Microtransaction-free mobile games on Android
June 12, 2015 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Good microtransaction-free games for Android phones with endless modes or just large numbers of levels. Don't need to be free so long as they're not moneypits.

My friend has an addiction to Minion Rush. She likes having something that she can more or less play forever, but feels compelled to throw money at the screen when she comes up against the paywall difficulty.

I've suggested switching to one of the many other temple-run style games and switching whenever it gets too difficult, but that turns a mindless comfort activity into something that needs motivation and decision-making. Not to mention it robs her of any sense of progress.

So, what are the good non-sleazy Android games that have infinite modes, or just ludicrously large numbers of levels? Not so difficult that they can't be played on autopilot, but grinding would be fine.

She's found You Must Build A Boat and 10,000,000 which she enjoyed, and she's taking a look at threes but I've had trouble coming up with any other recommendations that are available for android.

(I've already looked at this previous question but I'm more interested in game recommendations that meet her specific needs.)
posted by Lorc to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Ridiculous Fishing? Three bucks. Vlambeer are good folks.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:14 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by phunniemee at 12:19 PM on June 12, 2015

Dots. 1010!.
posted by General Malaise at 12:20 PM on June 12, 2015

I've wasted a lot of time on Pixel Dungeon* and Dungelot (but not Dungelot 2 which is terrible).

*The app store page for Pixel Dungeon says that it has in-app purchase but I've never noticed them.
posted by octothorpe at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2015

Pocket Frogs and DragonVale.

There are in-app purchases for both but I've lived without them for the most part.
posted by tilde at 12:22 PM on June 12, 2015

I also really enjoyed Blendoku but I went pretty hard in the paint an finished it in like 2 days. It has several additional level packs for purchase (I can't speak to those) but play is free.
posted by phunniemee at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2015

Plants vs Zombies 2. There are lots of in-app purchases, but you don't need any of them to complete the levels, and each level has an infinite mode section perfect for grinding. Definitely my favorite time-waster.
posted by lindseyg at 12:32 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Jelly Defense!
posted by tully_monster at 12:46 PM on June 12, 2015

Also, I play Plants vs. Zombies 2, and this is how I finance purchases of new plants: I use Google Rewards to earn Google credits for taking short surveys. The surveys are not intrusive, and it's essentially free money, so I don't feel guilty about spending it on a silly game.
posted by tully_monster at 12:51 PM on June 12, 2015

TwoDots is great.
posted by lokta at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Work has been insanely stressful this week, and I've playing a great deal of Plants vs. Zombies to keep myself calm--the zen garden is surprisingly soothing.

Anyway, the game costs about a buck and you can play to earn coins to unlock most of the mini games and features, or if you're impatient, pay $5 for enough coins to unlock most of it right away. I'd say it's been more than worth the cost.
posted by PearlRose at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Auro! It's incredible.
posted by quadbonus at 1:27 PM on June 12, 2015

Highest possible recommendation for Quadropus Rampage.

*endless gameplay (you just keep diving further down)
*great art style
*you can play every day for years and never spend money
*super addicting
posted by gettingpaidforthis at 1:35 PM on June 12, 2015

I tend towards mindless puzzle games. If you enjoy that, look for Bullbitz in the app store and then get anything that's listed as a drops game. They're $1-1.50 and good for zoning out. Not played Threes, but I am playing a clone called Fives and it's pretty fun and there's a free option in the store.
posted by angelchrys at 1:52 PM on June 12, 2015

Seconding Pixel Dungeon. The "in-app purchase" is just a button if you want to give them money. I have spent a bazillion hours playing this game, so I donated a bunch of credit I had from taking Google Rewards surveys.
posted by yeahlikethat at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2015

Blendoku is an game that is very zen, and feels somehow educational even though it totally isn't. It's just color-matching, basically increasingly-difficult arrays of slight-gradation paint chips that you put in order. There is a once-daily "hint" button, but there's no way to give them cash and get more hints.
posted by aimedwander at 2:38 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Playing just a couple hours a week, I'm up to the second level of Sokoban and it'll take me at least a year to get through the rest.
posted by rhizome at 3:07 PM on June 12, 2015

She might enjoy Triple Town. Its a fun puzzle game.
posted by ljesse at 3:24 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Guardians of the Galaxy game. Came out a while back, no microtransactions.
posted by kschang at 4:14 PM on June 12, 2015

nth'ing Triple Town, Threes, and Pixel Dungeon. Let me add a suggestion for Twenty.
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:37 PM on June 12, 2015

Punch Quest is an amazing endless runner, simple/deep, genuinely funny and with great music.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2015

I like these matching games, which both have lots of levels. Magic Mania involves making long chains of the same colour, while Gems Journey is more traditional match-3(+) style. Both have ads but no microtransactions. I have gotten even more play from them by trying not just passing the level, but getting 3 stars on each.

If she likes Mahjong, Mahjong Master again has no microtransactions and approximately a zillion levels, with different themes (eg animals, plants, traditional, letters, numbers etc).

If she's not bothered by dying and restarting over and over again, you can't go past UnNetHack, which is very close to the original.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:01 AM on June 15, 2015

« Older Good books or tips on managing agile enterprise...   |   Webfont equivalent of Latin MN Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.