5 Cool Side Action Games on Android – Phandroid

Side-scrolling games have always been a staple of gaming. From the first Super Mario to masterpieces like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the Metroid series, there’s always been an undeniable charm about playing 2D (or 2.5D) games, jumping from platform to platform, and taking out some enemies along the way. It’s no surprise, then, that mobile games have also embraced the genre, allowing gamers to access both original and live titles on their screens.

If you are looking forward to trying some of these games for the first time, or just want to relive some old side-scrolling mayhem, join us as we check out these highly entertaining games on the Playstore. Let’s get started!

dead cells

One of the newer titles on the Playstore, Dead Cells is a side-scrolling game that includes fast-paced combat and rogue-like elements for some quick gameplay. You gain abilities and weapons, and we have to admit that jumping around and killing enemies never gets old. The game is updated regularly, and while you can purchase the full game, there is also optional content that you can check out in case you want more action.

The game was also released for other consoles, and while it was designed to work with a touch screen, the Android port provides support for external consoles.

Check out the game here.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

You may have noticed that we mentioned this game at the beginning of this article – Castlevania Symphony of the Night (also known as SOTN) is one of the games responsible for the term “Metroidvania” (the other game is Nintendo’s Metroid). Simply put, although it’s mostly an action-adventure game, SOTN features role-playing elements like a leveling system, customizable gear, and some in-game exploration, meaning you’ll spend a lot of time going back and forth. Huge game world. You play as Alucard, who is tasked with taking down his father Dracula (if you’ve watched the Netflix series, this must be familiar) into his large, sprawling castle.

Originally released for the Sony PlayStation, SOTN also supports both touch controls and external controllers, so you can easily pair a wireless controller with your smartphone and start all the action. The pixelated graphics work well on smartphone screens, and anyone looking to revisit or try this classic for the first time will have a blast with this port.

Check out the game here.


Next on this list is Grimvalor. Originally designed for mobile platforms and later ported to the Nintendo Switch, Grimvalor is an award-winning, hack-and-slash title that pits you – a combat-trained warrior – against hordes of Earthless monsters roaming your smartphone screen. Grimvalor takes some metroidvania-style exploration and combines it with elements from the popular “Souls” games. The game also features great combat controls, as well as good looking graphics and voice acting.

If you’re not too keen on using the touchscreen controls, Grimvalor is compatible with third-party controllers as well, giving you better control over all the action going on.

Check out the game here.

Bloodstained: Rituals of the Night

A spiritual successor to the Castlevania series (which has been quite dormant for a while), Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night offers similar gameplay to its predecessor, thanks to the masterminds of developer Koji Igarashi, who was largely responsible for Symphony of the Night’s success during His tenure at KONAMI. This time, Bloodstained puts you in the shoes of Miriam, an orphaned girl with combative abilities and untapped strength. Old Castlevania fans will find a lot to love with Bloodstained, and the game offers solid metroidvania adventure along with great looking graphics.

So far the only issue we have with this game is the touch screen controls which look a bit awkward, although like the other games on this list you can use a third party controller for a better gaming experience.

Check out the game here.

Super Mario Run

If you’re looking for something a little more streamlined and simple, then Nintendo’s Super Mario Run is a great game to consider. Nintendo is slowly bringing its franchises to mobile platforms, and it’s no surprise that Mario is making the transition from Switch and DS to smartphone devices. Although it’s technically a Mario game, Super Mario Run changes things up a bit by locking the game into a portrait style orientation, and gives Mario a control system similar to “endless running” games like Temple Run etc, albeit in a dual view Dimensions.

As far as the controls are concerned, there are no complicated platforms involved here. All you have to do is get Mario from point A to point B using tap controls, and for casual mobile gamers and Mario fans looking to burn some time, Super Mario Run is well worth checking out.

Check out the game here.

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