Many developers have either have difficulty with or are annoyed by passing Apple’s requirements and approval process for the iOS App Store.
In addition, iOS does not have a lot of the APIs required to perform some of the actions developers imagine for their apps. This means that some games are only released exclusively for Android-based phones. Here are our favorites:
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- Ingress by Niantic Labs – Ingress is a game played in real time at real places. It is incredibly popular worldwide with a continuous open narrative accompanying an impressive sci-fi storyline. There are two “factions” you can choose from that bring some competition between other players while also define the plot – the “Enlightened,” and the “Resistance.” Portals are created and found via the app and they are colored based on which faction controls it: blue for the Resistance, green for the Enlightened and gray for unclaimed portals.
- Pocket Harvest by Kairosoft Co – Kairosoft is a Japanese mobile game developer that releases games for both iOS and Android. Their most popular release to date is a simulation game called “Game Dev Story,” which instantly topped sales charts. Many of their games, however, are not available on the Apple App Store and only found on the Android marketplaces. Pocket Harvest is one of these gems. It is a farm simulation game in which you can start by growing lettuce and end up building nationwide to draw in customers.
- OnLive by OnLive – While OnLive is not a game itself, this app lets you play PC and console games on your tablet or smartphone running at least Android OS 3.2 Honeycomb. As long as you have a Wi-Fi or 4G connection you can play OnLive games. The downside is that you must purchase the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller to play. The app itself, however, is free to download. Previous versions of the app allowed control simply through your mobile device, but more recent releases are moving away from that model and not resolving bugs related to non-controller use.
- Hamilton’s Great Adventure by Fatshark – Available on PC and other gaming consoles, Hamilton’s Great Adventure is only available on Android-based devices in the mobile world. This game is an action and puzzle adventure with 3D graphics. The game itself is very large: about 1 gigabyte in size and requires a Wi-Fi connection to begin. The game also has an expansion available on the Google Play Store with roughly the same amount of additional content.
- Ikaruga by G-Gee – Ikaruga is a popular shooter game originally released by the developer Treasure Co. The game was just released outside of Japan for mobile devices early this year so there are still compatibility issues and bugs. The most glaring problem with the mobile version is the poor use of screen real estate: the gameplay is bordered by thick black bars unnecessarily.
Due to the large market share of Apple devices, many developers will be releasing their Android-exclusive apps on the Apple App Store eventually. Take advantage of the head start you get on your iOS buddies!