Published on September 17th, 2017 | by Kirk Hiner0
BEST Apple TV Games: Heroki
Here we have a perfect example of how the Apple TV can take a decent mobile game and lift it to console status, provided you have the right setup. This is largely because this platformer from Sega and developer Picomy was hampered the size and controls of the touchscreen devices for which it was originally released in 2015. Your Apple TV with a MFi controller frees it to become the game it wanted to be from the start.
You are Heroki, an oddly-shaped fellow with a propeller helmet (or is that just his head?) who flies around his village picking up and trowing/dropping boxes. It’s an odd existence, I imagine, but his skillset comes in handy for the adventure trust upon him.
The story is your typical hero-saves-princess kind of thing, but in this case the princess is an Emerix, not a person, and there are two villains in your way: Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice, Vapor.
I mentioned the importance of a MFi controller, and this will become immediately apparent as you hop into the game’s tutorial. With a gamepad, the tutorial seems superfluous. How hard can it be to pick up and trow a box? To free fall? To move left and right? But the tutorial is there for those playing with the Siri Remote (or the touchscreen of an iPhone or iPad). Playing any of those ways can lead to frustration, especially as you progress and get into the harder levels. But with a MFi controller (I used the SteelSeries Nimbus), the action is smooth and logical, allowing you to focus entirely on the game’s puzzles.
Although Heroki flies around the numerous levels of the game instead of hopping across platforms and climbing walls, it’s very much still about just overcoming obstacles to get from here to there. There are many hidden locations along the way, and you’ll need to explore as much as possible to find all of the obtainable items along the way. This could be a chore in any other game, but it remains fun in Heroki for two reasons. First, there’s no time limit, so exploring is not a stressful endeavor. Second, the bright and stylized visuals are a delight to see. The game looks great, and the tvOS version does a better job of highlighting them than the on the smaller iOS screens.
You’ll uncover new abilities, items and power-ups as you progress through the four colorful worlds (including shields, aeroblades and…pies?), all of which will be needed to help you smash your way through.
Early on, the only defense/attack available to you is the ability to pick up boxes to throw at enemies and obstacles. Although this is oddly satisfying at first, it does slow down the game’s flow, so you’ll be happy to acquire abilities such as the more fluid dash attack.
Keeping things moving along is important, because my only solid complaint about the game is that it does get repetitive. Aside from new attacks and enemies, the action doesn’t change much from level to level, sticking to the basic concept of flying around to gather all you can before exiting to the next. Also, the story elements are perhaps a bit too long, especially considering they’re not all that interesting. Cute (especially the dude acknowledging that the text on the screen is being communicated through his beard), but otherwise unremarkable.
That complaint aside, it’s easy to recommend Heroki as a best Apple TV game because of its polish and overall entertainment value. The larger display through your Apple TV and the better controls with a bluetooth gamepad elevate the game from an iOS title that was okay in 5 to 10 minute bursts to a full console-like experience into which it’s easy to sink a half hour or so. And at about 10 hours to complete (not to mention the extra time required for 100% completion), you get a solid return on your $4.99 investment (with no in-app purchases, I should point out).