LEGO has made a transformation over the last decade, combining forces with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Batman, among other franchises; the characters and locations of these worldsmore
LEGO has made a transformation over the last decade, combining forces with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Batman, among other franchises; the characters and locations of these worlds are converted into LEGO pieces and action figures, where you will fight bad guys, solve a few puzzles, and work as a team. If you like kid-friendly platformer games with some light puzzling and an emphasis on cooperation, here are some of the best ones like LEGO Batman that we could find on the Google Play Store.
This 2D side-scroller is less flashy than the LEGO games, but it's also free (with ads, which you can pay 99 cents to remove), and it won't drain your battery as quickly. That will give you more time to solve its many environmental puzzles, all of which require teamwork. You control three different mushroom people, each of which has a special ability. One can jump high and float, another can block attacks, and the third one can fire arrows. Plus, they can stand on top of each other to get over certain obstacles or make longer jumps. The pixel art and sound effects are relatively basic, but the world and its mushroom people have a certain charm and dogged determination.
The only in-app purchase is for ad removal, which we recommend. Otherwise, 5-30 second clips pop up between levels and can pull you out of the experience.
On the surface, Never Alone is just a particularly nice-looking side scrolling platformer set in the Arctic wilderness, but it actually draws from the culture and mythology of the Iñupiat, a group of people who are indigenous to the Alaska region. As you progress through the game, you will unlock a series of short, broadcast-quality documentary clips that provide insight on Iñupiat concepts and their way of life. You can skip these entirely, but they're worth watching at least to understand the unusual ways in which the game world unfolds before you. At your character's side is an Arctic fox, and you can switch between the two at any time; like Mushroom Heroes, teamwork will be necessary to get around certain obstacles.
The Android version preserves all of the gameplay that's in the desktop version (just optimized for touch screens and battery efficiency) for $4.99, with no ads or in-app purchases. The visual detail, music, and sound are very polished, and we recommend playing with headphones and a tablet to get full immersion.
The teamwork in Parallyzed mixes things up by having you control two characters at the same time. The 2D side-scrolling levels are split in half, with each character navigating their own obstacle course -- but the blue one can jump higher and is shorter, so she can get around certain sections that the orange one can't. Thankfully, you can swap the duo's positions at any time. But unlike the other games on this list, the duo can't stop moving forward, making this a kind of runner game. If you can't reach the end of a level, you usually have to restart it in the beginning, though sometimes the game will give you the option of watching a short ad that lets you continue.
Parallyzed has very polished artwork and sound, benefiting from a pair of headphones to fully enjoy the soundtrack. You can play the game for free, or pay $2.99 to remove ads (other than the optional one mentioned above), which also unlocks a mode where you run from right to left instead of left to right. This was discounted to 99 cents during our playtesting. There are no other in-app purchases.
Scribblenauts is a colorful, kid-friendly puzzle game with a unique twist: You solve puzzles by conjuring objects and creatures and combining them in certain ways, which you do by typing (scribbling) the name of the object into an in-game notebook. While the game won't be able to produce everything you can think of, the possibilities are remarkably varied. Do you want a purple T-Rex wearing a sombrero? Do you want to cut that tree down with an axe, a chainsaw, or something more exotic? Either way, these tasks are structured around helping people with various problems, and this quest-based design helps propel you from one puzzle to the next.
The very charming art and animation benefit from a tablet-size screen, and there's a premium soundtrack for your earbuds or headphones. Scribblenauts Unlimited offers all the gameplay of the desktop version for $4.99, a quarter of the price, with no ads or in-app purchases.
Thomas Was Alone is a visually minimalistic 2D puzzler, but it has lush music and full narration by comedian Danny Wallace (who also played a character in the Assassin's Creed series). As Thomas, you are just a rectangle, albeit one that can jump very high. You'll team up with Christopher and other rectangles of various sizes with various abilities, as you work your way through an obstacle course while pondering the greater questions of what you are and what kind of world you're in. Like Mushroom Heroes, you'll often need to stack your team members to reach a higher platform or leap across a divide.
While the game doesn't need a tablet to get the full effect of its visual impact, we definitely recommend earbuds or headphones to properly hear the music and narration. Thomas Was Alone is $4.99 on the Play Store, with no ads or in-app purchases.