Apple Arcade games hopelessly buggy

I have been gaming for about forty years now. I have witnessed the birth and rise of Apple’s iOS gaming ecosystem, and it’s fall into freemium hell. I applaud the attempt to fix that with Apple Arcade: a subscription service for games that aren’t constantly trying to convince you to cough up money for “coins” of every description. Just give your money to Apple instead! But seriously, I would be happy to do so if I get good games in return.

So it’s too bad about the bugs.

I fired up my free Apple Arcade trial on a 4th gen Apple TV — not on the bleeding edge, but not old either — and I tried out three games in a row. The two more graphically demanding games had poor frame rates and input latency. All three were crippled by bugs within less than an hour of play. The first two simply became unplayable, but the third brought the entire device to its knees. All were “featured” games with high app store ratings.

It wasn’t just the games themselves, either: just installing the games was glitchy, and I had to reboot the device to get one of them going. And the controller connection was glitchy. In my first and second sessions after pairing, my X-Box controller connected to the ATV when I turned it on, as one would hope. But not the third! I had to re-pair. And then again after the next reboot. And so on. (But what do you expect from Bluetooth? Fuck bluetooth.)

Bugs happen, but this is ridiculous. Three contrasting experiences:

But three Apple Arcade games in a row became truly unplayable in less than hour, and weren’t all that great before that. So that’s the end of that gaming experiment for me. 🙄