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Kongregate leads Android Games of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

This week was huge in Android games, with GameStop’s release of its Kongregate Arccade app, then its abrupt prohibition from the Market. The move shook the mobile game industry, making us wonder about the direction of extended game platforms (and especially Google’s long-term intentions). Fortunately, there’s plenty of other new games to play this week, with some big name updates to check out as well.

Top players

GameStop made a precedent-setting release this week, launching the Kongregate Arcade app as a portal to its hundreds of Flash-based games. The game platform made another first—being the first to get kicked out of the Android Market. We’re not sure if the Kongregate Arcade app will ever return, but you can still access the app through its website, and through GetJar’s independent platform as well.

Dungeon Defenders: First Wave has gotten its first major content update, bringing furry pet friends into the game, along with new challenges around your missions. The big news with this release, though, is the cross-platform play with iPhone gamers, thanks to GameSpy integration. This Android RPG is currently $2.99 and well worth the price.

Another update this week was for Fruit Ninja, which now supports "arcade" mode. iPhone gamers have had this update for some time, so it’s great to see it make its way to the Android Market. The new "arcade" mode has fresh gameplay options, complete with bonuses to collect and items to unlock. This fruit-slashing game costs 99 cents.

There’s a new version of Alchemy in town. Creative Mobile has recently launched Alchemy ~ Genetics, a fun little twist on a classic casual arcade game. Start with four animals, and combine their genes (in lieu of elements), uncovering the 200 or so creatures. It’s an amusing theme for this free game, since you never quite know what you’re going to get.

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New guys

From a scene right out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Candy Farm brings you into a famous industry of timing and organization. It’s your job to get the factory candy from the wrapper to the gift box, which is color-coded accordingly. Things can get tricky, as each level becomes increasingly challenging. Best of all, this Android game is free.

Another challenging puzzler is Plumber, which takes a simple concept and turns it into complex gameplay. Rotate a plethora of pipe pieces to form a path for fluid to safely flow from one end of the screen to the other. Like a maze, you build as you go, working out the best solution for each level. This Android game is free.

Glow Hockey has made quite an impression its first week on the market, mixing Air Hockey with something that looks like it came straight from a TRON script. This futuristic twist on hockey is still a game of geometry, picking the best angles that will land your puck in the goal. This free Android game offers multiple modes of gameplay, level selection and more.

The climbers

Wheelz is a competitive game with a monster-sized objective: drive your monster truck across various terrains, filled with obstacles that only a skilled driver could take on. These challenges are timed, and your scores shared globally. You can make your own levels as well, making this a fun game for physics lovers. The full version of this game will cost you just over $2.00 in the Android Market.

Dead Runner is an eerie but intense experience, setting you afoot in a randomly-created forest. You’re being pursued in this misty scene, using your accelerometer to steer your runner in one direction or another. Hit a tree, and you’ll slow down. Crash into it fast enough, and you’ll have a gravestone to avoid during your next run. This Android game costs $1.99.

HollyWood Empire turns you into a movie producer, signing four actors and actresses to a single film. The goal is to make a blockbuster, but just as in real life, the wrong celebrity combo could also make for a bust. But the show must go on! The more you play this free game, the more features you’ll unlock. Gain access to better actors and movies, share high scores with fellow Facebook players, and more.

Related: Real Player and VEVO lead Android Apps of the Week