More and more mobile games are implementing multiplayer features these days, making it possible to connect with someone halfway around the world from the palm of your hand. But what if you want to play a mobile game with someone who’s sitting right next to you? While video game consoles have allowed gamers to kick back on the couch with their friends for some big screen action for many years, the idea of playing a game with another player on the same phone or tablet is still a somewhat new concept. That said, the idea of “split-screen” multiplayer mobile gaming is catching on, and certain titles are being designed today with this concept as the central focus. Here are six mobile games for Android that you and another player (or more) can enjoy at the same time from the same phone or tablet.
Mobile gaming hasn’t been around for all that long when compared to PC or console gaming, but at least within this specific area of the industry, Fruit Ninja is one of the platform’s early classics. The game, developed by Halfbrick in Brisbane, Australia asks players to chop up as many colorful pieces of fruit as they can without allowing anything to fall off the screen. The game was originally released as a single-player title in 2010 but has since received numerous updates and additional game modes.
It’s possible to take the game’s multiplayer online now, but for our money, the most fun to be had with this title is in the split-screen multiplayer. Each player takes one-half of the screen and tries to dice up more fruit and better combos than their opponent. The first player to let three pieces of fruit fall off the screen is out for the count.
Olo is an extremely simple but well-designed and fun game. The game’s multiplayer splits the screen up into multiple quadrants or “target zones” and the goal is to slide your “Olo” or disc into the matching area. Sounds simple enough, but things quickly get complicated when more than one person joins in. That’s because when trying to slide the Olos into the correct spot, you can also intentionally bump into another player’s disc and push them out of their own target area. The Olos have different sizes and larger shaped circles or discs will bash into opponent’s Olos with more force. Winning in this game is just as much about taking out the opponent’s Olos as it is correctly aiming your own.
If you’ve ever wanted to blow someone up while looking quite dapper, Gentlemen Multiplayer is the game for you. This 2-player game features well-dressed gentlemen in bowler hats throwing bombs and knives all over the place. Each player has their own set of controls and the goal is to try and do as much damage as possible to the other player’s side of the board. The game features multiple different modes but we’ve had fun just playing around with the large selection of crazy weaponry. For added fun, be sure to talk like a proper 18th-century British man as you lay waste to your opponent. Good show, old sport!
Ice Rage: Hockey
If you’ve ever been to an arcade and taken on a friend in a game of air hockey, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s in store when you fire up Ice Rage: Hockey. In fact, the concept of air hockey works so well on tablets and phones that you’ll find multiple split-screen games in this genre on the Google Play store. We’re going with Ice Rage: Hockey for this list, as it feels like it has the most going on during gameplay.
What makes this title unique is that you get to control a player out on the ice in addition to simply playing goalie and counterattacking This makes for some interesting gameplay opportunities where your goalie and player can pass the puck back and forth while you look for an opening. This game will work best on a tablet, but a large phone will also suffice. Each player has their own joysticks at each end of the tablet, giving the game a true arcade feel. If you’d rather have a more traditional air hockey experience without worrying about both a goalie and a player, check out Glow Hockey 2.
2 Player Reactor
At first glance, 2-Player Reactor is the least graphically impressive of the titles on this list, but that’s OK because it’s by design. Both players are presented with a wide variety of puzzles and equations to solve, hopefully faster than the other guy. Each player stares intently at what’s going on in the center of the screen and then taps their respective button when the correct answer pops up. The person who “reacts” the fastest will win that round. If you’ve ever played any of the Warioware titles that Nintendo has released over the years, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re in store for here. The game is simple and fast but incredibly fun, making it the perfect solution for when you and a friend have a little bit of time to kill. The simple graphics and set up also make this game easy to play on just about any size phone, no tablet or “phablet” required.
Badland is by far the most graphically impressive game on this list, and it’s received excellent reviews from major outlets like Touch Arcade and Destructoid. Badland is a side-scrolling action adventure and your goal is to guide your flock through an ever-increasing number of obstacles in the forest. The game won many awards upon release back in 2013 just for its single player campaign, but the game is also incredibly fun (and crazy hectic) in multiplayer. The split screen multiplayer lets up to four players go at it, with the player who is able to stay alive the longest being declared the winner.