Apple Arcade review on the fantastic new Apple Tv 4K

The recent array of Covid-19 restrictions has left many of us a bit lonely and a bit too locked up. My childhood was much the same: A lot of time indoors on the computer and more videogames. The only difference was that we did not have any lockdown restrictions.

I now have two little kids (under 7) who were bored out of their minds and fighting with each other all the time. Suddenly, I realised: it would be cool to buy a video game console to keep them entertained, and this sibling rivalry might actually stop.

After all, they always seem to be hooked onto the few games we have on the iPhone and iPad devices.

Playing Apple Arcade on the TV

Trying a PlayStation 4 vs Apple Arcade

I instantly gravitated towards the PlayStation, being the brand I used to play with as a teenager. I was surprised that a new PlayStation 5 console costs well over AUD $1000 + GST. So I decided to get a New PS4 (Still about AUD $350 + GST) and buy second-hand games from the local EB store. Armed with about 5 game titles, I turned on the device and set the kids in front of it. They went through all 5 games in about 15 minutes and were ‘board’ not long after. I instantly thought these PG games did not do the trick.

I was even more surprised that the games did not engage with them like the games on the mobile devices did. Maybe it was because some of the titles I bought had long-winded storylines, and the other ones were far too hard for little people to control. Thank You to Amazon Prime; I quickly returned the PS4 device for a full refund.

PlayStation Dual Shock Controller

Now for the Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade was new on the market, and I was long overdue on upgrading my first-generation AppleTV, which you will need to operate Apple Arcade. Being an Apple fan, it did not take me long to order the latest AppleTV 4K (64GB). I had to also order 2 PlayStation Controllers (AUD $80 + GST Each), which in total cost as much as a PlayStation device.

A significant advantage here is that I could subscribe to Apple Arcade for about AUD $7 + GST for unlimited games. And not to mention access a lot of smart TV functionality like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the legendary AirPlay service, which connects to our Sonos Move like magic. All of our family members also accessed all of Apple Arcades games on our mobile and computer devices for the subscription.

Note that some games are only available on mobile devices and not AppleTV. And others are available only on AppleTv and not mobile devices.

The AppleTV 4K Device

Once the device arrived, it was an instant hit. I was glad I got the maxed out 64GB version because these games on Apple Arcade are reasonably heavy, and you will find that you will run out of space very quickly.
I also got the 4k version which includes the A12 Bionic Chip, which is definitely a step up in performance. I believe this version also has a 120Hz refresh rate which is ideal for gaming. The refresh rate is, however, not confirmed on Apple’s official website. The games do perform flawlessly, with close to no controller lag and almost zero buffering issues.

Apple Arcade First Impressions

After the initial set-up, which was a breeze, the kids took over. It looked like they were familiar enough with the Apple environment to just go and install all the games they wanted. This was definitely a good surprise, especially after their quick abandonment of the PlayStation earlier. They have been operating older Apple TVs right from when they were born, so I dont know why I was so surprised about how they were with their new toy at home.

Apple Arcade Range of games

It was also a pleasant surprise to discover that Apple Arcade had a reasonable range of games, and they were promising new games to be added every week. Now months down the track since we first installed Apple Arcade, I can tell you that their Games library has doubled in size with some top-rated games like “LEGO Brawlers”, “Asphalt 8”, “Samurai Jack”, “Sneaky Sasquash” and “Ocean Horn”. All excellent games, and all in HD quality. These games are not ultra-high resolution 4k gaming experiences and are more characteristic of lightweight online mobile phone games on a much larger screen. The fact remains that these games are still very engaging and perfect for casual game players, which I would fall into.

Final word

So far, we’re loving the new AppleTV and Apple Arcade. I occasionally slip in a game, but the kids play all the time and love the seemingly endless new releases every week. But it’s with regret I have to report that the brother/sister fighting has not stopped. I now see them fighting over which games to play and contemplating buying a second AppleTV device.

Tell us what you like or dont like about Apple Arcade in the comments below. We love to hear your comments on this topic.