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Best new Android games to download in December

Update: Neverwinter Nights, Chuchel, Faraway 4!

Android has an awful lot of games, and each month brings new titles. Knowing which ones are any good can be tricky. So 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. This month, we've added Neverwinter Nights, Chuchel  and Faraway 4.

December

While I was looking forward to present The Elder Scrolls: Blades to you all this month, it looks like that won't be happening, as Bethesda has kicked the game into next year. But there are still plenty of great games to sink you teeth into, alongside your seasonal treats. RPG fans won't go empty handed either!

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition

Beamdog continues its journey to bring the beloved Bioware RPGs of yesteryear to modern formats. After the success of the Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, it's Neverwinter Nights' turn now. The game's early-era 3D graphics have been polished and the UI has been overhauled to make it easier to play on modern mobile devices. If you already played the game on PC, you can even transfer your saved games and purchased modules over to mobile, and enjoy cross-platform multiplayer with your desktop-bound friends.

The game itself stands the test of time, especially since it comes with all the expansions, which in my mind improved a lot on the base game's story. And on top of that, you have access to user-created modules - adventures made by players like you, some of which match or even best the base content in quality. For your 10 bucks, that's potentially hundreds of hours of adventure.

For newbies, this is a Dungeons and Dragons game, so that means all the fantasy RPG tropes you can think of. Explore cities, exotic locales, meet strange creatures, and (usually) kill them for fortune and glory. The variety of classes and races on offer let you build almost any type of hero you can think of. Over and over again, with no need to pay extra for the privilege. Aaah, the good old days.

  • App version: 8186A00003
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $9.99

Get it on the Play Store.

Faraway 4: Ancient Escape

This is the latest in a series of puzzle/escape games and this time the action set in the ancient world. Faraway 4 is great for quick brain teasers to occupy your mind during your commute or other short breaks. Inspired by the classic explore-and-puzzle adventure Myst, the Faraway series stands out with its elegant visuals and smooth controls. 

You take on the role of an archaeologist exploring Greco-Roman environments in search of the solution to a family mystery. The attractive colors and ambient music makes discovering puzzles and hunting for clues relaxing, but the puzzles themselves are satisfyingly challenging.

Faraway 4 is free to download, which nets you 9 levels - each of which could take a couple of hours or more to solve. Once you complete them, you should be in a good place to decide whether you want to give $3 to unlock the rest of the game.

  • App version: 1.0.4298
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free

Get it on the Play Store.

Chuchel

The latest offering from the creator of Samorost and Machinarium to hit the Play Store, Chuchel is an beautifully designed adventure game with a big heart and a great sense of humor (and a wonderful soundtrack from DVA to boot). You play as a fuzzy black creature on a quest for a cherry. To get your juicy prize, you've got to experiment with all the objects in the cartoonish environment, often with delightfully absurd consequences.

The real joy of Chuchel lies in the pure silliness of the characters and situations, which have been wonderfully crafted to bring out the inner child in you. The game poses its puzzles in a series of short episodes that throw increasingly mad scenarios at you, each with different mechanics to keep things fresh.

It's hard not to play this without cracking into a full-blown grin, as you punch through an army of teeth, crack open a giant sentient egg monster or get teased by a giant jelly dessert. Chuchel is a puzzle/adventure game, sure, but it's the whimsical/comedic experience that makes it really special.

  • App version: 1.0.2
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $4.99

Get it on the Play Store.

November

Halloween is over and it's safe to go outside without being spooped again, even if Fortnite hasn't got the message yet. As winter draws ever closer, naturally, you'll be playing the excellent Reigns: Game of Thrones. But that's not the only great new game. Here's a few other titles that you should put on your November play list.

Teslagrad

PC gamers may already be familiar with Teslagrad, a critically acclaimed indie Metroidvania with a charming Android art style. Metroidvania means a mix of puzzles, platforming and action RPG elements and Teslagrad delivers all of those in a cracklingly electric steampunk (wait...electro-punk?) package.

You play a young boy who discovers the ancient technology of Teslamancy, which you use to navigate the dangerous levels and puzzles using the power of electromagnetism. The gameplay mechanics are innovative. The ability to reverse the magnetic polarity of different blocks and objects lets you reshape the levels to a degree - creating your own platforms.

It can get quite challenging, particularly when you need to make accurate jumps on smaller touchscreens, but overall the game ports well and you'll quickly find yourself captured by its compelling story, all told through expressive animation without a single line of dialogue. To celebrate its mobile release, the game is currently available at a 30% discount ($4.89) on the Play Store.

  • App version: 1.5
  • Compatibility: Android 1.5 and up
  • Price: $6.99

Get it on the Play Store

Spitkiss

Billed as a 'game about precision platforming and polyamory', Spitkiss already has an unusual twist, but it's not a dating sim either. Instead, it has a rather strange protagonist in the form of a glob of saliva. As said spitball, you are passed through the means of a kiss. You've got to slide, bounce and cling down the gullet and through the insides of the tender lover of the human you came from.

This might sound somewhat gross, but the game mixes artwork from pastoral scenes, sweet treats and cartoon characters with all the bodily organs to keep things cute. Besides, all the squelching and plopping sounds brought a childish grin to my face while playing.

The polyamory part unfolds via interim scenes detailing the lovelife of Ymer, the game's main human character. It's told with some flair and comedy, and while it's nice to see this unconventional relationship model get some love in a video game, you'll be dedicating most of your brainpower to the platforming, which can get very, very tricky, requiring both speed and accuracy. There are 80 levels to dribble though, and thankfully the game isn't so punishing as to be frustrating, but enough to deliver those little moments of satisfaction, as you overcome a new hurdle.

  • App version: 1.225
  • Compatibility: Android 4.3 and up
  • Price: $1.99

Get it on the Play Store

Old School RuneScape

Old School RuneScape has been on the Play Store for some time now, but was only available to members who paid up to join the beta until October 30. Now the game has been officially released and is available to everyone as a free-to-play game. The free version imposes some limitations on the player, but there's more than enough free content for you to decide whether you want pay a subscription to join in the legendary MMORPG. Membership costs $10.99 a month, and thanks to cross-play, that gives you access to the game on PC and iOS, too.

Old School Runescape, as the name suggests, is based upon the PC game Runescape of the early 2000s, right down to the rather dated-looking graphics and interface. But don't let that put you off trying. Old School Runescape has been enjoyed by over 260 million players over the course of its 17 year history and is continuously being tweaked by developers who listen to their devoted community. There's a reason why it's stayed so popular. 

Runescape is a fantastic sandbox RPG that really lets you live in the open world, exploring the vast lands of Glienor alone or with friends, facing down monsters, learning skills and completing hundreds of quests. There's another perk to it being old-school: anyone frustrated with current IAP-laden, grind-heavy popular mobile MMORPGs will find Old School Runescape's economic model refreshing, and its design philosophy rewarding. If you can look past the visuals, it's got a whole lot of heart.

  • App version: 176.6 
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: Free, subscription optional

Get it on the Play Store

October

The Fall season is here, it's time to stop spending so much time outside and put in some serious gaming, people! To that end, we've a pair of premium games to get stuck in to, one for tactical minds and one for story lovers. For a little of both, there's also a great new free offering in the form of an old-school RPG.

Chaos Reborn: Adventures

Here's one for the hardcore. The brainchild of X-COM creator Julian Gollop, Chaos Reborn: Adventures is a challenging strategy game that you can really sink your teeth into. The game is fantasy themed, in which two wizards face each other across a hexed battle map, summoning creatures and casting spells to defeat their rival.

Chaos Reborn is a premium game which also exists on PC, and asks for an equivalent price on Android. But for your 10 bucks, you get a deep, challenging strategy game which doesn't hold your hand. It's tough, and it takes a while to get the hang of all the mechanics and options at your disposal. But when you do, you have a deep strategy game with an offline single-player story campaign and competitive multiplayer where your own skill is rewarded - not how much money you spent on in-game advantages or loot boxes. 

And winning at Chaos Reborn is definitely rewarding...it's a complex game, with elements of RPG, card battles, chess and even poker, such as positioning, combining colors and elements, bluff, and chance are all a factor. Aspiring warlords looking for new worlds to conquer shouldn't be put off by the price.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.1
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $9.99

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

If you enjoyed playing Dontnod's Life is Strange this summer, then you'll be happy to know that you return to Arcadia Bay in this prequel, which sets up the story and clears up many mysteries that were only implied during the first game. 

This time, the protagonist is rebellious punk teen Chloe Price, a creative thrill-seeking rebel who finds an escape from her troubles at home with her authoritarian stepfather-to-be though her surprising friendship (or more?) with the beautiful and popular Rachel Amber. Unfortunately, Rachel has some dark secrets of her own.

Deck Nine's Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a great complement to the original, as themes of friendship, family, love, loyalty and justice are explored through the emotionally charged lens of its protagonist. If you're hungry for story-games on your phone following the sad demise of Telltale games, then it's time to give the Life is Strange series a try.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.2
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: Free first episode, $11.99 for full game

Vampire's Fall: Origins

Vampire's Fall: Origins is a free indie RPG with a really old-school feel to it. A free-roaming world with a top-down isometric view reminiscent of classics like Diablo and Baldur's Gate, you are - yes! - a callow youth who takes up arms to save your village as it becomes threatened by a rising evil.

vampiresfall
Vampire's Fall: Origins is a free-to-play indie RPG! / © Early Morning Studios

To stop this evil, you'll wander the world, get quests from NPCs with big ol' exclamation points over their heads, and battle monsters for treasure and experience to improve your equipment and character skills. It sounds cliche, but Early Morning Studios clearly love the genre and play all the classic tropes well.

If, like me, you enjoy this kind of classic RPG, Vampire's Fall: Origins is a welcome addition to the Play Store and a refreshing antidote to all the glossy gacha games that seem more interested in extracting money than story or world-building. The game is completely free to play with no loot boxes or pay-to-win mechanics, and also playable offline (but there's a multiplayer PvP element for online play, too), but you can also opt to support the devs by watch ads throwing some money their way if you want to.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.38
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free

Already played the best new Android games this month? Why not take a look at what's coming next, in our round-up of the most anticipated Android games coming this year!

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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