If you want some good games to play without the need to spend a single cent or be bothered by ads, take a look at these completely free titles
We’ve all had that sinking feeling when getting stuck into a new game that we’re really enjoying when we realize it’s going to be difficult to make much progress without spending money on in-app purchases. Similarly, there are many apps where the sheer profusion of ads gets in the way of the game, to the point that we can’t be bothered to play anymore. The Google Play Store is crammed to the rafters with hundreds of thousands of games but many of them have bothersome ads or in-app purchases, or perhaps both!
Because of this, we made it our mission to find some decent games that are completely free to both download and play, with NO in-app purchases and NO annoying ads. We’ve done our homework and below you’ll find our pick of the top free Android games without any in-app purchases or ads.
1. STRANGER THINGS: THE GAME
Popular show Stranger Things gets its own official game in conjunction with Netflix, and amazingly it’s completely free to download and play! Set in Hawkins, Indiana in 1984, you’ll set off on an adventure with characters such as Hopper, Nancy, and Lucas, who all have their own special abilities. The game takes in familiar spots such as Hawkins Lab and Mirkwood Forest and there are also new areas to find to add a nice touch of anticipation. On top of this, you can unlock different things by gathering Eggos and Gnomes as you work your way around the map.
The controls are extremely easy to pick up and the old school retro graphics seem to fit the game. Even if you’ve never seen Stranger Things this game is a lot of fun to play.
2. FAST LIKE A FOX
In this platform game with geometry-inspired graphics, you utilize the internal sensors of your device and make the Fox run by continuously tapping the back of your phone or tablet. You can watch the Fox soar across jumps as it races across different worlds that include environments such as mountains, caves, subways, valleys, highways, and others. Your mission is to return the stolen treasures of the Golden Fox tribe, and as you play you’ll come across coins and jewels to collect.
The game is simple to play but deceptively difficult to master, and you’ll need to have quick reflexes. So will you get to the Final Run to unlock the special character?
Ultraflow is a neatly different puzzle game that looks misleadingly simple yet requires a certain amount of agility. It all revolves around physics-based bouncing, which we admit doesn’t sound too exhilarating, but play the game and you’ll see for yourself that it quickly becomes absorbing. You only have a certain number of bounces to make your way through all of the 99 levels, and the minimalistic design adds to the flavor of the game.
It’s easy to get hooked on this complex game, which coincidentally was developed by a team of just 5 students. We think they’ve done a great job!
4. DATA WING
With a massive user rating of 4.9/5 stars on the Google Play Store, Data Wing most certainly lives up to expectations. In this arcade-style racing game where you can thrust off walls, you’ll compete to be the first to get to the exit. The game takes in 40 levels and it has a decent soundtrack that doesn’t get too distracting, while further features include a competitive crown system with leaderboards, two-touch controls, and an engaging storyline.
A game industry veteran developed the game as a solo project, and we found the stylish design, flawless gameplay, and intuitive controls make it a treat to play.
5. FROZEN BUBBLE
This is a brain game puzzle app that looks fairly basic but still provides plenty of fun. There are 3 game modes on offer and they are 2 Player Versus Play, Continuous Arcade, and Classic Puzzle, and the goal is to form clusters of different colored bubbles and clear the screen. You do this with point-to-shoot by sliding the control at the bottom from side to side to and releasing bubbles. It gets trickier as the playing area slowly decreases and it’s a surprisingly absorbing game, so do take a look.
PewPew is an arcade game in the style of a multidirectional shoot them up. There are 5 game modes in total, dubbed Pandemonium, Dodge This, Assault, Chromatic Conflict, and Asteroids, and as you play you can unlock ships and win medals. Features include online replays, leaderboards, and controller support for NVIDIA and Android set-top boxes.
We particularly enjoyed the Chromatic Conflict mode where you can only annihilate enemies that match the color of your ship and were surprised at just how much the difficulty level mounts up as you play.
7. LEGO JUNIORS CREATE & CRUISE
This is a great virtual building experience for kids, and it’s nice to see an official Lego game that’s entirely free to play. Their imaginations can run wild as they make simple Lego vehicles and minifigures, such as a police officer or princess, and they can also collect coins to unlock further Lego sets. They’ll see exciting and vibrant 3D scenery to drive through while the soundtrack adds to the fun.
The game is aimed at 4 to 7-year-olds but we found that even toddlers could play quite happily with it. It might also inspire them with different ideas for their existing Lego sets at home.
This strategy game sounds a little weird as it involves starting your own cult! If that sounds like something that floats your boat, check out Underhand, a Cultist Card Game (CCG) where you’ll become the cult leader and need to make appropriate responses to the cards that are drawn. You’ll also be able to summon the eerie powers of the Ancient Ones to help you in your quest, but be careful as your position as cult leader is a precarious one.
The game also features an in-game radio that will broadcast the current state of affairs and let you know about the latest events to help with your next judgments. This is an innovative, clever game that should keep many players interested.
9. GAMESTART PIXEL BATTLE
GameStart Pixel Battle is an action platformer game with basic but effective graphics. It might remind some of the side-scrolling games popularized in the 80s and 90s, and you’ll star as Alyse who is trying to find out who has been spoiling and sabotaging games. Alyse’s challenge is to fight the enemy and progress to unlock new stages, all the while gathering stars and trying to achieve high scores.
The stars can be used to unlock more characters with special abilities and this switches up the gameplay even more. A nice touch here is the in-game cameos of other game franchises and personalities that you might spot along the way, and you can also challenge friends and share your scores.
The 2048 puzzle game has a minimalistic look and features endless mode play. It’s fairly basic but a nice diversion when you want to wind down, and the idea behind it is to swipe to move blocks and ultimately achieve the magical 2048 number when they are combined. The game features one-step undo and plays smoothly and effectively.
Our choices of the best free Android games without any in-app purchases or ads cover an assortment of genres, most of which are aimed at adults. However, some of these are suitable for children to play too. If you’re a parent you may have already learned about the pitfalls of children playing games with in-app purchases, so these will give you peace of mind.
Even though some of the games on our list are not as elaborate as many paid-for games, we found all of the above to be absorbing and engaging options providing many hours of challenging entertainment and fun. We hope you enjoy playing them too and you’re welcome to send comments to let us know.