The best free Android games 2018
The best free Android games 2018 The best free Android games 2018 The best free games for Android smartphones and tablets Shares The best free endless runners for Android
What’s better than a free game? Pretty much nothing. Except when it’s terrible and you’ve wasted time on downloading and playing it. Fortunately, there are loads of fantastic free games for Android – and we list the very best here.
Whether you’re into word games, endless runners, platformers or puzzles, there’s something here for you.
Click through to the next pages to see each category or read on below for our pick of the week. And check back weekly for our latest pick. Free Android game of the week: Flipflop Solitaire
Flipflop Solitaire is at its core spider solitaire. The aim is to remove every card from the table. Cards can be built on the tableau in rank, and in-suit sequences can be moved between columns – but Flipflop shakes things up by messing with the rules.
First, it’s primarily designed for smartphones, and you get just five columns of cards. This is trickier than the standard spider layout, and so the game allows you to stack cards in both directions – enabling dizzying sequences like 9876787654543. You only have to stop stacking when you run out of space.
These changes might seem paltry, but they have the effect of making almost every hand technically possible to win. Throw in endless undos and this transforms Flipflop from yet another throwaway card game into a deviously clever mobile puzzler. The best free racing games for Android
Our favorite free Android 3D, retro, 2D and on-rails racers. Disc Drivin’ 2
Disc Drivin’ 2 is the turn-based driving game which was presumably created when someone reimagined shuffleboard as Mario Kart and shoved that strange concoction online for web-based multiplayer contests.
The concept of a turn-based racer is bonkers and it shouldn’t work, but it really does. As you flick your little disc about tracks suspended in space, the tension ramps up as you home in on your opponent. You will learn to master shortcuts, zip past hazards, and also how to make best use of bonus powers afforded to your little disc.
It’s absurd to think that one of the best mobile racers on Android is about flicking a coin around a race track, but there we have it. Miss this one at your peril. Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends , like its predecessors, is a decidedly nitro-happy, larger-than-life take on arcade racing. It has you belt along at insane speeds, regularly soaring into the air, your car spinning and pinwheeling in a manner that’d have your car insurance company angrily tear up your policy documents.
This racer also differentiates itself by streamlining controls to the point you needn’t steer. The car moves on rails, with you swiping between lanes, and timing actions like boosts and drifts. That might sound reductive, but this doesn’t detract from the racing feel, it gives you a keen sense of focus on timing, and there’s a manual option if you really want that.
Being an Asphalt game, there’s some grind, but this is offset by you being immersed in the most outlandish and eye-dazzling arcade racing on Android. Asphalt Xtreme: Rally Racing
Asphalt Xtreme: Rally Racing takes Asphalt off-road. It ditches its collection of sports cars and larger-than-life city circuits for jeeps and trucks – and an awful lot of mud, dirt, rocks, and grime.
Another thing there’s an awful lot of is freemium mechanics. As is seemingly law for an Asphalt game, exciting racing is sadly gunked up by all manner of timers and IAP gates. But put that aside and you’ll find Xtreme an entertainingly daft addition to the series.
Blasting through deserts, canyons and jungles, with your off-roader soaring into the air in a manner that’s almost certainly not covered by insurance, never really gets old. And although the basics – loads of nitro; floaty physics; crazy tracks – might be familiar, the new environments alone make this one worth a download. Carmageddon
Carmageddon is a blast from the past of PC gaming. It masquerades as a racer, but often feels like you’re hunting prey – albeit while encased in a suit of speeding metal.
The game’s freeform ‘arenas’ are networks of roads in a dystopian future. People and cows blithely amble about while deranged drivers smash each other to pieces. Victories come by way of completing laps, wrecking all your opponents, or mowing down every living thing in the vicinity.
