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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Top 5 Game Controllers for Android

Love playing games on your Android Phone/Tablet? Want a better way to play them? Android Game Controllers are here to make your life easy! Heres our list of Top 5 Game controllers for Android
Before we start there are certain things you have to keep in mind about game controllers:
  • There is no ‘one’ universal game controller in the market for now
  • One controller won’t play all android games on all devices
  • Check the peripheral’s site for a ‘supported devices’ list
  • Some controllers will require batteries
  • The controllers in this review are not ranked in any particular order
Having said that, let’s BEGIN!

Red Samurai Wireless Game Controller V2

Price: $24.99
Red Samurai Controller

It has two connections modes that it can operate in. The Red Samurai is comfortable to hold and nicer to look at than the others. Although it is still pretty light, it doesn’t feel cheaply made with a price tag of $24.99. You will find the Android controllerUSB charging cable and User Instructions inside the box. List of Games supported as on the box are Cordy, Monster Madness, RipTide GP, Sonic CD, Shadow Gun, Sleepy Jack, GTA 3 and MaxPayne. Its also good for racing games like Buggy Blitz
  • Simple set up
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Rechargeable unit with built in batteries and charging cable included
  • Designed to work with select Android tablets
 The Good: 
The directional pad and analog sticks are responsive and the placement of the buttons and general feel of the controller is very nice. The price wont exactly burn a hole in your pocket at $24.99 either. The grip on the handlers is awesome.
The Bad:
When you swap to another application that utilizes your keyboard, you are only able to see suggested words, not the full keypad. Being unresponsive for games without key-mapping option is also a bit of a worry.

Nyko PlayPad

Price: $39.99 
Nyko 1
The Nyko PlayPad comes up in a good package with a Case to hold your Tablet/Phone standController,  USB charger and User Manual. This one has four different controller modes – HID (Standard game controls), mouse mode, iCade(iOS devices) and App Mode to use it with the Nyko Playground App(to customize the keys for keyboard mouse and apps). It controls your favorite tablet games with console like precision.
  • Optimized HID protocol for Tegra®3 based devices and games
  • Includes Nyko’s free Playground app with the ability to customize controller layout and download game profiles for older titles
  • Works with any Bluetooth® enabled device running Android 3.0 or higher
  • Compact design fits in included case for easy travel and packing
  • Included tablet stand holds tablet in horizontal or vertical orientation
Nyko 3

The Good:
No Rooting Required. Tablet stand support is added advantage. Its easy to use and quite smooth.
The Bad:
You have to disconnect the controller whenever you need to type.
Nyko 2

SteelSeries Free Mobile Gaming Controller 

Price: $79.99
This one is the costliest in the list. It is a wireless controller with Bluetooth to hook up to your device. It’s analog sticks are subtly textured to prevent slippage. It has Cross-platform compatibility with PC, Mac®, Android smartphones and tablets, and iDevices including iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod Touch®
Steelseries Free
  • Classic controller layout with two joysticks, Dpad, two trigger buttons, four-button layout, and select/start buttons
  • You can Remap all 12 buttons via SteelSeries Engine
  • Light indicators for pairing and switching between multiple device platforms
  • Rechargeable battery with an estimated 10 hrs of continuous, wireless play time
  • Auto power save will turn off the controller after more than 3 mins of being idle
The company boasts of a recharge time of just 2 hrs, which is amazing! SteelSeries FREE App for mobile devices will provide users with the quick start guide, and direct access to SteelSeries Engine support.
Steelseries Free 2
Now for the Good and the Bad bit -
The Good:
Good compatibility with Windows Mac, Android games. :  Grand Theft Auto 3, RipTide GP and also popular titles like Temple Run, Pac-Man, Warblade HD are supported along with a tonne of games listed on their site. Controller will work up to 20 feet away from your computer or device.
The Bad:
The Price is too damn high! This one is for hardcore game controller lovers only!

Moga Mobile Gaming System

Price: $49.99
Moga 1
It connects via Bluetooth to devices running Android 2.3 or higher, and it has its own app that guides you through the setup process and directs you to supported games. Obviously u cant attach Tablets its flip out tray, but you can experience how the Nvidia project shield would look in your hands!
  • Dual analog sticks, shoulder triggers and four action buttons offer the control you need for the games you want
  • Your phone snaps right in – up to 3.2 in./82mm, the largest phones in the market – or kick back and game on your tablet. Works with Bluetooth enabled Android 2.3+ smartphones and tablets
  • Counterbalanced design and rubberized grips minimize wrist fatigue during mobile gaming sessions
  • 18 hours of gameplay with 2 (1.5v) AAA batteries (not included)
Moga 2

The Good :
Controller and phone can be combined into one unit. No of games supported is high. Better for playing while travelling, you can play in public transport is an advantage over the other controllers.
The Bad:
Will require rechargeable batteries if used daily. The controller can at times block access to your phone’s volume controls. No support for classic game emulators.

