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The Essential iOS/Android List

This week, we’ve examined the major gaming platforms and recommended the essential titles for each one. Today, we cover the best games for iOS and Android devices.

Whether your allegiance is with Apple or Google, both platforms offer thousands of games. It’s definitely true that iOS is the lead platform for the majority of mobile game releases, but that doesn’t mean Android users are being ignored. Many of the top-tier games find their way onto Android devices, even though those ports may come months after their initial iOS release.

For our list, we tried to compile a mix of well-known titles and a few relative obscurities. There’s a reason that many of these games are household names, and there are still more that deserve a larger audience. Take a look at our selections, and then tell us what you think in the comments below.

Angry Birds Space (Android, iOS)
Developer: Rovio Mobile
Price: $.99

In many ways, Rovio’s Angry Birds is synonymous with mobile gaming. When it came time to develop a full-on sequel to the popular structure-smashing game, the Finnish studio did the only sensible thing: blast it into space. The addition of zero-gravity environments and planets’ gravitational pull breathe new life into a game that still felt fresh. Giving those annoying pigs their comeuppance is even sweeter in the vastness of space.

Infinity Blade 2 (iOS)
Developer: Chair Entertainment Group
Price: $6.99

Whenever the term “triple-A game development” pops up in the world of iOS games, it’s nearly always spoken in the same breath as Infinity Blade. Chair’s fantasy/action game is a high benchmark for mobile gaming, particularly on the iPad’s larger screen. Infinity Blade 2 picks up where the original left off, but adds a slick new social element with community-driven challenges. If you’ve picked up the new iPad and want to justify the purchase, download this one immediately.

Flick Home Run! (iOS)
Developer: Infinity Pocket
Price: $.99

Flick Home Run! plays like an evolved version of that old Flash game Penguin Launch, which is a great starting point. This time you’re hitting baseballs, which is slightly more appropriate. You need to consistently whack the balls past the bleachers to keep playing, and there’s an assortment of sneaky variants (sliders, sinkers, etc.) to keep things interesting. A skill-upgrade system adds to its “just one more game” appeal.

Dungeon Village (Android)
Developer: Kairosoft
Price: $4.99

You may know Kairosoft from its excellent Game Dev Story, which was released on both iOS and Android a while back. The Android exclusive Dungeon Village has much of its predecessor’s addicting team-boosting gameplay, only this time you’re managing a town that’s a destination for monster-slaying adventurers. Your town grows over time, which attracts bigger heroes (and better loot). It’s a satisfying cycle that you’ll return to over and over again.

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