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Best new Android games to play this July

Best new Android games to play this July

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.

July

Bye bye battle royale, it's all about auto chess now. At least, if the neck-and-neck arrivals of Auto Chess and Dota Underlords plus the slew of copycats is any indication. But this week's selection also features some classic dungeon crawling that never gets old, plus an intriguing physics-based puzzle port.

Dota Underlords

A humble mod for Dota 2 called "Dota Auto Chess" became a gaming sensation on PC, and now mobile versions from both the original mod creators and Valve have graced the Play Store. Both are good but of the two, I'd recommend Valve's Dota Underlords for its style and polish.

Like other auto chess games, play in Dota Underlords is broken down into rounds of matches in which you buy units and items before setting them to auto-battle for supremacy against your opponent's selection. The different units have their own strengths and weaknesses and bonuses are gained for certain combinations of duplicates of the same type.

dotaunderlords
The "chessboard" on which the battle takes place. / © Valve

After a match you earn gold and in between rounds you can buy units or use a slot-machine-like random reward system to potentially get better ones. Units can also be leveled up and improved. Knowing what to hold on to, what to ditch, what to upgrade and which synergies will benefit your long-term strategy is key to Underlords - you'll be making a lot of important decisions even if you don't control the battles in real time.

Such a system normally leads to a fair amount of exploitation via micro-transactions, but at the moment Dota Underlords is free to play without any monetization, not even ads. It's worth enjoying in this state for as long as you can.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: Free

Dark Quest 2

Anyone who remembers the classic board game HeroQuest will be familiar with what's going on here. This dungeon crawling game is effectively a streamlined RPG in which you control a selection of heroes with different strengths and weaknesses on a mission to take down an evil sorcerer. Naturally, the wily wizard has ensconced himself down a series of dungeons full of monsters and treasure.

Combat against the hordes of orcs and other nasties your party of adventurers encounter is dealt with in a turn-based system with the use of dice-rolls, but it's not all about luck. Clever positioning, use of abilities and other tactics will win you the day, and of course you can level up your characters and gear with experience and gold. A time-honored formula, but you won't have to shell out after the initial $3 asking price to enjoy it.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: $2.99

Human: Fall Flat

What does it mean to be human? It means to fail, to fall. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun. Human: Fall Flat by No Brakes Games is already a hit on PC and home console systems. The bizarre yet hilarious physics-based platformer/puzzler has you steer the titular human (Bob to his friends) to the exit of increasingly complex environments, alone or with friends. Bob can walk, jump, climb, fall (and fall, and fall, and fall...), and there are multiple solutions to every puzzle, the experience depending on your own skills and Bob's wobbly legs.

As you may expect from a physics game where some precise input is required, the touch controls can be quite finicky, but it's far from impossible. Just be prepared to take a few falls on the way, it's part of the fun! Human: Fall Flat is a premium game without IAP, so the only thing that will stand in the way of your progress will be your own practice.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $4.99

June

Summer has landed for all of us in the northern hemisphere and the Google Play store is bursting with new games. You could go outside and enjoy the sunshine, but where's the fun in that? Here are the best Android games to play this month.

Grimvalor

Grimvalor is a metroidvania game from developer, Direlight. Action platformers tend not to work too well on mobile due to the limitations of touch controls, but with Grimvalor, the devs have rather cleverly gone for a more simplified control system. Aggressive combos can be achieved by holding down the attack button and a dash button doubles as a roll when you are being attacked. But that's not all there is for dungeon hunting console gaming fans.

There are some nice Bloodbourne tropes in here, particularly when manage to defeat one of the bosses. There's also, as you'd expect, some pretty heavy platforming involved. You'll need to hone your dashing and double jumping skills to scale the environments. Our own Christopher Gabbert has been playing the game and gave us this, one sentence review: "Grimvalor is a unique Dark Souls like game packed with classic sidescroller gameplay and convinces with good graphics, challenging fights and the triggered desire to progress further and further to level up your character."

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Varies with device
  • Price: Free ($6.99 IAP per item)

Alt-Frequencies

When it was teased a couple of months ago, Alt-Frequencies really piqued our interest. It's a game that challenges the very way we play. To master this game, you'll need to use your ears. It was developed by Accidental Queens, the guys and girls behind A Normal Lost Phone. We played a demo at Berlin's A Maze festival for experimental games and like what we saw... wait no, heard!

The narrative unfolds as you listen to and disrupt different radio stations. The whole thing centers around a Groundhog Day-style time loop, updated for the podcast generation. You progress through the story by recording parts of the loop and playing them back to dispute other broadcasts. The game is out now, and critical response has been good. If you want to play something a little different this month, look no further than Alt-Frequencies.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $5.49

Palm Kingdoms 2: Remastered

From a modern and innovative mobile game to something with a little more old-school charm. Palm Kingdoms 2: Remastered, from Russian studio Hack The Publisher, is a revamped version of the classic pixel strategy game. There are 75 scenarios to play through across more than 50 maps, all of which look great with that art style. There are also seven factions to master (Knight, Barbarian, Warlock, Sorceress, Necromancer, Wizard, Varangian), and you'll be able to call upon 180 types of creatures for your armies.

pk2
Palm Kingdoms 2: Remastered looks great on mobile. / © Google Play Store

The original version dates back to 2006. Back then it was called Pocket Heroes when it was released for Windows Mobile. The game series has been through several operating systems, including iOS and Linux, as well as several different names, before Palm Kingdoms 2 came out in 2011. Now, you can play the definitive version on your Android smartphone.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 4.2 and up
  • Price: $4.89

May

Spring is in the air, but before you're tempted to go outside, let us remind you that there have been some great new games coming out on the Play Store lately. Elder Scrolls: Blades didn't turn out to be what we hoped, but here are some worthy new arrivals.