Sony PlayStation DualShock or SixAxis controller

Sony DualShock 3
This one wasn’t exactly meant for playing on Android devices or Android games, but that’s what the specialty of a Sony product is. The technology will help you to play with it on Android devices, although one thing is to be considered here - Root access is required, and an app to pair the device is necessary. I would suggest this only if you’re already rooted then it’s worth it or otherwise it just adds many steps to play your favourite game with a controller. So if ur device is rooted enjoy the fruit!
The Good : 
No need to buy one if u already have a PlayStation. So you can tecnically have it for free!
The Bad :
Requires Rooting your device, which isn’t really bad. But quite a lot of tinkering is required, to find compatible games and mapping functions.

Our Take

The most no of games supported are in the Steelseries Free, which isn’t much if you see the number of games in the Play Store which run without controller support or aren’t designed to. That means that mobile gaming is not really ready yet to support a return to the days where you would sit in front of a screen with a controller in your hand!
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Ball of Woe tops Android Games of the Week

Ball of Woe (Free)

This game from Doppler Interactive is a unique platformer, in which the people of Nicetown have rolled their sadness up into a little ball and set it loose on the world. Of course, everything goes wrong, and the ball must save everyone and go to a Heaven “of sorts.” Ball of Woe employs swipe control, and your goal is to roll the ball away from the Nicetown folks. Visuals aren't exactly high-resolution, but they are stylish and definitely cool to look at. And then you have the soundtrack, which is quite engaging, and a story that is actually quite compelling for a mobile game.

Stereoride (Free)

This little gem from Moarbile Games puts you in the cockpit of a space ship that flies around and collects stars, while avoiding being smashed to smithereens by asteroids. Sounds a bit basic, yes, but what makes Stereoride interesting is that you can plug your music into it, and the game will generate the visible universe based on your music’s sounds. You'll have to see it to believe it, but I assure you that it is quite the compelling experience.

Syder Arcade HD ($0.99)

While we're talking about space games, I feel it’s the right time to bring up Syder Arcade, a space shooter - not unlike Geometry Wars - with quite the hard edge. Though this is the kind of game you'd normally expect to play with a twin-stick gamepad on a home console or a PC, touch controls are more than adequate, and man does this thing just look gorgeous. Syder Arcade from Studio Evil is one of those games for which you'll need to close all your background apps or else you might get some stutter. Did I mention this game is really hard?

Briquid ($3.56)

Gamious' effort is a puzzler that involves moving water from one place to another, but it really isn't anything likeWhere's My Water? at all. In this game, your attempts are aided by your ability to add and remove bricks to the puzzle area and shift the direction from which gravity draws the water. All of this is wrapped up in a really old-style visual experience, and it really wouldn't have been surprising to see this title running on PCs in the late 80s. Instead, it's here now, and it's high quality.

Forever Lost: Episode 1 ($2.33)

As we've discussed before, more old-style adventure games should make a home on mobile because touch controls just screams for those types of games. Forever Lost: Episode 1 by Glitch Games, with its Myst-ish gameplay, is almost an ideal mobile experience with its interface, and it's pretty creepy to boot. Also, it has a hint system that will help you out when you encounter difficulties, and so you won't get stuck in a room for weeks like you probably did with Myst back in the day.

Metal Slug 2 ($3.99)

SNK has a good track record for bringing old games to Android, and they've finally given us Metal Slug 2, a side-scrolling shooter many gamers loved when they were younger. This game is a classic of a genre nearly lost to time, and so it's worth a look for that reason alone. The game comes with a co-op feature, just like the original version, which you can enable via Bluetooth. So you get a great game, and you don't have to feel antisocial toward the people you know in real life in order the play it. That's a rare feat in mobile games, which too often focus on online play rather than couch co-op or local competitive multiplayer. Metal Slug 2 demands your attention.
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In the Name of Action – The Best Action Games for Android