In the 1990s, this was shocking to the point of Carmageddon being banned in some countries. Today, the lo-fi violence seems quaint. But the game’s tongue-in-cheek humor survives, sitting nicely alongside bouncy physics, madcap sort-of-racing, and deranged cops attempting to crush you into oblivion should you cross their path. Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne is a high-octane racer that gave a cursory glance towards realism. It then decided against bothering with such a trifling issue, and decided it’d much prefer you to pelt along at insane speeds under the power of glorious nitro, which frequently sends your car soaring into the air.
Not one for the simulation crowd, then, but this racer is perfect for everyone else. The larger-than-life branched courses – hyper-real takes on real-world locations – are madcap and exciting. Rather than doing laps around a boring circuit surrounded by gravel traps, you blast through rocket launch sites, and blaze through volcanos.
There are downsides – cynical IAPs and timers abound, welding a massive comedy tailfin to this otherwise sleek racer’s stylings. But for dizzying speed, mid-air barrel rolls, and loads of laughs, this racer is tough to beat. Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle reimagines Sonic The Hedgehog as an into-the-screen lane-based auto-runner. Which probably sounds a lot like Sonic Dash – but here, you battle it out against online opposition.
With trap-laden courses and pick-ups you can regularly grab as you belt along, Speed Battle has hints of Mario Kart about it. Races are packed with tense moments as you unleash a fireball, in the hope of taking out a distant leader, or have the checkered flag in sight, but know your opponents are only fractions of a second behind.
There is some grind – chests with timers; multiple currencies; glacially slow leveling up. But Speed Battle puts a colorful, entertaining spin on auto-runners that’s fun even if you keep your wallet firmly closed. Data Wing
Data Wing has the appearance of a minimal top-down racer, but it’s far, far more than that. That’s not to say the racing bit isn’t great – because it is. You guide your little triangular ship around neon courses, scooting across boost pads, and scraping track edges for a bit of extra speed.
But there’s something else going on here – an underlying narrative where you discover you’re, in fact, ferrying bits of data about, all under the eye of an artificially intelligent Mother. Initially, all seems well, but it soon becomes clear Mother has some electrons loose, not least when you start getting glimpses of a world beyond the silicon.
With perfect touch controls, varied racing levels, a few hours of story, and plenty of replay value, Data Wing would be a bargain for a few dollarpounds. For free, it’s absurdly generous. One Tap Rally
This game does for racing what auto-runners do for platform games. One Tap Rally is controlled with a single finger, pressing on the screen to accelerate and releasing to brake, while your car steers automatically. The aim is to not hit the sides of the track, because that slows you down.
Win and you move up the rankings, then playing a tougher, faster opponent. In a neat touch, said opponents are recordings of real-world attempts by other players, ranked by time.
In essence, this is a digital take on slot-racing, then, without the slots. But the mix of speed and strategy, along with a decent range of tracks, makes you forget about the simplistic controls. If anything, they become a boon, shifting the focus to learning track layouts and razor-sharp timing. Top stuff. Maximum Car
If you’re of the opinion gaming takes itself a tad too seriously at times, Maximum Car is a perfect antidote. This amusingly over-the-top racer has you barrel along winding roads, blowing up rival racers, and driving like a maniac.
Smash the same kind of car up enough across multiple races and you can buy it in the shop, using coins acquired by terrorizing other road users.
It all feels a bit like someone stripped down Burnout, added a slice of OutRun, and shoved the lot through a Lego-like visual filter.
Along with a brainless commentator (“I’ve got a reading age of six!”) growling at regular intervals as you use your ice cream van to smash an unfortunate convertible to smithereens, this all makes for a suitably silly and entertaining blast of speed that’s great in small doses. Splash Cars
In the world of Splash Cars , it appears everyone’s a miserable grump apart from you. Their world is dull and grey, but your magical vehicle brings colour to anything it goes near. The police aren’t happy about this and aim to bring your hue-based shenanigans to a close, by ramming your car into oblivion. There’s also the tiny snag of a petrol tank that runs dry alarmingly quickly.
