Here’s our list of underappreciated games for Android and IOS we’ve collected through years.
For a game to be ‘underappreciated’, it must:
- Have a rating of 4.0 stars minimum.
- Have less than 5 000 downloads for paid games, less than 50 000 for free games.
- Have some depth to it. Our-first-android-games and 24-hour dev challenges do not qualify, they are invariably too shallow.
- Meet standard AndroidGaming quality metrics. No pay-to-win, no excessive IAP paired with grind or wait times, no forced video ads or aggressive ad popups.
We’ll start with five underappreciated non-commercial games. Yes, totally free, no IAP, no ads, and with a bit of depth to top it off. I hope you can forgive simplistic graphics.
Half RPG, half quest, Egyptian-themed pixelated graphics, no permadeath, easy grind. Around 10 hours playtime. It was released 2 months ago, and currently has 500 downloads.
A card game. You are given a table with random cards, one of which you buy each turn, than random 5 cards you bought are played, and damage the enemy cards, give you more money, or use a special ability, like draw additional cards or give bonus damage for cards of the same type. Campaign consists of tables of increasing difficulty, with different enemy types. I would say, 20 hours of play time, unless you’ll get bored like me, and abandon it after beating first 25 levels in 4 hours. 5 000 downloads.
Thee’s also a separate version with more levels and some ads. A platformer which does not bother with such minor details as characters or scenery. You control a black box navigating through orange levels, using double-jumps and wall-jumps. It’s not very long, around 2 hours, but later levels offer some challenge. 100 downloads.
Roll your marble ball over narrow platforms, do not fall. 10 levels provide 1 hour of gameplay, maybe 3 hours of you want to 3-star each level, but they look good at least. 100 downloads.
An interactive pixelated horror story. 1 hour playtime, 10 000 downloads.
Paid Underappreciated Games for Android and IOS
Now, paid games. Play time is wildly approximate, I’ve played some of these games more than 3 years ago.
A pinball game with a plot line, unique tables in each level, and a final boss, which you must beat to death with your ball. Play time is 6-7 hours, or 20 hours to 3-star each level. Some reviewers complain that it won’t run on Android Lollipop, but it runs fine on my Note 3 with Lollipop, so make sure to test it, and refund if necessary. 1 000 downloads, costs $2.
Two player pinball, you can play with AI, or with your friend using the same screen (make sure you won’t drop your phone). The point is to overwhelm your opponent with balls, whoever drops more balls loses. Also has entertaining mission mode, where you must hit several balls in a row, hit a small target with a ball, or escape the labyrinth using your ball and flippers. Around 5 hours to unlock all tables, also has a table constructor. 1 000 downloads, costs $2.
RPG starring a witch, quite good 3D graphics and dialog, time management and crafting systems. I’m 6 hours into the game, and finished less than 20% of it. 1 000 downloads, costs $3.50, which is quite cheap for that amount of content.
A simple side-scrolling shooter with weapon upgrades. The gameplay and the plot line are satisfying. 6 hours play time, 1 000 downloads, I’ve bought it for $1, but it looks like the dev unpublished it.
The Chicken Bandit
Ride a chicken, rob trains, battle various bosses. A nice little game. 4 hours play time, 1 000 downloads, costs just $1.
A mix of platformer and Sonic Jump, with circular platforms. You don’t navigate levels, you just dodge enemies, and jump higher. Visuals and music are so artsy it hurts. Later levels are quite punishing, I’ve abandoned the game 6 hours in, at around 70% to the end. 100 downloads, pristine 5.0 star rating, costs $3. Satisfy your inner hipster, grab this game before it’s cool!
Prison run and gun
Puzzle platformer with tight gameplay, similar to the Stealth Bastard. I’ve abandoned the game after 6 hours at 70%, when levels became too difficult. 100 downloads, costs $2, but currently on sale for $1.
Be spider, weave webs, eat bugs. There’s also a mystery plotline to unlock through levels, if that’s your thing. I’m 6 hours into the game, and finished around 30%. 1 000 downloads, costs $5.
Nice platformer with tight gameplay and interesting mechanics. Around 10 hours of gameplay, 500 downloads, costs $5.
Shoot-em-up with your finger acting like a ship. Nice plotline, but a bit too difficult, I abandoned the game after the third level. I guess it’s 4 hours of total play time, probably. 100 downloads, costs $2, and has a demo.
JRPG adopted to touchscreens – tap and swipe arrows at correct time to do different attacks. No world to explore, you just navigate from battle to battle. Still, graphics is good, and the story is cliché enough to not get in your way. 6 hours of play time. It was featured on AndroidPolice, but still – 500 downloads. Costs $3.
Turn-based RPG / deck-building, the combat has puzzle elements in it, base building is purely cosmetic. 8 hours playtime. Also featured on AndroidPolice, but still – 1 000 downloads. Costs cool $10, but it’s definitely not Final Fantasy in terms of content, and I bought it on sale.
Toby: the secret mine
Platformer with puzzles, Limbo wannabe, but less dark and shorter, around 4 hours playtime. 500 downloads, costs $5. Yes, the same price as Limbo. Be sure to buy Limbo first.
The Beggar’s Ride
Nice platformer with some interesting puzzles, 6 hours play time. To finish the last puzzle you must 3-star 70% of previous levels, of course I’ve uninstalled it instead. 1 000 downloads, costs $4.
The daddy of twin-stick shooters got an Android port. It’s enjoyable but challenging, I barely finished the last level in under 10 attempts. 8 hours playtime. 100 downloads, costs cool $10, but I bought it through Humble Bundle for half of that.
What are the underappreciated games you have had for years now and you’re not able to stop playing? Please tell us in the comments!