Twelve great Android games you’re probably not playing on Shield TV

Many people complain about Shield Android TV because it isn’t “full Android” or “real Android” due to the fact that the Google Play store recognizes the device and filters out games that are not flagged specifically for the device.

The can lead to misconceptions about Shield TV not being a great Android gaming machine and driving users to stream PC games from either their own computer or via GeForce NOW’s streaming service.

Let’s look at ten amazing Android games (available from Google Play) that play fantastic on your Shield TV.  These are in no particular order and whenever possible, we’re using our own Shield Zone videos.

Meltdown Premium

Why you aren’t playing it: You might have played it on a phone or tablet and were discouraged by the poor controls.  You might also have scoffed at paying $6 for a game.  You might have just missed it in the sea of apps that blanket the Play store.  It also had mixed reviews from people who had incompatible devices.

Why you SHOULD play it: Meltdown is an old-school isometric action shooter, made popular in the 90’s.  Simple but addictive game play are enhanced with great graphics and ambiance.  Plus, it is local co-op so you can take your kid or significant other with you.

NVidia | Google Play | $6.46 (Has IAP)

Inferno 2

Why you aren’t playing it: You probably don’t even know it exists or what it is.  Screenshots and even video cannot properly show just how much fun the game is.

Why you SHOULD play it: It looks amazing and is a formidable twin stick shooter – actually a sort of Rogue-like level based light RPG – only using the power and insanity of twin stick Geometry Wars style game play.  Very popular at my house; I highly recommend it.

NVidia | Google Play | $.99 at time of writing (No IAP)

Choplifter HD

Why you aren’t playing it: You might already have it on PC.  You might have not been a fan of the original Choplifter on 8-bit platforms.

Why you SHOULD play it: While loosely based on the classic game, this game adds a lot more to the foray.  Not only is it fun action but it is also great to look at and is loaded with secrets and humor.  For the price (and no IAP) this is a no-brainer addition to your collection.

NVidia | Google Play | $.99 (No IAP)

Zen Pinball

Why you aren’t playing it: Maybe you aren’t a fan of pinball.  You may have played it on a smaller screen device like a phone and found it difficult.  Maybe you haven’t played it LATELY with all the new cross-IP promotion.

Why you SHOULD play it: This is what I call “fantasy” pinball; that means the tables you’ll play have elements not possible to have in a real pinball table.  This resonates well with people that don’t like traditional pinball.  Instead of real tables like Pinball Arcade, these fantasy tables use your favorite IP like Marvel, Star Wars, Family Guy and Aliens.  The new Aliens tables are friggin’ awesome.  WELL worth your time to check Zen Pinball out again or for the first time.

NVidia | Google Play | $Free (Pay Per Table)

Sky Force Anniversary

Why you aren’t playing it: You probably played the mobile version which was full of IAP and nasty horizontal scrolling.

Why you SHOULD play it: It is a gorgeous multiplayer top down old school shooter with tons and tons of replay potential.  Great graphics – really shows off the Shield TV.

NVidia | Google Play | $4.99 (No IAP)

This War of Mine

Why you aren’t playing it: It is heavy subject matter and it is hard to convey the nature of the game easily.  Plus it is one of the more expensive games at $16.

Why you SHOULD play it: This game is a lot like watching a really sad movie.  Just because it isn’t happy material doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing, thoughtful and sometimes troubling game.  It isn’t an impulse buy at this price, but do some research, watch the videos and if it looks interesting, pull the trigger (there is a bad joke in there somewhere).  Rarely can a game “touch” you.  This is one of them.

NVidia | Google Play | $14.99 (No IAP)

Pac-Man 256

Why you aren’t playing it: Probably played in on a mobile device and found the controls inadequate.  Didn’t want to take it for another spin.

Why you SHOULD play it: The game is much improved with the use of real, physical controls.  It is a better experience on a big screen and if you make the one time $4.99 purchase, it removes the need for paying IAP for the rest of the game.

NVidia | Google Play | $Free (Has IAP)


Why you aren’t playing it: You didn’t know about it.  Maybe you felt the controls were offputting.

Why you SHOULD play it: It is basically Super Stardust you can play without a Sony device.  Twin stick with lots of action.  Gorgeous.

NVidia | Google Play | $2.93 (No IAP)

Dustoff Heli Rescue

Why you aren’t playing it: The game didn’t get a lot of press or coverage – and it would initially appear to be “just another chunky pixel Unity throw together game”.

