Arcade & Action
Nimble Quest (Free)
How do you blend the old mobile favorite Snake with a retro-RPG? This is the answer and it’s surprisingly brilliant. Your little band of adventurers line up like a Conga line and you’ll zip around enemy-filled levels dispatching the baddies and gathering loot. Every level you beat adds a new member to your party and gives you a chance to change your leader, level up your characters, and choose buffs. You can grind or skip ahead via in-app purchases. Read our full Nimble Quest review for more.
Tetris Blitz (Free)
Just hearing the first few bars of “Music A” in the original Tetris is enough to give you flashbacks to 1989. Whether you remember it fondly or you’re a youngster who never played it before, Tetris does not care – it will hook you and never let go . Rotate and match colored blocks to clear them off the board. It must be the most cloned game in existence, but it’s still fun. The big achievement here are touch screen controls that work. There are extra modes and power-ups, a neon sheen, and advertising, but look underneath and you’ll find the same awesome gameplay.
The Spookening ($3)
Reminiscent of a fantastic old classic called Ghost Master, this game casts you as a ghost and you have to scare people in order to build up enough power to resurrect. You’ll spend 20 nights in Clifftown putting fear in the locals, but you’ll have to watch out for demons and unfriendly spirits. You’ll soon get the hang of fright items which allow you to pull off super scares. You can acquire special skills as well. There’s enough spooky, scary fun here to start your own werewolf bar mitzvah.
Mini Golf MatchUp (Free)
Multiplayer crazy golf that anyone can pick up and play is perfectly suited to a spot of casual gaming on your Android. With over 70 holes over 5 courses, and a wide range of wacky obstacles, things never gets boring. This is beautifully accessible arcade action, wrapped in a brightly colored package, and it will hook you, your friends, and your family from the get-go. In-game chat adds a social aspect and the developers have promised that more content is on the way.
Doodle Jump (Free)
If you’ve never indulged your curiosity with regards to the incredibly popular Doodle Jump then now is the time because it has been optimized for Android and it’s available for free. All you have to do is land on platforms to bounce yourself ever higher as the screen scrolls up behind you. A host of weird obstacles and strange platform types keeps things interesting. It really is very hard to put down and it’s suitable for everyone.
Life is Magic (Free)
The real world location-based MMO genre is growing fast and Life is Magic is a great example. The world around you has been given a fantasy makeover and you’ll be questing in it as a Monk, Mage, or Machinist. It’s standard RPG gameplay with plenty of dungeon raiding, monster battling, and competitive looting. It’s polished and pretty as a picture. The title alone should be enough to encourage you to give it a go.
Granny Smith ($1)
A neighborhood brat wants to make off with your apples in this fast-paced, physics-based platformer. You play as the geriatric Granny Smith and you race after the thief on roller skates, armed with a walking stick and a supply of baseballs to hurl. It’s all about timing as you zoom along trying to avoid the obstacles and collect coins and those all-important apples. You can spend coins on various power-ups for Granny, like the baseballs or banana skins. There are almost 60 levels to enjoy and the charming art style is matched by some solid gameplay.
Line Runner 2 (Free)
This is a side-scrolling auto-runner like Canabalt. To win, you must dodge obstacles and collect coins that you can spend on boosts to see you through the more difficult sections. There are various improvements over the original, including new characters, obstacles, power-ups, and environments. It’s old school arcade fun that instantly hooks you, but it can be unforgiving. Luckily there’s a Kid’s Mode for when it all gets too hard.
Killer Escape (Free)
Here’s a change of pace from your average Android game. Killer Escape is an old school point-and-click adventure spiced up by the fact that you are trying to escape the clutches of a crazed serial killer. It has a nice spooky atmosphere and offers a typical blend of exploration and a collection of diverse puzzles. It’s not a long game and it never gets too challenging, but it is fun while it lasts and it’s also completely free. Can you escape before you get hacked into little pieces? There’s only one way to find out.
Ant Raid ($1)
This casual RTS was a big hit on iOS and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be every bit as successful on Android. It combines a quirky sense of humor with a cartoon story, fun sound effects and music, and powerfully addictive gameplay. It’s very easy to get into and new mechanics are introduced at just the right pace to keep you hooked and challenged without the invading bugs becoming too overwhelming. The control system is ideal for your touchscreen and you’ll find yourself sending ants into battle and squishing invading bugs at a fierce pace as the levels go on.
