Following on from last week’s top 10 free iPhone games, we’ve done the same for Android.
There are plenty of games available in trial 'lite' versions, but we've tried to keep them to a minimum, especially when they are severely limited in their free guise.
Any gems we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll be adding even more apps in the future. Here’s our pick of the best free games on Android; you’ll find download links at the bottom of the page.
A blend of town planning strategy games and tower defence combat with a twist - Little Empire uses your real-time location in order to set up one-on-one duels with fellow players.
This adds a human element to the main branches of accruing gold, upgrading buildings and training troops. Fighting faceless hordes of computer controlled monster gets a bit lonely after a while, so it’s fun to engage in some PvP action.
The graphics are also rather lovely. The main screen is a sprawling, beautifully rendered 3D world. It’s fun being able to rotate your city and admire your buildings from all angles.
Though Little Empire itself is free to download you’re prompted to make in-app purchases frequently to buy Mojo, the in-game currency you can use to hurry upgrades and finish off buildings. You don’t have to buy Mojo to progress in the game but it makes things easier.
Originally developed as part of a project by two students over 5 months, this charming pirate bar management game (there’s a niche genre) was released on Android Market for free.
Attend to your pirate patrons as they enter the bar; options include drinks, gaming, rocking out on guitar and a game of darts. Happy pirates will tip you, and the happier they are, the more doubloons fly your way.
With deceptively simplistic graphics, the aim of the game similarly simple; to land your Atari-styled rocket on the red pad. Problem being there’s a whole load of debris in the way.
Black and white obstacles can be smashed with a tap, whilst the game also makes use of your phone’s gyroscope; tilt to adjust the shuttle (and the obstacles) flight path. Gravity Lander only works on more recent Android phones; you’ll need at least version 2.1 to run it.
Who doesn’t like Tetris? Nobody we know. Tetris for Android needs no explanation, other than it’s the bona fide, official version of the world-famous game. This means that it doesn’t run the risk of getting pulled from the Market for violating IP rights, which has happened to many a Tetris clone in the past.
It’s as fun to play on a touchscreen phone as it was to play on your GameBoy back in the day. The classic Tetris theme tune (better known as ‘korobeiniki’) plays in the background and the title art is supplied by none other than Roger Dean, the man perhaps more famous for his prog rock album artwork than anything else.
This free edition of Tetris offers you the classic Tetris experience and doesn’t feature any of the fancy power ups that you get in the paid version. Purists would most likely scoff at the notion of using power ups to clear lines in Tetris anyway.
Like an inter-planetary worms, Gravity Wars sees your green aliens pitted against red ones; you’ll have a selection of weapons to attack with, but be aware that those tiny planets you’re stood on have their own gravitational effect on your weapons.
Words With Friends Free
Like an online version of Scrabble, you can play with anyone that has an account for Words With Friends, meaning you can play with iPhone-toting mates and anyone who plays online.
Turn those friends into enemies with tenuous words and ‘swears’. The notification system means you’ll be able to keep on top of several games- where ever you are.
This glossy-looking role-playing game wouldn’t look out-of-place on a portable games console.
In Inotia 3, you create your own hero, choosing from several different classes, like mages, knights, rogues, that sort of thing.
With glossy character design and streamlined controls, the only misgivings we have is the crystals necessary for equipment- unless you’re willing to download related apps and sign-up to some sites, the game may require you to part with some cash.
The ultra cutesy graphics might put you off at a first glance but don’t let them; Triple Town is a maddeningly addictive puzzler that’ll have you hooked once you get the hang of it.
While the basic premise sees you having to match three of a kind, when you do so, the objects you match transform into new ones.
Three patches of grass merge into bushes, three bushes merge into trees, three trees merge into a house and so on. The idea is that you’re supposed to be building the best city you can, while avoiding bears who’ll try to stop you from doing so.
You can trap bears into corners, after which they’ll turn into gravestones. Matching three gravestones together then turns into a church. Yes, we know it doesn’t make much sense on paper...
Like Little Empire, the game is ‘freemium’, meaning while free to download you can pay for extra ‘turns’ - the number of times you can play per hour is limited. A one off in-app payment will secure you unlimited turns but if you don’t see yourself as a regular player or can leave it for a few days then you can get away without paying.
An ultra-simple ‘how long can you last’ style dasher in the same vein as Canabalt and OvenBreak on the iPhone.
You control a crudley drawn stick figure which you can jump and duck over and under obstacles that come at you at an increasing speed. Unadulterated arcade action that’s a pure test of nerves, Line Runner’s simple charms are as retro as it gets.
Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons, and the rest
Proudly free on Android, if you haven’t delved into the world Angry Birds, now’s the time to do it.
With an extensive back-catalogue of levels, thematically divided into separate apps, it’ll take several summer holidays to clear them all, let alone get the full 3-star ranking across them all.