This post was originally published on the Appszoom blog.
One major problem with the Play Store is the lack of ability to easily trawl through its underbelly in search of little known gold. I’m talking about buried treasure here, folks, the things you should be playing before everyone else, the titles you can feel super duper cool to have on your Android when they were still underground.
1. Star Realms
I’m about the furthest thing possible from the intended audience of Star Realms. I’ve never played Magic in my mom’s basement and CCGs aren’t my cuppa. That said, it’s immediately evident that Star Realms is exceptional within its genre.
It’s a classic deckbuilding game with loads of nuanced detail. The balance between luck and strategy feels just right, and ensures that no two games play out the same way. There are various AI levels to play against in campaign mode, or you can register online and play PvP. Users love it, so set my ignorance to the side and give it a whirl if you’re into the genre.
Check out the full review (8.0/10)
2. Star Nomad Elite
Star Nomad Elite feels a bit like a 2D Freelancer with a rich unfolding plot. Cavort your way through wormholes and starships to discover factions, trade routes, bigass battles, and ship upgrades. It’s shockingly complex for a mobile title, and the detailed graphics are the icing on the cake.
Check out the full review (7.3/10)
Siralim is like Dragon Warrior plus Pokémon in all of the right ways (dungeon crawling, monster collecting) and none of the wrong ones (slime grinding, Magikarp). It bills itself (correctly) as a roguelike RPG. Couple classic button-driven gameplay with a plot that unfolds rich with quests and highly varied segments of a huge world. Collect the most badass of well over 200 different creatures, train ‘em, and take down major baddies. There are spells and treasure and a castle and an elf who plays rigged money games. Graphics are the pixelliest of pixel art.
Check out the full review (8.3/10)
4. Star Traders 4X Empires
I’ll do the right thing and just go ahead and compare Star Traders 4X Empires to Alpha Centauri. It’s a massively complex turn-based expansion game complete with unfolding space saga. The level of detail is staggering; it takes some patience to dig into it even given the great tutorial. If you hang on for the ride, though, you’ll colonize star system after star system, taking the whole universe by storm.
Check out the full review (7.4/10)
5. Orbit Run
In Orbit Run, the aim is to not smash into obstacles that can be either inside or outside of a circle that you spin around. A tap switches which side you’re traversing. Could be I’m just not twitchy enough, but I never made it past three rotations, when the circle starts to rotate along with you just to make things truly absurd. If you want my take on it, there are way better quick-fail quick-retry casual games out there, but to each his own.
Check out the full review (6.4/10)
6. Ramble Planet
I know, I know — I wasn’t expecting anything with those garish graphics either. Hang tight and trust me: Ramble Planet is something really special. It’s a scavenger hunt game, wherein you’ve crash landed on a bizarre planet and must recuperate parts to rebuild your ship. Very little makes sense at the beginning and you’re given little guidance. However, there isn’t any way to die (at least, not that I’ve found); you won’t even engage in combat unless the odds are in your favor. Rather, you simply meander, tapping on everything that looks weird, usually to find out that, yes, it is weird, indeed.
The soundtrack is also nothing short of phenomenal.
Check out the full review (8.7/10)
Math nerds in spaaaaaace! Take down the enemy line by deploying your cards with the power of equations in Calculords. It feels like a brainy pat on the back when you can successfully use up all your number cards in sending your spaceman troops onto the battlefield, like defeating an extra layer of enemies you met back in elementary school math class.
Check out the full review (7.3/10)
Another casually mathy game: Sumico, wherein you gain points by connecting numbers and functions to equal your current goal number. There’s a series of set puzzles of increasing difficulty, but I found it much more zen to simply play the endless mode, where you can add, subtract, and multiple to infinitely geeky delight. Big kudos for a gorgeous visual design, too.
Check out the full review (8.2/10)
9. Idle Oil Tycoon
There’s something undeniably addictive about watching numbers climb ever higher on a screen, especially if those numbers are preceded by the almighty dollar sign. My fellow reviewer didn’t much care for the undiluted greed of Idle Oil Tycoon, but I found its stark capitalism charming. Invest in resources to plum ever more oil out of the earth. The resulting cash boon will net you the opportunity to purchase more resources to get more oil faster. Hire CEOs to get ‘em to punch the button for you while you’re away. Soon you’ll be swimming in it (although I’d choose the sea of greenbacks over the black gold there if I were you).
Check out the full review (6.2/10)