Not only was there a generous array of fine Android apps to grace the Play Store over the last 30 days, we've got some awesome Android games launching in April too. There's a healthy mix of action, strategy, and casual this go-around, but regardless of genre, these are all some truly outstanding titles. Our top five picks are below, so dig in - if you think you're ready.
Best Android games of April 2014
The Walking Dead: The Game
The Walking Dead is an outstanding comic and television show about a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. Though the game here has little to do with either of those series, you'll find just as much cinematic excellence. Players have to make snap life-or-death decisions, complete rigorous gauntlets of reflex gameplay when fighting off the undead, and, worst of all, live with the decisions you've made from one episode to the next. You take control of a convict named Lee that gets a second chance at life, but also the weighty responsibility of keeping an abandoned little girl safe and sane. You get the first season for free, but you'll find yourself hooked enough that you might as well just plunk down the $15 for the full season now. Trust me, it's worth it. This game will pull on some heartstrings.
- Download The Walking Dead: The Game - Free, $4.99 per episode, $14.99 for full season
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM is a mix of strategic turn-based combat and long-term base-building. Players engage in international missions to clear out alien threats in an attempt to keep global panic to a minimum. These combat scenarios require the intelligent usage of cover, mobility, and specialized skills. Keeping your squad alive isn't just a matter of making it through a level, since once a member is dead, they're gone for good and you have to train a rookie from scratch to replace them. Though players earn rewards for completing missions, they have to stay in the good books of countries around the world in order to the keep research funding coming in. New technologies like weapons, jets, infrastructure, and lots more will determine if mankind can stave off extinction. XCOM is a widely respected strategy game across many platforms, and it's more than welcome to deploy on Android, especially without any in-app purchases to contend with.
- Download XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $9.99
Clumsy Ninja found its way to Android recently, which is a wonderfully-animated casual game. Players get their own little doe-eyed ninja that they take through a training regimen. That includes a trampoline, a punching bag, and even a basketball net to toss the hapless little guy through. As you master various training implements, you unlock new animations and the next tier of equipment. There's no real "winning", and it barely qualifies as a game, but as an interactive toy, Clumsy Ninja is fantastic. The physics employed to bring the ninja to life and how he reacts to, say, you swatting him in the head or tickling his belly are flat-out adorable. Even the simple act of flinging him into the air and watching him flail is enjoyable. Within that framework, the freemium model isn't obtrustive, since you're basically just paying for more entirely optional objects to mess around with. Oh, and if you've ever got kids around, Clumsy Ninja will keep them occupied indefinitely.
- Download Clumsy Ninja - Free, in-app purchases
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
Baldur's Gate is a port of a classic party-based RPG. Players wind their way through the Forgotten Realms, a well-known Dungeons & Dragons setting. Extremely colorful characters with well-written dialog and beautiful character portraits keep you riveted to your party, while a wide range of class options let you play your way at the same time. Combat can be very exciting as players pause everything, queue up the actions of their party members, then unpause to watch the chaos unfold all at once. Don't worry about the in-app purchases notification in the Play Store; Baldur's Gate only offers an additional portrait pack for $1.99. No premium currency or timers here. For old school Dungeons & Dragons purists, Baldur's Gate is required playing. Read our review of the iOS version to get a feeling of what to expect.
In Impossible Road, you have to guide a ball called "The Vessel" down an infinite, winding track without falling off the edge. You get scored based on how many checkpoints you cross along the way, though it's possible to skip them if you fall off the edge and land further down the track. That's a lot harder than it sounds, by the way. Though the premise of Impossible Road is simple enough, it is obscenely difficult. The rage it creates will either drive you inexorably forward to play over and over again, or to uninstall the game in a fit of spite. Either way, whee!
- Download Impossible Road - $1.99
Your favorite Android games from April 2014?
Those are our favorite games to launch in the Play Store this April, but we're all ears when it comes to others. Leave a comment with yours! Also, it's a busy ecosystem, so be sure to catch up on our editors apps picks every weekend to hear about the best of the best.