Beat Sports shows Apple TV gaming has a bright future ahead


With the new Apple TV arriving late last week, the large majority of games available for the device should sound quite familiar to any iPhone or iPad user. Gamers should enjoy playing some of their App Store favorites on the new device – everything from the beautiful solitary Alto’s Adventure to decidedly more fast-paced titles like Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved.

But the tvOS App Store also features a few titles that are specifically designed for use on the new device. And I’ve been trying out one of the most popular, at least according to the new Top Charts.

Tailor-made for family game night

Beat Sports is from developer Harmonix, which is probably most well known for the Rock Band series of console games, and Tilting Point.

The new title combines music and sports, but not exactly in any way you could imagine. The premise of Beat Sports closely resembles Nintendo’s Wii Sports – but with some funny twists. Yes, you’ll be playing a number of mini-games, but instead of normal athletes you’ll be battling against some hysterical sports-obsessed aliens.

In the single player mode, you can compete in three different games – Net Ball, Whacky Bat, and Hangry Holes. In all three, you’ll be interacting with the aliens in fun and different ways. My favorite was Whacky Bat where you’ll attempt to hit home runs off pitcher Thro-bot.


Up to four players can get in on the gaming action thanks to the companion iPhone/iPod touch controller app.

If you’re ready to make a game night with family or friends, there’s no need for any third-party MFi controllers. While only one Siri Remote can be used, up to three other players can join thanks to the Beat Sports Remote app for the iPhone or iPod touch. Multiple players can test their skills in Buddy Ball.

And along with a great sense of timing, you’ll need a good ear as well. You’ll score more points if you can hit the ball with the beat of the tunes. The upbeat and spectacular music was composed by Harmonix and Masaya Matsuura, the creator of the PaRappa the Rapper video game.

Here’s a quick trailer that shows some of the gameplay in action. Click here if you can’t see it.

In each game, you’ll simply swipe or swing the Siri Remote to play. It’s easy to pickup and learn, and the remote’s built-in accelerometer and gyroscope work exceptionally well. After just a minute of practice, my 8-year-old daughter picked up the control scheme without any issues. And I had a hard time getting her to stop playing, which is always the sign of a good game.



Beat Sports is a must-have for anyone looking for a fun and casual Apple TV gaming experience.

You can download Beat Sports now on the tvOS App Store for $9.99, and there are no in-app purchases. While that may be more expensive than the large majority other iOS games, I’ve really been pleased with the game so far. It’s definitely worth the cost of entry, and is a great way to see what the new Apple TV is capable of. And best of all – it’s really fun.

Hopefully, we’ll soon see other games designed just for the new device. And if Beat Sports is any indication, the future looks bright for the Apple TV as a console for anyone who enjoys casual and family-oriented gaming titles.

For other app news today, see: Have some fun, create and share awesome GIFs in an Instant, Twitter comes to the Apple TV, courtesy of AirFeed, and Chromecasters can now enjoy Sling TV on their big screens.