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The best games on Google Play Pass

Launched last September, Google Play Pass offers mobile gamers a different way to experience some of the best titles on the Play Store. For just $4.99 a month, Play Pass subscribers gain unlimited access to over 350 apps on Android devices. These run the gamut from full pay-to-play experiences — such as Terraria and Stardew Valley — to games that typically run ads or include microtransactions — such as Swordigo and Cut the Rope.

Although the service has hundreds of games, not all of them are worth your time. We’ve gone through the entire catalog and put together a short list of the best titles offered by Google Play Pass. They span multiple genres and prove that the low monthly subscription fee is well worth your money. These aren’t the only good games on the service — far from it. But they offer a good starting point for those new to the service or anyone looking for a reason to subscribe.

Further Reading

Terraria

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By now everyone knows about Terraria. It’s basically a 2D-version of Minecraft with a stronger emphasis on action and exploration. The mobile version might be a bit more difficult to control compared to its PC counterpart, but it’s one of the best mobile sandbox games available on Android. Adventurers can battle over 300 different enemies, explore more than 20 biomes, and discover over 800 items. It’s a journey well worth your time and one of the many gems offered up to Play Pass subscribers.

Stardew Valley

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Move to the countryside and start your own farm! Stardew Valley is the best farming sim since the early days of Harvest Moon. Beyond growing corn and raising cows, players can interact with dozens of eclectic villagers and try to court one of 12 eligible bachelors/bachelorettes. Those looking for a relaxing game to sink hundreds of hours into should look no further than Stardew Valley.

Game Dev Tycoon

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Good simulation games are lacking on mobile phones. Too many of them rely on cheap time-gates and microtransaction to further your progress. Game Dev Tycoon is a breath of fresh air for those tired of cash-hungry developers. Here, you’ll start your own game development company and navigate the stormy waters of the early ’80s gaming industry — all while trying to create a fun video game that’s also profitable.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

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One of the newer additions to the Play Pass, Battle Chasers takes some of the best JRPG tropes and adds its own western flair. You’ll follow the young warrior Gully as she tries to find her father who mysteriously disappeared while out on an expedition. Traditional turn-based combat is augmented by a unique Overcharge system that keeps you on your toes. When not out fighting monsters, you’ll navigate a massive overworld and explore dungeons, hoping to find rare treasure. Battle Chasers: Nightwar also released on PC and consoles, and not much was lost in translation — all told, you can expect to sink 30 hours into Nightwar before reaching the credits.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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Originally released in 2003, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is arguably one of the best RPGs of all time. Developer BioWare eventually went on to create other breakthrough games such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age — games that borrow heavily from ideas first established in Knights of the Old Republic. Star Wars fans, RPG buffs, or anyone looking for their next favorite game needs to give this one a download.

Titan Quest

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Love Diablo, but afraid that Diablo: Immortal is going to wind up a microtransaction nightmare? Then you’ll be glad to hear that Titan Quest is available for Play Pass subscribers! This is another old PC title that has been ported to mobile phones — and one that’s right at home in the palm of your hand. Take on 80 different creatures inspired by Greek mythology as you explore a massive open world brought to life by hundreds of NPCs, a full day/night cycle, and a unique narrative. This is another one that you can play for months, with a runtime of over 60 hours.

Monument Valley 2

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Words don’t do this one justice, as Monument Valley 2 is best experienced first-hand through its gorgeous visuals. A family-friendly puzzle title whose artwork is inspired by a “mixture of architectural styles, artistic movements, and personal influences,” it’s easily one of the most beautiful mobile games of all time. Plus, it was tailor-made for a portable experience, making it easy to pick up and play in short bursts.

LIMBO

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An unsettling platform/puzzler, LIMBO follows the journey of a young boy who is trying to discover the fate of his sister. Anything more will spoil the fascinating narrative that unravels as you progress through the short game. It’s a brilliant title and deals with some difficult topics with incredible tact. This is one you’ll be thinking about long after you put it down.

Suzy Cube

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Reminiscent of a certain mustachioed plumber, Suzy Cube features a whimsical world full of platforming challenges, secrets, and dozens of block-shaped enemies. Players have over 40 levels to complete, and the game is compatible with most Bluetooth controllers, allowing for an impressive degree of accuracy during some intense platforming sequences. Nintendo doesn’t have to worry just yet, but Suzy Cube is a solid addition to the Play Pass roster.

Wayward Souls

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An action-adventure title built around procedurally generated levels, Wayward Souls is an absolute beast of a game. Anyone looking for something lighthearted should look elsewhere, as this one is a hardcore title all the way through. Although it was built specifically for mobile gaming with short play sessions in mind, that doesn’t mean it has to be easy. Wayward Souls players will journey through 13 unique areas and battle a variety of monsters. Success comes down to your ability to deploy the right attacks at the right time, think on your feet, and — above all else — stay calm.

Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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