Apple’s subscription service has a stacked July ahead
Apple’s Arcade subscription service can be hit-and-miss — or too focused on casual gaming — but this July, a trio of all-time indie greats will be joining the Arcade roster, and it might just be worth it. -beneficial immersion.
Topping off the month of updates is an all-new remaster of the App Store classic Funny Fishing by the Dutch iconoclasts Vlambeer (Nuclear Throne, Super Crate Box). According to Apple, it’s a “full and expanded remaster,” now in 3D, that was “developed from the ground up by the original award-winning team.” This is something of a surprise, as Vlambeer’s founders closed the studio in 2020.
“Vlambeer remains closed,” Rami Ismail, who founded the studio with Jan Willem Nijman, told Polygon in a statement. But Ismail and Nijman worked together Ex with their originals Funny Fishing collaborators, including some new partners in Goodbye Volcano High studio KO_OP, he said. “We both worked together on this, so we decided to keep it under the Vlambeer brand, but we don’t expect more collaborations like this. The two of us, Zach Gage, and Greg Wohlwend couldn’t resist the chance to revisit the game that started our careers — and get a chance to re-approach the game without getting the clones, and with 10 years of development experience. . The team immediately realized that in order to make the right game for the modern age, we also wanted to include the creative powerhouses in KO_OP for their signature style of playfulness, to bring the game to life.”
Funny Fishing is a very fun arcade game that involves plumbing the depths of the sea with unlikely bait (like a toaster), collecting as many fish as possible, tossing them into the sky, and then shooting them down. It was famously plagued by clones even before its release, but Vlambeer managed to beat the copycats and release one of the best mobile games ever. Along with the visual makeover, the new Ex version adds a competitive mode with daily, weekly, and monthly challenges and leaderboards, and an “expanded and prestige-able” new game plus mode. Funny Fishing EX hits Apple Arcade on July 14.
“App Store Greats” versions of the brilliant deck-building roguelike will also be coming to the service Kill the Spire and immortal farm sim Stardew Valley. Like other App Store Greats in the Arcade, they get a plus symbol at the end of their titles to indicate that you get all the content and updates included, without in-app purchases, ads, or other monetization (not that it has two premium games. either of those in the first place).
Kill the Spire+ came to Apple Arcade on July 7, and Stardew Valley+ was released on July 21.
Also coming to Apple Arcade in July is Adventure on Hello Kitty Island on July 28 — a “breezy new life/simulation game” featuring an indelibly cute mascot — as kids’ parents are excited to learn that the eye-watering love Lego Duplo World is getting an all-inclusive version of App Store Greats on July 7.
There will also be “major” updates for two of Arcade’s greatest games, Mini Motorways and Mini Metro+along with updates for a bunch of other titles including What is a Car?the recently released follow-up to the comic What is Golf?
Update: This article has been updated with a comment from Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, clarifying who worked on the development of Funny Fishing EX.
What is Apple Arcade?
Apple Arcade is Apple’s subscription service that offers access to more than 200 games. All of them are available on iPhone and iPad, and some are also playable on Apple TV and Mac computers. The service includes specific versions of mobile hits such as Jetpack Joyride 2, Cut the rope, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, The Oregon Trailand Crossy Roadas well as newer games such as Fantasy, Mini Motorways, NBA 2K23, What is Golf?and Wylde Flowers. Apple promises that Apple Arcade games will not have ads or in-game purchases.
How much is Apple Arcade?
It costs $4.99 a month, and it’s also included as part of Apple One, a bundle that includes Apple Music, TV Plus, and iCloud for $16.95 a month for an individual, or $22.95 for a family with five members. Apple offers a one-month free trial for Apple Arcade, and users who purchase a new Apple device get three months free.
Is Apple Arcade worth it?
If you love playing games on your phone but hate the ads and in-app purchases that have become synonymous with mobile gaming, then Arcade is worth checking out. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s carefully curated — the included games are of decent quality and cover the entire broad spectrum of mobile gaming, from indie narrative games to casual puzzle games, console- style role-playing game to children’s titles. It’s probably the best gaming subscription service for families, and it feels great to be completely free of microtransactions and ads.
However, it is worth noting that there is a strong casual-gaming bias in the game catalog, and that Apple has struggled to find truly exciting new exclusives for the service of late. If you’re looking for a steady stream of exciting new releases to justify the subscription fee, you might want this.
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