When Apple launched its Arcade subscription service, it was expected that Google would also soon follow suit. Unlike Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, in theory, includes not just games but also apps, though the focus, unsurprisingly, has been on the entertainment side of mobile software. So when Google announced the new members of its growing Google Play Pass family, it’s no surprise that they are almost all made up of games, ranging from some obscure titles to popular hits like Dead Cells.
The idea behind Google Play Pass is that you simply pay a $5 fee per month to get access to some apps and games that would normally cost a lot more than that when purchased individually. For games, it also brings the advantage of having no ads, at least for games that offer that paid option, and also no need for in-app purchases. Of course, that only works if the list includes highly-rated and desired titles and, for better or worse, the almost 800-strong roster is quite the mixed bag.
On the one hand, you have titles like the popular platformer Dead Cells that would have cost $9 plus IAPs without Google Play Pass. March also saw the addition of the classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, more popularly known as KOTOR, a $10 port of a PC RPG, Football Manager 2021, the latest installment in the simulation series, normally costing $9.
There are, however, also some lesser-known games, like EVO ISLAND or Funky Karts. Since February, Google Play Pass has also added quite a selection of education apps for kids, though parents might want to first check how Google Play Pass apps mix with parental controls.
Many will probably point out the sometimes questionable screening process of which apps and games go into the Google Play Pass collection. Not too long ago, that list included an app that was discovered to be carrying malware. At the same time, the sheer volume of apps and games available in the subscription suggests you won’t get tired from testing them all out without having to pay for them first.