Grand Theft Auto III
grand-theft-auto-androidThis is a true PC classic. Driving fast cars, shooting with powerful guns, dangerous missions, beautiful girls – it has it all. The mobile version offers you the chance to explore Liberty City as much as you like – there are hours and hours of potential fun available to those willing to try. The game is in HD resolution with stunning sounds and graphics. It runs on any Android phone or tablet running versions of Android 2.2 and higher, but you do need at least 1GB of free space. It is paid and there is no free or demo version, but the cost is around $5, so it is really worth it.
Download: Google Play
Fruit NinjafruitninjaThis game, on the other hand, is a purely mobile creation. Attempts have been made at making a viable PC alternative, but nothing can bring as much satisfaction as moving your finger to squish, slice and splat various juicy fruit. The unbelievably amazing sounds, the three great game-play modes, the bonuses and the numerous unlockable backgrounds and blades, all contribute to making this game an absolute hit. It runs on Android 2.1 and higher and it allows multiplayer and posting scores on online leader-boards. There is a free version which is fully operational, but it includes a lot of ads and a paid version which eliminates that inconvenience at the super low price of around $1.
Paid Version: Google Play
Free Version: Google Play
Angry Birds Space Premiumangry-birds-spaceRovio’s unchallenged game hit comes with a whole new interstellar look in Angry Birds Space Premium. The game offers more than 150 amazing levels with entirely new birds, powers and much more. All the laws of gravity players had to abide by in previous versions are completely gone and the game-play is taken to a whole new level. The game runs on Android 2.2 and higher and only has a paid version, but it costs around $1.
Download: Google Play
Osmos HD
‘Survival of the fittest’ becomes ‘survival of the biggest’ in this amazing game of ‘eat or be eaten’ action. Many levels, game modes, universes and Petri dishes are available to players, all abiding by the most basic laws of physics. Both the soundtrack and the levels are completely captivating, which is why you risk getting addicted… The game has a free demo version, but it cannot provide you with the same level of satisfaction as the paid version – and that only costs around $3.
Paid Version: Google Play
Free Version: Google Play
Plants vs. Zombies
This game started as a PC hit, but its mobile version offers even more fun and excitement. Out of all tower defense games available today, this one is undoubtedly a leader as everything, from the plants to the zombies, is unbelievably enjoyable. The game offers tens of plant and zombie types, plus more than 50 levels set in daylight, night-time, mystical fogs and much more. It has no free version, but at around $3, it is a complete bargain.
Download: Google Play

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Friday, February 22, 2013

15 Android Sports Games

9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2013

9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2013 by Com2uS does a fairly deft job at blending together simulation, arcade, and fantasy sports elements into a single coherent free-to-play baseball game. Choose from a set of MLB teams with full 25-man rosters updated to 2012 and mapped out to match their real-world performance and stats. The actual gameplay is a highly configurable experience, with the option to play only offense, defense, half-innings, or full games. An additional fantasy element is introduced with an achievement and trading card mechanic that allows players to unlock special abilities, upgraded versions of players, or players from different teams, allowing you to create a custom, all-star lineup.
Verdict: A good baseball game that's got something in it to please arcade, sim, and fantasy baseball fans alike.

Baseball Superstars 2013

For a more lighthearted fantasy take on baseball, try Gamevil's latest iteration of their anime-inspired Baseball Superstars series, a free-to-play baseball game with a very RPG-like character progression system. Create your own character and take to the field as a pitcher or batter in fictional baseball teams, earning coins and stars to unlock vanity items, stat buffs for your player or team, and more. Off the field, partake in various sidequests, challenges and RPG elements to advance your character.

Verdict: Don't let the cute anime graphics fool you, this game has some surprising depth and progression built around an arcade pitching and batting core. We only wish it had more tutorials so as not to drop you in the deep end almost immediately.

Flick Baseball

Flick Baseball is a nice, arcadey baseball pitching game that puts you in the shoes of a pitcher trying to strike out as many batters as possible. Simple flick controls allow you to aim and spin your pitch, while a stamina bar serves as your life meter (with every ball and hit reducing your stamina). Coins and powerups are strewn across the strikebox, and can be collected by tossing your ball in the appropriate direction. While the blocky graphics and art style aren't anything to write home about, the gameplay itself is pretty amusing. Sadly, the game has the propensity to crash unexpectedly.

Verdict: A fun, light-hearted arcade pitching game with unfortunate stability issues.

