This past year has been a great year for gaming in general – just ask any of your “gamer” friends and they’ll tell you so. I’d consider myself a big gamer as well and while I play more on the PC and the Xbox then I do on the mobile side of things, there’s no denying that 2012 has been a big year for gaming all over the place and not just on the console/PC side of things. Android is becoming more and more of a force in the mobile gaming world and I’m sure that there is only more to come in 2013.
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10. Jetpack Joyride
Let’s face it, some of the best games we’ve ever played have been the most simple games and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, a simple game is often the best way to go to get some real fun gameplay. Simplicity allows the user to challenge themselves and see how good they can get at any given task, without all these pesky controls in the way there’s more room for geniuine difficulty and the infuriating challenge to keep going one further each and every time you play. From the folks that bought us Fruit Ninja – man I love that game – Jetpack Joyride is a simple game to pick up and play and it’s one that you’ll have fun playing but, you’ll be fantastically frustrated trying to master it.
9. Temple Run
Another game that relies on the simpler side of things, Temple Run was a game that launched first on iOS and when it came to Android it enjoyed a whole new wave of success. I’m not sure how much fun I think the game is myself but I see women, children and older folk playing this game all over the place – must be a big hit for casual gamers then? Casual gaming is one area where Android excels in and thanks to the ever growing size of smartphones it’s easier than ever to enjoy simple games like this. If, for some reason, you haven’t given Temple Run a go then now is a perfect time to give it a go – what’s the worse that could happen, you break your thumb?
8. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Zombies
Ask any big player of Call of Duty and they will often point to the Zombies feature being one of the better parts of the games. Black Ops players have enjoyed this fun add-on for the game in their droves and it got so popular that Treyarch through it in Black Ops II as well. However, when it comes to the mobile side of things, Call of Duty fans on Android had been mostly left in the dark until earlier in the year. First an exlusive on Sony devices, this mobile port by Glu is now open to all. It’s not quite what we were expecting but it’s good enough and if you’re the type to play anything with a Call of Duty badge on it then, here’s one more title for you!
7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Last year bought us a full version of GTA III to play on our Android smartphones and tablets and it was pretty awesome. Not only because it was the full game brought down to suit smaller screens but because it was made for Android devices. It wasn’t a straight port, it was optimized and ran a little better than I remember it doing on my Pentium III machine. Vice City’s turn soon came around and while it was slightly marred by problems at its initial launch it’s still a brilliant game. It’s still pretty damn awesome to be able to play a full-fledged PC/console game of this caliber on a smartphone or at least, I certainly think it is. When all is said and done, this is still Vice City and that’s good enough to make this list on its own.
6. Angry Birds: Star Wars
We all love Angry Birds and try as you might to deny it, we don’t believe you. With Angry Birds: Star Wars, not only did they make yet another great game but they also tugged hard on the heavy strings of nostalgia that lie deep within us all. From a game mechanic standpoint there isn’t much different about this latest addition in the franchise but, there is enouugh different to make this a worthwhile title. With updates already coming for the game it looks like Rovio are more than happy to keep the Star Wars wing of their game going for a while now.
5. Dead Trigger
In a year filled with games surrounding the undead, Dead Trigger really turned up at the right time. With some stunning graphics and very satisfying gameplay it was perfect for the mobile audience. The controls were just right for a smartphone or tablet and it really took advantage of some of the advanced features in Tegra 3 and newer processors. It’s not often that a game comes out on a mobile platform that wouldn’t look out of place on the Xbox but, with Dead Trigger I could happily play this on the big screen. A decent free-to-play model is also employed and there’s a lot to love about the game. For the few that missed out on the game the first time around, this is a good time to see what all the fuss was about.
Adventure games are something that are little undersold on the Android platform and while there are a few of them out there, not all of them are very good. With Horn, you get a stunning thrid-person adventure game that will bring back memories of a lot of adventure games you’ve played. The graphics here are spectacular and if it weren’t for the bugs that have marred the game it could well be higher-up this list. Horn is a little lot on story but gameplay is pretty solid and if you’re looking for something a little different for your Android smartphone or tablet then this is definitely one to pick up.
3. Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
Gameloft have a knack for, shall we say, borrowing other title’s work and with Modern Combat 4 it shows. While taking cues from Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare series isn’t a bad thing, we would very much like Gameloft to come up with something original, for once. Where Modern Combat 4 excels however, is in it’s gameplay, it’s pretty difficult to get a shooter right on Android devices but Gameloft have had a long time making games to practice getting this down pat. The graphics are very nice indeed, and if all you want to do on your device is star in your action movie, then this offering from the games giant will more than suffice.
2. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Racing games are the genre we all thought the best for mobile gaming and there’s little doubting that as there often the easiest type of game to play on a mobile platform. The Need for Speed series has been on Android for some time and while their games have always been good-looking they’ve been pretty far away from their console equivalents. With Most Wanted however, EA have sort to close the gap and while they might not have done that, they’ve certainly done a good job. Cars have never looked so good on a mobile display and the gameplay is pretty up there as well.
1. ShadowGun: Deadzone
Multiplayer has arguably been one of the biggest driving forces behind gaming in these past couple of years and with Deadzone from the same people behind Dead Trigger, it looks as though Android gaming is about to go multiplayer as well. It started off as a beta and is now available for all to enjoy. The concept might not be new but on Android it certainly is and multiplayer could be a real game-changer for mobile gaming. It’s exciting to see such a think happening on the mobile side of things and any big Xbox LIVE players will be happy to see it, too. I know I am. If you’re looking to get some competitive play on the go, then Deadzone is the only choice right now.