The 30 best games on Android right now
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. There are loads of fantastic free games on Android, but spend a little bit of cash and you can enjoy the best mobile gaming experience around.
And when we say 'a little bit', we mean it. None of the games in this list cost more than a fiver and most can be had for less than the price of a pint. Some are free, with in-app purchases available if you choose to take them.
So what should you be playing? While Android used to be not so much a poor relation to iOS but more of a penniless acquaintance, these days the Play Store is pretty well stocked.
Most of the big developers' AAA titles eventually find their way into Google's virtual shopfront, albeit sometimes a little later than they arrive on iOS, and there are plenty of quality indie games to be found if you hunt a little harder.
And while it may lack the exclusives that iOS gets, Android users can console themselves (pardon the pun) with the fact that the huge 5in-plus screens on the average Samsung, HTC, Sony or LG phone make for a superb gaming experience.
Anyway, enough of this talking - you want to get gaming. So here's our list of the 30 best games we've played on Android.
One of the most criminally ripped-off games of recent years, Threes! is simple but ingenious; easy to play but infuriatingly difficult to master.
A four-by-four grid and a series of sliding numbered tiles are your tools. Each numbered tile can only combine with one other type of tile, at which point it becomes a single tile whose values add up to its constituents.
The idea is to keep playing long enough (a full grid will result in your game ending) that you can create a fabled 2048-valued tile. The music, sound effects and clean presentation are merely icing on an already delicious cake.
Download Threes! (S$2.65)
2. Osmos HD
Osmos is a game of warfare between ‘motes’ - blobs that absorb anything smaller than themselves, and which can sometimes propel themselves by ejecting matter.
Initially, it takes place in what appears to be primordial soup, and you learn how to cope with the gloopy physics and manipulate time to speed up or slow down the movement of the tiny universe. Subsequent levels then introduce antimatter, ferocious hostile motes, and gravity-based constructions that shift Osmos towards what resembles a galactic scale.
It’s hard to pigeon-hole this title, given that there are elements here from real-time strategy, arcade fare, and puzzling, but it’s certainly easy to recommend it.
Download Osmos HD (S$3.80)
3. Monument Valley
Arguments continue to rage about whether games can be art, and Monument Valley is a pretty big tick-mark in the ‘art’ column. It’s a beautiful and delicate arcade adventure, featuring a silent princess who explores impossible monuments.
The architecture shifts as you drag and spin components, Escher-like constructions fashioning pathways that can only exist in the reality of a videogame. The quest is short, but every moment is delightful, and Monument Valley is a beautifully crafted, thoughtful and reflective experience throughout.
Download Monument Valley (S$4.98)
Every now and again, a puzzle game appears that grabs hold and won’t let go. Drop7 is mobile’s Tetris in that regard. Like that classic, Drop7 is a well-based puzzler, but you work with numbers rather than make solid lines. You drop discs and should any disc’s number at any point match the disc count in its row or column, it’ll explode, creating space for new drops.
Grey blocks demand two adjacent explosions to reveal their face number, and the well gets a new row of grey discs every few turns. Naturally, it’s game over should any one disc breach the well’s surface, and so you must think ahead and set up chain reactions if you’ve any hope of surviving long-term.
Download Drop7 (S$free)
5. The Room 2
The Room Two
One of the best puzzlers around, and a game that's far more impressive on a big Android phone than it is on the puny 4in iPhone. Like its predecessor, The Room 2 places you in a single room in front of a seemingly featureless box. Look more closely and you'll find switches, catches and buttons which can be swiped, twisted and prodded to reveal more layers and new puzzles.
It's simple in concept, but incredibly tough to crack - we defy anyone not to need the in-game clues from time to time - and is one of the best looking games to be found anywhere. The Room Three should be out soon.
Download The Room 2 (S$3.99)