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Apple Vision Pro Adds Apple Arcade Games, But Isn’t for Gamers – Yet

by Elizabeth Harper on February 16, 2024

Though it isn’t marketed as a gaming device, the new Apple Vision Pro VR headset – or, as Apple calls it, spatial computer – can play over 250 Apple Arcade games. Most of these are the same as if you played them on Mac or iPad, with the Vision Pro displaying a 2d screen in front of you where the game runs. However, a dozen games have been updated to take advantage of the Vision Pro’s VR capabilities, bringing unique spatial games to the new headset.

Characters from Apple Arcade games hovering over a chess board

If you already have Apple Arcade, you’ll probably be familiar with these games – but even if you’ve played them before, it will be worth checking out the titles that take advantage of the Vision Pro’s features. These games include:

  • Game Room: a VR version of classics like chess and solitaire. This covers the basics, but feels like something that just doesn’t need VR.
  • WHAT THE GOLF?: a physics-based golf game that is nearly nothing like golf. This is a fun (and funny) game in 2D but it looks like a blast on the Vision Pro as you make gestures in the air to control your swing, while watching cars, houses, and, occasionally, golf balls fly in front of you.
  • Cut the Rope 3: a physics-based puzzle where you navigate each level by choosing when to cut the rope.
  • Jetpack Joyride 2: an endless runner where you navigate around obstacles using your jetpack.
  • Patterned: a jigsaw-puzzle style game set to soothing beats.
  • Illustrated: another jigsaw-puzzle style game that pairs puzzles with stories.
  • Wylde Flowers: a cozy life simulator with a magical twist. While most of the game is presented on a traditional 2D display, certain elements – like plots in your farm – pop out in 3d so you can easily navigate and interact with them.
  • stitch.: a puzzle game based on embroidery. The VR version leans into a more authentic embroidery experience as each puzzle is displayed on an embroidery hoop and you pick colors by selecting spools of thread.
  • Synth Riders: this popular rhythm game is already available for other VR platforms, but it looks to be just as fun on the Vision Pro. Bop and weave in time to the music to dodge obstacles and zoom through the map, with unique hand gestures and interactive effects just for Vision Pro.
  • LEGO Builder’s Journey: a LEGO adventure game where you build your way across each level. In VR, this looks to give a more authentic LEGO building experience as you stack blocks that appear in front of you in 3D.
  • Bloons TD 6+: an expansive tower defense game with RPG elements. Build and upgrade your defenses, collect heroes, and fight your way across 70 different maps.
  • Super Fruit Ninja: a fast-paced game where you slice through flying fruit. The VR version looks great, with cartoon fruits flying right in front of you, ready to slice and dice.

Several more Apple Arcade games are being updated for Vision Pro, including Alto’s Odyssey, Gibbon: Beyond the Trees, and Spire Blast. There’s no ETA for when those will be available, and screenshots from the games didn’t give us a good idea of what they’ll be like in VR.

But do you really need a $3,500 Vision Pro to enjoy these games? Probably not. Out of the list above only Synth Riders isn’t available on other devices, and all of these titles are perfectly fun on 2D screens. We only have short video clips of some of these games, so it’s hard to tell how they’ll all adapt to the Vision Pro’s interface. WHAT THE GOLF? and Fruit Ninja both bring their kinetic experience to life with 3D elements and animation, but it’s hard to say how some of these games will translate. In particular, the jigsaw puzzle games Patterned and Illustrated don’t necessarily seem like strong options for the Vision Pro – they're both great games, but I'm not convinced they'll be improved by VR.

Read more: How Much Will You Actually Pay for Apple's Vision Pro?

VR gaming remains something of a niche, with a limited number of games that fully embrace the technology. The Apple Vision Pro, with its high-resolution micro-OLED display and powerful M2 processor, could potentially be a killer gaming device – but it isn’t there yet. With a high price and only a dozen games that fully support the Vision Pro’s features, the gadget remains a hard sell for gamers. (Even though I very much want to play WHAT THE GOLF? in VR.)

If you’re interested in trying out VR gaming, there are more practical (and more affordable) options than the Vision Pro. Meta Quest headsets were built with gaming in mind and support over 500 titles designed for VR – and the Meta Quest 2 starts at just $250. This basic VR device doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the Vision Pro – not by a long shot – but it has much broader game support, and that makes all the difference.

Our advice? The Apple Vision Pro isn’t worth buying just for the games, but if you’re getting a Vision Pro for other features, you should check out the game library. Apple Arcade is packed with fun titles, and some of them – like Synth Riders – really show off the Vision Pro’s features to best effect.

If you’re fixed on getting the latest Apple device, the Vision Pro is available now starting at $3,499. To access Apple’s game library, Apple Arcade costs an additional $6.99 per month (with a one-month free trial), and includes over 250 ad-free, microtransaction-free games for Mac, iOS, and Vision Pro.

[Image credit: Apple]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web, including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.


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