Cartoon Network Games for Android

These aren't just cheap tie-ins

Tie-in games have historically been a laughingstock of the gaming industry. Produced in quick and dirty fashion, there were some gems like Cool Spot and Aladdin, but many more were just blights on gaming. As games got more and more expensive to produce, the tie-in slowly drifted away. Then, mobile came along, and the tie-in suddenly came in vogue again. However, while there are still garbage tie-ins, some studios are cranking out good games that just happen to be licensed.

Cartoon Network Games is one such studio that's managed to make some fantastic titles so far, enlisting talented developers to make games that happen to be licensed. While its sister publisher Adult Swim Games focuses on original titles rather than licensed games and has been acclaimed for their publishing work, Cartoon Network's work deserves mention too.

Attack the Light (Steven Universe)

Attack the Light - Steven Universe
Cartoon Network

What We Like

  • Charming storyline true to Steven Universe canon.

  • Intuitive swipe and tab controls.

  • No in-app purchases.

  • Fun for kids and their parents.

What We Don't Like

  • Relatively short game.

  • Repetitious gameplay.

  • Ad supported.

There's a name that you need to get familiar with when you talk about Cartoon Network Games, and that is Grumpyface. The talented studio is a regular collaborator with both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim's publishing houses and is perhaps their star pupil. Play Attack the Light, and you'll see why. This game based on the show Steven Universe uses an interesting stylistic stripped-down design from the show, while still being a faithful representation of the world of the show. The game itself takes cues from games like Super Mario RPG that involve timing and interactive elements in battle beyond just selecting attacks in menus. It's an RPG that's strong well beyond the hook of its license, and fun even if you're not a fan of the show.

Teeny Titans (Teen Titans Go!)

What We Like

  • Humor, gameplay, and compulsive collecting.

  • More than 70 collectible figures.

  • No in-app purchases.

What We Don't Like

  • Can be frustratingly difficult.

  • Contains ads.

Even if you don't like Teen Titans Go! — and the show has at least the self-deprecating sense of humor to know some people don't — you'll still have a great time with Teeny Titans. The game is one of the better Pokemon clones out there, though calling it a clone is not necessarily accurate because the combat is entirely different, using real-time elements with charging-up attacks to differentiate itself. As well, the figure collecting combines elements of gacha systems with the more standard monster-catching known to the genre. It's a familiar game with a license that still manages to be a bit unique in and of itself, a combo that Cartoon Network and Grumpyface pull off really well.

OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo

OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo
Cartoon Network

What We Like

  • Colorful graphics and fun gameplay.

  • Easy-to-understand controls.

  • No in-app purchases.

What We Don't Like

  • Some levels are incredibly difficult.

  • Contains advertisements.

Cartoon Network Games is even trying some interesting things with their games division. This game is a beat 'em up based on a pilot by Ian Jones-Quartey around the same time that Steven Universe's pilot came out. Nothing seemed to happen with the pilot, and Jones-Quartey went on to work on Steven Universe. But then, after quitting the show, he got a chance to revive his pilot as a sort of multimedia brand, starting with a game based on the show, which itself had heavy video game influence. A game jam for the license also happened, and it'll be interesting to see just where OK, K.O. goes from here.

Soundtrack Attack (Steven Universe)

Soundtrack Attack
Cartoon Network Games

What We Like

  • Tap, hold, and swipe to the music.

  • Good graphics and familiar soundtrack.

  • Gem personalization options.

What We Don't Like

  • Short game.

  • Some features are overly simplistic.

  • Gem customization options are limited.

  • Some audio glitches.

This rhythm platformer is perfect for Steven Universe fans with remixes of the show's music, but what might appeal to fans the most is the custom Crystal Gem creator that allows players to create their own gemsona, so to speak, to play as in the game. Just a cool little touch that tries to connect with the fans rather than just being a cash-in.

Card Wars Kingdom

Card Wars Kingdom
Cartoon Network Games

What We Like

  • 200+ beautifully drawn cards.

  • Fast and furious battles.

  • Easy-to-learn card fighting system.

  • Excellent player vs. player (PvP) modes.

What We Don't Like

  • Gameplay becomes stale after a while.

  • Somewhat simplistic gameplay.

Card Wars is one of the more notable episodes of Adventure Time, and the app based on the card game proved to be popular as well. Card Wars Kingdom improves the experience in two ways: adding in PVP multiplayer battles to play in as opposed to just having a single player campaign. As well, going free-to-play was a smart move, as the ​original paid game has many free-to-play monetization tactics despite being a paid game.