Games

Apple Arcade’s future: Kids win, but devs fear ‘smell of death’

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Apple Arcade's future is kids games with big names
Games with an established brand aimed at children -- like SpongeBob -- are apparently the future of Apple Arcade.
Photo: Apple/Nickelodeon

Apple Arcade now focuses so heavily on family-friendly titles from well-known franchises that some indie game developers feel abandoned, according to a new report. Some even predict doom — or at least creative stagnation — lies in Apple Arcade’s future if things don’t change.

Cupertino’s shifting priorities leave the developers, who Apple once wooed for the service, with few incentives for creating new Apple Arcade games.

Here are all the best apps and games for Vision Pro

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Vision Pro Home View Apps
We’ve found all the neatest apps for Apple’s latest device.
Image: Apple

The best Vision Pro apps, games, demos and experiences showcase the AR capabilities of Apple’s headset.

If you own a Vision Pro and don’t know where to start, I put together a list of apps and games to try out first. Alternatively, if you can’t afford a headset (or if you live outside the United States), you can live vicariously through me as I show you all of the most interesting Vision Pro apps I’ve found.

I highly recommend you check out the companion video to this article to see these apps in action. Alternatively, you can continue reading below.

Mac apps to speed your work, and games to make you forget all that [Awesome Apps]

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An iMac exploding with awesome apps.
Awesome Mac apps of the week.
Photo: Midjourney/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

In this week’s Awesome Apps roundup, you’ll find apps for managing files, using AI to boost your writing, and turning an iPad into a creative input device for a Mac.

And if all that productivity wears you out, we’ve got other options. You can relax with a charmingly peaceful Apple Arcade game with a delightful Japanese theme. Or you can blast enemy spaceships in an arcade-style game that’s great on iPhone — but even better on Vision Pro.

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to download.

Original games for adults and kids launch on Apple Arcade

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'BEAST: Bio Exo Arena Suit Team' is a shooter designed for kids and adults to enjoy.
BEAST: Bio Exo Arena Suit Team is a shooter designed for young and old to enjoy.
Photo: Oh BiBi/Apple Arcade

February brings BEAST: Bio Exo Arena Suit Team, a 3v3 online action game with animal heroes piloting powerful mechanized armor, to Apple Arcade.

Adults might prefer Words in Progress, a puzzle game, which is also newly available for iPhone, Mac and more.

iPhone App Store change allows streaming games and mini apps

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App Store
Game streaming and more will be very different in the App Store.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple eased up on longstanding App Store limitations on how iOS apps can deliver experiences to iPhone and iPad users, including streaming games and mini-programs, the company indicated Thursday. Developers like gaming companies can now submit a single app with the ability to stream all games in a catalog, rather than one app per game.

Accompanying these options will be new analytics reports for developers starting in March, plus new sign-in options they can include with apps.

Unlock god mode with cheat codes for more than 6,000 games

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Access cheats for 6,000+ games for $45.97 through Jan. 21.
Score cheats for thousands of PC games with this unbeatable deal on Cheat Happens.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Want to get the most out of your favorite games? Sure, you could spring for some new DLC. Or you could take the guardrails off thousands of games with a subscription to Cheat Happens. This haven for hardcore gamers contains cheats, mods and trainers for more than 6,000 PC games and counting.

And right now, you can grab a lifetime subscription for just $45.97.

Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom and Cornsweeper join the fun on Apple Arcade

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Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom is one of three games added to Apple Arcade on Thursday.
Photo: Apple Arcade/Bandai Namco

Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom promises an epic and nostalgic adventure, while Cornsweeper is a reimagined version of a classic. These are two of the latest additions to Apple Arcade’s extensive catalogue, and are now playable on iPhone, Mac and more.

More are on the way, as are content updates to other popular games in the service.

Today in Apple history: Marathon is Mac’s answer to Doom

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First-person shooter Marathon gave Mac gamers something to be proud of.
First-person shooter Marathon gave Mac gamers something to be proud of.
Photo: Bungie

December 21: Today in Apple history: Marathon game is Mac's answer to Doom December 21, 1994: Mac gamers get their hands on Marathon, a sci-fi first-person shooter designed as an answer to the massive success of PC title Doom.

Created by Bungie, the team that would later make the Halo games, Marathon introduces important features to the FPS genre. Just as importantly, it isn’t available on PC. Marathon quickly becomes a favorite among Mac gamers.

Why Apple Arcade makes great gift for a child or your family

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Apple Arcade
Put Apple Arcade under your Christmas tree this year.
Photo: Apple

A recent survey shows that what most kids want for Christmas is video games. Let me suggest you give the gift of Apple Arcade this holiday season.

Apple’s game service offers over 200 titles in a wide variety of genres at a single, low price, and it’s especially well suited for kids. But there’s fun for the whole family, too.

And it’s not too late!

Sonic Dream Team races onto Apple Arcade

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'Sonic Dream Team' is one of four games just added to Apple Arcade.
Sonic Dream Team is one of four games just added to Apple Arcade.
Image: Sega

Sonic Dream Team pits the high-speed hedgehog against an evil mastermind with the power to make dreams real.

It’s one of four additions to the Apple Arcade gaming service, including Disney Dreamlight Valley, Puzzle & Dragons Story and Turmoil+.

All of these and hundreds more and playable with a single subscription fee.

Top apps and games: Apple names 37 App Store Award finalists

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App Store Award finalists for iPhone apps
If you're looking for reliably good apps and games, this is a fine place to start. These are the apps for iPhone finalists (AllTrails, Duolingo and Flighty).
Photo: App Store

Apple’s App Store named its apps and games of the year for different devices/services plus other App Store Award finalists Tuesday. All told, it recognized 37 apps and games whose developers “are delivering exceptional experiences and making a profound cultural impact.”

