Apple Arcade review: Australian launch
On 20 September 2019, Apple launched its premium video games subscription service. Is it worthwhile for Australians on iPhone, iPad, Mac or AppleTV?
It's a huge year for new subscription services in both the Internet TV and video gaming spaces. On their own, each subscription seems reasonable, often hovering around $10 a month. But they add up, so before you dive in and commit to the latest and greatest service from Apple, it's worth knowing a little bit more about the program.
Everything you need to know about Apple Arcade
Apple has now launched its first ever gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, into Australia. It's compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. The big launch day was 20 September, which also marks the day a stack of great new exclusive iOS games were released. You will find the full list of Apple Arcade titles at the bottom of this article.
Apple Arcade is priced at $7.99 a month in Australia, but as an introductory offer, you can get the first month for free. Subscribers get instant access to a catalogue of 100 new and exclusive titles instantly. Then in the coming weeks after launch, new titles will be added so that the library exceeds over 100 games.
It's important to note that Apple Arcade is not a streaming service similar to Microsoft's xCloud and Google's Stadia platforms. You're not playing games hosted on a remote device, streamed to your device. Apple Arcade is closer in functionality to Xbox's Game Pass. The subscription simply opens up a library of games you can access at no additional cost. You will download them to your device and play them like you would any other iOS game.
This is handy for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. As you're not streaming the game, you can download them on Wi-Fi at home or work, and not consume data while playing them on the move.
Looking for a new mobile plan? See if you can get a better deal here.
How to get Apple Arcade
If you're wondering why you cannot find Apple Arcade on your iPhone, iPad, AppleTV or Mac device, then it's likely because you are on an old iOS. Apple Arcade is being rolled out through iOS 13, which is the new Apple operating system. So head into Settings > General > Check for Updates and go from there. Or on Macs, search for an update on the App Store.
If you're on an older Apple device, it may not be able to support iOS 13, and as such, you won't be able to access Apple Arcade. Below you will find the Apple models that won't support Apple Arcade. If you need an upgrade to your handset, you can learn all about the new iPhone 11 in this comparison.
List of devices not compatible with iOS 13
- iPhone 5S (and older)
- iPhone 6/6 Plus
- iPad Mini 2
- iPad Mini 3
- iPad Air (2013)
Are Apple Arcade games any good?
While casual mobile gamers will associate Apple devices with big free-to-play games like Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans, it's not the only kind of experience on offer. The App Store is flooded with premium games (as in, not free to play), and many of them are genuinely great experiences. But due to having a price, these titles are often overlooked.
The Apple Arcade looks to solve that issue, by collecting just those premium games in one spot. Then also by making them more accessible for people to experience.
Some huge developers have joined the platform including Konami, Capcom and Gameloft, to name a few. There are also some massive brands on board such as Disney, SEGA, Lego and The Cartoon Network.
As a result, there are some names in the list below you're likely already familiar with; Rayman Mini and Sonic Racing, for example, plus new versions of Frogger and Pac-Man. But mixed among them are some of the platform's best known indies. New featured titles include Sayonara Wild Hearts, ChuChu Rocket! Universe, Ballistic Baseball and Skate City, which is just scratching the surface.
The list below includes a number of highly anticipated new releases from developers that cannot be played anywhere else. Your personal tastes and the sheer breadth of experiences on offer make it hard for us to name specific titles you'll love. However, the focus here is on quality, and we can guarantee you'll get your money's worth. Especially if you regularly turn to an iPhone, iPad, Mac or AppleTV device for your entertainment fix.
Need a new mobile phone? Here is everything you need to know.
Additional features of Apple Arcade
If you hate being constantly interrupted by pesky ads when you're playing a game, this could be the solution to your problem. Your subscription ensures you will be immune from having any ads pop up on Apple Arcade titles. You also won't hit paywalls, which we see in free games that allow you to play some of the experience then stop you until you spend money.
The service could also be huge for families after Apple declared the Family Sharing plan. This will allow a single subscription to be accessed by six family members. This creates a simple budget for parents managing their children's gaming downloads.
Another handy feature is that games can be downloaded to play either online or offline, helping out your data plans. You don't have to be connected constantly.
