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Apple Arcade, Apple’s first gaming subscription service, launched back in 2019. This new subscription service promised a library of over 100 games, some exclusive to Apple Arcade, with no in-app purchases or ads – just awesome games that won’t try to get you to buy anything extra, plus a bunch of other cool features, like being able to play across all of your Apple devices and even Family Sharing.
Despite being such a cool concept for the mobile gaming community, not many people were interested when it launched. Maybe Apple didn’t do a great job of promoting this new service, or maybe it didn’t meet mobile gamers’ expectations.
Well, it’s 2021 now, and Apple’s gaming subscription service is over one year old. But with all the same great features available and even more games than when it first launched, there’s still one big question to be answered: Is Apple Arcade really worth it?
For just $5 per month, should you start an Apple Arcade subscription? Let’s find out!
What Does Apple Arcade Have to Offer?
Apple Arcade, right now, offers a library of almost 150 games for just $5 per month, with some other features exclusive to this service.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these games are exclusive, according to Apple, but that doesn’t mean what you might think. When we see exclusive games on consoles like the Nintendo Switch or Sony’s PlayStation 5, this means that you can’t play them anywhere else but on that specific console.
With Apple Arcade, on the other hand, exclusive games mean that you can’t play them on Android or in any other gaming subscription service. But it doesn’t mean it’s only available on Apple Arcade. It sounds silly, but if your only console is your iPhone, then these games are essentially exclusive.
Apple Arcade Isn’t Perfect
All in all, Apple Arcade isn’t a perfect service, even for die-hard mobile gamers. Despite having almost 150 games, the games available in Apple Arcade are, for the most part, pretty bland. Some of them aren’t worth playing, and the great games oftentimes you can play somewhere else.
Plus, Apple had already promised 100 games at first, so in a year, we’ve seen less than 50 new releases, which isn’t much considering how short some of these games can be.
That being said, the gaming industry as a whole took a hit last year because of COVID-19. Thanks to quarantine, many games had issues with their development, which caused many releases to be pushed back, which probably affected Apple Arcade.
Still, Apple Arcade has a bigger fight with its big brother: the App Store. You can find many awesome and unique games on the App Store for a fraction of the price, and oftentimes for free. These are games you can purchase and play without a monthly subscription.
Apple Arcade games, on the other hand, you can only play as long as you’re subscribed to the service.
What’s Great About Apple Arcade?
Apple Arcade isn’t all that bad, and the service itself offers a bunch of opportunities for both hardcore gamers and casual players.
Even if they aren’t actually “exclusive,” if you don’t own a console or gaming PC, you won’t be able to play many Apple Arcade games anywhere else. There are some hidden and not-so-hidden gems in Apple Arcade that are a must to play, even if you’re not an avid gamer.
Games like Jenny LeClue Detectivu and Dear Reader are charming, clever, and put your brain and skills to the test. Others, like The Pathless and Marble Knights, show you how powerful your device really is and that you don’t need a console to enjoy high-quality games.
On top of that, Apple Arcade offers other great features such as Family Sharing (so you can share your subscription with up to five other people), offline play, and the ability to play on pretty much every Apple device you own. You can start a game on your Apple TV and continue playing on your iPhone if you need to catch the bus. All of that for just $5 per month.
Even if all of the Apple Arcade games were available on other platforms, the ability to play them from your iPhone wherever you are and without compromising quality or performance is something exceptional.
Is Apple Arcade Worth It? Why Should I Subscribe?
On the one hand, Apple Arcade is a really good subscription service that offers a plethora of amazing games that you can play from anywhere, on virtually any Apple device, and even if you don’t have a good internet connection. Not every game is a winner, but the good games outweigh the mediocre ones.
It’s a great service you can enjoy by yourself or share with your family for less than $5 per month. On the other hand, if you’re not playing games constantly, or if you’re already done playing the best Apple Arcade games available right now, paying $5 per month may be wasteful.
One of the best options for you is to subscribe whenever you have a game you’re dying to play, and once you’re done playing every game, you can cancel your subscription and wait for another release to subscribe again.
Although, there might be another option for you.
Apple One: The Best Bang for Your Buck
If you don’t like the idea of canceling your subscription and constantly resubscribing or just don’t want to stop having access to Apple Arcade when you need it, you can always try Apple One. Apple released Apple One as a bundle for every Apple subscription service at a lower price.
If you’re already paying for other subscriptions, like Apple Music and iCloud, or if you have other friends and family members that can help you pay for Apple One, you can go for Apple One and get a better deal for your money.
If you go for the individual plan, you’ll end up paying $10 more than if you only paid for Apple Arcade, but you’ll get unlimited access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and 50GB of iCloud storage.
The best options, though, are the Family or Premier plans. In addition to Apple Arcade, you also get access to other Apple subscription services, like Apple Music and even Apple Fitness+ for you and five other people.