And in a matter of weeks, we’ll find out who the winners are, the company said.

Resident Evil 4 bleeds onto iPhone and iPad in December

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Capcom Resident Evil 4 for iPhone and iPad
Resident Evil 4 helped define the horror game genre.
Screenshot: Capcom

The classic horror game Resident Evil 4 will make its iPhone and iPad debut on December 20. It’s a demonstration of the gaming capabilities of Apple’s most powerful mobile devices.

This is one of multiple console titles being ported to Apple handsets and tablets thanks to their highly capable processors.

Football Manager 2024 Touch now playing on Apple Arcade’s pitch

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'Football Manager 2024 Touch' on iPad
Show you have what it takes to manage a club in Football Manager 2024 Touch.
Photo: Apple

Players can create a soccer club dynasty in Football Manager 2024 Touch. The newest version of the team management simulation game from Sega & Sports Interactive challenges players to be the boss of one of the world’s best clubs.

It launched Monday on Apple Arcade, where its playable on a range of devices, including iPhone and Mac.

Apple Arcade getting 8 more fun new games in 2023

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Apple Arcade games
There are plenty of upcoming games and recent additions to Apple Arcade.
Image: Apple

Disney Dreamlight Valley Arcade Edition, Football Manager 2024 Touch, Sonic Dream Team and Puzzle & Dragons Story are among the eight games on the way to Apple Arcade in November and December. They’ll join the 200+ already on the service.

In addition, more than 50 of the already available games will get content updates.

Full version of Resident Evil Village launches for iPhone 15 Pro and iPad

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'Resident Evil Village' on iPhone
You don't need a console to play Resident Evil Village, just an iPhone 15 Pro or a recent high-end or mid-range iPad.
Photo: Capcom

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max owners can start playing the console-quality version of Resident Evil Village. The survival horror game hit the App Store just in time for Halloween.

It can also be played on iPads with high-end processors.

These 7 spooky Apple Arcade games dish out Halloween treats

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These 7 spooky Apple Arcade games dish out Halloween treats
Here are the best games with the unquiet dead available on Apple Arcade for your Halloween enjoyment.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Halloween is almost here, making this a great weekend to play some spooky games. Apple Arcade has a nice selection of these to help you enjoy the creepy season.

Here are the best options in Apple’s gaming service to find ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

Basketball fans can now jump into the action in NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition

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NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition is for serious fans.
NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition is a serious game for serious fans.
Screenshot: 2K Games/Apple Arcade

NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition, the latest addition to the long-running esports games franchise, launched a bit earlier than expected. The feature-packed basketball game is now on Apple Arcade for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.

This is the definitive basketball game for Apple devices, and each new version adds even more features.

Swing into hack-and-slash fun with Dungeon Hunter 6 [Awesome Apps]

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Choose your character and get ready to fight in Dungeon Hunter 6
The new Dungeon Hunter 6 is loads of fun and free (sort of).
Image: Gameloft/Goat Games
Awesome Apps

Dungeon Hunter 6, the new installment in the long-running RPG series, offers heaps of fantasy-themed battle. It’s a mix of real-time fighting and strategy, and offers a fun look to its characters and many, many monsters.

It’s a free to play game for iPhone and iPad, with in-app purchases.

Cut the Rope 3 revives a classic iPhone game

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Cut the Rope 3 on Apple Arcade
"Cut the Rope 3" is a physics puzzler now payable on a range of Apple devices.
Screenshot: Paladin Studios/Apple Arcade

Cut the Rope 3 is a new iteration of a beloved early iPhone game. It’s a physics-based puzzler staring Om Nom and cute little Nibble Nom.

The game is the latest addition to the Apple Arcade subscription service.

Portable new iPhone game controller is ready to play wherever you go [Review] ★★★★

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Turtle Beach Atom Controller for iOS review★★★★
Don't struggle with on-screen controls when gaming on your iPhone. The Turtle Beach Atom Controller is the way to go.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Clip the Turtle Beach Atom Controller for iOS on either side of an iPhone to add the physical buttons and sticks that make high-end gaming much more fun. It mimics the brilliant design of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con with the controls set on either side of the display.

It’s ready for Apple Arcade games and cloud-gaming services, too. And don’t forget the console games Apple has promised to port to the iPhone 15 Pro.

I spent hours testing the controller (it’s a hard job I have) and I really like it. Here’s why.

Slow down and relax with Japanese Rural Life Adventure

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'Japanese Rural Life Adventure' on Apple Arcade
Japanese Rural Life Adventure uses a gorgeous and carefully crafted pixel art style.
Image: Game Start/Apple Arcade

Fans of cozy life simulation games will enjoy Japanese Rural Life Adventure. It’s about living your best (digital) life, with plenty of the traditional culture of Japan mixed in.

The app debuted Friday on the Apple Arcade subscription gaming service.

Adopt a pretty kitty in the big city in My Talking Angela 2+

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My Talking Angela 2+ by Outfit7 Limited on Apple Arcade
Angela is a virtual pet with style and cattitude.
Image: Outfit7 Limited/Apple Arcade

My Talking Angela 2+ is a virtual pet game. Players help Angela, a fashionable anthropomorphic feline, stay busy in her big-city home. Some off her activities include practicing her dance moves, baking treats, making original music and designing jewelry.

It’s the latest addition to Apple Arcade, a low-cost subscription service that includes hundreds of games.