In the emulation business, things are a bit frenetic.
In case you don't know, it's already possible shoot até GTA IV not Android more or less and Dark Souls 2 no ultra incredibly satisfying.
However, there is another very hot branch as well, which is the branch of unofficial ports of Android games.
It's not about emulation, or fan-made games.
The thing here is games that have been transformed into native APKs for Android, or that receive a compatibility layer via software, a kind of “half emulation”.
The games on this list can be played natively and offline on Android.
In this video, you will check out the coolest games that are definitely not on Google Play.
Hollow Knight by Dan Cooper
Hollow Knight by Dan Cooper is an Android port of the canceled PS Vita version.
The developer, who despite the name is Russian, took the unfinished version of Vita, and integrated it with the PC version.
It was so good that it looks like someone decided to take the game to Android.
As there is very little official information on the subject, and the project's Discord is closed to new users, I can't tell you if the person who ported the game to Android was Dan Cooper himself or another developer.
About Hollow Knight, this game is almost unanimous when it comes to indie metroidvanias. A game that promises you nothing and delivers everything. Gigantic, with many challenges and impressive lore.
Amazing game saw. So much so that the Silkson sequel was the most celebrated game at Summer Game Fest 2022.
This port got an update a few days ago that even added multiple languages, including Spanish.
The update also brought improved on-screen commands, dispensing with that gameboard+ gambiarra.
However, it is worth remembering that it is not yet a complete port. There are some bugs. But if you just want to know the game through Android, this port already gives you a good idea of how it is.
Another modern and challenging platform game that also got an unofficial version for Android was Celeste.
The Android version of Celeste runs on FNA Player.
FNA is an implementation of the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 libraries, converted for Android.
By using FNA, it is possible to play the PC version of Celeste, as if it were a native Android game.
As it is a raw port of the PC version, a Bluetooth or USB controller will be required.
In Celeste, you must help Madeline face her inner demons on a journey to the top of the mountain. A journey of self-discovery, filled with painstaking challenges and hidden secrets.
To play, just have the PC version, download the files to your cell phone, place them in the Android/Data/FNADroid.Player/files/ folder and install the FNADroid.Player.apk file.
Okay, DevilutionX kind of breaks our "not on Google Play" argument, but his main file isn't.
You will have to have purchased Diablo 1 from GOG.COM or downloaded it from there….
The thing is, just download a file, DIABDAT.MPQ to the folder of this application and boom, Diabo 1, in Spanish, all configured to run on Android.
And it's perfect guys.
Diablo 1 is a game that needs no introduction. Owner of an atmosphere and a preciousness in the construction of environments, this game makes the player really feel like descending to the catacombs of hell.
A masterpiece of PC gaming that can be enjoyed in all its glory on mobile.
Link to download DevilutionX
Doom 3 isn't exactly the most celebrated game in the franchise, but checking out this shooter on your smartphone has a little more flavor.
This port has two versions, the most current is through the Dante engine, which is nothing more than a port of the Doom 3 engine for Android.
But there is a version with the Source Engine that works very well too.
This hack has been going on since 2014, but it was restricted to the most powerful smartphones. But nowadays, any average cell phone runs Doom 3 on Android.
That's at your discretion. Test both and see which one will work best on your smartphone.
Although it's not the game it was born to be, Doom 3 seems to me to be a good FPS to play on mobile, especially with this drought we're in for shooter games with a story.
If you paid attention to the previous game, you must have heard the magic words “source engine” and thought: “Um, Valve's shooters would be cool” on mobile, right?
But they're on my hallowed cell phone… unofficially, of course!
The first one that we're going to talk about here is an obvious choice…..and another example of a game that was supposed to be on mobile for centuries.
Portal is a game design class. The game was developed by a group of college tech students, who were later hired by Valve.
Portal came to the world in released in 2007.
At that time Valve was like that, a game company focused 100% on innovation.
By mixing puzzle with shooting game, we control a character trapped in a very peculiar laboratory.
We are accompanied by an artificial intelligence that at first appears benevolent. But as we solve the puzzles, we see that her main objective is to end our existence.
This game has never been officially translated into Spanish, but if you have the chance to apply the PC translation patch, please do, as the story of this game is amazing.
GLaDOS' dialogue is strikingly cynical. Voice actress Ellen McLain's performance is worthy of an Oscar.
Portal is a complete game. A beautiful demonstration of the perfect union between art, refined technique, impeccable game design, and storytelling. One of the best first-person games in all of gaming history.
The sequel to that game, Portal 2 is equally brilliant, but so far there is still no way to play it natively and offline on Android…
The same guy who ported the Source Engine, Discord and Youtube user Nillerusr, is working on fixing bugs to bring Portal 2 to Android.