Final Fantasy Dimensions ($20)
Quite a few of the old Square classics have been ported to mobile, but before you balk at the price tag for Final Fantasy Dimensions it’s worth pointing out that this is a whole new RPG adventure. From the 2D pixel art to the involved storyline it has a retro feel that will satisfy fans of the old Final Fantasy titles. The episodic storyline isn’t the best, but with over 40 hours of gameplay and plenty of quests and big boss fights to enjoy this is a must-have game for FF fans.
Steampunk Racing 3D (Free)
If you’ve been waiting for steampunk styling to crash into battle racing then get ready to be very happy indeed. This is all about action-packed races to the death. You can customize 10 different vehicles with 30 improvements and weapons to give yourself the edge in the single player campaign or the multiplayer arena. The grimy industrial art style is spot on for steampunk fans and the gameplay is fast and frenetic. It’s free to download, but you’ll find the usual in-app purchase options to help you gain an edge over the competition.
Temple Run (Free)
Temple Run has finally come to Android, but it’s been on iOS since 2011. The gist of the game is pretty simple. You have clearly trespassed on ancient ruins where you don’t belong and are now fleeing from a bunch of evil monkey creatures. To survive, you must swipe up, down, left, or right, and tilt your device to dodge obstacles and collect coins. The key to this game is its simplicity and tight controls. When you swipe down to slide, you instinctively know just how far you’ll go. The precision controls have made it a hit and definitely worth checking out.
This is the first RPG we’ve recommended, but it’s really only half an RPG. While most RPGs have you roam around an overworld and talk to NPCs between battles, Battleheart gets right down to the action. You go from battle to battle, leveling up, purchasing upgrades, and changing your team as you go. It sounds less fun than a traditional RPG, but Mika is on to something. With a real-time touch battle system that is simple enough for anyone to learn, Battleheart manages to keep battles fresh and interesting. It doesn’t skimp either. The game has casters, healers, tanks, and most basic classes you’d expect from a game of its kind. There are a healthy number of upgrades and weaponry available and the fun, flashy art style definitely helps as well.
Grand Theft Auto III ($5)
Here’s a game that needs no introduction. Though if it did have an intro, it would be full of explosions. Grand Theft Auto III takes players to the crime-ridden world that first appeared on the PlayStation 2. It’s a mobile adaption of the game that changed the Grand Theft Auto franchise and, to some extent, gaming as a whole. Live through the campaign that puts you in control of a betrayed criminal. Work your way up through the ranks of thuggery as you walk through the gritty streets of Liberty City and wreck havoc.
Wind-up Knight (Free)
We’re all familiar with the old stand-by fairy tale storyline of the knight in shining armor saving the distressed princess. Wind-Up Knight takes that story and makes you want to tell the princess exactly what you had to go through to save her. With 50 levels that promise to shake your confidence and crush your self-esteem, Wind-Up Knight is a platformer that makes you exhale a deep sigh of relief at the end of every world. Even armor upgrades and weapon enhancements won’t provide a promise of safety. Just pick up your sword, throw on your helmet, and hope for the best.
Fruit Ninja ($1.24)
Fruit Ninja has been out a while, but we never leave it alone for too long. The game is simple: fruit flies into the air and you must slice it before it falls. You do this by swiping across it with your finger. If it sounds too simple or boring, don’t knock it till you try it. Fruit Ninja has become a staple on almost every casual games platform, from the iPhone to the Xbox Live Arcade. It’s a high score game like Tetris, where you play until the game gets so difficult that you die. And it’s a good one.
(Similar games: Slice It!)
The Android world is still scarce on famous games, so we sometimes have to put up with ripoffs. Defender is a defend-the-castle game that’s been done a hundred times, but simple games like these never get old, especially if they come with a bit of polish. Robots are attacking your castle and you have to tap on them to shoot ‘em with your giant ballista. The addition of spells and mana is a nice touch, allowing you to take out a group of robots at once when things get tough. Best, it looks good on tablets and phones.
Tank Hero (Free)
Ever play the tank game in Nintendo’s Wii Play collection? It’s pretty addictive, and so is Tank Hero. Your goal is to destroy the other tanks. It’s simple and fun. Some tanks are faster, some shoot missiles, some drop mines, and some are just plain crafty. The controls take a minute to get used to, but work very well. Using your left thumb, you steer the tank like a D-Pad. To fire, you simply tap on the screen in the general direction you’d like to fire in. The graphics are gorgeous, especially for a free Android game and it plays without a hitch on older devices as well (we played on a Motorola Droid).
(Similar games: BattleTanks)
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