Apple TV Apps: 8 Best Game Picks for 2018

The Apple TV 4K has four times more pixels than standard HD, while offering realistic, crisp colors and detail with HDR (High Dynamic Range.) These features, in combination with the A10X Fusion Chip, deliver smooth, clear graphics and make the Apple TV 4K an excellent choice for gamers seeking an affordable, portable, high-quality gaming experience that supports every game in the Apple ecosystem. Let's peruse some Apple TV game choices to get a flavor of the range of gaming possibilities and experiences currently on offer. From fantasy adventure to arcade style and from puzzle and brain-teasers to creativity games, here are my top family-friendly picks for the best Apple TV games. 

Related: Virtual Reality Apps: See Your Everyday World in a Whole New Way

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Lumino City Ages 4+ ($4.99)

tv games

Lumino City, luminocity, luminosity! It's a cute name for a game that is truly luminous, creative, and impressive. This epic adventure game features a small girl, Lumi, who must explore Lumino City and solve puzzles in the hopes of finding her kidnapped grandfather. As if the adventurous storyline and brain-teasing challenges aren't enough, every part of Lumino City is comprised of handmade models that were painstakingly photographed and animated to create everything you see on screen. Cardboard, paper, glue, lights, motors, everything—all imagined, built, and brought to life in a unique and interactive experience that you simply have to try.  

Hidden Folks Ages 4+ ($3.99)

video games for kids

Hidden Folks reminds me of my time spent as a child looking through the "Where's Waldo" series, or the intricately drawn picture books of Richard Scarry. There's always something new to discover and enjoy as you work through this game! Players move through over twenty hand-illustrated boards on a digital scavenger hunt for a list of objects at the bottom of each scene. Each object has a hint in the form of a riddle to help players locate it; and the game-play is spiced up by sound effects and interactions like opening doors, pressing buttons, and digging through drifts of snow as players strive to complete each level.

Minecraft: Apple TV Mode Ages 9+ ($6.99)  

apple tv games

Minecraft is so popular that it's spawned countless merchandising spin-offs including clothing, toys, books, and of course, in-app purchases. Over 100,000,000 people enjoy Minecraft's ability to allow cooperation with other players around the world while building, modifying, and interacting with anything they can imagine. For an idea of the open-ended possibilities in the world of Minecraft, check out the official website; you'll be blown away! Children younger than nine can play Minecraft in "creative mode," all building, no danger. Older kids can play in survival mode, collecting resources to survive while honing their tactical skills to evade monsters like skeletons, zombies, and spiders. Players ages ten and up can join multi-player servers, called realms, where they can co-create entire villages, towns, amusement parks, pirate ships, castles, and anything else that they can imagine and "mine" the resources to create. These servers can be private or public; parents of younger kids should probably limit their child to a private server with known players and those with older kids should make sure any public servers their teen joins is well moderated and free of, well, creeps.    

Doodle Jump Ages 4+ ($.99)

games for 10 year olds

Doodle Jump stars a cute little trumpet-nosed character called Doodle the Doodler. Doodle collects jetpacks, avoids black holes, and shoots enemies with projectiles shot out of his, or her, single nostril. Ok I know I said no shooting games, but this is not a violent game, and offers tons of fast-paced fun over twelve different worlds, including a retro 80's theme reminiscent of Galaga. You may want to set a time limit for your kids, and yourself with this game as it is, as advertised, insanely addictive.  

Galaga Wars Ages 4+ (Free)

free apple games

Speaking of Galaga, you should definitely check out this '80s arcade-classic reboot. Galaga Wars is free, with in-app purchases, and lets players choose between multiple spaceship options before blasting their way through onslaughts of insect adversaries. Evade capture and defeat enemies to warp from one exciting board to the next! The commercials get a bit wearisome (nothing free online is actually free, you know); but overall, Galaga Wars is a fun and fast-paced game for the whole family.  

Peg Ballet Ages 4+ ($2.99)

apple tv 4

This game is both incredibly simple and amazingly difficult. Peg Ballet is reminiscent of Pong, but with many more boards and multi-player capability. The game only requires a single button to use, but it takes all your attention to win. Bounce your ball and predict how it will return so you can catch it and bounce again until you've hit all the targets. Two players can share one Apple TV remote, and up to eight players can join the game together if they download the free Peg Ballet controller app.

Creature Garden Ages 4+ ($2.99)

creative games

This one is a true original! Play Creature Garden is full of colorful, original artwork and allows players to combine over one hundred animal parts into their own unique creations. Players can care for their animals by creating habitats for them, as well as feeding and grooming them. The creatures can be tested to determine their abilities and even raced against up to three other animals in customized courses. Players can cross creations to see what kind of offspring they produce, then organize and save all their favorite animals in the Curiosity Cabinet for the next round of play. Best of all, there are no in-app purchases or ads. Yay!

Machinarium Ages 12+ ($4.99)

best apple tv apps

You may have guessed by now that a major selling point for me as far as gaming goes is the artwork. Machinarium brings all the intricate and highly detailed imagery that I love in a fantasy questing game, but this time with robots as the protagonists. Cute little bug-eyed Josef has to save his robot girlfriend from kidnappers (why is it always kidnappers?), and we play through the levels with him, solving puzzles, listening to award-winning music, and enjoying gorgeous, grungy, post-apocalyptic visuals. Maximally absorbing and challenging, this adventure game is a must-play. 

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.