There are tons of great games for Android. The following is my top ten favorites. All of these games are still on my phone and most get regular playing time.

10. Dream Zoo

Dream Zoo is fun if you enjoy games where the main goal is leveling up. I do, so I’m slightly addicted to this game. The game is pretty simple to learn. The animals come in four different levels — common, rare, very rare and champion. Two common animals can breed (via stork) to create a rare animal. Two rare animals can breed to create a very rare animal and so on. It is pretty straight forward. The more you do, the more experience points you accumulate and the more animals are available for your zoo.

The only problem I have with the game is the money system. There are three forms of currency in the game — hearts, coins and cash. Hearts are earned by visiting other zoos, getting accomplishments and going on safaris. Coins are earned by washing/feeding animals and getting accomplishments and are also generated by the animals in your zoo. Hearts and coins are earned fairly easily. Cash on the other hand cannot be earned easily. I’ve been playing the game for three weeks and I’ve earned a total of 43 cash. The items in the game for purchase range from 20 to 100 cash each. That severely limits the possibilities for the zoo. Why does Zynga do this? To make money of course. You can purchase cash in the game marketplace with real money. The cost ranges from $0.99 for ten cash to $99.99 for 1600 cash. Dream Zoo itself is free and this cash system is Zynga’s way of trying to make money from it. It’s an awful way to make a game. I’d rather pay a flat fee upfront and have a way to earn the cash in-game, but alas that is not a possibility. This cash system is the only reason that Dream Zoo is not in my top three.

9. Greedy Spiders

Poor, helpless flies are trapped on a spider web and it is your job to save them. Separate the flies from the spiders using scissors (cuts a single strand), matches (burns a node and all connected strands), decoy flies (lures the spider away) and life-lines (releases the fly outright). In this puzzle game, you take turns with the spider(s) making moves. The goal is easy, save the flies. The execution is much more complicated than that though. The harder levels contain multiple flies and multiple spiders and often only one solution. Greedy Spiders is one of those frustratingly fun puzzle games that you will get fed up with and swear never to play again, only to return an hour later to give it another shot.

Also, I will always remember this game as the one that I played while waiting to get into the delivery room when my daughter was born. For that alone, it will always be on my top ten list.

8. Farm Tower

This game is cute and I hate it. The farm animals are blockified*, which makes it adorable. Each level has a specific number of blocks that must be removed (blinked from existence with your finger) without allowing the farm animals to touch the ground. It sounds pretty simple, but when bouncing, floating, rotating and exploding blocks are added to the equation, things get sticky. This was one of the first games I downloaded on my G2 and it is still installed. I keep hoping for an update that adds levels. I’ve beaten all of the current levels (slightly over one hundred) and I’m hungry for more.

7. Hanging With Friends

Essentially, Hanging With Friends is a knockoff of hangman. The fun thing about this game is that you can play … with friends. Hangman is not that exciting and playing with friends is the only reason it is on my top ten. The two things I hated about this game are 1) you have to be signed up for Facebook or Twitter to play and 2) it crashes a lot. The crashing was experienced by my wife on her MyTouch 4G also. We both have problems with Dream Zoo (another Zynga game) crashing as well. It’s annoying, but not enough to turn my off of the game.

6. Angry Birds

Do I really need to write anything about Angry Birds? If you have not played this game yet (or one of its many versions), then you probably don’t own a smartphone. And if that’s the case, why are you reading this article?

5. Peggle

If you’ve ever played Breakout (or one of the hundreds of clones), Peggle will feel very familiar. Both games use a ball to destroy blocks or pegs. Peggle mixes things up by letting the player shoot the ball from the top of the screen in the trajectory of their choice. There is no paddle at the bottom of the screen, but what is essentially a bucket that scrolls from left to right. The playing field consists of pegs (round and rectangular) of varying color — blue, orange, purple and green. The object is to eliminate all of the orange pegs to advance. The blue pegs are there to get in your way. The purple peg of which there is only one per shot and which jumps around the board replacing a random blue peg, increases your score on that particular shot. The green pegs (two per level) give you a superpower. The superpower depends on the character you’re playing as. There are ten different characters with powers ranging from a multiball to a fireball. The best superpower, in my opinion, is the zen ball — it alters your shot to give you the best possible outcome. With four different playing modes, Peggle has tons of replay value and is a good way to waste an afternoon.

4. The Secret of Grisly Manor

The Secret of Grisly Manor is point-and-click adventure. You need to find the key to open the safe to get out the pliers to fix the clock…I like it because it’s different. There are so many “casual” games where birds are being thrown or blocks are falling or balloons need popped. It’s nice to see something different. It takes some critical thinking to figure out how items fit together and how to solve some of the puzzles. The game reminds me of all of those hidden object games created by Big Fish, but without the hidden object aspect, which is not necessarily a good or bad thing. Either way, the game works for me.

3. Symphony of Eternity

I love…L-O-V-E…love Japanese-style RPG’s. I waited for a long time to find one on Android. Symphony of Eternity is the game that I was waiting for. I’ll admit the game has flaws. The dialog is awkward at best (I think this is due to translation issues from Japanese) and the story line seems like it was written by a room full of chimps. I don’t care about any of that though. The game is fun. The battles are fun. The leveling up is fun. The awkward dialog was even fun at times. That is why I play games — to have fun. This game will never be confused for Final Fantasy, but if you want to play a casual JRPG on an Android device, you should check this one out.

2. Scrambled Network

This was the only game that I had on my old MyTouch that I downloaded to my G2. On the novice level, the board is set with five squares horizontally by six square vertically. Computers and network cables are randomly placed in squares. One square will contain a router. The goal is to rotate the squares (in place, they don’t move) so all of the computers are getting data from the router. The computer squares are all the same, with only one connection point, but the network cable squares will vary. They can have two (straight and elbow variety), three or four connection points. Similarly, the router can have one, two, three or four connection points. The game is pretty easy to master on novice, but gets much more complicated as you move up in difficulty. The master level is a seven by twelve board that wraps (the left can feed the right, the bottom can feed the top, etc.). It gets even worse. There is an insane level. The insane level is the same as the master level, accept all of the network and router squares with three or four connection points are invisible. Yes! It is quite addictive. I play the master level for fun. I play the insane level when I want a challenge. I’ve wasted countless hours playing this game. My current records are 0:43 for the master level and 2:22 for the insane level. I dare you to beat that.

1. Triple Town

Where do I start with this game? First thing, do not buy it if you ever want to get work done again. I’m going to describe it to you and you are going to shrug and think something like, “that doesn’t seem that bad.” It is bad.

The goal is simple — build your board into a town by combing three like items — three grass patches turn into a bush, three bushes turn into a tree, three trees turn into a hut, etc. That’s it. It is that simple. There are other pieces as well. Crystals are like wild cards and can be used in place of a third item, which is very handy when you get up the mansions and floating mansions. The two things that make the game a challenge are that the pieces do not move and the #$%^ bears. To advance in the game, you must plan your moves out well in advance. If the three pieces don’t touch on the board, they don’t change into the next piece. To make matters worse, you’ll occasionally get bears that wander around the board, getting in your way and frustrating the hell out of you. Ninja bears — oh, how I hate them — will jump randomly around the board, further complicating matters. If you’re lucky, you’ll get enough imperial bots to manage the ninja bears. The imperial bots will destroy everything except bears. It turns bears into tombstones (three tombstones change into a church).

See. I told you. You’re thinking, “seems harmless.” You’re wrong. Don’t do it. Don’t download this game. You’ll never get anything done again.

* Blockified is a real word. Look it up.

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Jeff McGaha

I'm a father, husband and electrical engineer.

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