5 best games for the Apple TV

Apple TV is one of the best set-top boxes out there and it’s also the closest Apple will probably come to releasing a home console. Well, there was the awesomely weird, ill-fated Apple Bandai Pippin 20 years ago, but it’s a pretty safe bet this sort of thing isn’t happening again. Since the Apple TV supports third-party controllers, and there’s quite a few of them out there, and has loads of good games out for it, we thought we’d present you with our pick with the best of them.

Some of the titles in our list are universal apps, meaning that they can be purchased through iTunes on other devices and will appear in the “Purchased” section in the Apple TV App Store, but there are others that are exclusive to the media player and can be purchased through its App Store only. For your convenience, we will be marking each game with a “Universal” or “Apple TV-exclusive” tag.

So, grab that gamepad, or Siri Remote, and let’s jump in!

Galaxy on Fire – Manticore Rising (Apple TV-exclsuive, $5.99)

Galaxy on Fire is a deep space shooter that will have you blasting your way through intense dog fights with space pirates and appreciating spectacular starscapes in the rare moments of calmness before the next shootout. The game employs gyroscopic controls, meaning that you fly your ship by tilting the Siri Remote in different directions, while the touchpad is used for a variety of actions and maneuvers, such as braking, boosting, and performing barrel rolls. Clicking the pad activates whatever powerup or subweapon you have collected, while your ship shoots its main blasters automatically. Galaxy on Fire aims to bring a grand and visually impressive experience on a small device and it succeeds for the most part. It is the official prologue to a whole next chapter in the Galaxy on Fire series and is available exclusively on the Apple TV for $5.99.

AG Drive (Universal, $3.99)

AG Drive is a super-fast futuristic racing game, much in the vein of the F-Zero series. If flying around crazy loop-the-loop tracks suspended in mid-air miles high above sprawling cities at breakneck speeds is your kind of thing, thaеn you should absolutely give AG Drive a try. The game takes advantage of Apple’s Metal API, looks down-right gorgeous, and runs at a constant, silky-smooth 60FPS.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (Universal, $8.99)

Oceanhorn is so obviously inspired by The Legend of Zelda games, particularly Wind Waker, it is perhaps a bit unapologetic in its attempt to emulate Nintendo’s successful series. Still, unlike the masses of faceless clones, this game is actually pretty good and manages to stand on its own as a one-of-a-kind experience on a non-Nintendo platform. The game will have you sailing between islands, exploring dungeons, solving fun puzzles, and fighting monsters while you uncover more and more of the story behind the fearsome sea monster, Oceanhorn, and learning about the main protagonist’s personal life.

Ellipsis – Touch. Explore. Survive (Universal, $3.99, free demo)

Ellipsis is an action-packed puzzler with minimalistic, neon-infused visuals. Originally released for iOS, it won this year’s Intel Game of The Year Award and very recently made the jump from the touch screen to tvOS. To survive in the game, you will have to solve challenging puzzles and face against countless enemies, as the mysterious universe of Ellipsis unfolds before you.

PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX (Universal, $4.99)

Ah, good ol’ Pac-Man. Except more good than old. Somehow one of gaming’s oldest mascots manages to keep things fresh, close to four decades after his first adventure. Championship Edition is all about running around ridiculous mazes in mind-bogglingly fast speeds, racking your score while being chased by fifty-something ghosts. Yes, it is absolute madness in video game form. The voracious yellow ball will have you hooked for a long time, chasing that high-score.


Chillaxian (Universal, $1.99)

If you ever doubted that blasting pixelated alien scum was not relaxing, you’d better download Chillaxian, sit back, and just zone out while sending countless extraterrestrials to their doom. Chillaxian is a knock-off of good ol’ Galaxian, which is a knock-off of the good ol’ Space Invaders, which was a pretty darn good game back in ’79 and still is to this day. Chillaxian takes that formula, builds on top of it with flashier visuals, a 10-level checkpoint system and pits you against endless waves of mindless insectoid aliens. What more could you want?


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