Full list of Apple Arcade games
|Game title||Developer||Publisher||Previous titles by developer|
|A Fold Apart||Lightning Rod Games||Lightning Rod Games||N/A|
|Agent Intercept||PikPok Games||PikPok Games||Flick Kick, Rival Stars|
|Assemble With Care||UsTwo Games||UsTwo Games||Monument Valley, Lands End|
|Atone: Heart of the Elder Tree||Wildboy Studios||Wildboy Studios||N/A|
|Ballistic Baseball||Gameloft||Gameloft||N.O.V.A., Eternal Legacy|
|Battle Sky Brigade: Harpooner||Battle Brew||Battle Brew||Battle Sky Brigade|
|Beyond Blue||E-Line Media||E-Line Media||Never Alone|
|Beyond a Steel Sky||Revolution Software||Revolution Software||Broken Sword|
|Big Time Sports||Frosty Pop||Frosty Pop||Kingpin Bowling, High Dive|
|Bleak Sword||Luis Moreno Jimenez||Devolver Digitl||Reigns: Game of Thrones|
|Box Project||Mediocre Mel||Mediocre Mel||TBA|
|Card of Darkness||Zach Gage||Zach Gage||Spelltower|
|Cardpocalypse||Gambrinous||Versus Evil||Guild of Dungeoneering|
|Cat Quest II||Gentlebros Games||Gentlebros Games||Slashy Hero|
|ChuChu Rocket! Universe||Sonic Team||Universe and Sega||Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star|
|Cricket Through the Ages||Free Lives||Devolver Digital||Broforce, Reigns: Game of Thrones|
|Dead End Job||Headup Games||Headup Games||Outbuddies|
|Dear Reader||Local No. 12||Local No. 12||Backchatter|
|Decoherence||Efecto Studios||Efecto Studios||N/A|
|Dodo Peak||Moving Pieces Interactive||Moving Pieces Interactive||Titan Quest: Ragnarok|
|Don't Bug Me||Frosty Pop||Frosty Pop||Kingpin Bowling, High Dive|
|Down in Bermuda||Yak & Co||Yak & Co||Agent A|
|Dread Nautical||Zen Studios||Zen Studios||Operencia: The Stolen Sun|
|Enter the Construct||Directive Games Limited||Directive Games Limited||Super Kaiju|
|Exit the Gungeon||Devolver Digitl||Devolver Digitl||Reigns: Game of Thrones|
|Explottens||weRplay||weRplay||Run Sheeda Run|
|Fantasian||Mistwalker||Mistwalker||Terra Battle, The Party Wave|
|Frogger in Toy Town||Konami||Konami||Batman, X-Men|
|Grindstone||Capybara Games||Capybara Games||Below, Critter Crunch|
|Hitchiker||Mad About Pandas||Versus Evil||Galaxy Racers, Rubbish Attack|
|Hot Lava||Klei Entertainment||Klei Entertainment||Don't Starve, Invisible, Inc.|
|InMost||Hiddenlayer Games||Chucklefish Games||Wargroove, Starbound|
|Jenny LeClue||Joe Russ and Ben Tillett||Mografi||N/A|
|King's League II||Kurechii||Kurechii||King's League, Postknight|
|Kings of the Castle||Frosty Pop||Frosty Pop||Kingpin Bowling, High Dive|
|Lego Brawls||RED Games||Lego||Sakura Wars, Project Hacker|
|Lifelike||Kunabi Brother||Kunabi Brother||Blek|
|Little Orpheus||The Chinese Room||Sumo Digital||Dear Esther, So Let Us Melt|
|Manifold Garden||William Chyr||William Chyr Studio||N/A|
|Mini Motorways||Dinosaur Polo Club||Dinosaur Polo Club||Mini Metro|
|Mosaic||Killbrite Studios||Killbrite Studios||Among the Sleep, The Plan|
|Mr Turtle||Illusion Labs||Illusion Labs||Mr. Crab, Touchgrind|
|Murder Mystery Machine||Blazing Griffin||Blazing Griffin||Murderous Pursuits|
|Mutazione||Die Gute Fabrik||Die Gute Fabrik||Sportsfriends, Tower No Tumble|
