The market for mobile games is vast and growing. Mobile games have made a lot of money for a lot of people, but it’s not without its problems.

The games that aren’t riddled with pop-up ads and clickbait are oftentimes structured around pay-to-win mechanics designed to manipulate you into spending your hard-earned cash on in-game upgrades. And that’s before we even broach the issue of shady mobile game publishers harvesting your information en masse.

Enter the Google Play Pass. The Play Pass is Google’s monthly subscription service that sets out to boldly solve all the problems mentioned above.

What is Google Play Pass?

Google entered the video game subscription marketplace with the launch of the Google Play Pass on September 23, 2019.

For just $4.99 a month, users are granted access to an impressive library of popular games and apps. Every game and app included in the Play Pass is ad-free and lacks in-app purchases.

Plus, the subscription service doesn’t rely on exclusivity. The lack of exclusivity allows users to enjoy apps and games included in the Google Play Pass without having to subscribe to the service.

How Does Google Play Pass Work?

Signing up to Google’s’ new subscription service is about as easy as you’d expect. Enjoying the countless benefits on offer is as simple as opening the Google Play Store, clicking on the Menu button located on the left, and tapping subscribe.

Keep in mind, access to the Google Play Pass requires:

  • You to be located in the U.S.;
  • An Android device with at least Android 4.4 and;
  • The Google Play Store updated to version 16.6.25.

If you’re still on the fence, Google is offering a 10-day free trial and an aggressive price point of $1.99 per month for the first 12-months.

Games on Offer

The Google Play Pass has over 350 games and apps available to users. This includes a few retro favorites and indie blockbusters.

Of the games on offer, notable standouts include:

  • Cut the Rope;
  • Grimvalor;
  • Limbo;
  • Monument Valley 2;
  • Old Man’s Journey;
  • Stardew Valley;
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and;
  • Terraria.

Not only are these all fantastic, must-plays, but they all retail for more than the cost of the monthly subscription price. If that’s not a great deal, I don’t know what is! Sure, these games are all readily available across several platforms. However, the ability to play them all relatively risk-free is a welcome one.

Apps on Offer

Google Play Pass is unique in that your subscription also grants you access to a wide variety of useful, premium lifestyle apps. It’s a nice touch and one that should help bump the subscription’s perceived value.

As of this writing, the most popular apps available include:

  • AccuWeather;
  • Moon+ Reader Pro;
  • jetAudio HD Music Player Plus;
  • myTuner Radio;
  • Rain Sounds;
  • Business Calendar 2, and;
  • AppLocker.

It’s important to note that all the apps mentioned are still available for purchase individually, though the added value of a subscription is awfully tempting.

How Does Google Play Pass Stack Up?

The Google Play Pass has only been around for a few months, but that hasn’t stemmed the flow of praise and criticism.

Android Central gave the subscription service three stars, though they still remain hopeful for the future of the service. Having said that, if you’ve been eyeing just one or two of the apps on offer, the value is certainly apparent.

The Play Pass offers a lot of value for Android users, but is it better than Apple Arcade? Both services are just $5 a month, but that’s where the similarities end. Apple is all about games, while Google took a more inclusive approach. Apple is focused on developing exclusive content, while Google assembled a selection of popular apps.

In short, the Google Play Pass stacks up just fine, though the question of superiority remains largely unanswered. It remains largely personal, too. Apple’s library of exclusive games has been widely celebrated. However, that doesn’t do much for those on the lookout for productivity-boosting apps.

The only thing left for you to do is sign up for the Google Play Pass 10-day trial or the Apple Arcade 30-day trial and see for yourself!