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Rokus are all about video content, right? They’re a great way to stream live TV, access your on-demand subscriptions, and cast videos from your computer.
That’s all true, but did you know they also boast a surprisingly extensive gaming catalog? You’re not going to find the latest AAA releases, but there’s plenty to keep you entertained for a few hours.
Most of the titles revolve around arcade classics, puzzle games, and card games. In this piece, I’m going to list 10 of the best games you can play on Roku right now.
How to Install Games on Roku
A list of games isn’t very useful if you don’t know how to install them. You have two options:
- Add Online — Navigate to channelstore.roku.com and browse by category or genre. Click Add Channel to install it on your device.
- Add from Your Device — Go to Home > Streaming Channels > Games. Press OK on your remote when you find the title you’re interested in.
If you install a game from the online Channel Store, it can take up to 24 hours to show on your account. To speed up the process, go to Settings > System > System update > Check Now on your device. So, which games should you download?
Hark back to the days of floppy disks, the Sony Walkman, and dot matrix printers with this 1980s arcade classic.
Namco’s Galaga is one of the most famous games in arcade history. The premise is simple; shoot the hordes of aliens and other “nasties” as they dive bomb your spaceship and attempt to obliterate it. If you’re lucky enough to destroy a mothership, your own craft will get twice the firepower.
As you progress through the 250 levels, the game speed and the number of enemies you encounter multiplies.
Why did Microsoft stop including Minesweeper on its operating system? It was the king of time-wasting in the office.
For those who don’t know, the objective is to clear a minefield grid without detonating any of the randomly placed (and hidden) mines.
Sounds like fun? Don’t worry, you can still play the puzzle game on your Roku device and relive the good ol’ days. There are three difficulty levels to choose from.
Download this game to enjoy all the fun of poker without losing a cent. Video Poker offers five versions of the popular card game: Jacks or Better, Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Joker Poker, and Double Joker Poker.
You start with a wallet of $100, with each hand costing $1.25. The controls are simple: use the OK button on your remote to keep cards, and use the Down arrow to deal a new hand.
To reiterate, the game does not use real money. It’s for entertainment purposes only.
Prepare to be infuriated as you pick your way through a virtual labyrinth in Mazes.
The game creates randomly generated mazes, so you’ll never play the same puzzle twice. There are six difficulty levels. For added complexity, use the “Limited View” mode. You’ll only be able to see a small fraction of the maze around you.
It also includes a screensaver which will create and solve mazes while your device is on standby. You can watch it for hours, trust me.
Talisman Prologue is an adaptation of the classic fantasy board game, Talisman.
You take the role of an adventurer. You aim is to progress through a series of regions and reach the Crown of Command. As you proceed, you’ll build up your character’s strength, wisdom, and wealth, all of which will come in useful as you encounter monsters, build your followers, and discover valuable treasure.
Tetris needs no introduction. Released in 1984, it’s the highest selling game of all time. Estimates predict almost half a billion copies have been sold across all formats, not to mention the countless number of free copies that have been distributed on various platforms.
The Roku version comes with three types of gameplay: Marathon, Ultra, and Sprint. Purists can even apply the original 1984 skin.
You Don’t Know Jack
You Don’t Know Jack is a trivia game that’s perfect for all the family.
The game is based on a fictional TV game show. You go through ten rounds of multiple-choice questions, followed by a final “Jack Attack” round. Subject matter covers everything from wordplay to pop culture references.
Your goal is to earn as much virtual money as possible. Fast answers earn more, wrong answers are heavily penalized.
Downhill Bowling 2
Downhill Bowling 2 takes ten-pin bowling to a whole new level. The principle is to guide your bowling ball down a hill and knock over the pins. But it’s not as simple as that.
The hill is packed with obstacles, gems, coins, hazards, and other objects. All ten sets of pins are on one slope, with one set of pins equating to one frame. Curiously, you can also bounce and jump your ball. You’ll get thrown out of your local bowling alley if you try that in real life!
When you reach your tenth set of pins, the game ends. It adds your points and coins to a bank to calculate your total final score.
We all know what Pac-Man entails. Eat dots and avoid ghosts, all while listening to a repetitive but strangely addictive soundtrack.
This Roku release introduces some fun new gameplay features. There are larger scrolling mazes, unique dot patterns, and longer ghost-eating combos for you to enjoy. The developer has also given the graphics an overhaul. It now looks more like a 21st-century title rather than a 1980s vector display.
I’ll leave you with another family classic that’s jumped into a digital format: Four-in-a-Row (also known as Connect Four).
The game features a 7×6 board and four difficulty levels. You can play against the computer, but can also challenge a friend by sharing the remote. The graphics are basic but the fun is endless.
What Are Your Favorite Roku Games?
I hope my list has opened your eyes to the diversity of games available.
There are hundreds of titles to choose from in the Channel Store, so it’s impossible to cover them all. Have I missed your favorite Roku game? Which ones would you recommend to your fellow readers?
And when you need a break from the games, check out some local channels you can watch on Roku for free, here’s how:
Image Credit: Fotos593 via Shutterstock.com