Owners of Android-compatible phones such as the HTC magic and the T-Mobile G1 will be pleased as punch to learn that there are some great free games out there just waiting to be downloaded from the Android Market. Here are a few to try – and a few to avoid!
Mahjongg – A fairly faithful rendition of the Japanese pairs game. Unfortunately, the touchscreen is the only input device that can be used with this game, which pretty much rules it out unless you have very slender fingers to select the tiny images with.
mem – This simon-says game, candy crush saga hack version in which you have to press an icon as soon as possible after its counterpart is displayed, features some pretty zany sound effects, and it works well with the touch screen, but the long term appeal is fairly limited.
Minspace War – A 2D shoot-em-up that uses the phones mini-keypad as a control surface. Although the graphics are good and you suspect it might play a lot better on a laptop or a dedicated games console, the controls are too fiddly to make it worth the time it takes to download.
MisMisMatch – The aim of this deceptively simple puzzle game is to press boxes, arranged on a grid, with your finger, that are not currently part of a pair in order to flip them over so that they match with an adjacent box, and can be taken out of play. There is a helpful tutorial mode to guide you through the basics, and a selection of difficulty settings.
Pac-Man by Namco – After the Space Invaders craze of the late 1970s, came Pac-Man, a yellow ball with eyes whose main purpose in life was to munch down lines of pills, arranged within a maze, and occasionally eat a few flashing ghosts when he was full of the confidence that only oranges could offer him. This is a fine rendition with all the original visuals, but neither the touch screen nor the track ball is really suitable for playing it with.
Pop Pop Popcorn – Use your finger as a virtual heating element, to heat un-popped popcorn, arranged on a grid, until it pops, but make sure not to leave your finger on two long or surrounding popcorn will burn. One of the better touchscreen games available for the Android platform.
Santas War on Terror – This side scrolling platform game features the western worlds favourite generosity metaphor in a pitched battle against the terrorists. Although the title might raise a chuckle or two, the graphics are poor and St. Nick is ridiculously hard to control, making it one to avoid.
TxtSpeed – In this game, words scroll across the screen that you then have to type into the miniature keypad as quickly as possible. Great if you are trying to get to grips with typing on a miniature QWERTY keypad, but a little bit boring nonetheless.