I scoured the depths of the Play store to bring you ten overlook gaming gems!

On the Go: 10 of the Best Android Games You Never Played

I scoured the depths of the Play store to bring you ten overlook gaming gems!

It’s a good time to be a mobile gamer! While the mobile platform still sees countless clones and an unhealthy obsession with limited, shallow empire-building games (seriously, why is this a thing now?), there are still plenty of great titles so long as you are willing to go out of your way. Fear not, reader! I have waded through rubbish to bring you some treasure!

While this list will be focused on the Android platform, some are also available on iOS. 

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Decromancer

Genre: Card-based strategy 

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download here

Being a huge Magic the Gathering fan, I am disappointed card-based games are sorely lacking on mobile. Most seem to be shallow versions of Pokemon where you simply press buttons on a menu rather than actually playing anything. Others are just poorly designed or lackluster. Well I have an exception! That exception is Decromancer.

Besides the gorgeous hand-drawn art, Decromancer has a unique battle system as well. The battles unfold on grid, and units can be placed anywhere on that grid. Rather than going the lazy route and having cards simply attack whatever is opposite them, Decromancer offers some twists on the formula.

Each unit has a unique attack characteristic which helps keep things fresh. Some units can attack and damage everything in front of them (similar to trample from MTG), some attack random units, and some can attack specific units from a safe distance. Add in player spells a la Heroes of Might and Magic and you have enough to keep things fresh. With a lengthy campaign and plenty of units to obtain for your army, Decromancer keeps you entertained for the long haul.     


Hoplite

Genre: Strategy

Price: Completely free, but an optional in-app purchase unlocks additional content

Download here

Hoplite is a stellar example of not only what mobile strategy games can be, but what mobile games as a whole can do. The idea of the game is to eliminate every enemy on each floor and then delve deeper into Hades. Each floor either adds a new enemy type or increases the number of enemies.

The combat unfolds in turns with you agonizing over your choice, and the enemies making their move. The risk/reward elements at play are fantastic. Want to throw your spear to eliminate that sorcerer? Well, now your range and combat effectiveness has decreased. You could jump over those two demons, landing behind them and killing them. However, that bomb will detonate soon after, dropping you to only one heart of health.

The options are endless, and the game stays challenging throughout. The game is simply sublime and is perfectly designed. Do yourself a favor and play it! Now! 


Time Surfer

Genre: Runner

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download here

I will be honest; I am not a fan of most runner games. They usually rely on needless repetition, have shallow mechanics, and feel uninspired. Time Surfer is the exact opposite. While it is a runner, it does enough to keep things fresh and interesting more than most runners I have seen.

Rather than run, you must surf peaks and valleys in order to maintain and gain momentum. If you miss a dip into a valley or release on an upswing too soon, the end of the universe gets you. Did I mention you were running from the end of the universe? With an ability to rewind time, careful thought to when and where you will dip, tons of unlockables, and a distinct art style, Time Surfer has enough to keep you coming back for more. The soundtrack is great too!


Sugar, Sugar

Price: $1.20

Download here

Like all great puzzle games, Sugar, Sugar starts out simple with just one rule: get the sugar to the cup. Easy, simple, done. However, before you know it you are contending with gravity changes, different colors of sugar, multiple cups, and more! The game gets fiendishly difficult and ensures you stay entertained the entire time. $1.20 well spent!


Ultraflow

Genre: Puzzle

Price: Completely free

Download here

Made by a team of five students in six months, Ultraflow is more impressive than other games with larger teams and longer development times. The objective is simple; get your ball to the goal to pass the level. Easy enough. The trick comes in the level design. You only one chance at the beginning to launch your ball; so you have to get your trajectory and momentum right in order to succeed. Your ball also has a certain amount of times it can hit a wall before the ball explodes! Talk about occupational hazards.


Refraction

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download here

Lasers. Who hasn’t dreamed of cutting through metal or other harmless activities with lasers before? While that scenario may be unlikely, Refraction does allow you to play with lasers!

The premise of Refraction deals with the light spectrum and prisms. The idea is to get a colored light stream to the receptor of the same color, but what happens if your receptor is a different color than your laser? This is where Refraction shines. Sometimes you have to make the colors from the lasers you have (orange is red+yellow etc). While there are also mirrors and some other gameplay hooks, the main mechanic of bouncing lasers through prisms and splitting and combining them makes for one thought-provoking puzzle game. 


Damn Little Town

Price: $.99

Download here or the trial here

Damn Little Town is an interesting amalgamation of the board games Carcassonne and Downfall of Pompeii. Similar to Carcassonne, you are initially building roads in an effort to get points. However, you are also placing your meeple figures in a way advantageous for the second stage of the game.

After a certain point, you must escape the damned town. In each corner of the map lies a temple. Getting a meeple here scores you points and gets the figure off the board. The player with the most points wins. And there are monsters being placed on the board which will eat your meeples. Nothing like a little pressure eh?

For all board game fans, I recommend this game. It has simple rules, but a great depth of play thanks to the combinations of the rules and the foresight required to ensure advantageous road building for you that also screws your opponent over. It’s great fun!


Puk

Genre: Arcade

Price: $1.99

Download here

Puk is all about dexterity and speed. You have your titular puk and the idea is to hit circles in the playing area. The circles may take more than one hit, or there may be six different circles scattered about the playing field. What makes Puk great is how focused the game is on its singular goal.

As expected, the difficulty ramps up the longer you play without failing. Besides level layouts changing, the color schemes will also change, leading to some trippy transitions and adjustments. The game is addictive as you’ll find yourself wanting to play “Just one more round,” again and again.


Atomas

Genre: Puzzle

Price: free with in-app purchases

Download here

This one is a new game I just started playing last week, but it has quickly wormed its way into my heart and onto this list. In the game you start with two hydrogen atoms, and the goal is to get as many points as possible by combining atoms to make more advanced ones. It’s similar to Alchemy in theory, but what sets this game apart is the playing field.

The playing field consists of a circle where your atoms are residing as you attempt to advance. You can either add or subtract atoms to the circle, but you must be wary. If you have too many atoms, you will overfill your circle causing your tiny universe to crumble. You have to ensure you are continually making reactions and combinations, which keeps you on your toes and aware of the moves you can and cannot make. I highly recommend this one!


0h h0 & 0h h1

Price: Completely free

Download 0h h0 here and 0h h1 here

Mobile devices have seen their fair share of puzzle games, but logic puzzlers seem to be harder to find than other types of puzzle games. Well now I have a double whammy for you! The apps are made to be companion pieces, and I recommend playing them as such.

Both titles have three simple rules, but those rules can be hard to follow. By keeping things simple, the games shine at being challenging without having a lot of needless or confusing rules. Both titles also have multiple sizes of playing fields for when your brain needs a good workout.


I have barely scratched the surface of the multitude of great games on the Android, but this is a good start! Have fun, and happy gaming!

Have some overlook Android games you’d like to share? Did I miss your favorite? Sound off in the comments!


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The Soapbox Lord
Editor-in-Chief at artistryingames.com Father. Metalhead. Lover of games, comics, and all things nerd. Slightly addicted to Magic the Gathering. Get in touch! I promise to be nice.