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Mechanical Challenge Games on Android

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.

This list includes 35 games from the last 21 years, with 414 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to combine dexterity and instincts.

DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Traversal
Era: 2001 - 2022
Total Games: 35
Total Likes: 414
 

 

OCO

Release Date: 11/08/2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

OCO is a sliding and jumping game set with simple colourful levels each set in a rotating planetoid. Unlike other platform games, you control everything with a single button. Each different colour of platform you slide along grants different abilities...

Threes

Release Date: 06/02/2014

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Threes is a puzzle game where you slide numbered tiles on a grid. When they collide they combine their numbers, like Triple Town. You can match 1's and 2's with each other, the white tiles can match cards that are multiples of 3...

BedWars

Release Date: 19/01/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft servers. It's a game similar to the official Minecraft minigames but created by independent developers.

Geometry Dash

Release Date: 13/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Geometry Dash is a running, jumping game. It features over 20 stages where you play as a customisable small cube, which you used to dodge 2D obstacles to the rhythm of electronic music using a single button to control the cube. If you hit any of the...

Free Fire (Series)

Release Date: 29/10/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Garena Free Fire (also called Free Fire Battlegrounds, Free Fire, Garena Free Fire-New Beginning) is a shooting game like Fortnite but only played on mobile phones and tablet devices. It is highly popular for its online battles where 50 players search...

Fancade

Release Date: 30/04/2020

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Fancade is a collection of simple games played on smartphones. It offers simple running, jumping, puzzle, shooting challenges depicted with simple pixel visuals. Like Roblox, these offer simple versions of other commercial games. Unlike Roblox, these...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Kill It With Fire

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Kill It With Fire is a fighting game where you kill spiders. Lifting objects, looking under things and generally exploring the houses means you find spiders. The challenge is then to kill them with increasingly ridiculous weapons.

Dead Cells

Release Date: 10/05/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Dead Cells is a running, jumping and fighting game where you are escaping a prison. In a bright pixelated world you must accurately time attacks and dodges to defeat a wide range of enemies. It's intentionally hard, and you will die a lot. But each time...

MudRunner

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Mudrunner is an off-roading simulation where you drive ageing Soviet vehicles in extreme, muddy and unpaved environments. It's novel because of the simulated driving and that you just have a map and a compass to navigate.

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

QWOP

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

QWOP is a sports game with a difference. You have to control each limb of your virtual athlete. This changes it from a challenge of hitting buttons to using the touch screen or keyboard to deftly co-ordinate movement to gain forward motion. It's really...

A Dance of Fire and Ice

Release Date: 25/01/2019

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

A Dance of Fire and Ice is a one-button rhythm game where you control a pair of spheres. You press a button to the beat of the music to progress through the mazes. Each press pivots the direction of motion of the paired spheres to make turns and cross...

Gogogo!

Release Date: 12/06/2020

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Gogogo! is a puzzle party game where friends and family compete in clever skill and knowledge challenges revolving around their smartphones. There are memory games, reaction games, word puzzles, challenges where you spin on the spot or tap a dot on your...

MO: Astray

Release Date: 25/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

MO:Astray is a puzzle, jumping and exploration game. Rather than control a character who runs, you control an amorphous blob. To get around you have to use the game's unique movement mechanics to take advantage of the cleverly designed levels.

Captain Tsubasa Dream Team

Release Date: 13/06/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Captain Tsubasa Dream Team (Captain Tsubasa Flash Kicker Dream Team on Android) is a game set in the world of a Japanese cartoon about football. It's a tactical rather than action game. You play as the manager rather than players, but then at key...

Doodle Jump (Series)

Release Date: 06/04/2009, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, DS, Xbox 360 and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Doodle Jump is a jumping video game where you guide a hand-drawn four-legged creature up an endless series of platforms. Once you fall to the bottom of the screen it's game over.

Eggggg

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Eggggg is a silly platform game where you can fly by vomiting in the opposite direction. You play Gilbert who has an extreme egg allergy. Eating them makes him vomit like a fountain which you can use as a special power.

