Arcade: Assemble with Care
It has been several months now since the release of Apple Arcade. I had a subscription for the first couple of months, then dropped out after I started my new role @Soho House and for whatever reason I spent all of my new-found commute time playing solitaire.
I was later enticed to re-join with the annual payment of £49.99 for the year (a saving of £9.98). I’ve enjoyed most of the games I’ve played on Apple Arcade, it’s liberating to have real mobile games, and not be continually pushed in-app purchases.
￼By far the best game that I have enjoyed is Assemble with Care, a narrative driven puzzle game where you have to assemble or repair various objects for people in a town the protagonist is visiting. The game starts by encouraging the player to wear headphones. Follow this advice, the audio is rich and incredibly immersive.
I would have liked for there to be more complex or challenging repairs. The game designers did a great job of keeping the puzzles at the right level to not be frustrating, perhaps adding more complexity would have pushed it too far. It was great to get lost in the repair, with the side characters standing over you to provide encouragement (or distraction). The small details were great.
There have recently been rumours that Apple has been cancelling contracts for games that are not so long lasting in favour of more engaging games often citing Grindstone as a positive example. I played Grindstone, I enjoyed Grindstone, I played Grindstone for many more hours than Assemble with Care.
That being said, games like Grindstone will never be the reason for me to pay for Apple Arcade. Games like Grindstone already exist on the App Store, but funded with in-app purchases instead of an annual subscription. I have no interest in only changing the business model. I am drawn to Apple Arcade because of its promise to move mobile gaming forward, to provide unique experiences that are not present elsewhere.