Apple has never been particularly focused on gaming, preferring to abandon its rival Windows to establish a virtual monopoly on that sector in the desktop OS space. And while the iPhone sparked the app-gaming revolution that brought us everything from Angry Birds to Plants vs. Zombies, it seems that Apple never devoted its considerable resources to establishing mobile gaming dominance over Android.
That is until 2019, when Apple Arcade seemingly came out of nowhere. Here was a subscription model, ad-free gaming service that takes the very best games on the App Store and gives them to subscribers to enjoy.
A true Netflix of games, Apple Arcade has gone from strength to strength, now boasting over 200 games, with several major productions in the works alongside industry legends like Sega.
While Apple Arcade promises to be a ‘creme de la creme’ of the more than 1 million games on the App Store, there are of course certain gameplay experiences that require players to travel further afield.
No effort has been spared by tech news platforms in publishing Apple’s very public spat with Fortnite developer Epic Games over their differing interpretations of third-party microtransaction sales. Suffice it to say that Fortnite, arguably the world’s most popular battle royale game, is still not officially available in the iOS ecosystem as of 2022.
That means you won’t find it for download on the App Store and you certainly won’t see any future collaborations between Apple and the Epic Games intellectual property. But all hope is not lost, as adventurous gamers can still easily load this game – and many others that might otherwise be unavailable for reasons such as region locking – onto their devices and play to their heart’s content.
Elsewhere, while certain other gameplay experiences haven’t been completely banned from the App Store, best-in-class examples can only be found beyond its scope. This is the case of iGaming which has led the likes of Antipodean casino aficionados to look for the leading online gaming platforms in NZ to focus their efforts on the Safari browser and the open internet.
There, on reputable comparison platforms like CasinoReviews, slots and table fans will be met with a who’s who of the top platforms, all offered alongside competitive signup offers and welcome bonuses.
All this to say that while Apple Arcade is a decisive step forward for iOS gaming, Apple’s long history of ambivalence towards the games industry is still not entirely over.
However, this is not to deny that Apple Arcade is home to some of the best gaming experiences you will find anywhere, and with the service’s cross-play functionality allowing you to enjoy the catalog on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV, it is also one of the most flexible.
But what are the best games Apple Arcade has to offer in 2022? Let’s take a look below.
The Oceanhorn games aren’t ashamed to take pages out of the Legend of Zelda series’ script – quite the opposite, in fact. Oceanhorn, and its more refined and visually impressive sequel, Oceanhorn 2, proudly offer themselves as a tribute to Nintendo’s masterpieceBreath of the Wilderness.
With an 11-hour campaign and plenty of side quests and collectibles to keep you busy, what this one might not achieve in innovation it more than makes up for in solid, entertaining gameplay.
An extremely gripping ‘hack n slash’ title, World of Demons isn’t a sophisticated game – rather it’s one that tries to get the adrenaline flowing as you fight through its colorful world populated by all manner of demonic entities.
The fast-paced action is complemented by a charming cel-shaded style that gives the game a distinctive anime flair.
Fantasian is one of the more impressive coups for the Apple Arcade platform, being a turn-based RPG designed and written by Hironobu Sakaguchi, with original music composed by industry legend Nobuo Uematsu.
This is important because these are the guys behind the original Final Fantasy games. As such, you can expect a solid tactical turn-based adventure with the kind of writing you’ve come to expect from the top echelons of the J-RPG world.