|Neocab||Chance Agency||Fellow Traveller||Blind, Pesterquest|
|No Way Home||SMG Studio||SMG Studio||Death Squared|
|Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm||Cornfox & Bros.||Cornfox & Bros.||Oceanhorn, Death Rally|
|Operator One||Shifty Eye Games||Shifty Eye Games||N/A|
|Outlanders||Pomelo Games||Pomelo Games||Bullet Boy|
|Over the Alps||Stave Studios||Stave Studios||N/A|
|PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE||Namco Bandai Games||Namco Bandai Games||Naruto, Dragon Ball Z|
|Pinball Wizards||Frosty Pop||Frosty Pop||Kingpin Bowling, High Dive|
|Possessions||Noodlecake||Lucid Labs||Stay, Mum|
|Projection: First Light||Shadowplay Studios||Blowfish Studios||Gunscape|
|Proxi||Will Wright||Gallium Artists||N/A|
|Punch Planet||Block Zero||Block Zero||Lifeslide|
|Rayman Mini||Ubisoft||Ubisoft||Tom Clancy's series, Far Cry, Assassin's Creed|
|Red Reign||Ninja Kiwi Games||Ninja Kiwi Games||Bloons Tower Defence|
|Redout: Space Assault||34 Big Things||34 Big Things||Goat of Duty|
|Sayonara Wild Hearts||Simogo||Annapurna Interactive||Device 6, Year Walk|
|Shantae and the Seven Sirens||WayForward Technologies||WayForward Technologies||Adventure Time: Puzzle Quest, Descendants|
|Shinsekai Deep Sea||Capcom||Capcom||Street Fighter, Resident Evil|
|Shock Rods||Stainless Games||Stainless Games||Carmageddon|
|Skate City||Agens||Snowman||Pipe Rider, Snofall|
|Sneaky Sasquatch||RAC7 Games||RAC7 Games||Spek, Super Surf Bros|
|Sonic Racing||Sumo Digital||Sega and Hardlight||Scorched: Combat Racing, Sonic Dash 2|
|Spaceland||Tortuga Team||Tortuga Team||Braveland|
|Speed Demons||Radian Games||Radian Games||Scorcher, Devastator|
|Spek||RAC7 Games||RAC7 Games||Spek, Super Surf Bros|
|Spelldrifter||Free Range Games||Free Range Games||Labyrinth|
|Spidersaurs||WayForward Technologies||WayForward Technologies||Adventure Time: Puzzle Quest, Descendants|
|Stellar Commanders||Blindflug Studios||Blindflug Studios||Airheart, First Strike|
|Steven Universe: Unleash the Light||Grumpface Studios||Cartoon Network||Teeny Titans|
|Stranded Sails||Lemonbomb Entertainment||Lemonbomb Entertainment||Nova Nukers!|
|Super Impossible Road||Wonderful Lasers Inc.||Wonderful Lasers Inc.||Word Crasher Blitz|
|Tangle Tower||SFB Games||SFB Games||Detective Grimorie|
|Tint||Lykke Studios||Lykke Studios||Aivolution|
|The Artful Escape||Beethoven & Dinosaur||Annapurna Interactive||ABZU, Ashen|
|The Pathless||Giant Squid||Annapurna Interactive||ABZU, Ashen|
|The Bradwell Conspiracy||A Brave Plan||Bossa Studios||N/A|
|The Enchanted World||Syntaxity||Noodlecake||The Lost Ship, Rescue the Hunter|
|The Get Out Kids||Frosty Pop||Frosty Pop||Kingpin Bowling, High Dive|
|Towaga: Among Shadows||Sunnyside Games||Noodlecake Studios Inc!||The Firm, Stomped!|
|UFO on Tape: First Contact||Revolutionary Concepts||Revolutionary Concepts||Gesundheit!, Road Avenger|
|Various Daylife||Square Enix||Square Enix||Bravely Default, Octopath Traveler|
|Way of the Turtle||Illusion Labs||Illusion Labs||Bacon Escape, Mr. Crab.|
|What the Golf?||Triband||Fig||Homeworld 3,|
|Where Cards Fall||The Game Band||Snowman||Alto's Odyssey|