Four superior physics-based Android games

by Phil Owen

Today most games have some sort of physics engine running in the background, dictating how gameplay elements will behave. There are a few of said games running on Android that I happen to be obsessed with. Let’s talk about them, shall we?

Demolition Inc. HD ($1.99)

At some point, a coder realized he could make things fall apart by using a physics engine, and now we live in a world in which digital structures fall apart all the time because it's just so much fun to watch. Why do you think everybody loves Angry Birds so much?

In Demolition Inc, you play as an alien named Mike, and I don't think they follow the same corporate rules that we do. It’s your job to go to Earth and really just goof everything up for the humans, by utilizing your wits to destroy everything you see in six cities and 37 districts. Using touch controls, the goal is to create chain reactions of mass destruction.

The game is fully simulated, and doesn’t rely on pre-programmed animations. Your spaceship is equipped with a functioning tractor beam, which enables you to take control of and weaponize cars, wrecking balls, and other objects in the environment. It’s amusing, and lets you unleash your creativity.


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Cut the Rope ($1.99)

There is no shortage of games in which you slide your finger across your phone's screen to do something or other, and that control scheme in Cut the Rope is both endearing and physics-based.

The “physics” element in Cut the Rope involves a piece of candy being swung about by, you guessed it, ropes. Your goal is to cut the ropes at the right times and in the right order so that the candy is caught by another rope or ropes, which you will also cut at the right times and in the right order so that eventually the candy lands in the mouth of the cute beast chilling at the bottom of the level.

That's the purpose of the game, to let this weird animal eat candy. I told you it was endearing!

Zen Bound 2 ($2.99)

I bet you thought that the section on Cut the Rope would close the book on rope-based physics. Cut the Rope, admittedly, does have cool rope physics, but it's nothing compared to what Zen Bound 2 has for us.

See, Zen Bound 2 is a game in which the point is to rotate wooden objects with nails sticking out of them – which resemble recognizable shapes. The goal is to wrap the rope around all the object’s nails. That sounds weird, but it is quite the calming and compelling experience. There's no time limit or anything, so you can take it slow and just enjoy yourself. And you will enjoy yourself.

Paper Toss (Free)

This is a game about tossing a crumpled up piece of paper into a trash can, and it really manages to be enthralling. No, this is not just the same flick of your thumb over and over again to numb the pain of existence. In Paper Toss, you actually have an opponent.

That opponent is a fan that somebody thought would be cute to place next to the garbage can. If Paper Toss were real life, you would just move the fan so as to keep it from interfering with your paper tossing activities. You must instead compensate for the strength of the fan. And since every time you toss some paper it moves and changes in speed, tossing paper becomes quite a complicated affair.

Tossing a piece of paper has never felt more real.