Real Racing 2

EA's Real Racing series features some jaw-dropping graphics and smooth controls for a mobile racing game. While we wait with baited breath for the free to play Real Racing 3, have a run with Real Racing 2, the latest iteration of the franchise. With 30 licensed cars, 15 tracks, a solid career mode, quick races, and time trials, Real Racing 2 delivers some pretty awesome racing eye candy.

Awesome graphics and slick controls make for a great mobile racing game.

Reckless Racing 2

For a more arcade racing experience, try top-down driving game Reckless Racing 2, which dials down the redneck attitude in exchange for a deeper and more content filled game. Compete in Career mode to unlock new cars and upgrades, have a blast with Arcade mode's challenges, or indulge in some multiplayer racing fun. An extensive customization system, adaptive difficulty, and local and online multiplayer round out the game.

Verdict: Frenetic, fun and graphically impressive arcade racing.

Riptide GP


Riptide GP is a graphically impressive jet ski racing game from Vector Unit, the same minds behind the hit Hydro Thunder Hurricane game for Xbox Live Arcade. Featuring sleek, futuristic courses, 7 different jet skis to master, as well as Race, Hot Lap, and Championship modes, Riptide gives you loads of adrenaline pumping racing action. Unfortunately, it doesn't sport multiplayer. The hardware requirements mean older devices won't run it, and the tilt-based control scheme might not be to some players' liking.

Verdict: The graphics quality is a joy, as is the racing itself. Too bad there's no multiplayer, or we might score it higher.


Madden NFL 12


Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 12 is a solid if pricy continuation of the Madden NFL franchise. This Android port brings over some slick graphics, as well as controls and gameplay that can satisfy the American Football aficionado and newbie alike. Slow-time and mechanics such as "Total Defensive Control" "Action Control Time," and the ability to draw "hot routes" on screen allow for as much or as little control over plays as you need. Seasoned football junkies can take command of every aspect of the play, while less seasoned players can let the Gameflow system automatically recommend plays so that they can focus on the action.

Verdict: A worthy standard-bearer for the Madden franchise on the Android, with something for skilled and new players alike.


NFL Pro 2013


Gameloft's NFL Pro 2013 is a free-to-play American Football title that aims to bring a deep but accessible NFL title to the Android platform. Much like the Madden series, players choose between various play formations when on the attack and defense, with players than taking command of the execution. Unfortunately, NFL Pro 2013 is saddled with the limitations of free-to-play, with players starting out with an extremely limited playbook. New strategies are unlocked by grinding for in-game currency or paying up-front with real cash. Still, it is free-to-play, and if you're looking for a good American Football games on Android, this one's a pretty good call.

Verdict: A good American Football game even with the limitations of free-to-play.



Electronic Arts' FIFA 12 is a single-player football game that puts players in the shoes of some of the most famous football teams and leagues worldwide. Controls and gameplay are pretty slick, the animations are well rendered and the numerous gameplay modes such as League, Cup, and Kick Off modes are neat, but the game does lack multiplayer (which may have to wait until EA ports over FIFA 13 it seems).

Verdict:A well made slick football game for the Android.


Real Soccer 2013


Gameloft's Real Soccer 2013 is an okay attempt at making a freemium football game. Players take command of a club, build up and manage their roster, and then take to the field against their rivals. Gameplay is a mixed bag, with pretty good graphics quality, but rather disorienting in-game player selection that either sees the computer forcing you to leap willy-nilly from one player to another, or have you fumbling with the manual controls to get to the player you want. In addition, the freemium model is particularly jarring, with players having to grind large amounts of time and effort for paltry rewards, and a club management system that is pretty much designed to part you with your money through microtransactions.

Verdict: You can't fault Gameloft's production values, but you can fault the wonky controls and the grindy economy that really prioritizes microtransactions.

Flick Soccer



A more arcade-like, pick up and play sort of game, Flick Soccer focuses on the good stuff: Kicking the ball at targets. Flick Soccer takes the "flick a ball at a target" genre and gives it loads of spit, polish, and production value to present a surprisingly addictive arcade experience. Quickshot mode challenges you to hit a moving bullseye being defended by the keeper with a time attack countdown, while Endurance mode gives you three balls, taking one away for every missed goal. Challenge mode rewards precision shots, and a surprisingly satisfying Smash It mode where you have to smash panes of glass positioned around the goal mouth.

Verdict: A simple, addictive pastime for under a dollar. Great fun, if not particularly deep.