Why you SHOULD play it: Because it is hard and fun.  Video games practically hold your hand these days.  Dustoff isn’t super easy, but it is super rewarding.  The controls are a bit baffling at first

NVidia | Google Play | $2.99 (No IAP)


Why you aren’t playing it: It looks like a loser indie game with too cute graphics.

Why you SHOULD play it: It is an AMAZING two player co-op game with fun puzzles, fun humor and tons of playtime.  You can play it alone, if you like – but the power is in playing with a buddy.

NVidia | Google Play | $7.49 (No IAP)

Soul Calibur

Why you aren’t playing it: No secret or shocker here;  the game is $15.  Granted that’s cheap for a console quality game, but it is REALLY hard to pay $15 for an “app”.

Why you SHOULD play it: Because it really is a console quality game.  It is every bit the Soul Calibur you remember – and it looks and plays fantastic.  Check out some video.

NVidia | Google Play | $13.99 (No IAP)

Super Mega Baseball

Why you aren’t playing it: The Wii looking graphics and “cute” demenor (along with the pricetag) would turn most serious sports gamers off.

Why you SHOULD play it: It is a fantastic arcade style baseball game that has an amazing means of handicapping making it easy to play with everyone in the house together regardless of age or skillset.

NVidia | Google Play | $19.99 (No IAP)

7 Responses to Twelve great Android games you’re probably not playing on Shield TV

  1. Just bought Sky Force Anniversary, also have Dustoff and Zen Pinball. Sadly, Sky Force has a bug with latest Shield TV firmware/software. Planes are occasionally totally black (like without texture), there is also same kind of errors on the mountains (they sometimes render totally black) and some gun installations etc. have a black square around them. Forwarded this problem to publisher and they acknowledged problem, no eta for fix. Anyway, Dustoff is fantastic and so is Zen pinball (yes, the new Alien-tables are totally awesome!)

    Here is my list of other totally awesome games on Shield (TV):
    Radiant (simple, but enjoyable shooter)
    Geometry Wars 3 (fantastic shooter)
    Real Racing 3 (Forza/GT of Android)
    Red Ball 4 (Jump/Puzzle)
    Dungeon Hunter 4 (Diablo-esque, I would like to zoom out further,though!)
    Trine 2 Complete Story (Fantastic platformer)
    Riptide GP2 (driving)
    Reckless Racing 3 (Fantastic top down racer!)
    Beach Buggy Racing
    Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusion
    Dead Trigger 2
    Modern Combat 5

    And thanks for this great source of everything Shield! Keep it up, fantastic work!

    • administrator says:

      Sky Force is a known game with issues after an update. Check the Shield TV FAQ.

      • Yes, I got this reply from support:

        “Please spend all your stars on the upgrades, and make sure that the cloud save is enabled in the game options. Then completely remove the game and install again. Then play the intro and after tutorial login to the Cloud and restore your game progress. It’s possible that you will not see this graphical problem again.”

        Will try it, when I have time. And btw. I have a 16GB-version and have this problem (Though I am using Adoptive storage).

  2. Tested the above mentioned workaround for Sky Force and can confirm it worked. No more missing textures.

  3. Love some of these, great list, pacman256 is a clever take on an old idea, spend way too much time on that thing 😉 Having said that, the very obvious Achilles heel of the Shield TV is that it doesn’t have real-Android! The next update should fix that and just open it up to the full Android playstore (I know they won’t, lol, but I can dream anyway).

    Lots of games already allow controller use, we’ve crossed that bridge, the only remaining “issues” are games that need touch, or screen-rotation. The touch can be made to work for lots of games with a pointer/mouse/keyboard/etc. Now obviously, if the game is touch-only, then this probably won’t be a fun experience, but in the case of lazy devs, it can get you around a menu or two until the actual game starts 😉

    I mean, I still can’t get over the most popular game ever, a multiplayer constantly improving game, Minecraft, not working on this, lol. Unthinkable! What a waste of power…

    Sure it’s Google’s fault for releasing a crippled-for-no-technical-or-sane-reason version of Android, but it’s NVIDIA’s fault for choosing to use such a version on this device.

    I don’t play streaming games, I only play native games, and I have to say that the FireTV, while less powerful, has a better gaming experience. It has Minecraft, and a few of Amazon’s own. It also has lots of the same games that the Shield has, like Bards Tale, GTA and so on. The Shield has Half Life and co, which are great, but you’d think that the SHIELD would win, hands-down, in all ways all the time as a game console…but it doesn’t, we still have to refer to lists like yours to struggle to find games! And the single, lone, 1 reason it doesn’t, lol, is because of their choice of this half-ass Android…

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