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For anyone even remotely interested in gaming, Apple Arcade makes a pretty appealing value proposition. Nearly 100 new and (pretty much) exclusive games for $5/month, with no pesky ads or in-app purchases to dilute the experience. The quality on show is impressively high, too – these titles are, by and large, leagues better than your average App Store find.
That means the problem facing most subscribers is one of choice. How do you dig into such an overwhelming catalog of titles?
We’ve been exploring Apple Arcade since it hit beta release, with each of our five writers picking three of their personal favorites to tell you about. We’ll be releasing their selections week by week, or you can read about all fifteen right now in the Premium section of the app. (We’re currently running a one-week free trial of the Premium subscription.)
First up is Editor-in-Chief Tom Rolfe‘s pick of the litter. Giving these titles a shot is a great place to start, especially if you’re just trying out the month-long free trial of Apple Arcade.
Tom’s top three
What the Golf?
Forget the title; this is no more a golf game than beer pong is table tennis. Instead, this strips golf back to its very simplest form – get object to flag – and toys with the formula endlessly.
Less than a minute into the game you’ll be firing the golfer himself towards the green rather than the ball, perfectly setting the tone for what’s to come: gravity puzzles, archery games, car chases, and lots of cats – all part of this madcap golfing world.
You can really tell its creators had a blast in the making of this one, and that incessant joyfulness bleeds into the gameplay. It’s sublimely silly and consistently creative in a way that will have you grinning from ear to ear.
This is a game that could be accurately described with just three words: not quite Zelda. But to do so would be to do its developers a disservice, as Oceanhorn 2 puts its own joyful spin on a well-loved genre.
Forget the obvious influences, and what you’re faced with is a remarkable action RPG and one of the most expansive gaming experiences to ever grace iOS. Magic, puzzles, side-quests, boss fights, and a robot companion who wields a samurai sword – this game has it all.
The lush, vibrant kingdom of Gaia is a both technical marvel and a joy to behold. Grab a wireless controller and you’ll forget this is a mobile game.
Mystery games are ten-a-penny on the App Store, but child detective Jenny LeClue ventures beyond simple room escape fare. This is a heartwarming adventure game that focuses on storytelling above all else.
Memorable characters and a wonderfully tactile presentation keep the game engaging despite its relatively slow pace, and the investigative mini-games do a great job of simulating detective work.
Icing on the cake is a genius “choosiness” mechanic that keeps track of every decision made and judges you accordingly, like a Buzzfeed quiz written by Agatha Christie.