I remember bemoaning the lack of games in the Android ecosystem back in 2011, when I got my first Android device — quality games were few and far apart, and iOS seemed to be getting all the love from developers. But look at us now — the Play Store is filled with excellent titles in all genres, and Android fans now have tons of devices to enjoy them on. And last year, I had a real blast playing and reviewing scores of titles of all sorts. Here are my picks from 2013:
Probably the most fun 2D side-scroller on Android devices yet! - Abhimanyu Ghoshal
This is perhaps the most refreshing title I had the pleasure of playing in 2013 -- it's a 2D side scroller, but offers up unique platforming challenges as you work your way through varied levels featuring obstacle courses of epic proportions. It's even fun to lose once in a while and watch your character take a dive. If you've ever felt the urge to embarass yourself on television, this is a safe compromise.
One of the most polished and fun shooters ever to grace the Play Store. - Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Madfinger really knows their FPSes, and outdid themselves in 2013 with the second iteration of their vastly popular zombie shooter. Dead Trigger 2 is a finely crafted game that's a joy to master and turns the limitations of a touchscreen interface into a novel (and brilliantly fun) gaming experience. With great graphics, tons of content, including maps and weapons and a wide variety of game modes, DT2 will stay installed for a long time on your device.
A masterpiece of a turn-based RPG that every gamer worth his salt should experience. - Abhimanyu Ghoshal
I wasn't ever much for turn-based RPGs, but Shadowrun Returns was something special that I just couldn't resist. From the detailed art style to the deep and spirited storytelling and the fast-paced gameplay, SR makes a serious case for mobile gaming having come of age. What's it about? Picture Seattle in 2054 choked into submission by huge corporations with law and order thrown out the window. As a mercenary-for-hire, you find yourself on a mission to uncover the killer behind the murder of your best friend, and just like that, you're on the hunt for a serial killer.
Tactical RPGs are known for being difficult to get used to, but SR does a tremendous job of making it simple enough for even first-timers to enjoy. Heck, even the upgrades are easy to navigate and use -- and once you do, you'll be able to truly enjoy this masterpiece that sets the bar really high for touchscreen titles and is worth every dollar.
I love me a good little puzzle game, and Little Things Forever really hits the spot with its simple gameplay, colorful graphics and sheer fun factor. On the surface, all you have to do is find listed items in a large jumble -- but it's so much more than that, and so engrossing that you'll wonder where the minutes went as you work your way through increasingly difficult levels. If you're looking for something you can dig into at a moment's notice, give this a try.
That's a wrap, folks! What were your favorite Android games of 2013? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and happy new year!