Splash Cars therefore becomes a fun game of fleeing from the fuzz, zooming past buildings by a hair’s breadth, grabbing petrol and coins carelessly left lying about, and trying to hit an amount-painted target before the timer runs out. Succeed and you go on to bigger and better locations, with increasingly powerful cars. 1
How South Park became the ultimate #bothsides show
How South Park became the ultimate #bothsides show 18 Oct, 2018 12:54pm 8 minutes to read Mr. Garrison and Hillary Clinton are portrayed in a YouTube still from the South Park episode My Opponent is a LIAR. Photo / YouTube Washington Post Share on Reddit reddit There are two choices, and both of them are awful. That’s the resounding thesis statement of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s boundary-pushing, expletive-laden cartoon about four 10-year-olds living in the fictional South Park, Colorado. This philosophy is probably best summed up by an episode from its eighth season that dropped just before the 2004 presidential election. Titled Douche and Turd, its plot revolves around the elementary school choosing a new mascot, either a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich”. The creators hold this viewpoint beyond the show. Take Stone’s famous 2005 sound bite: “I hate conservatives. But I really … hate liberals.” South Park has consistently lampooned seemingly everyone, in particular the loudest voices on all sides of the political spectrum. And though the show has backed away from commenting on President Donald Trump, its new season has already tackled school shootings, paedophilic Catholic priests and the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Advertisement Advertise with NZME. Nowadays, the political stakes feel higher than at any point in the show’s 21-year run. The left and the right don’t just disagree but see each other as morally reprehensible, like when the president defends white supremacists or when anti-capitalist, anti-fascist protesters set fire to limousines on Inauguration Day. In such an environment, it could be seen as problematic to simply shrug and claim that everyone and everything is stupid. And what might appear to some like a satire of the United States’ polarising political culture can also look a lot like trolling — or being provocative just to upset people. Parker and Stone, who declined an interview request with The Washington Post, self-identify as libertarian, a school of thought that advocates less interference from government — a concept that can cut across party lines. And those on both sides of the aisle have embraced the cartoon as a champion of their respective politics. Somehow it has become a Rorschach test for one’s worldviews. To wit: The duo has received an award from the loudly leftist organisation People for the American Way, but their show is also a favourite of the right-wing Reddit forum The_Donald and it’s been blamed for the rise of the alt-right and its accompanying white supremacists. “I think it’s pretty clear in South Park and some of the other things from Parker and Stone that they really dislike people who are trying to tell other people how to live their lives,” Jonathan Gray, a media and cultural studies professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told The Washington Post. “It’s why they attack political parties.” Take the show’s 20th season, which focused on the 2016 election. Bumbling, racist Mr. Garrison — normally the children’s fourth-grade teacher — is running for president and serves as the show’s stand-in for Donald Trump. In a debate with Hillary Clinton, Garrison admits, “I had no idea I’d get this far, but the fact of the matter is I should not be president … I am a sick, angry little man. Please, if you care at all about the future of the country, vote for her. … She’s not as bad as you think.” So, the joke’s on Trump, right? Related articles: Only partially, because the show’s robotic Clinton keeps responding, “My opponent is a liar and cannot be trusted.” In the end, Garrison is elected. As Robert Arp, who has edited two books about the philosophy of South Park, told The Post, “The point of the show is to lampoon extremist ideas on one side or the other, the left and the right, the conservative or the liberal, the Republican and the Democrat, the highly religious and the highly atheist, whatever the two opposing views on any and every topic you can think of.” It’s a far cry from the half-hour shows that came before it. Sitcoms, such as Norman Lear’s All in the Family and One Day at a Time, traditionally took ethical or political stands. Murphy Brown addressed abortion in a fairly pro-choice manner, and television’s first gay wedding took place in the Fox sitcom Roc. The ones that deviated from this norm, like Seinfeld and The Simpsons, made their characters’ narcissism and moral flaws the joke. South Park, though, aims that form of scepticism at specific political figures and movements — and its only