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Team AA: Best Android games you’ve (probably) never heard of

Check out our list of underrated Android games recommended by the Android Authority team!

Published onNovember 14, 2018

Best underrated Android mobile games

There are literally thousands of mobile games on the Google Play Store, which makes finding the best Android games an absolute nightmare.

We’ve all seen Pokémon Go, Clash of Clans, Asphalt, and other big hitters dominate the Play Store charts for what seems like forever. But what about the hidden gems that get lost in the pile?

Five premium Android games worth every cent
A close-up screenshot from Hidden Folks showing the black and white illustrations.

Earlier this year our crack team of app aficionados at Android Authority picked out our favorite apps that you might have missed. Now we’re doing the same for mobile games!

The list below features premium games and free-to-play titles from a wide range of genres, so whatever your tastes you should hopefully find something to get your gaming fingers tingling.

Without further ado, and in alphabetical order, here are 10 of the best underrated Android games on the Play Store you may have never heard of!

Oh hey, it’s my pick first!

Agent A — or to give it its rather long-winded full title, Agent A: A puzzle in disguise — is a part-adventure game, part-escape the room style puzzler inspired by cheesy pulp spy fiction.

Imagine a perfect blend of Myst, The Room, Connery-era James Bond, and gorgeous 60s-inspired art and you’re about there.

Related: 10 best upcoming Android games — action, racing, strategy, and more

The brain-teasers are tricky but not too taxing and the writing is as sharp as the game’s femme fatale Ruby La Rouge’s tongue. The fluid gesture controls also earned it a place among the Google Play Android Excellence ranks for 2018.

My only minor negative is that it isn’t quite finished yet! For $4.99 you get all five episodes, with the finale — The Final Blow — expected to arrive before the end of the year.

Ollie’s honorable mention(s): Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, Bury Me, My Love, Florence, Game Dev Story, Gorogoa

Scott Adam Gordon’s pick is Concrete Jungle, a city builder with a difference. Instead of having to wade through endless sub-menus, Concrete Jungle opts for an intuitive card-based system where the goal is to build your deck and please your city’s growing population.

“It’s a bit of an undertaking, and it’s masquerading behind a cartoon aesthetic, which I think might be one of the reasons it hasn’t really taken off,” says Scott. The slow-burn gameplay and occasionally confusing tutorials might not be for everyone, but if you like long-term rewards for your strategic play this is a belter.

Scott’s honorable mention(s): Klocki

Matt Horne is giving a shoutout to Devil’s Attorney, a “fun and addictive turn-based strategy game” about the life of a morally flexible criminal defense attorney.

One of the few alternatives to Capcom’s superb Ace Attorney series in the goofy lawyer-em-up genre, Devil’s Attorney has all the charm and bravado of a 90s kids TV show. You can check out the wonderfully corny minute-long opening theme in the video above.

“As a practicing defense attorney at the time I decided to give it a go, and loved it,” says Matt, although he warns you’ll have to pay up the $4.99 asking price before your litigious journey can begin.

We’re big fans of Asmodee Digital’s many, many board game adaptations here at Android Authority, and that includes C. Scott Brown’s pick, Potion Explosion.

Described by C. Scott as the kind of game that’s deceptively easy to learn, but fiendishly hard to master, Potion Explosion adapts the award winning puzzle board game of the same name and brings all the potion brewing madness to mobile.

Budding wizards can play solo or compete against other trainee apothecaries in local play or online. The only problem with the online mode is that so few players have sampled Potion Explosion’s magic that it’s sometimes hard to find a matchup!

There’s no shortage of pick-up-and-play games to choose from on the Play Store, but it’s far harder to find a story-driven game you can really sink your teeth.

Enter Joe Hindy’s pick, Returner 77 — a sci-fi adventure game that mixes stunning cinematics and tricky puzzles with a tale of mystery and isolation.

While the puzzle elements can feel a little played out at times, Joe says they “fit into the atmosphere of the game perfectly.” There are also no ads or in-app purchases beyond the initial $4.99 fee, which is always a plus.

Joe’s honorable mention(s): The Sun: Origin, Meganoid (2017), Abi: A Robot’s Tale, AntVentor, Still Here… A cute Adventure, Holedown, Pocket City, Defend the Cake, Motosport Manager Mobile 3

Ridiculous Fishing is, as Hadlee Simons agrees, utterly ridiculous.

