Ten Fun Android Games You Should Be Playing
Android owners still have to wait months to play most of the newest and coolest iOS titles, but the quality of Google's gaming scene continues to steadily improve. Here are some more Android games that are worth your time and money.
Android games have come a long way in the past few years. My first round-up of Android games consisted mostly of solitaire, anagram, and Sudoku apps. Later round-ups featured more advanced games, from quality indie projects to triple-A mobile developers. Today's mix has a little of everything, from ugly but addictive card and puzzle games, to some competent ports of PC and handheld titles.
Stickman Golf 2
SSG 2's big "innovation" is hats, each of which grants a small improvement to your performance. I realize that sounds incredibly stupid – and the fact that hats are won via a lottery system that uses "Golf Bux" doesn't help. However, SSG 2 also offers a ton of new, creative courses (that now feature moving objects and interactive items like magnets and portals), power-ups, and an excellent asynchronous online multiplayer mode. Even if real golf puts you to sleep, SSG 2 will keep you busy for hours.
Lots of game genres don't transition well from the controller to the touchscreen, but Plasma Sky makes it look easy. This top-down vertical shmup offers a variety of control styles to players and keeps the action short and sweet for quick gaming sessions. I'm still waiting for a mode that randomizes enemy waves, but this gorgeous, simple shooter is the best implementation of the genre that I've seen on mobile devices so far.
Scribblenauts has always been more of a creative app than a game, so this $.99 remix (available only on the Amazon App Store) is a good format for playing around with the series' impressive lexicon. Controlling Maxwell is (still) a pain, but trying to solve the simple puzzles by spawning the dirtiest-sounding objects possible is worth the price of admission.
Another competent mobile port, Worms 2: Armageddon delivers the same basic destructive fun the series always has. Controlling your armed earthworms takes some getting used to and a phone screen is a little too small for comfortable play, but otherwise everything is here: ridiculous weapons, fun level themes, and a bunch of single-player missions you're never going to play because blowing up your friends is a lot more fun.
Enough with the high-profile mobile games everyone has heard of! Condado is based on a board game called Puerto Rico, and although it might be sinfully ugly, it's one of the most in-depth and replayable strategy games you can download on Android. Like Dominion, Condado revolves around drawing and playing cards to win Victory Points. Most cards feature a unique ability, which allow players to adopt a wide variety of different strategies. The game is also free and doesn't contain any ads – apparently you're just supposed to play it and have fun. What a novel idea!
Sudoku is for suckers. Blendoku tasks players with arranging colors in the right order based on their hues or tones or tints or whatever – I don't know a whole lot about colors. Most of the time laying out colors just feels instinctive, and becomes surprisingly challenging in later levels. The game is also great for finding out if you're colorblind to certain hues – apparently there's a whole spectrum of brown I just can't appreciate.
Crayon Physics is a game I followed the development of for years because it seemed like such an interesting concept. Players draw simple shapes out of crayon, which then become physical objects in the game world. Now the game is out on Android devices, and the physics-based gameplay is perfect for touchscreens.
Rebuild is more like SimCity than any zombie game currently on the market, but that doesn't stop this resource-management sim from providing a healthy dose of post-apocalyptic fun. Players slowly expand their area of influence by sending community members into the city to take over buildings, collect resources, and find new survivors. All of Rebuild's action happens in menus, but that didn't stop me from burning through the game over a couple consecutive evenings.
Another unapologetically indie game, Robozzle Droid tasks players with programming a robot to travel through mazes by writing a simple script based on color and direction. Puzzles incorporate basic computer programming elements, and even though most solutions only contain a handful of commands, some levels are devilishly tricky. Robozzle Droid features over 1000 levels to keep players busy.
I wouldn't be much of an editor if I didn't include at least one word game on this list. Unolingo is a unique twist on the crossword puzzle. Instead of solving clues, players are presented with a semi-completed puzzle and must figure out where each letter of the alphabet should be placed. This requires a fair amount of deduction – or in my case, trial and error. Puzzle packs are overpriced, but the free install gives you a taste of what Unolingo is like.
Got any favorite Android games that haven't been featured on one of these lists? Share them with your fellow readers (and me!) in the comments section.