Android tablets have been around for more than a year, but there still aren’t very many games designed to take advantage of a large screen. These games are not only playable on tablets as well as Android phones (at no extra charge, unlike iOS apps), they are all more fun to play on the big screen. Some of these games were first available on Apple’s iPad, but as the number of Android tablets increases, we are seeing some companies release games for both formats at the same time.
Keep in mind that, try as we might to pick the best Android tablet games with broad tablet support, it is possible that any given game on our list might not be compatible with your tablet. If your favorite game hasn’t made our list, please let us know and we will take a look at it.
Once you know what games to play, you’ll need a tablet to play them on, so check out picks for the best Android tablets.
Reducing the real-time strategy genre to its core elements, Auralux, shows how simple mechanics can be used to build a game with strategic depth. It’s a battle for the stars as you balance conquest with upgrades in the face of multiple opponents. Neon blasts of color and an ambient soundtrack strike a near-perfect minimalist mix. It is slow paced, but you’ll need to use your brain to climb that difficulty curve, and before long you’ll want to splash out on in-app purchases to unlock more maps.
Kingdom Rush ($2)
It takes something special to stand out in a genre as crowded as tower defense, but this game smashes through your defenses by doing everything right. The core mechanics are instantly familiar; the level of polish is very high; and the variety of enemies, upgrades, and abilities keeps things interesting. Some of the battles can only be described as epic in scale, and it’s certainly no push over. In short – it looks great and it’s fun to play.
Pirates! Showdown ($3)
Avast, ye scurvy seadogs! It’s time to embark on a pirate adventure for booty and glory. This action-packed RTS is all about building up a pirate fleet and wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and beyond. Capturing towns, shipyards, and other structures provides you with different types of resources, and you can spend your loot on upgrading your ships or building new ones. The cannonballs are always flying as you lay siege to settlements and encounter enemy pirates on the open seas. There are 50 levels to test your mettle.
Game Dev Story ($2.50)
Think you know what makes a good game? It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and run a game developer. Help your employees grow, expand your office, hire new people, and develop the games you think will lead to success. Kairosoft is responsible for this title and, like all its releases, there’s a charming 8-bit retro aesthetic and disturbingly addictive gameplay. Prepare to realize it’s 3AM and that distant thunder is in fact your stomach, because you skipped dinner to play.
Bad Piggies HD (Free)
Those little green porkers from Angry Birds don’t spend all their time stealing eggs. Rovio has created a twist on its classic hit here that has the same format and cute cartoon art style, but introduces new gameplay. The addictive action challenges you to create weird and wonderful vehicles so you can reach all the collectibles across over 80 levels. This is good, clean fun for the whole family and it requires some creative thinking to score maximum stars.
Ski Safari ($1)
Can you stay ahead of the avalanche in this side-scrolling runner? You’ll need to build up speed by pulling off tricks and grabbing strange animals and vehicles, but make sure you avoid the obstacles. The game is easy to pick up and play, and there are tricky achievements to aim for that will keep you coming back for more. The game has a nice sense of humor and it’s well crafted so genre fans of titles like Canabalt and Tiny Wings should definitely grab this.
Shadowgun: DeadZone (Free)
If you enjoyed the third-person shooter adventure Shadowgun, you might be interested in this multiplayer offshoot. You’re never going to replicate the shooter experience you’ll get with a console or desktop on a tablet, but this is a good effort. You can have up to 12 players shooting it out for supremacy in Deathmatch and there’s an alternative Zone Control mode which pits two teams of six against each other for control of the map. There’s a ranking system, weaponry to buy, and optional in-app purchases for cosmetic items.
Zenonia 5 (Free)
If you’ve never heard of the series, Zenonia 5 is a freemium Anime action RPG. You can choose from four character classes with a full range of customization options and skill charts to level up. It’s packed with missions and it offers PvP as well. If you’re a fan of RPGs and you want a great-looking example designed for tablets then this is it. The control system is well designed and if you get bored of grinding you can shortcut to the goodies you want via in-app purchases.
Fruit Ninja ($3)
There’s not a whole lot of games out there that manages to appeal to both ninjas and vegans, but Fruit Ninja manages to encompass the cross-section of those markets. Fruits come flying across the screen in vibrant, beautiful color. It’s your job to turn the flying produce into a sliced serving with quick swipes across the screen. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s truly one of the best games around, especially for those that really get a kick out of cutting up fruit.
Six Guns (Free)
A tumbleweed rolls across the screen. The clock in town rings out and the sun is just beginning to set. You walk out through the swinging doors of a saloon to meet a man in the middle of town, both of you ready to reach for the gun on your hip at any given moment. That’s the world you’ll enter in Six Guns. This title takes you back to the Wild West and allows you to roam through the old frontier on foot or horseback.
Tiny Tower (Free)
No matter how much you loathe Donald Trump, you can’t deny that having multimillion-dollar buildings with your name on it would be pretty awesome. Tiny Tower lets you live this fantasy without the terrible Trump hair. Build from the ground up until you’ve got a building that is prime real estate for businesses and residents. This game is deceivingly deep, with an in-game social network for characters and completely customizable floor and room layout. It’s like Sim City if it took place in a single building.
New games are great, but there’s a certain charm to those old titles we grew up on. Get nostalgic with NES.emu, a Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator built for your Android device. It’s all the fun of one of the greatest console experiences ever – and now it can come with you. From first party classics like Mario and Metroid to awesome ports like Bubble Bobble and Mega Man, just launching this app will feel like you’re stepping back into the 1980′s – without having to wear the terrible clothes.
Why be limited to specific games when you can install the free OnLive app and play the latest console titles on your Android tablet? The service allows you to stream games to your tablet from remote servers. You can check out our OnLive hands-on impressions to find out more. There are a few touch-based options available, like L.A. Noire, or you can opt to buy the wireless controller and play games like Batman: Arkham City in all their glory.
World of Goo ($4.99)
It looks gorgeous and it plays like a physics-based dream. World of Goo started its life as a Wii game, which makes it ideal for your Android tablet. If you’ve never seen this smash hit before it’s essentially a very weird and addictive puzzle game that came out a few years back. Just buy it, you won’t regret it. If you’re tempted then check out the Humble Bundle where you can pick up World of Goo, along with a bunch of excellent indie classics for your Android tablet, and give to charity at the same time.
Great Big War Game ($3.99)
Fancy yourself as a tactician? You have to try out the turn-based strategy classic, Great Big War Game. The cartoonish graphics are great, it has a bit of humor to it, but most importantly the gameplay is immersive. You’ll need some real tactical skill to emerge victorious from the 50 mission single player campaign. You can also indulge in a spot of multiplayer action so there’s plenty of content on offer to justify that price tag.
Dead Trigger (Free)
You just can’t beat a bit of first-person shooter action with zombies. There’s something relaxing and deeply satisfying about slaughtering wave after wave of the undead. Dead Trigger features the standard post-apocalyptic zombie uprising scenario and it looks great. The basic game is free, but you do have the option of splashing out on in-app purchases like better weapons and upgraded abilities.