19 new Android games from the last week: The best, worst, and everything in between (11/28/21-12/5/21)

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Welcome to the roundup of the best Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today’s list is split into several segments, ranging from best, average, to mediocre. So whether you’re looking for the best games of quality or are simply looking for the latest free-to-play gacha titles, you’re covered. This week I have the arrival of Rocket League Sideswipe, a handful of new Neo Geo titles, and a four new releases from Netflix. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the last week.

Best Games

Titles that offer fair pricing, enjoyable gameplay, polished interfaces, or are intriguing

ANDROIDPOLICE VIDEO OF THE DAY

Rocket League Sideswipe

Android Police coverage: Here’s the fix if you can’t play Rocket League Sideswipe on the Pixel 6

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but Rocket League Sideswipe is an absolute gem in a field of rubbish. You’d think a sidescrolling version of Rocket League wouldn’t work or that the game would be dumbed down for casual play, and yet what we’ve actually received compares favorably to the PC and console version of Rocket League. Controllers are supported, and this is easily my preferred way to play. However, the touch controls are serviceable, which means the game is playable anywhere. So far, nothing is monetized, though there is a season pass, but it isn’t paid yet. This means you earn in-game currency as you play, and it is that currency you use to purchase new cosmetics. While I’m sure monetization will be added at some point, right now is the best time to play since the entire game revolves around skill and nothing else, which is a refreshing delight for a mobile release. Don’t miss out; this one’s a stunner.


Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs

Wonderputt Forever

Android Police coverage: Netflix keeps up its Android gaming momentum with three new titles on the Play Store

Netflix is apparently serious about its mobile game offering, as it has released four new games this week, and Wonderputt Forever is the first I’d like to cover. I’m a sucker for golf games, and as you can guess, Wonderputt Forever is a mini-golf game where you’ll put balls through a series of dope obstacle courses, all with the goal of getting the ball in the hole. The graphics are great, and the gameplay is solid, so if you too are a fan of mini-golf or golf in general, and you also happen to have a Netflix subscription, then there’s clearly no harm in checking out Wonderputt Forever. Trust me; this is the best title from Netflix so far.


Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs (Netflix subscription needed)

Niffelheim

You may have never heard of it, but Niffelheim is an excellent indie survival game filled with tons of dungeon crawling. You’ll gather, craft, and fight, all so that you can survive just a little longer. Gathering and crafting are the primary mechanics, so combat does take a backseat. Keep in mind, this is a challenging game, and it’s filled with grinding, but at least the monetization is on point, as this is a premium release. So as long as you know what you’re getting into, there’s a ton of fun to be found in Niffelheim.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Hotel Hermes

In Hotel Hermes, you’ll fill the role of the hotel’s mailroom operator, and it will be your job to deliver the mail on time. More or less, this is an adventure-based puzzle game, and as you deliver letters, you’ll affect the game’s world, ideally changing things for the better. The art is pretty good despite the fact it looks simple at first, and the gameplay is solid, especially if you’re really into old-school-style adventure games.


Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Leap: A Dragon’s Adventure

Leap: A Dragon’s Adventure is an adorable game. The graphics and colors pop right off the screen. This is a casual tapping game where you’ll time your taps to keep your dragon in the air while aiming to land on platforms. Each stage offers coins and collectibles, and these coins can be used to purchase cosmetics for your dragon. The gameplay is easy to grasp but challenging enough to keep players coming back. While this is a casual game, it’s great in short bursts and extended sessions.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $3.49 apiece

Average Games

Titles that may not be the best-of-the-best, but still offer fun and interesting mechanics

METAL SLUG 5 ACA NEOGEO

Android Police coverage: SNK just launched 3 new Neo Geo classics on mobile, with more coming soon


SNK released three classic ports this week, and they are part of the Arcade Archives series, specifically the Neo Geo series, known as ACA Neo Geo. These modern ports have been available on consoles for some time, but now they are making their way to mobile, and Metal Slug 5 is one of them. While I wouldn’t call this the best run-and-gun game in the series, it holds its own, and the pixel graphics are superb as always. Sadly there is no controller support, which is odd since the console versions offer support. This means we’re all stuck with the touchscreen controls, and the touchscreen controls just aren’t good enough to make it through this challenging sidescrolling shooter. Sure, you can jump in for a quick bout of nostalgia, but if you want to beat this game, you’ll have better luck on platforms that support controllers.


Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

SAMURAI SHODOWN IV ACA NEOGEO

Android Police coverage: SNK just launched 3 new Neo Geo classics on mobile, with more coming soon

I’ve been a huge fan of Samurai Shodown since II, and I loved II so much as a kid I’d travel a city away just to play it on a big screen. As a fan of this series, it pains me to see Samurai Showdown IV finally released on Android without any controller support. To say this fighting game requires precision controls is an understatement, and so it’s hardly playable with the touch controls, not if you’re looking to trounce some fools. I would imagine the game’s price has a lot to do with the decision to rip out controller support from the mobile version, seeing that the game retails for $4 more on every other platform. The game is simply too tough to beat with the touch controls, making this a tough sell unless you’re simply looking for a bit of nostalgia.


Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

ALPHA MISSION II ACA NEOGEO

Android Police coverage: SNK just launched 3 new Neo Geo classics on mobile, with more coming soon

Alpha Mission II is the last Neo Geo title released this week, and it’s the strongest of the three ports, all thanks to the fact the touchscreen controls work well with this top-down shooter. Much like the older SHMUPS of the past, Alpha Mission will see you hoarding upgrades, where enemy hits will deplete your power, making for a game of avoidance as you shoot every enemy you come across. Large boss fights are in the mix, and the pixel graphics still hold up, as this is a great-looking game. So if you have to choose between the three recent Neo Geo releases, Alpha Mission II is the best of the bunch, thanks to the touchscreen controls that work well with this title’s gameplay.


Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Asphalt Xtreme

Android Police coverage: Netflix is weirdly reviving a dead mobile game as it expands its Android library

Asphalt Xtreme is quite literally a blast from the past. It was originally a Gameloft game from 2016, but it wasn’t that good of a racer, and so Gameloft sunsetted the title years ago. For some reason, Netflix has decided to purchase the defunct racer to offer it as one of its free (well, you do need a Netflix sub to play) mobile games for its subscribers. I suppose if you already pay for Netflix, there’s no harm in taking Asphalt Xtreme for a spin, and while this is not the strongest Asphalt game out there, it’s good enough to pass some time when you’re bored. Then again, you could just watch something on Netflix instead.


Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs (Netflix subscription needed)

Knittens

Android Police coverage: Netflix keeps up its Android gaming momentum with three new titles on the Play Store

The next game from Netflix this week is Knittens, an extremely simple match-3 game starring a bunch of adorable cats. Personally, I find the gameplay mind-numbingly dull, but some people enjoy the casual play of a match-3, and that’s precisely who this game is for. Of course, a Netflix sub is required to play, but if you already have access to a Netflix subscription, then this is one of the very few match-3 titles available on the Play Store that doesn’t contain awful monetization.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs (Netflix subscription needed)

Dominoes Café

Android Police coverage: Netflix keeps up its Android gaming momentum with three new titles on the Play Store

The last game from Netflix this week is Dominoes Café. This is a simple competitive game where you play a game of dominoes. 1v1 and 2v2 multiplayer gameplay is possible, and you can play solo to practice, with three game modes available to keep things fresh. Of course, the gameplay is super simple, especially if you know how to play Dominoes, though there is some fun to be had, especially if you’re just looking to waste a few minutes. Hopefully, Netflix will start releasing stuff that isn’t so casual in the future, but at least the lack of monetization means these are games easily tested, well, as long as you have a Netflix account.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs (Netflix subscription needed)

Alien Tower

Alien Tower is a simple but enjoyable casual game. The goal, last as long as you can while raising a window cleaning platform alongside a burning building. You’ll do this by moving your character to avoid the burning parts of the building, and as things progress, this gets more and more difficult. So if you enjoy casual time wasters and are looking for something new to sink your teeth into, Alien Tower is a fine choice this week.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 apiece