Football Manager Handheld 2013


On the absolute opposite end of the spectrum is Sega's Football Manager Handheld 2013, a game that eschews action for the strategic savvy needed to take a prestigious club to the top of the rankings. A fantasy sports management game on steroids, Football Manager Handheld 2013 takes the franchise's well honed formula and adds polish to it. Featuring an updated player and team lineup, new playable leagues, and other tweaks, Football Manager Handheld 2013 isn't so much a revolutionary leap as it is an iterative advance, making a great sports management game that much better.

Verdict: Pretty much best of breed for football management simulations. Definitely something for the more strategic and logistically inclined players out there. Look for your adrenaline rush somewhere else.

Virtua Tennis Challenge



Sega's Virtua Tennis Challenge takes the venerable sports franchise mobile, letting players choose from among 50 fictional players in their quest to become the number one tennis player. Players can choose from a custom, gesture-centric control interface, or a more traditional virtual gamepad as they cut loose with lobs, slices, drop shots, and more. The SPT World Tour mode challenges you to advance to the top by competing in new tournaments daily, exhibition matches allow you to just cut loose with a fun game, and you can even challenge your friends to a multiplayer match over Bluetooth.

Verdict: A good mobile port for the Virtua Tennis franchise that provides a good amount of challenge, slick presentation, and multiplayer.





The venerable NBA Jam comes to the Android, bringing its funky, big-headed 2v2 arcade zaniness to basketball lovers. A light-hearted and action-packed port of the 2010 release, NBA Jam delivers familiar arcade thrills while also updating the player lineup to the 2012 season. Play through the Campaign mode to unlock teams, players, and cheats, and then go wild with the more freeform Play Now mode. An additional feature is WiFi multiplayer allowing you to go head to head with your friends for some crazy basketball fun.

Verdict: NBA Jam takes a good arcade sports game formula and pulls it off well on Android.

 NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 dials up the simulation aspect, with players taking command of a full 5v5 basketball game at the helm of their favorite NBA teams. Quick match mode allows for freeform play, while a more in-depth multiseason mode offers a deeper campaign and team management experience. A fun feature is the "greatest games" mode, which allows players to recreate particularly famous matches complete challenge thresholds to meet. While the soundtrack curated by Jay-Z is solid, the graphics disappoint during the many close-up shots, looking extremely blocky. There is also no multiplayer mode at the moment.

Verdict: While it might not be an incredibly awesome sports game to rival console titles, NBA 2K13 is certainly a pretty good mobile basketball game.

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Die For Metal Android Game Review

A new platform style game has been released over at Google Play that’s full of metal music and death. The game is called Die for Metal and is being developed by SinSquid Games. The soundtrack of the game alone is enough to give you all that raging energy that will charge up your gaming experience.
die for metal
Die for Metal available for download at a price of $1.10. You will need a device running on at least Android 1.6 as well as a storage space of 35 MB.
The game mechanics is quite simple. You have to complete each level while avoiding any obstacles.  If you get hit by any of the obstacles you immediately die. Once you have completed the game your character will get to join metal band.

The hard part of the game is that it’s difficult to avoid the obstacles. It will take a lot of practice before you can proceed to the next level. The game developers have even added a death count with your total score which is a way of anticipating that you will really get to die a lot of times in this game. Aside from avoiding obstacles you will also get to collect skulls.

The controls are quite simple to master. You can run left, run right, jump, jump high, and do walls jump. This is pretty much all the controls provided to you.

What is probably the best part of this title is its graphics and soundtrack. The game uses a dark themed graphics where everything seems to explode. If your character dies he explodes. If you try to replay a level your character explodes. When you try to touch some things in the game they explode. I could say that this is a pretty explosive game.

The soundtrack of the game is great and will definitely appeal to metal fans everywhere. There are over a dozen tracks included in this game with some of them unlockable from the main menu.

Overall, Die For Metal is a unique Android game that’s definitely worth downloading.

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20 best Android apps this week

It's time for our weekly roundup of new and notable Android apps – those released for the first time this week, or which have been newly ported from smartphones to tablets (or vice versa).
The roundup includes apps and games, and the pricing in brackets relates to the initial download – some apps listed as free may include in-app purchases. The iOS roundup will follow later in the day.
Here's this week's pick of the Google Play store:

BBC Sport (Free)

The Beeb has ported its iOS sports app to Android smartphones and tablets, promising news, live text commentary, fixtures and tables, and a mixture of live and on-demand video and audio from a range of events. The BBC is promising more features to be added in the coming months, including team customisation and homescreen widgets.

