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The Best Hidden Gems In Apple Arcade

The Apple Arcade game service has finally launched, providing access to over 200 on-demand games for the low price of $4.99 a month. That service comes with a number of well-known titles, including indie favorite Sayonara Wild Hearts, classic game reboot Chu Chu Rocket! Universe, the adventure game Oceanhorn 2, and the fast-paced Sonic Racing, marking the hedgehog's debut on the platform.

But it also comes with a number of hidden gems that most players may not know about. These include indie hits from the likes of Insomniac Games, Blowfish Studios, and many others. And some of them just might take you by surprise, if you give them the opportunity. So let's take a look now at ten titles, spread across a number of genres. No matter which one you're into, however, you'll find them to be real surprises — and yet another reason to enjoy the service while you wait for what's next!

Speed Demons

Those that may have grown up with fast-paced arcade racers like Burnout 3: Takedown and OutRun will definitely like what Radiangames' latest release has to offer. This top-down racing game challenges players to rev their way through a number of courses, using boosts to avoid capture by the police, who are hot on your trail.

But this isn't about just dodging traffic. Like Takedown, you can actually plow through it and create some pretty fun pile-ups. And with various vehicles available, including near-invincible deluxe-sized buses, the sky's the limit when it comes to chaos. But why let criminals have all the fun? Speed Demons also provides the option to play as the police, either pursuing suspects and trying to ram them off the road, or unlocking a helicopter to drop a bomb on them from above.

No matter which option players may take, Speed Demons proves to be a fun ride that beckons back to the racers of old. Check out the trailer here and get ready to bump up those insurance costs!

Cricket Through the Ages

Apple Arcade has its fair share of sports games at the moment. But how many actually label themselves as a sports game, but instead create a hilarious fighting-style experience across time? Only one: Cricket Through the Ages.

Produced by Free Lives, the game is a two-player contest, where the goal isn't to win a match of cricket. Instead, it's to knock down your opponent by any means necessary. You can charge them, throw something at them, or, if you really want to be creative, figure out an angular attack to take them down while you try to stay in one piece. The trailer shows a gut-busting good time as players compete as cavemen, knights, and other characters in history. And it allows for multiplayer across various modes, so friends can get together and laugh out loud as they try to be the last "cricket master" standing (yes, we're using quotes very heavily there).

If it's a good chortle you're after — or a not-so-typical sports game — this game will certainly last you ages.

What the Golf?

Speaking of sports games that do away with conventional rules, What the Golf? is the next sleeper hit that Apple Arcade fans won't want to miss. Sure, it has a little bit of golf structure in its place. But then it becomes completely unhinged (in a good way), as players tackle all sorts of unpredictable goals to take on the next golf challenge.

This includes hitting your player instead of the ball, launching a horse off of a diving platform towards the pin, or even sending a traffic jam plowing through objects, just to pave the way for the golf ball. There's even a game of soccer that breaks out at one point. With a delightful visual presentation, a joy-inducing soundtrack, and the kind of gameplay that keeps players on their toes, What the Golf? should easily win over players with its combination of inventiveness and goofiness. Check out the trailer if you need further convincing.

Spidersaurs

The developers at WayForward have been super busy as of late, between working on a new Shantae game and releasing the entertaining brawler River City Girls for consoles. But they have somehow found time to put together a romp of a side-scrolling shooter, with a lot of personality to spare.

In Spidersaurs, players either choose between punk rocker Victoria or up-and-coming officer Adrian as they battle against eight-legged creatures created by INGESTCorp. Initially, they were created to solve world hunger. But when they build an appetite of their own, the two unlikely heroes are called upon to clean house!

Like classic shooters before it, Spidersaurs features a variety of weapons, including spread guns, lasers, and flamethrowers. What's more, new abilities open up over the course of the game, enabling the heroes to power up in a number of ways. But the thing that's sure to win fans over is the game's presentation. The visuals are straight out of Saturday morning cartoons, and the soundtrack is classic WayForward, with the kind of rock and roll that would make Stan Bush proud. Check out the trailer and prepare to fight your food!

Skate City

While it doesn't look like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater will make a return anytime soon (if ever), indie developers have the skateboarding genre covered. This includes the team at Snowman, who have put together a fun little side-scrolling adventure called Skate City. With this, players will feel the groove as they rack up points, pull off some sick tricks, and master the art of skateboarding — without having to hop on one in real life.

Featuring a variety of tricks and locations to grind around in (including Los Angeles and Barcelona), Skate City also benefits from a fresh soundtrack and a simple but elegant visual style that's truly fresh. The game also has depth to spare. Along with being able to try out a number of tricks in the Endless Skate mode, there's also a Challenge mode that will put you to the test. Accomplishing goals will allow you to unlock new skills and gear, making you that much more of a skating pro.