Spellsword Cards: Origins

This card game/RPG hybrid plays out like a fantasy choose-your-own-adventure in which your character's abilities (spells, attacks, items etc.) are represented by cards in your deck. Choosing from a variety of Dungeons and Dragons style races and character classes (two for free, the rest in the paid version of the app), you explore areas, encounter creatures and random events, get the chance to acquire new cards, acquire or upgrade existing ones.

There's some surprising depth to the strategy and resources management involved but it never feels overwhelming or opaque, and the controls are easy to learn and convenient to play in portrait mode on the go. Best of all, there's no pay-to-win mechanics, so it all comes down to your skill. Illustrations are basic but enough to stimulate the imagination.

Spellsword Cards: Origins is a roguelike game at heart, with procedural generation determining what your options are most of the time, although there's a story framework leading up to a final boss at the end. It's a fully single player experience, but you can compare your progress to other players in a leaderboard. 

The game is free to play, with a reasonable one-time $2.99 purchase to unlock 7 more classes and access to future new content.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free ($2.99 IAP for full game)

Tesla vs Lovecraft

Two old-timey nerd icons go to war in this top-down, twin-stick shooter from 10tons, the same team who brought us previous classic in this genre like Neon Chrome and Jydge. You play as Nikolai Tesla, the underappreciated inventor who has somehow earned the ire of Providence's master of the macabre.

In this scenario, Lovecraft has all the monsters of the classic Cthulhu mythos with which to destroy you, but as Tesla, you have an array of upgradeable electropunk weapons and armor with which to shock, blast and fry the deep ones, Mi-Go, Shoggoths and other bizarre sanity-randing horrors. Fire death rays, wield the x-ray blades and pilot the mighty Tesla-Mech with twin-mounted miniguns to stomp and shred your enemies. Naturally, all your cool toys are upgradable between levels.

Like the previous titles from 10tons, Tesla vs Lovecraft delivers delightful bursts of action in between upgrades that work really well for quick gaming sessions on the go. The soundtrack is fantastic and the concept is a nice pulpy mash-up of geeky silliness. Well worth a purchase at the full price of $9.99, Tesla vs Lovecraft is currently available at a launch discount of $4.49.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: $9.99 (currently $4.49)

Marginalia Hero

I'll admit, as a medieval nerd who spent my higher education poring over old manuscripts and chuckling at the hapless figures battling rabbits and snails in the margins of the pages, Marginalia Hero was right up my street. It's a simple series of battles in which our hero must whack the bizarre creatures of medieval marginalia, including animals, cockatrices, dragons, and combinations. The graphics are taken from real historical illustrations.

The combat is simple, and plays out like a rhythm game where you have to tap in the right place at the right time. As you win fights progress, you gain gold to spend on equipment like weapons and armor beyond your starting stick and companions with different abilities. It's not easy, but do-able, and you can watch ads to double game rewards, or even buy tons of charms for real money. Progress isn't obnoxiously difficult, but if you find yourself enjoying the game, the option to disable ads for a couple of dollars will probably be all you need.

If there's one complaint is that the focus on timing and memory for the combat system often means hyper-focusing on the targets to the expensive of the game's charming artwork, which is the main appeal in the first place. Still, Marginalia Hero is an entertaining casual tapper with a unique look.

Get it on the Play Store

  • Compatibility: Android 2.3 and up
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

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. 

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 effects, 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.

  • Compatibility: Android 7.1 and above, 3GB of 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.

  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: $6.99 

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 pit 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, it's 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.

  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $4.99 

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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  • We all know that free Android games aren’t always free these days, but many of them are very close if you have a little patience. Most Freemium bottlenecks occur when players get impatient and waiting the game out can usually get around those pitfalls. What we have here are the best free Android games that you should be able to play comfortably without engaging in too many in-app purchases and we hope you enjoy them! If you want free Android games with no in-app purchases, we have that linked just below. Let’s get started. Fortnite probably should be on this list. It is a freemium game like PUBG is. However, many are a little worried about installing games that aren’t on the Google Play Store.


  • From a modern and innovative mobile game to something with a little more old-school charm. Palm Kingdoms 2: Remastered, from Russian studio Hack The Publisher, is a revamped version of the classic pixel strategy game. There are 75 scenarios to play through across more than 50 maps, all of which look great with that art style. There are also seven factions to master (Knight, Barbarian, Warlock, Sorceress, Necromancer, Wizard, Varangian), and you'll be able to call upon 180 types of creatures for your armies.

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  • Some nice names to go through, but surprisingly not to see some big fishes like a battlefield, PUBG, SIMS 4 and more...


  • Nupur 7 months ago Link to comment

    These games will come and go but there will never be a game as good as pubg mobile.


  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can also be included.


  • These games are very interesting and I really enjoyed these game. You can also check this game it's really awesome.


  • Idle Baby Boom is a great one


  • Great article dude keep it up! I like that Life is Strange especially, that was very good game!


  • Here's one more game which is new and has potential to be in list. Surely Check it out
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  • Sorin Sep 11, 2018 Link to comment

    Yesss, Angry Birds ! :)


  • It seems interesting. I am not a big fan of mobile games but going through the list made me give a try. Game developers-(BrainMobi) keep creating such exciting games


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  • Nice List
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  • Keep making good lists like these :D


  • Good Information!! this list kinda something I am looking for.

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