Apple insists it has no intention of competing with PlayStation and Xbox with the company’s brand new Apple TV, but if this is the case, how do they explain us taking a break from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider to enjoy hours of Crossing Road with the Siri Remote? Maybe the built-in A8 chip may not be able to keep pace with a power hungry PS4, but considering the graphics we’ve seen, there’s much to get excited about if the launch titles are any indication.
If you purchased the 32GB/64GB device and want to play, we have a short list of the 5 best games for the new Apple TV, starting with one title we’ve become quite obsessed with.
Old school gamers (the type who pumped quarters into arcade machines in the 80s and 90s) will probably view Crossy Road as a loving homage to Frogger, and for good reason. Both games challenge players with guiding a character across traffic-clogged streets and dangerous waters. The difference? Crossy Road feels like a natural evolution of this simple concept while Frogger remains stuck in the past. That, and you can’t download Frogger on Apple TV.
With Crossy Road, Hipster Whale took the concept and greatly expanded it to provide a cleverly designed and addictive one-tap experience, where each step forward adds one point your current score. The sheer number of thrills and near instant gratification make it irresistible. You’ll always want one more shot at clearing a multi-lane highway or narrowly avoiding those speeding trains.
There’s also a surprising amount of depth. The developers peppered Crossy Road with in-game achievements to earn virtual coins, which in turn unlock a variety of unique characters from a capsule toy machine. Play as the Ghost or Rattles the Snake and the slight differences compared to the default chicken make Crossy Road even more exciting. You’ll quickly get the sense its creators love their work, evident with each carefully timed hop you make.
Our Crossy Road high score is 200. Think you can beat it?
Apple TV doesn’t have a huge lineup of 2D platform games, but on the positive side, the delightful Rayman Adventures is all you need. Whereas Rayman Jungle Run and Rayman Fiesta Run drew inspiration from the many endless runners on smartphones and tablets, Adventures gives you the same freedom as the hero’s critically acclaimed console titles, Origins and Legends. You’re free to explore the gorgeous environments at your leisure to solve puzzles and track down all of the hidden collectibles. Multiple characters make beating these levels again worth the effort, and the visuals take full advantage of high definition TVs. There’s so much detail packed into this game you may stare at the screen for minutes at a time while your character stands in place, not that we mind. Enjoy the eye candy!
We adored this Legend of Zelda style adventure on iPhone and iPad, but one look at the Apple TV version convinced us it shines brightest on the big screen, where you’ll be able to fully appreciate the craftsmanship put into its islands, dungeons and enemies. Spend hours interacting with NPCs, solving puzzles, finding treasure and defeating the many creatures you’ll encounter. You even get to sail the high seas, which is clearly a nod to Nintendo’s GameCube and Wii U masterpiece, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
Oceanhorn is a showpiece for Apple TV, and well worth the $8.99 asking price.
Rock Band developer Harmonix put its plastic instruments aside and picked up the Apple TV Siri Remote with this charming rhythm game that reminds us of Nintendo’s Wii Sports from 2006, but on a whole other level. Armed with the Siri Remote (the Apple TV wrist strap firmly secured, of course), you time swings to the beat in such sports as tennis, baseball and golf with adorable aliens in the background. It’s a wonderful addition to the TV lineup, and you may work up a sweat from the comfort of the couch!
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Despite appearing on a handful of dedicated gaming systems over the years, Gameloft’s Asphalt series always excelled on mobile, so it’s no surprise the eighth installment delivers over the top arcade thrills. This time the developers ratcheted things up several notches. The result is a game that feels like a wonderful hybrid of San Francisco Rush from way back, mixed with elements from the Burnout and Need for Speed franchises.
Real world locations such as Venice, Iceland and Nevada make an appearance, except the many sports cars come equipped with enhanced physics for breathtaking jumps and stunts. In one mission you speed through what appears to be a standard issue desert course, but later you fly onto an aircraft carrier. Additionally, the crash feature lets you nudge rivals off the road or witness intense head-on collisions. The micro transactions are a little over the top, but you’re bound to enjoy every nitro-fueled minute, and the Siri Remote makes motion steering simple and intuitive.
We’ll update this feature with more games, but for now, let us know which Apple TV games are your favorites.