Jan 28 AT 1:30 PM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

Android games slowly improving

Games are the one area where Android just doesn’t stack up with the iPhone OS yet. Android features some of the most powerful phones (Droid and Nexus One), but many of the major game studios have yet release titles for Google’s mobile operating system. Google has recognized this shortfall and will provide game devs with free Android phones at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Android games might not have the best looking graphics, but we are finally starting to see that change. Several of the smaller dev teams have been publishing 3D games and they are improving with each release. Our friends from AndroidHD have produced a video compilation that shows off 50 different games.

Check out the clip below and hit up the source link for a list of all the games featured. Let us know which games are your favorite. I spotted a few titles I have never played, so I’m off to the Android Market to grab a few.

Source: AndroidHD

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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  • andy

    Android games have been horrible up to this point.

    Hope to see some iphone quality games in the near future

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  • http://Website J

    Lack of native multitouch is really going to hurt gaming on the Droid. How can you play games like Guitar Hero? You can’t. Download the demo. It sucks because there’s no multitouch. I love my Droid, but this is a pretty big flaw. Even if someone were to make a game like Super Mario Bros. How could you run and jump at the same time?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      The Droid (and Android 2.x) supports native multitouch. Most of the game devs just haven’t implemented it yet.

      • Weeds

        Thanks for the info, I wasn’t really sure about that.

        I know that the platform (since 2.x) and most of the phones are capable of multitouch.

        So I can use multitouch on a stock US-Droid? I know the Milestone (EU-Droid) does support multitouch, so the question I have:
        Did Motorola just changed the applications or did they something to the underlying system which prevents my applications from using the multitouch capabilities of the platform?
        Thanks for any info on that.

        • http://Website craig

          It was the Google apps that didn’t have the pinch to zoom implemented in the US, for whatever reason (see the article on it being Apple’s fault if you missed that).

    • Weeds

      Yeah this is pretty much the problem I have right here. I was starting to build a Super Mario World clone (the good old SNES Version) for getting into the platform and just couldn’t figure out how to do good controls.
      First I thought about using the trackball as joystick and a transparent display for action buttons.
      But hooray – no trackball on Droid or X10.
      And as you said – without multitouch, using both joystick and action buttons as transparent overlay just didn’t work.
      I’m really curious how this issue is solved by Replica Island (which I guess most of you know already as it was presented at Google IO last year – but just in case -> http://replicaisland.blogspot.com/)

      Next thing is device fragmentation AND the restricted size of internal storage.
      I’m working on a mobile gaming company and we really want to support Android. Currently we are porting some of our IPhone Games to Android.
      The phones (even the first generation phones) are capable of most of the things you can do on the IPhone.
      The problems we were facing is that good quality graphics and sounds make the apk really large – especially if you need to support different screen sizes. (And personally I don’t like black borders somewhere on the phone.)
      One example is our first game Snake Infecct – some of the backgrounds needed to be redone to fit the aspect ratio of the different screen sizes, cause stretching them across the screen was really ugly.
      So the game became really huge (~8MB) and enabling the copy protection in the market simply doubles the size of the app (for whatever reason).
      Now the question would be – will any G1 user ever consider to install such a large package when he only has about ~100MB left on his device?
      And looking at some other IPhone apps with sizes of about 20+ MB – of course I can put more content in such a game and of course it could have higher quality graphics thus making the game more attractive

      I’d like to know what most of you think about loading the game resources to the SDCard when you first start the game?
      Although in my opinion the better approach would be to upload different resource packages to the market and downloading the application provides me with the core game package and an resource package made for my device (screen density/resolution)
      Okay the best solution would be put some 8GB+ storage chips inside newer phones. Seeing the Nexus One still having tiny 512MB was really disapointing.

      Another problem was using OpenGL. I’d like to have some sort of texture compression which I can rely on. ATITC is nice on G1, Magic or Galaxy but again not available on Droid or X10 -> the package grows.
      Same goes for other extensions or even 3D hardware acceleration itself. Am I guaranteed that all new entry level phones have a GPU? I guess not.
      The game still runs but the user experience will be really bad.
      Which is again bad for the whole platform. Cause most of the phones sold will be these entry level devices, therefore more people will use these devices, therefore more people will complain about a bad gaming experience, which may eventually lead to the myth “Android sucks at gaming”

  • http://www.linein.org/blog/ John

    Anyone know what the name of that spades game is? Or who is the developer since there are a couple named “Spades”?

  • http://Website Jay

    I don’t understand–there is no lack of multitouch on the Droid or the Nexus One. The hardware supports it, there are plenty of DEVs that have created apps that use it. What’s limiting the game devs from using it?

  • irving

    The limited space for apps is what is killing it. Downloading the data onto the sd card is a good way to somewhat solve, but there’s nothing like allowing apps to sd.

  • http://www.mobilebrazzers.com Mobile Brazzers

    I agree.

    The biggest roadblock to good games right now is the limited space.

    Fix that issue, and the games will get incredible almost overnight, as devs will be porting over Iphone games, and writing comparable new stuff.

    The other hurdle is controls. The G1 sucks to play games on- with just the touchscreen and a crappy trackball.

    Many games require precision, and thats where a Directional Pad comes in- you can already see how much better it is to play games on the Droid with that pad.

    Problem is, all android phones are different.. soo.. hmm

  • http://Website Ibrahim C

    Should try out a game called robo defense.Its an awesome tactical game

  • http://www.hyperdevbox.com carlo

    Things are really changing now :

    check ExZeus preview video and see what your Droid/Milestone is capable of :

  • Nicoletta Muhari

    Hello! Try my free game (Spaceship License 3D) if you like 3D ones. :)
    Market link: