There are the free Android games that are “value titles,” and then there are the ones we discuss here.
Around the Dumpster in 80 Minutes: I’ve seen garbage, and this is (mostly) not garbage
You have to believe me when I say I didn’t plan on enjoying so many of the titles in his roundup of free Android game reviews. It just kind of happened.
BloXoR by Terminal Core Games: BoB from Terminal Core Games asked us to take a look at this solidly-designed puzzle game where you tilt your android device to line up blocks in a specific pattern. Its appearance is polished and the tilt controls are responsive, which puts it in the top 2% of free Android games I’ve seen. The first 20 levels are free, so there’s no harm in trying it out.
Candy Crush Saga by King.com: Surprisingly, this actually is a saga, although one with a disjointed and poorly developed story. Don’t hold that against Candy Crush Saga; the actual gameplay is engaging enough that I have (successfully!) recommended it to other people. It plays like Bejeweled (switch 2 tiles to match 3 in a row), but some of your matches can make special pieces that affect the board in different ways.
Fishing Superstars by Gamevil: If you don’t have issues with the needlessly sexist (and distressingly unpractical) outfits worn by the women in this game, then fighting to land a big fish is actually entertaining — once you figure out what the hell you’re doing. This otherwise decent fishing simulator is dragged down by a lot of the relentless cash-grubbing and artificial constraints (that you can pay to remove!) commonly infesting the more poorly executed free Android games. Because Fishing Superstars is very big on having you connect with and compete against other players online, the most challenging part of the game is choosing an 8 character user ID that isn’t already taken (PROTIP: fishface, fishhat, and fishhate are already in use).
Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios: This game lives up to its hype. If you aren’t entertained by giving high fives to terrified scientists as you rocket through a secret research facility on a stolen jetpack, then you may be completely dead inside. You tap to keep your character airborne while racing past hazards and occasionally use other vehicles in an effort to travel as far as possible before you die a grisly death (one of the many figures tracked by the game is the total distance covered by your lifeless body before it rolls/skids/bounces to a stop). I’m a dedicated curmudgeon with a shriveled heart coaxing a semisolid mixture of spite, disappointment, and bile through my veins, but even I think this game’s raw enthusiasm is spectacular.
Kunundrum by Hope This Works Games: You’ve seen this puzzle minigame before: you shove objects (in this case, glowing lights) onto designated squares, but the objects only move in straight lines and don’t stop until they hit something. This is usually a puzzle minigame in something larger and better, but Kunundrum has two challenges: using the level’s design to stop the lights in the right place, and coming up with a reason not to delete it. (They appear to be charging money for it now, but back when I downloaded this game it was both free and overpriced.)
Monkey Nuts by Elixel: Playing with monkey nuts is even less fun than it sounds. Honestly, I only downloaded and played this game so I could write that, and I’m still disappointed. You’re supposed to swipe and flick objects through a series of challenges, but the touch controls are limiting and terrible.
Plants War by Gamevil: – In Plants War, your champion keeps the enemy’s forces in check with special attacks, buying time to spawn enough troops to overwhelm the other side. This is like a 3-D version of Forest Guardian, but the third dimension adds a lot more fun. (You still only control one unit while backup troops spawn and attack automatically, so Plants War is a real-time strategy game the same way that Power Wheels are high-performance racing vehicles.)
Sky Burger by Nimblebit: Burger ingredients fall from the sky, and you tilt or swipe your bun from side to side, catching them based on your customer’s order. It’s one of the better ways I’ve seen for wasting small amounts of time, but if you’ve got more than a few minutes then you might want to play a game that’s more rewarding.
Sushi Battle by Candyhouse: This is a terrible game with instructions that are mostly gibberish, but I’ll give it credit for meeting a baseline level of functionality. You tap to “eat” sushi off a conveyor belt until you get full, and lining up a column of 4 identical dishes clears them away to make room for more plates. It would work better if the animation wasn’t as jerky and the sushi plates were more visually distinct, but right now it’s a terrible mess.
Velocispider ZERO by Noodlecake Studios: This slick love letter to the 80’s is not quite Galaga, and not quite Space invaders, but you move from side to side defending the bottom of the screen from oncoming waves of enemies. The game has no deeper substance, but its surface is absolutely beautiful.
Zookeeper Battle by Kiteretsu: Another Bejeweled-style game, but you play online against other zookeepers in head-to-head matches. The best part of Zookeeper Battle comes from watching cartoon animals beat the hell out of each other based on how successfully you’ve played a round. Most of the other zookeepers are better at this than I am, though, so there’s never been a better time to hate online gaming.
Have I gone too soft on free Android games? Let us know in the comments, or submit a game for review!Tweet