It’s Another Big Day for Apple Arcade

Apple’s gaming service launches 20 new titles in one fell swoop
Apple Arcade spring 2023 hero Credit: Apple
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Although new games come to Apple Arcade on almost a weekly basis, they usually trickle in at a rate of one or two at a time. Today, however, Apple has unleashed nearly two dozen fun new titles all at once.

It’s the second-largest Apple Arcade release since the service launched in 2019; the last big day for Apple Arcade was a little over two years ago when it added 30 new game titles alongside Fantasian, which was the biggest game to ever hit Apple Arcade up to that point — and arguably still is.

Fantasian was Apple’s biggest showpiece for Apple Arcade. When it announced the new subscription gaming service in 2019, Apple boasted having Hironobu Sakaguchi, the legendary creator of the Final Fantasy series, on board to create an exclusive and unique game for Apple Arcade in the same Japanese-RPG (JRPG) genre that has inspired Final Fantasy.

The April 2021 launch of Fantastian was only the first of two parts, but it still offered over 50 hours of gameplay to enjoy as players explored an intricate and open-ended fantasy world. The second arrived later that year, continuing the saga with an even more open-ended quest-driven model with twice the volume of the first part. But I digress.

While today’s collection of 20 new titles doesn’t include anything quite as epic as Fantasian, there are still some high-profile games among the wealth of new options to explore. Even better, in keeping with one of Apple’s original visions for the service, there’s something here for just about everyone — and, best of all, everything is available as part of the same $4.99 monthly subscription with no ads or in-app purchases to contend with.

Apple shared the list of new releases in a newsroom announcement today, noting that the service now “offers unlimited access to over 200 incredibly fun games.” As with the 30 titles launched two years ago, not all of the games added to Apple Arcade today are new in the strictest sense; Apple has once again partnered with developers of popular games from the App Store to release “plus” versions without ads or in-app purchases.

More App Store Greats

Apple calls these App Store Greats, since they’re intended to showcase the best games of the App Store over the past 15 years while bringing them to a new and potentially larger audience.

Two years ago, that included titles such as Monument Valley, Mini Metro, Threes!, Fruit Ninja Classic, Badland, and The Room Two. Apple has added a few here and there since then, but today’s release adds Temple Run+, LIMBO+, PPKP+, Time Locker+,, Disney Coloring World+, Disney Getaway Blast+, and quite a few more. Most of these are just re-released versions of the originals with no hidden costs or ads, but in some cases, developers have added a few extra perks as well.

Exciting New Arcade Originals

Among the 20 new titles are four significant releases available only on Apple Arcade, including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) collaboration and a new city-builder.

TMNT Splintered Fate

Courtesy of Paramount Global, TMNT Splintered Fate is a top-down roguelike game that has the famous quartet of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael “dungeon-crawling” through New York City to track down Master Splinter. The game supports either solo or co-op play, so you can team up with your friends to conduct your search and battle enemies together. The usual supporting cast is also here, including April, Metalhead, Casey Jones, and more.

Apple has been a great partner for us since the debut of Apple Arcade, with SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit being one of the first titles available, and it continues to perform extremely well since its launch in 2020. We love the Arcade model because it provides us with a great opportunity to build unique games, specifically for this audience. We’re so excited for subscribers to play TMNT Splintered Fate, a brand-new title from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe, available exclusively on Apple Arcade.Doug Rosen, Paramount Global’s senior vice president of Games & Emerging Media.

Cityscapes: Sim Builder

I’m a big fan of SimCity, but I’ve bemoaned how the franchise went “freemium” after it made its way to the iPhone and iPad, becoming bogged down by annoying in-app purchases (something that, thankfully, hasn’t happened with the Civilization series; Civilization VI remains a tremendous and fully playable experience on both Mac and iPad).

So, a new city-builder on Apple Arcade comes as welcome news. While it’s not officially “SimCity,” it looks like it comes pretty close. Best of all, since it’s an Apple Arcade title, there won’t be any annoying pop-ups asking you to pop a few bucks into the coin jar to make things build faster.

I’ll need to reserve final judgment until I’ve had time to get into it, but I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s also clearly a city-builder for the modern era, as Apple notes that it’s a “sustainable take on classic city-building games.” That means you don’t just get to rip down trees and disturb wildlife with your urban sprawl. Instead, you’ll have to build “carefully thought-out systems to protect the health and happiness of citizens,” including meeting their housing, job, and utility needs while reducing the impact on the environment.

Disney SpellStruck

What happens when you cross Words with Friends with Mickey Mouse? You get Disney SpellStruck, an “enchanting word game” that lets you test your spelling power on crossword-style games with your favorite Disney and Pixar characters along for the ride. The game includes online versus modes, daily challenges, and leaderboards, but the Disney theme and nag-free experience seem to be what mostly set it apart from the collection of similar word games that have been on the App Store for years.


It’s not hard to guess that this fun new title comes from the same crew that gave us the hit game WHAT THE GOLF? However, the naming style and quirky design are where the similarities end. WHAT THE CAR? is a hilarious racing adventure like nothing you’ve seen. As you race along a variety of offbeat tracks, you have to contend with a car that’s constantly changing its option package, sprouting legs or wings, or even catching the common cold. WHAT THE CAR? uses physics-based gameplay, making it an even wackier adventure as you deal with all the unexpected twists and turns it throws your way.

The Catalog Keeps Growing

While big releases like today’s aren’t the norm, Apple Arcade adds a few new games every month, usually weekly. In today’s announcement, Apple pointed out that it added more than 50 new games last year and released over 300 significant updates to existing titles.

This month, Apple says we can expect new updates for games like Jetpack Joyride 2, Angry Birds Reloaded, SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit, Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat, LEGO Star Wars: Castaways, Asphalt 8: Airborne+, Cut the Rope Remastered, My Little Pony: Mane Merge, and many more.

Apple Arcade remains at the same $4.99/month price as when it launched in 2019 and can be shared with up to five other people in your family. It’s also included in all Apple One bundle tiers. Arcade Originals are playable across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, while most App Store Greats are limited to the iPhone and iPad.

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