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 a mobile gaming experience that's every bit as good as it is on an iThing.
And when we say 'a little bit', we mean it. Only one of the games in this list costs more than a fiver and most can be had for less than the price of a pint. Many 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.
Anyway, enough of this talking - you want to get gaming. So here's our list of the 35 best games we've played on Android.
The best endless runner for Android is... ALONE… (S$2.50)
Somewhere along the way, a great many games forgot how to be exciting. But ALONE… remembers those days of seat-of-the-pants roller-coaster gameplay, where a moment’s distraction spelled game over. Here, you’re piloting a tiny ship through deadly caverns at breakneck speed. Occasionally, alarms blare, to warn of incoming projectiles. All you have is your wits and reactions as your sliding finger directs the ship up and down, before it inevitably comes a cropper on the rocky face of one too many giant asteroids.
There’s no depth here, but there doesn’t need to be — ALONE… has tons of replay value simply by virtue of being relentlessly thrilling, no matter how many times you play.
You might have had your fill of auto-runners, but you need to make room for Fotonica. The game flips Canabalt 90 degrees, smashes it into Rez, and has you take a first-person sprint through an android’s fever dreams.
The game boasts eight finite levels and three endless modes. Visually, it’s stunning, original and plain weird, having you run, jump, float and fall inside and between fragments of buildings hanging in mid air, while abstract shapes whirl in the distance.
Super Hexagon (S$3.99)
Super Hexagon is survival gaming as reimagined by a lunatic. A tiny craft sits in empty space, surrounded by an infinite number of walls that are rapidly closing in. All you can do is dart left and right, nipping through the gaps, holding off your inevitable demise. But then the screen starts to lurch and spin, as if trapped inside a deranged washing machine.
Games last mere seconds until you start noticing repeating patterns and mastering how to get through each unscathed. As 60 seconds finally pass (many attempts later), colours shift and the pace increases further, signifying that a new, faster and even more punishing challenge has been unlocked. It might be brutal, but Super Hexagon is also electrifying and absurdly addictive; enter at your peril.
Impossible Road (S$3.00)
Less impossible than once it was, thanks to an update that gave the white ball some shaded definition against the all-white background. But, don’t worry, it’s still completely impossible.
Keeping the ball on the track – though twists and turns, yumps, bumps and chicanes – is made harder by weird physics which give it apparent weight in the air but no directional momentum in the corners. And the fact that the simple left/right controls rotate the track around the ball, and the slightly sticky track edges occasionally repulse you into the white nothingness and time-out death.
But the insistent techno beat and endlessly redrawn and randomised track just keep you rolling back in for another run.
Disney Crossy Road (free)
Endless Frogger meets Disney in a rare example of an indie dev/movie house tie-up that works perfectly.
The mechanics will be familiar to anyone who’s played the excellent original — tap and swipe to have a blocky protagonist weave through traffic and deftly jump across rivers. But the addition of Disney characters finds you battling your way through retro versions of famous animated worlds, dodging tumbling blocks in Toy Story, filing memories for bonuses in Inside Out, and avoiding a psychotic suit of armour in Haunted House.