Apple Arcade is a perfect travel companion


We’re going to Los Angeles next week, and as usual, I spent some time preparing my iPad and iPhone for the trip, stocking them with new things to read and play. I have a short attention span, so I need enough things to distract me whenever I’m on a plane, train, or boat.

My go-to app for travel is still Libby by OverDrive, a free app that lets me check out books and audiobooks from the public library. There’s always plenty to read or listen to, with tens of thousands of titles to choose from. For this trip, I consulted recent novels by some of my favorite series authors, including Lee Child (Jack Reacher), Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs), and Stuart Woods (Stone Barrington). I also grabbed a James Patterson audiobook as a backup if I finish the eBooks.

For years Libby was all I needed to keep me entertained in the sky, on the rails or at sea. It only requires internet access when you want to check or return a book or audiobook, it’s therefore ideal for travel, when internet access can often be spotty (or non-existent).

But man cannot live by words alone, or at least I cannot. So, in addition to stocking up on books and audiobooks in Libby, I also stock my iDevices with games that don’t require internet access. And these days, I can’t think of a better source than Apple Arcade, which costs $4.99 a month for unlimited access to over 200 high-quality games.

I probably wouldn’t have subscribed to Arcade, but it’s part of my Apple One Premier subscription, and I’m glad I have it now. I’m a “casual” player with no big gender preference. So I enjoyed discovering a variety of games for free. And I love that arcade games don’t have ads or in-app purchases, so unlike many “freemium” games on the app store, arcade games never pester you to watch or buy anything.

I’ve played dozens of Arcade offerings and enjoyed most of them. Highlights include Backgammon+, which I found surprisingly difficult; Gear.Club Stradale, an easy-to-learn, hard-to-master racing game; and Bloons TD 6+, a fast-paced tower defense strategy game.

I enjoyed playing Gear.Club Stradale, so I took a look at some of Apple Arcade’s other racing games and discovered three others that I enjoy almost as much: Asphalt 8: Airborne+, Sonic Racing, and Warp Drive Teleport Racing.

If you buy a new iDevice, Mac, or Apple TV, you’ll get three free months of Apple Arcade. Or get a one-month free trial at

I’m sure Libby and Apple Arcade will be all I need to have fun from here to LA and back.

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus has written over 90 books, including macOS Monterey for Dummies and The iPhone for Dummies.

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