It doesn’t matter how often you say that you “don’t play phone games“ – we all know you definitely do. Just because you’re not the type to openly blast your Facebook friends with requests for diamonds or help reviving your crops, doesn’t mean we haven’t seen you furiously tapping at your addictive game on your commute (we saw the reflection of your screen in the train window) or checking on your football manager score at your desk (spotted you on the way to the kitchen).
It’s OK though, we’re all in the same boat – Android games are getting seriously epic, we love the ones with actual endings, and with constantly innovating screens and software, some games are now even rivalling console standard. Of course, the exciting Samsung S7 provides the perfect opportunity to take a look at what cool concepts and creative designs game developers are working on.
Here are our must-have free Android games for 2016…
Shall we start off with the most revolutionary, nostalgic and talked-about mobile game of, maybe, all time? Rousing the rosy-tinted memories of twenty-somethings across the globe, the game-changing (pun intended) app has a simple premise: gotta catch ‘em all! Travel far and wide and your game will reflect a real life GPS map littered with cute lil’ Pokemon who inhabit parks, shops, houses and streets. Reach a certain level to compete against other players, evolve your menagerie of critters and enjoy a game that actually gets you out and about. It really hits out retro gaming itch while being shiny and new. You can even meet new people! Best. Game. Ever.
The Angry Birds franchise is definitely the “Snake” of the smartphone era – but just on an epic, grand scale. Gone are the simple days of launching a few birds at a pile of pigs, these days the strategic physics element of getting the angle juuuust right is absolutely vital. Those birds are so furious they’ve now found themselves in space and the different gravity levels of various solar systems and planets means you have to adjust your strategy for every new stage of the game. With fun graphics and the surprise factor of every level – it’s an essential Android-friendly game to load onto your new Samsung S7.
With the Samsung S7’s stunning new screen, you’ll need to have something with amazing graphics. We think Badland definitely meets this criteria. As far as Android games go, this one is actually really beautiful, albeit a little violent. You play a cute fluffy ball-like character, Clony, who travels through a forest during the course of the day, trying to navigate through increasingly dangerous and threatening-looking machines that seem to be overtaking the lush surroundings. The changing colours of dawn to dusk act as a background for the dreamlike silhouette-style gameplay – and there’s the option to buy more adventures with in-app purchases too.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” screamed a thousand Final Fantasy fans the day that this mobile game was announced. Known as the most endearing and heart-warming of the FF franchise, the entire Playstation RPG experience, first launched in 2000, is now available on phones and tablets alike. Prepare for some updated graphics and a few tweaks and improvements, but also all the brilliant characters, breathtaking cut-scenes and (obviously the best thing) the atmospheric music, all on your Samsung S7.
Everyone needs a racing game on their Android phone, but instead of the usual cars and nature backdrops – why not try something a little more like the entire world has ended and been replaced with massive, nihilistic skyscraper style blocks? The simplicity of the design of this game (you’re zooming through a Tron-like dark space, trying to avoid the blocks) is actually strangely refreshing, and the techno soundtrack would, we have to admit, sound excellent on those famously good Samsung speakers. Mildly trippy, but worth it for the added focus you get when you’re not getting distracted by an overly pixelated Monaco-style backdrop.
The thing that makes Android gaming so satisfying is multiplayer games. Yes, there are plenty of serious multiplayer games out there, but Spaceteam is absolutely the one you need to download, as it may be the most fun multiplayer out there right now. You and your friends are on a (theoretical) spaceship which is completely falling apart, and each have a complicated dashboard on your phone. Random instructions will appear (“Reset the Synchronous Z-Loop”) which you need to shout out loud so that the person who has that function can act upon it. Yep – you need to actually work as a team to save yourselves from utter destruction, but the hysteria of you all shouting and shaking your phones around plus the increasingly insane instructions will end up with laughter and, possibly, failure.
Otherwise known as ‘The Girlfriend’s Misery’ – Fallout takes over everyone’s lives with every new launch. Interestingly, their mobile offering, Fallout Shelter, is pretty universally appealing – it’s kind of like The Sims but with a nuclear war undercurrent. The world has ended and people are living underground – but you have the power to build a new community. Create residential blocks, restaurants, bars, industrial power supplies and also help your growing population get along and *ahem* procreate. Gameplay is smooth and natural with their unique cartoonish graphic style, filled with tiny details you’ll want to zoom in and coo over.
Are you the kind of person who legitimately loved filling out Sudoku puzzles, back when they were a thing? Then this is the kind of quiet, cerebral puzzle game where you’ll absolutely thrive. You start with a simple Helium element and have to creatively combine your atoms to fill out the periodic table. Half the fun is working out exactly how to do that so we’re not going to give anything away, suffice to say that when you make gold for the first time, you feel like an absolute boss.
We’ve got some pretty cool games on this list – beautiful games, epic games, multi-player games. So of course, we needed a curveball. Yes, we know the Samsung S7 is the perfect platform for incredible graphics or complex gameplay, but there’s been a real move towards retro charm in the game industry and we couldn’t ignore it. So, please welcome “Wrassling” – the tongue-in-cheek and heavily pixelated wrestling game that’s so enjoyable it’s almost a crime. Watch your 7-pixeled brightly coloured guy flailing about in the ring and do your best to flip everyone else out. It’s not the most hardcore Android game out there, but we challenge you to play it for 30 seconds and not LOL.
Main pic credit: Via Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns
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