Cast your vote for the best Android games released in 2018!

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We started our 2018 app and game voting with a fan vote for the best Android apps from 2018 last weekend. This weekend, we continue the fun with the best Android games from 2018. We’re taking a similar approach to our game vote as we did with our apps vote. We narrowed down a list of over 120 possible competitors down to just 20 and you can choose from there!

Android gaming took a massive step in 2018. We saw some truly big name releases with PUBG Mobile and Fortnite along with some new games from previously outstanding mobile gaming franchises. The list is varied and includes shooters, RPGs, tower defense games, puzzle games, big cross-overs, and even a quiz game. This list is truly a representation of modern mobile gaming from HQ Trivia’s launch on the first second of 2018 to the predictably positive launch of The Room: Old Sins. There were just a bunch of great titles this year. Our criteria for this list include:

  1. The game had to be from 2018 or the last few weeks of 2017 because we cut it off during December.
  2. It had to be a totally new mobile game. For instance, Distraint: Deluxe Edition was new in 2018 and also an outstanding game. However, it’s a re-release of a game from 2017.
  3. Mobile ports are tricky business. Some people don’t like them and others don’t mind them. We decided not to micromanage things here. They are right in the fray with every other game within reason.
  4. We did take popularity into consideration but only as a consideration. Obviously, PUBG Mobile and Fortnite are extremely popular for a reason. On the other hand, freemium games get more downloads than premium games because they are a free download. We obviously don’t want a list of games with only 50 downloads. However, this is also not just a list of the most popular freemium games of 2018 either.

This poll is massive just like our apps poll. Make sure to give it a good look before casting your vote! There aren’t any special rules or anything like that. Just vote for the one you like the most! We have basic descriptions and links for each game below the poll if you want to learn more.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

As promised, here is a brief description and link to all 20 games in the poll above:

