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New Android tablet for Christmas? Download these games first

by Andrew Koziara

Ah, the holidays... That wonderful time of year when people gather at a relative's house and give me new electronics! If you received a new tablet device, you'll probably need some guidance as to what games to download first. What a crazy lucky coincidence that you're reading this article. Here are five games you should go download immediately, and no, Angry Birds will not be on this list. I'm sure you've already downloaded it anyway. On with the show!

Fruit Ninja ($0.99)

The first game on this list barely needs an introduction. You've possibly already heard of it, and maybe even played it. It's pretty much the ultimate "keep yourself busy for a few minutes while waiting for things" game. The screen-swiping gameplay is completely addicting and cutting fruit always results in a very satisfying "squish."

This version has been optimized for tablet devices. It doesn't really look much better in HD, but it's all the proper resolution. Everyone's favorite game modes are present, including the tense and exciting classic mode, more relaxed Zen mode, and the high score race against the clock that is arcade mode. Very cool is the inclusion of split screen multiplayer, though there is no online play. With plenty of unlockables and endlessly fun game play that keeps you coming back for more, this is an app everyone should own.

Cut The Rope ($0.99)

Let's transition from fruit cutting to rope cutting, shall we? Another game that needs no introduction, Cut the Rope is everyone's favorite physics-based puzzle game. Your job is to feed Om Nom (Also known as the cutest thing in a video game since ever) several pieces of candy after he's mysteriously delivered to your door.

You'll have to guide the candy around obstacles like spikes and spiders using bubbles, air cannons, teleporting hats, and much, much more. The physics-based mechanics are very creative, and some puzzles will really test your mind and your reflexes. The art and music gives the game a great sense of whimsy, and alleviates any frustration you may feel. The game has already received six new level packs in completely free updates, and Zeptolabs continues supporting the game to this day, promising to add even more. Once again, I implore you, give these people all of your money.

Fieldrunners HD ($0.99)

With the ridiculous oversaturation of tower defense games on the Android Market, it can be hard to know where to even begin. A great place to start is with this game. It's a very basic and well-balanced tower defense game with awesome production values, but not too many bells and whistles or complexities.

This is one of those open-ended TD games, meaning you have to block enemies and create pathways yourself. There's a great variety to the kinds of towers, and they all look very cool. All the already fantastic HD art looks even better on a tablet, and the game's excellent music is now stuck in my head just thinking about it. You can play classic, extended, or endless mode in three difficulties, and there are plenty of achievements to unlock. You can't go wrong with this one.

Gun Bros (Free)

Like tower defense games, dual stick shooters like Gun Bros make up a hefty chunk of the mobile gaming market. This should definitely be one of your first downloads though. Not only is it free, but it's a great snapshot for what you can expect from most games in the genre. It's also completely over the top and packed with action movie cliché humor, which is always a plus.

Gun down wave after wave of enemies with your AI controlled partner, leveling up your guns and harvesting tons of precious "explodium," which transfers into glorious money. The in-game store is just overflowing with weapons, armor, and other goodies. Being a freemium game, unlocking new gear takes a lot of effort, and there's plenty of in-app purchase exclusive content, but the gameplay is solid and it looks great on an HD screen.

Greed Corp HD (Free)

This excellent and innovative turn-based strategy game has been ported to several platforms, and more recently it's hit Android tablets. It's not a mobile mega hit like the rest of the games on this list, but it's perfect for strategy fans, its mechanics are creative and simple, and it's totally free.

This brilliantly-titled game involves a resource war between four factions, who are literally tearing the planet apart out of greed. The mechanics are not overly complex, and you have access to everything from the get-go. Play through four campaigns with different difficulties and compete in a comprehensive online multiplayer mode. This game's huge amount of creative content and high level of accessibility is why it rounds out this list.