Amazon is big on value. Case in point: you can get a Fire tablet for £50 (or US$50). £50! And slightly better options from the retailer-turned-gadget-maker aren’t drastically more expensive.
Granted, you’re not getting a premium iPad-like experience, but it’s a tablet capable of playing most apps, media, and games at a bargain-basement price, plus it has Alexa handy.
And what a selection of games you’ll find. Amazon’s Appstore is nearly as well-stocked as Google’s own Play Store, with many thousands of options to explore.
Looking to load up your Fire tablet with great games? Here are our picks for the top 25 games available today.
Best number puzzler today? Believe it: Threes! is easy to grasp, but it’s utterly brilliant. You’ll add like-numbered tiles together to create the largest you can on the board, but each swipe moves every tile in sight – and a new tile is added. Given the cramped space, you’ll have to keep blending tiles or else you’ll run out of space. Successful play requires obsessive planning, but it feels plenty rewarding to keep nudging up your top score.
Smash Hit (£free)
Luckily for Amazon device owners, Smash Hit lives up to its billing: this is a fantastic mobile game, and it’s free to boot. You’re propelled continuously through tunnels filled with glass panes and sculptures, and lo and behold, you’re armed with metal balls. What do you do? Make a mess, obviously. Building a streak of smashed glass gives you bonus balls to toss, which lets you play for longer and longer. And you can pay once to unlock use of checkpoints, if you please.
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Love League of Legends or Dota 2 on your computer? Well, Vainglory is the 3v3 touchscreen equivalent, and this mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game is a play-anywhere treat. The online team play is tense and exciting, the graphics are gorgeous, and there’s a lot more depth to it than you’d expect from a streamlined mobile experience. You might be shocked at how robust this fantasy squad battler really is.
Monument Valley (£2.49)
Compact but charming, Monument Valley is one of the top puzzlers available on touch devices, tasking you with guiding a young princess through a series of optical illusions. Each level is marked by impossible geometry, which you can manipulate using swipes and taps; the solution may not be immediately obvious, but it’s hidden there somewhere in each gorgeous stage. Grab the Forgotten Shores expansion within for even more – although unfortunately Monument Valley 2 is yet to arrive on the platform.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (£6.58)
The fabulous console space shooter is back, and it’s on Amazon devices this time around. You’ll zip around neon-coated stages packed with scads of simple-shape enemies that must be blasted to bits. It was made for analogue sticks, but works startlingly well with touch controls, plus it has a wealth of content: 100+ adventure stages, big bosses to topple, and great arcade modes – like the brilliant, weapons-free Pacifism.
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80 Days (£3.00)
Around the world in 80 Days? Well, it’s more likely to be a few hours for you, but it should still be a plenty memorable journey. Based on the classic Jules Verne novel, this interactive fiction experience is unexpectedly gripping, letting you navigate rich conversation, choose varying routes on the map, and deal with the pitfalls that come your way. Can you make it back to London in time? If not, try again: each playthrough can be totally different.
Impossible Road (£1.19)
As endless arcade-style games go, Impossible Road remains one of our absolute favourites. You’ll tap left and right to keep a ball on a suspended pathway, only the route rarely stays straight ahead: it winds and curves deep into an ivory abyss, and if you roll off the unguarded sides, you’ll have only moments to try and land further down the road below. It’s tough from the start, but in an endearing way that only makes you chase success even harder.
Mini Metro (£4.29)
Now here’s a perfect distraction for the next time you’re stuck on the platform waiting for a train: a game about designing a perfectly efficient transit system. Mini Metro is a minimalistic marvel of a puzzler – it doesn’t look like much, given the subway map-inspired simple lines and shapes, but it quickly becomes a tense challenge with a strong strategic edge. Can you keep the trains running on time as more and more riders flood in?
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Crossy Road (£free)
Endless runners are old news. Endless hoppers, on the other hand? Totally hot, and Crossy Road is the reason why. This spectacularly addictive game challenges you to tap to jump ahead one lane at a time on a never-ending trek across busy highways and raging rapids, and the goal as always is a high tally: and friends’ scores plastered on the road will keep you motivated. You’ll also never feel goaded into spending a cent.
Alto’s Adventure (£3.21)
Although some of the games on this list might get your blood pumping, Alto’s Adventure should do quite the opposite: its demeanor is absolutely chill as it sends you down dazzlingly designed slopes as a tiny 2D snowboarder. You’ll have to tap to jump over hazards and grab some mean air, plus you can hold a finger down to do backflips, but that’s the extent of the stress here. Just kick back and enjoy the gorgeous sights and the upbeat backing jingle.
Blek is one of the most creative puzzlers we’ve ever played, and it’s so charming and fun in large part because it could only really work on a touchscreen. You’ll draw a little squiggly line with your finger, and then watch as it gains sentience and moves in the direction and speed of your original sketch. The goal? Have that moving doodle clear all the coloured dots without hitting a black one in the process.
Read More › The 40 best free apps for Android
Kingdom Rush (Free)
Tower defense games are stacked to the ceiling on touch devices, but even with stiff competition, Kingdom Rush stands tall. It’s polished through and through, with an eye on creating challenge from simplicity: rather than give you loads of combat options, you’ll have to make the most of four tower types. Kingdom Rush is a gripping strategic experience – and the sequels are just as strong.
