Apple Arcade launches early to glowing reviews

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Apple Arcade preview
Apple is inviting iOS 13 beta testers to try Apple Arcade too.
Photo: Apple

The wait for Apple’s all-you-can-play gaming service is over for some people beta testing iOS 13. The Apple Arcade launch isn’t supposed to come until Thursday. However, many people running betas of the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system already started playing.

Get Apple’s gaming service now

Anyone testing iOS 13 or iPadOS 13.1 should head to the Arcade tab in the App Store. If can join now, this will start your one-month free trial.

Days before the official release, there’s just a subset of the full Apple Arcade collection available. There are a couple of dozen available, including some of the marquee titles Apple has been pushing, including Sayonara Wild Hearts, Frogger in Toy Town, and Oceanhorn 2.

Apple Arcade supposedly brings “more than 100 titles at launch,” according to the company. However, Cupertino gave itself until mid-October to meet that mark.

Cult of Mac’s testing shows that games are currently playable on iPhone and iPad. But the preview invite says they’re only for iPhone.

Early Apple Arcade reviews prove positive

Apple gave some reviewers even earlier access to its gaming service. Their preliminary reviews come in fairly glowing. However, they filled their critiques with caveats about only spending a short time with a limited number of games.

Alex Cranz from Gizmodo said, “After a couple of hours playing through some of the biggest titles for the service ahead of its September 19th launch, I’m tentatively excited. The demo games I played had potential.”

Dieter Bohn from The Verge kept it short and sweet: “All the games are good.”

Adam Rosenberg from Mashable was also cautiously optimistic: “Based on a brief look at a limited selection of titles in the week before Arcade’s launch, the library is off to a solid start.”

More on Apple Arcade

Apple‘s gaming service costs just $4.99 a month, and everything included is playable on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, with a player’s game state jumping from device to device as they switch devices.

Apple recently added support for one model of Xbox controller, as well as the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller, which should make playing significantly easier.