TL;DR: jump to the list.
What I don’t like about Android games
I do love playing on my phone, but I’m also quite picky when it comes to choosing what I actually install. That’s why I sometimes spend a lot of time perusing the Play Store in search for my next favourite pastime. What usually puts me off is the extremely commercial nature of most games, especially those based on luck (Candy Crush anyone?). They make some levels impossible to finish unless you buy their boosters and what not and that annoys me greatly. I admit I finished Bubble Witch 2 once, but I lost interest after those 200 or so levels. I also don’t like games where you just endlessly build things (like The Simpsons Tapped Out) – I get bored of doing the same thing time and time again. In addition, most of these are also meant to make a profit by determining people to spend real money, so you advance to the point where you can no longer complete challenges or you have zero space left to build and you can’t do anything about it. Pointless games also bore me. That’s the sort where the only thing you can achieve is more points by repeating the same action over and over and getting better at it (remember Flappy Bird?). Other examples include ZigZag and Jelly Jump.
(Free) Good Android games are hard to find
The problem is that games and apps are featured in the store based on a number of factors, including reviews and ratings. However, the disadvantage is that there are loads of products that remain hidden if they don’t manage to get “out there” right from the start, while huge games like Candy Crush and the likes stay at the top (kind of like a snowball effect – the more downloads and ratings there are, the more it gets featured, consequently generating even more downloads, reviews and ratings).
Google does realise that apps and games with great potential might get lost in the vastness of their store, so luckily they came up with Editors’ Choice and Staff Picks. You can have a look through, but personally when it comes to games, Editors’ Choice doesn’t do the trick for me either.
What I like
I especially like games that have a story. The Wolf Among Us is the best example that comes to mind (The Walking Dead is supposedly better, but I haven’t played it yet and Telltale Games also launched a Game of Thrones adventure too!). However, these are all paid games. The other type of games that I love doesn’t have stories, nor adventures, but they require a bit of strategy and thinking and so you’ll see them in my list below. Have fun!
1. Drop 7 – Top of my list! This is such a good game, where you need to think and make the best decisions in order to keep the game running for as long as possible. The thing I love about it most is that it really doesn’t seem to be made to rip people off. The paid version gets rid of ads (which is just one, for Amazon; it comes up quite rarely and it doesn’t even bother me) and there are not add-ons or paid help. It’s just you and the game. It also benefits from Leaderboards and Achievements to give you some extra motivation.
2. Words on Tour – I want to say a big “Thanks!” to Zynga for making this game. While there is plenty of stuff to buy and they remind you constantly to do so, the levels are well-designed and appear to depend more on your vocabulary skills than on luck or your pocket. Additionally, they now introduced a Daily Bonus where you can actually easily get coins and boosters for free if you really must. I already finished the current 245 level and I’m looking forward to more! This one has Achievements too and they are really fun to complete.
3. An Alien with a Magnet – It’s been an all-time favourite for quite a long time. Its downside is that it’s no longer updated, but the stuff that’s already there is awesome! I love the graphics, the way it’s made into an adventure, the very simple concept and everything around that. It has levels and bonus levels that you need to discover and it’s a pleasure to play. Go on and download it right now!
4. Amazing Alex – Don’t say I cheated by introducing this one in my list just because it’s old, abandoned and incompatible with the latest devices. I really miss it and I think it’s a pity they didn’t take it further. It was well-designed, the idea was original and it was so much fun seeing those complicated apparatuses work in the end after trying and trying. If you still have an older device that runs it, play it for me please!
5. Cut the Rope – This one includes all the variations and versions they rolled out. It’s cute, there’s some thinking involved (especially if you want all three stars for every level) and the main character is called Om Nom. What more do you want?
6. Pudding Monsters – I find this game very similar to the previous one. You need to work for those stars and it’s very enjoyable doing so.
There you go. Please let me know if you have other suggestions and I’ll do my best to update the list when I find more great things to add.