Apple now has its own games subscription service as part of the App Store: Apple Arcade that offers more than 100 games to play across multiple platforms for one monthly fee, with the majority of them "new and exclusive". All in-app purchases and downloadable content expansions are included and the list of available titles is refreshed regularly meaning there should be a handful of new games you've not tired waiting to be played.
Here then is everything you need to know about Apple Arcade.
What is Apple Arcade?
Apple Arcade is a subscription service where you get instant access to a large library of games to play across multiple devices for one monthly fee. Allowing you to play a selection of games for £4.99/$4.99 a month, the games are best described as "beautiful" and have been hand-picked by Apple to showcase what it perhaps believes gaming on the iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV should be like.
If you're wondering what we mean by that, think of past titles like Dumb Ways to Die, Monument Valley, Broken Sword, Numbers, Alto's Adventure or Ordia. If you are familiar with any of those games, you'll know they all come with their own individual style that where a lot of love and attention has gone into them, rather than being bashed out to serve adverts to an unsuspecting audience.
What it is not, is a cloud gaming platform, such as Google Stadia or Microsoft's Project xCloud, but is more like Xbox Game Pass. The large suite of games on offer can be downloaded and played on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Mac laptop or desktop computer.
They are available to play offline and will not be released on any other platform - such as Android. Initially, at least.
Is it available in my country?
Apple Arcade launched across 150 countries in September 2019, including the UK and US. Basically, it is available everywhere there is access to the Apple App Store.
How much does it cost or is Apple Arcade free?
Apple Arcade costs £4.99/$4.99 per month all-in. New subscribers get a one-month free trial period first.
That's considerably lower than the price for Apple's News+ subscription service, for example. That costs £9.99/$9.99 per month for access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers, so it's great that more than 100 games will cost you half that.
Even better is that there is no in-app purchasing nor adverts inside Apple Arcade games.
Apple Arcade Family Sharing
As further icing on the cake, an entire family (of up to six members) can access as many games as they want as part of the same monthly subscription, through Apple's existing Family Share feature.
Apple Arcade supported devices
Apple Arcade is designed to work on more than just iOS devices.
As well as iPhone and iPad, you can play the available games on your television through an Apple TV set-top-box. They are also available to users of an iMac or MacBook. And, iPod touch owners needn't feel left out, as it will work on that portable device too.
MFi Bluetooth game controllers are supported by some of the games. And, since the arrival of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 (plus macOS Catalina and tvOS 13) Xbox One and PS4 DualShock 4 controllers are also now compatible.
What games are available on Apple Arcade?
Many of the games available on the service are "new and exclusive" to mobile platforms.
Apple works with a large array of development partners, including Sega, Konami, Lego, Bossa Studios and the Cartoon Network. Each will provide games on a regular basis.
The Arcade line-up is hand curated by Apple's team and have no adverts, ad tracking nor additional purchases. Apple is also contributing to the development costs, becoming a games publisher in its own light.
Three top games to get you started
As we've said there are 100s of games available to suit all styles of gaming. Three of our favourites so far are:
Sayonara Wild Hearts
A thumping soundtrack and psychedelic colour palette will mean that for much of the first 10 minutes of this Annapurna developed game you won't really have an idea of what's going on or whether your taps and swipes are actually having an impact. That's okay, because once your brain has settled down to what it's seeing and hearing, the dreamy game about riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts game all at 200mph will soon grow on you. And if you struggle to complete it, the soundtrack is enough to want to keep it on in the background anyway.
Mini Motorways is the follow up to Mini Metros and sees you tasked with the simple challenge of getting people from their home to work by slowly building a sprawling metropolis. If that sounds easy, it's because to begin with it is, but as the game builds, so will your stress levels as you have to place traffic lights, bridges and motorways to get people around the city without running out of track. What starts off as quiet and calming can soon end up very chaotic. Expect to lose track of time very quickly.
Where Cards Fall
Created by the developers behind Alto's Odyssey and Alto's Adventure, Where Cars Fall sees you work your way through a number of challenging puzzles swipes and pinching packs of cards to help get across levels. The graphics are cute, the sound track calming and the puzzles interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. Don't expect a follow on to Snowman's previous titles though, this is a very different much more relaxing experience.