These games are all very high quality and great to have on your phone. In this game, you're stuck in prison serving hard time. But as you go about your daily routines, you slowly realize that with the right tools, a good plan and an opportunity, you can break out. The Escapists uses old-school graphics, but that doesn't take away from the game's complexity as you try to piece together the best way to escape from several different prisons. You'll acquire tools by stealing utensils from the mess hall, paying prisoners who know how to get stuff from the outside and doing inside jobs to raise money to pay for it all.
On its face, it looks simplistic, but The Escapists is a fun and challenging time-waster that's great for anyone who likes solving puzzles. German developer Andreas Illiger only ever released one game for mobile, but what a game it is. You have to have heard of 's Tiny Wings, a one-touch game that saw you racing a tiny bird across procedurally generated islands to get as far as possible before nightfall.
In the intervening years, Illiger has continued to maintain and update the game, and it remains a beloved favorite for its lovely setting and streamlined gameplay -- an early example of how to make a mobile game just right. Lifeline is a text adventure, but one with a serious difference and much higher stakes than you might be used to. You're not the protagonist of the story Taylor is the sole survivor of the crash of the Varia, on a barren moon somewhere in the vicinity of Tau Ceti.
Reaching out on comms, Taylor is able to find a single person, a single lifeline. As Taylor sets about exploring the inhospitable environment, you'll help make decisions on what to do next. The troubling part is that none of the decisions are good ones and one wrong move could land Taylor in serious trouble.
The mechanics are what set Lifeline apart. It plays out in real time, notifying you via your phone's alerts, through which you can also respond to and interact with Taylor, making this the first mobile game that I know of that can be played via the lock screen. It's also compatible with the Apple Watch, where you can receive notifications when Taylor is ready to talk. And it's surprisingly heart-wrenching as you start to develop a connection with Taylor, knowing that hope for survival is, at best, slim.
I was a big fan of the original Hero Academy when it came out a few years ago because you could choose between uniquely different armies and go to battle with your friends in asynchronous turn-based combat. Hero Academy 2 improves upon the original with more polished animations and graphics, new challenges that keep gameplay interesting and new "decks" you can earn or buy to try out different armies.
I've only just started to explore the game, but it's already tons of fun, just like the original. Xenowerk is a top-down, dual-stick shooter that has you blowing away mutants in the aftermath of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. You'll need to go deeper and deeper into multiple levels of an underground science facility as you shoot your way to objectives, grab new weapons and make your way to the exit. You also have a number of extra skills that do things like freeze your enemies to slow them down and heal yourself when the heat gets to be too much.
The eerie soundtrack and dark levels -- with only your flashlight to guide you -- make this game scarier than most, but the lighting effects and near constant action make it perfect for action gaming fans. This one is quite a bit more involved than some of the other games here, but it's a great survival game that challenges you to start with nothing, then slowly uncover the secrets of a land inhabited by dinosaurs.
You'll learn how to build a fire for warmth, how to hunt for food and eventually craft weapons and clothing to increase your chances of survival. A deep, tiered crafting system lets you work your way up to better clothing and weapons, and you can build more advanced structures to try to stay alive amidst dangers from the elements, dinosaurs and more. This free baseball hitting game is another one of those simple games that are perfect for when you only have a few minutes to kill.
You use one touch controls to line up your hit, then take a swing at the ball to see how far you can hit it. That would be simple enough, but here's what's interesting: you win money with every hit, which you can then spend on attributes to make you hit the ball further. After a few upgrades, suddenly you're hitting it 1, feet and it looks really cool to see your ball launched over the rooftops of the city. To be clear, this game is a little bit like those clicking games where there's no limit to how high you can go, and there's not much skill involved.
But with that said, it's still a fun way to pass a little time and it's extremely easy to learn how to play. If you like the style of tower defense the Kingdom Rush series does so well, you'll definitely like Iron Marines. This game is a newer effort from the same people, Ironhide Game Studio, and takes much of the same great action into the future.
