Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Source: Jordan Palmer / Android Central

Google Play Pass continues to offer great value for Android users looking to save on premium apps and indie-developed games in 2021. It’s only $5 per month and gives you access to tons of premium content. Plus, if you need to take a break and cancel your subscription, all of your favorite games and apps, as well as their save data, will be waiting when you return.

There are a ton of great games that have already been added to the service across multiple genres — from intense strategy games and action-packed indie platformers to relaxing puzzle experiences and immersive RPGs. Of course, this isn’t a full list of Play Pass games, just the ones we think you should check out first. If you’re looking for other great games to try, be sure to check out our collection of the best Android games!

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Note: All games on this list are included with your Google Play Pass for no additional charge. The prices shown are what you would pay without having a Play Pass subscription.

Bridge Constructor Portal

Bridge Constructor Portal brings the physics-based fun of the core game into the chaotic world of Portal, including our old friend GLaDOS. Now, not only are you tasked with building structures capable of carrying vehicles from point A to point B, but you’ve got to also contend with an assortment of Portal goodies, including portals (duh), propulsion and repulsion gels, cubes, and much more from the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

It’s a simple game that’s extremely addicting. Just remember, while your test subjects may incur serious injuries, remember that it’s all done in the name of science.

Bridge Constructor Portal

A mishmash of two disparate games, Bridge Constructor Portal is the best of the series. Experience some Portal wackiness, too!

Card Thief

Stealth is the name of the game in Card Thief. You play a thief who must sneak their way through a deck of cards collecting treasure while avoiding detection. You can use equipment cards to assist you in your thieving ways, too, but don’t get too cocky or you’ll run out of sneak points and get caught.

Card Thief features daily challenges and deep strategies, and a nice progression system that lets you upgrade equipment cards as you pull off heists. There’s a bit of a steep learning curve involved here, but it’s a rewarding game for fans of strategy card games.

Card Thief

Stealth fans get their own card game with Card Thief. Each game is only a few minutes long, but there’s a steep learning curve to truly master it.

Chameleon Run

The name of the game here is SPEED. Chameleon Run is an auto-runner that has you jumping and dashing across different colored platforms. Like a chameleon, you have special jump skills and the ability to change colors to help you make it through each course — because the catch is you’re only allowed to touch objects that match your color.

Seem easy enough? Well, think again! Each level is designed to be non-linear, meaning there are multiple paths to take to make it to the finish. There are also three special objectives to complete for each level which keeps you coming back for more.

Chameleon Run

Chameleon Run challenges you to maintain a blistering speed while matching your color to the objects you’re landing on. There’s no one set path, either, making this game really interesting and replayable.

Cytus II

You’ll push your thumbs to their absolute limits in this truly exceptional rhythm game since Cytus II has hundreds of playable high-energy tracks. The concept isn’t hard to learn; a line bounces up and down the screen as your metronome and notes appear on screen that you have to hit in time to the beat to increase your score.

Where Cytus II is unique, though, is in the margins. The gameplay is bolstered up by a fascinating story unfolding in an in-game UI that is a lot like Twitter, but in a post-apocalyptic, technologically advanced world. Between the extremely addictive gameplay and the ever-deepening mystery, Cytus II is easily the game that I have sunk the most hours into this year.

And thank goodness this title came to Play Pass because otherwise, I would not have been able to afford its massive list of playable charts. All tracks are unlocked via Play Pass and you never have to pay a single cent for new track packs. You could spend hundreds of dollars unlocking everything the game has to offer otherwise, so Play Pass is a stunning deal when it comes to Cytus II. I cannot recommend this game highly enough!

Cytus II

This is the best money can buy in a mobile rhythm game, I’m literally BEGGING you to play Cytus II.

Dead Cells

Fans of Metroid or Castlevania (known as the Metroidvania genre) know how addictive and satisfying games in this genre can be. Dead Cells begins in what appears to be a traditional Metroidvania fashion but reveals its unforgiving roguelike nature in a short time. It’s a game that’s sat atop our best Android games list since its debut, and that’s because it was an incredible PC and console game before it launched on Android.

The Android port is as perfect as it gets, with full controller support (you’re going to need it) and custom-built touch controls — although you probably only want to use those if you really enjoy punishing yourself, and this game is punishing enough as it is! Part of the charm with Dead Cells is the permadeath structure, which forces players to learn enemy patterns and upgrades.

As a bonus, the Android version now includes The Bad Seed DLC (trailer above) that sets the tone for a decidedly more relaxing romp through the lands of Dead Cells. New levels, new monsters, new weapons, and even new boss fights round out the content additions and will have you returning over and over again in true roguelike fashion.

Dead Cells

This roguevania takes the best parts of a Metroidvania and mashes it with the replayability of a roguelike, all with gorgeous visuals and the unforgivable nature of a Soulsborne.

FRAMED

Both FRAMED and its sequel are included with Google Play Pass and are a couple of the most unique and engaging puzzle games you will ever play. The story unfolds before your eyes as you control things by rearranging the comic book panels to help your character make his way through each section.

It’s a great style and atmosphere. FRAMED has been around for a while, but that doesn’t make it any less great. Its sequel is just as good, too. These award-winning games are absolutely beautiful and are well worth checking out.

