Top 10 best Android games of January 2013

Sega classics, retro blasters, and fantasy fighters

Top 10 best Android games of January 2013

At the start of every month, we like to stop for a breather and take a look back at the best Android games of the previous 30 days or so.

How do we decide on these games? Mainly by looking at our own Android reviews section. We also sneak a peek at what's been lighting up the Quality Index boards, mind, and consider anything else that might have caught our attention during the month.

With that in mind - as well as the ten-game limit we impose on ourselves - we encourage you all to contribute your own favourite games of the month in the comments section below.

So, how has the year 2013 been treating Android gamers up to this point?

Let's take a closer look...

Royal Revolt!
By Keen Games - download free on Android

In last month's Top 10 round-up, we featured Anomaly Korea, the latest in a growing sub-genre of tower offence games. Royal Revolt! joins that welcome uprising, and does so with considerable aplomb.

Rather than hole up against an attacking army, here you are the attacking army. It's up to you to grind down your hunkered-down opponent through grit and tactical acumen.

With superb 3D graphics, a likeable fantasy theme, and reasonably acceptable IAPs, Royal Revolt! is probably our favourite Android game of the month.

Colosseum Defense
By COCOSOFT - download free on Android

In this tap-happy defence game, you fend off waves of orcish enemies with a whopping great knife-gun. You heard - a knife-gun. Why no one thought to combine the two before, we'll never know.

While the action's pretty simplistic and repetitive, there's a compelling level-up system at the heart of the Colosseum Defense experience. Oh, and yet another example of a reasonable IAP system.

Is it just us, or do developers seem to be starting to get a handle on this?

Kingdom Conquest II
By Sega Mobile - download free on Android

This hugely involved title from Sega really puts a great many flimsy freemium titles to shame.

It's got city-building elements, it's got action-RPG dungeon-crawling bits, it's got card-battling sections. Yep, Kingdom Conquest II is big.

In fact, there are probably a few too many things going on here for its own good, but the last thing we want to do is talk a game down for ambition. Especially in the freemium category.

By OrangePixel - buy on Android

This mixture of Metal Slug-style scrolling action and Super Crate Box-esque frantic weapon juggling results in another hit for OrangePixel.

Gunslugs's got that brilliant retro art style that the developer has gradually refined over half a dozen or so games. And, yes, it's tough as nails to boot.

A highly entertaining blaster.

Metal Slug 3
By SNK Playmore - buy on Android

Speaking of Metal Slug, Metal Slug 3 finally hit the wider Google Play Store this month, after appearing on iOS and Xperia Play in 2012.

It's the same super-detailed 2D platform-shooter that surfaced on the Neo Geo console in 2000 - though, admittedly, with somewhat compromised virtual controls.

All in all, this has proven a good month for retro shooters.

By GMO - buy on Android

And while we're linking these games in a fabulously flowing chain, let's move on to another classic shooter conversion...

Ikaruga first hit Japanese arcades in 2001, boasting stunning 3D visuals and a novel white / black mechanic in addition to its typical bullet-hell gunplay.

We can't say that the conversion to a tiny touchscreen has been entirely successful, but there's no hiding what a great game this still is.

By Red Winter Software - buy on Android

There are plenty of roguelikes on Google Play. Heck, here's a list of our Top 10 roguelikes on 'droid straight off the bat.

In contrast to most roguelikes, where you traipse through countless randomly generated dungeons for an age, the game experience in Dungelot should appeal to more 'casual' gamers.

You're still dungeon-crawling here, but moving around is more like a game of Minesweeper. You touch squares to reveal what's hiding beneath - whether it's loot or an 'orrible orc to battle.

You will die eventually, of course. But, when you do, you can level-up your hero and try again, stronger than before.

Temple Run 2
By Imangi Studios - download free on Android

You're probably one of the squillion people who've already downloaded Imangi's record-breaking sequel, but it deserves its place on our list on account of more than just its popularity.

Temple Run 2 may not reinvent the wheel (or indeed the endless-runner), but it does refine the formula that launched a million copycats.

Run, jump, slide, and collect. It's as irresistibly easy to do - and to fail at - as it's ever been. Except now you've got zip-lines, mine carts, and Gems to think about, too.

Dream House Days
By Kairosoft - download free on Android

Another month, another Kairosoft game. How does it keep churning out such wonderful titles?

Think of Dream House Days as the company's take on The Sims. So, you meddle with a bunch of everyday people's apartments and make sure the rent's paid on time.

Of course, it's also far more immediate, cute, and fun than its inspiration.

It's a shame that Kairosoft has misjudged the IAP system somewhat in this game, but Dream House Days's inherent quality shines through, nonetheless.

Guns'n'Glory Heroes
By HandyGames - download free on Android

HandyGames takes the proven Guns'n'Glory tower defence gameplay and lays a Tolkien-aping fantasy skin over the top.

Of course, the Guns'n'Glory approach to TD is still sufficiently unique to retain that fresh feeling.

Here, your defensive 'towers' are actually warriors, which means that you can move them around to wherever the fighting is taking place.

It's all very dynamic and lovely looking, and fans of the previous games in the series shouldn't hesitate to hit the download button.

Top 10 best Android games: December 2012
Top 10 best Android games: November 2012
Top 10 best Android games: October 2012
Top 10 best Android games: September 2012
Top 10 best Android games: August 2012
Top 10 best Android games: July 2012