May 18 AT 11:32 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

Top 10 Paid Games for Android – Week Ending May 17

What are the best games for Android?  With the current version of the Market, it can often be difficult to find them.  The only option you have is to sort by popularity.  This is a problem because the games are ranked by downloads and not active installs.  The other issue with sorting by popularity is that the stats are compiled for all time.  This prevents newer titles from receiving the attention they deserve.

In an effort to further the advancement of games on the Android platform, we will begin to publish weekly Top 10 lists.  Instead of ranking games by number of downloads, we will list them in order of active installs.  This should provide a better picture of what’s hot and highlight new games each week as they hit the Market.

Since this is the first week, the format is likely to change.  Currently, we will be posting the title, ranking, price, previous ranking, developer, and reviews if we have one posted.  If there is additional information(dev Twitter links?) you guys would like to see, let me know.  Post any other suggestions or criticism in the comments below.

So without further delay, here is our first edition of the Top 10 Paid Android games for the week ending May 17, 2009.

Rank Previous Game Price Developer Review
1 1 Jewellust $2.95 Smartpix Games Video
2 2 Abduction! World Attack $2.00 Phil Symonds Coming Soon
3 3 Retro Defense $4.99 Larva Labs Yes
4 4 Baseball Superstars 2009 $5.95 GAMEVIL Inc. Coming Soon
5 5 Air Hockey $1.00 JJCgames Coming Soon
6 7(+1) Kidd GBC $2.00 TeraGadgets Yes
7 6(-1) Midnight Pool 2 $1.99 Gameloft Coming Soon
8 8 Guitar Hero World Tour $4.99 Hands-On Mobile Coming Soon
9 (…) Aevum Obscurum $4.99 Noble Master Games Yes
10 9(-1) Battle For Mars $4.99 Larva Labs Yes


Compared to last week, there has not been a lot of movement.  I’ve never tracked these from week to week so I can’t say if that is the norm.  When there are no new major releases, I guess there is not much reason to go out and buy a new game.

I think the thing that the top games have in common is a high replay factor and updates.  I’ve seen a lot of games that had potential, but never received an update after version 1.0.  The Market is designed in order to allow developers to easily push out new versions of their games which either fix bugs or add new features.  If you develop a reputation of great support and regular updates, then your customer base will stick around when you release your next title.

While I’m on the topic of games, I must say how disappointed I am with the Market.  I could devote another entire post to all the things that are wrong with it.  We know Google is busy working on other things, but I think the Market needs to receive a higher priority.  The independent developers are what will drive the platform and they need more support from Google.  When browsing for a new game, customers want to see videos, images, and a longer description than 350 characters.  If you want people to fork over their money, you must offer more than a Twitter length promo.

I’m sad to see Buka drop off the list.  It was one of the best designed games I have come across.  There are a few flaws, but they could be addressed with a simple update.  I wonder if I could draw enough attention to the game in order to make it crawl up the list.  If you are a game developer with a great product you are looking to market, we want to help you.

I may just design my own games app that locates the best games….

All Market data is taken from aTrackDog.  Think of it as the Neilsen Ratings but for Android.  For more information on how aTrackDog works, see our previous article.  If you would like to participate, install aTrackDog and “vote” for your favorite game.

p.s. if you would like to contribute a review for any of the top 10 games, we would glady post it

Be sure to install and use aTrackDog to help with ratings.

Be sure to install and use aTrackDog to help with ratings.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Robert Green

    I totally agree with you about the state of the market. As a game publisher, I’m frustrated by the lack of information I’m able to post about my games. I’d like it if people could at least view a couple of thumbnails of screenshots in-line. Perhaps cupcake holds some advanced market feature that will be enabled after it has been distributed a little better?

    For now though, there is nothing in our publisher interface that allows for more than 350 letters, a website/phone number and languages.

  • Clark Wimberly

    I bought Abduction! World Attack a couple days ago and was pretty impressed. I really just bought it to support the dev since I liked the free version so much. I wasn’t expecting too many changes, but he did a nice job adding features and levels, really made it feel worthy of being a paid app (which is more than I can say for some others I’ve downloaded).

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, I have found myself buying more and more apps just to support the devs. I’m amazed at the progress of Abduction over the last month.

  • E.T.

    I have bought a few games/apps myself to support the devs as well when the quality is there to justify it which so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of updating that goes on from them. I’ve only had a couple that I’ve bought that ended up being defunct due to lack of updates. Barcode Beasties was promising and even though it was free it was updated a lot until suddenly v0.9 came out and nothing has happened since. I thought that was a fantastic little game for as simple as it was.

    As a publisher myself I completely agree with the limits of the market and how it hurts us. Trying to fit a good description in 350 is damn hard. I usually end up just doing short points which really doesn’t help explain a lot but it at least gets the idea across. I just redirect everyone to my site where there are better descriptions and screenshots. A nice happy median would be like 500 words and a small thumbnail that people going through the market could press and would enlarge to a bigger one so they could see the app without having to go to a devs website.

    This would be ideal for not just games but all apps on the market.

  • Jonno.N

    I think it would be cool if on these posts you also highlighted the most-recent, high-quality game on the market, whether it’s free or not. I’d like to nominate ‘Robo Defense FREE’ as this is one of the highest-quality games I’ve seen on the Market so far, it has no bugs that I’ve encountered, and a very very high replayablity factor. It’s like Cestos for tower defense games; it’s really setting the bar high I think.

  • anonymous_coward

    About the Market limitations, there is a bug report here:

    You can “star” it… though I’m not even sure that will change anything… Apparently Google never made any comment about the current state of the Market, and so we don’t even know if they are actually planning on improving it!

  • anakin78z

    Abduction! World Attack is awesome. I bought it for much more selfish reasons… I just really liked the demo and wanted to play more :).

  • Vince

    Hey Taylor, this top ten list is fantastic. Ice Hockey is probably the best game for under $2, it has so much replay value. I will have to check out some of the other games in your list, I found the reviews very helpful. You can post this to our site and link back to your site. We are trying to create a directory for top ten lists where people can find your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  • alex

    oh, noooo, where is my darling BUKA?

  • http://Website Dean

    First Native game on Android, Raging Thunder, seems we are getting the first iPhone content in :)

  • http://Website Ignacio

    You forgot Soccer Says!! Very simple and addictive. I’m waiting the update.

  • http://Website MehYou

    another casual gamer freak… this list sucks