It’s amazing to think about how much gaming on the Android platform has developed since its inception. I remember when Age of Conquest (then Aevum Obscurum) and Robo Defense first came out; 2 hour lectures seemed to breeze by, midnight bedtimes extended into 2AM trying to find the most efficient blitzkrieg strategy or defensive maze.
Protip: Nothing can stop your 3rd turn, 10,000 man Zerg Rush kekekeke
And now that Android hardware is capable of emulating PC quality 3D gaming we have a plethora of full-blown games of multiple genres from first person shooters all the way to MMORPGs. But for many of us Android lovers, the passage of time has not only brought us the growth of Android’s gaming environment but also the shrinkage of our free time.
Whether you are now focusing on school, a career, a newborn, or even some combination of the three, I’m betting a lot of things have changed for many Android users in the last few years. Fear not though, even though your game time may have been reduced from a few hours per day to just a few minutes, we need not go gameless.
So next time you are at the water cooler, carpooling back from lunch or taking a pee break, remember my top 5 picks for short and sweet casual Android games.
1. Papi Jump
PapiJump was my first serious addiction while owning the HTC G1; ever since my friend got a highscore of 60k+, I yearned to defeat him.
That took 10 minutes. I held my breath the whole time
This game is great because it is super simple, yet strangely addictive. You simply just hop from platform to platform, adjusting your horizontal movement by tilting your phone left and right. As time goes on, you will notice that your jump height is reduced, and the distance from each platform increases, effectively reducing your room for error to near zero.
This game (and throttle copter as well) have the unique ability to make you hold your breath and get your adrenaline pumping; as you continue to make more and and more difficult maneuvers the pressure mounts and this is where the excitement factor comes in. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself and tell me you didn’t let out a huge breath when Papi finally misses that platform.
My second true love, ThrottleCopter has you maneuver a helicopter through a tunnel filled with obstacles by adjusting your throttle (duh).
Protip: tap rapidly to maintain a stable flight height; although you will need to look at your chopper to effectively evade the obstacles, try and keep new obstacles in your peripheral vision so you can preemptively adjust your throttle
Following in the footsteps of Papi Jump, ThrottleCopter brings the adrenaline pumping rush of clutch game play in another extremely simple format. The best part about these games is that they load fast, close fast, can be paused and keep track of your high score! Perfect for showing off to your friends… who will probably laugh at you for using your $500.00 phone to play games that could run on a TI-83 Plus.
3. Glow Hockey 2
If you’ve ever played Geometry Wars on Xbox Arcade, you know exactly how awesome the ‘Glow’ graphics style can be; just watching people play it is gobs of fun. Now you can bring that same excitement to your phone!
I could just watch 2 computers duke it out
Air hockey is one of those activities that’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. When we were kids no matter how hard we hit the puck it would stay on the table. Now as uncouth adults, it isn’t uncommon to see pucks as well as paddles flying in all directions, mimicking the violence of the sport it pays homage to.
No need to fret here though; want to up your self esteem? Set the computer to easy and start making double reverse bank shots off of the computer’s own paddle. Feeling bold? Put the AI on insane and get knocked down a notch or two. Or five.
Like Luke to Owen, Stephen to Alec, and Neil to Sean (lol Sean Connery has a brother?), Fruit slice is the poor man’s Fruit ninja. Fruit slice actually wasn’t going to make the cut (HAH), but was recently updated to include 2 new game modes: ‘Pipeline’ and ‘One shot,’ adding some much needed difficulty and replay value.
Too fast (and furious) for the screen cap
The basic idea is the same in all game modes: chop fruit. In classic mode you must chop fruit without letting them fall to the bottom of the screen; as you can see you have 3 lives. The catch of course is that sometimes there are bombs that also pop up: slice those and you’re toast. In the timed mode you must try to get as high a score as possible in 1 minute and 40 seconds.
Those two modes above are fun for about 5 minutes until you realize you that the score isn’t limited by your skill but rather the game’s constraints, aka not enough fruit show up in timed mode, or the game registers a false positive on a bomb slice. Luckily Pipeline and One Shot add some variety and require more skill.
Pipeline requires you to slice fruits in a certain order as shown in the pipeline; slicing the wrong fruit increases the queue speed eventually causing you to lose. One Shot throws a bunch of fruit in the air, and tells you which specific ones to slice in one shot. You have a health meter that is constantly depleting that only gets replenished by successfully one shotting the fruits.
Just try it. If for nothing else, the sounds of shanking fruit is always entertaining.
Do I even need to write anything here? Here I’ll just post the screen shot:
5 hours later and I’m still on level 4
The most technically advanced of our primitive games, Angry Birds manages to exist on nearly every smartphone on earth. The premise is simple (shoot birds out of a slingshot), but the plethora of levels, puzzles and ammunition make this game a keeper.
With the power of these 5 games combined, your Samsung Android phone will become a lean, mean, time killing machine, even if you don’t have that much of it. Whether it’s the 30 seconds it takes for your coffee machine to brew that cup of joe, or the few minutes before you spend the rest of the night staring at your eyelids, these fun, free, casual games are sure to satisfy your gaming fix. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments below so I can make this a top 10!