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 ANDROID FEATURE

Top 10 best Android games of December 2012

Bikes, puzzles, and pastel blazers
 
Top 10 Android charts Android, thumbnail 1
In amongst all the tinsel, bad TV, and gluttony, December turned out to be a pretty strong month for Android game releases.

While there were a couple of titanic sequels and console conversions in there, it was really heartening to see a number of truly original games taking a bow, too.

The Google Play Store is definitely picking up some momentum, so we're expecting to see far more of this kind of range and consistency as we go deeper into 2013.

For now, though, let's doff our caps to 2012 one last time and take a look back at what December had to offer Android gamers.

Cognitile
By Express Media - buy on Android



Cognitile is an almost completely fresh kind of game, which instantly wins it a handful of brownie points. Some gold stars are heading its way, too, given the fact that it's been very well executed.

This is a memory-based puzzler in which you must remember where all the hazards are in a series of booby-trapped temples, then sketch out an evasive path to the treasure at their core.

Sharp cartoony graphics and a level editor finish off this accomplished package nicely.

Pumped: BMX
By Yeah Us! - buy on Android 



Any game with the Noodlecake logo on it is of interest to us, and Pumped: BMX proves that this developer / publisher can spot great games as well as it can make them.

This is a fairly traditional side-on stunt racer in which you must jump, land, and flip your little biker through each stage.

While we had a few qualms on review about its plain presentation and twee music, Pumped: BMX possesses a solid core of challenging physics-based action.

BloxBox
By Armor Games - buy on Android 



Another delightfully fresh puzzler, this. BloxBox is a simple case of swiping a white block onto a yellow block.

Except, it's not quite that simple.

You also have to rearrange the very levels themselves, shifting the sections around like one of those tile-sliding puzzles. You know the ones. Wonderful stuff.

The Pyraplex
By Kairosoft - buy on Android 



Kairosoft is at it again.

The way you read that sentence in your head - deflated or excited - will tell you whether you should get The Pyraplex or not.

Yes, it's more of the same from the prolific Japanese developer.

The Pyraplex is all about micro-managing an impossibly cute bunch of characters who are building an ancient Egyptian pyramid for you. Brilliantly typical... and typically brilliant.

Anomaly Korea
By 11 bit studios - buy on Android 



With Anomaly Korea, Polish dev 11 bit studios takes the well-worn tower defence genre and turns it on its head.

So, rather than playing the part of the defensive force and setting up turrets to mow down conga lines of enemy grunts, here you play the conga line.

Of course, you can fight back here, and even change your path at key points, which makes for a thoroughly absorbing action-strategy experience.

Football Manager Handheld 2013
By Sports Interactive - buy on Android 



The arrival of a new Football Manager game is a bit like the arrival of a new Quentin Tarantino film.

You know it's going to have certain trademark elements to it, and you know that a very large fanbase is going to absolutely love it.

Football Manager Handheld 2013 offers nothing startlingly new. It's just the best football management game ever to hit a mobile device. It's so predictably ace, it's almost boring.

The Adorables
By Thumbstar Games - buy on Android 



Wouldn't you know it? The Adorables is, indeed, rather adorable.

In it, you guide a cute creature through a variety of elaborate pinball-like levels, hitting targets and squeezing through gaps.

Instead of deflecting your 'balls' with anything so crude as bumpers, though, you can initiate a repelling beam of light to send your creature skyward, and tilt your phone to steer it.

The Adorables is fun, cute, and free. Get it. Yesterday.

Clay Jam
By Fat Pebble - buy on Android 



Clay Jam is a freemium game with real heart... and it's not often we get to say that.

It plays out like a kind of simplified Katamari, wherein you must roll your ball of plasticine over a bunch of plasticine monsters.

The idea is to gather more clay to make new monsters to gather more clay to... you get the picture. It's a continuous incentive to keep on rolling and collecting.

Plus, the game looks delightful. Important, that.

Finger Hoola
By Plant Pot - buy on Android 



Arguably the most original Android game of the last month, Finger Hoola is an intoxicating mixture of casual finger workout, interactive music toy, and zen-like relaxation tool.

Spin your finger around on the screen to position a needle on a gauge, going faster to make it rise and slower to let it drop.

All the while, there's a blissful ambient soundtrack rewarding your actions with beautiful sounds. There's not much to it, but what's there is lovely.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
By Rockstar Games - buy on Android 



Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is everything that Finger Hoola isn't.

It's a big-budget console conversion with guns and driving and bad language and cheesy / classic '80s music.

Vice City doesn't really belong on mobile, if we're being truthful, but no amount of iffy virtual controls can disguise the classic game poking out from underneath. There's a reason, after all, many maintain this is the highlight of the GTA series.

Buy it to show what your new quad-core Android phone or tablet can do.



Top 10 best Android games: November 2012
Top 10 best Android games: October 2012
Top 10 best Android games: September 2012
Top 10 best Android games: August 2012
Top 10 best Android games: July 2012
Top 10 best Android games: June 2012
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 17 January 2013
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