When I was in secondary and post-secondary school, I put tons of time into computer and console gaming. These days, I’m lucky if I can plan a time to watch a television show.
What I do usually wind up with are rare, random segments of time, during which I sometimes feel like squeezing in a few minutes of gaming entertainment. The only problem is, over the course of a year, I’ve found a few games that really want to unleash that old gamer in me and I have to struggle to put them down.
So because misery loves company, here are my top 5 Android games that you’ll definitely enjoy. As a bonus, all of these games will look great on your tablet in addition to your smartphone…..and they are Free.
If you love puzzle games, you’ll be addicted to Playdots Inc.’s TwoDots. This is the second game of their Dots series and I find it much more polished than its predecessor.
The premise is simple, connect the dots. It can be a simple connection of just two dots of matching color or a long, elaborate chain. You can also create squares (really it can be any rectangle), which will eliminate all the dots of that color on the screen.
There are also daily quests that will allow you to obtain mystery crates. These crates can be used at the start of a level and will do things like change all of the dots to a single color or extinguish wildfires.
You also have the ability to connect the game to Facebook, allowing you to compete against your friends in level medals. You earn points inside each level and that total number of points will give you one, two, or three medals. You’ll also be able to see which level your friends are on with their Facebook profile picture next to that level.
If you played TwoDots before and reached the top level, you may want to return as the developers recently updated the game to bump the number of levels to 235 from 135.
The only downside to this game is that it’s incredibly frustrating (like any good puzzle game, I suppose). It seemed like there was a certain tactic you could figure out after a while in the beginning in order to complete the level, but as I reached the higher levels, the dots seemed to come in randomly and it was by chance alone that I could complete the objectives. Maybe I’m just looking for a reason to explain my suckiness, though.
When I was 16, I got into an epic fight with my Grandma Piedmont over a SimCity game I was playing on the PC for over an hour. She didn’t quite understand when I told her I was heavily investing in developing commercial real estate during my urban planning session and that I simply couldn’t abandon my citizens. Seeing as how I didn’t wind up with a career in city management, I’m going to give Piedmont the victory in that battle.
That hasn’t stopped me from returning to the Sim franchise, though, with Electronic Arts’ SimCity BuildIt. Sure, it’s pretty watered down from the SimCity of old and sure, in typical EA fashion, there’s a lot of money-grubbing going on, but it’s still a fantastic way to kill some time.
The graphics are excellent and look pretty sharp on my Samsung Galaxy Tab S. You can zoom in and out, and pan to different angles until you get that good view of your skyline, without any noticeable bit of lag.
If you’re unfamiliar with what you do in SimCity, just imagine waking up one day with a black SUV in your driveway and some nice lady in a pantsuit asking you to come build their town from the ground up. It’s not as simple as just putting up a few buildings and shops, though. You’ll need to secure resources for development, make sure your citizens are happy, and be mindful of infrastructure and services, like a police force and hospitals. Oh, and water, because apparently that’s important.
Like most free games these days, you can drop some of your cash into it in order to advance yourself. In this particular game, I would not recommend this. As is customary with EA, it’s a total rip-off. Your dollar gets you almost no where with this game.
This may be a good thing, though. It’ll force you to not play this game all day and instead you’ll just play it a few times a day at brief intervals, giving your timers a chance to count down on certain tasks.
This is a social, intellectual game pure and simple. Connect with Facebook and then shame (or be shamed) by your friends. (If you don’t have Facebook, that’s fine, you can still play other people by logging in with your email address and finding your friends that way. And anyone can play random people around the world.)
Not to sound pretentious, but I do find the game on the easy side, but I’m basing this on many a post-Thanksgiving dinner where the family and friends gather around to play games like Trivial Pursuit. The questions in Trivia Crack are no where near that level of difficulty.
I enjoy getting to remotely spend time with friends and loved ones by playing this game, similar to how I used to enjoy playing Words with Friends.
The only complaint I have about this game is that it’s really easy to get a good streak going and just dominate your opponent. I think the addition of a “Lose Your Turn” wedge on the spinner would be a great way to eliminate this. As much as I hate those stupid wedges when I’m playing my wife in Wheel of Fortune on the PS3, it does have a specific function.
The app has a free version with ads (sadly there’s even some über annoying video ads) or you can purchase the premium version that will eliminate them.
I really loved Ultima Online when that was the MMORPG on the block. Of course, as computers grew more powerful, that game fell way out of favor. If you’re still sweet on playing a MMORPG set to birds-eye view, but don’t mind that it’s more of a dungeon crawl, then Darkness Reborn may be up your alley.
The game handles well and looks great on both my Nexus 5 and my Tab S. The controls are easy and you’re not overloaded with skills, which is a complaint I have about some games because touch screens and consoles are just not built for that kind of interface in my opinion.
The campaign is single-player, but you have your world boss dungeon and your PvP, both of which is where the multiplayer comes into play. PvP is great fun too, except when you get one too many archers in there (this is annoying seeing as how you’re looking down from a birds-eye view). There’s also a touch of crafting and leveling up of gear.
You also have the ability to purchase gemstones and coins, but you don’t really need to. GAMEVIL, the developers of Darkness Reborn, are very generous with giving you gemstones, so huge kudos to them for that.
I highly recommend this game to any MMORPG lover who is looking for a good experience with that genre on their tablet or smartphone. It’s not especially hard to put down like World of War-crack either. Oh, and it’s free!
I admit I have not played this game since Gameloft’s recent update, which brought different jousting arenas, obstacle courses, and archery. When I did play it (a lot), it was a blast!
So you’re a knight and like any good knight, you need to don your armor, ride your steed as fast as possible towards your opponent, and stab a 12 foot long jousting lance into their chest. That is the sole gist of this game.
There are three ratings in each match and you must have at least two of them be better than your opponent’s in order to win: defense (your armor rating), speed (determined by your horse’s rating and your timed clicking on a meter), and attack (based on your lance’s rating and accuracy in guiding the lance to the opponent’s weak spot). Your opponent, be it the AI or another player, will also be trying to best you in these three ratings.
If your armor, horse, and lance are not up to snuff, you are capable of visiting ye ole smithy and upgrading the components. This is where you’ll also go to purchase new items or equip stuff you won from the tournaments.
It’s a good thing that you can only play so many campaign and multiplayer matches before you have to wait for your bank to refill, otherwise it’d be really easy to just sit and play this game until your device’s battery wore out.
In terms of playing this on the tablet, it’s possible and it looks good. Unfortunately, the controls for this game make playing it on a 10-inch tablet a little unwieldy and it was affecting my accuracy. So a smaller tablet or smartphone might be better in this case.
I hope you give these games a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! They’re all free (or offer a free version) and I, personally, found them highly entertaining. If you have some games you like to play, feel free to mention them in the comments as well!