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Best new Android games to play this April
Apps Games 13 min read 146 comments

Best new Android games to play this April

Android has an awful lot of games and each month brings new titles. Knowing which ones are any good can be tricky. This is why we've put together a list of the best games that we've discovered on the Play Store—just three each month to ensure that only games we've played make it onto the list.

April

Some very highly anticipated titles arrived on the Play Store in recent weeks, such as Stardew Valley, which comes highly recommended. Get it and start out right with our expert guide to the success in the game. I'm only just getting to grips with the Elder Scrolls Blades, and right now it's too early to tell if the game's monetization model is just too intrusive to net it a recommendation. Stay tuned for the full skinny on that soon.

Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North

You might have already noticed Wave Light Games, the studio behind some of the best tactical RPGs on the Play Store. Well the team is back at it doing what they do best: a polished premium strategy RPG with plenty of depth and no in-app purchases or ads. I heartily recommend it.

In Shieldwall Chronicles, you command a team of mercenaries, with plenty of races, classes and abilities to choose from (and models of different genders for each type, kudos!). There's a lot of number crunching, and you'll have to think about positioning, status affects, ability stats, experience action points and so on to calculate your advantage in battle - but the game offers a handy 'simple' mode which streamlines the mechanics for a more casual experience.

There's a fantasy adventure story behind the battles, and while you can make some choices, it's pretty standard fare for the genre and not quite as interesting as the bad guys perspective of Demon's Rise 2 from the same team. But the battles are great, and the warriors and environments are depicted and animated with character and flair. The 40 hour campaign delivers more than enough action to occupy your thumbs.

  • App version: 1
  • Compatibility: Android 7.1 and above, 3GB RAM
  • Price: $5.99

Get it on the Play Store.

Cultist Simulator

The cult (ahem) PC game gets a slick mobile port under the Playdigious banner. In this card game, you take on the role of a novice occultist who begins to explore secrets that Man Was Not Meant To Know, delving into forbidden lore. Along the way, you've got to strike the right work/life/eldritch investigation balance to keep your sanity in check and expand your growing cabal.

This is done through literally playing the cards you're dealt, placing them into activity slots and learning their effects along the way (this game has no tutorial and there's a lot of trial and error as well as luck in the beginning). Your actions unlock new activities, activate extra cards and can have knock-on effects and unforeseen consequences down the road. As a card-based game, Cultist Simulator plays well on touchscreen controls, and there's nothing lost in the transition to mobile.

Thanks to the excellent writing and '20s inspired decor, what follows is an emergent pseudo-Lovecraftian story of your journey from curious aspirant to cult hierophant. As you get closer to summoning the alien gods to this world, what are you willing to sacrifice? Your sanity? The lives of your devoted followers? To tempt you into darkness, the game is currently offered at a launch discount.

  • App version: 2.1
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: $6.99 (currently $4.89)

Get it on the Play Store

Dungeon Warfare 2

Maybe you're like me and you've gnashed your teeth in frustration at yet another senseless death from falling into a put of spikes, being hit by a poison needle, or cut in twain by triggering a hidden mechanical scythe or some other insidious trap. Who designs these things? Well, in this tower defense game, you do.

Dungeon Warfare 2 is the successor to the hit Dungeon Warfare and has already been available on PC for a while. But the tower defense genre thrives on mobile and this game is one of the best in class. As master of the dungeon its your duty set up deadly traps, tricky pitfalls to grind down the mobs of adventurers that invade your home looking for loot.

The game's well-developed physics system will have you fiendishly delight discovering combos, environmental effects and trap arrangements for maximum mayhem and carnage. Be warned though, it won't be easy. The mobs of invaders don't mindlessly shuffle to their deaths, but will dig, climb and find other ways around your defenses.

  • App version: 1.0.0
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $4.99 

Get it on the Play Store

March

It's been a eventful week in mobile games, what with Skylanders: Ring of Heroes arriving on the Play Store, Plague Inc. getting a sequel and resolving to add anti-vaxxers to the original game, and the Mortal Kombat mobile game getting new characters in the hype up to MK11. Still, a few titles stood out from the crowd to seize the attentions of your busy editor, including an ingenious roguelike, a thoughtful puzzler and an addictive new gacha title.