Pocket Stables (£2.99)

I can't over-stress how obsessed I get with every new simulation game from Japanese developer KairoSoft, even though they all use a pretty similar formula. Here, you're managing a racehorse ranch, training up horses to win prizes, while breeding new colts. Looks like a real battery-chewer (the game, not the horses – that wouldn't be healthy).

Hotel Tonight (Free)

HotelTonight's same-day hotel bookings app has been available on Android smartphones for a while, but it's now been redesigned for Google-powered tablets. Supporting cities in the US and abroad – 16 in Europe including London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham – it puts the emphasis on photography of hotels, and promises bookings in less than eight seconds when time's a pressure.

Newscover (Free)

Flipboard, News360, Zite... Android is spoilt for choice when it comes to news aggregation/discovery apps. Newscover is the latest, promising to learn your interests as you read news stories, then serve up more articles it thinks you'll like. It's available in Spanish and English versions, with the option to log in using Twitter and Facebook for further personalisation.

Mokriya Craigslist (Free)

This app isn't from listings website Craigslist itself, but it IS "officially licensed" by the company. What's more, it's very slickly designed – more so than the site by a long chalk. The app helps you browse listings, including by location, while setting alerts and push notifications for specific kinds. You can also post your own listings from within the app.

Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Free)

If your Android smartphone has one of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors inside, this new (beta) app aims to eke out more battery time and optimise the device – simply by running in the background and adapting to usage. Very useful, although I wonder how many people who could benefit won't, because they don't know what chips are inside their phone.

Alien Breed (£2.99)

Retro treat of the week comes from Team 17 with an Android remake of its top-down shooter Alien Breed, which came out in 1991 originally. The game offers a choice of classic and enhanced modes – beefier graphics and sound in the latter, as well as touch-tweaked controls – as well as four new levels, and social leaderboards.

Sidebar Pro (£1.28)

There's some very good buzz around Sidebar, an app to help Android users multi-task with a sidebar of their most frequently-used apps. "Simply swipe in from the edge of the screen to gain instant access to the apps you use most," as the Google Play listing puts it.

The Sandbox (Free)

The Sandbox is one of a clutch of pixel-art creation-games to have appeared in recent months, inspired by Minecraft but with an emphasis on 2D worlds rather than 3D. The game offers 71 levels to work through, as you trigger chemical reactions, generate lifeforms and try to build the Pyramids. Wonderful stuff. (Free) is one of the apps trying to aggregate people's social posts around specific events and locations. Which sounds like tech-pseudy rubbish, I know, but there's something to it: the app gathers photos, tweets and videos from an event and sorts them into collections, with the ability to cluster friends for this purpose too.

Hexen GLES (£1.31)

Another famous game comes to Android: a 3D hardware-accelerated port of first-person title Hexen, released by developer Kokak. And while it's probably something for more technical users comfortable with downloading IWAD files, it's still good to see.

B&Q Club (Free)

British retailer B&Q has worked with Grapple Mobile on this app for its loyalty club, serving up offers and discounts to members, while letting newcomers sign up from their phones. Competitions and local store details are also included.

Sporos (Free)

Puzzle game Sporos wants to stretch your brain, as you light up cells in patterns using a "sporos" seed, dragging pieces around the screen to the strains of "soothing electronic music". Hundreds of levels should provide a decent challenge.

Flashout 3D (£1.29)

Android isn't just about retro games this week. Flashout 3D is new, albeit clearly influenced by Wipeout. It's a futuristic racing game with lots of ships, tracks and upgrades to explore, and an intriguing-sounding "interactive equalizer" feature that matches the in-game music to the on-track visuals.

BB - Trouble with Chores (£1.93)

Available globally but possibly of most interest to Americans who grew up with the Berenstain Bears books, this is a storybook app for children that sees Papa Bear and his cubs trying to get out of helping Mama Bear with the housework. Expect voice narration, word-highlighting to help young readers, and (possibly) less rampantly-sexist 4-8 year-olds as a result.

Manos: The Hands of Fate (£1.60)

Okay, Android is quite a lot about retro games this week. Manos: The Hands of Fate is a new title that looks like an old one: "An homage to the great games you remember from your childhood... When the streets were filled with bats, ghosts and Frankenstein monsters".

What a Bad Dream (£0.64)

Another famous American storybook series – Little Critter – is being digitised for smartphones and tablets by publisher Oceanhouse Media. This latest app sees him having a bad dream, with similar voice narration and reading features to the Berenstain Bears app. This time, the target audience is 2-5 year-olds.

