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I can’t count the number of hours I’ve spent solving Sudoku puzzles in newspapers and puzzle books — there’s just something about numbers on a grid that I can’t resist! As it turns out, Japan has many more games to tickle your brain and kill time with, and my latest favorite is playable on your Android device. Presenting the awesome Hashi Puzzles: Bridges & Islands!

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Collect Coins, Avoid Bombs in Politician: The Game

“Get Rich, Avoid Explosives!” So says the tagline of simple-yet-addictive politics simulator coin-collecting title Politician: The Game. There’s not a whole lot to this Snake-like battle to accumulate wealth, but like all great quick-fix games its elegance will win you over and steal away your time.

While Politician looks like some bad shareware from 20 years ago, it’s utterly brilliant — both as a game and, if you care to read into it, a satire — and I couldn’t recommend it more.

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A few weeks ago the highly anticipated sequel to Temple Run was announced. Within the first three days Temple Run 2 had already been downloaded 20 million times on iOS devices. And after what seemed like the longest and most annoying week ever — which all my friends found hilarious as they played on their iPhones — Android users finally had access to the game. Since then, playing Temple Run 2 has been a regular occurrence and I’m sure this can be said for many others.

However, while Temple Run may take the spotlight, there are several other games that follow the same concept. Many of these are just as fun and in my opinion maybe better. So whether you’re bored of Temple Run already or just looking for a new game for your Android device, read on to find out what we recommend!

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Turn Up the Radio – It’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

It’s hard to believe that GTA: Vice City first came out over a decade ago. I have great memories of the console and desktop versions, so I was keen to get a copy to carry with me to complement the excellent soundtrack box set.

I already knew the game was excellent, with its massive city, deep atmosphere, and free roaming gameplay, so my main concern was whether such a complex game would actually be playable on a handheld device. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but I do have some reservations…

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I’m a sucker for a good puzzle game. There’s something meditative about sitting down and unraveling the best laid traps of a designer eager to test your smarts. Doubly so when it involves bringing order to chaos, as you do in the likes of Picross and Tetris or non-games such as jigsaw puzzles, and when there’s a visual element to please your sight while it challenges your mind.

Patchworkz’s twist on tiling — well, tangram, to be precise — puzzles had me hooked from beginning to end. Featuring gorgeous mosaic canvases and more than a hundred puzzles, it packs just the right degree of difficulty and modes to suit both the laid-back and race-the-clock style puzzle gamers.
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A hungry horde of zombies is chasing me. It’s freezing out, pitch dark and my feet are soaking wet. I’ve given up avoiding the puddles in favour of avoiding them. Kasabian’s album Empire blares giving me the boost I need to lift my knees higher and move quicker through the woods. Overhanging branches slap me across the face. Deep down I’m glad it’s dark.

I imagine this looks hilarious.

Running is the most common way to get fit and the most common reason to quit. Most use the carrot and stick motivation system of rewards to drive themselves forward. It turns out having zombies, hungry for brains, hot on your heels is much better. Want to run faster and for longer? Run for your life with Zombies, Run!

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I love the Total War series. Ever since I got a copy of the original Medieval: Total War for my eighth birthday, I have been repeatedly captivated by the sprawling scale that the team over at The Creative Assembly have had to offer. Now, with almost every historical period covered by the time-conquering studio, and with the much-anticipated Rome II on the horizon, it is only fitting that the Assembly have decided to bring the Total War to the mobile space.

And what’s better to bring to the smartphone world than the war-forged era of feudal Japan? Initially embodied in the very first game of the series, Shogun: Total War, the home of the samurai has since seen a magnificent grand-scale sequel in the form of Shogun II. Now coming to Android in what I can only hope will be the first of many mobile titles, we have Total War Battles: Shogun. So, have the Creative Assembly served up the slice of meaty mobile strategy that we’ve been waiting for? Read on to find out.

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Contre Jour is a challenging and original physics-based puzzle game. The game centers around a creature named Petit who has to collects lights and find its way towards a swirly exit. However, instead of moving Petit yourself, you essentially have to manipulate the surrounding environment via pulling, swiping and using various landscape gadgetry such as tendrils and pulleys.

What you have with Contre Jour is a game that will feel familiar and yet include some innovative and exciting gameplay that genuinely sets it apart. Add to this recipe incredible music and buttery smooth graphics to obtain a game that is ‘experienced’ as much as it is played. Read on for more insight into this beautifully unique game.
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Build and Manage a School with Pocket Academy

I’ll never fully comprehend why we love managing the lives and businesses of virtual characters. The Sims and Theme Hospital stick out in my mind as the two games which were always installed, ready to go on my PC as a kid. On some level, there was arguably a desire to feel ‘grown up’ — managing a household, hospital or theme park is what grown-ups do.

Pocket Academy takes the managerial approach to things and drops you in the principal’s chair of a new school. A school with no reputation, no students and very few pixels. Shall we?

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I guess that most people in their twenties probably cringe at the thought of games that are ‘suitable for all ages’, and wouldn’t be caught dead playing a game with graphics geared towards children. For those of you who fall into that category (myself from two weeks ago included), I say to you, awake, arise and embrace the joys of all things innocent! Or, at the very least, try playing Little Things® Forever.

Easily one of the most fun casual games I’ve played in a long time, KlickTock’s Android debut is a delightful free puzzler in the vein of Where’s Waldo?, that has players finding tiny objects in a mess of hundreds of them. Beautifully illustrated and presented, this is a treat for the whole family — just be prepared to wait your turn once they’re all hooked!

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