There are too many subscriptions in this world, but Apple Arcade – an ongoing library of "over 100 new, exclusive games, all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV" – is a particularly interesting prospect. The plan is $4.99 per month, it's ad-free, games can be played offline, there's a one-month trial, and your subscription can be shared with five other family members. I'm listening...
At an event today, Apple set the launch dates for Apple Arcade across the program's supported platforms: September 19 (iOS 13), September 30 (iPadOS and tvOS 13), and October (macOS Catalina).
Not every game is going to speak to every subscriber, but there are some genuinely surprising names attached to Apple Arcade. This list is by no means exhaustive, but here's what stood out to me:
- ChuChu Rocket! Universe explodes as Sega launches the beloved ChuChus into a universe of strange and wonderful planets with over 100 mind-bending puzzles.
- In Exit the Gungeon from Devolver, players must escape a collapsing hell dungeon as increasingly perilous obstacles and opponents stand in their way.
- PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE from Bandai Namco, is a brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.
- In Rayman Mini from Ubisoft, Rayman has been reduced to the size of an ant! Players use insects, mushrooms and plants to run through the world as quickly as possible or try over and over again to achieve the perfect score.
- In Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward, players explore a vast sunken city and battle the Seven Sirens in the Half-Genie’s most thrilling adventure yet.
- Various Daylife from Square Enix, is a brand-new RPG from the creators of Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler. In the year 211 of the Imperial Era, players explore a newly discovered continent while living life to the fullest in the city of Erebia.
Other highlights include Shinsekai: Into the Depths (Capcom), Frogger in Toy Town (Q-Games), Hot Lava (Klei), Spidersaurs (WayForward), Sonic Racing (Hardlight), and Sneaky Sasquatch (RAC7).
Apple Arcade will appear in its own tab on the App Store and, again, these are full games "without any ads or additional in-game purchases." Controller-wise, there's support for Xbox One gamepads, the PS4's DualShock 4, and MFi controllers, "in addition to touch controls and Siri Remote."
Even as someone with a whopping three games installed on his iPhone, I'm in, at least for the time being. If you end up testing Apple Arcade, note that your subscription will auto-renew after the free month is up – but you can "cancel at any time in Settings at least one day before each renewal date."
Whether Apple Arcade can sustain itself long-term remains to be seen, but this is a great start.