The best Apple Arcade games list just got a whole lot more exciting. That's because Apple Arcade just enjoyed its biggest expansion of new games since the service's inception almost two years ago. A typical month sees a few new games added each month, but April 2021 saw a massive 32 games arrive on the same day, meaning the process of deciding what the best games to play on Apple Arcade got much busier over the last few weeks. But don't worry, we still tackled them all in order to bring you this list of the best Apple Arcade games, including new Arcade Originals, formerly ad-supported games now made ad-less, and more pleasant surprises. From over 180 games now in Apple Arcade, here are our picks for the best Apple Arcade games.
Best Apple Arcade Games: Game of the Month - SongPop Party
It's been an extremely trying year for everyone, but one can imagine the extroverts of the world have had an especially rough go of things. Without any safe outlet for in-person socialization, their needs were not nearly being met. Me, I love my alone time, so I've really hit my stride in this pandemic, all things considered. But I admit I too love a good party game, which is why, whether you're playing online or, as restrictions relax, play in person, SongPop Party makes for one of my favorite Apple Arcade games and earns this month's Apple Arcade Game of the Month spotlight.
It was only a few weeks ago when I discovered SongPop proper in the App Store. The social trivia Name That Tune-like provides instant fun with a deep library of music to play with, but as I often say, things do seem just a bit user-friendlier in the Apple Arcade space, and SongPop is no different.
Without ads or microtransactions, players are free to tackle the game's unlock tree exclusively by playing, which obviously is ideal. Each round is played against AI, or in local or online multiplayer. This versatility means you'll always have someone to challenge, and as the pandemic hopefully comes to an end soon, it means your best friends can transition from online play to couch competitions on Smart TVs or even Mac computers if you prefer a bigger screen.
The host selects the options like the music playlist and how many rounds everyone will go as they compete to be declared music trivia champion. Selecting from a wide range of cute avatars, each depicting a sort of genre archetype like the rapper, the punk, the pop star, and more, you'll likely cheer as your digital selves do between each round. That's because no matter what genre you like, SongPop Party has something for you.
The library runs deep. While it may not always have your favorite totally obscure musical artists to queue up, its list of options really impress the more you play. Leveling up earns you keys, and every few keys can be spent as you wish on whichever music playlists you'd like to unlock for future competitions. While I started out with playlists like 2000s alternative and 2010s top hits, eventually I started to unlock more niche, but more interesting, playlists. Things like TV show themes from particular decades, horror movie themes spanning all eras, and even singular year's worth of top songs.
You'll score more points the faster you guess right, and the game's finely tuned scoring system means every millisecond counts. As it's all displayed on a ticker constantly, things can get really exciting when you're down by a few dozen points, desperate for your rival to slip up and misremember some Gorillaz song. The game also keeps you on your toes by sometimes asking for the artist and sometimes the song, so even if you recognize something right away, you may find yourself screaming to no one, "who sings this?!"
If you like music at all, SongPop Party certainly has several categories you could compete in, though it's often just as fun playing the underdog role. When my wife would try to coast to victory with the 90s rap playlist and I'd stun her with a win, it would provide that same sort of party game atmosphere we all remember from the pre-covid times. It's a simple, reliable, lighthearted social game.
The matchmaking groups players quickly and the UI is similar enough to the main games in the App Store that anyone else converting to the Apple Arcade version will slip right back into their comfort zone with some minor changes to scoring and a lovely lack of ads to get used to.
Apple Arcade added 32 games in April. Its biggest update since the service's inception. I played them all and loved many of them, but SongPop Party is my favorite of the bunch because it's the sort of social game so many could appreciate, and because playing it is like DJing your own bar trivia. It's exciting, sometimes nostalgic, or just plain groovy to hear songs you love or maybe even forgot about, and if you can show off your music trivia prowess in the process, well that just makes it even more fun.
Turn to the next page to find our rundown of the best Apple Arcade games...