The best arcade game for Android is... Forget-Me-Not (£1.79)
This one feels like someone mashed-up the best bits from classic arcade games and squeezed the result into your Android device. Your little square scoots about neon mazes, shooting, eating flowers, and trying to grab a key to unlock a hitherto hidden exit. Meanwhile, enemies periodically beam in and start wrecking the place.
Some pursue you with all the determination of the most fervent Pac-Man ghost, but most of Forget-Me-Not’s denizens are perfectly content kicking seven shades out of each other. Games often involve trying to negotiate the destruction occurring all around you, grab lurking bonuses, and somehow escape intact. It’s breezy, intense and brilliant.
Many titles evoke the feel and fun of retro games, but Forget-Me-Not is a rare example that equals the very best. With randomised mazes and several modes, it’ll keep any fan of old-school gaming grinning for weeks.
Drop Wizard (£2.99)
Classic arcade games and slippy touchscreens rarely gel. But Drop Wizard has been cleverly reimagined for smartphones. The set-up echoes single-screen platform classics Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros, having you dart about, giving roaming enemies a kicking. The twist: this magician can’t stop running.
The lack of full control or even a jump button initially confounds. But by limiting you to sprinting left and right, carefully timing leaps to blast magic upon landing, mastery depends on cracking each level’s choreography. It’s a pitch-perfect mix of old and new.
Get from A to B. That’s all you have to do in the vibrant world of Vectronom, which comprises paths, deadly spikes, and your trundling cube. The snag: everything in this game moves on the beat – including the floor.
Marrying platform games, path-finding, and rhythm action, each level tasks you with clocking the patterns, and perfectly timing your swipes for freedom. Make the exit and you’ll feel like a star – right up until the game notes you have no sense of rhythm and were off beat 64% of the time. Harrumph.
With a range of zones, each with its own style (one goes all Tetris; another temporarily ditches techno for a modern take on waltz), this one will have you UNCH UNCH UNCHing into the wee small hours.
Carve off bits of Pac-Man and Frogger, shove them inside a shoebox, and then glue on the psychotic beating heart of Super Hexagon and that’s Jumpgrid. This game invites you to leap from point to point on a three-by-three grid, munching cubes, before disappearing into a wormhole. The snag is all the whirling shapes of death destined to smash your teeth out.
This is a game of patterns. Like Super Hexagon, you will fail often and it will be all your fault for having digits that aren’t as dextrous as you’d imagined. But when you’re in the zone, there’s nothing quite like the thrillride of a solid run in Jumpgrid, as you dart around, nodding to the beat, one step ahead of pirouetting neon slices of doom.