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Mobile games are not hard to come by for Android, but the majority fall into the puzzle, tower defense, or scrolling genres. That’s fine, and there are a lot of games that rock. But what if you want to play a first or third-person shooter?
The options in this genre are far more limited, most likely because shooters tend to demand more advanced graphics than other games. But there are a few good options for Android 2.2+ users.
N.O.V.A 2 HD ($6.99) [No longer available]
Like Halo? Want to play it on your Android? Then go install N.O.V.A 2 HD.
Almost everything about this game is a rip-off of the Halo franchise. The vehicles look similar. The guns look similar. The player character is similar. There’s even an attractive female companion that informs you about mission objectives. But hey, whatever. Microsoft hasn’t made Halo for a mobile device, so somebody had to do it. The graphics of N.O.V.A. 2 HD are about on par with the original Halo: Combat Evolved, and the controls are as good as any you’ll find on a touchscreen device.
There is also extensive multiplayer support. Up to 10 players can duke it out online in five different game modes, including deathmatch and capture the flag.
9mm ($6.99) [No longer available]
Let me first say that the writing of 9mm is more clichéd than an auto-tuned Nyan Cat video. It’s mostly one-liners about how the bad guys shouldn’t have messed with you ‘cause you’re just so awesome. Parents be warned – there is a lot of swearing and violence in this game.
The story isn’t particularly important, however, so it’s not hard to move past that. Once you do, you’ll find what is likely the best third-person shooter on any mobile platform. The gunplay is excellent and there are plenty of cinematic moments. Just as N.O.V.A 2 HD borrows from Halo, 9mm seems to borrow from Max Payne. And I really liked Max Payne.
Even if you’re not sure about the gameplay, you might just want to buy this game for the graphics. The lighting is excellent in most scenes, and the character models aren’t bad either. N.O.V.A. 2 HD can get by with some low-polygon models because most characters are either robots or look like robots, but 9mm does not have that luxury.
Destroy Gunners SP ($9.99)
If you’re a fan of mechs, then you’ll probably like Destroy Gunners SP, a third-person action title that takes its design inspiration from console mecha games. Although Mechwarrior fans may enjoy Destroy Gunners SP, be warned that this title has more in common with the Armored Core series, and is more oriented towards run-and-gun gameplay instead of a slow ballet of thunder and fury.
Perhaps this is why the controls work so well. Your mech buzzes about the battlefield with unnatural grace, targeting opponents and letting loose volley after volley of bullets, missiles and more. All of your weapons are just a touch away. There is also a mech customization aspect to the game, so you can pick-and-choose the weapons that you will bring into battle.
Destroy Gunners SP is expensive at $9.99, but unlike the other games listed here, a free version called Destroy Gunners F is available. It’s basically a demo, but a long one, so it will give you a chance to see if the game is worth its high price.
The game will only play on devices with a resolution of at least 800×480.
Shooters remain something of a premium genre on Android. They’re rare, and they’re relatively expensive. But the graphics are almost always excellent, and the production values are also better than your typical $2.99 tower defense title. You do get what you pay for.
Do you know of a first or third-person Android shooter app that is awesome, and not listed here? Let us know about it in the comments.