Qiks

As a kid, I was a big fan of the Game Boy game Qix. I didn’t own it, but my brother did, and I would borrow it all the time as it was one of my favorite GB games. The premise is simple, draw lines to divide the screen to make it smaller and smaller until you can trap the Qix in a small closed-off area. Qiks offers similar gameplay, but now you’ll draw lines to uncover imagery while avoiding the Qix. At the time of testing, the game does not contain any ads, though the Play Store says they are included, and since this is a Voodoo title, I would expect them to show up sometime soon. Still, you should be able to pay to remove those ads, which is what the single $3 IAP is for.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $2.99 apiece

Junkyard Keeper

ArmNomads is a studio that reminds me of VOODOO, with its simple casual games, and Junkyard Keeper is the latest release from the studio. As you can see, this is a game themed around the act of cleaning up a junkyard with a backhoe. Simply pick up the trash from the area highlighted, and place it into the dumpster. This scrap is then sold for money, which is how you advance, using that money to improve your equipment. While this is an incredibly casual game, it isn’t monetized yet, which means now is the best time to take it for a spin.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs

Postknight 2

As you can guess, Postknight 2 is the sequel to Postknight, and it improves on the original, just as a sequel should. Yes, this is still a casual RPG, and yes, the whole thing is centered around grinding. Luckily the grind can be fun since there’s less of a reliance on in-app purchases than the titles I list in the mediocre section of this roundup. The cartoon graphics look great, and animations are smooth, though there are some bugs, and even though most of the monetization can be ignored, the creep in prices from the original is noticeable.


Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $47.99

Mediocre Games

Titles that are buggy, unpolished, or offer aggressive monetization

Lineage2M

Make no mistake, Lineage2M is the real deal, the full MMORPG on mobile. This isn’t some cut-rate version like W; nope, this is the whole game. Sadly it’s still a free-to-play Korean MMO, which means it’s filled with horrible monetization. Like some of the worst out there, I’m not even kidding. It’s heavily pay-to-win, and it isn’t very shy about it. So while it’s great to see a full MMO coming to Android, this particular MMO is a money trap and then some. Whether or not you’ll be able to enjoy it boils down to how much grind you’re willing to put up with, and oh boy, is there a grind in this game if you play for free.


Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99

Onigiri HEROES

MMORPGs are a dime a dozen, and Onigiri HEROES does little to separate itself from the crowd. The game is set in ancient Japan, and the one thing that really stands out is that there is no autoplay. You do have to control your character manually. Beyond that, the game is pay-to-win, seeing that it sells potions that make things much easier. So far, the servers aren’t great, with downloads that take forever, which isn’t a good sign, as MMOs tend to live and die by their updates, and if those updates are a chore to install, most people won’t bother. Still, if you’re looking for a manual-play MMO, this is one of the few titles that fit that description. Just be prepared for a boatload of bugs and server issues paired with greedy monetization.


Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $104.99

Bloons TD Battles 2

The original Bloons TD Battles was released on Android in 2013, and so it has taken ninja kiwi almost ten years to launch the sequel on Android. While the game does offer crossplay, that crossplay can be against PC players who can program their own keybindings, which means anyone playing on mobile can face unbeatable opponents. This creates a situation where there is no reason to play online on mobile unless you enjoy getting trounced by those using shortcuts for success. Then again, it’s not the PC gamers’ fault; this is on the developer. Still, the low review scores on the Play Store are there for a reason.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $49.99

Downhill Smash

Somehow ZeptoLab is still cranking out casual games, and Downhill Smash is the latest release from the studio. The gameplay is pretty simple. Deck out a wheel with weapons, rollover your enemies until you die. This can be fun, but the game’s ads are super annoying, and the game itself is pretty buggy. And then there is the monetization, and guess what, it stinks. But of course, the cash shop works fine. It’s the gameplay that sufferers from bugs, pointing squarely at ZeptoLab’s priorities. Maybe one day the studio will go back to making fun games that aren’t designed from the ground up as blatant cash grabs, but that day isn’t today.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $94.99

Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!

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  • the app’s launch date has to be no longer than 2 weeks ago
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Now, if and only if the above requirements have been satisfied, fire up an email to this address: [email protected].

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