Fifteen Fun Android Games

by Jeff Marchiafava on Dec 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Do you have a long car/plane ride ahead of you during the holidays? These awesome Android games should keep you busy.

Game Informer hasn't covered a lot of Android games in the past - in fact, I don't think we've covered any Android games. But a few weeks ago I bought an Android phone, and I already have a short list of games that I consider indispensible. Here they are:

Slice It!  
All of those hours you spent studying geometry in high school are about to pay off. Slice It tasks you with cutting a shape into a set number of equal pieces using a specific number of cuts. Smart use of multi-touch controls makes it easy to slice up the shapes the way you want to - the difficulty lies in figuring out how to cut them equally. The game features 120 stages, with more being added all the time. You'll definitely want to have your charger nearby, as the time will fly by while you're playing this one. (Free)

250+ Solitaire Collection
If you like Solitaire games, this is your app. As the title suggests, this solitaire collection contains over 250 card games. The rules for each game are clearly explained, and you can even watch a CPU demo in case you're still confused. It might not be the sexiest game, but in terms of sheer content, 250+ Solitaire Collection won't let you down. (Free)

Andoku Sudoku
There are a lot of Sudoku games available on the Android Marketplace, but this is my personal favorite. It offers several different versions of Sudoku, including Sudoku-X, Color Sudoku, and the completely insane Squiggly Sudoku, and there are 5000 puzzles in total. The game also lets you customize how you input numbers, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but comes in handy when you're trying to beat your best time. (Free)

Simon Tatham's Puzzles
A number of years ago, a programmer named Simon Tatham created an open-source collection of puzzles that has since been ported to just about every OS known to man. This app faithfully brings them to Android, and even though you have probably played variations of more than a few of the included games, it's definitely worth downloading for puzzle fans. (Free)

Shortyz Crosswords
If you enjoy crossword puzzles, this is a must-have app. Shortyz is a crossword application that downloads free puzzles from a variety of online sources, including the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe (it can also download NYT puzzles, but you'll need a subscription). The interface works well, allowing you to easily scroll through clues and input answers. This is one of my favorite games I've found so far. (Free)

Angry Birds / Angry Birds Seasons
This one doesn't require a lot of explanation. Rovio's popular iPhone game is also available on Android phones, and is just addictive as your friends say it is. (Free)

Letter Rip!
I'm not a fan of puns, but Letter Rip's gameplay is so fun that I'm willing to overlook the cutesy title. Letter Rip is a Boggle-style word game with a novel twist. You start with an empty grid on which letters start randomly appearing. Your goal is to slide the letters around to spell words, which removes them from the playing field. The speed at which the letters appear begins to increase over time, until eventually the entire grid fills in. Then the second phase of the game begins, and you must remove as many of the remaining tiles as you can (again, by spelling words). It might not all that exciting, but if you enjoy word games, Letter Rip is one of the more original options available on the market. (Free)

Words with Friends is a popular turn-based multiplayer word game in the vein of Scrabble. It is currently only for iPhone, but Zynga has announced that it will be releasing an Android version soon. In the meantime, you can check out Android's equivalent: DroidWords. The free version is a little annoying due to advertisements that pop up after every word you lay down, but it gives you an idea of what to expect. ($2.99 / Free)

Box Fox Lite (Alpha)
Box Fox is a puzzle game that's kind of like Sokoban, only with 2D platforming elements. In addition to carrying and stacking boxes, you'll use springs, teleporters, and a whole bunch of keys and buttons to reach your goal. The game utilizes an on-screen d-pad, but the author (thankfully) added QWERTY support for phones that have proper keyboards. (Free)

Island Settlers
Island Settlers is a clone of the popular board game, Settlers of Catan. There's not much to say beyond that: If you have ever played Settlers of Catan, you'll understand why this one is worth picking up. Resource trading is a little clunky, but everything else works as it should, and graphics are well done. (Free)

Spaghetti Marshmallows  
Despite having the word "spaghetti" in the title, I hesitated downloading this game for quite awhile before finally giving it a shot. I'm so glad I eventually downloaded it. Spaghetti Marshmallows is a physics-based tower building game, somewhat similar to World of Goo. I have some gripes with a few of the mechanics, such as being limited to one undo, and not being able to move marshmallows after you place them, but all-in-all it's an extremely fun game. The Lite version contains 10 levels; the paid version comes with 40+ levels, a playground mode, and support for custom levels (though a level editor is not yet available). ($2.24/Free)

Here's a little confession: I am horrible at geography. I blame my inferior public education, which replaced traditional geography and history courses with "social studies" classes that usually just consisted of watching old John Wayne films (also, I may have not been the most attentive student). The upside of my stupidity is that playing geography games is now fun and challenging. MapMaster tasks you with pinpointing the capitals of a variety of different locales on a map. The free version contains European, Asian, and US state capitals. The paid version adds South American, African, and Oceanian capitals, as well as famous places. ($1.79/Free)

Memory Trainer
Memory Trainer is a collection of simple exercises that the author of the app claims will improve your memory. Does it work? I'm not sure, but it's fun and probably won't make your memory any worse, so what the hell. (Free)

Missile Shield
Missile Shield is a Missile Command clone that uses the touch screen instead of a trackball like the original game. The sound effects are a little annoying, but the graphics are nice and the action is considerably more intense than the classic that it's based on. When you grow tired of Angry Bird clones, Missile Shield provides a nice change of pace. (Free)

Word Scrambler
There is no shortage of Anagram games available on the Android Market, but Word Scrambler is my favorite, thanks to a decent-looking interface and multiple modes. Timed mode is the standard Anagram mode that requires you to figure out a certain number of words in two minutes, while Survival mode carries over your time from one group of letters to the next (you receive a few extra seconds for every word you spell). My favorite is Wizard mode, which tasks you with only finding the six letter word in every group of letters. (Free)

Know of another great Android game that our readers should check out? Share your knowledge in the comments section below!