The strap-line says ‘kinda an art gallery, kinda an arcade’, and that may just be the best way of describing this slightly odd app. Maybe another good description would be as an interactive art exhibit, as that is exactly what it feels like.
Essentially a collection of free games and art, iD Artcade is actually a little known gem in the App Store. Linked in with iD gum, the basic idea is that you scan packs of gum to unlock new games, although you don’t actually have to do this as a new free game is released every week anyway, but it is a clever way to promote a product without forcing it down the consumer’s throat.
There are two main sections to the app, one for the art and one for the videogames. The art section allows you to view works of art, with full profiles of the artists involved. There are a couple of things missing here, however. There is no way to view the art full screen, and no way to save the art to your device. This may be due to copyright issues, but it is a strange limitation, and makes you feel as if the pictures are separated from you. It is a shame, as some of the work is superb.
The game section is better handled, as you can swipe to choose one of the 18 games available, each of which can be shared over Facebook, and comes with a full list of achievements and a leaderboard. Artcade actually ties into Facebook rather well, with your whole profile linked to it, and allows you to challenge and compare scores and achievements with your Facebook friends.
The games are all pretty simple, but they all have a gorgeous art style, with particular praise going to the look of T-Rex Vs V-necks and Bladderup. It is important to remember that all of these games are completely free, as well as the app being free in itself, so there can be no argument over the value here.
Even if you only play each game once, this is still a more than worthy download, and you will find that filling up your profile with finished games is actually an addictive experience, with quite a few hours of gameplay required.
Overall, this is a worthwhile download. The art section lets the side down by not allowing any interaction with the art at all, but the game side more than makes up for this with an interesting and diverse offering.