Apps 12 Orbits

Published on May 6th, 2018 | by Kirk Hiner


Bring It! 12 Orbits for Apple TV

Our Bring It! column has thus far focused on iOS apps we’d love to see on Apple TV. That’s technically true of 12 Orbits, but I actually became aware of this came when I reviewed the Nintendo Switch version for

Whether you play it on the Switch, your iOS device, or whatever system for which it’s compatible, 12 Orbits requires just one button to play. What’s more, up to 12 people can play at once (hence the name). On the Switch, you simply tap the button(s) on the controller(s) you and the only players want to use. On the iPhone or iPad, each person taps a specific area of the screen, as indicated by the colors below.

12 Orbits

The exact purpose of the tap depends upon the game variant you’re playing, but the basic gist is that you need to turn the white balls to your color by bumping them. Hit an opposing player’s color and you’re out. However, you can’t directly control your orb. It moves on its own, with only physics and your taps to guide it. If you tap when you’re in a light gray area, you’ll dart forward and through obstacles. If you tap when you’re inside one of the dark gray circles, you’ll orbit inside it. You can use this to bump balls inside the circles or to launch yourself in a different direction.

Using this basic setup, you can also play a snake-style game or variants where you must score goals while protecting your own. It’s chaotic, colorful and fun, and it gets better as more people join in. On the iPhone or iPad, this can get crowded. It would be the same if the game’s developer, Roman Uhlig, stuck with MFi gamepad controls for Apple TV. The Siri Remote wouldn’t work, after all, as it’s way too small and wouldn’t allow for the necessary number of participants.

So, how to play it on Apple TV? The same as with many of the trivia games we’ve seen. Participants would download the free version of 12 Orbits for their iOS device, then be able to connect it to the Apple TV to use as their own control. Roman would have to build this functionality into the iOS version, but the benefit would be that everyone who wants to play on a friend’s Apple TV would have to first down the game to his/her phone, which could lead to another iOS purchase (the free version is ad-supported, but $1.99 will permanently turn them off).

As always, the question is whether there’s a decent chance this will happen. I asked Roman about the possibility of bringing 12 Orbits to Apple TV, and he replied, “It’s an interesting platform, and I’m looking into it.”

While he does so, check out 12 Orbits for iOS, as it really is the best reason yet to crowd 12 people around your iPad.

For more information, visit

Tags: , , , ,

About the Author

has been writing for the Apple web since 1997, having served as editor of Applelinks and the Technology Tell Apple Channel. In addition to his work with BEST Apple TV, Kirk currently contributes to Mac Gamer HQ and Pure Nintendo. He lives with his wife and three children in small-town Ohio where the land is cheap and the air is (relatively) clean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