Kolumno

Release Date: 15/11/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Kolumno is a puzzle game where you drop a ball down the side of a sphere aiming to reach the bottom without being blocked. Your task is to manipulate the ball so it fits the rotating elements with gaps in them.

Night Skate

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Night Skate is a one-button skating and jumping game where you play a skateboarder endlessly trundling and tricking their way through the world at night. You use a single button to jump, float and land. In this way you can build up combos and tricks to...

Rez Infinite (Series)

Release Date: 11/01/2002, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Oculus, PC, PS2, PS4 and Xbox 360

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Rez is a shooting game where you fire musical energy rather than bullets. As you guide a figure through the darkness of space you bring down enemies in time with the music. Rez is novel for its use of music and vibration feedback to create a sense of...

World of Tanks

Release Date: 12/08/2010, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

World of Tanks is a multiplayer tank simulation shooting game. You control a tank in a war zone and try and destroy enemy tanks in online matches in a race for supremacy and points. The scale and strategy of the battles recreates a realistic theatre of...

Rocket League Sideswipe

Release Date: 29/11/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Rocket League Sideswipe is a competitive sport where you drive a car and aim to put a large ball in the goal. It's the mobile/smartphone version of the popular Rocket League esports game. Unlike the main game it is played in two dimensions, but still,...

VVVVVV

Release Date: 11/01/2010, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

VVVVVV is a running and jumping game, without the jumping. Not having the ability to jump may seem like a disadvantage, but instead you can flip gravity to get around the various rooms of the abandoned space station. It looks like a 1980's game for the...

Impossible Bottles

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Android and iOS

Impossible Bottles is a rhythm game where you control mechanical robots. You create musical loops with each robot and solve puzzle to get them in harmony. It's a game about the global energy crisis and a scientist’s effort to provide an...

ScourgeBringer

Release Date: 06/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

ScourgeBringer is a fast running jumping and shooting game. You play Kyhra who must slash her way through ancient machines guarding the seal of her past. It's hard and unforgiving, but offers a free flowing exploration and battling that can be tailored...

Tallowmere (Series)

Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Wii U and iOS

Tallowmere is a series of running, jumping and fighting games. You aim to get a high score as you journey through a vast, randomly generated 2D retro-style dungeon, dodging traps and killing enemies in gory and unusual ways. Its unique combination of...

The Ramp

Release Date: 03/08/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Ramp is a relaxed skating game where you perform stunts, jumps and flips with no timers, penalties scores or objectives. It's this simplicity that, along with its deep-yet-simple controls and laidback soundtrack, make it a uniquely calm and...

Vectronom

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Vectronom is a moving and jumping game where you control a block moving through a level that's changing in time with the music. The primary colours and hypnotic beats can distract at first, but as you find the flow of moving in time with the beat a...

Zip Zap

Release Date: 26/09/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Zip Zap is a puzzle game with a simple premise. You move Erector/Meccano-style metal plates to get a ball in a white circle for at least a couple of seconds. It sounds simple. It is simple, although actually, it soon becomes head scratching to get the...

Sometimes You Die

Release Date: 17/03/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding and jumping game. As you play there is a written narrative on the walls of each level that discusses game design, player motivation and the metaphysics of life. More unusual though, is that to progress you have to...

Wobble Frog

Release Date: 18/06/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Wobble Frog is a game about a toy frog traversing a simple world to collect coins. The controls are simple, so simple that you can only control either your foot or your head. This makes it a joyously frustrating game where you work with the limited...

JellyCar Worlds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Jelly Car is a puzzle game about a car made of jelly traversing a squishy world. You use the physics properties of the car and the objects in the world to get from A to B. It's an action puzzle game that stands out for the joyous novelty of a malleable...

Stick Fight: The Game

Release Date: 28/09/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Stick Fight is a vicious fighting game depicted with stick men. You play by controlling small coloured stick men, who mimic real world physics and bodily movement. To win you need to use the physics-based movement to land punches, kicks and use weapons...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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