Apple Arcade’s best games can be hard to find as there’s a lot to choose from. The platform is a subscription-based gaming service from Apple that is only over a year old now, but it is stronger than ever. With over 40 new games released on Apple Arcade in 2020 itself, the gaming service for iOS and Mac devices continues to easily justify the Rs. 99 monthly subscription fee, and it’s even bundled into the Rs. 195 a month Apple One subscription, which also includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, and 50GB iCloud storage. For a mobile gaming enthusiast, an iOS device with an Apple Arcade subscription is an absolute must-have, as Apple continues to add high-quality premium titles to the list month on month.
However, that huge list can sometimes be confusing or even intimidating, if you’re trying to find the best picks among the dozens of games now available on the platform. We’ve played many of the games launched on Apple Arcade this year and here is our list of the best Apple Arcade games for 2020, in no particular order.
Coming from a game developer known for the quality of its artwork, Creaks throws you into a secret giant mansion accessible through the walls of the unnamed protagonist’s bedroom. Once you climb down the first ladder, you’re tossed into a world of strange furniture-based monsters, friendly bird people, and a haunting soundtrack. Although a platformer, Creaks has you solving puzzles and tricking the monsters as you cross each stage, and descend lower into the mansion.
Although the puzzles start off simple and the initial monsters are easy to trick, the game progressively gets harder to crack, but never discouragingly tough. Although not the most in-depth or technically advanced game on Apple Arcade this year, Creaks is definitely the most addictive and engaging one you can find on the platform.
Quite easily the most graphically advanced game on Apple Arcade this year, Beyond Blue puts you in a photorealistic underwater reef as an environmentalist diver, tasked with discovering the secrets of a particular reef, and documenting the various forms of marine life living there. Although the main plot is rather simple, the individual missions are interesting and educative, as you get to see all kinds of whales and fish up close.
This is a large game in terms of size and updates, and was a bit buggy when we first played it earlier this year. However the family-friendliness, educational aspects, and sheer beauty of the game itself makes Beyond Blue one of our favourite games on Apple Arcade this year.
The simple nature of mobile gaming means that storytelling often falls short, but Little Orpheus bucks this trend entirely to tell perhaps the most entertaining story we’ve seen on an Apple Arcade game yet. This Soviet-themed game puts you in charge of an explorer who claims to have traveled to the centre of the earth and discovered all of its hidden secrets, but there’s always an unspoken seed of doubt as to what’s really going on.
The core gameplay is simple platforming, as you pass obstacles, race through time-trials of sorts, and explore unbelievable levels in the theme of a cold-war era TV show. It’s a bit too simple at times and never really gets too challenging, but play this game for the gripping story alone.
With cheerful artwork that sits somewhere between comic books and children’s cartoons, Spyder puts you in charge of a sentient robotic spider tasked with completing missions for a spy agency. As we mentioned in our review, Spyder is like a ‘60s Bond movie starring Wall-E,’ and we love it for that exact reason.
Although the controls were a bit fiddly, the graphics and gameplay more than make up for it, with a good combination of puzzle solving and physics-based exploration. Although there aren’t too many levels, Spyder does keep you hooked through each stage, which takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.
Beyond a Steel Sky
A sequel 26 years in the making, Beyond a Steel Sky is a follow-up to the 1994 point-and-click adventure game called Beneath a Steel Sky. Naturally, it comes with better visuals and gameplay, with the story picking up 10 years after the events of the first game. The world still involves a lot of pointing, clicking, and dialogue, but the styling and sheer depth of the gameplay makes this an impressive title for the Apple Arcade platform.
The game did sometimes feel like it was dragging things along, with too many dialogue options that tend to last longer than they should. However, the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk storyline makes this a fun game to play for an hour or two at a time. The sheer detail and depth of Beyond a Steel Sky is what earns it a spot on our list of top Apple Arcade games in 2020.
Do let us know via the comments what your favourite Apple Arcade games are.
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