Framed

FRAMED is a unique puzzle game where you control the story by rearranging comic book panels. Both it and its sequel are available on Play Pass.

Grimvalor

Grimvalor is a side-scrolling action RPG that features tight controls, excellent movement abilities, an interesting (albeit familiar) story, and pretty graphics. You need to be tactical about how you approach enemies and level your character because this game can certainly be a challenge if you’re not careful.

There’s plenty to explore, too, with secrets hidden throughout the map. All told, the world is hellbent on seeing you fail, but take up your sword and fight on anyway. Most of the time, the odds are against you and it’s up to your skill to see yourself through.

Grimvalor

Grimvalor fills that action RPG itch while being a fun platformer. Enjoy the excellent combat and exploration. You even get a trial demo before purchasing.

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks is a game that takes everything you loved about Where’s Waldo — the hand-drawn art style, the relaxing and focused fun — and pushes it into the digital age. Here, instead of scanning a page, you’re left to swipe and tap around to uncover secrets hidden throughout the living scene.

At each level, you’re given a list of people or items to find in the scene, and it’s up to you to explore every inch of the canvas as you happen upon all sorts of little moments that play out. The sound design is charming and comprised of layered human-made sound effects that remind me of a parent making sounds while reading a book to their kid.

Hidden Folks

Think Where’s Waldo, but on your phone. Swipe and tap away as you uncover secrets. It’s a lot of fun and worth giving a shot if you haven’t already.

LIMBO

LIMBO is a brilliant puzzle platformer that looks and plays like the absolute work of art that it is. You play as the silhouetted young protagonist who is searching for his missing sister in LIMBO, a dark and dangerous place filled with traps and monsters.

If you’re looking for a fun and yet incredibly creepy platformer, then LIMBO is a must. This shadowy game will give you the heebie-jeebies more than once. With such wonderful quirks, LIMBO is delightfully weird. If you’ve played it before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The game features ingenious puzzles and an award-winning aesthetic that will haunt you and stick with you long after you’ve put the game down.

LIMBO

LIMBO’s shadowy and minimalist aesthetic is beautiful and really lends to the otherwordly feeling you get from the game. It is desolate, with few friendly human characters. It’s really quite the experience.

Mini Metro

Mini Metro is an award-winning subway simulator. You’re tasked with drawing up subway lines that connect the various stations that pop up as your city expands. You need to make sure passengers arrive where they need to go in a timely fashion, which often requires re-drawing your lines to be more efficient.

With a brilliant minimalist aesthetic, a responsive soundtrack that’s fleshed out by the subway lines you build, and a ton of different game modes to enjoy, you will absolutely fall in love with Mini Metro.

Mini Metro

Check out this subway simulator for some awesome and engaging gameplay. Keep your stations connected efficiently as the city expands.

Monument Valley 2

Embark on an adventure that follows a mother and her child as they explore new architectural marvels featuring mind-bending puzzles. This game is all about messing with your perspective and solving puzzles that require you to alter the beautifully rendered environments.

This game is plain awesome, just like its predecessor. It’s OK if you never played the original game as the stories are entirely unique… but if you love the sequel, you’ll definitely want to double back and play the first Monument Valley, too.

Monument Valley 2

A sequel to an incredible game, Monument Valley 2 will force you to think outside the box to solve the puzzles. It’s truly a wonderful experience.

Sago Mini School

Right off the bat, you know Sago Mini School is wildly different from everything else on this list. That’s because Sago Mini School isn’t a game for you; it’s a game for your kids. Sago Mini School is part of the Sago series of apps, games, and toys that are all designed for educational purposes — but, with a fun streak, of course. Sago isn’t just a bunch of games to keep your kids busy, though. This is educator-designed content, not just colorful gobbledygook to fill your kids’ heads with.

Sago Mini School offers a free month trial to everyone, but Google Play Pass subscribers get access to the app monthly instead of having to pay a separate subscription. That’s an $8 value every single month just from this app alone! On top of that, Sago adds new content every single month — which is the reason for the subscription cost — meaning your kids won’t be getting bored but, instead, will both be entertained and learning math, creative and social skills, language, speech, and everything in-between.

Sago Mini School

Sago Mini School is part of the wide-reaching Sago series of apps, games, and toys that teaches your little ones things like shapes, colors, language, and more.

Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition

Shadow Fight is one of the best fighting game series developed for mobile, featuring gorgeous graphics, smooth animations, and a huge variety of deadly weapons to upgrade and master. This special edition is the premium version, with no ads or energy bars, so you can play whenever you want.

There’s a complete story mode to battle through with Shadow Fight 2’s surprisingly tight touchscreen controls. It’s not the newest kid in the series, but it’s still a kickass game worth your time if you like fighting games. There’s a lot of variety for different play styles.

Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition

Probably the best fighting series on Android, Shadow Fight is great for all fans of fighting games. This version of the second game comes with all kinds of armor to choose from, a full campaign, and no stamina system.

Stardew Valley

Just like Terraria (which we’ll get to in a bit), Stardew Valley is another beloved PC game that has been ported over…

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