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 ANDROID FEATURE

Top 10 best Android games: April 2012

Dashing sharks and death rallies
 
Top 10 Android charts Android, thumbnail 1
After snapping up an HTC One X this month in a flurry of quad-core induced excitement, I found myself with an astonishingly powered phone, but no bleeding edge games to push it to its limits.

The good news is there are lots of eye-popping titles - like Sonic The Hedgehog: Episode 2 and Golden Arrow THD - on the way, to showcase that Android can go head-to-head with Apple’s finest.

In the meantime, give those extra cores a rest and wrap your mitts around last month’s best ‘droid releases.

Football Manager Handheld Edition
By Sega - buy on Android



A game made by obsessives for obsessives, the Football Manager series on PC may seem like an impenetrable series of stat screens to outsiders, but the Gold Award-winning Handheld edition is a far more inviting proposition for newcomers.

A slick interface, chunky on-screen buttons, and a simple drag-and-drop setup for tactical tweaks on the fly make for comfortable playing, while the the Challenge Modes offer quick fixes of management action compared to the time-sapping main Career mode.

Shark Dash
By Gameloft - buy on Android



It was only a matter of time before Gameloft had a crack at replicating the blockbuster success of Angry Birds, yet few would’ve imagined it would have made a game as cute and challenging as Shark Dash.

Using a pull-to-fire system, you send Sharkee and his pals flinging around the screen munching on the rubber ducks that captured his girlfriend.

It seems casual enough to start, yet there’s a welcome bite of challenge in the second world.

Death Rally FREE
By Remedy Entertainment - buy on Android



A year after it made its explosive debut on iOS, Remedy Entertainment’s Death Rally roared onto Google Play last month with a new freemium paintjob.

Yes, you can splash out on lots of customisations and extra weapons via in-app purchases, but there’s still a lot of Mad Max-style top down racing and blasting action to be had without dropping a dime.

Plus, the extra screen space on many Android devices makes the non-stop action easier to follow than the iOS original.

Traffic Wonder HD
By Yogamulante - buy on Android



After the hands-on carnage of Death Rally, the puzzle strategy of Traffic Wonder HD might initially seem like a soothing time out.

Don’t let those first impressions fool you, though, as this title is a real brain buster.

Similar to Flight Control, you have to plot routes for cars, trucks, and lorries to different destinations without running out of fuel or colliding.

Sharp looking and demandingly precise to play, Traffic Wonder HD gets a solid green light from us.

Cafeteria Nipponica
By Kairosoft - buy on Android



A bit of a dramatic step down from the goals and glory of Pocket League Story and the monster-slaying of Dungeon Village, Kairosoft’s latest tasks you with running a chain of top class eateries.

Like all the developer’s titles, however, the steady building up of your restaurant staff’s skills and the increasing demands of your clientele make for a satisfying fusion of gameplay dishes that’s stuffed full of character and overflowing with stats to tweak.

8bit Ninja
By DogByte Games - buy on Android



A combination of Fruit Ninja and dodgeball, 8bit Ninja is a dangerously addictive avoid-em-up with a charming pixel-art style.

Playing as the titular ninja, you have to tap buttons on the left and right of the screen to leap between pieces of fruit inexplicably being hurled at you.

Regular power-ups, like spinning blades and a temporary slo-mo, ease some of the pressure, but mostly you’ve got to rely on honing your reflexes to boost your high scores.

Battleloot Adventure
By Digital Tales - buy on Android



Combining two of the traditional gamer’s favourite things, battling and looting (the clue is in the name), Digital Tales has crafted a straightforward turn-based RPG that’s brimming with character.

Before each scrap, you get to optimise your band of adventurers - everything from classes to equipment and battlefield formations can be tinkered with - then you enter the fray by tapping on a hero and a target.

Battleloot Adventure is straightforward, and a little repetitive, yet perfect for roleplayers looking for a short sharp burst of 2D combat.

Dark Legends
By Spacetime Studios - buy on Android



The latest MMO from the team behind Pocket Legends is a noticeably gorier affair, offering a well crafted mix of gory Diablo-style combat and an engaging vampires vs. humans plotline.

Admittedly, there’s a heavy emphasis on freemium content - especially character customisations and energy needed to keep playing - but you can get a couple of hours worth of monster bashing in before deciding whether to splash any cash.

Gunman Clive
By Bertil Hörberg - buy on Android



A neat throwback to the 16-bit era of platform shooters, where enemies popping out of trapdoors and taking pot shots from windows were as familiar as the concept of 'Hammertime', Gunman Clive is a retro delight for wannabe cowboys.

There are 16 levels to bounce and blast through using the reliable on screen d-pad and buttons, not to mention a welcome dab of eccentricity in the form of giant duck, rabbit, and pelican bosses to dispatch.

Radiant Defense
By Hexage - buy on Android



It may not set the world on fire in terms of tower defence, but developer Hexage (Evac, Robotek) deploys its trademark, neon-inflected polish to ensure Radiant Defense stands out in an overcrowded market.

There’s also a touch of, non-graphical innovation in the placing of barricades that shepherd the globular aliens into your turrets and away from the glowing coil you’re protecting.

It’s a freemium game, though, so don’t be surprised when a difficulty spike has you reaching for an in-app purchase to top up your arsenal.




Top 10 best Android games: March 2012
Top 10 best Android games: February 2012
Top 10 best Android games: January 2012
Top 10 best Android games: December 2011
Top 10 best Android games: November 2011
Top 10 best Android games: October 2011
 

Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin 1 May 2012
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