The best shooting game for Android is... Death Road to Canada (£9.99)
Described by its creators as a ‘randomly generated road-trip action-RPG’, Death Road to Canada has the heart of an arena shooter. More often than not, your little gang of looters – aiming to get from Florida to the reportedly zombie-free Canada – find themselves surrounded, weaving between the bitey and sometimes surprisingly spry undead, occasionally shooting them in the face.
It’s relentlessly intense, whether you’re trying to sneak about a city at sunrise, or find yourself in a survival-based siege. And even moments of respite are nervy affairs, as you tackle pages seemingly torn from a sadistic Choose Your Own Adventure book, where the wrong decision can leave the last of your party gouged to death by an angry moose.
In holedown, you traverse your way towards planet cores by using projectiles that like nothing better than bouncing around while grinning inanely. As they boing about, the blocks they hit are gradually depleted, enabling you to dig further down.
It’s a similar premise to a bunch of Android freebies, but holedown is a properly polished and premium effort. There are no ads, and no constant nudges to splash out on IAPs. Instead, there’s ongoing progression to reward your efforts; reaching a high-score is therefore down to your amazing aim (or flukey rebound shots) rather than digging deep into your wallet.
Galaxy On Fire 2 HD (£free)
A spaceship shooter with a 20-hour campaign and some of the best visuals Android has to offer, Galaxy On Fire 2 is about as close to Elite as you can get in a modern mobile game. Yes, there are ads and in-app purchases, but neither spoils the experience of making your way through this grand space opera.
In the city of Edenbyrg, where the letter U has seemingly been made illegal, it’s time to send in the Jydge. This cybernetic law-enforcer isn’t so hot on wigs. Also, its gavel isn’t a tiny ceremonial hammer – it’s instead a massive firearm.
The titular robot hero’s not terribly fussed about the whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing either. Like Judge Dredd on auto-pilot, he blasts his way through top-down scenes, obliterating crims, freeing hostages that manage to avoid getting mown down in the crossfire, and ‘confiscating’ loot.
It’s all a bit ‘leave your brain at home’, but this game’s neon larks are pulse-pounding fun.