Angry Birds is a ubiquitous mobile game seriesthat's hit on a good formula of classic catapult demolition gameplay, accessible art style, and sound puzzle design to spawn a hit gaming franchise. The latest release, Angry Birds Star Wars, takes Angry Birds' classic formula and adds new powers and puzzles inspired by George Lucas' classic space opera series.
Verdict: Good fun for all ages and gamers.
Bad Piggies HD
Rovio's Bad Piggies flips the Angry Birds franchise on its head. Instead of smashing things, players must aid the swine by cobbling together devices to get the pigs to where they want to be. Set up improbable Rube Goldberg machines out of odds and ends in order to accomplish your objectives and keep the Piggies in one piece.
Verdict: Not quite as intuitive and easy to pick up as Angry Birds, but still a fun physics puzzle game. Now time to make some pigs fly!
Neuroshima Hex Lite
Seize control of the post-apocalyptic remnants of humanity with Neuroshima Hex! A mobile port of the Polish board game of the same name, players take command of one of disparate factions of survivors attempting to destroy their rivals by laying down hex tiles representing troops. Set up your assault while blocking off your opponents, and when the battle tile is played, hell is unleashed. The game includes detailed rules and links to video tutorials, and supports 2-4 player battles against a competent AI or pass-and-play multiplayer. Unfortunately, Android players are still waiting for online multiplayer, which has already been implemented on iOS. The Lite version only allows you to play against the AI and with limited army access. The full version unlocks more armies with additional ones released as IAPs (in-app purchases).
Verdict: A good, tough tile combat game that's great for playing against the AI or your friends. Now, if only online multiplayer were implemented, this would be perfect.
Fruit Ninja THD
Become the avatar of juice-splattering, fruity destruction in Halfbrick Studio's Fruit Ninja! Your Sensei has told you that all ninjas hate fruit, and who are you to argue with Sensei? Practice your swordsmanship by swiping your finger across the screen in a deranged, medieval version of skeet shoot. Don't let any fruit past get past you, but watch out for bombs! Cutting up multiple fruits with a single slice earns more points! It's simple, splatter-pulp fun as your screen quickly fills up with sliced fruit and splattered juices. The THD version takes advantage of the Tegra graphics chip to deliver even better splattery goodness.
Verdict: Let out some aggression in this fast-paced slicing game.
Heroes of Order And Chaos
Gameloft's Heroes of Order and Chaos is an impressive attempt to bring MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) gaming to mobile formats. Heroes of Chaos is a multiplayer game with players choosing specialized teams of heroes to lead against in battle against their enemies. New heroes cycle in and out every week, though players can choose to buy personal favorites for everyday use, and the game supports 5-on-5 sessions. Heroes of Order and Chaos has a surprisingly good interface with responsive movement and easily accessible icons.
Verdict: An ambitious attempt at bringing MOBA gaming into portable form.
Spry Fox LLC's Triple Town is a simple, addictive match three game. Players try to build the biggest town they can, earning points by matching three objects of the same kind in order to create the next object up the hierarchy. Three clumps of grass make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees to a house, etc. Along the way, you need to outwit giant bears who will get in the way of your construction plans. Free-to-play, Triple Town uses a time energy mechanic, though you can use in-game points to buy turns, or purchase unlimited turns with real money.
Verdict: Simple, accessible, and addictive, even without resorting to IAPs, Triple Town is a great casual time waster.
Words with Friends Free
Zynga's Words with Friends is a multiplayer Scrabble-like game where players compete for the highest score by forming words on the board and taking advantage of previously laid down letters and special tiles in order to magnify the points of their words. Asynchronous multiplay allows you to play at your own pace, with up to twenty games open at any one time. Play with your friends and contacts, or against random strangers, and keep in touch with in-game chat messaging. Additionally, a notifications system informs you when your turn rolls around, allowing you to get right to it.
Verdict: A classic word game that can quickly get addictive.
Dead Trigger is a free-to-play shooter by Madfinger Games. It's the zombie apocalypse, naturally, and it's up to you to blast your way through the shambling hordes, save other survivors, and secure your supplies. Dead Trigger features really impressive "console quality" graphics for a mobile game, and a decent, dual-stick style control system (though fine-point aim can be a bit problematic). There's a story in the game somewhere but, really, the game is all about the visceral thrill of taking on the zombie hordes while armed with a broad array of weapons and scratch-built gadgetry. That's great, because if the gameplay wasn't this good, grinding your way through the various levels and missions in order to earn in-game currency would otherwise be extremely tedious.
Verdict: An excellent free-to-play zombie shooter with impressive graphics.
Zooming out from the survivor's view to the commander's, we get Global Outbreak, a free-to-play strategy game where players take the role of mercenaries fighting the zombie apocalypse. The game plays out on the tactically and strategically as players direct their mercenaries through a top-down view, slaying zombie hordes and rescuing VIPs while taking command of the global conflict by building a network of helicopter bases and turrets to contain and eliminate zombie outbreaks. It's the strategic level that is this game's blessing and curse, as the worldmap system, while well designed, takes a fair amount of real time (constructing bases can take 15 minutes, and some research projects more than an hour). This means the game oscillates between tactical action segments and lots of thumb-twiddling in the slow worldmap mode. Being free-to-play, of course, there's an option to spend real money to skip the tedium.
Verdict: A compelling mix of top-down shooter action and node defense gaming is hindered by the energy time mechanic and the slow pace of the strategic map.
You could call ShadowGun the mobile Gears of War. Bounty hunter John Slade is tasked with tracking down a mad scientist and his genetically engineered creations and putting a stop to his schemes using a high-tech arsenal of weaponry. All cliche, but you're playing this game for the gory action, not the deep, soul-scouring plot. This third-person shooter delivers moody, gritty environments, tough enemy AI, and cover-based gameplay. It delivers hours of entertainment, and the expansions 'ShadowGun: The Leftover' and 'ShadowGun: Deadzone' offer more single player action and multiplayer mayhem respectively.
Verdict: If you're looking for a good Android 3PS cover shooter, look no further.