Best Indie Android Games

Best Indie Android Games

As the current owner of an ancient Samsung Galaxy S8, indie Android games are my bread and butter. They are not too graphically demanding and range in cost from affordable to free. Moreover, they offer a diversion you won’t get from hyped-up AAA mobile games.

There are thousands of indie Android games, with more released every day. Unfortunately, finding the best game can be exhausting; there are just not enough hours in the day for that.

Thankfully, I have played my fair share of amazing indie games on my phone, and I believe there are some notable standouts.

Best Indie Android Games: The Bottom Line Up Front

There are plenty of indie Android games out there. However, not all of them are good for everyone.

I have chosen 10 standouts because they are entertaining, challenging, heartfelt, or immersive.

My Top Picks at a Glance

  1. Cookies Must Die: this is a fun action platformer with lots of chaos.
  2. G30 – A Memory Maze: this is a touching puzzler that gives you a look into the life of someone living with Alzheimer’s.
  3. Bird Alone: This game gives you a best friend to talk to and have activities. Great for people who feel lonely or sad.
  4. Gumslinger: this is a fun Western-inspired battle royale shooter with a candy aesthetic.
  5. Cats & Soup – Cute idle Game: this is a game where you get cats to make soup. It’s simple and gorgeous.
  6. The Way Home: this is a roguelike dungeon crawler that offers a challenge and has a mystery to unearth.
  7. Mousebusters: sentient mice decide to hunt down the ghosts affecting various people’s mental health.
  8. Animal Doll Shop: you inherit a doll shop and manage it.
  9. Ordia: help a new lifeform traverse an alien world and avoid the dangers within.
  10. Photographs – Puzzle Stories: solve different puzzles in different chapters to uncover a deep story with a bittersweet ending.

Tips for Readers

Games nowadays are never 100% free. So, if possible, I suggest trying them out before spending your hard-earned cash on them. And if the game needs you to buy it up-front, I would prefer you read through guides like this thoroughly and even look up the gameplay on YouTube. This will lower your chances of getting buyer’s remorse.

There are genres you prefer. Even though I have tried to cast my net as wide as possible, you might not be able to find precisely the kind of game that suits you. In that case, I suggest doing a quick Google search for a game you had played before and enjoyed that fits what you’re looking for. You can then look at similar or recommended games, read their synopses, check their ratings, and view their gameplay.

Selection Criteria

When selecting games, I have used the following criteria.

  • No console ports. It must have had reasonable success for a console game to be ported to mobile. This no longer makes it a genuinely indie Android game.
  • No AAA games. Sorry, but I didn’t even bother to look at AAA games. They already have all the exposure they need, and almost every mobile gamer knows about them.
  • No iOS-exclusive games. I mean, this is a list of Android games, after all.
  • No super-popular indie games. While indie games often struggle to be known by more than a couple of thousand, some have transcended this and become global hits (like Limbo). So instead, I’m focusing on indie games with a reasonable (but not obscene) amount of success and which have garnered stellar reviews.

1. Cookies Must Die

  • Developer: Rebel Twins
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Genre: Action platformer

Cookies Must Die is a platformer that focuses on Jack. He is a super-secret government agent with recently acquired superpowers that he must use to defeat evil mutant cookies. The cookies and their bosses are rampaging across the city, and Jack is the only one who can beat them.

The story is simple enough. However, the indie developers have injected a lot of fun into it. And after a while, the story grows on you

If you have played Angry Birds, you will be familiar with the slingshot mechanics. The catch is that when you tap on Jack and see where to sling him, time slows down. So he beats enemies by slinging into them and looks for keys that will let him progress through each level.

Jack starts off with a limited kit, but he unlocks nifty new gadgets and weapons as the game progresses.

Cookies Must Die is a free-to-play game. However, like most free games nowadays, it comes with in-app purchases that can be pretty expensive. For instance, items cost up to $64.99. There are also loot boxes, which I never approve of.

However, since the game makes it easy to unlock new stuff, you don’t have to spend real money unless you want to.

Pros

  • Beautiful 2D art
  • A fun story that doesn’t take itself too seriously
  • Easy to learn

Cons

  • Microtransactions
  • While the story is a joy, its silliness might not be everyone’s cup of tea

2. G30 – A Memory Maze

A Memory Maze

  • Developer: Ivan Kovalov
  • Price: $4
  • Genre: Puzzle

Dealing with Alzheimer’s is an issue most of us can’t really understand unless we go through it.

However, Ivan Kovalov gives us a glimpse into the life of someone with Alzheimer’s through his indie masterpiece: G30 – A Memory Maze.

Your objective is to discover the main character’s past and why they are afraid of the people close to them. You do this by solving two-part puzzles involving random images and scattered text.

Solving two puzzles at a time might sound daunting, but it’s not that challenging—at least, at first. You begin with fragmented pieces of an image, and you move them around to get the whole picture. As for the text, the closer you get to finding the solution, the more the text reveals itself.