Greenify *ROOT* (Free)

As the name makes clear, this is an app for rooted Android devices only (if you're not aware of the phenomenon, Wikipedia is your friend, by the way). Greenify promises to keep your smartphone running smoothly, including booting "bad behaving apps into hibernation" if they're sucking up battery life or hogging the memory.

Perfect365 (Free)

Who needs physical cosmetic surgery, when digital face-tweaking is now A Thing? That's the idea behind Perfect365, in a way: a way to "apply a natural touch-up or a sizzling makeover" to facial photos on an Android device, removing blemishes, whitening teeth and even enhancing noses and lifting cheeks. The results can be shared on social networks, for friends to stare quizzically at.

Bankers Ville: Tower Defense (Free)

"First they (bankers) took everything and now they want more," explains the Google Play listing for this topical tower defence game. Not just ordinary bankers, of course: zombie bankers. Developer La Factoria d'Imatges says it'll donate a portion of its profits to charity, too.
That's this week's selection, but what apps are you enjoying on Android this week? Make your recommendations or comment on the apps listed above in the Comments section.
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Top 50 free Android games

Angry Birds
By Rovio - download on Android

You might have heard of this one. Throwing birds at pigs has never felt so normal.

Agent Dash
By Full Fat - download on Android

Yes, it's a shameless Temple Run clone. But guess what? Agent Dash is better. There, we've said it.

Subway Surfers
By Kiloo Games - download on Android

Here's another slick Temple Run clone that some on the PG team think betters the source material. Suck it and see.

Temple Run 2
By Imangi Studios - download on Android

Imangi's response to all those accomplished clones is Temple Run 2. More of the same, yes, but bigger, slicker and more varied with it.

Tetris Free
By EA - download on Android

Possibly the only game on this list that's more recognisable than Angry Birds, this classic puzzler is as addictive as ever.

Evac HD
By Hexage - download on Android

Take a little Pac-Man maze-running and imbue it with a more laid back, adventurous fell and you have Evac - a true overlooked gem.

By Jean-Francois Geyelin - download on Android

An excellent twin-stick shooter with ace wireframe visuals, loads of different modes, and plenty of pews for your (lack of) pounds.

Trainyard Express
By Noodlecake Studios - buy on Android

Making an entertaining puzzler out of a mundane logistical task - shunting trains around - is just one of the feats Trainyard Express pulls off.

Whale Trail Frenzy
By ustwo - download on Android

An irresistible endless runner starring the cutest flying whale your ever likely to meet, not to mention stellar production values.

Pocket Planes
By Mobage - download on Android

A deceptively deep management sim that tasks you with running a bustling international airport. The 'cute' factor is - yes - sky high.

Gem Miner
By Psym Mobile - download on Android

Is there a more fun game about digging and mining for resources on Android? Not for free, there isn't.

Fruit Ninja Free
By Halfbrick Studios - download on Android

Fruit flies up, player swipes fruit with finger. Fruit splats on screen. Points scored. Gaming Nirvana achieved.

Colosseum Heroes
By Gamevil - download on Android

Gamevil's pretty 2D hack and slasher - with the developer's trademark RPG elements, of course - is an absolute hoot to play.

By Psym Mobile - download on Android

It's Doodle Jump, only with a cute cow instead of a.... doodley thing. Oh, and free.

Stick Cricket
By Stick Sports - download on Android

Let's face it - cricket is inherently boring without copious amounts of alcohol. Stick Cricket, however, is good fun even when sober.

Brain Genius Deluxe
By Glu Mobile - download on Android

Remember when everyone and their funky grandmother was playing brain training games? Here's a decent one for your Android.

By Tapjoy - download on Android

This colour-based puzzler is one of those games that keeps you tapping at the screen, even when you're completely bored of it.

Cestos 2
By Chicken Brick Studios - download on Android

Forget the exotic name and futuristic graphics - this is free online marbles. That's all you need to know.

Angry Birds Seasons
By Rovio - download on Android

Arguably the most varied Angry Birds of the lot. This event-themed collection of levels is the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

GRave Defense Holidays
By ArtOfBytess - download on Android

GRave Defense Holidays is a bit like Angry Birds Seasons in terms of its holiday giveaway theme. Just replace birds and physics with zombies and tower defence.

Zombie Road Trip
By Noodlecake Studios - download on Android

An endless stunt-runner with a ghoulish twist, Zombie Road Trip doles out its rewards copiously and frequently.

