A lot of mobile gamers tend to flock to the iPhone and iPad, but Android has been building an impressive arsenal of titles that deliver console-quality 3D graphics and high replay value. Whether you own a phone or a tablet running Google’s OS, here are the 12 best Android games to get.
Fans of “Gladiator” and “Spartacus: Vengeance” can finally live out their warrior fantasies. “Blood and Glory” pits players against a variety of grizzled gladiators in a bloody fight to the finish. Using a variety of swipe-based parries, dodges, and attacks, players must battle their way to the top. In addition to a tight control scheme, “Blood and Glory” lets you purchase new tools of destruction, including swords, maces, shields, and armor. Some of the best moments in the game are dual-wielding blades and unleashing devastating special attacks.
The premise is deceptively simple – help the goo (surprisingly cute amorphous blobs with googly eyes), reach a pipe in the sky using their wobbly anatomy to build an equally wobbly structure. As players progress through the game, new goo species with different abilities keep things fresh and interesting. A good mix of puzzle and strategy, “World of Goo” is one of the best time killing games ever.
Racing fans that like their action wet and wild should check out “Riptide GP.” A high-speed jet ski racing game, players take to the water on a number of speedy watercraft. Initially there are only two jet skis and a pair of tracks available, but skilled racers can unlock more content as they progress. Similar to other racing titles, “Riptide GP” uses your device's accelerometer for steering, but you can also execute sweet mid-air tricks using multi-touch gestures. Have a Tegra 3 device? You'll enjoy more realistic water splashes on the camera, and a motion blur effect when boosting.
Who knew a game about blocks could be so engrossing? After enjoying success on the PC, indie-darling "Minecraft" has come to Android. The sandbox-building game places players in an enormous world and lets their imaginations run wild creating everything from buildings and food to weapons. Broken into two modes (Survival and Creative), gamers can pit their creations against the various monsters that come out at night or they can just build to their heart's delight.
In "Wind-up Knight," players guide the hero on a quest to save the princess from the infamous Black Knight. In a nod to side-scrolling platformers such as “Super Mario Bros.,” players must run, jump, slash and roll their way through 50 levels of 3D action while keeping an eye out for wind-up keys. A secret card stashed in every level keeps things interesting as well as the gold coins that can be used to purchase weapons and armor. Engaging gameplay, high-quality graphics, and a manageable learning curve make “Wind-up Knight” a must-play game.
Just in time for its 10th anniversary, Rockstar Games has released “Grand Theft Auto 3” on Android and iOS. Once again, players become the mute, but highly violent Claude as he creates all sorts of mayhem in the streets of Liberty City. Whether tasked with assassinating a rival gang leader or running down pedestrians in the street, “Grand Theft Auto 3” retains all the deviant fun of its original release on PlayStation 2 in 2001. Best of all, some savvy players have found a way to input a few of our favorite cheat codes including all weapons and cars.
Set in the year 2350, "Shadowgun" lets you take on the role of John Slade, a bounty hunter tasked with hunting down Dr. Edgar Simon and his army of mutants. The third-party shooter boasts gorgeous graphics, including advanced lighting effects and environments that are highly detailed. Players control Slade via an unobtrusive virtual joystick that delivers tight, responsive controls. It’s as fun as a barrel of mutants. If you have a Tegra 3 device, check out "Shadowgun THD" (also $4.99), which adds enhanced effects, shading and textures.
With a name this weird, it has to be from Adult Swim. In "Robot Unicorn Attack" players are tasked with navigating a robot unicorn through a series of increasingly difficult jumps in this side-scrolling game. As the unicorn double jumps from platform to platform players must collect pixies and rainbow dash through crystal stars. In later stages, the screen scrolls faster, turning "Robot Unicorn Attack" into an addicting test of reflexes and coordination.
Tired of those tilt-based controls on racing games? Then it's time to check out "Bang Bang Racing." Instead of the accelerometer, racers have four control schemes from which to choose, including Virtual Joystick and Point, which allows drivers to draw a line for their car to follow. "Bang Bang Racing" also offers pretty graphics and crumple physics that shows off the damage your car takes rounding the track. The 8 tracks and 20 cars to unlock will keep you coming back for more.
When the nefarious Dr. Eggman rears his oblong head, you know that Sonic the Hedgehog isn't too far behind. Remastered from the 1993 release, "Sonic CD" pits the "Blue Bomber" against Eggman and Metal Sonic, in a battle for the past, present, and future. The touchscreen controls capture Sonic's iconic speed to great effect, complete with all the bright, zany worlds filled with loop de loops, launchpads and secrets.
The way of the samurai is paved with blood...and sweet manga graphics. In "Samurai II: Vengence THD," a direct sequel to "Samurai: Way of the Warrior," main character Daisuke pursues his arch-nemesis Orochi in a quest for revenge. Features such as an improved virtual D-pad, new enemies and a dynamic camera combine to make an engrossing, yet slightly gory experience. A true hack-and-slash title, Samarui II: Vengeance will make players smile with glee as they cut their first enemies clean in half.
What do you get when you combine the Wild West, hideous monstrosities, and one bad-ass cowboy with a metal hand? You get “Bladeslinger,” Luma Arcade’s third-person hack and slash game. Players take on the role of William Glaston as he returns home to Hammer’s Peak from war to find the town infested with monsters. With a shoot-first-ask questions-later attitude, “Bladeslinger” promises to be an action-packed distraction when it debuts later in 2012.