If you grew up enjoying the multi-million combos of Pro Skater games of old, Skate City is well worth your time. Get some air with this rad trailer, dude.

Lifeslide

A breathtaking journey that may remind players of the old days of Flower, Lifeslide from Block Zero is a truly original adventure that should be high up on the playlist of Apple Arcade subscribers. The game puts you in control of a paper airplane as you make your way through a life-like journey, experiencing new areas and finding a few surprises along the way. The flight mechanic is easy to grasp, but hard to master, as you'll undergo twists and turns as you explore each enlightening new world you come across.

Along with the colorful visuals that bring each area to life, Lifeslide also benefits from a soundtrack that's ideal for those wearing headphones. It really draws players into its tranquility, as they master the art of flight and see what's waiting around the next corner.

Although not as action-packed as other games, Lifeslide packs more than enough creativity to take a few flights with. Check out its majesty for yourself in this debut trailer!

Jenny LeClue

Those of you looking for an intriguing — yet different — detective-style game on Apple Arcade, get a Clue. Or rather, Jenny LeClue. In this rousing adventure from developer Mografi, players take control of a young girl named Jenny, who must suddenly clear her mother's name after she's accused of murder. She's driven to prove her innocence and makes her way through a stylishly designed world, talking with different characters and discovering clues.

Along with its innovative looks, Jenny LeClue also benefits from sharp — yet humorous — storytelling. Each new character offers something new to the picture, and a number of locations will keep her busy, from an abandoned mine to a forgotten graveyard. With each new step, she'll have to make decisions that will eventually decide her mother's fate — and possibly even her own.

With a fascinating presentation, a fun story, and hours' worth of mystery to uncover, Jenny LeClue is a winner, case closed. Enjoy the announcement trailer here.

Hot Lava

Klei Entertainment, the makers of Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja, are back with a vengeance. And this time, they're stirring up a classic childhood game for real with Hot Lava.

Remember playing the IRL kid's game The Floor Is Lava and climbing up on furniture to avoid touching it? Well, in this game, the characters you'll take control of literally have to dodge touching the floor. Because it's actually lava. They'll have to make their way across a number of environments, getting from point A to point B either on their own or with their friends. But be careful. One mistake and you're literally toast.

As each level passes, new obstacles are introduced that make your journey a little tougher to come by. And with friends in tow, there could be some stiff competition when it comes to reaching the finish line. But if you keep your wits about you — and avoid making crucial mistakes — you just might be able to avoid the "hot foot" syndrome, so to speak.

The game's trailer sets the mood for this fun game — to the tune of House of Pain's "Jump Around," of course.

Earth Night

Though it's been in development for several years, the artistic platforming game Earth Night has finally arrived, making its debut on Apple Arcade before coming to other systems. That's a huge plus for the service, as it benefits from a wondrous art style, as well as the kind of challenging gameplay that keeps players coming back for more.

In this fantasy-based journey, dragons have overtaken the Earth. As a result, humans decided to take up residence in outer space. But, eventually, they know the creatures will make their way up to that space. Two brave people, Stanley and Sydney, must defeat these mighty beasts to assure the future of mankind.

The game features both side-scrolling action, where you avoid incoming objects and jump onto new dragons, and stunning 3D "dive" sequences, where you'll have to safely land on one of the creatures as they float above Earth. In both cases, the artistic design is unbelievably good. And the gameplay isn't too shabby either, between the challenging platforming and collecting items like water and dragon eggs.

It's a not-so-typical adventure worth a test flight. See it in action here.

Projection: First Light

From indie developer Blowfish Studios comes a unique platforming game that not only provides a fresh perspective on design, but also delves slightly into history. Relax, it's not looking to school you. Projection: First Light is simply out to entertain.

Featuring a world that's manipulated by shadows and light, Projection puts you in control of a heroine named Greta. She makes her way through the world, using shadows to create new platforms to get to new areas. As she makes her journey, she'll visit locations like Indonesia, China, and Turkey, coming across cultural heroes and moving the story along. Blowfish utilizes a brilliant stick-figure style design for the game, though the adventure feels more real than it lets on. It doesn't rely on any sort of violent resolution; instead, it asks Greta to find a creative way to get around problems. And it manages to do so with a vivid presentation, fueled by the design of Australian puppeteer Richard Bradshaw.

Projection: First Light stands out as one of the stunning examples of unique games available on Apple Arcade. Just take a look at the trailer and you'll be convinced at just how striking it is.