NBA Jam Meets Ice Hockey in Apple Arcade’s “Ultimate Rivals”

Dec 16, 2019
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Apple has announced a new sports game called Ultimate Rivals: The Rink for its Apple Arcade gaming subscription service. The game is a fantasy take on hockey and contains popular athletes from the NHL, NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and US Women’s National Soccer Team. Similar to NBA Jam, the game includes over-the-top arcade action, fast-paced gameplay, topped with cool special moves and beautiful graphics.

Ultimate Rivals is far from a sports simulation. It has cartoonish avatars of popular athletes and consists of just 3 players per team, unlike actual ice hockey rules. The game offers 60fps smooth gameplay and beautiful neon styled graphics. The controls are really simple: just pass, sprint, and shoot to score. Games are usually short and last for 6 minutes. Each athlete has an ultimate move which is based on their actual sports background. Using the ultimate move at the right time can change the outcome of a game.

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Game modes include single-player and online multiplayer. In single-player mode, you can create your own team and progress through the 3 difficulty levels that the game offers. In online multiplayer, players can compete 1-on-1 with other players.

Apple has been supporting Apple Arcade really well, ever since its launch. There has been a steady influx of new games at regular intervals, giving customers great value for the $5 per month subscription. Ultimate Rivals: The Rink is the latest in the long list of games for the subscription service, and perhaps one of the most high profile ones. Because the game is a part of Apple Arcade, there are no ads or in-app purchases, which really makes the game much better compared to free offerings by other developers.

The list of 58 athletes in the game includes the likes of Alex Morgan, Lebron James, Wayne Gretzky and more. The developers plan to introduce more athletes over time. Apple has positioned the game has a new franchise, so expect more updates to this game. The company will also be launching a basketball game called "Ultimate Rivals: The Court" in Spring 2020.

The game is available as part of Apple Arcade, on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV. You can sign up for Apple Arcade trial to try the game, or buy a subscription for $5 per month. The game also supports PlayStation 4 and Xbox controllers on iOS and iPadOS.

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Have you played the game yet? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Download Ultimate Rivals from the App Store

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