Apple Arcade finally went live as a part of the iOS 13 update. It is a subscription gaming platform that looks to integrate mobile and console gaming.
Like a lot of Apple product since the Steve Jobs era, the first generation is always a little glitchy. (I’m looking at you, the 2016 Macbook Pro, Apple Watch Series 1) After running a few games on the platform, Apple Arcade is far from the ideal product.
The concept for Apple Arcade is to have to target casual gamers who don’t plan to invest a lot into gaming.
Apple promised for $4.99 a month you would have access to their entire gaming library which currently has about just a few dozen games.
The company promised there would be no ad interruption or in-app purchases on the platform. Apple would also sync your progress across devices.
We started with Oceanhorn 2, the sequel to the Oceanhorn 1 which costs around 7 dollars in the app store. Like most games on the platform, Oceanhorn 2 is exclusively available on Apple Arcade.
One of the major attractions of the IOS 13 update is that you can now play mobile games with a gaming controller via Bluetooth. We played on an iPad with an Xbox controller.
The overall control integration is great, and we didn’t notice any discernable lags. It does feel a little like playing a game on a gaming console.
However, when we try our second game Skate City, the problems start to show.
Aside from the underwhelming graphics and UI. is just ok. The game freezes during the tutorial when we played it on the iPad and the iPhone.
We would expect Apple to do a better job at gatekeeping, making sure all the games are good to go. But this is not the case.
Apple featured a faulty game on the front page of the platform when there are only a few dozen games for the company to manage. It’s hard to predict what would happen when more games are coming.
However, we do think there are a lot of potentials for the Apple Arcade, and Apple can probably fix some of the problems in a few months. Granted, it is not going to replace Nintendo switch or Xbox one. It is good enough for casual gamers.
Compared to Nintendo, or other console games, Apple’s $4.99 a month price tag is appealing. It is also nice to have no ad or in-app purchases constantly honking you for money when you just want to relax and play a game.
Google also sees the potential in the same market by offering a similar app subscription service, Play Pass, which offers 3 hundred something apps as of now, including gaming apps and other types of health, fitness and photography apps.