Arcade Attack!

Ever since Apple Arcade first went live, I’ve debated on covering the games. Not that they aren’t good or anything. There’s some great games by some really cool developers on AA. I just know that the games on Apple Arcade are already getting a ton of press and probably don’t need the extra help. Plus, SNAPP Attack has always been about showcasing the under appreciated and overlooked. That being said, I still spend a portion of my time playing Apple Arcade games. So why not give you a heads-up on which games are good and which games are…..not so good?

Instead of doing full game reviews or even SNAPP Reviews, I’m just going to do a brief write up for each game. Most likely a couple sentences and a quick star rating. The beauty of Apple Arcade is that you can always just download the game for yourself. I’m just giving my HIGHLY respected and sexy opinion.

Sonic Racing (by SEGA)

I was on the fence for awhile with Sonic Racing. The visuals are beautiful and I love that the game is played in portrait-mode with one hand. Unfortunately, it looks like it was originally going to be a F2P game and was thrown on Apple Arcade at the last minute. So, there’s tons of grinding, random loot drops, and “wisp” collecting. Unless you’re a huge Sonic fan, you may want to skip over this one.

Skate City (by Snowman)

I absolutely love Skate City. I’ve been waiting for this to release since the original Skate Lines game. The visuals are beautiful and tricks are super easy to pull off. You can also upgrade your character and buy new tricks. With only 3 areas, I found myself wanting more after a couple of days of playing. Regardless, this is one of my favorite skateboarding games on the App Store now. Definitely worth checking out.

What the Golf? (by The Label)

What the Golf? Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about this game. I expected a goofy-ish golf game when I first fired it up, but the team at Triband outdid themselves. Every hole is like opening a birthday present. You have no clue what it’s going to be, but you know it’s going to be good. Even if you don’t like golf, this game is a must-play.

Sayonara Wild Hearts (by Annapurna Interactive)

I know that I’m going to catch a lot of heat for this one. I played all the way through Sayonara Wild Hearts and……it was fine. The visuals are cool, the music is good, and the story is well written. It honestly isn’t a bad game. It just went right through me though. I did feel like I was fighting with the controls throughout the entire game. They worked good enough to get me through it, but they weren’t comfortable. Like I said, Sayonara Wild Hearts isn’t a “bad” game. It just didn’t seem to live up to the hype that everyone was giving it.

Hot Lava (by Klei)

I was really looking forward to Hot Lava when I first saw it on Apple Arcade. The trailer and screenshots make it look so damn cool. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have much fun with it. Now, in my defense, I played on iPhone. I’m guessing that the game is a lot better on AppleTV with a controller. I didn’t like the gyroscope controls at all, so I tried the touch controls. They were definitely better, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. With the game being in first-person, it’s tough to parkour and maneuver around when your thumbs are covering a big portion of the screen.

Speed Demons (by RadianGames)

I love me some Speed Demons. It’s fast, frantic, and absolutely beautiful to look at. RadianGames did an excellent job with keeping things fresh. The tracks are all randomly generated, while each event changes from things like Chase, Pursuit, Escape, and more. There’s also a bunch of cars that can be unlocked and upgraded. Speed Demons was the first game that I downloaded on Apple Arcade and it’s still on my device today.

Way of the Turtle (by Illusion Labs)

Way of the Turtle is a cute little adventure-platformer. It’s one of those games where the character is constantly moving and you need to steer them in the right direction by manipulating the world itself. The visuals are absolutely beautiful and the story is charming. Unfortunately, the game just didn’t have enough to keep me hooked. This is one of those games that I may go back to later on.

Spidersaurs (by WayForward)

Spidersaurs was one of the Apple Arcade launch games that I was most excited about. It’s got a great old-school Saturday morning cartoon vibe to it and it’s by Wayforward. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get used to the controls. It’s got a weird 8 point auto-shooting scheme that’s done with swipes and I was constantly jumping when I was supposed to be shooting or visa versa. It’s a shame because the game is highly polished and has a great storyline. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a control update.

Fallen Knight (by FairPlay)

Fallen Knight is a game that I really wanted to like. I love action-platformers and I love side scollers, so I was really hyping myself up on this game. Unfortunately, it’s just not that fun. It’s one of those games that are so challenging, that it ruins the experience. I found myself skipping past enemies just to make it through the level. It’s not a “bad” game. The controls all work the way they are supposed to and the visuals are nice. I just couldn’t get into the game.

Cricket Through the Ages (by Devolver Digital)

I did not expect to have as much fun with Cricket Through the Ages as I did. I actually held off on playing it for weeks. The game is kind of hard to explain. It’s a physics-based game that (somewhat) revolves around Cricket, but feels nothing like a sports game. (I know nothing about Cricket.) The controls are wonky in a good way and there’s quite a bit to unlock. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times and I was playing by myself. It’s one of those games that need to be played to be appreciated.

