There are hundreds of fantastic games available for Android, and a lot of them are available for absolutely nothing.
Whether ad-supported or based on a (boo and indeed hiss) “freemium” model, these titles are free – and guaranteed to make your morning commute a little less painful.
Quite beautiful, is Badland. It’s a physics-based auto-scrolling game where you ‘push’ a bat-like creature through a series of atmospheric, silhouetted levels (and yeah, before you say it, we know its look is “heavily inspired” by Limbo). It sounds simple but the capricious physics engine and devilish, hazard-stocked levels make it frustrating tough at times – but if you get stuck there’s always the brilliant local multiplayer mode to fall back on, which lets up to four people play simultaneously on a single device.
Super Monsters Ate My Condo!
Super Monsters Ate My Condo! is a match-three game with a little bit of Jenga and a whole lot of mental. Coloured apartment floors relentlessly drop from the top of the screen. You swipe away unwanted ones to make matches and combos that ramp up your score. All the while, monsters flank the tower, demanding to be fed floors only of their colour, lest they get all stompy and destructive.
Everything's played at a breakneck pace and with the kind of neon-infused visuals that'll leave you exhausted and wondering if you've accidentally injected all the sherbet in the world directly into your eyeballs.
More after the break...
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Given that this is the eighth title in the Asphalt series, it probably comes as no surprise Gameloft's got a bit bored having sports cars merely zoom along at breakneck speeds and drift for ludicrous distances.
As this game's name suggests, Asphalt 8 now also regularly finds your vehicle catapulted into the air, whereupon it can perform crazy aerial stunts that are entirely not covered by your insurance plan. As ever, the hyper-real tracks are faintly barmy too.
Sky Force 2014
We do like a good old-school blaster, and Sky Force is very good indeed. Its roots are vertically scrolling classics 1942 and Xevious, with you fighting your way through enemy territory, having been supplied with a stupidly tiny number of ships.
But as you weave between the death and destruction, attempting to survive the bullet hell and carnage, you’ll perhaps notice just how gorgeous Sky Force 2014’s cutting-edge 3D graphics are, shortly before a tank the size of Birmingham blasts your face off. Still, that at least gives you the chance to upgrade your ship and head back for another go.
Plants vs Zombies 2
A popular game franchise that has veered down a somewhat controversial freemium path, Plants vs Zombies 2 is what’s known as a “tower defence” game: you build towers and emplacements (or in this case, plant flowers, shrubs and veggies) to fight off hordes of incoming enemies (in this case, shambling hordes of undead). The badgering about micro-transactions can be a pain, but it doesn’t kill off the essential brilliance of PopCap’s game.