When R and I decided to have kids, I figured it’d probably be the end of my gaming life. Friends (looking at you, J and P!) told me to go on one last Borderlands 2 bender and say my final goodbyes; diapers and burp rags would forever replace the controller in my hands. They were right, but only for a few months… enter Apple Arcade.
As M and E have gotten older, the best part about being a Dad has been introducing them to my lifelong hobby and getting to re-experience the excitement and awe of being a new gamer all over again. And Apple Arcade makes it so easy for us — it’s hands-down every bit worth the investment for our family. Here’s why:
1. It’s insanely affordable and cost-efficient.
For $4.99/month, you and 5 family members get access to 140+ quality games. Plus, Apple’s always adding new games and filtering out the less popular ones, so you’re not spending needless time curating it all yourself. Some of the games on Apple Arcade would normally be $5 games elsewhere — the cross-platform titles alone make it worth it! If you get the annual plan for $49.99, that’s only 69¢ per person, per month. It’s by far the best deal in mobile gaming.
(Note: Another option is Apple One. It’s a subscription bundle that includes Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple News+, iCloud, and more, all for $14.95/month.)
2. It’s super accessible.
I say this for two reasons:
One, you don’t need to buy new hardware. If you have an iPhone (or iPad, or Apple TV – literally any Apple product), you can play these games. But if you want to use a controller, game on: iOS and macOS devices support third-party controllers. I use a SteelSeries Nimbus+ (which you can read a bit about here).
Two, it’s super easy to connect family devices and pick up a game on the fly on any device. Kids force you to be flexible, so having a gaming system that can be equally flexible is a welcome plus. Other gaming subscription services force you to choose just two devices — that would never work with my family.
3. There’s something for everyone on Apple Arcade, and the selection’s always growing.
Whether you’re a solo gamer or sharing screens with your kids, there’s a game for every kind of player: action-adventure, platform, racing, RPG, strategy, puzzle, story-based adventure games, old-school classics … you name it, it’s there. If you’re a parent, this is huge. M and E can’t play all the same games yet due to their difference in age, and in any case they have different tastes that are constantly evolving as they grow. Plus, it’s easier to find time for their great pick-up-and-play games with quick matches that we can enjoy in short bursts (shout out to Butter Royale!). With all the different types of games on Apple Arcade, finding ones that fit the bill isn’t an issue.
4. There are NO ads, microtransactions, loot boxes, pop-ups, or chats in any Apple Arcade title.
Uh, need I say more?
But seriously, this is big, whether you’re a solo gamer fed up with the freemium mechanics of most mobile games, or just a parent trying to share the joys of gaming with your kids without its pricey pitfalls. Beyond the money, no one wants their game interrupted by pop-ups and ads, and I don’t ever want M or E getting chats from strangers. I also don’t feel like getting beat by some kid who’s swiped their parent’s credit card to bankroll endless loot boxes. (Or worse: I don’t want my kid to BE that kid.)
5. Supporting an alternative gaming model will improve gaming for all of us.
Once upon a time, mobile game developers made games that focused on quality and content, and they were rewarded for it. It was a great world to live in. Then, at some point, the monetization model took over, and a plague of pay-to-win mechanics meant the quality of the games themselves took a nosedive. (Not so nice.)
Enter Apple Arcade: suddenly, developers had an incentive again to create the kind of games that made us all fall in love with gaming in the first place. No loot boxes or paywalls — just pure, in-the-zone gaming experiences with quality graphics and top-notch content from creators who care. Indies can thrive, and everyone in the gaming world benefits.
Simply put, I want a lot more of this. If you do too, that’s reason enough to subscribe to Apple Arcade.
So these are my biggest reasons why I think Apple Arcade is worth it, but there are plenty more out there. If you’re still on the fence, try it out for a month — it’s free! Did I miss something big? Let me know in the comments!