  • Alto’s Odyssey – Alto’s Odyssey is a gorgeous 2D side-scrolling runner. Players ski down hills, make huge jumps, and collect little rings to unlock stuff. It stays within the runner archetype. However, any given moment in this game is a screenshot worthy of a wallpaper. It also a Zen Mode with no coins, power-ups, or scoring for a relaxing runner experience.
  • Asphalt 9: Legends – Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the most popular new arcade racing games of 2018. It has everything. That includes tons of content, unlockable cars, online multiplayer, above average graphics, and fun, simple controls. Its freemium elements are a little obtrusive occasionally, but it’s otherwise a solid racer.
  • Bloons TD 6 – The latest game in the popular tower defense series is just as good as the previous five. It includes a bunch of levels, plenty of towers, an excellent upgrade system, and it’s completely playable offline. Tower defense isn’t as popular these days, but this title shows there are still some great game releases, even in 2018.
  • Bridge Constructor Portal – Bridge Constructor Portal combines the fun mechanics of a Bridge Constructor game with the quirky personality of a Portal game. The game features rock solid mechanics, plenty of Portal cameos, and even some Portal elements in the game play. You also get achievements, hardware controller support, and achievements. What’s not to like?
  • Cytus II – Cytus II is easily the best rhythm game release of 2018. Players use taps, swipes, and other gestures to the beat of the music to survive the level and achieve a high score. The base game includes a campaign mode with a story line, 35 songs, and multiple step charts per song. You can buy additional tracks and step charts as DLC. The first Cytus game is good too.
  • Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition – Square Enix did a couple of excellent games this year, but we particularly liked Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition. It follows the same story as the console and PC version of the game. However, the graphics and game play mechanics were changed for an easier mobile experience. We consider it one step up from a straight port. Square Enix also did Life is Strange, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and Valkyrie Profile Lenneth. All notable mobile game launches.
  • Florence – Florence is a slice of life narrative game by some of the same development staff of Monument Valley 2. You play as 25 year old Florence and players navigate her life as she conducts it. It focuses primarily on her relationship with a man named Krish. The game is definitely something different from what we normally see, even if the genre itself isn’t overly popular as a mobile game.
  • Fortnite – Fortnite is one of the two big name battle royale shooter releases of 2018. This one mimics the console and PC version. Players drop into a battlefield, craft various things, shoot the competitors, and become the last person standing. Epic Games tread a lot of unexplored ground with this one, including a non-Google Play Store release. It’s still a beta, but it’s improving all the time.
  • Friday the 13th – Friday the 13th is a gory puzzle game for adults. Blue Wizard Digital launched the game on a Friday the 13th and it was a beautiful day. The game features over 100 levels, tons of pixelated gore, a PG mode for a less gory experience, some minor RPG elements, an offline play support. It’s definitely not for everybody, but the animation style helps take the edge off of the gore.
  • HQ Trivia – HQ Trivia was literally the first new Android game of 2018. It ran its first quiz show literally moments after midnight on New Years. The addictive game plays like a real life game show and includes actual cash prizes for winners. Games take place every day at 9PM EST and every week day at 3PM EST. The game occasionally suffers from lag issues, but it’s otherwise a good time.
  • Kingdom Rush Vengeance – Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the latest game in the venerable tower defense franchise. It uses a lot of the same mechanics as previous games, but also includes boss fights, more towers, more heroes, a bunch of new levels, offline support, and new achievements. Like Bloons TD 6, this game serves as a reminder that tower defense games are alive and kicking on mobile.
  • Monster Hunter Stories – Monster Hunter Stories is a port of the popular Nintendo 3DS game of the same name. It’s a turn-based RPG with monster collecting mechanics. It’s not quite the same as other Monster Hunter games, but the premise and feel is there. This one is surprisingly expensive. However, Capcom launched a free demo that also serves as a sort of prologue into the main game. We thought that was an absolutely genius idea.
  • Part Time UFO – Part Time UFO is an adorable puzzle game by the developers of most of the Kirby games as well as the first Super Smash Bros. You play as an alien who crash landed on Earth. Players complete missions, unlock customization gear, and enjoy the fun banter between characters. Almost nobody hates this game.
  • Pocket City – Pocket City is a city-building simulator similar to SimCity. You build a city with various buildings, roads, and businesses. Players collect money, fix the town after natural disasters, and unlock new buildings and territory for building. It’s basically the mobile SimCity fans asked for, except it’s not actually SimCity. The game also has offline support as well.
  • PUBG Mobile – PUBG Mobile hit the ground running in 2018. It’s arguably the most popular game of the year and a good shooter to boot. It features classic battle royale mechcanics, a lite version for lower end devices, and decent graphics and controls. It and Fortnite redefined the mobile shooter in 2018 and we don’t use that word lightly.
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones – Reigns: Game of Thrones is a surprisingly addicting mobile card game. Each card has a scenario and players swipe left or right to make a decision. The decision can mean the end of your rule or the continuation of it. This one also contains a bunch of Game of Thrones characters and references for added entertainment value.
  • Returner 77 – Returner 77 is another gorgeous indie puzzle game. This one takes place in a sci-fi future where humanity is nearly wiped out by aliens. Players ascend the alien ship in hopes of saving humanity. The graphics are quite good and the puzzles are fun and enjoyable. It also boasts a non-freemium experience and a decent story line.
  • The Room: Old Sins – The Room: Old Sins is a shoo-in for this list. It’s the fourth game in arguably the best puzzle game franchise on mobile. The graphics are outstanding and the puzzles are fun and clever. This title also features cloud saves, achievements, and some other neat ideas. It’s also one of the few premium games with over 100,000 downloads.
  • Rusty Lake Paradise – The Rusty Lake series is a long running series of point-and-click adventure games similar to the old Telltale Games titles. It features a dark story, plenty of fun puzzles, and simple game mechanics. You’re really into this one for the story more than any challenge, but it’s an entertaining narrative so we don’t mind.
  • Shadowgun Legends – Shadowgun Legends is the long awaited sequel to the popular mobile shooter from years ago. It features a sci-fi theme, excellent graphics, a story mode, a co-op mode, and an online multiplayer mode. There’s a ton of loot to collect, some RPG elements mixed in, and a fame system for online players. It’s a great mobile shooter, even if some other titles stole the show this year.