The more you play G30, the more the story reveals itself. For just $4, G30 – A Memory Maze offers a unique and insightful experience that can help us to empathize more with others.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, minimalistic graphics
  • Heartfelt storyline
  • Challenging

Cons

  • Puzzles might be frustrating for some

3. Bird Alone

Bird Alone

 

  • Developer: George Batchelor
  • Price: Free Trial
  • Genre: Simulation

Bird Alone is a simple game at first glance: you and a lovable bird become best friends. You tell each other secrets, draw together, chat about life, write poems, and even make music.

Whenever you launch the game, the bird will happily greet you by flapping its wings and asking how you feel. Everything you do gets the bird excited, and he tries his (or her) best to cheer you up.

However, there are also days when the bird feels gloomy, and it’s up to you to cheer him up or not. You can tell him nice things, scratch his belly, or feed him fruit from nearby trees.

Bird Alone has plenty of simple activities and conversations with the bird, so it’s not for someone looking for a fast-paced action game.

Instead, Bird Alone is a thoughtful, philosophical game that tries to keep your mental health intact—something a lot of us often struggle to do. The bird acts like a best friend and a shoulder to lean on.

Bird Alone is also not the kind of game you can just speedrun through. If anything, the bird discourages you from playing for a long time. And instead, it encourages you to play it just a little bit every day.

Pros

  • Gorgeous art
  • Great for mental health
  • Relaxing

Cons

  • Not for everyone

4. Gumslinger

Gumslinger

  • Developer: Itatake
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Genre: Shooter, Battle Royale

Many shooting games take themselves seriously nowadays, as evidenced by the countless Call of Duty and PUBG imitators.

However, this doesn’t apply to Gumslinger. This is a fun shooter where you play as a gummy character who faces off against another gummy character in a minimalist area. The objective is to lift your gun and shoot your opponent faster than they can.

You have unlimited bullets, so you can spray bullets everywhere. However, shots on critical areas like the head are more effective and need fewer bullets to take down your opponent.

Now, here comes the fun part. Because you are playing as gummy versions of various characters, bullets make you fall back like a ragdoll. When this happens, try not to fall off the arena—like Super Smash Bros and others like it, this will spell your doom.

Each battle has 64 opponents, and being killed doesn’t mean you have to spectate for eternity or find another lobby. Instead, you immediately start again until you finish up to 6 rounds.

Because of the fast pace, Gumslinger is among the best indie Android games that you can play for a brief period and then quit.

Pros

  • Gorgeous minimalistic graphics
  • Easy to learn
  • Bucketloads of fun for a battle royale game
  • Enjoyable when you want a quick distraction

Cons

  • It is not as immersive as more serious battle royale games

5. Cats & Soup – Cute idle Game

cats and soup

  • Developer: HIDEA
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases and Ads
  • Genre: Simulation

Just for cuteness, Cats & Soup is one of the best indie Android games out there.

The art style is reminiscent of anime, the environments are colorful and bright, and the cats are some of the cutest characters you can find in an indie game.

If you’re a cat parent (or have ever wanted to be one), you will love seeing the cats interact to make soup. You can dress up each cat, take their photos, and even feed them fish.

And once you are idle, the cats do many things: they collect resources and cook soup, play around, get new recipes, and more.

There is one significant downside to this game, though. You will need to spend a lot of time watching ads to get to the content. And the in-app purchases can be pretty steep.

I tolerate the ads sometimes just so I can see what the cute munchkins are up to. However, the ads can seriously dampen your enjoyment of the game, so take that into account.

Pros

  • Adorable cats and a colorful world
  • Relaxing to play and listen to
  • Fun game for fans of Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley

Cons

  • Ads. So many ads.

6. The Way Home

The Way Home

  • Developer: CONCODE STUDIO
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases and Ads
  • Genre: Action, Roguelike, Dungeon Crawler

The Way Home is a fascinating indie roguelike dungeon crawler.

You play a cat called Cheese who lands on a mysterious island with your human. You fight in procedurally generated dungeons as you try to figure out how you got here.

Before you enter each dungeon, you can select the skills you want. And when you finish each floor in a dungeon, you can walk away with your loot or continue and risk losing two-thirds of the haul.

The more you play, the more you also learn about the mysteries of the cursed island.

Since it is a roguelike, The Way Home offers a fair challenge. However, it is not too hard to get into, though it does need your focus.

There are many enemies to face with different attack patterns and skills to upgrade Cheese the way you want.

If you enjoy dungeon crawlers, The Way Home is definitely among the better ones to come out in recent years.

Pros

  • Cute pixel graphics
  • A fair amount of challenge
  • Immersive
  • Interesting plot

Cons

  • Not a game to quickly pass the time
  • Like with every roguelike, it can sometimes feel repetitive and grindy
  • After the first island, you have to either spend money to access the other locations or watch a ton of ads

7. Mousebusters

Mousebusters

  • Developer: Odencat
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases and Ads
  • Genre: Adventure, Horror

What if mice were conscious and decided to give humans a regular life by destroying ghosts?

