If you browse the games section of the Google Play Store, you’ll quickly discover that most of the catalog is riddled with games that have constant ads and/or a ridiculous array of in app purchases. In fact, every single one of the top 100 grossing games in the Play store are actually free to download. This means that they are monetized by repetitive and constant ads, or more commonly, feature in app purchases up to $99 dollars or more.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it didn’t have such a drastic effect on the gameplay. Most in app purchases do nothing but to accelerate the progression of the gameplay through some form of in-game currency. In order to make this currency more enticing, the pacing of the game is basically slowed down to a halt, to the point where the game is just not enjoyable unless you fork over tons of money, or watch countless repetitive ads (most of which are for more IAP heavy apps).

Well, here’s a list of 9 games available in the Google Play store that hearken back to the good old days of gaming where you bought it once and owned the entire experience; no additional DLC, or real money transactions to sacrifice the core vision of the gameplay.


1 – Monument Vally 2

The long-anticipated sequel to the gorgeous and mind bending puzzle game. Solve M. C. Eschereque puzzles and soak in the vibrant art design.

Like the original, Monument Valley 2 is lacking in dialogue, but rich in narrative.


2 – Leo’s Fortune

Another beautiful game where you control a little fuzzy blob through a series of platforming challenges. The gameplay is somewhat reminiscent of Kirby’s adventure or Loco Roco.

The controls are incredibly smooth, but a gamepad is recommended for maximum precision.


3 – Grand Theft Auto III

This PS2 classic has been available on Android for ages, but is considered a classic for a reason. Like all GTA games, it’s packed with content and story. While you’re at it, pick up GTA Vice City and San Andreas as well.

Do yourself a favor and get a bluetooth gamepad if you plan on picking this up. The controls (especially driving) is incredibly slippery with the on-screen controls.


4 – Fotonica

At it’s core, Fotonica is a fairly standard runner game with single button controls. What sets it apart is the killer visual style reminiscent of such games as Rez.

This game is unforgiving in it’s challenge level, but addictive as heck. The techno soundtrack is satisfying as well.


5 – Retro City Rampage DX

Imagine if Grand Theft Auto was on the NES, and you basically have Retro City Rampage. In fact, the game actually started out as a de-make of GTA for actual NES hardware. This game is packed with references to 80s games and movies and has a huge soundtrack filled with top notch chip-tunes.

The on-screen controls are serviceable, but do yourself and play with a gamepad for maximum accuracy and retro feel.


6 – Lumino City

This game may be a contender for the most beautiful Android game. All of the game’s graphics are constructed from actual paper and digitized.

I actually just picked this one up, but from the opening credit sequence alone, I can tell that it will be a magical experience.


7 – Real Myst

A fully realized 3D version of the classic puzzle adventure game. The graphics may look dated by today’s standards, but Myst was renowned for it’s atmosphere and storytelling.

Don’t feel bad if you need to go to Gamefaqs once or twice during your play through, the puzzles in Myst are known for being especially obtuse at times.


8 – The Room (1, 2 and 3)

This game series is now three entries strong, and each one never fails to disappoint. Puzzles consist of opening various boxes, panels and doors while interacting with keys, knobs, levers and whatnot.

It’s actually funner than it sounds, and the built in progressive hint system keeps the game moving without ever feeling like you’re stuck.


9 – Pew Pew

Not only is this game free of ads and IAPs, it’s completely free outright. This twin-stick style shooter is similar to games like Geometry Wars.

This is a very early Android game which runs buttery smooth on even the oldest phones.