There were plenty of other great mobile games from 2018. If we missed one you think should be here, tell us about it in the comments! Of course, you can also check out all of our best Android app and game lists!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

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Welcome to the 272nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Microsoft has some big plans for Microsoft Edge. For starters, it’s replacing EdgeHTML for the much more popular Chromium. Microsoft claims the change helps them release more updates and work better cross-platform. The good news is that it might allow some serious developments like support for MacOS. However, it also means that Chrome has gobbled up yet another competitor. Opera also uses Chromium as a base for its operation too. In any case, you can hit the link to learn more.
  • Google’s chat apps are having a pretty bad week. Google Hangouts is turning into a chat platform similar to the likes of Slack or Discord. The change should take place by 2020. It was once a couple of features away from being the iMessage of Android so it’s a staggering change. Then, Google announced the shuttering of Google Allo. Google is transitioning many of the features to Android Messages, an SMS app with RCS support. It seems like Google believes RCS to be the future. Those are two more Google social platforms to bite the dust in 2018 along with Spaces and Google+.
  • Epic Games had an exciting week. Fortnite received a new game feature. There is now a creative mode similar to the creative mode in Minecraft. Additionally, the company announced a competitor to Steam and the Google Play Store. The Epic Games Store houses PC and mobile games in the same place. This could be a big deal because no other store covers both platforms. It’s also not a half bad idea with how many indie games get both PC and mobile releases. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Google announced Hummingbird officially this week. The Hummingbird platform is a simple idea with a complicated execution. It lets developers build a single app that runs on a variety of platforms, including iOS, the web, and Android. All-in-one toolkits are usually bogus with support for a single platform with a few features for a second. Hummingbird has the opportunity to be the first of its kind to not be awful. Hit the link for more details!
  • Google announced its picks for the best of 2018 in the Google Play Store. There were a lot of winners across a range of categories, including PUBG Mobile (fan favorite and best game), YouTube TV (fan favorite), Avengers: Infinity War (fan favorite), Drops (best app), Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (best ebook), 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson (best audiobook), and The Walking Dead (best TV show). You can hit the link to see all of the selections and check them out on Google Play!

Gorogoa

Price: $4.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Gorogoa is a new indie puzzle game. It features elements similar to Noodlecake Games’ Framed series. The game features a bunch of comic book style panels that players arrange and combine into a full story. It features hand-drawn graphics, a fun story line, and simple mechanics. The game itself is fairly fun to play. However, the carefully crafted animations and story are the real story here. Those who enjoy thoughtful narratives should enjoy this one quite a bit. The game is a little bit short, but most people don’t seem to mind. It runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or advertisements. This is also from the same developer of Florence, a slice-of-life narrative game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Yahoo Play

Price: Free
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Yahoo Play is the latest app from, well, Yahoo. It’s a pop culture app and has tons of celebrity, pop culture, and entertainment stuff. It also does a bunch of other stuff. At its core, it’s a news app with news about the pop culture scene. However, it also includes original video series along with trivia and quiz games. There is honestly quite a bit to do in this app. However, it does suffer from bugs and slow load times. It definitely needs some work. This could be fun for those enjoy entertainment, but we recommend maybe waiting a bit until Yahoo sorts out the issues.
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Yahoo Play

Command and Conquer: Rivals

Price: Freemium
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Command and Conquer: Rivals saw its global launch earlier this week. It’s a duel-style battle game. Players choose a hero, build an army, and battle other players online in one versus one battles. The game mechanics also include strategy elements as well. Players must control the battlefield and resupply their troops in order to win. Of course, your army is customizable as well. The game has some serious balancing issues right now. Low level players get matched up with players significantly more powerful and it’s a little annoying. Otherwise, it’s actually not a half bad game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Google Santa Tracker