Super Impossible Road (by Rogue Games)

Super Impossible Road is one of those games that kind of went right through me. There’s just so many of these kind of games on the App Store. Sure, it’s pretty to look at and it’s great not having to deal with IAPs like in most of these style of games, but I feel like I’ve played it so many times before. I will say that if you like these kinds of games, Super Impossible Road is the best one that I’ve played and would probably warrant a higher rating. It’s super fast and had me gripping my phone to stay on track. There just wasn’t enough there to keep me playing.

Dead End Job (by Headup Games)

I’ve had a lot of fun with Dead End Job. It’s one of the first games that I downloaded when Apple Arcade launched and I’m still playing around with it. It’s kind of a wacky Ghostbusters-style of game with a 90’s cartoons vibe. There’s tons of fart sounds and gross-out jokes that an immature adult like myself loves. My only issue is the controls. They work well enough, but feel really floaty for some reason. It’s hard to describe, but it drives me crazy when I’m playing. Regardless, it’s a really cool game with lots of polish.

UFO on Tape: First Contact (by Revolutionary Concepts)

UFO on Tape: First Contact is a tough one. On one hand, it’s beautiful to look at, the voice acting is well done, and I absolutely love the concept of catching UFO footage…….BUT, I’m not a fan of the controls. I understand that you’re supposed to be using your phone like a camera, but I just couldn’t get into the game with all the moving and twisting around. It’s a solid game if you don’t mind moving your phone around. I just couldn’t get past the controls.

Star Fetched (by Crescent Moon Games)

Star Fetched is a really cool game. The visuals look like they were ripped right out of a comic book and it’s even got a charming little story to it. What I really liked was that along with the action-platforming, there’s also some light crafting and even a bit of tower defense. There’s always something different going on to keep things fresh. The controls are simple enough with taps and swipes, but I would have really liked the option of having standard virtual buttons. It’s still a great game regardless.

Battlesky Brigade: Harpooner (by BattleBrew)

Battlesky Brigade: Harpooner is actually a fun little mashup of a SHMUP (shoot em’ up) and a fishing game. You’re basically shooting enemies as you’re traveling up, then once you run out of steam, you fall back to the ship, collecting coins on the way down. It’s a total grindfest, so the game definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a lot of doing the same thing over and over, while getting a bit further every time. Still, it’s not that bad of a game.

Fledgling Heroes (by Subtle Boom)

Now, I really like Fledgling Heroes. It was one of the launch titles when Apple Arcade first came out and I still have it on my device. It’s got a ton of polish and the story is really well written. There’s several different birds to save, each with their own unique abilities and play styles. You can also change up the appearance of your birds, which I thought was a cute little addition. Honestly, the game feels like it could have been an animated movie with its cute cast of characters. Throw in a level editor, an endless mode, and even some mild racing, and you have yourself a solid title.

Punch Planet (by Block Zero)

Oooh, Punch Planet was a game that I was really excited about when I first saw it on Apple Arcade. I’ve been waiting for a “premium” fighting game with none of the F2P mechanics that we see in most fighting games on the App Store. Unfortunately, this game just doesn’t feel finished. There’s a story in the beginning, but no real campaign. It’s just fighting the same handful of characters in the same 4 stages. Also, the on-screen controls cover half the screen. I will say that the visuals look good and I really like the overall theme of the game. It has the ability to be a really cool game, it just needs to go back in the oven for a little bit longer.

Things That Go Bump (by Tinybop)

Things That Go Bump is a pretty unique game. I would have loved to see it as something other than a Battle Royale game. The visuals are absolutely beautiful, the controls work fairly well, and the premise is cool. I like how every match is so unpredictable. You never know what object you’re going to find laying around and how good or bad your combinations are going to work. It’s honestly a great little game. Unfortunately, I’m just burned out on the whole Battle Royale genre right now.

Frogger in Toy Town (by Konami)

Frogger in Toy Town was another game that I downloaded when Apple Arcade first launched. I mean, come on! IT’S FROGGER! The sad thing is that with the popularity Crossy Road had a few years ago, this genre has been done to death. I will say that this game is actually pretty fun though. The visuals are absolutely beautiful and the controls work fairly well. The levels are well made with tons of objects making each play-through different from the last. It’s a shame that I didn’t appreciate this game more, but…you know. Crossy Road

Bleak Sword (by more8bit)

Bleak Sword is a game that gets better the more you play it and understand it. It plays like a casual roguelike with some mild RPG elements to it. At first, I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I kept switching between the two control schemes thinking that was the problem. Then, I just thought that I was flat out horrible at the game. Then, things clicked (somehow) and I grew to really like it. It’s definitely worth downloading and playing through. Just be prepared to be frustrated at times.

