Apple Arcade expanded its offerings this month in a big way. The evolving service added more than 30 games at the beginning of April, and the offerings feature heavy hitters that will make core gamers take notice.
It's a notable mix of mobile classics such as "Monument Valley," established blockbusters like "NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition" and timeless pastimes such as chess and crossword puzzles that makes the $4.99-per-month subscription service an enticing offer.
With more than 180 games now, the expansion of Apple Arcade suggests that the gaming scene may look more like Netflix as companies such as Microsoft invest in subscription services of their own and create deals for content.
Apple is clearly casting a wider net. An older generation may like the idea of the Timeless Classics category. Think of it as the equivalent of Nintendo's "Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics," with virtual versions of backgammon, crossword puzzles and solitaire.
Also targeted are people who were raised on mobile games or turned into gaming fans since the App Store opened back in 2008. These are people who love "Angry Birds" or "Crossy Road." For this audience, Apple Arcade created another category called App Store Greats — games built for mobile that take advantage of iPhone and iPad touch screens, like "Monument Valley."
And Apple Arcade is courting core and longtime gamers with its Apple Originals. It's not a new category on the service per se but it is reloaded with a number of titles that will appeal to this crowd.
Platinum Games, the makers of hits such as "Bayonetta" and "NieR: Automata," released "World of Demons," which brings a console feel with its quick-twitch button-mashing swordplay. Fans of "Final Fantasy" should check out Mistwalker's "Fantasian," a role-playing game that reunites series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu.
But the one that may find the biggest audience is "NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition." This is by all accounts a full version of the core game. It works with a controller or touch-screen controls.