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These Android games will make you jump for joy

by Tim McLain

Did your New Year's resolution to work out not "work out?" Not to worry. Soothe away your guilt and feel the burn in your fingers as you work your way through these supercharged jumping apps for Android. Get vertical anywhere, anytime (virtually, anyway).

Abduction! (Free)

Aliens love hamburgers. At least in the world of Abduction! this seems to be the case, as the saucers are swooping down and grabbing the nearest sides of beef they can lock their tractor beams on. In this wildly popular free title, you take on the role of a fellow bovine, jumping your way ever upwards to grab power-ups, save falling friends, and not fall back to Earth. Tilt your device to guide your hero ever higher, keeping in mind that the difficulty ramps up considerably the higher you go. My favorite feature? Kid mode, where your cow can never fall further than the bottom of the screen, making it much more child-friendly. No tantrums from constant death in this must-have app.

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Leap Sheep! ($1.99)

Whether you're having trouble falling asleep, or on a quest to find the ultimate leap frog-style game for your phone, Leap Sheep! will quickly become your newest gaming addiction. The premise is simple: Send ever-increasing numbers of cute, fluffy sheep sailing over a fence. These little performers can do tricks to increase your score, and frequently bunch up against the fence. When that happens, unleash a ram to send the queue sailing over. The background scene changes depending upon the time of day your playing, so it's perfect for an afternoon break or easing you into bedtime.

Hamster Climb (Free)

If you like Abduction!, you'll love Hamster Climb. Using a similar vertical climbing scheme, in this app you'll take control of a super-cute, super-small hamster as it quickly sails from platform to platform (and even cloud to cloud) in its quest to reach the sky. Instead of tilting your device, players can use the touchscreen to control their virtual mammal's flight path. There are no power-ups or falling animals to rescue, but the more platforms you touch in sequence, the faster you'll climb. If you have a need for speed, this is your jumper!

Extreme Droid Jump (Free)

Swap out the hamsters and cows for the little green flying Droid robot we've all seen in those fancy Android phone spots, and you've got yourself a solid jumper game in Extreme Droid Jump. If you're an IT pro, or steeped in the latest mobile tech, this is the jumper for you. After increasing the tilt sensitivity to max (a must!), you'll sail ever higher, grabbing yummy eclairs along the way, but also angling to collect tech tokens. The Microsoft logo will slow you down, Flash gives you a boost, and you'll also find Penguins (Linux, anyone?) and other techie references throughout. A worthy, free install for jump-lovers out there.

SmileyJump (Free)

Ease your way into the jumper genre with this simple, colorful title. In SmileyJump, you choose your smiley avatar, and send it sailing higher and higher. The colors of the generously wide platforms correspond to their bounciness, so aim for the darker purple plats to get a super boost. Watch out for the falling red baddies that will take you out, and enjoy the slower pace of this entry. After a few minutes of practice, you'll find yourself sailing smoothly, hitting every platform, and in a jumper trance for as long as you wish.

Related: Classic arcade games on the Android