Seeing Picomy’s excellent 2D platform game – Heroki – hit Nintendo Switch just over a week ago made me think: What other games have made the leap from Apple’s digital-only console to Nintendo’s latest hardware offering?
In ATVG’s recent article on Apple’s rejection of Valve’s Steam Link app, I mentioned what I perceive as a philosophical similarity between Apple and Nintendo, with each company finding success following roads less travelled. There is also, however, a much more tangible common ground shared by Apple TV and Nintendo Switch.
Being able to play a game on the console that’s connected to the big screen of your lounge room, turn it off, grab your mobile or tablet, boot up the same game and continue where you left off still feels like magic to this writer. While Apple and Nintendo have arrived at that killer feature via different roads, it’s a fascinating common bond that gamers on both systems share, and a feature that will no doubt be taken for granted across all platforms one day.
So in continuing this theme of common bonds, shared ground, and killer features, here’s a handful of titles that found their way from Apple TV to Nintendo Switch.
Well, firstly, it’s interesting watching games migrate from platform to platform, like herds searching for greener pastures; National Geographic meets cyberspace perhaps.
Secondly…why the hell not?
Speaking of killer features, Xenoraid from 10tons brings a nice twist to the vertical shooter genre: Players are able to set up a roster of four different ships with varying attributes and weapon load-outs to take into battle, and swap between them in the thick of battle.
This feature brings a great element of strategy to what could be considered a tired old genre that’s best known for the iconic Space Invaders. Tapping your ships in and out is useful not only to find the best method of dealing with your current enemy, but also opens up a team management aspect to proceedings, as you simply switch out your current ship if its health is depleted.
Screen-dominating bosses follow waves of enemies that test your reflexes in a series of satisfying pew-pew showdowns.
Forma.8’s over-reliance on backtracking, without a decent map with which to navigate is its weakness. It’s strength, however, is a beautiful visual aesthetic coupled with an atmosphere of discovery and other-worldliness.
Your diminutive avatar is often dwarfed by its surroundings, as you gradually open up an alien world of caverns and forgotten technology, solving puzzles in order to unlock previously inaccessible areas.
Forma.8’s strengths almost outweigh its weakness. Almost.
Of course your mileage may vary. What this writer perceived as endless backtracking, other players may welcome as adventure and exploration.
Puzzle games are ideally suited to touchscreens, but there are titles such as Swim Out from French studio Lozange Lab, that bring such a complete and charming sense of design that playing them on a bigger screen becomes a treat.
In ATVG’s early impressions, I described Swim Out as a “turn-based sliding block puzzle, tasking players with guiding a swimmer from one end of a pool to the other, one space at a time. Each space that you move, causes other swimmers and obstacles to move their allotted turn, with the idea being to avoid contact.”
It’s a simple premise, but it’s the artistry that dresses Lozange Lab’s premise that makes it feel unique. The crisply defined shapes and cool colours are combined with a soundtrack of poolside enjoyment, complete with waves gently lapping. A comfortable recliner and a chilled beverage make for a pleasant way to relax if you’re into some non-urgent puzzle solving.
Burly Men at Sea
As with Swim Out, Burly Men at Sea can be be enjoyed equally on small screen or large, and Brain&Brain have worked hard to make sure the experience is optimal, no matter the platform your enjoying this quiet adventure on.
An interactive point-and-click adventure that takes players down a different rabbit hole on each play through, depending on the choices made, Burly Men at Sea is a chocolate box full of dreamlike stories – you never know what you’re going to get.
The tales of these bearded journeymen are strange and unpredictable, and ATVG highly recommends setting sail with Brain&Brain’s creation. It’s a trip.
Before putting this list together I jumped back into Gear.Club to reacquaint myself with Eden Games’ racer, resulting in the conviction that I really need to spend a lot more time with it – I had a blast.
As mentioned when I played Frankenstein in this hypothetical fantasy – in which I took the best bits of Apple TV racers to stitch together the ultimate one – it was Gear.Club’s management system that really stood out from the rest of the game.
Tinkering in the workshop while your employees beaver away, and racing to earn money to buy more components to improve your workshop is a satisfying loop. Not only can you upgrade the sections in your workshop, but you can level up your actual employees as well. This management aspect is the feature that saves Gear.Club from being just another racing game.
Gear.Club has a huge game world that gradually unlocks and expands, and on Nintendo Switch Eden Games’ racer is titled Gear.Club Unlimited.
Well worth a look.
Beach Buggy Racing
Beach Buggy Racing is not just another Mario Kart clone – it has its own style and substance that makes it an easy recommendation for your Apple TV or Nintendo Switch, which is saying a lot, given that on the Switch its competing with the real thing.
On Apple TV though, it really has no competition. There isn’t any other kart racers on the platform that bring this sort of complete and polished experience, and as of October 2017, it even has four-player split-screen.
Developer Vector Unit announced a sequel earlier this year, and it turns out a premium version of Beach Buggy Racing 2 will be heading to Apple TV in 2019. You can check out one of its upcoming tracks right here.
Vector Unit has multiple games on the Apple TV platform, and ATVG did a profile on the studio back in March if you’re interested in getting up to speed on what else the developer has to offer on ATV. I highly recommend recommend checking out Riptide GP: Renegade.
Here’s the game that seeded the idea for this list.
When Heroki first launched it was an Apple TV exclusive, with the platform being the only way to enjoy it on a big screen, but Nintendo Switch is definitely an appropriate platform for the title as well. With its bright colour palette, rounded edges, and imaginative level design, Heroki sits nicely alongside Nintendo’s roster of cute gaming mascots.
Studio Picomy are no strangers to the 2D platform genre, having worked on Sonic Mania for SEGA. The team is currently working on its latest project – Monomals – which ATVG wrote about earlier this year.
Picomy recently updated Heroki to optimise it for Apple TV 4K, making it even shinier.
Check out the Nintendo Switch trailer below to get an idea what you’re in for:
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV Games Of 2017 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Enjoy.