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Best games for Apple TV (2017)

05 Oct 2017 | Flatpanels |

Apple TV is no match for PlayStation or Xbox but the game library is growing steadily and some titles are definitely worth checking out. We have made a list of the best games that we have discovered. The Silent Age tops our list.

Nostalgia and originality

With a wireless game controller in hand Apple TV feels almost like a game console. We say “almost” because many games have limitations that Apple is partly responsible for. You can play many games with the Siri Remote but we are using the SteelSeries Nimbus, which resembles the PlayStation DualShock and Xbox controller in layout.

There are several good games to explore, including some great ones – as long as you keep your expectations in check. Games are not as expansive and as ambitious as the ones for PS4 and Xbox One but they are still rooted in great storytelling and at times even impressive graphics.

The list is based on our time with Apple TV4. No games take advantage of the A10X chip in Apple TV 4K yet. We’ll publish an updated list next year.

1. The Silent Age

In our favorite game for Apple TV you control caretaker Joe who unwillingly embarks on a quest to save mankind. He receives a message from a dying man from the future and shortly after discovers that he has gained the unique ability to travel between past (1972) and present (2012). Music/ambience is fantastic and the story quickly draws you in. It is a memorable game, which is worthy of even PlayStation and Xbox. The game was developed by the House of Fire. You can play it with the Siri Remote but we recommend a game controller.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

2. Machinarium

A classic adventure game that is also available on other platforms such as PlayStation. You control a small, irresistible robot through a charming metal world where puzzles of varying complexity are to be solved. The level of difficulty is sufficiently high that some of the puzzles make your head spin. There is no dialogue but the atmosphere is still very unique and enjoyable. It has been developed by Amanita Design who has released other wonderful games (i.e. Samorost 3) for iPhone/iPad but not yet Apple TV.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

3. Rayman Adventures

If you have enjoyed Rayman in the past, you will love the modern take on the game. We are definitely not the first to recommend Rayman Adventures on Apple TV but it has a special magic to it and is highly entertaining. The game is free on Apple TV and even though the game developer is eager to sell you in-app stuff you can enjoy the game without buying anything. The level of complexity increases as you reach new levels and there is lots of variation, too.

Price: Free (in-app purchases) on tvOS App Store

4. Alto’s Adventure

A snowboard game in the ’endless runner’ category where the landscape changes in random ways for each run. There are beautiful moments and challenges to accomplish but no deeper meaning. As you glide through the landscape you can collect money that you can use to upgrade gear. It is what we would call an ego game but one of the best in the genre – and it feels like it was created for the big screen even though it was launched first on iPhone/iPad. The next version will be called Alto’s Odyssey.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

5. Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse

You may already be familiar with the Broken Sword series from the 90’s. This is a classic adventure-style game that in some ways resembles Monkey Island. The fifth game in the series is out on PS4, Xbox One and of course Apple TV. You are tasked with solving a murder in Paris that evolves into an exciting adventure. It is divided into 2 episodes.

Price: $6.99 + $5.99 on tvOS App Store

6. Badland 2

A simple but entertaining game where you navigate a small flying creature through a world of obstacles in beautiful, imaginative settings. If you liked the first game, Badland 2 is for you. Again, this is an ego game but good fun on a lazy weekend. It is one of the few games that work very well with the Siri Remote so start playing now.

Price: $3.99 on tvOS App Store

7. Leo’s Fortune

A recent game in the classic platform genre where a small fluffy creature takes the role as our hero. As the game scrolls from left to right you have to avoid obstacles in a beautiful fantasy world on the quest to find stolen gold. It is entertaining and gets harder as you go to ensure that you stay engaged. It offers several hours of fun but as a game concept it has all been seen before.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

8. Lara Croft GO

This is not a classic Tomb Raider 3D game but instead a puzzle game where you make one move at a time to lead Lara Croft through a world of dangers. The game is also available on PlayStation but looks just a good on Apple TV. It has won a bunch of prices but prepare yourself for the fact that it is relatively short.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

9. Broken Age

By the legendary Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango) and realized as a Kickstarter project, Broken Age is a 2-episode point-and-click adventure set in beautiful world. You control 2 characters that are chained together in the same tale, and along the way you have to solve riddles. The game looks great and you encounter funny characters but it can at times by a bit too monotonous and some of the riddles are so illogical that they almost cannot be solved without a walkthrough.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

10. Agent A: A puzzle in Disguise

A game in the adventure genre created in a 3D world, inspired by comics and set in a retro 60’er world. You control Agent A, a secret agent who has to catch an evil spy. You are tasked with solving riddles and are sometimes interrupted by small video sequences that help lift the story. It looks good and is fun to play but it is relatively short. More episodes have been added since launch.

Price: $4.99 on tvOS App Store

No defining game for Apple TV

Angry Birds in many ways define the beginning of the iPhone gaming era but there is no such game for Apple TV. There is no defining or “must have” game for Apple TV yet.

Apple’s tvOS surely has potential and as the company keeps launching yet more powerful Apple TV hardware, we should start seeing more ambitious games emerge on the platform. Still, where are some of the low hanging fruits? Where is Super Mario run for Apple TV?

We could include a long list of game that should be able to run even on the Apple TV4 hardware (and surely on the Apple TV 4K’s A10X chip) and most of these are already available on iOS. These are games such as Limbo, Inside, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Grim Fandango, Gemini Rue, Yesterday, Samorost 3, Dead Synchronicity, The Inner World, Yeark Walk, and The Journey Down.

The chip in Apple TV4 sets natural limitations. It is based on the A8 SoC. The new Apple TV 4K has just launched with the A10X Fusion, which is more than 4x as powerful, making it more than double as powerful as the last generation of game consoles (PS4 and Xbox 360), despite only consuming a fraction of the power.

What are your favorite games for Apple TV? Share your experiences in the comments section.

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