‘Shovel Knight Dig’ and ‘Horizon Chase 2’ Headline a Huge September for Apple Arcade

Three years ago, almost to the day, Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games held their first digital showcase where they went over tons of news and announcements from their studio. One of the announcements that really caught my eye at the time was a new game called Shovel Knight Dig, an entirely new platformer in the Shovel Knight series but one mixed with elements of digging games similar to something like Steamworld Dig. The biggest surprise was that Shovel Knight Dig was being co-developed with Nitrome, a studio who has put out some of the very best mobile games ever for more than a decade. Due to that connection, and to the fact that Shovel Knight Dig seemed well-suited to being a touchscreen game, I said at the time “I think it remains a strong possibility we’ll see [Shovel Knight Dig] on mobile someday."

Well, it turns out I was right! Just not exactly in the way I thought. News on the game had been fairly quiet for the past few years, save for a mention in Yacht Club’s latest digital showcase back in February saying that the game was getting close to completion. And now today it has been announced that Shovel Knight Dig will be arriving on iOS via Apple Arcade on September 23rd. It’ll be hitting Nintendo Switch and Steam on that day as well. The announcement comes via this entirely too silly new trailer.

While a new Shovel Knight game coming to Apple Arcade could be enough to satisfy me for all of September, Apple actually has another heavy hitter slated for release this month. Aquiris Studios has announced that a sequel to their award-winning and critically acclaimed throwback racer Horizon Chase will also be coming to Apple Arcade this month, with PC and console versions slated for next year. Aquiris says their main focus in developing Horizon Chase 2 was listening to player feedback over the course of the last 7 years since the first game’s release.

It seems like they won’t be tinkering too much with the core mission of providing a fast, old-school arcade racer with a modern sensibility as they did with the original Horizon Chase, but they will be loading all sorts of new content and features on top of that core. The biggest new feature will be online multiplayer in every mode of the game, which sounds extremely cool, as well as a new vehicle customization system, a host of dynamic special events, an updated art style that looks very fancy while still feeling retro, and tons more. Check out the new trailer for Horizon Chase 2, which hits Apple Arcade on September 9th.

Not to be overshadowed by these two big-time releases, there are three more great-looking games coming to Apple Arcade in September as well. Hanx 101 Trivia is a new trivia game developed by legendary actor Tom Hanks and is described as “a way for Tom to share his love and passion for trivia with his fans, casual gamers, trivia aficionados and YOU." Garden Tails: Match and Grow is a matching game that aims to be “The most relaxing puzzle game out there" as you unlock new plants and animals to help restore and grow your own beautiful garden. And finally Gris+ is the re-release of the award-winning narrative platform puzzler from Nomada Studio and Devolver Digital, which we adored in our review from the game’s original mobile release in 2019.

Truly a fantastic month coming up for fans of Apple Arcade, and it couldn’t have come at a better time with Netflix bringing out so many heavy hitters themselves in recent months. As a subscriber of both nothing would make me happier than to see them constantly trying to one-up each other with flashy new additions to their respective services. Look for things to kick off with the release of Hanx 101 Trivia this Friday with everything else following in the weeks afterward, and if you want to join in on the community discussion around these newly-announced games links to each game’s forum thread can be found below.