Top 10 best auto-runners on Android (2013)

Put your feet up

Top 10 best auto-runners on Android (2013)

The act of moving one leg in front of the other at a fast pace - sometimes called 'running' - can be an exhausting experience.

At the end of a long jog on unforgiving pavements, there's nothing better than curling up on the couch with your favourite 'droid device and letting one of these auto-running belters do all the work for you.

A few of them will even do some jumping for you, too, provided you can muster the strength to tap the screen.

Go on - feel the burn.

Rayman Jungle Run
By Ubisoft - buy on Android

What can we say, except that Ubisoft's miniature version of console platformer Rayman Origins is a marvel of both form and function.

You might only control Rayman's jumping, swinging, spinning, and floating here with the power of a single digit, but there's a flow to the levels that betrays the work of master platforming craftsmen.

Completing the game won't take long, but replaying the levels to seek out each and every coin, and the slickest route, makes this Jungle Run worth repeating.

Temple Run 2
By Imangi Studios - buy on Android

Ignoring the increasingly limp movie tie-in spin offs (yes, we're talking about you, Oz), the Temple Run phenomenon continues apace with this utterly compulsive sequel.

Yes, you're still on the run from a mysterious creature thing, but the extra obstacles, moves, and rope-sliding sections help to keep the momentum building so fast that you'll barely notice the shiny paint job Imangi has carried out.

Granny Smith
By Mediocre - buy on Android

This is a personal favourite from 2012, though the quirkiness of Granny Smith's setup - old lady chases down apple thief by ziplining with her cane and smashing through houses - might be off-putting to some.

Yet, let's face it, those people are fools.

This game has a supercharged nana, over-the-top stunts, tight controls, and gleefully satisfying death-defying leaps. What's not to like?

Ski Safari
By Defiant Development - buy on Android

Rather than be flattened by an avalanche, the protagonist of this Bronze Award winner uses this 'opportunity' to ski for his life... stealing a ride on the odd penguin and Abominable Snowman in the process.

There's a definite sense of old skool arcade joy to be had in Ski Safari, which gets ramped up thanks to the surreal helping hands you get on each run.

Oh, and don't get me started on those absurdly high jumps you'll spin boldly throughout in pursuit of those tough high score challenges. Oh, you have. Naughty you.

Canabalt HD
By Kittehface Software - buy on Android

Canabalt is arguably the King of the Endless Runners. The endless-running pioneer, if you like.

This version of Adam Saltsman's genre-defining Flash game only arrived on Android last year, yet it remains a perfect distillation of twitch platforming, mobile-friendly, one-button gameplay.

In this game - which gives nods to The Matrix, John Woo, and Half-Life - your unnamed hero is on the run from an alien invasion. To elude his potential captors, he can't afford a single mistimed jump between the city's rooftops. Or else.

Team Awesome
By Ezone.com - download free on Android

Despite Team Awesome missing out on one of Pocket Gamer's prestigious Bronze Awards because it runs out of steam an hour or so in, this freemium title's The Incredibles-like charm makes it worth a quick spin.

This is as much a flying game as it is a platformer, so you'll be soaring through levels, crashing through scenery, collecting coins, and returning stray cats to their owners.

Lovely stuff.

The Gentleman
By Christopher Buckley - buy on Android

There aren't enough monocles in video games. Seriously, this is one MAJORLY underused prop.

Good news, then, that the maker of The Gentleman shares my corrective lens 'concerns'.

You see, the eponymous hero of this piece is prepared to repeatedly risk his life - and, make no mistake, this is one tough platformer - to collect the poshest eyewear around.

Polite handclaps, please.

By Nekki - download free on Android

Just out on Android, thank you, Vector is a potent combination of Canabalt's sci-fi setting, Mirror's Edge's flamboyant parkour, and extremely reliable touch controls.

You're on the run from a totalitarian regime, and every stumble grants your pursuers the chance to taser you.

Learning to respond to the on-screen prompts with flawless timing, then, is the only way to continue your break for freedom.

By Hope This Works Games - buy on Android

Polara hurts my brain. Thankfully, it's in that good way where you feel like mastering its tricky power-switching mechanic makes you just as cool as the game's neon-clad heroine, Lara.

To jump over obstacles, you tap one side of the screen. To switch Lara's stolen suit (there's a plot here, too!) from red to blue, you tap the other side.

Time it right, and you'll effortlessly glide between blue lasers. Time it wrong, and, well, you're fried.

Into the Dead
By PikPok Games- download free on Android

Need a break from all this bouncing-around joyfulness?

Hmmm, how about auto-running your way through an endless horde of zombies instead, then, eh?

There's no jumping in Into the Dead, but there is a lot of nerve-jangling tension. You must weave within the shadows between the shambling monsters, trying desperately hard not to get grabbed and munched.

Good luck!

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo