Favorite 4: iOS Gaming on Your TV

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 2nd, 2011

The iPad may have a big and beautiful screen, but sometimes, you want to play those games on an even bigger screen, like your TV. Thankfully, there are a selection of iOS games that allow you to hook up your iPad and/or iPhone/iPod touch to the TV using the VGA adapter, and sit back and enjoy games on your monitor or HDTV.

Rage HD: Consoles and PCs won't be getting the id Tech 5 engine and the full Rage game until the end of this year at least, but you can play the first fruits of the id Tech 5 engine on your monitor TV through Rage HD. Plug in your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into your TV, and you can play id's latest game on your TV, making those console and PC owners all kinds of jealous. While the game's on-screen buttons can be a bit challenging to manage without looking at your device's screen at first, the TV still displays the location of those buttons, so you can get used to the location of the buttons using that visual guide.

Max Adventure: Imangi's dual-stick shooter supports TV out as well, allowing you to directly plug in and play on the iOS device of your choice. The game is easier to control in many respects than Rage HD is, due to the easy to use dual-stick controls that let you just use your left thumb to move, and right thumb to fire, with double-tapping on the right side of the screen used to activate your powerups. Easy to setup, easy to play, just as the game itself is.

The Incident: If you want to play this game on your TV, you'll need an iPad and an iPhone/iPod touch to control it with. Despite the cost of entry, The Incident looks fantastic on an external display in HD. As well, the game runs in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, meaning if you set your HDTV or monitor to stretch, it will fill the whole screen. The game also features simple controls that only require you to tilt your iPhone or iPod touch and tap anywhere on it to jump. This one is almost worth playing just so you can appreciate the irony of using the latest and greatest in portable technology to play an 8-bit inspired game on your TV.

Chopper 2
: One of the very first games to support TV output, and one of the best. While you have to have two iOS devices to play the game with, one hooked up to the TV and one to use the remote controls with, the experience and feature set is probably the best. There's anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, multiple control schemes to use for iPhone/iPod touch depending if you want to use tilt controls or not, and you can thankfully see your firing angle on screen, making the iPhone or iPod touch in your hands practically melt away and become a natural controller. The game thankfully also supports online save synchronization with OpenFeint, so you can easily take your game across whatever iOS device you want to use. You can even use your iOS version of the game to play the Mac App Store version of Chopper 2 remotely.

While the selection of TV-out enabled games is currently limited, the selection currently available is quite fine. As well, worthy of special mention is Red Nova, which supports remote controls but doesn't support TV-out yet. While some form of standardization of remote and display-out protocols would help get more games supporting these features, for now, there is a quality selection of games to enjoy on the larger display of your choice.