Ruling isn’t easy, but Reigns at least simplifies the process: as a newly-crowned king, you must make snap decisions to keep your kingdom happy and keep your head on your shoulders for as long as possible. Each pops up as a Tinder-like decision, letting you swipe left or right to make your decision, and the results are swift – and often hilarious too. And over time, new story paths and options open up to keep this inventive experience fresh and captivating.
Ridiculous Fishing (£1.99)
Ridiculous Fishing is indeed about casting a reel into the waters below, and it really is rather absurd. This arcade-style romp finds you dropping a line down as far as you can, collecting all the fish and other sea creatures you can on the way back up, and then gleefully blasting them all in the air with various firearms. It’s wonderfully silly and intensely fun, and well worth sticking through to the end – yes, there’s a proper ending.
Framed has a novel concept, for sure, but that’s not a bad thing: in fact, it helps this short-but-sweet adventure make an unforgettable impact. As shadowy fugitive evades the cops, your job is to extend his getaway romp by swapping the positions of comic panels on the screen. It takes some trial and error to suss out the right chain of events, but the fiddling is fun, and there’s no puzzler quite like this.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition (£4.99)
The biggest game in the world right now is also on Amazon tablets – and thankfully, it’s still great. Pocket Edition isn’t as fully-featured as the pricier PC release, but it delivers the same open-ended block-building experience that has captivated millions, and it’s continually updated with new content and features. Whether it’s creating, surviving, or playing online with others, Minecraft is ever appealing.
Asphalt 8: Airborne (£free)
Asphalt 8 is the fastest thing on touch: a rollicking arcade-style racer that will happily send you spinning into the air, ramping over massive gaps, and smashing right into the competition. It’s not only fast and frenzied, but also slick and packed with content – with loads of races and events, along with dozens of licensed cars to unlock. And best of all, it’s totally free with no restrictions on how much you can play.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (£free)
Here’s a surprise: Hearthstone, the free-to-play card game based on the same fantasy franchise as World of Warcraft, is now dramatically more popular than the games it spun off from. This card-battler has millions of obsessed fans, offering up online duels that are strategic and smart, and require a lot of careful deck crafting. And it really is fun even if you don’t pay a thing – although spending can’t hurt.
The Room (£0.79)
Many mobile puzzlers have bright, colourful graphics, but The Room tries a different approach: it’s eerie and moody, tasking you with solving an array of physical, 3D puzzles. And it’s a perfect fit for a touch device, as there’s a real tactile sense to maneuvering around and manipulating each puzzle box, fiddling around for hidden switches and opportunities. Plus, if you dig this first entry, there are two excellent sequels available.
The Walking Dead (£free)
It’s not the hit TV show and it’s not the source comics: Telltale’s Walking Dead game shares its own story from the zombie uprising, and it’s arguably the best franchise component to date. Across several couple-hour episodes, you’ll navigate perilous scenarios and make gut-wrenching decisions – the consequences of which you’ll have to live with as your story unfolds and ultimately spirals into grim misery.
Hitman Go (£1.49)
Square Enix’s Go franchise has smartly shrunken some of the publisher’s best games into really stellar mobile affairs, and Hitman Go is a prime example. It takes the assassination favourite and turns it into a turn-based board game of sorts, where you’ll have to find the best possible path to an undetected kill while on a fixed grid. It’s really clever, both as an adaptation and a puzzle experience, and looks sharp to boot.
Rayman Fiesta Run (£1.99)
Rayman Fiesta Run handily accomplishes a massive task: translating a complex console game experience to mobile. Rather than grant full control of the cartoonish hero, Fiesta Run sets him off sprinting ahead, and it’s your job to time your taps and swipes to jump, float, punch, and more. Fiesta Run looks brilliant, plays extremely well, and proves utterly compelling once the challenge really sets in.
Pac-Man 256 (£free)
Remember our effusive praise for Crossy Road earlier? Pac-Man 256 hails from the same studio, and it does much the same: turns a classic premise into an addictive endless affair. Here, you’ll guide Pac up the screen as he navigates mazes, collects power-ups, and chomps (or dodges) the ghosts that come into view. But you’ll also have to evade the glitchy wave of code that threatens to swallow you from below.
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The Banner Saga (£6.99)
Looking for tactical tablet play? The Banner Saga is a stunning adventure with Viking warriors battling it out at the end of the world, and it takes the form of a grid-based strategy role-player. But that’s not all: while combat plays a big role, you’ll also need to manage your traveling caravan as you wander the beautiful countryside, and make key decisions that can impact the rest of your quest.
Flappy Golf (£free)
Sure, you could play a "proper" game of golf on your tablet, but Flappy Golf is simply more fun. It maintains the fundamental nature of the sport, tasking you with guiding a ball into the hole – but instead of thwacking a club to make that happen, you’ll control the ball itself by tapping the screen to flap its little wings left or right. It’s Flappy Bird turned into golf, which sounds stupid but… OK, it’s a little stupid, but it’s also wonderfully entertaining.