The Android Market literally has thousands of free apps. While work might not be the time or place to download and use some of them, if you have a personal device, you might want to check out my five favorite free Android games to help celebrate the Halloween season during your free time.

1. Zombie Defense Free

This one is my current favorite mobile waste of time — and why wouldn’t it, coming from someone who writes zombie fiction? You command four survivors of the zombie infestation and have to arm and position them within different settings to shoot down the oncoming horde. Between battles, you can make each character search or prepare. Select search if you need new weapons or food to restore health. When you prepare, your characters build specific things to aid you in your quest.

The gameplay (see Figure A) takes some getting used to, and about half-way through, it becomes impossibly hard — but Zombie Defense is fun to play when you have a minute or two to spare. The background music/ambient noise is also a nice touch.
Figure A

2. Ghost Wars Pro

This particular Halloween-themed game is a sort of variation on the castle defense game, only you are protecting a haunted tree and a cauldron of bubbling, festering ooze. As the cauldron boils, you build up points that allow you to send out various ghouls and monsters to try to take down the enemy. You can upgrade your ghouls, buy more (and different) ghouls (with better weapons), and even fire a flaming arrow at the enemy that happens to get by your troops. This game isn’t the easiest to get used to, but once you do, it’s quite the little addictive game. The best about it is its wacky sense of style (see Figure B). Very clever.
Figure B

3. Vampire Slayer Squad

No, it’s not Buffy, nor is it related to Buffy… but the game does have a touch of attitude. What I love about Vampire Slayer Squad is that it hearkens back to the days of turn-based RPGs. You won’t see stellar graphics here, and you won’t have fast-action fun. What you will find is a straightforward RPG that will take you back to the good old days (see Figure C). It includes the following fun features:

  • Three slayer types
  • Six modes of play (escape, hold, survival, destroy, extract, and reach)
  • Three levels of difficulty
  • Unique game play
  • Battle Count Dracula’s army of vampires
  • Destructible scenery
  • Find innovative strategies to beat the AI
  • 20 levels including tutorials

You get all of the above for FREE! How can you beat that? You can’t — unless you have a wooden stake. Anyone who was a fan of Rogue and Net Hack games will enjoy this baby.

Figure C

4. Pumpkins vs. Monsters

Here’s another favorite of mine. This little gem of a game has you collecting different colored pumpkins and launching them at the oncoming monsters. You have to have a minimum of three of the same color pumpkin in order to launch, but as you wait (or kill), more pumpkins will appear (see Figure D). You can also collect money, which will allow you to upgrade pumpkins, buy weapons, and select armor for your wall. There are five different levels and fifteen sublevels. The final sublevel always features a boss that is incredibly challenging. I’ve been playing this game for months and have yet to complete the last level. There’s lots of Halloween-themed fun to be had!
Figure D

5. Monsters Splatter

Here’s another game that takes Tetris and turns it on its monstrous head. This time around, the heads of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and Dracula are all dropping down to the bottom of the screen. As they do, you must tap similar heads in a triangle (they do not have to be adjacent heads) to zap as many as you can. There are also special items (pumpkins and holy water) that do different things — a pumpkin adds another line of monsters to increase the difficulty and holy water destroys all monsters of the same type on the board. While there are ads on this game, they don’t interfere with gameplay.

Figure E

There are plenty of spooky, fun games out there. My top five list should have some sort of fright to appeal to just about anyone. If you’ve come across a good ghostly game, tell us about it in the discussion thread below.