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Google’s yearly Santa tracker app is live in the Play Store as well as on the web. It has about the same content as it did last year. That includes a bunch of kid-friendly min-games, a countdown timer to the big day, and some other little bits of fun. The app then tracks Santa on Christmas Eve to the delight of young children. The min-games aren’t awe inspiring or anything, but they’re good enough for most younger kids. It’s a colorful, fun way to track Santa every year. It’s also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases. Thanks, Google!
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Absolute Drift

Price: $2.99
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Absolute Drift is the latest game from Noodlecake Studios. It’s a decidedly mobile game with a racing theme. Players drift around corners, avoid obstacles, and collect little red balls for points. The game isn’t fast, but it’s surprisingly intense anyway. Plus, there’s a relaxing soundtrack to bring it all together. The game also features six cars, three game modes, a night mode, leaderboards, and even Bluetooth controller support. It costs an extremely reasonable $2.99 and has no ads or additional in-app purchases. What’s not to like?
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about in the comment section below! Also, check out our weekly podcast here!

10 best texting games and text-based games for Android!

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Texting games (text-based games) are some of the oldest computer games. Many remember old text RPGs like Zork. Mobile gave the genre a chance at a rennaisance and there are actually a bunch of good ones. It comes naturally on a smartphone. You text your friends and family on your phone. Why not text a fictional stranger to help them live? In any case, these games are usually pretty simple. You get a bunch of choices, choose the one you want, and the game continues down that story branch. You keep going until you fail or beat the game. This genre also spawned a whole new sub-genre, the lost phone. Instead of answering text prompts, you root through a fictional phone to find out what happened to its owner. We have a little bit of everything on this list. Here are the best texting games for Android!


A Dark Room

Price: $1.99
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A Dark Room is a fairly simple and straight forward texting game. You start in a cold, dark room. Players build a fire and then kind of go from there. It’s a bit slower than we would normally like and there aren’t a ton of options starting out. However, a little patience nets you a fairly entertaining game. You slowly build a shelter, traps, and other stuff to survive. It won’t win any awards for aesthetics, even for a text game. On the other hand, it only costs $1.99, has no in-app purchases or ads, and it plays perfectly fine offline. It’s a good place to start for texting games.
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A Dark Room

Facebook Messenger

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Facebook Messenger is a weird entrant on this list, we know. However, it does let you play games over text with friends or by yourself. The games are rarely texting games. However, they are games you can play while texting and we’re fans of thinking outside the box on some stuff. Some of the options include Tetris, Galaga, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and some other arcade games. Facebook Messenger is free as are all of the games. It’s not a great platform, but tons of people use Facebook and it’s usable as an SMS app as well. Why not use it and play some games while you message people?
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Facebook Messenger

InstLife

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
InstLife is another unique texting game. You see the game icon, right? You basically live a whole life from the very beginning. The game gives you a life that starts at birth. You grow up and decide what to do with it. That includes relationships, school, career, and other pursuits. It’s not too bad as far as life simulations go and the lack of graphics helps the developer add even more options than you would normally find. Plus, this one is entirely free with advertising and no in-app purchases. There are some translation errors and the UI is a bit clunky, but it’s otherwise a great free game.
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InstLife

King of Dragon Pass

Price: $9.99
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King of Dragon Pass is a texting strategy game with a fantasy theme and RPG elements. It uses more graphical elements than most texting games. However, it ends up being useful for keeping track of all the stuff you accrue over the course of your adventure. You gather goods, trade for stuff, go on adventures, and slay mighty beasts. It’s a lot deeper and longer than many text games we tried. All of that awesomeness does come at a price, though. The game costs $9.99 and honestly, that’s a hard pill to swallow even for a full graphical game. We’ll leave it up to you, but the game is really good.
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Lifeline series

Price: Free / Varies
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The Lifeline series is an older series of text-based adventure games. There are about half a dozen games in the entire franchise and all of the stories are a little different. However, they all revolve around the same premise. You receive messages from people and decide what to do about it. Those decisions have impact in the story. You can lose the game if you make bad choices. The earlier games are a little bare in the features department but still tell great stories. The later games add more game play elements, fast forward modes, and the ability to backtrack. They are old, though, so test them inside of the refund period to be sure they work on your device.
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Lifeline series


