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Top Tuesday: 5 great android games for 2013


With all the drama surrounding the Xbox One's second-hand games policy, always-online requirement and potential invasion of privacy with Kinect 2, I'm sure a many of you are thinking of passing on the console. The knee-jerk reaction is to go with the PS4, but that consoles second-game policy is also still unclear, so it isn't a slam dunk choice just yet. Oh well, Wii U it is then. But wait, there's like zero games out there for the Wii U. PC? PC's are ideal, have great versatility, an abundance of games at great prices and you'll always be on the cutting edge of technology. Except that the cutting edge can cost more than your bond repayments and car payments combined.

But there is a cheap alternative beyond the usual suspects, that you probably already own, but just don't think about as a video game medium. It's probably in your pocket now, backpack or laying on your desk as you read this: your cellphone or tablet.

It wasn't so long ago that the height of mobile phone gaming sophistication was a brand-new version of Snake, but things have moved on massively since the old 5110 from Nokia. Thanks to Apple and Google, your phone or tablet is a effectively a new video game console. Most people own one or both already, so it not like you need to run out and get one; and best of all, there are a lot of quality games available on them that are sub-R50 or even free. 

Here's a few picks for the best Android games of the year so far.

Symphony of the Origin
Cost on Google Play - R37.72

With Symphony of the Origin, Kemco has built a mobile game in the mold of the classic Japanese RPG from the ground up. It's a great nostalgiagasm for gamers that grew up on the Dragon Quests and Final Fantasy's of this world. It's a gorgeous JRPG, that will likely please anyone who tries it and it's game that isn't too demanding on resources and whose gameplay gels pretty well with touchscreen inputs.

Metal Slug X
Cost on Google Play - R33.00

Does Metal Slug really need an introduction? The classic SNK/Neo Geo side-scrolling shooter is a true classic of the genre that should be enjoyed by everyone. It's difficult to pin down exactly what the appeal of the game is, since the 80's are literally swamped with games of this type, but Metal Slug has some kind of magic voodoo that just begs for it to be played. 

Real Racing 3
Cost on Google Play - Free

Did you see that trailer? Amazing neh? The original Real Racing and it's sequels are proof that mobile gaming isn't all cutey cartoony graphics, 16-bit ports, rehashes and puzzle games. When Android is matched with some great processing hardware, as in the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One and Sony Experia Z you get some amazing results, like Real Racing 3 over here. When you look at the visuals alone, you could easily mistake it as a game for the PC, that's how technically proficient it was. The only downside to Real Racing 3 is that it really abuses the in-app-purchases, in that there are deliberate time barriers put in place that can be bypassed with a cash payment, but if you can overlook that, then you'll have a remarkable racer in your hands.

Royal Revolt!
Cost on Google Play - Free

Royal Revolt! is described as a tower defense game on it's Google Play description page, but its actually more of a tower offense game. Where typical tower defence game's have locking down a location and protecting it from incursions, Royal Revolt! actually does the opposite having you play as the attack side. So it's wave after wave of you through different units at a series of castles until you can mount a successful invasion. It's immense, addictive fun.

Cost on Google Play - Free

As far as gameplay is concerned, Shadowgun - or SHADOWGUN, if we're being pedantic - is basically Gear of War for Android. If you quickly glance at someone playing it, you would be forgiven for making that mistake. But even though it is a Gears clone, don't going thinking it's Gear-lite. The game is a solid cover based shooter, that is sure to please. Like Real Racing there's no denying its technical proficiency. The story driven original retails for R47.13, but you can grab the multiplayer, SHADOWGUN: Deadzone, for niks.

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