The 10 Best Roku Games You Can Play Right Now [December 2019]
So you finally decided to pick up a brand new Roku device for your television. It’s always a great time to do it, but the holidays in particular make it an easy choice. Roku routinely discounts their boxes and streaming stick up to 50 percent off during end of year sales, and with the Roku experience being one of the best you can find in streaming today, it’s an easy choice.
Of course, just because your Roku device is a great way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows doesn’t mean that’s all it’s good at. Roku can also double as a gaming device, similar to an Apple TV or a smartphone. While you aren’t going to be playing any groundbreaking AAA games on your Roku, for some quick time wasters or fun with the whole family, Roku might be all you need. All of these games are worthy of your time. Most of these great Roku games are free too, with some offering free aspects with paid-for add-ons.
They might not break the mold, but Roku games are a great way to add some extra functionality to your television.
How to Add Games to Roku
Before we dive into our list, you’ll want to make sure you know how to add games to your Roku account. There’s a couple of ways to do this. 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 in each listing, 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.
With that said, let’s get into the best games for your Roku device.
Galaga is an absolute classic and beloved old school game that’s almost too much fun. It’s hard to stop playing once you start. 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 very loosely on Space Invaders, this eighties game is pure fun.
In Galaga, 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! Galaga requires you to build your skill to an extremely high level to achieve that goal.
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 or seems to be 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!
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. So if you like poker, a game the combines skill and chance, then the Roku version is worth trying out!
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 until you are ready to get back to trying to get to level 250 in Galaga!
Air Hockey needs no introduction. It’s popular in the real world and popular on Roku too. The gameplay is exactly the same as in the physical version, except you play against the computer rather than another person. You need to keep the puck in play and out of your goal for as long as possible. As anyone who’s played much air hockey knows all too well, 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 in that it lets you play on levels created by other players of the game, or you can create your own levels and share them! So if you like puzzle games and want to take on puzzles from other players and create some puzzles yourself, you’ll love Tiles. It’s a great way to keep your brain sharp and the Roku is here to help!
Who doesn’t love Jeopardy!? Though you’ve likely not experienced the real game show with Alex Trebek, the video game is the next best thing if you want to test your knowledge of trivia and ability to think on your feet. This is a Roku version of one of America’s favorite game show and apparently features clues written by the game show’s writers.
While the fixed library of 2700 questions limits replayability eventually, there are a many great hours of high energy entertainment here. The Roku Jeopardy game is great for both solo and for 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. This absolute classic puzzle game is replicated well on the system but only the first level is free. The rest of the game is premium, though if you love Tetris or have always wanted to match wits against this relentless game, it may well be worth a little money. The gameplay is as challenging and as fast-paced as you would expect.
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.
The premise of Text Twist is simple: Make as many words 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.
Do you know of any other great Roku games we should try? If so, please us about them below in the comments!