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 ANDROID FEATURE

The best Android games from January 2015

Guns! Bricks! Gunbricks!
Product: Top 10 Android charts | Format: Android
 
Top 10 Android charts Android, thumbnail 1
It seems like ages since we last rounded up the best Android games of the month. And that's because it has.

For several reasons, largely involving end of year lists and various degrees of not-workingness, there was no December round-up. Sorry.

Don't worry, though, because we're starting 2015 as we mean to go on - with list of the ten best Android games released over the past 30 days or so.

Maybe you've missed a few of these in the fuzzy-headed transition to the New Year (it's easily done, as we've just proven). Here's your chance to make up for it.

Gunbrick 
By Nitrome - buy on Android 



How does Nitrome do it? How does it makes its games look and feel so... right? Gunbrick is the latest effort from the Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage developer, and it's another corker.

It's a platform-puzzler of sorts, although it's quite unlike anything you'll have played before. You control the titular gunbrick, a tool that's as powerful as it is limited, clomping around the stages and using its large gun to either attack or propel itself into the air.

Original yet intuitive, demanding yet welcoming, and always amusing. Yep, it's another Nitrome game alright.

Crossy Road 
By Hipster Whale - download on Android 



This quirky endless runner was rather popular on iOS towards the end of last year, and now it's possible for Android owners to see what all the fuss is about.

Hipster Whale's game is a loving tribute to Frogger, with a familiar 'cross-the-road' mechanic. But this has been spun out into a thoroughly modern endless runner, with high score tables and unlockables and a Minecraft aesthetic.

None of these elements sound exciting in isolation, but combined they make for an impossibly moreish casual gem.

Dragon Quest V 
By Square Enix - buy on Android 



Square Enix's admirable Dragon Quest mobile conversion project continues with this, the fifth iteration.

The original marked the series's debut on the SNES, which makes for a step forward in scope and sophistication. Still, it remains a classic JRPG, with lots of exploration, turn-based battles, and archetypal (if charming) storytelling.

Naturally, you also get the thoughtful switch to a portrait perspective and the simplified touch control system that has made previous conversions so popular.

The Witcher Battle Arena
By CD Projekt - download on Android 



There was much excitement surrounding The Witcher Battle Arena, not simply because of the prestigious original PC and console series, but because CD Project itself was making it.

No lazy outsourcing here, oh no. The result is a very polished MOBA - that trend mixture of RPG mechanics and online team-based FPS structure.

The developer has simplified the formula significantly, resulting in a slick mobile-friendly experience. In the absence of Fates Forever and Vainglory, it's your best MOBA bet on Android.

Sol Invictus 
By Cubus Games - buy on Android 



A second slice of dark sci-fi gamebook action from Cubus Games. This follow-up to Heavy Metal Thunder is as bleak as the original.

This time you're exploring the solar system with your not-so-merry band of soldiers and fanatics. There will be blood, and lots of it.

As well as making choices at various points in the story, which will determine which way things pan out, you'll also need to roll the dice in the game's tense battles. Nothing new, then, but Sol Invictus is good gruesome fun all the same.

Gunslugs 2 
By OrangePixel - buy on Android 



Gunslugs 2 offers more classic action-platformer action of the Metal Slug variety. You move from left to right, blasting anything that moves, climbing into improbably large tanks, and destroying enemy outposts.

Oh, and dying. There's a lot of that too. There's also a neat character-swapping tag team mechanic that anyone who's played the early access versions of Broforce on PC will appreciate.

It's neither deep nor original, but few Android games can match Gunslugs 2 for intense retro blasting kicks.

Adventure Time Game Wizard 
By Cartoon Network - buy on Android 



This latest Cartoon Network offering initially seems like a typical, solidly-made but unspectacular 2D platformer. But it's far more interesting than that.

Adventure Time Game Wizard gives you a full level editor from the off, and the means to share your creations with a community of like-minded gamers.

If, like me, you find the idea of building your own levels is better in theory than practice, there's a neat twist here. You can print out design sheets, sketch your levels out, and scan them into the game using your phone's camera. Genius.

WWE Immortals 
By NetherRealm Studios - download on Android



No, wait, come back! Okay, so WWE Immortals is based on the modern pantomime that is known as WWE wrestling. And yes, it takes that already-silly premise and stirs in an even sillier fantastical element.

But the game is made by the guys behind Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us, so it has fighting-game chops.

It's not the most tactical brand of brawling, but the screen-mashing fisticuffs on display here is slick, polished, and just plain good fun. Honest.

Flockers 
By Team 17 - buy on Android 



Flockers is essentially Lemmings updated for the 21st century, but with furry sheep in place of... furry rodents.

It's got the same basic goal of guiding a crew of helpless creatures through a bunch of hazard-strewn 2D levels. To do so you must utilise a variety of construction materials and special tools (hello rocket pack) to make a safe path to the exit.

Fiddly controls and some occasionally flat level design keep this from greatness, but Flockers is a minor brain-scratching delight nonetheless.

Hook 
By Rainbow Train - buy on Android 



Talk about simple game design. Hook takes the phrase to new heights.

From Rainbow Train's ultra-minimalistic art style (which still somehow has personality) to the almost laughably straight-forward early stages, this is as pure a puzzler as you can imagine.

Of course, the conundrums - which essentially involve pressing virtual buttons in the correct sequence - get far trickier and more elaborate, but by then you're well and truly hooked. Pun intended.




Top 10 best Android games: November 2014
Top 10 best Android games: October 2014
Top 10 best Android games: September 2014
Top 10 best Android games: August 2014
Top 10 best Android games: July 2014
Top 10 best Android games: June 2014
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 4 February 2015
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