Instead of knights and archers, you'll be playing with futuristic soldiers and snipers. Fight aliens and mechas as you strategize the best way to beat the level at hand. But what's cool about this version, is there is even more focus on special characters -- individual heroes with unique abilities you can bring along for the fight with your other units.
If you've always wished you could play Starcraft on your iPhone or iPad, Iron Marines is your best bet. MOBA fans rejoice: Vainglory is an incredibly solid battle arena game for your phone.
It's great for both beginning and expert players of MOBAs because it has cool characters with heavy hitting abilities, plenty of strategies to master and it comes with a detailed tutorial to spell out how it all works for you. I should note that this is a game you need to commit to playing because you have to play through the full match about 20 minutes just so you don't let down your teammates.
With that said, just like games like DoTA 2 and League of Legends, Vainglory has you start fresh every game, slowly progress through character levels and then return to base to buy items to modify your abilities. When it's all said and done and you finally see the enemy team's base explode, it's enormously satisfying. This driving game has you play as the getaway driver in a continuous crime spree as you drive your criminal cohorts to freedom. The only problem is, the cops are coming and they will not stop chasing you until your car explodes.
PAKO 2 has easy touch-screen controls to drive your car as you dodge tons of cops trying to take you down. Each "job" helps you earn money so you can buy bigger and better cars that will help you last longer -- and pull off more heists.
Overall, it's just a delightfully chaotic game that gets your heart pumping as you try to make your getaway. PAKO 2 is a recent release and is not yet available for Android. This is sort of a unique selection in that the gaming elements of The End of the World are not why we're adding it to this list. In fact, you can play through the entire game in one sitting. Instead, this addition is really more of an interactive art piece that explores the pain of loss and shows how games can be a great way to dissect even the most serious of narratives.
Set in Newcastle, England, you assume the role of a sad man whose world has been turned upside down by the loss of the love of his life. Simple controls let you explore the beautifully designed albeit small world.
It was free when we downloaded it, but it appears the developers are changing the price frequently. Helix Jump by Voodoo is a tactile puzzle game that's incredibly deceptive in its simplicity. The goal is to bounce a ball down a labyrinth by falling strategically through the cracks on each level without falling on a red zone. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. With the fun frustration that came with tap and drag games like Flappy Birds and many others since, Helix Jump will have you screaming at the screen, then coming back for "just one more.
Android and iOS. This player vs. It harkens back to old build and attack games, but with the cool feature of being able to strategize against real people online. The object of the game is to build units and capture a missile silo while your online opponent does the same. Fully capturing a silo launches a missile at your opponent's base. Once you blow the base up, you win the game.
After a win, you collect credits and can unlock new equipment to make your military force stronger for the next opponent. The graphics are not as good as other top-tier mobile games, but, it really doesn't take away from the fun. The simplicity of the streamlined head-to-head gameplay allows players to concentrate on their next move in the battle, giving the game a more cerebral feel. Perhaps best of all is you can play a game in a relatively short amount of time, making it great for a quick game while you're on the go.
If skateboarding is your jam, or you wish it was, Flip Skater makes it easy to shred on a halfpipe. While skating in real life is complicated, with this game you only need to touch and hold on screen to start your skater rotating as you leave the halfpipe, then let go as you drop back in to align your board for a clean landing.
As you progress and earn coins, you'll be able to choose from a few different skaters, boards and several different locations, from Miami Beach to Lake Baikal. You'll also unlock new tricks such as tail grabs and method airs which you can activate with on screen buttons.
While it's not a complicated game, Flip Skater is perfect for those times you want to get in, play some games and get out. Terraria on mobile stays true to the original adventure game on PC and consoles with the same charming graphics, same enormous worlds to explore and same complex crafting system. The randomly generated world means every time you start anew it will be a different experience and will take you hours of gameplay to discover all the map's secrets.
