Published on March 5th, 2019 | by Kirk Hiner0
BEST Apple TV Games: Pavilion: Touch Edition
Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle in porting an iOS game to tvOS is the control system. Games that require you to tap directly on objects don’t translate well to the Siri Remote, so developers of such games often don’t even try.
Luckily for Apple TV owners, Henrik Flink did try, and he succeeded.
Pavilion: Touch Edition is the mobile version of Pavilion, an award-winning “fourth-person puzzling adventure” released by Visiontrick Media for PCs in 2016. The game is unique in that it starts you off in a lushly illustrated world with no introduction and no instructions. When I first started it up on Apple TV I thought the game had frozen until I bothered to click on a few things.
Once it gets moving, however, you’ll quickly figure out how to work your way through Pavilion’s dreamy world. It’s basically a puzzle game in which you must help a lone man navigate his way through the environment towards an undefined goal. You don’t actually control him, however, you control the environment itself. You can ring a bell, for example, to get his attention so he’ll move closer to the objective, but you may also have to move blocks or illuminate his path to make sure he stays on the right track. Thankfully, he’s a pretty smart fellow who knows when to stay put or when to go back to the beginning of a puzzle if you don’t get the timing right.
A story is slowly unveiled as you progress, and it’s as mysterious as the environment itself. It’s the non-threatening, puzzle-based gameplay, however, that keeps pushing you through Pavilion. Well, that and the gorgeous hand-crafted 2D artwork that really comes to life on the Apple TV, much more than on your tiny iPhone screen. I would like to see a 4K update for Pavilion, but the game is visually impressive in its current incarnation.
As mentioned earlier, the reason Pavilion works is because of how the controls are handled. A cursor has been added to the screen, and you move it around by simply sliding your thumb on the Siri Remote’s touch surface. A trail allows you to easily follow the cursor across your TV. Place the cursor over the object you want to activate, and click. Simple as that. Cursor speed is pretty well balanced, although there were times when I had to swipe excessively to navigate to the proper area. Also, some of the time-based puzzles can be frustrating if you’re overshooting your target. Overall, however, it’s a surprisingly effective implementation of the keyboard control on the PC version.
And that’s good news because Pavilion begs to be played on a large TV where the details of the stunning (and, let’s be honest, kind of creepy) artwork are easier to appreciate. Not to mention the ambiance of the gorgeous soundtrack which more easily envelops you via your entertainment center’s sound-system than through the iPhone’s tiny speakers.
Pavilion is not terribly long—you can likely finish it within a few hours if you don’t take the time to appreciate the scenery—but it’s well worth the minimal asking price (no ads, no IAPs) and will likely be a game you keep around for others to experience.
Pavilion: Touch Edition for Apple TV is available now for $3.99 in the App Store. For more information, visit www.visiontrick.com.