Five Games to Show off Your Android Tablet


Honorable Mention: GTA 3

It’s hard to deny that Grand Theft Auto 3 is probably the most ambitious game ever released for mobile devices. Even though it’s now over 10 years old, the sheer scale of this PS2 blockbuster is mind boggling. In terms of story, voice acting, and content, there’s really nothing else that can quite match it.

But the game is certainly starting to show its age. Vehicle models vary from passable to laughable, and the character models and animation (which wasn’t terribly impressive when the game was first released) look downright archaic now. The controls are also a bit of a rough spot, as a game this complex was certainly never intended to be played on a touch screen.

Honorable Mention: X-Plane 9

You would think that X-Plane 9, the only true flight simulator available on Android, would be a natural choice for your tablet. Unfortunately, while the game’s simulation of over 50 aircraft from various countries and eras is unbeatable, its graphical and audio presentation are severely lacking.

The game looks grainy and muddy, and its user interface looks like it was a conceptual mockup that somehow made it into the final game. On the small screen of a smartphone this isn’t quite as noticeable, but when blown up to tablet scale, it’s jarring.

Outside of the bare bones flight simulation, you can chose to take to the skies in a fighter aircraft and compete against an AI opponent. This sounds interesting, except 9 times out of 10 the enemy AI manages to crash itself into the ground before you even get to see them, and on the rare occasion you manage to intercept the enemy before they kill themselves, the clunky UI makes hitting them with one of your weapons nearly impossible.

With luck we may someday see a properly tablet optimized version of X-Plane on Android (like the iPad has); but given that developer Laminar Research is currently being sued over the existing Android version of X-Plane, that seems like it’s probably on the back burner.

About Tom Nardi

Tom is a Network Engineer with focus on GNU/Linux and open source software. He is a frequent submitter to "2600", and maintains a personal site of his projects and areas of research at: .
  • Jrodd

    The only thing that urks me is there never seems to be enough space on your android tablet.
    We all know not to buy a 8 GB one (That only gives you 4 GB useable
    space) But 16 GB isn’t too much either. (If you keep other content).

    you buy one with a SD Card Thinking “you can expand” nope. you can’t
    even do that. Just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 2 8GB It doesn’t let
    me use the SD Card for apps go figure (I Know SD cards are slow and lead
    to worse performance)

    Can’t wait till space gets cheaper and theirs more of it. 16 GB should be bare minimum. even then your cutting it close.

    Great recommendations. Just bookmarked you guys!

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