Bad Piggies
By Rovio - download on Android

Proving that those green piggies aren't as stupid as they seem, Bad Piggies takes casual-physics to a new level.

Angry Birds Star Wars
By Rovio - download on Android

The best Angry Birds ever? Our very own Jedi Master, Mark Brown, thinks so.

By Miniclip - download on Android

If Rovio can't seem to make new Angry Birds levels fast enough to feed your hunger, give Fragger a blast.

Air Control
By Four Pixels - download on Android

Why bother with Flight Control when there's this free alternative? Because Flight Control's better? Well, when you put it like that...

Draw Something Free
By OMGPOP - download on Android

It's not quite the super-fresh sensation it once was, but Draw Something still plays a mean game of massively multiplayer online Pictionary.

Super Stickman Golf
By Noodlecake Studios - download on Android

One of the most addictive games on Google Play, this stylised delight manages to make golf both cool and fun.

Pinball Deluxe
By GreenCod Apps - download on Android

It's difficult to get digital pinball right at the best of times, but when you're talking about a free Android game it's even more impressive. That's Pinball Deluxe for you.

Angry Birds Rio
By Rovio - download on Android

Who remembers the film Rio? Nope, us neither. We do remember this entertaining Angry Birds tie-in, though.

Dead Trigger
By Madfinger Games - download on Android

This arcadey first person shooter is what you download to show off your quad-core Android beastie to your console-gaming mates.

By Hexage - download on Android

Another quirky gem of a game from Hexage, Robotek stirs in turn-based strategy, fruit machine and RPG elements - with tasty results.

The Simpsons Tapped Out
By EA - download on Android

Not everyone appreciates this kind of casual city builder, but when that city is Springfield your well-founded reservations may get swept aside.

By Smyno - download on Android

Here's another inferior-but-free clone. This time the source is Galcon, which results in a highly intuitive real-time strategy game.

Words With Friends Free
By Zynga - download on Android

Zynga's game of online asynchronous multiplayer Scrabble is as addictive as it's ever been.

By PlayfulArt - download on Android

A brilliantly conceived puzzler that sees you slotting cogs together to get chunky contraptions working.

Scramble With Friends
By Zynga - download on Android

It's not as good as Words With Friends, but Scramble With Friends offers more immediate multiplayer word-based thrills.

By OrangePixel - download on Android

This fabulous retro platformer is supremely accessible, but its exacting bite-size levels provide a seriously old skool challenge.

Dead on Arrival
By N3V Games - download on Android

A hugely attractive top-down survival-shooter that sees you you taking on the undead in an abandoned hospital.

Super Bit Dash
By Fakepup - download on Android

A charming retro platformer on your Android with no sign of a clunky virtual D-pad - what's not to love?

Radiant Defense
By Hexage - download on Android

Hexage does tower defence, which means an altogether more interesting, customisable take on the well worn genre.

Jetpack Joyride
By Halfbrick Studios - download on Android

One of the best endless runners around - and now it's available for free. Download Jetpack Joyride now, you fools.

Dream House Days
By Kairosoft - download on Android

Makes this list chiefly for being one of the only Kairosoft games available for free. And By being an awesome-fun life sim game, of course.

Cut the Rope FULL FREE
By ZeptoLab - download on Android

As casual-physics puzzlers go, Cut the Rope is one of the big hitters - right up there with Angry Birds, in fact.

Plague Inc.
By Miniclip - download on Android

As Tears For Fears almost sang, everybody wants to infect the world. Now, which this darkly comic strategy game, you can.

Shadowgun: DeadZone
By Madfinger Games - download on Android

Madfinger takes on the mobile online multiplayer shooter, and comes out smelling of consoles.

Angry Birds Space
By Rovio - download on Android

The game that really saw the Angry Birds franchise enter orbit - quite literally - and this writer's favourite. The last Angry Birds game on our list - promise.

Happy Jump
By Noodlecake Studios - download on Android

More Doodle Jump-esque action, but this time with a chirpy jelly. We can forgive plagiarism when it's this cute.

Super Monsters Ate My Condo
By [adult swim] games - download on Android

Match-three puzzling played out on a massive scale with monsters and flashy 3D graphics. Lovely.

Paper Toss
By Backflip Studios - download on Android

One of the pioneering Android freebie champions from a true master of the art, Paper Toss is an absolute legend.

Pixel Twist
By Noodlecake Studios - download on Android

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