20 games every Android user should play
While nothing can ever replace gaming with a keyboard and mouse on a killer rig, mobile games can be a godsend while you're in a waiting room, if, you’ve got the right games. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best Android games. They range from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to Dots, Kami, and games like Space Team. There’s something for everyone, and many of the games are available for free.
Do you have a favorite Android game? Let us know in the comments below!
20. Dead Trigger 2: Someone had to do it. Zombies are on every platform imaginable and Dead Trigger 2 is one of the best zombie shooters on Android. You’ll push through levels, killing hordes of zombies in a game that looks pretty good for a mobile game. It’s also filled with unlockables, which helps, since the game gets a little repetitive. It's not perfect, but it's hard to complain about a free game—even if it has in-app purchases.
19. Tiny Thief: Point-and-click adventures are all the rage. Tiny Thief is a mobile point-and-click that is charming, fun, and engaging. It’s a bit too easy at times, but it’s a cute game that pretty much anyone can enjoy. It’s probably as far from Angry Birds as Rovio could get, but it’s a polished experience that works perfectly on a phone or tablet. It’s $3 with a stripped down, lite version available.
18. Ingress: Ingress is one of the most daunting Android games of all time. It’s hard to get into, hard to play, and hard to explain. Despite all this, it’s still an amazing experience that everyone should at least try. It’s an augmented reality game by Google that’s actually worth playing. You walk around the real world collecting energy to use to fight against or for the Enlightened and Resistance. Oh, and it’s completely free.
17. Kingdom Rush Frontiers: Kingdom Rush has been the tower defense game of choice for many a mobile gamer. Kingdom Rush Frontiers follows in its footsteps and it’s still a stellar tower defense game. It doesn’t break any new ground aside from some minor changes, but it’s worth picking up over the original since they’re the same price. $1 and you’ve got a traditional tower defense game that’ll keep you coming back for a long time.
16. Call of Duty: Strike Team: The last thing we thought we wanted was another Call of Duty game. Oddly enough, Call of Duty: Strike Team is one of the best first-person shooters you can get on an Android device. Controls feel good and the game mixes some top-down strategy with straight-up shooting. If you can get past the steep $7 price, it’s well worth your time.
15. Star Command: If managing a starship sounds like fun to you, Star Command is as good as it gets. It’s a lot like FTL, but in a more mobile-friendly package. Buttons are large and easy to press, and even managing the small crew members isn’t too difficult. The gameplay gets a bit stale, and the story isn’t all that compelling, but it’s a fun game and pretty much the only experience of its kind on Android. Get it for $3.
14. Eufloria HD: Real-time strategy doesn’t always translate to non-PC platforms. Eufloria HD is an exception. It’s a simple game with some surprising complexity. You’ll explore space, conquer asteroids, and grow your army of biomechanical seeds—literally. Each level is a map of asteroids and your job is to conquer them all. Give the demo a try before dropping $5, because it’s a unique game that not everyone will enjoy.
13. Terraria: Everyone knows what Terraria is and its sidescrolling Minecraft-esque gameplay hasn’t changed in the mobile version. The virtual controls work well and the predictive controls make mining for minerals or placing blocks easier than you’d think—precise control is just a tap away. All of the crafting and construction from the PC game is here. It’s only $5, with a demo available if you’d like to try before you buy.
12. Badland: Combine Jetpack Joyride and Limbo and you’ve got Badland. It’s an atmospheric sidescrolling platformer that puts you in control of a furry forest creature in a world where everything is covered in shadows. Tapping the screen pushes you further up while gravity constantly pulls you down. Moving through the levels involves plenty of creative physics puzzles. It’s free and it’s even got split-screen local multiplayer.
11. Rayman Fiesta Run: Endless runners aren’t as popular as they once were. Rayman Fiesta Run mixes things up by combining endless runner mechanics with classic Rayman platforming. You’ll progress through levels unlocking new characters and encountering a wide variety of locales with plenty of new mechanics along the way. This is endless running made more fun. Grab it for $3.
10. Rymdkapsel: Tower defense meets base building in Rymdkapsel. It started as a PlayStation Mobile game and has made its way to Android. It’s simple, sparse, and a little slow, but it’s a completely unique take on mobile real-time strategy. You don’t build armies or attack anything, but you do collect resources and establish defenses in a game that’s one-part Tetris, one-part StarCraft, and one-part tower defense. It’s available for $4.
9. Clash of Clans: If you’re not a fan of freemium games, stay clear of Clash of Clans. You build buildings, raise armies, and attack other players to increase your standing on the leaderboards. The only problem is that everything takes time and the only way to speed it up is to use gems. Despite the annoying business model, the game is incredibly addictive. Should you spend two hours upgrading that barracks or the gold mine?
8. Plants vs. Zombies 2: The hit tower defense game is back with a mobile-only sequel. This time around it’s free-to-play and has in-app purchases instead of a base cost for the full game. Thankfully, the microtransactions are completely optional. Traverse across the new world map unlocking keys and stars to purchase new worlds and plants.
7. FIFA 14: There’s not much to say about FIFA 14. It’s a soccer game. It’s made by EA. Oh, and it’s pretty damn amazing. This is the best sports game available on the Play Store. Our main problem with it is the freemium business model. You’ll get a couple game modes when you first download the game, but if you want access to extra modes like Tournaments or Manager Mode, you’ll have to pony up $5. Either way, it’s a great game for soccer fans.
6. Space Team: Space Team's a free game that only really makes sense once you play it. It’s a local-only multiplayer game that pits you and your friends against the dangers of space travel. Each player has control over a different control panel and set of instructions. Everyone relays their instructions to the rest of the team in the hopes that the person with the correct controls can complete the tasks before time runs out.
5. The Room: There’s something almost tangible about the puzzles in The Room. They involve spinning dials, inserting keys, and looking for cleverly hidden clues. Each level is an adventure with a new room to explore. Puzzle solutions make you feel like a genius, and that’s a good thing. Anyone with even a passing interest in puzzle games shouldn’t bat an eye at the $2 price tag.
4. Blip Blup: Blip Blup is available for free, but it'll cost $2 to get the final pack of puzzles and to remove the ads. Your job is to fill every tile with color while spending as few moves as possible. It’s a lot harder than you think because the “pulses” of color expand in all directions. It’s hard to explain the nuances of the system, but the in-game tutorial does well and ramps up the difficulty at a nice pace.
2. Dots: Puzzle games will probably always be a mobile mainstay. They’re easy to pick up and—usually—endlessly replayable. Connect colored dots to earn points in a variety of timed, move-restricted, and unlimited modes. It may sound boring, but it’s an endlessly addicting game that’s surprisingly strategic. This is a great game for bus stops and for late-night insomnia. It’s available for free, but the Endless mode is locked behind a $2 paywall.
1. Grand Theft Auto- San Andreas: Virtual joystick control isn’t the best, but it’s hard to argue with Grand Theft Auto in the palm of your hand. San Andreas was a huge hit when it first came out, and it’s still a heavy hitter. The game’s the same as the console version and runs surprisingly well on Android. $7 might sound like a lot, but this great port is worth every penny—especially if you’ve got a controller for your phone.