One of the best new products from Apple this year isn’t a phone. (Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 11/11 Pro is great.) It’s actually a new service. It’s impossible to deny that Apple isn’t transitioning, at least in part, to a services company, so it makes sense that the company would want to get some worthwhile options out there beyond Apple Music and iCloud (which still needs to get more competitive with pricing and options).
Apple Arcade seems to fit that bill.
First, the price is pretty fantastic, especially for what you get. Over 100 games, available on a rotating basis (Apple hasn’t really clarified what that rotation will look like, but if it’s anything like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, it should be pretty user-friendly), and ranging in genres, scale, and features. There is a lot working for Apple Arcade, and most of it for the positive. In fact, unless you don’t like playing games on your smartphone or tablet or TV (Apple Arcade works across iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS), Apple Arcade feels like a pretty safe investment.
Then again, maybe you do like playing games on those devices, and maybe the library of Apple Arcade just isn’t for you.
Up until very recently I wouldn’t have suggested folks subscribe to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass because, to me, most of the games available weren’t really worthwhile. Many were older titles and I wasn’t a fan of telling people with a brand new, ridiculously powerful (and expensive!) console like the Xbox One X to play old games on it. But that’s me. And my tune changed when the value of Xbox Game Pass became more and more obvious as Microsoft not only kept the catalog of older games building, but also started throwing in a variety of brand new games for good measure.
It’s a bit of a reversed situation for me and Apple Arcade. I signed up for the service as soon as it launched earlier this year and I thought it was a fantastic deal. Technically, I still do. However, it’s basically become a subscription to Grindstone at this point, because many of the other games have just fallen off my radar. I made it a task of mine to play every new game that arrived on Apple Arcade as they launched, hoping to find another killer title, and I can say there are a lot of great games available in Apple Arcade.
But I’ve since fallen off the wagon and I haven’t gone back to, well, any of them. Even Grindstone. I beat the title — meaning, all of its story missions — and while I think the gameplay is ridiculously fun and addictive in its own right, I just haven’t wanted to go back and collect everything there is to collect. So no, I haven’t beaten it to its 100% possibility, but I think I’m okay with that.
I do think that $4.99 for access to over 100 games is pretty awesome, and it’s a small enough monthly subscription that some folks out there might just forget about it and continue to reap its benefits anyway. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that. But for me, I’m starting to wonder if I need Apple Arcade anymore.
And so I’m curious if you’re wondering the same thing these days. I know the service hasn’t been available for long, and Apple is going to continue to add great games to it in the weeks and months ahead, but are you sticking with it from here on out? Or have you already moved on as well? Let me know!