Cosmonautica
If you feel the way I do about app stores, chances are you’re occasionally overwhelmed by them. It’s easy enough to keep tabs on the latest releases that top the charts, but there are so many apps to choose from that those beneath the surface are easily shuffled, lost, and forgotten.

Perhaps that’s a bit of a dramatic take where something as casually enjoyable as mobile gaming is concerned – but it’s always a little frustrating to think that you may have 20 games downloaded on your phone and not know that there are 20 better versions of them that you just haven’t been made aware of! Alas, I don’t have the power to identify the very best games, or the best versions of different genres. But I have done a little creative digging to find five fun and interesting Android games you’ve (probably) never heard of.

Cosmonautica

This creative game by Chasing Carrots was actually released initially on PC before landing on Android in the summer of 2015. A poor review at Gamezbo may have been behind its not going very far, and thus it became one of countless “buried” apps. But a kinder review better spoke to its value, stating that it has the capability to make new fans of a genre that many find daunting. That genre would be simulation (and trading). It’s essentially a game that asks you to fulfill every role involved in piloting a spaceship and building it up, using various animated humans and aliens to form a cohesive crew. It’s Sims meets space strategy, but it’s all done with fun animations and a not-so-serious vibe.

DinoOps

BUG-Studio designed this retro-style game, and it feels like something you may have played on an old Sega Genesis or Game Boy. Playing from a bird’s eye perspective, you guide a character through an outdoor landscape, using different guns to fend off dinosaurs of varying sizes and strengths. That’s about all there is to it, so if complexity (or modern graphics) is your thing, you might rather skip it. But if you like simple arcade thrills and you appreciate a retro aesthetic, this is a must-have mobile title.

Jungle Jim: El Dorado

You may not know it, but immersive video slots made popular on casino sites are being adapted more frequently for Android devices. The best of these games, which have been described as a winning bunch by comparison to many of their counterparts, tend to include character-based background stories that add a little bit of animation and adventure to slot gaming. Jungle Jim: El Dorado is arguably the best of the bunch, focusing on an Indiana Jones-like character’s quest through the jungle to find the mythical golden city of El Dorado. If you’re at all curious about casino gaming or enhanced slot reels, it’s certainly one to select.

Sisyphus Job

I’m perhaps more surprised by this game’s obscurity than that of any other on this list. It’s an endless runner at heart – one of the most popular types of mobile game, it would seem – but one with a variety of different movement styles and an amusingly animated historical setting. While it has little to do with the actual myth of Sisyphus, it does bring ancient Greece to life (in a fashion that may remind you of the Disney film Hercules). You control a hero running, jumping, and sliding for his life through an obstacle-littered ancient Greek landscape.

Maze Of The Dead

This is another game that’s quite surprising in its relative obscurity – but perhaps there are just enough zombie games out there that a few good ones are destined to go unnoticed. When this game reached iOS, it was referred to as a one-of-a-kind horror-puzzle game in which battle isn’t an option – only escape. It takes you through 30 genuinely spooky levels, and you’re literally just guiding your character through a maze, past bloody spots on the stones and (hopefully) around wandering undead.