Earlier this week, Brady discussed five of the best games which he’d played on his Apple devices. In this article, I’m blatantly copying his idea, but just using Android games instead of iOS. Basically, I’m Samsung. The games in this article aren’t necessarily exclusive to Android, but Android is where I played them.
Middle Manager of Justice
Double Fine Productions are well known for their involvement with Brütal Legend, Psychonauts, and more recently, Broken Age, but their work on Middle Manager of Justice was equally as superb. The game puts you in the position of a manager who is brought in to revive a small, ailing superhero bureau.
The game has two phases, management of your branch, and combat.
Management allows players to give their heroes tasks (training, research, and resting to regain health being some of the options), improve the base by adding new rooms or customising existing ones, and buy items from the in-game catalogue. Combat is initiated when you assign a certain group of heroes to a crime event and choose to watch instead of delegate. The combat is turn-based, but incredibly simple in that if you don’t choose a power or item to use, your heroes will use a basic attack. The powers and items, however, add a lot of nuance and strategy to later fights.
As you get further in the game and get more heroes recruited to your branch, the micro-management element of the game gets a bit more complex, and juggling active heroes based on who needs to do what (rest, fight crime, train, etc.) becomes quite challenging. On top of the compelling gameplay mechanic, the game is filled with light humour and the occasional reference.
Middle Manager of Justice is currently available for free on Google Play. Microtransactions are available in-game, but the game is easily playable without in-app purchases.
Many gamers, ratings boards and protective parents will be familiar with Carmageddon. The game, which was banned in many territories for its pixelated violence, is a racing game with a few kinks. Races can be completed in three ways: Wrecking opponents, killing all the civilians (and there are plenty) and finishing the race (by far the least rewarding of the three).
The premium version of the game comes with 30 vehicles, 36 levels and 11 environments, while the free version comes with 5 vehicles and one level and environment. There’s a lot of progression to be had in the Android version of Carmageddon, just as there was in the original.
Touchscreen controls can be cumbersive and obtrusive at times, and games often struggle to apply them well. Carmageddon fixes this issue by having three control schemes to choose from – all of which work capably well. The game is polished, stable, and most importantly, a lot of fun to play.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead
It may seem like a copout to name a game which gained its fame on mainstream consoles and PC quite recently as a strong mobile game, but the point-and-click play style of Telltale’s The Walking Dead lends itself to touchscreen – mainly because pointing and clicking becomes one action.
The Android port is incredibly high quality, and the game thrives on all the criteria which made the console, PC and iOS versions of The Walking Dead successful – strong narrative, well-rounded characters, great cel-shaded visuals and convincing voice acting and sound design.
The biggest downfall to this title is the large download size – over a gigabyte for the first episode – and demanding hardware. However, if you have the hardware, the space and the connectivity for it, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead Episode One is available free on Google Play, and episodes after this are activated through in-app purchases. The season pass costs $14.99 and includes the expansion, 400 Days. Individual episodes can be purchased at $4.99 a pop.
Mobile gaming giant Rovio made their name on the Angry Birds franchise, the addictive bird-launching, pig-splattering phenomenon which took the Android and iOS markets by storm. Bad Piggies is a spin-off of the developer’s franchise which has players building contraptions to move the villainous pigs from one place to another.
The game gives you certain building parts to construct a vehicle of some sort to transport one or more pigs between points in a variety of different levels and environments. Level performance is evaluated similarly to Angry Birds, but your objectives are more clearly defined (don’t use this building part, collect this item, transport this many pigs, etc.) than the bird-slingers obscure score tallies.
The game plays with physics in a more intricate way than Angry Birds did, and its gameplay mechanic is more intricate and engaging for players looking for a bit more than “Where shall I fling this bird?” It’s easy to pick up, but hunting for three stars on the harder levels will keep players occupied for quite some time.
Bad Piggies and Bad Piggies HD are available for free on Google Play.
Plague Inc. is built off quite an intriguing concept. As the player, you control the characteristics of a virus in order to make it spread further and be more lethal while countering the development of a cure.
This is easier said than done, as there are many ways this can go wrong: If your virus is too lethal, it won’t infect enough people before the infected population dies out, or if you focus more on spreading your virus far and wide before making it lethal, a cure may be developed before it reaches that stage. The careful balance between spreading your virus, ensuring the death of its hosts and countering the development of a cure is a surprisingly involved system which works excellently.
Plague Inc. also includes a randomised news feed, which lets you know about the developments in the cure for your virus, the state of the currently infected countries and what symptoms research doctors will be able to exploit in order to develop a cure more quickly. It’s a nice touch which gives you an inkling as to how noticeable your virus is and how large of an impact it’s having.
Plague Inc. is available from Google Play in two flavours: free, which includes all the features listed above, and premium, which is available for $0.99 and allows further customisation options for your virus.