Well, there we are. 2020 is almost over, Christmas Day is upon us and there are games to play.
Again, variety is in abundance on Android. This list of the best Android games of 2020 features political satire, a pristine kart racer, a few amazing console ports, and a handful of revived classics.
Download one of these absolute bangers and you are guaranteed a very merry Christmas.
It’s hard to say what George Orwell would have done with Orwell’s animal farm. This lovingly crafted adventure game is true to its famous source material while wresting control of the narrative from the autocratic author and handing it over to players. You’ll assign tasks, manage resources, choose laws, spread propaganda, and generally see if you can do better than Napoleon and his hog accomplices.
After months of feverish anticipation, fueled in large part by its strong resemblance to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact hit the Google Play Store like an atomic bomb when it arrived in September. While the Breath of the Wild comparisons are valid for the visuals and some aspects of the gameplay, Genshin Impact is actually a gacha RPG with an elemental system, parties, etc., like countless mobile RPGs before it. Just a lot, a lot better.
Company of Heroes is one of the best real-time strategy games ever. It was an instant classic when he arrived in 2006, and his position at the top of the RTS tree was hardly threatened in the 14 years that followed. After a brief period of iPad exclusivity, it arrived this year on Android in pristine form, its mouse and keyboard controls perfectly suited for touchscreens. A clear victory for the good guys (i.e. us).
Yes, it looks a lot like Dark Souls. And, yes, it plays like that too. But Dark Souls is not available on mobile, and Pascal’s Wager is. This heavy, testing action game from developer Tipsworks is a wonderful act of tribute, with a suitably dark aesthetic, precision controls, and firm but fair combat. Since going live, a new DLC pack called Tides of Oblivious has also been added, giving the game a whole new aquatic environment to explore.
Finally, Riot Games has deigned to bring League of Legends to mobile, and so far it seems to be paying off. League of Legends: Wild Rift is a touchscreen-optimized version of classic MOBA, featuring 5v5 matches, dynamic champions, ever-changing strats, and pentakills. If you know what this means, you will be right. The catch is, it’s not yet available in the United States, although the open beta is underway in enough people that we’re willing to say it.
Gumslinger is the deceptively sophisticated multiplayer shooter, inviting wary gamers with its charming gummy aesthetic and straightforward gameplay before hooking them up with its sophisticated skills and Max Payne time slowing mechanic. Its rounds start off as 64-player Battles Royals in which you come back to life when you die, and they end with tense, bouncy, and ridiculous ragdoll duels that will make you pump the air.
After a long wait, EVE Echoes has finally arrived in 2020, bringing the world’s most intriguing virtual universe to the small screen. Kind of. In fact, EVE Echoes takes place in a parallel universe to EVE Online and operates on a slightly smaller, more streamlined scale. That doesn’t take away from its immense reach, rich gameplay, and stellar presentation (pun intended).
Crying Suns is FTL meets Dune. That’s the basics, but it has more to offer than just a combination of two other classic franchises. This modern classic from developer Alt Shift propels you into a procedurally generated universe and tasks you with navigating over 300 possible story events engaged in large-scale space battles. Tying it all together is a deep narrative arc through six chapters. A must buy for fans of strategy.
If nothing else, developer Focus Home Interactive deserves a lot of credit for taking a game that is all about big, bold and bulky machines and capturing the feel on a sleek little device that doesn’t even have buttons. MudRunner Mobile is a great port of a great game. Carrying newspapers might not sound like much fun, but trust us: as a game concept it works.
Like Kingdom: New Lands before it, Kingdom Two Crowns is an incredibly beautiful 2.5D pixelart strategy game that lets you recruit peasants, fight monsters, and build a kingdom capable of defeating greed. As the name suggests, this sequel lets you play with a friend, but only on the same device. So it is probably best to save this mode until you have taken the vaccine.
It would be reasonable to assume that Mario Kart Tour is as good as it gets when it comes to mobile kart racing. After all, no developer is better than Nintendo, and no kart driver is better than Mario Kart. On mobile, however, KartRider Rush + is in pole position. And not just a little bit. Nexon Mobile’s pristine arcade racing game manages to push the boundaries of the genre in just about every direction, making it an essential download.
Each step of Dadish ends in the same way. You reunite the game’s protagonist with another of his stray kids, they both say something funny, and then they bounce off each other, kissing in the air. It’s totally lovely. Like Super Meat Boy before him, Dadish is a challenging game made up of short, demanding, perfectly constructed stages that only work because the controls and physics are immaculate.
Adapted from the popular board game of the same name, Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower is a compelling strategy game that allows you to fight your way through the titular tower. The combat is tactical and turn-based, taking place in a variety of high-fantasy environments that will be familiar to Warhammer fans. There are over 200 battles to go, across 25 backgrounds, with brand new quests arriving every day.
Developer thatgamecompany has made a name for itself as a provider of dream games, affecting games that explore aspects of the human experience that other games can’t – and, to be honest, don’t try – to achieve. Sky: Children of the Light takes this approach and makes it massively multiplayer, giving you and countless other players the chance to explore seven magnificent realms to embark on dreamlike adventures.
League of Legends: Wild Rift may be the first mobile game release of League of Legends, but it’s not the first mobile game in the League of Legends universe. This honor goes to Teamfight Tactics. But after that came Legends of Runeterra, Riot Games’ first stab in the card fighting genre. Unsurprisingly, it’s great, with a comprehensive and well-rounded selection of cards and a rich lore based on League of Legends.
Few games have stood the test of time like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Already dated when it arrived on PlayStation in 1997, this 2D action platformer masterpiece lets you explore Dracula’s vast gothic castle, slay monsters with an ever-growing array of weapons, ‘acquire new abilities and use them to gain access to parts of the castle that were previously inaccessible. He has the honor of co-founding a whole genre, and that’s still essential.
The sequel to the highly acclaimed Meteorfall: Journeys, Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale is a bold and playful take on the roguelike card fighter. It does the same thing as the Galaxy Quest movie or the Adventure Time TV series, taking an ironic and knowledgeable approach to its genre while also spelling out absolutely everything that makes the genre great. It’s also perfect for mobiles, with short games that are always unique.