Apple Arcade gets a star-studded sports franchise with Ultimate Rivals

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Ultimate Rivals on Apple Arcade
This isn't your everyday sports franchise.
Photo: Apple/Bit Fry Game Studios

Apple Arcade is getting a sports franchise — and it sounds all kinds of intriguing. Ultimate Rivals brings together all-star athletes from different pro sports eras and leagues, including the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA and US Women’s National Soccer Team.

Boasting a cartoony style, the game series will let you pit athletes from different sports against one another. The first game in the series? A two-on-two hockey game called Ultimate Rivals: The Rink.

Check out the trailer below:

As Apple notes in a press release:

“Players can combine, for instance, Alex Ovechkin and Alex Morgan against De’Aaron Fox and Jose Altuve or Skylar Diggins-Smith and Wayne Gretzky. Different combinations of heroes unlock unique ways to play and win against the AI or other gamers in online multiplayer matches. On the ice, the action is driven by players’ quick reflexes and are brought to life with stylized visuals and immersive sound FX. ‘Ultimate Rivals: The Rink’ launches today on Apple Arcade across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac and will be followed by an NBA licensed basketball game, ‘Ultimate Rivals: The Court’ in spring 2020.”

Ultimate Rivals on Apple Arcade

I haven’t yet had the chance to try out The Rink, but I’m excited. I’m not the biggest sports gaming fan here at Cult of Mac. But I’ve got very fond memories of frenetic cartoony sports titles like NBA Jam back in the day. If Apple and Ultimate Rivals developer Bit Fry Game Studios can capture that fun, this could be a superb series for whiling away a few minutes here and there.

That’s what seems to be promised with short-session games boasting arcade rules, in place of more po-faced sports simulation gameplay. Players can enjoy online multiplayer matches or single player against AI opponents. It supports both touch controls and Bluetooth-connected console controllers. To keep momentum going, Ultimate Rivals‘s makers so they will add additional athletes over time.

Does Ultimate Rivals: The Rink appeal to you? If so, you can check it out by subscribing to Apple Arcade. The subscription service offers more than 100 games for a monthly fee of $4.99. If you’re unsure, there’s a free trial period for you to give it a go.