Projection: First Light (by Blowfish Studios)

I really liked Projection: First Light. It’s got a really good story that drew me in immediately and had me intrigued throughout most of the game. Then of course, there’s the visuals. They are absolutely beautiful with some really cool shadow work. Unfortunately, the controls weren’t that great and there were a few bugs here and there. The game has been updated since I’ve played with a lot of bug fixes. So, I may go back and try and finish it. 

Marble It Up: Mayhem! (by The Marble Collective)

Marble It Up: Mayhem! ended up being a lot more fun than I originally expected. I mean, there’s not much to describe. It’s a damn marble game. We’ve played these type of games for years. I will say that the levels are pretty fun once you get past the first few easy levels, the visuals are good, and the controls are decent once you adjust them to your liking. There’s multiplayer, leaderboards, ghost races, the whole sha-bang back into the game. All in all, it’s a solid title.

Ultimate Rivals: The Rink (by Bit Fry Games)

Oooh boy. This one was a tough game to review. I debated between 2 and 3 stars. The game itself is kind of fun. I like playing hockey games and this one is unique because you can unlock players from all different kinds of sports. The visuals are nice and the controls work well enough. Unfortunately, I just didn’t care for the game. There’s no campaign or season, I have no clue why all these athletes are competing together in this futuristic world. It honestly feels more like a demo than a full fledged game. Hopefully more is added to it eventually.

Big Time Sports (by Frosty Pop)

I absolutely love Big Time Sports. I still have it on my device as I type this. It took me a little while to really appreciate the game though. At first, I just wasn’t liking it. It just felt like a random high-score chaser. After playing a few different sports, I started falling in love with the game. The controls are so intuitive and do an excellent job representing each sport. I wish there was a little more done with the leaderboards, but it does have GameCenter, so I can’t complain too much. Regardless, Frosty Pop did an excellent job with this game.

Explottens (by WeRplay)

Explottens was one of those games that grew on me overtime. The first time I played it, I didn’t really care for it. There was something with the controls that I didn’t like. I ended up reinstalling the game not too long ago after noticing that it received a pretty big update and ended up really liking the game. Sure, it has some quirks and still feels like it may have originally been a F2P game, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Rayman Mini (by Ubisoft)

I’ve always liked the Rayman games. Hell, I even liked the recent F2P Rayman Adventures. So, I was pretty excited when another game hit Apple Arcade. The game feels like a “premium” extension of Rayman Adventures. The visuals and landscape all remind me of the previous game without all the timers. The one thing that I didn’t like about the new version is the auto-running feature. You can’t swipe to move left or right in this game. You’re constantly running full blast and can only change directions by bumping into walls or obstacles. It adds a different element to the game, but I liked the old controls a little better personally. Regardless, it’s another solid Rayman title.

Hogwash (by Bossa Studios)

Ugh. I really hate to criticize this game because I know that I’m probably not the target audience. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have fun with it. Hogwash is a 3v1 multiplayer game where you can either play as a pig and get things as muddy as possible or as the farmer where you have to clean up the mud from the pigs. I played single player against the AI and it’s fun for a minute or two, but gets old really fast. There’s not much else to do in the game besides unlock a few outfits. It looks and controls well, but that’s about it. There’s not much substance. It’s the same map, same gameplay, same everything. Over and over and over. Like I said, I’m probably not the target audience for Hogwash.

Ballistic Baseball (by Gameloft)

Ballistic Baseball is another game that’s more focused on multiplayer. Of course, I played single player against the AI and it’s actually pretty fun! There’s a decent little Career Mode that was recently added where you can upgrade and even unlock new players. The gameplay is simple with a bit of depth to it and I really liked the larger-than-life players and fields. The game is far from perfect though. There’s only a handful of teams and fields, so things can get stale after a while. Also, I had issues connecting when trying to play an online match. It could have just been a bad time to play, but I tried a few times and couldn’t find a matchup. All in all, it’s a fun arcade baseball game that is probably more towards 3.5 stars.

LEGO Builder’s Journey (by LEGO)

Builder’s Journey is kind of a LEGO game for grown ups. It’s a puzzle game that tells a story as you play. The game does a great job balancing simple puzzle elements and creativity. You can kind of use your imagination with some of the levels. Unfortunately, the game is a bit short. It felt like as soon as it got going, it ended. Regardless, Builder’s Journey is a fun new direction for the LEGO franchise. I hope they do more games like this in the future.

No Way Home (by SMG Studio)

No Way Home is still a fairly new game, but I’ve been really liking it so far. It’s got a good story with some witty writing and the hand-drawn visuals are absolutely beautiful. The game has a lot going for it. It’s got a huge procedurally generated open-world, tons of different enemies to fight, boss battles, and of course, lots of upgrading. The game isn’t perfect. With it being such a big world, there’s a lot of backtracking and it can feel like forever getting from point a, to point b. Either way, No Way Home is looking to be one of my favorite games on Apple Arcade so far.

Congrats to all the developers and their teams that released a game on Apple Arcade!

NOEN (@hashtagNOEN)


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