Terraria has since had numerous updates with countless additions to the original core gameplay and the mobile version has all the same features. If you're looking for a deep game that you can really get lost in on a tablet or iPad while on vacation or even on a long flight, Terraria is an excellent choice. NBA 2K Mobile iOS only for now -- coming soon to Android lets you build your dream team and play against the best in 5-on-5 games, challenges and real-time events.
As you rise through the ranks, you can gather a following, use drills to train your players and earn foil cards of better players to boost your game. The graphics on this one are better than what we've seen in mobile 2K games in the past and it almost feels like playing a console game on your phone. This mobile roguelike game harkens back to the days of pixelated adventure games of yore, but with a modern twist.
It's fast paced and has procedurally generated dungeon levels that make the game different each time you play. And like other roguelike games, when you die, you're dead and you have to start all over again from the beginning. There are six character classes to choose from, each with their own special abilities, strengths and weaknesses. As you wander through the dungeon, you battle tons of different monsters to solve puzzles and explore the area for secret rooms that might contain better items for your character.
Another great feature is that you can play Wayward Souls without being connected to the internet, giving you a great game to play without using data. In the game Hole. Drag your finger to move the hole around a city scene as you consume everyday objects like garbage cans and cars, slowly growing to eat larger and larger items.
As two minutes ticks off the clock, you'll go from humans to cars to eventually swallowing entire buildings. All you need to do is drag the hole around the map to dominate. The bigger the items you suck up, the more points you get and the larger your hole will become. Get the most points and you win the game. Like the other Civilization games, 6 is all about building your empire from the stone age, upgrading your tech trees to move your civilization into the modern age and using strategy to combat your foes.
You can play as 20 different historical leaders including Roosevelt for America and Victoria for England, each with various advantages and disadvantages as you lead your empire to victory. During gameplay, you'll need to make choices about how your civilization will evolve to focus on the tools you'll need to obtain victory while fighting enemies that aim to destroy you.
You also can create strategic alliances with other leaders only to turn on them when the time is right to turn the tides in your favor. Civilization, as always, is a strategy game at its core and would be best suited for those who are ready to dive in headfirst and take over the world. Link Available only on iOS. Don't show this again. Prev Next Prev Next.
Alto's Adventure Snowboarding at high speed has never been as relaxing as it is in Alto's Adventure. PUBG Mobile PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds PUBG for mobile is a free survival shooter that lets you experience what it's like to be dropped on an island with 99 other players to see who will ultimately survive.
Alto's Odyssey The sequel to Alto's Adventure is called Alto's Odyssey and -- while the original is still amazing -- the follow-on might be even better. If there is any game you download from this list, Alto's Odyssey is extremely easy to recommend.
If you're an old school Sega fan, you really need to try it. Shadowgun Legends You can't really play a console-level quality Destiny game on your iPhone, but with Shadowgun Legends, it's about as close as you can get. Riptide GP: Renegade Riptide GP: Renegade is one of those games that seems like it would be impossible on mobile, the graphics are just so jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Hearthstone The mobile format is perfect for digitizing card games, and if you're looking for the best collectible card game experience, you can't go past Hearthstone, produced with all the polish and shine Blizzard can muster.
The latest expansion, The Witchwood is coming on April 9. Plague, Inc. Destroying all humans has never been so much fun. Dandara Dandara is a platformer that has you flinging yourself from surface to surface as you explore a vast world.
Finger Driver Some of the best phone games are the ones you can pick up and play for a couple of minutes at a time, whether you're on your commute or just waiting in line at the bank. The Room series Fireproof's The Room series is, everyone can agree, one of the most spectacular puzzle series ever produced on any platform. The Room: Old Sins The room is a steampunk inspired puzzle game that may just creep you out.
