protect a spy as he goes about his sneaky business.
Three word review: Lauded retro platforming
This is the fifth game in the Shantae series, which is a boon for those who wish game companies had never stopped making the 16-bit platformers that stuffed shelves back in the 90s.
Three word review: Underwater Metroidvania
Capcom’s Shinsekai into the Depths takes exploration elements of the Metroid and Castlevania games and slots them into a beautiful (if kinda creepy) underwater environment.
Three word review: Flying car carnage
Shockrods is a 3D action-packed car deathmatch game where the cars can launch into the air using the equivalent of a jetpack. Silly chaotic fun.
Three word review: 2D Tony Hawk
This looks like the kind of skating game that made headlines on consoles years ago. But Skate City is actually a 2D title with 3D gloss, making it a flashier version of the other trick-based games you often see on iOS.
Three word review: Gigantic sword silliness
This one is slightly hilarious. You wield a talking sword that can grow in length in Slash Quest!, and rather than controlling your character directly as such, you control which way the sword points - and you head in that direction. It doesn’t have the depth of a Zelda-a-like, but makes up for it in sheer cuteness.
Three word review: Furry stealth antics
Sneak around town as the hirsute mythical Sasquatch, raiding people’s picnics for goodies. Dripping in character.
Three word review: Traditional football, lads
Sociable Soccer 2020 is a football game for people who like football. So if you like football, give it a go. Others are more likely to appreciate the less strait-laced approach to the sport.
Three word review: Mario Kart-a-like
A Mario Kart-style racer featuring Mario’s old nemesis Sonic. It’s one to try if you want something other than Mario Kart Tour, although that game’s dynamics are mostly better than this one’s.
Three word review: Engaging adventure
South of the Circle is a cinematic narrative-led adventure with animations that look almost rotoscoped. Don’t come expecting the most involved, advanced gameplay, but if you want an engaging, well-told story it is well worth trying. Offers around 4 hours of play.
Three word review: Space Marine war
A turn-based isometric strategy game. It’s a little like X-Com, but the simplified game dynamics make each level something of a puzzle to solve.
Three word review: Speed racer
A top-down racing game focused on giving you a sense of speed and traffic-based peril.
Three word review: Clever, simple puzzler
Spek. looks dead simple in screenshots. A ball travels along a line to pick up other objects. But it is a little smarter than that. Each level’s “line” is actually the outline of a 3D model that can be turned around to let the ball, our protagonist, reach new areas.
Three word review: Strategy card game
A turn-based battle game with a card deck mechanic thrown in. The cards look like they’ve been taken straight out of Magic the Gathering thanks to their fetching artwork.
Three word review: Thrills from 1995
If it’s still the mid-90s in your heart, you might like Spidersaurs. This action platformer has visuals and sound inspired by 90s cartoons and the games we used to play on Genesis and SNES.
Three word review: Destruction > creation
Spire Blast looks like a tower building game. It's the opposite. You use the familiar colour-matching mechanic to zap blocks, firing balls into the brickwork. The aim is to take down the tower as soon as possible.
Three word review: Audiovisual Spongebob perfection
Patty Pursuit does not re-write the rulebook. It’s a fairly familiar simplified platformer, but it nails its graphics and sound. This one should appeal to all the SpongeBob fans out there. And who doesn’t love SpongeBob?
Three word review: Pretty robot-spy adventure
Crawl around detailed 3D environments as a spider-like spy robot, alongside plenty of cartoony characters. This wouldn’t look out of place on console. We recommend using a pad if you can, though, as we found the touch controls tricky at times.
Three word review: Visually distinctive platforming
This game looks a little different to everything else on Apple Arcade. Thick outlines provide a specific cartoonish style. Definitely one for fans of the side-scroller genre.
Three word review: 2D cinema club
We’re not short of platform games on Apple Arcade. But Stela stands out, because it’s dripping in atmosphere. You can see some of this in screenshots, with all that sepia charm and fog. You’ll need to play to experience its wonderful music, which adds a sense of dread to its monster encounters.
Three word review: One-on-one war games
This is a sci-fi strategy game, a one-on-one battle against another AI player. Planets are split into Risk-like zones, which you need to conquer to win.
Three word review: Survival build’em up
You are stranded on a deserted island. How do you survive? By building copious amounts of stuff, of course. This mostly boils down to farming for food. Combat is introduced later down the line, too.
Three word review: Hectic ball balancing
Super Impossible Road is a racing game that puts you in control of a glowing ball rather than a car. The tracks snake around like a rollercoaster, but there’s little gravity to keep you stuck to them, so more than half the challenge is not flying off into oblivion. Or at least using the physics to make a cheeky shortcut.
Three word review: Fun with friends
A mini-game collection with bright, colorful 3D graphics. Like almost every mini-game library, Super Mega Mini Party is much better played with friends.
Three word review: Zombie blaster
This one wasn’t available at the time of writing, but Survival’s zombie action is sure to rack-up a few downloads on day one.
Three word review: Tear-jerker
Takeshi makes games for fun. His brother Hiroshi ends up in hospital and Takeshi decides to make him games to cheer him up. The story, told in claymation interludes, is the main draw here. But what a central conceit.
Three word review: Chest infection
Open up a chest. Then try to open up another chest with the same number inside to clear the pair. It’s that old memory game conceit, back in Apple Arcade form.
Three word review: A knotty mystery
Put together clues and solve puzzles to untangle the knots in this murder mystery story. An adventure that truly feels made for the touchscreen.
