Real Boxing ($5)
As Rocky said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” So will your opponents in Real Boxing, which is quite simply the best looking, most immersive and enjoyable boxing game available on the Android platform. You’ll need a phone or tablet with a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor (it will work on Tegra 2 as well) and a whole lot of heart and patience to get the best from this game.
Boardtastic Skateboarding 2 (Free)
Heaven is a halfpipe with Boardtastic Skateboarding 2. It’s in the mold of the old Tony Hawk games and challenges you to pull off tricks in various skate parks around the world. You can get new decks, new clothing, and learn new tricks to customize your character. As a freemium title, the pace is throttled to encourage you to splash out real cash. Skaters will struggle to find anything better on Android right now.
Pool by Miniclip (Free)
Multiplayer 8-ball action is the name of the game as you play 1-on-1 matches for bragging rights and leaderboard position. This is a simple and addictive pool game with a practice arena to help you hone your skills before you enter the world of competitive 8-ball. The ranking system allows you to level up over time (as long as you win) and there are coin rewards that can be spent on power-ups and new cues.
Flick Golf ($1)
If you can’t get out for a round then Flick Golf might be the next best thing. Use your finger to take shots as you play on one of three, impressive-looking courses. The closer you get to the pin with a single shot, the more you score. The ultimate goal is to sink a hole-in-one. There are plenty of hazards to avoid and you’ll need to account for the terrain and wind speed if you expect to sink that ball.
New Star Soccer ($3)
Soccer has yet to really stick inside the borders of the US. Maybe New Star Soccer can change that. Despite its simple appearance, this is a game with more depth than Spain’s Euro Cup roster. Start a career as an up-and-comer in the world of football and manage every aspect of your rise to fame. Practice to improve your abilities, capitalize on chances in games to earn yourself more playing time, and manage your money to score better gear–or lose it all in the casino. It’s your cleated life, see how far you can take it.
Crazy Snowboard (Free)
It may not be SSX, Shawn White, or 1080 Snowboarding, but Crazy Snowboard has the underpinnings of a solid snowboarding game. To play, you turn your Android on its side and use it like a steering wheel. An upward tug on the right will turn you left and a motion up on the left will turn you right. The basic controls feel fairly natural. To jump, you tap (or hold) your finger in a marked circle on the lower right of the screen. Once you figure that out and get some air, tap on the left circle to perform some different tricks and combos.
Crazy Snowboard is not a deep game, but it’s far more complex and well executed than you might expect for a free mobile game. The music is bad, but there are enough missions, maps, and bonuses to keep you interested for a while.
Baseball SuperStars 2011 ($0.99)
Baseball Superstars has been around for years, but without an MLB branding, it has never really taken off. Still, it remains the best mobile baseball game we’ve played and the 2011 version is no different. You choose between odd teams like the Dragons, Dolphins, or Lions (whose mascot may as well be named Simba) and there are an endless number of options to choose from. Gamevil’s attention to detail and simple, engaging gameplay make this one of the only solid traditional sports games on Android. However, those on lower-end devices may want to avoid the 2011 version. It ran a bit choppy on a Motorola Droid.
Moto X Mayhem ($1.00)
Remember Excitebike? Moto X Mayhem takes the idea of excite bike to the next level with rag doll physics, crazy terrain, and solid graphics. The controls make it work. Tapping and holding the screen forward accelerates and you can tilt your bike up or down by tilting the actual phone. Like a good Nintendo game, control is just loose enough to have fun with, but tight enough that you can assert command when you need it.