Android Police’s bi-weekly roundups have covered more than 750 games this year. That’s a hell of a lot for a site that’s not specifically about gaming, and picking out the top five is no small task. Before you read any further, take note of the following: I had a few criteria that games had to meet before being included in the following selections.
One, it needs to be a mobile game. There’s nothing wrong with porting a Steam title over to Android, or reviving a decades-old RPG or point-and-click adventure title for the Play Store. But the best and brightest new ideas shouldn’t be overshadowed by older properties, however popular they might be. Games that release on multiple platforms around the same time are fine. Second, games in this roundup don’t feature manipulative in-app purchase structures. Small IAPs for bonus content or getting rid of ads are fine, but asking $100 for ten thousand fake rubies is a big faux pas. (Yes, that disqualifies a lot of mobile games.)
Third, the games below are available for Android phones and tablets in general, with no exclusives. That isn’t to say that some of the games for SHIELD hardware or the new Daydream VR titles aren’t deserving, we just wanted this particular guide to be useful to as many people as possible.
Most pinball video games try to faithfully replicate the arcade games of old, with perhaps a few digital animations or power-ups. PinOut takes the core concept of pinball and combines it with endless mobile runners, something that’s just not possible with at conventional table. The core concept is faithful to the game and hits the same buttons in your brain, but the always-changing stages makes stages feel constantly refreshed.
It doesn’t hurt that PinOut’s neon-soaked aesthetic is gorgeous. This is future pinball as imagined by a coke-fueled graphic designer who time-warped to the present from 1983. Stages are stark but amazingly well-lit, animation is smooth and helps the eye track the ball, and the the synth-pop music brings everything together nicely. PinOut is free, with a single $3 in-app purchase to save your progress.
Pinball reinvented by the award-winning developers of Smash Hit and Does not Commute. Race against time in a continuous journey through this mysterious canyon of pulsating lights and throbbing retro wave beats. The classic pinball mechanic remodeled into a breathtaking arcade experience. PinOut is playable at no cost and free from ads. An optional premium upgrade is available through a one-time in-app purchase that will enable the ability to continue from checkpoints.