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Top 10 best Android games of June 2012

June the Oscura

Top 10 best Android games of June 2012
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If you were hiding away from the pomp and circumstance of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and blithely ignoring England's typically disappointing performance at Euro 2012, you should have found plenty of time in June to get in some quality Android gaming.

A generous raft of releases on the Google Play Store helped lift our collective spirits far more than the watching of a boatload of barges (pun intended) crawl slowly up the Thames in pelting precipitation did.

And the majority of them had more staying power than Wayne Rooney's original hairline, too.

Here, then, are the top ten Android games of June 2012. As voted for by UEFA. Sorry - by me.

Oscura
By Chocolate Liberation Front - buy on Android

If Xbox Live's design darling Limbo taught us anything (apart from go nowhere near giant arachnids), it was that clever interplay between light and shadow makes for a haunting visual experience.

Oscura may contain a few more colours than the monochrome Limbo, but its tale of a shadowy imp creature retrieving shards of a shattered lighthouse is imbued with its inspiration's melancholy vibe.

Oscura's smart multi-touch tap-and-swipe approach to platforming, plus a handy slow motion function for tricky moves, meanwhile, meant that this game was a worthy recipient of a Silver Award on review.

Castle Master 3D
By Alpha Cloud - buy on Android

A real-time strategy spin on the Dungeon Defender's template, Castle Master 3D offers an intriguing - and suitably epic - marriage of castle management and third-person swashbuckling.

Each battle begins with an RTS-style resource-gathering exercise, in which you develop your castle hub and build an army of troops, then head off to assault the nearest enemy castle.

Here, the action switches to real-time battling, with you taking the role of the hero leading your soldiers into scuffles against orcs and demons.

Extreme Skater
By Miniclip - buy on Android

Less Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and more Trials HD, Extreme Skater is a fantastic example of how focusing on reaction skills rather than complex combos can make for an ultra-satisfying gaming experience.

Miniclip's title features a series of obstacle courses, ranging from rusty pipe-strewn warehouses to a dinosaur graveyard, where the object is to ride, grind, and ollie your way safely to the end.

PathPix
By Kris Pixton - buy on Android

After only recently recovering from a nasty case of Picross DS addiction, I quickly rekindled my dark obsession with colourful number puzzling through Kris Pixton's 'droid twist on the classic Japanese paper-and-pencil pastime.

Based on his popular PC and iOS titles, PathPix presents you with a massive series of - increasingly difficult - grid-based puzzles. You have to tap and drag to draw twisty routes between matching numbers to eventually uncover works of pixel art.

Centipede: Origins
By Atari - buy on Android

Attempting to update a true classic like Centipede is no mean feat - the original flickering pixel game was considered pretty flawless in its time. Yet, Atari has managed to craft a title that stays true to the original's arcade blasting yet benefits from a few welcome 21st-century trappings.

We now have a story (of sorts), and the graphics have been sharpened up. Plus, there's an RPG-lite upgrade system to help you fend off the increasingly pernicious foes.

Monster Shooter: Lost Levels
By Gamelion Studios - buy on Android

Monster Shooter: Lost Levels leapt from intriguing freemium title to full-fledged premium game in June, making the twin-stick shooter all the more appealing in the process.

You know the drill: waves of enemies attack and you have to fend them off using an ever-expanding arsenal of sci-fi-inspired weaponry. Oh, and for added wackiness, you've got a drooling cat to rescue, too.

Zombie Ace
By Hothead Games - buy on Android

"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will take jobs as short haul pilots," our reviewer noted in his assessment of Zombie Ace, and that's about as smart a summary as you can get for this bizarre endless-runner.

Playing out a lot like Whale Trail, Zombie Ace requires you to pilot an zombie-controlled jumbo and ward off attacks from human fighter planes - normally by unleashing kamikaze undead warriors on them.

The simple tap-to-increase-altitude and release-to-fall controls work beautifully here, and lots of new hazards, like thunder clouds and hailstorms, soon emerge to further hamper your progress.

Pocket Clothier
By Kairosoft - buy on Android

One day, I'll get to write this round-up without mentioning a Kairosoft management sim. But, on the basis of Pocket Clothier, that will be as much a day of sorrow as relief.

The ostensibly simple goal of keeping a clothing store up and running is enlivened with countless tasks, from researching new clothing ranges to arranging special events. It's even blessed with welcome swipe controls for the camera.

Temple Run: Brave
By Imangi Studios - buy on Android

I may not know what the Disney Pixar movie Brave is about (ironic cowardice, perhaps), but I'll take any excuse to test out another version of the F2P phenomenon that is Temple Run.

The backgrounds are a little greener in this movie tie-in, and you're now being chased by a giant bear rather than a pack of monkeys, yet the simple tap-to-jump / swipe-to-turn gameplay remains as addictive as ever.

Formula Micro GP 1
By Razmobi - buy on Android

Looking like an 8-bit version of Micro Machines (best top-down racer ever, of course), this demanding racer prioritises elegant controls and a compulsive career mode over snazzy graphics.

There are few gaming experiences on Android sweeter than the moment you pull off a perfect pit stop and zing back into pole position in Razmobi's superb racing game. If you're listening, guys, a multiplayer mode is a must for the sequel.


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