Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are the biggest names in the mobile operating system market with less than 1% of users running a different OS on their device. And between the two dominant forces, the divide is pretty evenly matched.
Apple takes the lion’s share in Japan, the US and the UK but in other large markets – Germany, China, Brazil, Nigeria and India – Android comes out clearly on top. One thing is certain, regardless of your chosen platform, there are a plethora of games at your fingertips; from high budget immersive experiences to time-killing casual indie titles.
The mobile gaming market is now worth in excess of $100 billion USD with an estimated 2 billion gamers playing monthly. But what are the best Android games to play in 2022? We take a look through the pick of the bunch.
A somewhat surprising success story in the mobile gaming domain is the recent takeover of online slots. Perhaps we should have seen it coming, slots translate exceptionally well to smart devices and play times can be quick – as short as one or two spins of the reels – which is perfect for on the go gamers with limited spare time to commit. And they couldn’t be easier to learn.
There’s plenty to choose from at the Play Store, from big developer contributions: Monopoly Slots and Rainbow Riches, to casual play for free titles. We’re still awaiting the mobile port of the unexpectedly well received roguelike title, ‘Luck Be A Landlord’ which has a fruit machine mechanic at its core.
Sky: Children of the Light
At the other end of the spectrum, Thatgamecompany, Inc’s Sky: Children of the Light is a beautifully animated adventure game that you can easily get lost in for hours upon hours. This is the first title in the American indie game development company’s catalogue available in the Google Play Store and it sees you exploring a magical world, uncovering fragments of the story as you proceed.
Uniquely, in Sky: Children of the Light, you are able to team up with friends remotely and play through the tale together. Although in-app purchases are available, they’re mainly cosmetic and so you’re able to enjoy a relatively complete experience for free.
Originally released as a Windows game in 2016, Stardew Valley from ConcernedApe is a whimsical, simulation role playing game which sees you inheriting and renovating the dilapidated family farm in the mythical land of Stardew Valley. The game is open-ended so you can escape to your farmstead whenever you wish and not be overly concerned with completion or ‘progress’.
Often compared to titles like Animal Crossing in its character, there’s a seemingly endless array of activities your character can undertake that don’t ever feel too repetitive or like you’re merely grinding. Stardew Valley received a huge update in 2021 including multiplayer support so there’s still plenty of content for you to get your teeth stuck into. And if you find yourself becoming a fan, you’ll be pleased to hear that the next game from Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone, The Haunted Chocolatier is well on the way.
Mini Metro is a frighteningly addictive strategy puzzler where the objective is to create a seamless transportation network in real world metropolises. The pared back art style is reminiscent of the London Underground map and hence runs great on even older mobile devices.
As the demands of the city’s infrastructure expand, you’ll find you need to be increasingly cunning to ensure everyone gets where they need to be on time. Despite these pressures, the sound design and overall feel of the game is very zen and a great distraction from the daily commute.
GRID Autosport is a flagbearer for the progress mobile technology has made – it looks better than any racer that even top spec PCs were running just ten years ago. The game was developed by Codemasters, and Feral Interactive were responsible for the port to Android.
Opt for the single player campaign mode and build your racing career from the ground up; advancing through scores of upgrades, new cars and racecourses. The developers admit there’s been a nudge towards the arcade style of driving and away from the hardcore simulation in this title, so you can be sure the learning curve is not too steep and the fun is immediate.
Whether you’re a dyed in the wool Pokémon aficionado or if you somehow missed that craze entirely, Pokémon Unite from TiMi Studio Group is certainly worth your time. This offering from the extensive franchise falls snugly into the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) category and is action packed from the first beat.
The title is certainly kid friendly so basic concepts are easy to learn but becoming more skillful requires some practice and dedication. Testament to this is the game’s inclusion in this year’s Pokémon esports World Championships. The new League of Legends: Wild Rift is probably better suited for the more staunch fans of the genre but Pokémon Unite scores highly on pick up and play potential.
With heaps of new games hitting the Play Store every day, choice for the Android gamer is not a problem – hopefully there’s something in this roundup that appeals to you.