Most free Android games have two main mechanics: 1) tap, and 2) wait for a chance to tap again: the Tap ‘n’ Wait genre. One day, I’ll figure out what makes tap ‘n’ wait games like Farmville so compelling.
Around the Dumpster in 80 Minutes: Giving some games the finger (Get it? Because it’s the finger that does the tapping!)
Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden by G5 Entertainment — This isn’t a free android game as much as it’s a free android demo. It’s an adequate point-and-click adventure game set in a decaying underwater utopia (one that owes an awful lot to Bioshock’s Rapture). Occasionally, there are hidden object puzzles. It ends on a cliffhanger and demands that you cough up some money to see how the story ends.
Ayakashi: Ghost Guild by Zynga — The creator of Farmville has branched out in new and troubling directions with this title. In the finest traditions of Crime Inc., Dark Galaxy, and World War, Ayakashi: Ghost Guild is a series of menus disguised as a game and targeted at a very specific demographic — the creepy subset of anime fans that like pervy images of women (or adolescent girls) calling them “master.” The none-too-coherent story has you hunting ghosts that you turn into trading cards, and then you use the cards to fight other ghosts. It’s one of those games that thinks letting other players take your stuff is a valid substitute for entertainment, so you also use ghosts to defend yourself. And if your ghost cards aren’t strong enough, Zynga is happy to take your money in exchange for better ones.
Dragon & Dracula Lite by HeroCraft — You might have the patience for another platformer that uses a virtual thumbstick, but I don’t. Yes, you can unlock minigames for extra rewards. No, they’re not any good.
Feed Your Monster by BoxitSoft — The gameplay is straightforward if you don’t think about it too hard. Swipe across the screen to cut ropes and drop food into the hungry maw of your pet monster, except that the “food” is a bunch of 8-balls (the billiards accessory, not the unit of drugs). The monster’s mouth is some kind of crazy, Saarlac-pit vacuum cleaner. And there are stars that you collect for some reason. While these parts don’t make a coherent whole, they do make sense as a lazy way to steal the ideas behind Cut the Rope. Overall, it’s a great puzzle game for the person who wants more useless crap to take up memory on his android device.
Komodo Crunchtime Ultimate Superstars by RIE Studios — Jay of RIE studios gave us a heads-up about their game, Komodo Crunchtime Ultimate Superstars. It’s a side-scrolling platformer where you race to collect jewels and jump over obstacles. And then you fly. It’s still under development and has a long way to go before I’ll call it the second coming of Turbo Kids. The good news is that they’ve been hard at work improving it, and it didn’t break my phone. So congratulations for surpassing the low standards of quality set by Muffin Knight.
Miracle City by Droidhen — This game lets you live the socialist dream of collecting taxes and using the proceeds to build roads and public utilities. The game’s extensive waiting periods actually make sense in context, because you’re relying on the bloated apparatus of the state to complete vital infrastructure projects. The miracle was how much time I sunk into this game before realizing that it’s just a virtual dollhouse that imposes a mandatory waiting period before you can afford the next piece of furniture.
Ninja Painter Puzzle – Free by Fizzics Games — In this mediocre puzzle game we finally get an answer to the question: what would a ninja housepainting service look like? The answer is
you’ll never know, because you don’t see them until it’s too late tedium. Extensively structured tedium, since your ninja only moves in straight lines and only paints designated squares. Solving each level should be about mapping the most precise path across unpainted walls to get to the exit, but it’s more about swiping around disinterestedly until your ninja finally jumps past the last uncollected bonus star and winds up at the exit.
Ovenbreak by Com2uS — Thumbs up to the concept of a gingerbread man trying to get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. Thumbs down to the artwork, execution, and everything else. If you enjoy tapping buttons while your character hurtles through obstacle courses, you’ll have a much better experience with Wind-Up Knight.
SocioTown: Uninvited Guests by Outside the Box Software — This game has a premise I can’t disagree with. You punch dudes in the face until you’ve evicted everyone from your apartment — because you need privacy in order to bone some chick that came home with you. It’s a run-of-the-mill adventure game where you search for items and to use in specific locations. You can also punch or physically toss random guests out of the building, which is the best part by far.
Tiny Farm by Com2uS — Most of the tapping and waiting around in this game involves raising animals and combining them to unlock rare breeds. You can grow some crops, but the focus is on the much wider variety of critters you can collect. Tiny Farm does a terrible job of explaining what’s going on, how things work, or what the various symbols mean — but the countdown timer is unmistakable, and if you’ve played one of these games, you’ve played them all.
Is there some entertainment value I’m missing in watching a timer count down to zero? Let us know in the comments, or submit a game for review!Tweet