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The best Android games of 2012 (so far)

by Brad Spirrison

What are the best Android games to download so far this year? Whether you are looking for free Android games, paid Android games, of the best Android games in a particular category, there is no shortage of great selections. Here are five of the best Android games of the year so far.

Draw Something by OMGPOP ($2.99)

While the momentum for this touchscreen-based and unofficial variation of Pictionary slowed down after it was acquired by Zynga in March, there are reasons why Draw Something generated tens of millions of downloads in only its first few weeks (faster than Angry Birds, Instagram, and any other app in history). It’s really fun to play! The premise of the game is simple enough for a five-year-old to pick up. Further, Draw Something’s social integration via Facebook and email makes it easy to play the game with a friend or stranger regardless of what kind of iOS and Android device they own. Don’t own a device on either platform? No worries, you’ll soon be able to watch the upcoming Draw Something primetime game show.

JAZZ: Trump’s journey ($2.99)

Loosely based on the life of Louis Armstrong, JAZZ: Trump’s journey plays well as a “greatest hits” for platform games. With beautiful graphics that capture 1920’s era New Orleans, great controls, and of course a killer soundtrack, Trump’s journey has enough features and depth to appeal to established gamers while also serving as a spirited and soulful introduction to newbie players.

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Angry Birds Space ($0.99, Android tablets: $2.99)

With a launch promotion that was literally out of this world, there was a concern that Angry Birds Space wouldn’t live up to its hype, or just be a slight variation of previous versions of the game. That fear was flung into the stratosphere once we actually began playing it. With new gravity-based mechanics, awesome new birds, a darker color palate and bizarrely amusing space aesthetics, Angry Birds Space is arguably the most refreshing and enjoyable title in the franchise.

N.O.V.A 3 ($6.99)

If you are a fan of first-person shooters, than this is the game for you. Developed by Gameloft, N.O.V.A. 3 more than any other title available on mobile devices moves and feels like a console game. N.O.V.A. 3 has you blasting aliens and enemies through a number of planets (including a war-torn Earth). The multiplayer aspect of the game will have you sharing your battle with as many as 11 other players. Each beautifully animated level takes about 30 minutes to complete, offering a lot of bang for your seven bucks.

Amazing Alex ($0.99)

After a few straight years of massive success, fame and fortune from the Angry Birds intellectual property, Rovio is finally bringing us something different. Amazing Alex is actually based on another game entirely though, called Casey’s Contraptions. The studio bought the game up and gave it new visuals and mechanics. It’s essentially a casual puzzle game involving Rube Goldberg style domino effect machines. Heck, this all just reminds of the game series Tim, which I played when I was six. Originality aside, this is a well-made title from an insanely popular studio, and you will all surely play it. There’s also a free version and HD version available.