Three word review: Puzzling walking sim
The Bradwell Conspiracy is a walking sim on the face of it. 3D first-person perspective. Check. Mystery to unwind. Check. But there are some more challenging puzzles here than in plenty of other walking sims.
Three word review: Monochrome meditation
Walk through a pretty monochrome world, collecting pieces of images and words floating in the air to complete cod-philosophical collages in each area. This one may not be for everyone, but it weaves a particular spell that may draw you into its enigmatic world.
Three word review: Slide, slide, slide
The Enchanted World is a slider puzzler with a pretty layer of fantasy gloss on top, giving you another reason to keep playing.
Three word review: One for readers
Visual novel chapters interspersed with logic puzzles.
Three word review: Mournful but magical
There’s a soulful loneliness to The Last Campfire that gives its shadowed world a sense of magic. It’s a lovely game, brought together by a rather wonderful voice over narration and affecting score. The gameplay is based around light puzzling, with either tap-to-navigate controls or a virtual joystick. But the emphasis on storytelling gives this game an unusual weight. Recommended.
Three word review: Musical adventure
A puzzler-adventure that looks like a goofy kid’s game, but has hidden depths. Its aural soundscapes are much more like those of the navel-gazing games critics tend to love. Music also features in the puzzle-solving, as locks require different note combinations from the sounds you and companions you meet can make.
Three word review: Loneliness of crowds
A downbeat adventure about the loneliness of cities, peppered with surreal elements.
Three word review: Fantasy board game
A turn-based strategy game in which you battle creatures from another dimension and juggle action points to make sure you're not caught short. It’s presented like a classic board game, which is nice.
Three word review: Where am I?
An open-world game from the creators of Abzu, a highly directed and kinda magical experience. Is this one as good? There’s certainly more to explore, and a willingness to do so is key to enjoying this singular title. Go in with an open mind, but you can always look online if you end up with no idea as to what you’re meant to do.
Three word review: Pinball dungeon crawler
What a mash-up. This is pinball, in which your ball becomes the weapon to take out rooms of fantasy-themed nasties. Strange, but kinda works.
Three word review: Retro Don’t Starve
You guessed it. The Survivalists is a survival game, in which you gather provisions and craft stuff to cobble together the makings of a miniature civilization.
Three word review: Exorcist goes inanimate
A rather strange game in which you possess inanimate objects, which then become your “character” in an all-on-all fighting game set in a suburban house.
Three word review: Blast 'em up
A shooter that vacillates between a single-stick and dual-stick style between levels. Has visuals inspired by anime series.
Three word review: Eye of beholder
Towers of Everland is a grid-based dungeon crawler, the kind popular in the early 90s and made popular again by titles like Legend of Grimrock.
Three word review: Mindful coloring-in
A relaxing painterly puzzler that may even teach you a little about color theory. You drag realistic-looking watercolour paint across the screen, blending colours to complete levels.
Three word review: X-Files lite
This short adventure game sees you follow a tightly-scripted sequence in each level. Your control consists of operating your DSLR camera, to take pictures of UFOs and other phenomena to send to the “fake news media”. Hmm.
Three word review: Super-speed ice hockey
Fast paced ice hockey, played 3-on-3. Features, for some reason, players from the NBA, NFL and MLB, and others, as well as famous hockey stars.
Three word review: Steven Universe tie-in
A cute but challenging turn-based battle RPG based in the Steven Universe…. universe.
Three word review: For JRPG fans
This is one of the more specialist games on Apple Arcade at the time of writing. It’s a JRPG, but not the kind you may have played before, as it’s made for shorter play sessions.
Three word review: Hover racing deluxe
Warp Drive is a futuristic racer where the cars hover and the environments fly past at 1000mph when you hit a warp boost. Not the most exciting racer ever designed in terms of feel, but not bad.
Three word review: Turtle vs Sonic
An accessible platformer suitable for just about all ages.
Three word review: Hilarious non-golf mania
One of the few games those who have never used Apple Arcade may already know. What the Golf? is hugely inventive, throwing away all the conventions of a golf game. Much more than just a silly gag, What the Golf? even ends up having some of the sensibility of Valve's Portal games. Who’d have thought it? The one bit that is golfy: you flick back on the screen to choose your swing strength. Don’t miss it.
Three word review: Arty-looking puzzler
A puzzler with emotional story sections between its levels.
Three word review: Short, charming puzzler
Flicks up and sideways manipulate and turn the globes of Winding Worlds’ levels. These are the keys to solving its puzzles. Light and cute.
Three word review: Word search
Match up letters and pairs of letters to make words that match the pictures in each scene. It’s simple, but may be just the light brain stimulation you’re after.
Three word review: Underwater battle royale
With a plot similar to classic movie Battle Royale, it’s no great surprise this game is mostly about the plot. You get to interact with 12 characters, our group of pre-teen survivors. Gameplay seems basic, but the Japanese voice acting sounds neat.
Three word review: Unusual RPG
A role-playing game set in a world of Slavic folk tales. This gives it quite a different vibe to other RPGs on Apple Arcade.
Three word review: Pinball castle defense
This is a fun mix of pinball and castle defense. Zombies attack your stronghold. You bash them with the ball and flippers. There are even RPG elements, with a map screen to head between missions and loot-based upgrades.
Still not convinced Apple Arcade is worth the investment? Check out our comprehensive review for our verdict on the premium gaming service.