Immortal Rogue

Roguelike games—where you're expected to die over and over again—clutter the Play Store, but Immortal Rogue offers an intriguing twist you can find in the title. In this slick action game, you play as a vampire who battles through the ages: prehistorical, medieval, hi-tech etc., against a variety of enemies. But even though you can—and will—be killed, you are immortal, so you simply rise again in a few centuries to resume your long-term quest. When you return, the world will have changed according to your previous decisions, successes and failures.

The more levels you beat, the more power ups you can collect, including different accessories and weapons that can change your tactics and appearance. Every now and then, you get the option to 'turn' a mini-boss to your cause and unlock them as an ally that gives you bonuses upon your resurrection. The choices you make in who to turn and who to kill are very impactful in the long run, and not just for story purposes. To reach higher levels and beat tougher bosses, you'll need those bonuses that can carry over after death.

The action flows smoothly and frantically in Immortal Rogue thanks to well designed touch controls that make it easy to hack and slash through a level in just a few minutes with one hand - perfect for the commute. This is helped along by the pumping synthwave-style soundtrack too. Immortal Rogue costs 5 bucks and is yet to be officially released, but for your money you'll get one of the very best mobile games you can play today, without any ads or further IAP.

  • App version: Varies with device
  • Compatibility: Varies with device
  • Price: $4.99

Get it on the Play Store

G30 - A Memory Maze

G30 is a puzzle game, but it's much deeper than simply matching colors or moving blocks. The mechanics are based around turning various colored dials with pieces of images. When put together, they generate phrases based on key words that tease different variants of an event, or associations of objects. As you turn the dials, and match colors, more words are revealed. Some of them are saved in a narrative story, which starts out as a collection of blank spaces with the details being filled in out of sequential order: what starts to emerge is the story of someone with a cognitive disorder, trying to piece together fragmented memories.

This intriguing yet emotional story, combined with a haunting soundtrack and a stark, minimalist presentation gives G30 an emotional kick that you won't find in other match-the-things type puzzle games. It's an interactive work of art that challenges you not just to accomplish a challenge, but also to consider a (hopefully) different experience - is this what it would be like to lose your memories, your mind?

The puzzles keep getting more complex as you progress, but there's no pressure like a score system or time limit. Only your own desire to fill in the gaps in your characters story, which, given the mental struggles the game is trying to emulate, is an elegant integration of gameplay and story. Challenging, beautiful, satisfying but sad, G30 is a puzzle game for the brain and the heart.

  • App version: 1.06
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $3.99

Get it on the Play Store

RAID: Shadow Legends

RAID: Shadow Legends has a generic name, but don't let that put you off. This 'new' game has been in soft launch in several regions for months, and is only now getting a global release. RAID bills itself as a fantasy RPG, but there's no real role-playing here...What it is, is a rather deep tactical gacha game where you collect fantasy heroes of different types and races (orcs, knights, barbarians, elves, archers, undead, mages, etc.), and put them up in teams to beat waves of enemy teams and tough bosses. The graphics are top notch, with some really cool-looking character designs (the unfortunate exception being some of the female champions, who aren't quite believable as badass warriors when they fight in armored underwear).

There's a story to this game, but it takes a backseat to the battles, and that's where the real depth is. At the time of playing, there are around 300 heroes to collect, each with different abilities, and tons of equipment with different effects. Finding the right combination of heroes to beat a particular boss, level or challenge is key. There are several different game modes including a story campaign, PvP arena, a 'clan battle' where you team up to beat exceptionally hard bosses, and dungeons, where you fight tricky enemies to gain unique items. Some modes cost different currencies to participate it, so if you play for a while you'll bounce between them, getting a taste of everything.