true moral is that overt moralising, be it liberal scolding or Catholic guilt, is overly sincere and, for lack of a better word, dumb. It’s pointless to care, the show seems to say. Some argue that by not picking a side, the show creates false equivalencies that become trolling, as opposed to making a well-intentioned point. Take the episode Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants, from the show’s fifth season, in which Kyle meets his Afghan counterpart — named, in true South Park fashion, Afghan Kyle. The two find themselves debating whose country is better. “You really think your civilisation is better than ours? You people play games by killing animals and oppress women,” Kyle says. “It’s better than a civilisation that spends its time watching millionaires walk down the red carpet,” Afghan Kyle responds, to which Stan declares to (American) Kyle, “He’s got us there, dude.” Except, of course, most Americans would probably argue that the badness of oppressing civil rights and of celebrity worship are not actually equal. Scenes like this lead people such as cultural critic Sean O’Neal to argue that the potential trolling nature of the show has the same origins as the alt-right. Writes O’Neal in the A.V. Club: “South Park may not have ‘invented’ the ‘alt-right,’ but at their roots are the same bored, irritated distaste for politically correct wokeness, the same impish thrill at saying the things you’re not supposed to say, the same button-pushing racism and sexism, now scrubbed of all irony. … But well beyond the ‘alt-right,’ South Park’s influence echoes through every modern manifestation of the kind of hostile apathy-nurtured along by Xbox Live (trash) talk and comment-board flame wars and Twitter-that’s mutated in our cultural petri dish to create a rhetorical world where whoever cares, loses.” Many reject this idea. Among them is political commentator Andrew Sullivan, who in 2001 coined the term “South Park Republican,” which refers to someone who is centre-right but holds liberal social views (arguably the show’s political viewpoint, if it has one). “It’s the only thing on TV that keeps me sane, especially with PC insanity,” Sullivan told The Post via email. “It’s the best social and political commentary on TV right now. I wish more adults would watch it. They’d be amazed at its sophistication and subversive ridicule of the contemporary left and Trump right.” One thing that’s clear: The show inevitably eventually angers the very people who claim it as their own. For example, frequenters of Reddit’s The_Donald haven’t been thrilled lately. A spoof post from last year written by a user named denizen42 titled “Hi, we are HUGE CUCKS Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Our show ‘South Park’ used to be great and exposed a lot of hidden truths. But nowadays our ‘humor’ promotes and stems directly from fake news talking points, just like late-night ‘comedy’,” was upvoted about 1900 times. “If you’re someone like me who watched the first ten seasons religiously (and repeatedly) during university and into my twenties, I’d argue the series is not for you anymore. It’s sad. Really sad,” wrote a user named BasedMcculloch, who routinely posts on the subreddit. They have, similarly, angered leftist atheists several times. As they told the HuffPost, “We got calls from atheist friends a couple times saying … ‘We thought you were on our side?’ and we say, ‘We’re not on anybody’s … side and we’re not atheists’.” Even in an age of “cancel culture,” when online outrage frequently battles problematic TV shows with hashtags, South Park, for the most part, has steered clear of controversy of late. In fact, the only big push to “cancel” it came from the show itself, which promoted its new season with the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #cancelsouthpark — perhaps beating everything else to the punch. Maybe the show is satire; maybe it’s trolling. Maybe it’s just a perfect example of Poe’s Law, the theory that parody is essentially impossible to achieve in the internet age because no viewpoint or statement can be so extreme that everyone will know it’s a joke. So liberals often see the show as progressive and conservatives often see it as old-fashioned. Is that the point? Stone and Parker might think both sides are awful, but their viewers don’t. So perhaps our reactions to the show actually help us reveal — and figure out — our own worldviews. That is, after all, the point of a Rorschach test. Herald recommends
‘Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1’ at 30: Inside the Supergroup to End All Supergroups
Neal Preston Traveling Wilburys
“A happy accident” was how Mo Ostin described the formation of the Traveling Wilburys, the beloved supergroup comprised of Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan whose debut LP The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was released 30 years ago (and comes out in a special edition on Nov. 2 ).
“Warner Bros. Records’ International Department had asked that George Harrison come up with a B-side for ‘This Is Love,’ a single from his Cloud Nine album. At the time it was customary to couple an A-side with a never-before-heard track, giving it extra sales value,” the Warner Bros. chairman emeritus wrote in the liner notes of 2007’s The Traveling Wilburys Collection box set. ” Cloud Nine was just out. George, along with cowriter Jeff Lynne and their friends Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison, had been hanging out in Dylan’s studio. I suppose George figured that as long as his pals were on hand, why not use them to knock off this flipside?”
Two days later, Harrison presented Ostin with “Handle With Care,” a song that combined the personalities of all five men in the room into a jangly slice of classic rock heaven that immediately won over both himself and A&R head Lenny Waronker.
“Our reaction was immediate,” Ostin wrote. “This was a song we knew could not be wasted on some B-side…The guys had really nailed it. Lenny and I stumbled over each other’s words asking, ‘Can’t we somehow turn this into an album?'”
And that’s precisely what they did when the five friends reconvened at Eurythmic Dave Stewart’s home studio in Los Angeles to begin putting together songs for a proper LP, where they hunkered down for a little under two weeks. Each musician took up a moniker in the grand tradition of the Quiet Beatle’s usage of such quirky pseudonyms as L’Angelo Misterioso, Hari Georgeson and Jai Raj Harisein when moonlighting on friends’ albums in the Fab days. For this endeavor, they chose to christen themselves the Wilburys, named after the pet name Harrison and Lynne gave their studio equipment, and gave themselves all fake first names. Dylan was Lucky Wilbury, Orbison was Lefty Wilbury, Petty was Charlie T. Wilbury Jr., Lynne was Otis Wilbury and Harrison was Nelson Wilbury. They even came up with a whole folklore behind the brotherly bond, originally inscribed on the inside sleeve of the original LP, written by a one Hugh Jampton, E.F. Norti-Bitz Reader in Applied Jacket from the “University of Krakatoa (East of Java).”
“A remarkable sophisticated musical culture developed, considering there were no managers or agents, and the further the Wilburys traveled the more adventurous their music became,” the legend stated. “And the more it was revered by the elders of the tribe who believed it had the power to stave off madness, turn brunettes into blondes and increase the size of their ears.”
There was a sixth Wilbury as well, Harrison’s longtime drummer Jim Keltner, who was just as visible in the group’s promotional material and music videos as the main quintet. He was given the handle “Buster Sidebury,” and arrived at Stewart’s compound to begin recording Vol. 1 , quickly realizing just how loose the sessions were going to be.
“I had already quit drinking and smoking and all that stuff by then,” he recalls. “But George and Jeff would be drinking beers and getting a little silly. And they were laughing a lot. I’ve made a lot of my friends laugh over the years by listening to them being sober. My dad always used to say, when he was in the army, how the limeys would always have a screwy sense of humor. But once you got to know George especially, he was so into Monty Python and all those British comedies. And he had all those records and would play them for me, and I finally started getting the hang of it. But that night they were so silly talking about traveling Willoughbys, and just knocking themselves out with laughter. I’m listening to them and telling them, ‘Jesus, how could you think this is funny?’ I was just enjoying the fact they were having a good time.”
In fact, Keltner found himself succumbing to the revelry while the Wilburys were coming up with the music for the Lynne-led rockabilly cut “Rattled,” as dutifully showcased in the 24-minute documentary The True History of The Traveling Wilburys, when he began playing out a rhythm on the house refrigerator.
“I was in the fridge at a time when Jeff and George were hanging out in the kitchen,” he explains. “I went in to get something to drink, and I was doing an overdub at the time and had my split sticks on me, which are like these wooden brushes. So I had them in my hand while I was looking for something to drink and probably screwing around with them — I like tapping on stuff when I have sticks in my hand. And I think I was scraping the wooden brushes against the fridge, and somebody made a comment about how I should play that on the track. So I got real serious about it, and started moving eggs around and tamales and whatever they had in there to tune it a little bit and Jeff loved it and said, ‘Put a mic on it.’ Jeff knows how to get a feel out of anything.”