That is the premise of Mousebusters. Fortunately, while it could have been fun but disposable, the developers went another way.

Most of the game’s characters and grounded and engaging. You intervene in their lives by battling the ghosts that affect them emotionally and plague them. Shooting the ghosts is relatively easy; just tap on them.

In fact, I would say the gameplay is not too big of a challenge. This seems intentional like the game wants you to focus on the plot instead.

That might be a disappointment for some. But once I figured that’s what the developers were going for, I just went along for the ride.

You don’t have to pay a single dollar when it comes to cost. However, you might have to watch ads for a bit or do a chore for an in-game character. However, it doesn’t punish you on the level of a game like Cats & Soup.

Mousebusters is a fun game if you want a heavy focus on the story without worrying too much about the gameplay.

Pros

  • Exciting story with detailed, multifaceted characters
  • Adorable mice
  • Great game if you’re not looking for a challenge
  • You can finish Mousebusters without spending a dollar

Cons

  • Disappointing game for anyone who wants a challenge

8. Animal Doll Shop – Cute Tycoon

Cute Tycoon

  • Developer: Funnyeve
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases and Ads
  • Genre: Simulation

Animal Doll Shop is a simulation that harkens back to Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley—even more so than Cats & Soup – Cute idle Game.

The game starts with you inheriting the store of Pepetto, a legendary doll maker. It’s now up to you to make dolls for discerning customers. For instance, some customers care about rarity, while others prefer good-quality dolls.

But it’s not just about making dolls. You can also add an arcade room, sell the dolls in distinct ways, decorate the workshop and other rooms, and even compete in a prestigious doll-making competition.

Animal Doll Shop is super-cute, easy to get into, and a relaxing distraction when you have time to play it.

Pros

  • Cute graphics
  • Easy to learn
  • You can play the game for many hours

Cons

  • Ads
  • Not for people who want a fast-paced game

9. Ordia

Ordia

  • Developer: Loju
  • Price: $6
  • Genre: Arcade, Platformer

In Ordia, you play a new life form which takes the form of a little green orb. You then help the ball traverse an alien world full of dangers and challenges.

Even though color usage is minimal, Ordia’s world still looks striking. Waterfalls, plants, and other things make the world come alive. However, color also shows you when something is dangerous. For instance, anything pink is generally a hazard to avoid.

From its trailer and screenshots, Ordia looks like a relaxing game. However, that’s not entirely true. While the game doesn’t rush you, it also doesn’t pamper you. Some hazards will have your palms sweating as you try to avoid them, and spikes will ruin your day.

However, the game introduces them slowly to keep you from getting overwhelmed and frustrated. As a result, you feel like the fault is you, not the game, whenever you die.

Overall, though, Ordia is an intriguing game with a minimalist but striking color palette.

Pros

  • Fairly challenging
  • Amazing minimalist colors

Cons

  • Levels might be a tad similar to each other
  • Not the most relaxing game as you advance

10. Photographs – Puzzle Stories

Puzzle Stories

  • Developer: EightyEight Games
  • Price: $4
  • Genre: Puzzle

Photographs – Puzzle Stories is no simple puzzle game. Instead, it has 5 chapters, each with a different story and puzzle.

For instance, “The Journalist” tells the story of a newspaper founder’s grandson struggling to keep it afloat. The puzzles are mazes that increase with difficulty as hazards are added.

Unless you get stuck, each chapter should take you less than an hour to finish. And the longer you play Photographs – Puzzle Stories, the more you realize that the puzzles are helping to tell each story.

In the background, a voiceover describes what is happening as you solve the puzzles. The art background also changes as you progress.

By the time you finish the game, you will have tied together all the different chapters into one cohesive whole. And it will be one tragic ending that tugs at your heartstrings.

Puzzle Stories is a deceptively simple puzzle game that gets more detailed and immersive the longer you play it, just like removing an onion’s layers.

Pros

  • Heartfelt story
  • Gorgeous pixel graphics
  • Challenging puzzles

Cons

  • Puzzles might be too tough for some
  • Some gamers might not be patient enough to wait for the big reveal at the end

FAQs

Question: What Is The Most Successful Indie Game?

Answer: Minecraft is the most successful indie game on all platforms and has sold over 200 million units.

Question: What Is An Indie Game?

Answer: An indie game is simply a game made by an individual or a small team. It typically does not get a big game publisher’s technical or financial support.

Question: Where Can I Find The Best Indie Android Games?

Answer: Just go to Google Play Store. It has a section on Indie Masterpieces that you can go through.

Question: Where Can I Find Free Indie Android Games?

Answer: Many of the best indie Android games are free to play. However, they are not entirely free. You will usually have to watch ads or pay for in-game items.

Best Indie Android Games: Conclusion

Android has a wide range of games. However, the games above are the best indie Android games of the past few years. They all offer something special that you won’t find in most games.

They might not be perfect, but they should at least give you a good experience.

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