There are a lot of articles reviewing android games and giving users opinions on why those games are good are bad. In this article, I thought I would cut to the chase and offer my opinion on some games and what makes them good or bad. There are both old favorites and new comers in this list. Let me know in the comments what your favorite Android (or iPhone) game is and why.
This game hasn’t been updated in a really long time, which is probably its major drawback. It is an odd situation, given that so many people love the game and it has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in both its free and paid versions. Whatever the case with updates, this game still rocks. RoboDefense boasts 100 levels, constant action, straight-forward game play, and a good balance between challenge and entertainment. In the world of Android games, this game should stand out as the model of an excellent product that appeals to both causal and hardcore gamers alike. What makes it even better is that it works pretty much flawlessly on any Android device, something that cannot be said for a lot of other apps.
2. Angry Birds
To tell you the truth, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this game is so popular. I downloaded it and played through all the levels just to see what the hype was all about, but was frankly bored after the first few boards. The game is way to repetitive for my tastes, but the concept is cute, the game play is simple, and it can be challenging. My other complaints about this game include its huge file size (16 mB) and that fact that it lags horribly on many devices. It is a decent game, but it needs a little TLC to get it fully up to par. Despite all these problems (including the newest addition in which the game nags you to buy an eagle even on the paid version) the game has still been downloaded several hundred thousand times in both its free and full versions.
3. Paper Toss
This was a favorite for many until it became public knowledge that anyone who downloaded this game was having their information siphoned off and sold to marketing companies without their knowledge. Funny thing is, most people probably would not have minded if they had just been told about this practice, but the behind the scenes activity leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the American consumer. The developers should come clean, apologize, and fly right. Otherwise, I won’t be downloading anything more from them.
4. Unblock Me
I really like this game. It often doesn’t get props in top 10 lists and Best Android Game circles, but this game is fun, challenging, and works flawlessly on most devices. The concept is simple, figure out how to get a colored block out of a pile of other blocks using limited moves and space. I like the game because it has more of an intellectual capacity than most, so I don’t feel like I have totally blown the 30 minutes a day I spend playing it. Despite its absence from many top 10 lists, this game has sold hundreds of thousands of copies in both its free and paid versions.
5. Air Control
This is an addictive game with very simple game play, but very challenging goal points. Like RoboDefense, this game could use a good update with some more features, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the top-selling games on the Market. It works well on most any device and has several clones that indicate just how popular it really is.
6. Skeeter Beater
This is a new addition to the Market. The concept is simple, mosquitoes fly around the screen and you squash them with your finger. Unfortunately, such a simple concept also leads to a frustratingly simple and boring game. There isn’t really much challenge to this game, but it is great if you just want to distract yourself from life without exerting too much mental energy (say at a sales staff meeting where you may need to answer a question at some point, but that answer requires minimal brain function). The developer seems to be active with this game, which means feedback will be met with updates ASAP. Stick with the free version here.
7. Mouse Mayhem!
This is another new addition that takes a more “console-esque” approach. In this game you take on the role of a mouse searching the world over for cheese. I find the game play to range between relatively simple to very challenging with lots of little “oh that’s kinda cool” moments. It seems like an especially good match for moms who like to hand a phone to the kids during car rides or when they need to be distracted. The free version is a bit limited, but the full version comes with 50 levels and lots of fun. The developer of this game is very active, having already released an update to address device-specific hangs. We’ll be keeping an eye on this particular game.
8. XGalaxy 2
I downloaded this game because the graphics looked great and with great graphics, you often get great game play. Well, this game is the exception to that rule. This game has only one method of user input, which works great if you don’t have an optical trackball. If you have the optical joystick, then this game is virtually unplayable. Enemies come at you way too fast for the response you get from the optical joystick, resulting in a frustrating experience. There needs to be an option for changing the speed of game play, or better yet, different methods for user input. Perhaps some onscreen controls, use of the accelerometers, or something else all together would help. Until then, this game is going to be limited to devices with trackpads and physical joystick-like input.
9. Tank Warriors
This game has a great concept, but a lot of glitches. For instance, you can win without doing a thing (seems like a bit of a problem to me) . Most reviews seem to love the concept but hate the delivery. Hopefully, the developer is active and will update this game. If all goes well with the updates, I think most uses would be willing to pay for an enhanced version of the game with more challenges and levels. We will watch this game for future improvements.
10. A RANT
Okay, this last one is not a game review at all, it is just a rant. I love Android. I love that it is open, I love that it is customizable, I love that Steve Jobs isn’t telling me what to do with the phone I paid for. What I don’t love, however, is the Android Market. Searching for apps in that thing is an exercise in patience because you have to wade through dozens and dozens of junk put out by people who seem to have no pride at all in what they do. I’m not asking Google to screen apps like iPhone does, but rather asking them to enhance that search functions in the Market. For instance, if I could eliminate any app with the word “girl” in it during a search, that would go a long way to weeding out a lot of the junk. Another good example is the guy who keeps making all the stupid chain reaction games. I don’t know who you are, but one or two versions are enough. All he does is change the freaking sprite images and then load the same game. Ahhhh! Okay, enough of that. Like I said, I love Android. And just like with anything else I love, I am offering Google a way to improve the user experience. Hopefully, they will listen to this feedback because I know for a fact I am not the only person who feels this way.