The 10 Best Roku Games You Can Play Right Now
Everybody knows that Roku is a great way to watch TV shows and movies, and to cast video and music content from your PC or smartphone to your TV, but did you know that it was also a gaming platform? Let’s stay realistic – it’s not the latest Playstation console and you’re not going to be playing Fortnite on it anytime soon, but the Roku platform actually plays some reasonably amusing and engaging games. While they won’t break any records for graphics or complexity, they are a good way to while away a spare hour or two. Here are ten great Roku games you can play right now.
Most Roku games are 8-bit, so they’ll never challenge your XBox One for graphics or gameplay, but they do offer entertainment through your Roku device. Some tickle that nostalgia part of our brain, while some are great fun in their own right. Some of these are remade classics while some are variations on a theme. All are worthy of your time. Most of these great Roku games are free too, with some offering free aspects with paid-for addons.
At the end of this listing, I’ll show you how to add any of these great Roku games. It is easy to do and takes less than a minute. But for now, let the games begin!
Galaga is an absolute classic. (Younger readers may remember it only from the hilarious bridge scene in the Avengers, when Tony Stark catches one of the bridge techs playing Galaga on his console instead of working.) Based loosely on Space Invaders, this eighties games is pure fun. You control a spaceship and have to shoot down wave upon wave of alien invaders. You get three lives to do it and the aliens move faster and in different patterns as you progress. Powerups are available if you kill the mothership which increases your damage, which you will need if you are to survive the 250 levels!
Snake came back into the public eye in 2017 with the re-release of the Nokia 3310, and there’s a nice implementation of the game on your Roku. The premise of the game is simple: Navigate the screen with your snake while avoiding collisions with yourself. It’s easy…except that every level, your snake grows longer and longer, and the game quickly becomes truly challenging. Snake is a cult classic for a very good reason!
3. Video Poker
Video Poker does exactly what it says on the box. It offers five versions of five card draw, Jacks or Better, Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, Joker Poker and Double Joker Poker. You start with $100 and each hand costs $1.25 to buy in. If you like to play poker but don’t like to risk losing real money, this will do.
Retaliate is similar to Galaga but is different enough to warrant playing. It is another scrolling shooter but with a slight difference. Rather than having infinite ammo and having to avoid being shot, in Retaliate, you have to absorb your enemy’s ammo to shoot them back with it. It’s a great game with which to while away an hour or so.
5. Air Hockey Free
Air Hockey needs no introduction. It’s popular in the real world and popular on Roku too. Gameplay is exactly the same as in the physical version, except you play against the computer rather than another person. Keep the puck in play and out of your goal for as long as possible. Play is fast and frenetic and will have you losing hours at a time with just one more game.
Tiles is a unique puzzle game. Uniquely, it lets you play on levels created by other players of the game, or you can create your own levels and share them!
Who doesn’t love Jeopardy!? This is a Roku version of the country’s favorite game show and apparently features clues written by show writers. While the fixed library of 2700 questions limits replayability eventually, there are a many great hours of high energy entertainment here. The game is ideal for solo or party play.
Tetris is in many ways the game that started the casual gaming boom. It is perhaps the most famous video game in the world, and this implementation brings it to the Roku in style. The classic puzzle game is replicated well on the system but only the first level is free. The rest of the game is unfortunately premium. Despite that, gameplay is as challenging and as fast-paced as you would expect.
9. Downhill Bowling 2
Downhill Bowling 2 takes one of our favorite pastimes and gives it a twist. Rather than the usual flat alley, you bowl down hills, up ramps, across different terrain and across obstacles. Power ups, bombs, points and coins are all to be collected as you go. This is a fast game that demands your complete attention while playing and is much more entertaining than you might think.
10. Text Twist
The premise of Text Twist is simple: Make as many works as possible out of a random collection of letters. The game itself is great fun if you want to pit your wits against the computer and test your wordsmith skills. You can play timed or untimed rounds and either way, you will find yourself staring at the wall thinking more often than at the screen.
How to add games to Roku
So how do you add these great games to your Roku? Easy. You can use a desktop PC or phone to visit channelstore.roku.com and add them to your account from there, you can click on the direct links above, or you can surf for them from your Roku box.
Adding them via the web takes a little while. Once you add the channel, it can take a few hours for them to show up on your Roku box. You may benefit from doing a forced update once added to see if you can speed things up. Once you have selected your game and added the channel you can ‘encourage’ it to appear faster. Select Settings, System and System Update on your Roku and perform an update and they should show up.
If you use the Roku box directly, they should appear immediately. Navigate to Home, Streaming Channels, Games and browse the list. Select a game to add the channel and it should appear right away. Just select the game within the Games channel on the Roku to play.
Know of any other great Roku games we should try? Tell us about them below!