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The best Android games for kids (2016)

We list the very best Android games for kids, to download and play right now on your Android phone or tablet from the Google Play store.

Cut the Rope

This cartoony puzzle game offers a solid challenge for younger players, despite its fun presentation. As the title kind of suggests, you have to chop through ropes in order to succesfully deliver candy treats to Om Nom (the green alien guy). You’ll need quick wits and quicker reactions to make it to the end, though.

LEGO Ninjago Tournament

This fast-paced mash up of LEGO and ninjas (what a combination!) has you levelling up popular Ninjago characters as you take on hordes of powerful enemies, in a similar fashion to the other popular LEGO games.

Ninjago Tournament is appropriate for all ages (and as adults, we still get a kick out of it too), with decent touchscreen controls and the usual smart presentation throughout.

Lara Croft GO

This puzzley mobile Tomb Raider game sees you guiding everyone’s favourite ultra-posh barely-dressed archaeologist/animal murderer through dozens of board game-style levels, avoiding hazards and enemies by using cunning rather than endless weaponry. Lara Croft GO is definitely challenging, but patient kids will love the cartoon visuals and addictive gameplay. 

The good news for fans of Lara Croft GO is that the expansion, hilariously titled ‘The Shard Of Life‘, is available now.

Check out our full Lara Croft GO review

Toca Boca Hair Salon 2

Toca Boca has a good reputation for making fun games and this title’s a great one for younger gamers with plenty of creativity. In it they get to cut, colour, crimp and even shave the little characters, utilising their imagination to the fullest. The visuals are bold and bright, the gameplay’s user-friendly and there’s plenty for kids to do.

Perhaps the biggest plus with this title is that there’s no in-app purchases, no potentially murky advertising pop-ups – just good, kid-friendly gaming action. Also, check out the new Toca Nature game, which lets your young ones mess around in the wilderness and make friends with the wildlife. Super cute.

Copa Toon

If your kids are football fans and lovers of Cartoon Network then this could be the app for them.

It’s a fairly simple football game that includes characters from popular franchises like Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show and Ben 10, and while it won’t keep hardened footy fans entertained for long, it’s a fun, good-looking game which offers plenty.

Ridiculous Fishing

Ridiculous Fishing was developed by Dutch indie studio Vlambeer’s and it’s a great title which sees you control a retro, 8-bit style fisherman and aid him in his quest to hook a whopper. Just cast your lure into the briny deep, haul up a gigantic catch and then watch as they break the surface and fly into the air, ready for you to blat them with your gun. The more you shoot, the more money you earn; the more money you earn, the better fishing equipment you can buy.

It’s a simple, ridiculously fun and great looking game which you’ll probably be trying to pinch off your young ‘uns after five minutes.

Minecraft Pocket Edition

Minecraft is a title you’ll likely already be familiar with if you’ve got kids of a certain age. The sandbox, open-world title offers users the ability to build and explore and this pocket version is surprisingly extensive, with a fun survival mode sitting at the heart of the title.

The game also offers a very solid multiplayer experience for players on the same Wi-Fi connection, expanding its appealing exponentially.

Asphalt Overdrive

Gameloft’s Asphalt franchise has won plenty of admirers and this instalment is every bit as well made as its predecessors.

The game offers fun, easy to pick up arcade-style gameplay, a catchy 80’s electronica soundtrack and a bunch of cars that you’d expect to see on repeats of Miami Vice, all of which can be upgraded to give you an advantage in your races, and (hopefully) keep you one step ahead of the police and local bosses.

Castle of Illusion

Parents who used to own the Sega Genesis will remember this Mickey Mouse platformer, which sees the big-eared squeaky-voiced protagonist leaping and bouncing through several dream-like stages in fun and occasionally frantic 3D action.

The game holds up well, with gorgeous graphics and thoughtful presentation. Best of all, you can snap up Castle of Illusion for Android devices for free, courtesy of Amazon. The same also applies to the freshly remastered version of DuckTales, which is just as much fun.

Champ Man 16

Champ Man 16 is for more discerning fans of the beautiful game, so if your son or daughter fancies getting to grips with the finer, more tactical side of football, this should be your go-to.

The formula’s tried and tested, and just as fun as it’s been for years: manage your team and get them to the top of the league. Choose how they train, how they line up, which tactics they use, and maybe throw a post-match strop, Mourinho style. Naturally you’ll also have to scout and sign players too, and there’s plenty more in this title to keep you entertained to boot.

Perhaps the only criticism we have is that it’s just too damn addictive. Guaranteed you and your kids will be leading Kidderminster to the top of the Premier League come Christmas 2016.

Monument Valley

It’s unlikely your kids will have heard of M.C. Escher, but Monument Valley owes more than a little nod to the Dutch graphic artist.

The game is a simple offering in which you have to guide a princess through a castle, making use of sliders and screen taps to solve the increasingly difficult puzzles. It rewards lateral thought and patience and, with its minimalist visuals and striking soundtrack, provides one of the best gaming experiences we’ve ever had on a handheld device – and one that’s sure to capture your kids’ imagination.

Leo’s Fortune

Leo’s Fortune is an award-winning platform game which sees a small, furry blob with a luxuriant moustache pursue the nefarious thief who ran off with his gold. The game’s controls are a revelation, its visuals are bold and striking and its gameplay is addictive and richly rewarding.

Put simply, this game is one of our favourite titles on both Android and iOS, and we strongly recommend you pick it up for your kids (and yourself) if you haven’t already done so.

Read next: The best free Android games of all time

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