The 10 Best "Actually Free" Games on Amazon Underground

Pay nothing for these great freebies on Amazon Underground.

What the heck is Amazon Underground? Well, it's kind of an all-in-one Amazon app. It has shopping, Amazon Video, and has Android apps for sale. It replaces the Amazon Appstore app that once had to be installed for non-Fire-OS users to download the free apps of the day that Amazon offered.

Amazon doesn't do daily freebies anymore, instead offering a regular selection of apps they refer to as "Actually Free." These apps include paid games that can be downloaded at no cost, and free-to-play games that have IAP disabled, and include certain amounts of in-game items for players. Developers do get paid $0.0020 per minute of app usage, so 1 cent per 5 minutes.

Amazon helps get people further into their ecosystem while developers help avoid piracy problems and can help their games make more money in the long tail. The downside is that you don't really own these apps, so a developer can exit the program and you lose access without paying for the app. Also, the adage of "if you're not paying for it, you're the product" likely is true here. Amazon claims merely to take data on time usage, and to show occasional ads, with driving sales through the shopping portion of Amazon Underground being the goal.

Also, this whole scheme does kind of devalue paid games to a certain degree. But if ownership isn't a huge concern to you, and neither is the potential of providing analytics to Amazon, this may be something worth taking advantage of. It also helps developers out with making more money than they would have, especially in a piracy-ridden Android gaming landscape. Unlike some free paid app services, Amazon Underground has a stunning collection free games to be had, representing some of the best mobile games ever made.

01
of 10

Sonic CD

Sonic CD for Android
Screenshot of Sonic CD for Android. Sega

 Arguably the best Sonic game ever made behind perhaps Sonic 3 and Knuckles (which isn't on mobile, and the team doing the ports is working on a brand-new game called Sonic Mania), this is well worth checking out. The game's time-travel component is still very well done, as it lets you explore the game's levels and paths, some of which are obscured in different time periods. Plus, there are objects in the past that need to be destroyed in order to ensure a good future. And yes, there's actually four different themes and layouts for each level, with past, present, bad future, and good future variations. It's an impressive achievement for a 1993 game, and the port two decades later did a great job at adding small tweaks and refinements to go along with features like widescreen aspect ratio, both Japanese and North American soundtracks, and mobile controller support, to make this the definitive version of the game. That you can get it for free is a major plus. Plus, the Google Play version disappeared from sale in mid-2016 due to technical issues, so for Android players, Amazon is the only way to play the game.

02
of 10

Goat Simulator: Waste of Space

Goat Simulator: Waste of Space
Screenshot of Goat Simulator: Waste of Space. Coffee Stain Studios

Coffee Stain Studios continues to advance their ridiculous parody of simulator games by making a mockery of Kickstarter, especially the game Star Citizen. The entire game has you doing your ridiculous goat antics full of destruction around a space base. Everything you do can net you money, that goes toward funding the entire crazy operation, making the game open up, and unlocking features such as spaceship battles. Seriously. It's a ridiculous affair and a vicious mockery of crowdfunding shenanigans that many modern games have. This also goes to show just what kind of content you can get on Amazon Underground – many recent releases are in the store, not just old, library content.

03
of 10

Farming Simulator 2014

Farming Simulator 2014
Screenshot of Farming Simulator 2014 for Android. GIANTS Software

Of course, the aforementioned Goat Simulator started off as a parody of banal simulator games before going into mocking other game genres through ragdoll goat physics. But what if you want to judge those banal simulators for yourself? Well, a mobile version of Farming Simulator is available for your perusal, allowing you to experience the joy of farming for yourself. Modern farming involves piloting a lot more heavy equipment than you'd expect. It's an acquired taste, but for free, why not give it a shot?

04
of 10

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Aspyr Games

This might be the best bargain you can possibly get on Amazon Underground in terms of the actual cost of the game, the time you can spend playing it, and perceived value. BioWare rose to prominence with this role-playing game, taking place centuries before the original Star Wars movies. Its morality system laid the grounds for countless other games to implement similar systems, including having a major effect on the ending of the game. Plus, it made Dungeons and Dragons accessible by putting it in a Star Wars wrapper with 3D visuals. It's still a solid RPG to this day and provides dozens of hours of entertainment. It's a great bargain for the $9.99 price, but for free? That's a steal for one of the best RPGs on Android.

05
of 10

Heads Up!

Heads Up!
Heads Up!. Warner Bros.

This party game, created with Ellen Degeneres, is certainly cheap to download. But the great thing about this being on Amazon Underground is that if you want to check this out, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps because you don't feel like paying for a curiosity you might play for a few minutes at parties. It's goofy and worth the dollar or two entry price, but free ain't bad either, especially with all the free add-ons you get.

06
of 10

Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride
Halfbrick

 I have fond memories of this game, a goofy take on the Flash helicopter game where you dodge lasers while using a bullet-firing jetpack. It's still a rather fun game despite having released in 2011. But of course, it has the grinding for coins that can make getting those great customizations a challenge. The good news with the Amazon Underground version is that you can get tons of coins at no charge, so you can just play the game with the customizations and boosts of your choice without having to pay. Many other great Halfbrick games take part in Amazon Underground as well.

07
of 10

Badland

Badland
Frogmind

This game has always had a try-before-you-buy model attached to it on Android, where different level packs are available as in-app purchases. But now you can also try it and never pay. This one-touch flapping platformer gives you tons of challenges to tackle, with a stylish shadowy visual theme. It's a gorgeous game and is just a well-made platformer that's perfect for mobile. Getting it for no cost is a major bonus.

08
of 10

DuckTales: Remastered

DuckTales Remastered
Screenshot of DuckTales Remastered, a platformer for Android. Disney

Disney enlisted WayForward to resurrect this classic NES platformer for the modern era. For the most part, they just tweaked a few things and gave the game a fresh coat of paint, making the interesting pogo-jumping action still stand strong as a unique mechanic. But the game can still be very difficult to play to this day, so getting to play it for free might be a good cost-saving measure. Smashing your phone in rage is not cheap to fix!

09
of 10

Monument Valley

Monument Valley
Ustwo Games

While this gorgeous puzzle is already one of the most popular paid games in the history of mobile gaming, and there's no reason why you shouldn't also own it, perhaps you were late to the party. Or you wanted to check out the downloadable content that released later. The good news is that with the Underground version of the game, all the content of Monument Valley can be had for free. This is a gorgeous experience that many other games have tried to replicate, but few have come close to nailing what this Escher-inspired puzzler did in terms of style.

10
of 10

Space Marshals

Space Marshals
Pixelbite

This is not your average dual-stick shooter, as it uses a slower, more tactical style of play. It's an interesting experience, with a campaign that tripled in length from launch thanks to later episodes that released. You have to utilize stealth, an interesting array of weaponry, and an aim-then-shoot control scheme in order to well at this game. This game has a lot of interesting things going for it that other shooters on mobile just do not to mention the future-western theme. Definitely worth checking out, especially for free.