Along with the launch of iOS 13 this week, Apple also welcomed one of its newest subscription services: Apple Arcade. Now, there is a lot to be said about Apple shifting so heavily into services, but it's hard to argue that what the company already offers (aside from that ridiculously paltry 5GB of free iCloud storage) is pretty solid. Depending on what you like, the addition of Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ is pretty exciting.
All things considered, those two services are the things I’ve been looking forward to most.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has proven to be a pretty awesome phone so far, but I’ve had no illusions that I’ve just wanted the better display (over the iPhone XR) to watch stuff on and play games on. So it’s still just about the services. The content. Which is why Apple has my interest so much in its two newest options.
We don’t have Apple TV+ yet, but we do have Apple Arcade. And while Apple showed off quite a few games in its marketing efforts so far, it wasn’t until I actually dove into the service and started playing some of the games available that I realized it was even better than I’d hoped.
The question of whether or not Apple Arcade is actually good for developers remains to be seen. That will take time. But with so many big name, and especially indie, developers jumping on board, it’s a fingers crossed situation that it’s good news for everyone involved.
For the user like me, though, Apple Arcade is already pretty great. There are more than two dozen games to choose from right out of the gate, with more incoming. Titles like Shinsekai Into the Depths is unique and inventive, and graphically impressive. Skate City and Overland and Spaceland are great to look at while offering some in-depth gaming opportunities. Super Impossible Road offers an awesome twist on racing, while Sonic Racing gets a bit more traditional with some crazy characters.
There are a lot of games, but, most importantly, there are a lot of genres to choose from. A lot of options is one thing, but it wouldn’t be a good service, and especially not one worth paying for, if they were all just the same type of game. But that’s definitely not the case with Apple Arcade, which is good news for a fledgling service that can only grow from here.
Want an action-packed title? Try out Towaga: Among Shadows. How about something much more relaxing? tint. has you covered. You’ve even got some (ridiculous) sports titles with Big Time Sports and What the Golf.
But it’s been one game that has taken up the majority of my attention since the launch of Apple Arcade: Grindstone. You’d think I was running a battery test, trying to run it down, as much as I’ve been playing this game. (Which, for the record, has not been able to make a dent in the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s battery, if you’re curious.)
Grindstone sees you take the role of Jorjy as you climb a mountain and clear rooms of baddies, trying to collect goodies along the way. It could be a game that relies heavily on manufactured time restraints, with the player only given three hearts in total (with a Bar Keep that will refill them for collected games) to clear one level after the next. Luckily that isn’t the case, and getting gems is not only fun and easy, but there’s no time limit on how much you can play.
Even if Grindstone wasn’t included in Apple Arcade it would still be a great service. A fantastic one, in fact. But if Apple Arcade can keep giving me experiences like Grindstone every month or so, or even titles like Towaga or Skate City or Overland, then it’s definitely worth the cost of $4.99 per month (after the one month free trial).
If you’ve been trying out Apple Arcade, have you found a game, or games, that you really love so far? Let me know!