Simple & pretty games for my Apple TV
August 8, 2017 7:20 AM   Subscribe

I've got some Shit To Do in a house that is not mine and I like unwinding in the evening playing some simple video games on the Apple TV. I've been enjoying Alto's Adventure and Crossy Road. They are beautiful to look at and listen to, not that challenging to learn, have simple and brief turns where I can trade off with my partner, and don't use too much of my brain. I also liked Symmetrica and Osmos (for the iPad) for the same reason. I've liked What else would I like?

Caveats: I do not want to shoot or fight anyone (Galaga style "invaders" maybe, otherwise no); I would like to end up relaxed (so something that accelerates Tetris-like or has time limits might not be my thing) and be able to walk away when I've hit the wall. I like word games and trivia, so things along those lines would be okay. I don't care so much about cost, but if it costs money I'd like it to be worth it. I'd love to not have to get to the tenth level before I get to play a female character. I do not enjoy Minecraft for whatever reason. Ideas? Thank you!
posted by jessamyn to Technology (11 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
How do you feel about golf? It doesn't matter, cause OK Golf is barely about the sport at all. It's more like a puzzle that happens to exist on minimalist dioramas of pretty golf courses. It's a universal app so it works cross devices including Apple TV. There's no violence, no music, no characters male or female, no chat or nothing. Pretty relaxing!
posted by Freyja at 7:54 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Monument Valley is gorgeous, challenging but not impossible, and definitely relaxing.
posted by Mchelly at 8:00 AM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

With the caveat that I don't know if these games work on Apple TV (though I assume they do, because iOS), I'd recommend the following:

Typeshift -- Word jumble kind of game. Very smooth and stylish.
Mini Metro -- Create a subway system. It does get Tetrissy in that new stations to add and new passengers to accomodate come faster and faster. That's how you lose a round though, and it's a very gentle ramp up in pace, so maybe OK?
Little Alchemy -- A unique little puzzle game in which you combine two "elements" to create new things (that can then be combined themselves).
Dolphin Up -- iOS version of the old Dolphin Olympics Flash game - very Alto's Adventure-y.
Neko Atsume -- Cat collecting "game". You get more cats by putting out treats and toys for them, but they only show up if the app is closed, so you basically put stuff out and then check back in a while.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:04 AM on August 8, 2017

I've always been fond of the Rayman games over the years and platforms for many reasons; they are quite relaxing, little or no pressure, what little violence is too abstract to be violent, they are often funny, and they are super-pretty to both play and watch other people playing.

It looks like Rayman Adventures is available for Apple TV and is possibly free. It gets a mention in this list of games which also includes Alto's Adventure.
posted by Wordshore at 9:33 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

(See iOS caveat) I think Threes, Spell Tower, Cribbage with Grandpas, 0h h1 and 0h n0, Mini Metro, Alphabear, and Viridi might be up your alley.
posted by box at 9:42 AM on August 8, 2017

Tengami is lovely and is available on the Apple App Store.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:05 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

2048 (contains numbers but no math necessary. Very in-the-zone-y)
Prune (peaceful).
posted by The Toad at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Shadowmatic is beautiful, stress-free, and available for the Apple TV.
posted by ejs at 6:09 PM on August 8, 2017

Tiny Wings is a relative oldie (iPhone game of the year for 2011!), but it recently updated with an Apple TV version.

The gameplay is simple yet satisfying: you're a flightless bird sliding up and down a hilly landscape, tapping the screen to fold your wings and releasing to flap them. You've got to build enough momentum on the downslopes and release just in time to catch air on the ensuing ramp, hopefully flying high enough to touch the clouds. There are also speed boosts to aim for and coins to collect, and nailing a streak of multiple "great slides" in a row nets you extra point as long as you don't make a mistake. Your only enemy is time, since you're trying to stay ahead of the sunset -- you just fall asleep when it catches up to you. The levels are randomly generated once a day, so there's always a new course to master. And there are a bunch of specially designed levels where you can race against AI birds or try to beat your own high score.

It's also got a lovely aesthetic -- lively, colorful design, a soothing soundtrack, ridiculously cute characters, and no ads, violence, or microtransaction BS. And it's all made by one developer, who is just delightful.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:36 PM on August 8, 2017

Response by poster: Intermediate report! I'm afraid I wasn't clearer about the Apple TV being the big limiter here. They have a pretty small set of stuff available. I have tried all of the ones here which were Apple TV available. I like all the ones I can play, with some small feedbacks.

Tiny Wings - I had heard about but didn't know it was available for ATV. It was the one we played the most. Cute, fun, not too stressful.
Shadowmatic - Was also what I had in mind. We got a little brain-tired with this one but it was a good kind of brain tired.
OK Golf - looks fun but my brain isn't that good at those perspective shifts right now and I found the controls confusing. I will learn to play this another time, it looks fun.
Rayman - looked great but requires a controller which we don't have
2048 - have it for my phone and definitely like it.

Anything else, do let me know?
posted by jessamyn at 12:37 PM on August 10, 2017

Cat-A-Pult is free and pretty entertaining, though only for about five minutes.
posted by ardgedee at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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