We already made our picks for best phones and best apps for 2012, and now it’s time for the best game. 2012 finally brought console quality games to Android, but overall, we saw major growth for games that appealed to both casual and hardcore gamers. Although we don’t agree on the best of the best, one thing we can agree on is that we are all looking forward to what 2013 has in store. Hit the break to see the results and let us know your favorites.
Robert Nazarian – Editor In Chief
So many cool games were launched in 2012, and although many of them had some pretty cool graphics and intense gameplay, to me it’s also about widespread appeal. Taking that into consideration, I have to go with Jetpack Joyride. It arrived a little late in the year, but with over 10 million downloads in three months, it’s hard not to argue that it’s a game that appeals to the beginner as well as the hardcore. The fact that it’s an absolute blast to play doesn’t hurt either. The runner up for me was Granny Smith. It’s not nearly as popular as Jetpack, but is so much fun and is one of the most clever games I have played in a long time. Other worthy contenders include Dead Trigger, Shadowgun: Deadzone, Modern Warfare, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They are all cool games that look sweet and sport great gameplay, but since they appeal to a smaller (barely) audience, I have to tip my hat to Halfbrick Studios.
Roy Alugbue – Editor
A near-unanimous staple on most gamers’ devices, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation brings some serious fast-paced action to gamers. The game features incredible graphics, fluid controls, dynamic levels and some pretty impressive AI running the show. The real appeal of this game (like most other shooters) isn’t the single-player campaign (which is solid in its own right)— it’s the astounding mulitplayer mode that allows for up to 12 of your friends to be able to play in anything from a standard deathmatch to team-based battles, which could ultimately lead to hours and hours of gameplay.The only catch with the game is the fact that it requires up to a few gigs of storage space on your device in order provide the incredible level of detail it offers, so gamers will need to set aside some precious real-estate on their devices in order for the game to run. While that is a minor dealbreaker, the overall experience Fallen Nation provides has been easily been one of the best. Ladies and gents if you want to play one of the more exciting games out there— Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is where it’s at.
Ed Caggiani – Author
Create a pathogen. Infect the world. Kill everyone. Plague, Inc. is not only addictively evil, it’s highly intelligent as well. Ndemic Creations has created a game that makes you think about how to strategically mutate and evolve your pathogen to be highly infectious, while maintaining a low lethality to keep governments from working on a cure too early. Once everyone in the world is infected, it’s time to amp up the symptoms and increase the kill rate. Can you kill everyone in the world before a cure is engineered? Once you succeed, you unlock other pathogens, from bacteria and viruses, to parasites and bio-weapons. Each has its own twist to keep gameplay interesting. This was the most played game on all my Android devices in 2012.
Colton Kaiser – Author
Picking the best game of 2012 is no simple task. We’ve seen thousands of titles from numerous well-established studios, each with its own strengths and caveats. With that said, there was one game that stood out apart from the rest of the pack this year. With its simple and charming approach, Granny Smith takes the cake, or in this case the apple. Mediocre Games has crafted an utterly spectacular gem of a game, offering Sonic-esque gameplay reminiscent of the old days of SEGA. The idea is simple, too. You’re an old lady trying to beat a punk skater in order to collect your precious apples. There are two controls: One to jump over obstacles, and one to stick out your cane and zip down power lines collecting coins in the process. It may sound a little too casual for some, but it’s this game that I found myself coming back to time and time again.
Jared Peters – Author
Despite a little piracy controversy over the price of the game, Dead Trigger is one of the most fun, addictive first person shooters available in Google Play. Madfinger has a long track record of fantastic shooters for Android, and Dead Trigger follows suit. It offers hectic zombie slaying, a huge arsenal of weapons to keep you entertained, and even a few little mini games to take your mind off the end of the world, like an arena and a slot machine. It also supports extended graphics for Tegra 3 devices, which make the game look even more amazing. Couple that with great controls and native controller support, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Rudy Rivapalacio – Author
My choice for best game of the year probably isn’t the most addictive nor will it spawn tons of merchandising partnerships. Ingress, however, is a lot of fun and has loads of potential. The augmented reality game is still in a private beta with about as many people trying to get in as people currently playing the capture the flag-type MMO. Game play can be repetitive and portal placement has been questionable in the early stages but the scale and possibilities make Ingress pretty damn awe-inspiring.
Alexon Enfiedjian – Author
I have to admit: I’m not really a gamer. I literally have ZERO games on my Android devices. However, when I got my first Android phone in 2009 (the HTC Hero for Sprint), I did download a few games: Trapped, Jewels, Paper Toss and Angry Birds…so when Rovio launched Angry Birds Space, I felt nostalgic and thought I’d give it a try. It was smooth, well animated, had fun sounds, and the usual addictive game play. I played it for about thirty minutes (which for me is a long time). I thoroughly enjoyed myself and thought Rovio had done a good job coming up with some new and interesting ideas regarding the game physics and lack of gravity. The game was fun and free, what more do you need?. It stayed on my phone for about a week. So, all that to say, I may not be the most qualified person to vote for the best game of 2012, but if I had to choose, I’d go with Angry Birds Space.