Picking the team, leveling up and equipping your champions to overcome tougher and tougher battles is a satisfying challenge, but also a point of frustration which is typical of the gacha genre's business model - new characters are randomized and have different rarities, so to get the powerful ones you want, you have to repetitively grind the missions for rewards or pay real money for more spins on the wheel. Even then you're not guaranteed a particular one. But RAID is generous with rewards for new players especially, and if you can resist the urge to catch 'em all as soon as possible, you'll soon collect plenty characters and items for your fantasy squad without spending.

  • App version: 1.5.5
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: Free to play with in-app purchases

Get it on the Play Store.

February

It's the shortest month of the year, so you don't want to waste your precious time playing boring games. Here are my top three recommendations to make the most of those minutes this February.

Oddmar

Hell yes, we’re going to be a viking warrior on magic mushrooms! Praise Odin and pass the axes. Oddmar’s eponymous ‘hero’ is a lazy layabout viking whose freeloading ways earn him the scorn of his village. His entry to the golden halls of Valhalla is denied. To redeem himself, Oddmar must undertake a heroic quest with the help of enchanted mushrooms gifted by a fairy.

This is exquisitely animated game is a platformer, so you know the drill: collect coins and powerups, run, jump, bump off nasty enemies. In his penchant for fungi, Oddmar even shares a trait with the most famous platform mascot Mario. But even if it’s an old format, a platformer game done right is still a delight nowadays, and Oddmar does almost everything right. 

The art is beautiful, the touch controls fluid and responsive, and the levels and enemies are well-designed to keep challenges fresh. Oddmar himself is a charming protagonist and a worthy modern colleague of Mario, Sonic, Rayman and co. You can play the first five levels of Oddmar for free, and a one-time IAP unlocks the full game.

  • App version: 0.99
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free demo, $4.99 for full game

Get it on the Play Store

Star Traders Frontiers

The Trese Brothers are already known for bring exceptional indie games that play well on both mobile and PC. Star Traders Frontiers is the latest from them to make the hyperspace jump from Steam to the Play Store, while keeping the high level of quality we expect from the devs.

Star Traders Frontiers is an open world (open galaxy?) sci-fi roleplaying game in the same universe are previous Star Traders and Templar Battleforce games. You play as a starship captain, but, after that, your fate is really in your hands. While far from being the most graphically impressive RPG on Android, it more than makes up for that in depth and the sheer wealth of options. You can customize your captain, ship, and crew, and what kind of game you want to play.

For example, you can follow the main storyline, strike out into uncharted space as an explorer, participate in faction warfare or establish interstellar trade routes. Strategy fans will appreciate the mix of ship-to-ship combat using your different weapons and upgrades, and party-based crew battles where your pick of different classes and equipment for your underlings comes into play.

  • App version: 2.4.75
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $6.99 

Get it on the Play Store

Langrisser

For your free-to-play fix this month, you could do worse than Langrisser, the mobile revival of a classic Japanese Strategic RPG series, marketed under the title Warsong on the Sega Genesis back in the day. The new Langrisser stands up on top of the pile of freemium SRPGs on mobile, and yes, that includes Fire Emblem Heroes.

Langrisser strategy involves moving squads of troops (such as lancers, cavalry, infantry) led by fantasy heroes of different classes (oriented to melee, magic, buffing, healing etc.) around a tactical map, with success relying on using the right unit types and character abilities effectively. It's surprisingly deep, especially when you consider the many divergent build options for your heroes.

Aesthetically, the game is gorgeous if you appreciate the very Japanese style. The English voice-over is also excellent and there's plenty of story to keep you going and get a sense of your characters motivations, and also lots of side-quests and missions to complete. While all this is great for free, just bear in mind that Langrisser is a typical gacha RPG, with a random reward system with seemingly low chances of winning the best heroes, and an energy bar that limits long play sessions. I played the game regularly in short bursts for some weeks. It's a satisfying loop of tasks and rewards, but eventually arrives at a point where you have to keep playing out a lot of repetitive battles, or pay to skip the grind.

  • App version: 2.1.3
  • Compatibility: Android 4.0 and up
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Get it on the Play Store

Already played the best new Android games this month? Why not take a look at our other game recommendations, curated with care to bring the best of the best:

What were your favorite games from the last month(ish)? Let us know in the comments below and we'll try and check them out!

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