Toronto’s Tiny Hearts releases Apple TV party game, Emoji Party

Whether or not the Apple TV lives up to its abundant gaming potential still remains to be seen, but if Toronto-based Tiny Hearts’ Emoji Party is any indication, stellar multiplayer titles are slowly making their way to the platform.

Tiny Hearts’ founder Robleh Jama describes Emoji Party as charades for the 21st century. Jama says the game organically evolved from the studio’s previous work on its custom keyboard app, Next Keyboard. It challenges friends and family to guess and act out different emojis from 10 themed decks, featuring card sets like animals, movies and TV shows, creating thousands of possible emoji combinations.

In Emoji Party, players hold their iPhones over their head while their friends are tasked with guessing the emoji combo before time runs out. The Apple TV portion of the app acts as a hub for the game’s experience.

“The idea of making a party game interested us as we’re part app studio and part game studio. We spent a year working on Next Keyboard, which is more utilitarian, and wanted to work on something a little more playful,” said Jama, discussing Emoji Party’s inception. “People were already playing silly ad hoc games with emojis and putting them up on YouTube (search Emoji Challenge). We started thinking about ways to design a game around this existing behaviour. We were also inspired by the Hedbanz board game, Ellen’s Heads Up app, and games like Guess the Emoji.”

Emoji Party
Jama says that the game originally began as an iPhone title, but eventually made its way to the Apple TV because his team felt the platform better fits the social living room gaming experience they envisioned.

“There’s been widespread complaint about technology isolating us. But at Tiny Hearts we really believe that technology has an equal ability to bring us closer together — even in the physical world through shared experiences and that’s what we’re trying to create with Emoji Party,” said Jama.

Emoji Party is set to launch for the Apple TV on Thursday, January 7th, 2016.