You know when you go fishing and you drop your line in, right? You let it drop past all the fish, avoiding them and all other obstacles as you try to reach the bottom. Then you haul the line back up, grabbing hundreds of fishy friends on the way before shooting them out the sky with military grade weaponry in a splattery haze of bullets and fish guts.

No? Well, that’s what you’ll be doing in Ridiculous Fishing. You’ll also be upgrading your arsenal of guns as you go, unlocking new weapons and special items to keep the game’s bonkers premise fresh.

Hadlee’s honorable mention(s): Super Hexagon

Adam Doud’s pick, Sparkle, is a bit of an oldie, but absolutely a goodie. The first game in a series of three, Sparkle is a stupidly addictive puzzle game with a simple art style, great music, and a surprisingly enjoyable story.

Gameplay-wise, Sparkle is an orb-slinging connect three game in the style of arcade classic Puzzle Bobble, only here the orbs move around. There are also loads of power ups to try, multiple game modes, and even a colorblind option so everyone can play.

Adam loves it so much he’s played it through on six different platforms — although that may be partly because you can’t sync progress between devices.

Adam’s honorable mention(s): Flow Free

Ankit Banerjee is so taken by the various Stick Sports games that he couldn’t pick just one, so we’re bundling them all in here.

A self-professed Stick Cricket Super League addict, Ankit warns that there’s a bit of pay-to-play involved in most of the Stick-centric sports games, but the addictive and challenging game are definitely worth a look for sports fans… and stick fans, I suppose.

Platformers can be incredibly hit or miss on mobile, but Sword of Xolan is among the best. Jimmy Westenberg says his action-fantasy game of choice is so fantastic he’s played through it three times already (with another playthrough now pending).

Featuring 30 levels, a neat pixelated art style, various difficulty levels, and controller support, Sword of Xolan looks, sounds, and plays like a retro classic. The only downside? There’s no Sword of Xolan 2!

“Sword of Xolan is The Perfect Android Game,” says Jimmy, and you know you can trust him as he modestly describes himself as a “person who knows what he’s talking about.”

Jimmy’s honorable mention(s): Hidden Folks, Alphabear 2, Alto’s Odyssey

Felix Mangus really loves Vampire’s Fall: Origins. Want to know how I know? When I asked Team AA for their favorite underappreciated games, most came back with one or two lines on what they liked and what they didn’t like about their pick.

Felix sent me a 300+ word review. Take it away, Felix:

Vampire’s Fall: Origins has a nice touch of a classic RPG feel set in a plausible medieval dark-fantasy setting.
Visually it delightfully reminds of Arcanum and Inquisitor, but is much lighter on the quests and lore.
The quests are abundant (actually, there are 60), and vary from ‘go to the map marker and kill a rat’ to actual old-school map cruising to find several location based off the vague hints.
The authors also added many nice twists and humorous elements, quite heavy on RPG-related meta humor, though.
The in-app ads and purchases basically set the new benchmark of how subtle and unobtrusive of the process these should be. I would’ve missed them entirely, if I did not talk to every NPC in the way. Amazing job here.
Leveling up happens well with kills and quests. Not too fast, not too slow. Gives a nice sense of progression.
Skill trees are varied, though only seem to provide about 2-3 different viable progress routes.
PvE is decent and encounter difficulty seems well paced with character development. From ‘oh God, please no more rats on my way to the safety of the keep walls’ to ‘I’m gonna kill all that moves’ quickly back to ‘oh God, please no more ghouls.’
It has an open world with subtle borders – you won’t get far into the areas you’re not supposed to visit (a bit like Dark Souls). Or you might, if you’re lucky enough.
In summary, it’s an amazing little gem of the game. Furthermore, it is apparently made by an indie team of just three people and it shows. You can see the personal touches, humor, and a great deal of love towards their creation in the little details and lines of dialogue here and there. It might not be the fastest, deepest, or most complete game (compared to PC alternatives), but for a mobile(!), free(!), classic-ish RPG, it’s probably the best there is.
10/10. Amazing job there.

Well, I’m convinced.

Felix’s honorable mention(s): Free Heroes 2

What do you think of our picks? Are there any forgotten games that you think deserve more love? Let us know in the comments!

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