Here is my pick of the top 5 best Android games you can download from the Google Play store this holiday season
1. Call of Champions
Call of Champions is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) for Android, in which you play as a hero in one of two teams of three. Each of these heroes has their own unique abilities which you must employ in order to take down the enemy base in short battles that reward strategy and co-operative play as much as quick-thinking.
Call of Champions borrows quite heavily from League of Legends, both in art and mechanics, but the good news is that it does so effectively. Though it’s not quite as nuanced, it is a first class MOBA and arguably the best on Android. MOBA games rely on balance to be competitive and it's no small feat that developer Spacetime Games has managed to achieve this in a free-to-play mobile title. Just note that you will need a fairly powerful device to play it.
2. Dead Effect 2
This is another not-so-original Android title (even its name is a cross between two other games, Mass Effect and Dead Space). It’s a free-to-play first person shooter that takes place onboard a zombie infested space station and sees you killing mutants and solving some light puzzles in order to survive.
Dead Effect 2's major strength is that it looks incredible – the graphics are really pushing boundaries. The movement controls are a little floaty by default but, thankfully, they’re completely customizable. What it lacks in gameplay depth, Dead Effect 2 makes up for in polish. If you want something that feels like a console FPS on Android, this is it.
3.Need for Speed: No Limits
Need for Speed: No Limits is almost the complete opposite of Prune. It’s big and loud, and is the latest game in a long-running race series. EA has pushed out a number of these titles on Android, and this latest installment sees you competing in races in order to improve your reputation and your car.
The game takes place in an urban setting and the races are often short and sweet – some take less than a minute to complete – making it ideal for short sessions. EA nails the look and feel of the cars and environments, and the game is undeniably polished, but do expect in-app purchases.
4.Lara Croft GO
Following the success of last year's Hitman GO, Square Enix has given the Tomb Raider franchise the same treatment. Lara Croft GO is set within the Tomb Raider world, but it doesn’t exactly play like a Tomb Raider title: it's turn-based and focuses on puzzles rather than action.
But somehow, it works. There are 75 inventive puzzles across five chapters, the cel-shaded aesthetics are wonderful and the game is a decent length. It does feature in-app purchases, but they're cheap and not essential. It’s well worth a look for five bucks and if you don’t like it, you can get a refund.
MADFINGER Games, the folks behind Dead Trigger 1 and Dead Trigger 2, have now released Dea… er, UNKILLED, a new and completely different kind of first-person zombie shooter. In it, you blast your way through New York City streets during the onset of a zombie apocalypse, using the left side of the screen for movement and the right side for aim.
Because your weapon fires automatically once something is in your sights, the controls of the game feel incredibly smooth. There’s a cheesy storyline to follow, but the real fun is in blasting through undead hordes with extras like rockets and 'bullet-time' buffs. If you want to see what the latest tech is capable of, you need to check this game out.
This is my pick for the top 5 Android games. Do you have a favorite of your own? Add to the list of great android games in the comments below.