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70 best Android games

20. Fortnite

Genre: Battle Royale
Price: Free (in-app purchases)

You might think of console and PC as Fortnite’s natural homes, but millions of people play it on mobile: every time you login you’re instantly matched with 99 other players, all of whom want to murder you. The controls aren’t as smooth as a controller or a mouse, but you can still be accurate, and before long you’ll be placing walls and stairs with a tap. The on-screen sound cues, which tell you the direction of nearby footsteps, are a masterstroke, and should be in every touchscreen shooter. 

This is definitely a game that favours higher-end phones, but it’s free to see how well it runs on your device. It might take you a while to get a victory royale when you’re still getting used to the controls, but when you finally do it, when you finally outmanoeuvre your opponent in that tense 1v1 finale, it will all feel worth it.

Download Fortnite here (opens in new tab)

19. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Genre: Sim
Price: Free (in-app purchases)

It’s not the fully-fledged handheld Animal Crossing Switch (opens in new tab) game we’re all waiting for, but Pocket Camp is a genuinely pleasant slice of fun. Fishing, bug hunts, picking fruit, and even designing your own camper van are all relaxing ways to pass the time until the next major release, and sectioning every activity into its own space is a good fit for short touchscreen play sessions. 

Everything is gentle, there are no constant reminders to invest any of your real money on a Nook-related loan, and you can even visit your friends’ campsites. Log in every day, potter around for a bit, and grow your camp until, eventually, it feels like a virtual home away from home.

Download Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp here (opens in new tab)

18. Reigns: Her Majesty

Genre: Adventure
Price: £2.79/$2.99

If you ruled the realm, would you be a fair queen, or a tyrant whose sole purpose is to bend the will of the people to her corrupt power? It’s time to find out. If you haven’t tried Reigns —  the King equivalent — for size, think Tinder meets a text adventure. You swipe left and right to make decisions about how you govern. Icons at the top of the screen keep you up to date on your standing with the church, army, and the people: don’t forget to keep an eye on them, because a few wrong moves will get the peasants all riled up. It has a lot of surprises up its royal sleeve, and the writing is consistently funny, if you’re into dark humor and beheadings. 

Download Reigns: Her Majesty here (opens in new tab)

17. Pokémon Go

Genre: AR adventure
Price: Free (in-app purchases) 

Our childhood fantasy come true, Pokémon Go places the little creatures all over the real world and asks you to catch ‘em all. It’s evolved, so to speak, in a big way since its initial release, and you can find five generations of Pokémon just by stepping out your front door. The time of day and weather affects what ‘mon will spawn, and Gym battles, raids, TM upgrades and special evolution items give you something new to try every day. Being a Pokémon master is the best excuse you’ll ever find to walk down to the shops. 

Download Pokemon Go here (opens in new tab)

16. Alphabear: Words Across Time

Genre: Puzzle
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Alphabear was an adorable puzzle game about placing tiles on a board to make words, clearing new space for your army of bears to occupy. Letters gradually revealed themselves, and the sooner you used them in a word, the higher your score. Its bears were cute and its mechanics deceptively smart. The sequel, Alphabear: Words Across Time, is more of the same—albeit it with a few new features that make it better than the original.

In addition to stats and bonuses, each bear now has a temperament, be they happy or grumpy. Using bears with the same temperaments gives you bonuses, adding an extra layer of strategy. You can even send them to Bear School to level them up as a group, and new customisation options will let you deck them out in delightful outfits. 

The backgrounds for each board pop more than before, and it even has a new built-in dictionary to teach you the meanings of every word. If you liked Alphabear, you’ll love Words Across Time—but first-timers will get a kick out of it, too.

Download Alphabear here (opens in new tab)

15. Gorogoa

An enchanting puzzle game about arranging hand-illustrated tiles so that they line up, revealing a new angle on the scene in front of you. It follows the journey of a young boy carrying a blue offering bowl, and you’re acting as his guide, manipulating images to offer him a path through a mysterious world. 

The way the tiles, sometimes seemingly unrelated, line up and interact is magical to watch. Tapping on a mountain logo on a bowl will zoom into its snowy top, showing a man with a walking stick trying to reach the summit. A gap in the clouds will fit perfectly with a shape in another tile, and you can overlay them to create one coherent image. 

Piecing the puzzles together is never frustrating, and even wrong solutions will lead to some wonderful moments. The scenarios it conjures are surprising to the end, and you’ll want to play it through a second time to fully get to grips with its moving story.

Download Gorogoa here (opens in new tab)

14. Threes!

Genre: Puzzle
Price: £2.39/$2.99 (free version available)

Threes has the cutest numbers you’ve ever seen, and it’s your job to pair them up. But only if they’re multiples of three, mind: you swipe a board of numbers to double up threes, sixes and twenty fours against the ‘walls’ of the screen. You’ll need to think about the whole board whenever you swipe, because one rogue move can transform the round into a sea of misery. It’s adorable as well as tricky, and every tile has a little smiley face underneath it — they even turn to face adjacent matching numbers. D’aww.    

Download Threes here (opens in new tab)

13. Triple Town

Genre: Puzzle
Price: Free (in-app purchases) 

Clearly, there’s something about the number three that creates brilliant mobile games (see Threes! above). In Triple Town, three pieces of grass make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees make a hut, three huts make a red house, and so on, With some careful planning you can craft bustling cities on its colourful, teensy maps. As you build you’ll have to avoid bears — three bears are a nightmare — and some even dress up as ninjas. They look sweet, but they can spell curtains for your town. Just keep building. 

Download Triple Town here (opens in new tab)

12. Florence

Genre: Interactive fiction
Price: £2.99/$2.99

An emotional 45 minutes of interactive fiction about the love life of 25-year-old Florence Yeoh. The beautifully-drawn vignettes evoke different feelings through their colours - black and white for the monotony of a work commute, intense reds during arguments - and their music, which soars in all the right places.

During each chapter, you tap and drag on the screen to complete simple tasks, such as brushing your teeth. You’ll also piece together speech bubbles in conversations with your boyfriend, Krish, like a mini jigsaw puzzle, and they get easier as the pair grow more comfortable together. 

It’s short, but every minute feels deliberate. No word or sound effect is out of place, and they all add up to a deeply personal love story that’s more touching than most good books or films. 

Download Florence here (opens in new tab)

11. Her Story

Genre: Adventure

Her Story, from Telling Lies developer Sam Barlow, is a murder mystery that unfolds in entirely the wrong order. It’s a series of police interviews with a young woman that have been chunked up and filed away in a database, and you choose which video to watch next by searching for keywords. 

Each clip is a potential new clue that will guide you on your search, and eventually, you’ll build up a picture of what happened. Because you won’t have watched every video it’ll be very much your version of events, distorted by your own assumptions, which makes it feel deeply personal. It’s one of the best PC games of the past five years, and the Android version is thankfully complete and uncut. Just play it, and hope that Telling Lies comes to the Google Play store someday.

Download Her Story here (opens in new tab)

Turn to the next page to find out what made our list of the top 10 best Android games...

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.