In the realm of free diversions from waiting in line at the supermarket, Android devices had an excellent year. As sure as we are that hardcore Android enthusiasts will disagree, the lot of more entertaining distractions aren't exclusive to Google's mobile operating system. But that doesn't make them any less awesome. Without further delay, here are Games.com's top 10 free Android games for 2011:
Words With Friends
Everyone knows that this is the last game that needs any more accolades. Mr. Alec Baldwin's two week-long media tirade gave us (and Zynga) our fill of those. But it's tough deny the beautiful amalgamation of simple multiplayer on your own terms and brain-teasing play that Newtoy's original creation provides. If you don't own this game yet, you just don't like words.
This, too, might be a gimme. But the draw of this classic card game enhanced with online multiplayer is equally as undeniable as feeling like a smartypants after that triple word score. In short, UNO Free is another one of those must-have time wasters.
Android-loving Gearheads that haven't downloaded this gem yet should be ashamed of themselves. What more do you want than over 50 licensed cars? Oh, online multiplayer races with both your Android and iPhone fanboy friends? You got it. That makes for around 30 million folks to play with. If your love of cars is deep enough, you'll likely never get bored.
In the vein of games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja only in its super short, sweet and simple play hook, Air Penguin will likely make players utter to themselves "Just one more level." And once that happens over and over again, you know you've found a keeper. With its simple to learn, tough to master controls, Air Penguin is a mobile game by definition.
A game so well-designed throughout, it deserves a nod on both platforms. While there are no farms to be found in Tiny Tower, this is FarmVille for gamers that raise their noses at simulator games. There's something to be said of the vertical progression in Tiny Tower as a subconscious game drug. And the simulator's subtle, dry nerd humor is brilliantly helps that along.
Hanging With Friends
Leave it to those behind the mighty Words With Friends to take another innocuous game and turn it into a phone-handling addiction right up there with checking Twitter. Hanging With Friends, however, does it with character(s) and mixes things up with interesting power-ups. This is the easy-to-use digital edition of Hang-Man passed on the margins of notebooks.
When it comes to social simulators, Smurfs' Village is probably the best around on Android. While it requires a certain affinity for blue creatures with an aversion to shirts, the game makes brilliant use of the mobile platform to mix up the monotony of planting crops. And seriously, what child of the '80s/'90s didn't love the Smurfs?
Let's Golf 3 HD
Free mobile games are normally limited to ... less technologically impressive graphics. Not Gameloft's virtual putter. Let's Golf 3 HD delivers in the visual department while providing both synchronous and asynchronous multiplayer experiences for your favorite price. This golfer goes way under par on all fronts, and just may get fans to pay to keep the streak.
Looking straight out of a '90s arcade cabinet and shrunk down to a 4-inch screen, Defender is the ultimate "castle defense" game for Android. It's rare for a mobile game to make players feel so powerful, but Droidhen does the job well with fun magic spells and smart scaling of enemy waves. And the bigger the waves get, the more satisfying it is to burn them down.
New takes on classic puzzle games are always a treat, and Elemental does not disappoint. Akin to staples like Sudoku, this puzzler replaces the numbers with the elements, but tasks players with creating new elements by placing one of the basic four in its place. Sometimes, there's nothing more addicting than a good challenge, and Elemental has those in spades.
What were your favorite free Android games of 2011? Did they make it on our list? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.