Apple® Arcade has been briefly discussed on our podcast, VIDEOGAMESOTROS: The Podcast. Click here to listen. The following article is a fully written version as a follow-up to the conversation brought up on that podcast episode.
Aside from streaming TV shows and movies, Apple® started a neat idea: Subscription-based video gaming where games are available for download on mobile devices. Despite its mixed reactions from video gamers of all kinds, you'll find that someone like me actually finds this to be a treat.
Whether you're new here on our network, or a big-time fan who has followed us since the birth of VIDEOGAMESOTROS back in 2015, you'll find that I'm one of the oldest living dinosaurs walking this planet. Old school stuff, from the NES to even Microsoft DOS, triggers a personal nostalgia that brought me supreme happiness—days when I didn't have to worry about being involved in frequent drama about why one person gets mad at another because their views don't match their own. I personally am a believer that happiness, and change, begins, starts and is founded within one's self, and playing old video games to even using older Windows/DOS operating systems ingites that inner child in me. This also includes casino gaming from slot machines, video poker to table games (my grandma lived her retired life in Las Vegas and I often walked around the casino floor with her and my parents when I was a kid; I don't consider myself a big gambler, but I enjoy occasional casino gaming).
However, Time changes and technology continually improves, and as much as I love indulging the past, I must be adaptive to change—catch up with modern times. Games I had the least access to were digital/mobile games. That changed: My cool sister gifted me with my very first iPad during the holiday season of 2019 (she's a huge fan of Apple® products). Even though my first tablet was actually an Amazon Fire Tablet back in 2016, though used strictly for reading, a new exploration was underway. After a brief glance, I immediately subscribed to Apple® Arcade, and still am a subscriber to this day.
Let me get this out of the way: My only critique of Apple® Arcade was the payment transaction. Given that we subscribed during its launch, I understood there were some bugs needed to get cleaned out but it was a pain. Apparently, the app struggled with processing and listing my payment options, thus leaving me with only one choice to pay my subscription fees with. I'm not sure if that bug was fixed, or an error that still went unnoticed, but it killed our excitement for a bit. Nevertheless, everything's is fine and I'm able to pay as normal.
That little blurb I mentioned earlier above, if you read it or not, ties with my lack of access to digital games—mobile games, specifically. Apple Arcade gives me that access, and to explore the App Store to add more games on the tablet, outside Arcade. With over 100 games on the Arcade, I feel that's an impressive library of games to have available. While critics state that these games appeal to semi-serious down to the casual video gamer, it's enough to attract those who aren't fully accustomed to the digital world of mobile video gaming (myself, for example). While we agree that video gaming on a mobile phone isn't a viable choice, I recommend using the iPad. Whichever makes your video gaming experience comfortable, we also would recommend using a Bluetooth video game controller. It makes the experience and video gaming much easier, regardless of the game you're playing. You may get used to using your phone's/tablet's touch screen, but we're sure you'll have better luck with an actual controller (unless the game doesn't require the use of it).
Navigating through the Apple® Arcade menu was a breeze. I like how games have a video trailer/preview of the game before you download. Sticking with my nostalgia, I judge the game by its video preview and description; I DO NOT read the reviews, as I'd like to have a first-hand experience of playing the game, authentically. (Shamelessly speaking, I do this to harken back to the olden days of shopping video games at toy stores, and also, because we review video games here on the network!)
Downloading the games are a breeze, and the games themselves have been working perfectly. We don't want to be those folks who download recklessly, end up playing one or two games without finishing/beating them then uninstalling all the games, eventually leading to unsubscribing. As of this writing, we have downloaded 4 games from the Arcade, and finished one (review coming soon), but gameplay and the game's response with our Bluetooth controller has been perfect. The convenience in accessing the games from the Arcade has been brilliant. As an old school video gamer, and someone who has grappled with running 5.25" floppy disks to load on a modern computer, Apple Arcade has made our mobile video gaming experience easier and theremore.
What else is there to say? After flexing my dinosaur skin for so many years, it looks like the cyborg-like body is beginning to grow in me with modern gaming. From simple puzzle games to modern RPGs, video games have come an incredibly long way. Perhaps you can say I'm pulling a "Chrono Trigger" tactic: Time travel to the past, present and peak over at the future; Whenever I need a break, or browsing for any new games, I do so at The End of Time (I love the soundtrack to that area).
I clearly want to thank Apple® for this neat little idea, as I'm a subscriber and a fan. The games? Most are quite original, and again, it's an open invitation to explore more and appreciate mobile games—including games ported via mobile app. (Hey, I've got catching up to do.)
Do you have Apple® Arcade? Let's talk in the comments below!