Not everyone who owns a fourth generation Apple TV also owns a compatible game controller, or is even aware of how capable the device is when it comes to gaming. It’s a pity Apple doesn’t make available some sort of Gaming Starter Pack, which might consist of an Apple TV, a game controller (such as a Steel Series Nimbus), and a $20 iTunes card with which to start exploring your gaming options. If such a pack were available either online or in Apple Stores, at the very least it might raise awareness of this aspect of the hardware’s very capable gaming functionality.
The input device that comes with the Apple TV – the Siri Remote – is ideal for enabling the device’s most popular activities: navigating the menus in order to consume content. The Siri Remote is not ideal for interacting with traditional video games though. To enjoy the shooters, adventures, RPGs, platform games, and racing games, you’ll need to equip yourself with a controller.
Apple TV’s App Store consists mainly of two varieties of games: the larger, more traditional video game experiences, and the very simple, one-touch mobile games that have been ported to the device. The Siri Remote is very capable of handling the latter variety, yet those are not really the sorts of games you settle down to for a gaming session in front of a large flatscreen.
So what do you play if you haven’t yet invested in a controller, and yet you want more than just a simple auto-runner? Luckily there are some examples of a third type of game available on Apple TV’s App Store, with simple enough gameplay mechanics that map nicely to the Siri Remote, and yet are larger, more fleshed-out experiences that actually cause you to forget how simple they really are.
The trick is in the details. Visual, sonic, and narrative flourishes that enhance the simple gameplay mechanics to create a fascinating middle-ground of not-quite-mobile-game, yet not-quite-traditional-video-game either.
Mashing page 2 below, you’ll discover three of these types of games, and they are a credit to their developers. Studios such as Semidome Inc., Cobra Mobile, and Square Enix Montreal have managed to pull off exemplary titles that fall into this third category, enabling you to get closer to a fuller gaming experience with only your Siri Remote in hand.