Magium

Price: Free / $2.99
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Magium is a simple choose-your-own-adventure game with some RPG elements. You play as Barry, a normal guy who wants to become a mage someday. Players enter a tournament, improve Barry’s stats, and try to make all of that happen. Your decisions have impact on the story and it can even cause you to die and lose. This game is in active development. There are two whole books to play through with a third in the works already. It’s a nice little pickup if you want something that’s going to take a while.
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Magium

Playdius games

Price: Free / Varies
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Playdius has some of the most unique texting games anywhere. Some of their titles include A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Players find a lost phone and must figure out where its owner is. You then have Bury Me, My Love, a tragic romance about a refugee texting her husband as she tries to make it to Europe. Finally, you have Chroniric XIX and Somewhere, two somewhat standard adventure text games with engaging stories and some other fun game play elements. Literally nothing this studio does is bad and we recommend any of their games. They usually go for $1.99-$2.99 each with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
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Reigns games

Price: $2.99 – $3.99 each
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Reigns is a series of text games with card game and strategy elements. There are three games in the series. The first has a king, the second a queen, and the third one lets you play as characters from Game of Thrones. It’s a simple series of games, really. You are presented with a scenario on a card and you choose yes or no by swiping the card left or right Tinder style. The game tells you the results of your decision and then you make another one. Players keep going until they lose. They are inexpensive games with no in-app purchases or ads. They aren’t the deepest texting games on mobile, but we they are still quite fun.
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Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams

Price: $4.99 and Free, respectively
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Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams are two newer text games. The first is similar to A Normal Lost Phone. You find a lost phone and must find its owner. However, Simulacra adds some horror and thriller elements as well. It also has five endings, various puzzles, and even a voice-over cast. Simulacra: Pipe Dreams is a spin-off from the main game. You play as Teddy and you find messages you didn’t send. Cue the adventure from there. Both games are excellent. You don’t have to play the original to enjoy Pipe Dreams, but it does help add to the story a bit. Pipe Dream is free and the original game goes for $4.99.
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Sorcery! games

Price: $4.99 each
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Sorcery! is a series of text games. There are four games in the series at the time of this writing and they are all pretty decent. They have heavier graphical elements than most text games, but that’s perfectly okay. You basically move around the game world and engage with it with narrative text and decisions. The story forms around your decisions and there are just a ton of different things to do. This is closer to a narrative game than a pure text game, but it has elements of both. The Sorcery series is excellent. It’s also a little expensive at $4.99 per game for a total of $20 for the whole series to date.
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If we missed any great texting games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

Prepare for harvest season, because Stardew Valley is finally coming to Android

Stardew Valley on mobile. ConcernedApe

  • Popular farming game Stardew Valley is making its way to Android and iOS.
  • The iOS version launches on October 24, but there’s no launch date for the Android port right now.
  • The mobile version lacks mod support and multiplayer content, but adds touch-related tweaks.

Stardew Valley is one of the most popular indie titles in recent memory, considered by many to be a spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series. We’re a little surprised it isn’t available on mobile though, but you won’t have to wait too long to farm on your smartphone.

The game will land on iOS on October 24, according to a blog post by developer Eric Barone (h/t: Polygon). Stardew Valley will also arrive on Android, Barone confirmed, but there’s no exact launch date just yet.

The developer says this is indeed the full game (with content up to version 1.3), albeit with touch controls and touch-focused tweaks (e.g. new UI). Unfortunately, mod support and multiplayer content isn’t available in the mobile version.

Editor’s Pick

The developer adds that the iOS version will be available for $7.99 and won’t offer in-app purchases. It’s unclear whether the Android version will take the same approach or deliver a free-to-play solution.

Barone also says iOS players can transfer their PC saves to mobile via iTunes — hopefully Android players can transfer their saves too.

News of a mobile release means you can soon play Stardew Valley practically anywhere. The game was originally released on PC in 2016, making its way to Xbox One and PS4 shortly thereafter. It’s since landed on PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch. Now, about a Dreamcast release…

NEXT: 15 best non-Freemium Android games