Note Yes, we know there's that Nvidia Portal on Google Play, but it's exclusive to devices of this brand.
Half Life 1 e 2
And speaking of good game design, we need to talk about Half Life.
What game would you place in the legendary pantheon of the greatest games of all time? Alongside Red Dead Redemption and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
The last of us…? ehhh não!
Half Life 1 e 2
It's impressive how a game that originated Counter Strike is better known for its story and mechanics than its gunplay.
Half Life has influenced game developers around the world, including names like Cory Barlog, director of the new God of War and also the first game in the new Tomb Raider trilogy.
But after all, what's so great about Half Life, and especially about Half Life 2?
The amount of innovation in terms of technology and storytelling makes this one of the most important franchises of all time.
For the time, and even today, Half-Life 2 impresses with its perfect mix of gameplay and interactive cutscenes. From facial expressions, to the rich and detailed world.
Half-Life 2 drew attention with facial expressions and movement of the characters, things that even new generation games are missing.
In Half Life 1 we follow Dr.Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who works at the research facility called Black Mesa. The site performed several experiments with a newly found alien crystal.
An experiment goes awry and several portals open with strange creatures invading the facility.
What appears to be a typical “Doom” aimed at killing the boss and closing the opening to the other world, has a surprising twist at the end.
Half Life 2 starts 20 years after the first game. Even though for Freeman only seconds have passed since the end of 1.
Aliens invaded Earth and in 7 hours they exterminated 90% of the world's population. The rest are enslaved in small towns.
Gordon then emerges in one of these cities, City 17. The place is a desert, the population is scared and the atmosphere is of a 1984, with an apparent, and false, tranquility.
Freeman then infiltrates the place to join the last resistance that tries to free humanity from the aliens.
Yeah, we wasted a lot of time talking about Half life, but this is a game that fits perfectly in the current scenario of mobile games.
After all, with the scarcity of quality offline shooting games on Android, why better than playing one of the best shooter of all time.
The Elder Scrolls 3
As with several games on this list, someone has ported the engine from The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind to Android.
The game, which nowadays is quite light, runs on literally any cell phone.
Imagine there: a gigantic offline RPG, full of possibilities, offline and in Spanish? Considered by many to be the best in the franchise, Morrowind set the course for the next games in the franchise, including the legendary Skyrim.
The beauty of this game is due to the freedom given to the players. Nothing is explained to your face with arrows and map markings. The player has to discover everything on his own.
Morrowind has a character creation system that may seem complex for today, but it's simply brilliant. And the dialog options? Each NPC has a huge amount of interaction options, questions and answers.
As it's all automatic nowadays, you'll be amazed at Morrowind. Don't be surprised that you call it an "RPG simulator", because you will live as if you were a character in the game.
Created in 2002, Morrowind is another classic product of a time when the internet was in its infancy. Social networks didn't even exist, so there was no way for producers to create an absurd hype like they do today.
At that time, the game had to be excellent, that was it, or companies would go bankrupt in a short time.
Morrowind was born with exactly that purpose: to save Bethesda from bankruptcy.
As ToddHoward recounts in an interview with the cinemabend site
“There were six of us at the time, right? The studio got so small, and I was in charge of Morrowind, but back then, when you get to that point, there was this “not being afraid” element. What could get worse? We go out of business.
Well, let's give it all we've got. Let's put all our chips on the table. This is the game people want from us, this is the game we want to make.”
Fortunately Morrowind was a success, selling 4 million copies.
And how does the port of this wonder behave on Android?
Morrowind runs incredibly smooth and already has dozens of community-made plugins and patches. Including translation patches for Spanish.
The OpenMW engine port already delivers an optimal configuration of on-screen commands.
The process remains the same as for the source engine, FNA and Dante Engine, you download an APK that is the ported engine, and it, in turn, will run the PC game on Android. You can even do this legally, just have a computer with the games purchased on Steam or GOG.com and copy the files of PC games to your cell phone.
Another Metroid 2 remake
AM2R or Another Metroid 2 remake is, as its name implies, another remake of Metroid 2, from the Game Boy PC version, with improved graphics and sounds.
This remake also ended up on mobile with an incredible and very well adapted version for Android.
The only issue here is the system version, as the APK of this game will require at least Android 9.0 or higher.
About AM2R, it is a 2D action game with a large map and the possibility of a lot of exploration.
The surprise here is precisely the adaptation of the Game Boy screen to wide screen screens. With this, the appearance is that the game with native aspect ratio, which combined with pixel art has a very beautiful look.
The end result was very good. It looks like that typical simple game that you start playing and don't want to stop.
Like all the games on the list, this one is an offline game.
Link to download or AM2R not Android
Were you surprised by these games? Also check out our other videos with APK games that aren't on Google Play.
A big hug and until next time!