The sessions for the first Wilburys album also gave Keltner the rare opportunity to hang out with Dylan — whom he had toured with throughout his Born Again period — in a more relaxed atmosphere. It was a vibe that would provide the levity of such Dylan-led numbers as “Dirty World,””Congratulations” and “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” in ways you didn’t experience on his proper albums.
“You don’t get to have that personal time with Bob very often,” he asserts. “Because it was the Wilburys, I had a ball with him. He’s so fucking funny when he’s on his own and relaxed. I had so much fun listening to him talk about various things. He’s a very funny guy, and people don’t know that side of him. The thing I enjoyed the most about working on Vol. 1 was getting Bob to talk. I was very close with George and Tom I had known since he was literally a kid. So it was normal for me being around those guys. And Jeff was a very shy guy who didn’t talk much anyway. But Bob was the one; some people were intimidated by Bob and being around him. They didn’t want to talk much because they didn’t want to sound stupid around him. But I knew Bob a lot better than that, and just getting him to open up and talk was so much fun. I had a camera on me and I remember he grabbed my camera a few times and started shooting things. I actually have footage of that somewhere; I wish I had marked it all.”
The sessions proved to be bittersweet, however, as it would be the last time they enjoyed the company of Orbison, who died at 52 after going into cardiac arrest on Dec. 6, 1988, a little over a month-and-a-half following the release of Vol. 1 . For Keltner, who also played drums on Orbison’s posthumous twenty-second LP Mystery Girl , one of his final chats with the rockabilly legend proved to unfortunately be all too telltale that his days were numbered.
“Roy had gone from being kind of chunky with a goiter in his throat or something that he had for years and wearing his hair like it was a hat,” Keltner explains of Orbison’s appearance in the early-to-mid 80s. “And then he had a makeover; I think his wife got him to do it. So after not seeing him for a while, everybody was shocked at his appearance when he arrived for the Wilburys sessions. I remember standing with a couple of the guys in the room across from where he was recording the vocals for ‘You’re Not Alone Anymore,’ and we were watching him. And it was the most amazing thing. First of all, he looked great; he lost weight. They did an operation on his neck so that growth was gone, and he did his hair like a Samurai. He looked fantastic, and my last conversation with him was complimenting him on how great he looked and how was he doing it. And he told me, ‘Oh man, I’m on a new diet. I can eat all the gravy and bacon I want.’ I had been health conscious for a few years prior to the Wilburys recordings, so I knew he was talking about the Atkins Diet. And it was just too extreme, and sure enough it got him. I think he died at the dinner table.”
The band shot the video for Vol. 1 ‘s second single, “End of the Line,” following Orbison’s death. In line with the Wilbury style, it was filmed on a soundstage made to look like a boxcar train, with Roy prominently displayed in the form of a framed photo and a rocking chair with his signature guitar sitting in his place. For Keltner, the gravitas of that set gave a serious amount of weight to his absence. If you got the feels from watching the video from home, the sorrow felt by the men during the shoot was tenfold.
“It was a strange and sad experience shooting the video,” the drummer describes. “It was surreal, actually, because you’re there for hours and hours doing multiple takes, and there was that chair with the guitar on it the whole time by itself.”
The Traveling Wilburys would convene once again as a four-piece in 1990 with the cheekily titled Vol. 3 (both Mystery Girl and Petty’s 1989 solo debut Full Moon Fever have long been hypothesized by fans as the unofficial second volume of the series given the involvement of all or most of band members). However, despite the success of its rockin’ lead single “She’s My Baby,” the album failed to properly capture familial flavor that made its 1988 predecessor an off-kilter classic. For Keltner, the difference is clearly attributed to the presence of Orbison.
“Roy was the absolute reason why they even came together in the first place,” he admits. “They all loved George and would have certainly come together for him. But with Roy, it was a no-brainer. The first album had this magic to it, and that was all Roy. They were all icons in their own way, but it was Roy who kept them having fun and knowing they were doing something special.”