Monument Valley Escher-inspired puzzle game Monument Valley is a strange, lovely, deeply rewarding rabbit hole of an experience. Hero Hunters This third-person shooter lets you use cover as you battle raiders and bandits in a post-apocalyptic cityscape. Limbo Limbo is another of those games that sparked the imagination so much that imitators proliferated like baby rabbits.
Kingdom Rush series The tower defense market on mobile, one could argue, is fairly glutted. Threes In the first half of , a free flash game on the web turned into a viral craze.
Bowmasters Bowmasters is easy to learn, tough to master and hilarious all the way through. The Battle of Polytopia This turn-based strategy game shares some similarities with Civilization, but simplifies the concept into a great mobile game.
Rayman Adventures The Rayman games throughout the years have all been an eye-popping explosion of gorgeous colors -- and really fun-to-play arcade titles in their own right. The Escapists In this game, you're stuck in prison serving hard time.
Tiny Wings German developer Andreas Illiger only ever released one game for mobile, but what a game it is. Lifeline Lifeline is a text adventure, but one with a serious difference and much higher stakes than you might be used to. If you want free Android games with no in-app purchases, we have that linked just below. It has the same writer as Chrono Trigger along with the same composer. It has time travel to various eras in history and there are some throwbacks to smaller scenes from Chrono Trigger.
The game itself is a step above your standard mobile RPG. You roam around the game world with your companions instead of accepting missions like most. However, there are still gacha elements and simplified battle mechanics.
There is no energy so you can play as much as you want to. However, our big gripe is the lack of Google Play Games cloud saving.
It was a surprise hit of early and an easy shoo-in for a list like this. We do recommend preparing in advance if you trade in your phone and need to backup your data. It features simple mechanics, gorgeous graphics, and a relaxing style. Players ski down a hill while avoiding obstacles and making massive jumps. There are also items to collect that can be traded in for various customization options.
The game relies heavily on its wallpaper-worthy graphics. They are simple, but effective and the dark, gradient colors add a good atmosphere for the game. Asphalt 8: Airborne and Asphalt Xtreme were the big ones in the series. However, Asphalt 9: Legends came out in July This is the most recent game in the series now. It includes 50 cars, a bunch of challenges, and a bunch of content to play with.
That includes online multiplayer, single player stuff, and more. That has angered some players. The graphics are good and there are social elements as well. Thus, the online competitive aspect may be skewed a bit.
However, the single player stuff is classically good arcade racing. You can also skip in-app purchases with extra grinding. Players drop into a game with a couple of teammates, brawl with opponents, and try to win.
All of those could also easily go on a list like this if you like auto battlers Clash Royale or kingdom builder strategy games Clash of Clans and Boom Beach. Call of Duty: Mobile is the latest game on this list. We usually wait a bit to see how a game plays out, but this one is so intensely popular and so intensely good that we had to add it basically immediately. The game has in-app purchases, but they seem to be solely for cosmetic gear and a good amount of it is available as in-game rewards.
The game play is good and people seem to really like this one. It has a strong online multiplayer community where you can play with your friends as well.
EA has the market cornered on sports games. These games all have very similar elements. You can play the actual sport and there is a sim mechanic in all of these games. The graphics are usually pretty decent and the controls are generally good. However, EA sports games have heavy freemium elements. That is a frequent frustration for many players and it makes it difficult to recommend EA in general. Unfortunately, EA is the only developer that makes games for most sports so that makes them the best by default.
EA also has some popular freemium games like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heros that people seem to really like. It features tons of elements from the original games, including actual town and dungeon explorations, hidden treasures, secret dungeons, and tons of lore. This is about as good as it gets for freemium titles. They round out a very positive group of freemium games from the Final Fantasy franchise. Shadowgun is a sci-fi shooter series with a campaign, online PvP, and more. Most of the main games are freemium.
They are all extremely good games despite that, though. Nintendo is an easy recommendation for free Android games. They have games in a variety of different genres and most of them tug at the nostalgia factor.
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