Apple Arcade: How is Apple’s game subscription service?


Apple Arcade is Apple’s subscription service that offers dozens of games with unlimited access at a modest price of R $ 9.90 per month – the first month of testing is free. Launched on September 19 to coincide with the arrival of iOS 13, the new version of the iPhone operating system, the Xbox Game Pass à platform is a bold bet by the Cupertino company to try to change the casual concept of mobile games.

Officially unveiled on September 10 during the announcement presentation of the new generation of iPhones, the Apple Arcade, without fanfare, gained the attention of a specific, niche audience, which has never been more present on mobile devices: the hardcore gamer.

For this, Apple recruited high caliber companies to compose its pantheon, such as Square Enix, Ubisoft, Capcom, Konami and Devolver Digital. Without any kind of official revelation, the studios were in charge of developing robust games, muted, designed with the architecture of the new iPhones in mind and with the great attraction of having the requested premium format.

Premium experience for those who want to dive into the mobile universe

One of the greatest virtues of Apple Arcade is precisely to offer a more robust experience to those who are used to waiting to play in the mobile ecosystem. The platform’s entire catalog moves away from microtransactions and the questionable “gacha” model, which works similarly to loot boxes, with randomly generated prizes.

In addition to not having to wait until the energies are recharged, you also do not have to spend money to cut a path in the progression system, which in a way goes against the model of games that fill the top of the most profitable list on the App Store . Let’s face it: enjoying quality games at your fingertips, without worrying about time limits, advertisements and additional purchases, is a delight – and breaks the old paradigms of mobile g******g.

Source: Voxel / Reproduction

The initial Apple Arcade library has just over 70 games, some of which were released exclusively for the service and cannot be purchased separately from the standard store. The promise is that the number will exceed one hundred and that the catalog will be renewed with some frequency as new games are produced.

Little space for a lot of play

As with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, you need to download the game you want to start playing. The problem, in fact, is that on older iPhone and iPad models, which still had 32 GB of storage, there is probably a lack of space for applications that exceed 3 GB – a size, by the way, which is common on the Apple Arcade list.

The heavy premium experience, however, is compensated by high-level games, which can be enjoyed offline – with the exception of those that have a multiplayer and cooperative character – and which are getting closer and closer to what we have seen on current generation consoles. In addition, all games are integrated into the Game Center and have an addictive achievement system to encourage the user to try the whole list.

Source: Voxel / Reproduction

As usual, Apple will allow gaming to continue between different branded devices, taking advantage, of course, of its cloud storage service, iCloud, to load progress. The system is capable of integrating iPhone iPad, Mac and Apple TV, with capacity for up to six players in different gadgets.

More accessible mobile g******g

Much of the audience that abhors mobile gaming is because the controls are not as accurate on the touch screen. For those who are hardcore and appreciate gameplay, the limited commands of the virtual joysticks represent the real obstacle. In the scope of pocket games, companies like Razer and Gamevice take advantage of the limitation of cell phones and tablets to launch specific controls at great prices, especially in Brazil.

With the launch of iOS 13, the PlayStation 4 controls, DualShock 4, and the Xbox One Bluetooth controller (the latest available in the Xbox One S and Xbox One S bundles), are now officially compatible with the devices. from Apple. The experience with the console controls works majestically, wirelessly, without any lag, and adapts to current games whose playability depends on virtual buttons.

Source: Voxel / Reproduction

Robust library

There is no way to praise a game service without mentioning the games themselves. And that Apple Arcade delivers, without frills. The store is very well organized and divided into categories, between Action, Adventure, For Beginners, Multiplayer, Platform, Puzzle and RPG. In short, there’s something for everyone.

In fact, many of the games available in the initial collection were released recently for other platforms, such as Cat Quest II, the sequel to the action RPG starring cats, Shantae and the Seven Sirens, the adventure that drinks from the metroidvania formula, and Overland, a post-apocalyptic shift survival journey.

It is a great idea for Apple to bring console experiences to its platform, precisely to attract the attention of more puritanical players. Especially because the monthly amount to be paid is really low if you consider purchasing each game individually on the Nintendo Switch, for example.

Source: Voxel / Reproduction

In addition to multiplatform games, Apple Arcade also works with quality exclusives, in partnership with major studios. Capcom, for example, developed Shinsekai Into the Depths, a neat side-view title whose plot revolves around underwater exploration. On the other hand, Devolver Digital opted for the sequence entitled Exit the Gungeon, by the roguelike Enter the Gungeon, as well as the unprecedented Bleak Sword, with a beautiful pixelated look and simple combat, which takes on the strong inspiration in the Dark Souls franchise.

Sonic Racing, from Sega, Rayman Mini, from Ubisoft, and Various Daylife, designed by the creators of Bravely Default, under the supervision of Square Enix, are other great games from well-known companies that help to enhance the list of Arcade exclusives.

After all, is it worth it?

With a value very accessible to the Brazilian market and honest games from big studios, without microtransactions and ads, the Apple Arcade is definitely the most ambitious project on the mobile scene.

In fact, there is nothing that comes close to what Apple is offering in its service compared to what has already been seen on mobile devices. It remains to be seen whether the Californian company intends to maintain the same commitment of its launch to renew the content of the platform from time to time. We’ll see.