New Game Releases: Apple Arcade Special

Hey everybody! Don’t throw out your calendars, this isn’t Tuesday, it is whatever day it is supposed to be, and I’m coming to you with a special edition of Tuesday New Games aka New Game Releases to discuss some of the big titles that just hit Apple Arcade. “Hey Andy, what is Apple Arcade“? I’m glad you asked! Apple Arcade is a video game subscription service that is available on (just about) all Apple devices; iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, etc., and for $5.00 a month you get unlimited access to hundreds of games. Now you might think “why would I spend money on shitty mobile games“, and I get your apprehension, but Apple Arcade titles are more than just your typical Angry Birds or Bejeweled type games, they’re full blown titles that are comparable to the types of games you would find on any modern console. Some of the best titles of the last couple years like Sayonara Wild Hearts, The Pathless, Beyond a Steel Sky, Neo Cab, What The Golf, and Shinsekai: Into The Depths can be found here, some playable with your Apple TV remote or touchscreen, but many playable using a PS4 controller, or other Bluetooth enabled controller. Lastly, you might also be asking “Andy, why don’t you cover these in the regular Tuesday New Games aka New Game Releases column“? Well, that’s because Apple doesn’t seem too keen on letting people know what comes out on their platforms ahead of time, and I have no idea why. Typically I just let these go by the wayside, but these last couple weeks have been pretty crazy for Apple Arcade, with 30 new games coming to the platform, 11 of which are exclusive, original titles. Let’s go through them and maybe discuss our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams for the future. What kind of house we’re going to buy together, what our kids will look like. Do you think that new Loki show will be any good?


Top Releases:

Fantasian – Released Apr. 1st

Hironobu Sakaguchi is a big name to many in the RPG world. His games are among the best and most beloved of all time, including the first eleven Final Fantasy games, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Xenogears, and Vagrant Story. When he left Square in the early 2000’s he started his own company called Mistwalker, continuing on with RPGs, they put out a handful of titles that weren’t quite as well received as his previous efforts, before they moved on to mobile devices with the successful Terra Battle series. It’s been ten years since the release of their last RPG, the Wii exclusive The Last Story, and I think it is safe to assume that many RPG fans are watching the release of Fantasian with cautioned excitement. Following the traditional RPG format of wandering dungeons and towns with your party of characters, fighting monsters and gaining levels, what sets Fantasian apart is its graphics and combat. While the characters, monsters, and some background assets are all 3D polygons, the environments are all handmade, physical, hand made models that have been digitized. The resulting effect is astounding, as you watch your digital characters run through “real” dirt, enter physical buildings, and wander through painstakingly hand crafted forests. It’s truly a marvelous look, I’m very impressed. As for combat, as is typical of RPGs, battles happen at random as players move through the world map and dungeons, however what makes this different is that you have a choice on when to fight. You can take on the battles as they happen OR you can store the monster in something called the Dimengeon, allowing you you face all of them at once when the desire hits. Based on the trailer above it looks like you can store up to 30 enemies in there, and seems like a decent way to get through some story beats and explore without having to constantly break things up with random encounters. I’m a Sakaguchi fan, and I really hope this new title helps put Mistwalker in a place to keep making RPGs.

Clap Hanz Golf – Released Apr. 2nd

In North America we got Hot Shots Golf, in Japan it was called Everybody’s Golf, now developer Clap Hanz, free from any ties to Sony, is here with their first, self titled golf game, Clap Hanz Golf. The basic game play looks to be roughly the same, arcade style of golf that we are all used to with these games, so don’t expect a ton of differences. That is both good, and bad, as it’ll feel familiar, but likely won’t deviate much from the already established formula.

The Oregon Trail – Released Apr. 2nd

The classic grade school staple is back with modern graphics, and yes, you can still die of dysentery, Gary.

Star Trek: Legends – Released Apr. 2nd

Murder your opponents with ruthless precision in this tactical RPG based on the Star Trek franchise. Pretty sure that’s the ideology the show was going for, right?

Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat – Released Apr. 2nd

This game is probably better suited for your iPad. I wonder if it has any Blink-182 songs?

World of Demons – Released Apr. 2nd

Originally teased back in 2018, World of Demons is a brand new action game from the masters of the genre, Platinum Games. The game was initially a partnership with mobile developer DeNA, although I can’t find any info on if they are still involved, not sure how that would change anything. In this title players take on the role of a samurai who must partner up with various yokai and oni in order to defeat a great evil. The graphics are inspired by ukiyo-e woodblock prints, giving the entire game a very unique and gorgeous look. While I’m having trouble finding out who led the development team, it is said to have been worked on by a team consisting of former Bayonetta 2 and Star Fox Zero veterans. Let’s hope this game lands closer to the former than it does the latter.


Everything else:

Wonderbox: The Adventure Maker – Released Apr. 1st

Explore and create intricate diorama stages that look to take inspiration from titles like Captain Toad and Fez.

Cut the Rope Remastered – Releases Apr. 2nd

FINALLY the story unfolds.

NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition – Releases Apr. 2nd

It’s the middle of Spring, and Apple Arcade subscribers are finally going to get their own entry in the long running NBA 2K series. Play as all your favorites, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, etc. Dominate the boards, tell people “not in my house”, and do that dance from Fortnite after you score a basket. This is the NBA at its best; accept no imitators.

Simon’s Cat – Story Time – Releases Apr. 2nd

Alright, so some of these ARE your typical mobile game fare, but every console needs a puzzle game or two, right?

SongPop Party – Releases Apr. 2nd

This is some kind of music trivia game that might already be available for free on iOS. I would assume the Apple Arcade version contains some content that you might have to pay for in the free game, idk though.

Alright folks, that’s gonna do it. If you have no plans to purchase an Apple device or their Arcade service, don’t fret too much, I’m sure most of these will make it to Switch and PS4 in a year or two. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to throw some enemies into the Dimengeon. If you like what I’m doing here consider supporting me on Patreon: