The Best Android Games Revealed at Spring Gaming Conventions

From interesting indies to big-name titles

 The spring conventions including Game Developers Conference and South by Southwest revealed some interesting mobile games set to hit later this year. Here's a list of some of the most interesting announcements.

01
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Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks
Adriaan de Jongh, Sylvain Tegroeg

I judged at the Big Indie Pitch back at GDC in 2014, and it was an intense experience, getting pitched dozens of games in a span of a couple of hours. It was crazy, but Bounden from Game Oven, an amazing local multiplayer game, wound up the winner. Game Oven is no more, but Adriaan de Jongh of the studio is now working on a stylish Where's Waldo game called Hidden Folks. By concept and style alone, it looks rather good. ​But it winning at the latest Big Indie Pitch is a good sign for the game's prospects.

02
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Telltale's Batman game

Telltale Batman Logo
Telltale Games

Telltale is the leading expert in episodic narrative-driven games. Nobody else comes close in the field. That they're doing a series based on Batman, one of the most popular superheroes with a rich history and vast base of characters to draw from, is promising enough. That they're doing this with an M ESRB rating seems really fascinating. Dark and gritty Batman has provided some of the character's best moments, and Telltale's take on the dark knight is worth keeping an eye out for, especially after the footage they revealed at SXSW.

03
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Treasure Buster

Treasure Buster
PixelLicker and FDG Entertainment

Slayin' is one of the best retro-inspired games you can get on mobile right now, and the development team is back several years after that game's release to finally crank out a new title. Revealed during GDC week and playable at Clickteam's booth on the expo floor, this brings pinball and Monster Strike-esque gameplay with characters bouncing off of the walls, combined with dungeon crawling akin to the original Zelda. All this is mixed with a stellar pixel art style and a soundtrack to die for from the trailer. This one could be a fantastic way to waste a lot of time if Slayin' was any indication.

04
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Please Don't Touch Anything VR

Please Don't Touch Anything VR
BulkyPix

The original PDTA is an interesting little game, where you solve puzzles to uncover endings in the game's mysterious machine. The VR version seems like an interesting anomaly, as the game has been rebuilt in 3D to let you get a very different experience of the game. Even vocalized dialogue has been added in. This could work really well toward perhaps making the game more like The Stanley Parable, and the footage of the game already reveals that there's going to be new surprises for people who already played the original. This one is set to hit Gear VR in April.

05
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Super Stickman Golf 3

Super Stickman Golf 3
Wikimedia Commons

 Noodlecake, while perhaps more known on Android for their porting and publishing work, are hard at work on the latest entry in the series that they are most known for. It should bring more of the crazy courses and multiplayer action including a new League feature, but with one fantastic new gameplay feature: the ability to put spin on the ball. It's a useful trick from Mario Golf but should make for some interesting action here. Especially with the easy-to-use spin meter function, which will add to the variety you get here.

06
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Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain
Umbrella

The team at Umbrella has made some fun score chasers, including Boom Dots and Down the Mountain, and they have more in the works. But Magic Mountain represents their attempt to make a bigger, RPG-inspired game. I'm curious to see how it pans out, but it's certainly the potential fulfillment of the promise that indie developers have – make the small-scale stuff that gets mega-popular in order to have the grounding to make something that explodes later on. 

07
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Spellbinders

Spellbinders
Spellbinders

Kiloo, publisher of notable endless runner Subway Surfers, is going to jump into the fast-paced mobile multiplayer field that Clash Royale is starting to popularize. You can build decks with different minions and spells to use and deploy into the 3 different lanes. With 2-4 minute sessions, and a number of heroes called titans to play as, dealing out damage when possible. The goal is to actually try and take control of checkpoints in the various lanes, so you have a push-and-pull style of play more akin to Call of Champions or a traditional MOBA. Expect to see plenty more games like this rolling out in the near future, but this looks rather promising right now.

08
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Minecraft Gear VR

Minecraft Pocket Edition
Mojang

If anything is going to sell Samsung Gear VR units, it's got to be Minecraft. The game has already proven to be really fun and engrossing already, but let people see their creations and the worlds they explore in virtual reality? If that doesn't seem appealing, you need to try out a VR headset for yourself. This could be the VR killer app, and perhaps especially for mobile, what the platform needs to become a dominant player.