Apple is finally going all in on video games, and Apple Arcade opens up its digital doors starting today. Soon die-hard Apple fans will be able to load up their favorite fruit-branded device of choice, play some a large collection of some pretty solid looking games.
And we do mean a large collection, because Apple Arcade's launch line-up is honestly one of the most impressive set of games we've ever seen. We might even go as far as to declare it the best launch line-up in history.
Our Cup Overfloweth With Games!
So right off the bat we have to look at what's going to be available when Apple Arcade goes live for everyone. Not everything is going to be a smash hit (unless you're desperate for some hot Frogger action), but there's some real gold in here.
Devolver is throwing a considerable amount of weight into the project with three releases available from the get-go. Exit The Gungeon looks like a fun spin-off of its rogue-like counterpart, Bleak Sword is a super cool looking 8-bit hack 'n slash game, and Cricket Through The Ages seems like a tremendously goofy take on that complicated, wicket-bat based sport.
There's also a new Shantae game from Wayforward, Sayonara Wild Hearts which looks like a colorful, musical adventure, Cat Quest 2 is there for people who want more cats, Ubisoft is throwing Rayman into the mix, Various Daylife is another RPG with a silly name from the makers of Octopath Traveler, and that's only a small portion of the overall launch line-up. Apple has boasted about 100 games that are either available already, or will be available very soon.
More Innovative Than The Last 3 iPhones
When you look back at other gaming launches, very few compare to the quality, and quantity of what Apple is bringing to the table. Most launches bank everything on a big title, like the Xbox with Halo: Combat Evolved, or the Nintendo Switch with The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Other launches rely on a large collection of titles in lieu of a killer app, like how the Playstation 2 had a pretty decent-sized list that included SSX, Tekken Tag Tournament, and Midnight Club: Street Racing, but there wasn't really a solid console-seller unless you were really desperate to get your hands on Fantavision.
Apple may only be launching with indie titles, but there's such a wide array of genres, and developers that there's bound to be something for everyone. Best of all, since Apple Arcade is a subscription service, you can dive into any of these games, and if you don't like one, you can jump over to another. Most of these games probably would have run you around $10 to $30 dollars on Steam, but here you play as much as you want for just $4.99, and there'll even be a free trial to start with.
What's even more surprising is that Apple is opening up their devices to support controllers from other companies. You'll be able to use PS4, and Xbox One controllers with tvOS, iPadOS, and devices that are updated to iOS 13. The big fear about Apple Arcade was that we thought we would limited to playing these games with touch controls only, but now we can bust out our regular console controllers, and guide Frogger to freedom (or play any of the other games too). This is huge and pretty surprising considering that this is Apple we're talking about. After all, they still have their own separate charging cables instead of using USB-C like everyone else, so for them to let foreign controllers work on their hardware is a massive step forward for the company.
Could This Finally Be The Netflix Of Games?
This is by far the most impressive launch line-up we've seen for any console or service. Having about a 100 games all ready to go, that can be played on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV with support for the latest console controllers is a big deal, and it's pretty dang cheap. There's so many interesting titles to choose from, and a lot of these look like they could even be game of the year contenders.
The jury may still be out on whether or not Apple Arcade is a success, but if this list of games is indicative of their output going forward, they're off to a really great start.