Talk to any gamer worth their salt about mobile games and don't be surprised when they scoffed in disgust. Most will begin to rant about how mobile games are just some of the worst things to ever exist and must be destroyed. Most even don’t consider mobile gamers to be ‘true’ gamers.

While this might sound very callous and arrogant, I can’t really fault them for their view. Mobile games have simply degraded so bad from the true core of gaming that when we signed up for a trial run of Apple Arcade, we realised that how impactful Apple’s new service can be. And it is to the point that we can confidently say that it would revolutionise the mobile gaming industry for the better.

What We Like And What We Dont Like About Apple Arc
Apple Arcade is the best thing to ever come to the mobile gaming scene since forever.

Deep Integration

Apple Arcade tossed out of the window all of the trashes and frills that we have been used to seeing on ‘Free-to-Play’ games like endless ads and straight out predatory monetisation scheme. No in-app purchases to bug the Hell out of you when you simply just want to move to the next level. No gacha mechanics to spend (Rather dumbly, I might say) your money in and then hope that you would have the slim chance of gaining something good for the day. But on top of all, Apple Arcade added in a few more improvements of its own like controller support and offline play.

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Apple Arcade is fully compatible with controllers. A first.

All games in Apple Arcade are made the same: No ads, no in-app purchases whatsoever. And definitely no gacha. All of the games available are also deeply integrated into Apple’s ecosystem, which mean you can play the game on your iPad at home, play the same game using the same save file on the train on your iPhone. At the office, when you fancy a gaming session, you can turn on the same game, load up the save file, and begin from where you left off on your MacBook. I can see just how convenient this is and just how encouraging it would be for people to go and buy everything Apple they could: A shrewd business move … but at the end of the day, not that bad, either.

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The level of integration of Apple Arcade into the Apple's ecosystem is extremely steep.

Like I said, all of your save files go to iCloud and will be waiting for you no matter where you left off. Never worry about missing your progress. If you have a controller Apple Arcade supports controllers, too, so just hook it up and you’re ready to go.

Death of Free-to-Play

Apple Arcade will cost you a monthly fee of about $4.99 but in return, you can access 100 games instantaneously. There’s no cap on how much games you can play or on specific titles. Pick out the ones you like best, download them to your devices, and hit it up. The only limit in sight is your device’s storage capacity. Better yet, the initial list of 100 games is set to grow over time. It could seriously become the Netflix of mobile gaming.

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There are currently 100 different games for you to pick from Apple Arcade's library.

You can’t believe how much of a joy it feels when I boot up a mobile game that actually feels like a game instead of a sleazy scheme to siphon my money. I was not told to pay out a stellar amount of fresh cash to unlock a level, a hero, a weapon, or a skin pack. There’s definitely no annoying ads and best of all, since each games require you to download them down to your device, you don’t really have to worry about Internet connection except when you’re playing multiplayer with others.

All of the games are pure pleasure to play. The best game thus far (And Apple has seriously done a lot of work at marketing it specifically as the highlight of the service, as you can see in the video below) is Hot Lava. It’s a game-ified version of the childhood game where you’re not allowed to touch the floor. The game feels like the type of thing that you can only find on consoles, but the fact that you’re holding your iPhone in your hand is a true testament to how this is not at all a fantasy.

Hot Lava is a complete online experience and you will find other players running all around you as you take on the obstacle course. You can see the custom characters they have, watch them burn to death in molten lava down below, and just have fun overall in the sandbox environment the developers had crafted out very well.

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A fully-online experience that replicates the childhood game, Hot Lava can relate to quite a lot of people.

But of course, Hot Lava is far from being the only game that you can play. If it’s not your cup of tea, you can still play the new Rayman, a new RPG game developed by Square Enix (And we all know how good they are at RPG), from the developer of Alto - Snowman - with two games of heir own, new Frogger, Oceanhorn 2, … and more. You should head to the App Store now on browse through the expansive list yourself.

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Browse through the extensive library on your own, you'll find quite a lot of gems in there you might want to try out.

There Are Still Concerns, However

Apple Arcade isn’t completely faultless in spite of it being the best news in the gaming industry for quite a while. Hot Lava doesn’t play that well with touch controls and more or less demand you to have a controller connected for the best experience. This could show a rather concerning trend in mobile gaming as developers forego touch controls for controllers. Second of all, for the developers, how are they going to sustain themselves on a monthly fee as low as $4.99? What is the release rate of new games to Apple Arcade?

All of these questions are ones we don't really have answers to. Apple Arcade seems to be something that’s far too good to be true and it would be quite irresponsible for me as a reviewer to not be sceptical and raise these concerns. For now, though, I haven’t been this excited and optimistic for mobile gaming in years and I can easily see how Arcade will be a huge thing in the future.

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Apple Arcade has quite a future ahead of it.

We don't want you to brand a game ‘Free-to-Play’ just to try and juice out all of our money after we had downloaded the game and hooked us into it. We want a game that we can enjoy to the fullest on the go, like whne waiting for the bus, for example. Apple has an arsenal of good games under its belt already, and we would love to see what they could come up with in the future.

The concept behind the service is simple: Just remove all of the more annoying and predatory parts of gaming like gacha, ads, and in-app transactions. But the simple design has been game-changing, literally. And if this is how it's going to be from now on out, you should be excited about mobile gaming.