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 ANDROID FEATURE

These are the best Android games of January 2016

Crashing, slashing, matching
Product: Top 10 Android charts | Format: Android
 
It's been a pretty darn solid month for Android gaming.

As well as finally getting a couple of last year's big releases, there's been plenty of new stuff for Google-powered players to sink their teeth into.

Last month you got joke-filled Pokemon riffs, vertical roguelikes, sinister box-touching adventures, and a game that lets you beat an entire world to death with makeshift weapons.

So without further ado, here is a list of the ten best games that hit the Play Store in January. If you disagree, or you think we've missed something, feel free to yell about it in the comments section.

Pocket Mortys
By Adult Swim Games - Download on Android

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To all intents and purposes, this is a Pokemon game. Albeit one without any Pokemon, and with a slightly annoying free to play system.

It's based on the Rick and Morty cartoon, and sees you wandering around parallel universes collecting different versions of Morty and then throwing them into battles.

It's fun, it's slick, and it's probably the closest we're going to get to a real Pokemon game on mobile any time soon. Plus it's actually pretty funny.

Punch Club
By tinyBuild - Buy on Android

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A game about the bits of being an MMA fighter that we don't get to see in the headlines. Do your job, get the bus, get drunk with men with impressive beards.

It's a sim in a similar vein to New Star Soccer. You have to do all the mundane things as well as the brawling, like smashing rocks in a local quarry or delivering pizzas to make ends meet.

Everything bubbles together to create a ridiculously compelling casual simulator that has some brilliant ideas and will likely stay in your games folder for a good long while.

Downwell
By Moppin - Buy on Android

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One of the best games of 2015 finally stomps its way onto Android. It's a roguelike about falling down a well, and blasting any critters that get in your way with the guns attached to your shoes.

The game is fast and frantic in all the best ways, and while it can be a little intimidating to begin with, there's a real sense of achievement once you start to get the hang of things.

On top of all that it looks lovely, it handles brilliantly, and it's got a whole raft of intriguing ideas that push the genre in new directions.

Also, did I mention gun shoes?

The Westport Independent
By Double Zero One Zero - Buy on Android

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An intriguing game about censorship and the press in a totalitarian state. It's like Papers, Please, but in a newspaper instead of a border control point.

You need to choose articles, edit them, and assign them to writers. But everyone's got their own personality, and you need to keep the government on side and try not to upset the rebels too much.

There are tough choices to make, and come the end of the game they can have some pretty devastating consequences.

The Room Three
By Fireproof Games - Buy on Android

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Another classic from last year that's finally made its way to the Google Play Store. This box-twiddling masterpiece is one of the few games that you really just have to buy.

It builds on the platform set by the first two games, and expands the scope of the world accordingly.

Rather than just one room, you're now exploring multiple locations, solving massive sprawling puzzles in all of them.

It looks staggering, it plays brilliantly, and it manages to create one of the most impressive, eerie atmospheres this side of running into an abandoned insane asylum in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Crashlands
By Butterscotch Shenanigans - Buy on Android

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A game all about surviving after your ship has crash landed on an alien planet. But way more fun than that actually sounds. This is a game that's as funny as it is entertaining.

It takes a usually glum genre and layers it with bright colours and silly jokes. And takes a lot of the more difficult aspects away to make sure you're always having a lovely time.

Plus you get to beat weird hippo beasts to death with an axe you've made out of wood and lumps of metal. What the hell is there not to like about that?

Battlehand
By Kongregate - Download on Android

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A free to play RPG that looks absolutely stunning, and blends together ideas from CCGs and card battlers to make an eminently playable adventure.

You build up your team of heroes and use them to smash the crap out of a series of monsters. There's levelling up, new loot, and all the accoutrements you'd expect.

Sometimes the monetisation might get in the way of you having a jolly old time, but when it doesn't, you're going to be having a jolly old time. Which is nice.

Sandstorm: Pirate Wars
By Ubisoft - Download on Android

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A futuristic giant sand-ship battler that sees you building up your giant sand-ship and taking on other giant sand-ships to find out who's got the best giant sand-ship.

There are new weapons to unlock and upgrades to find, and plenty of tower-defence style scraps involving energy and giant cannons to engage in.

It looks nice, all dust and grimness, and there's fun to be had here so long as you're not looking for anything too heavy.

Blade: Sword of Elysion
By Four Thirty Three - Download on Android

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A hack and slash MMO that might lack a little in the polish department, but still manages to be an awful lot of grindy fun.

Pick a class, stomp around some pretty environments, kill everything that moves using a combination of attacks, spells, and running away.

It pitches its violence with just the right amount of story and loot-collection to make it compulsive, and the combo system is actually pretty satisfying when you get down to the meat of it.

Candy Crush Jelly Saga
By King - Download on Android

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Sure, it's another Candy Crush game, and if you're not into those you're not going to give two hoots about this one, but there are some neat new ideas if you are.

Boss battles, squidgy lumps of what civilised people would call jam, and plenty more sweet-matching challenges for you to snack on.

It might be more of the same, but it's presented with King's usual polish, so anyone who likes their puzzling casual will likely devour this.
 

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater 2 February 2016
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